December 29, 2011

Chicken Nuggets in LOTRO

The kin I am part of does an annual Free-Range chicken event to obtain the Crosser of Roads title; we'll probably do the next event in February, so I have just now started encouraging new kin members to take care of all of the preliminary quests in preparation, which has made my mind turn to the Chicken Lore Nuggets that can be found in abundance.  (It's just a bad pun, and I'm actually vegetarian anyway.)  If you are not familiar with Chicken Session Play in LOTRO, you are missing out!  I won't reinvent the wheel and describe it in detail here, you can learn more about it on LOTRO-Wiki.

One of the neat things about Chicken Play is it takes you through various regions of Middle Earth to talk to many animals, and get the animals' perspectives on the situation in Middle Earth.  What's fun is the fact that many of these animals come directly from various works of Professor Tolkien.  If you engage in Chicken Play, you can expect to meet:
Fang, Farmer Maggot, Hammy Maggot, Grip, and Wolf patrolling in the background.

  • The Fox in the Green Hill Country - Granted this fox has no name, but seeing as how we don't come across too many talking foxes in Middle Earth, I think chances are very good that this is the same fox who crossed paths with Frodo, Sam, and Pippin as they were leaving the Shire.  From the Fellowship of the Ring:  A fox passing through the wood on business of his own stopped several minutes and sniffed.  "Hobbits!" he thought.  "Well, what next?  I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree.  Three of them!  There's something mighty queer behind this."  He was quite right, but he never found out any more about it.  Our Fox in LOTRO states the following:  "Now what is this? First three hobbits sleeping in the forest, and now a chicken?" 
  • Grip, Fang and Wolf - These are the dogs your chicken will encounter at Farmer Maggot's mushroom farm of Bamfurlong, located in The Marish in the Southeastern portion of the Shire in LOTRO.  And of course these are the same dogs that terrorize the Hobbits as they trespass on his land in Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Radagast the Brown - I don't think any explanation is needed here!  Your chicken will speak to Radagast in his room at Ost Guruth in the Lone Lands.
  • Roheryn -  Your chicken will find Roheryn near the Stable Master in Rivendell.  Roheryn is Aragorn's mount, who is brought back to him by his fellow Dunedain in the Return of the King, and accompanies Aragorn through the Paths of the Dead.  I guess he's just hanging out in Rivendell, eating Elvish hay or horse lembas, until he's needed.
  • Wink the Cat? - I have seen a lot of conjecturing about the cat-house in Bree, but ultimately I don't think it is a Lore nugget, just cute.  In fact, I believe I have seen a reference that LOTRO's Berephon stated the Bree cat-house was an inside joke among devs.  So are they the descendants of Queen Beruthiel's cats?  Probably not lol.  She is mentioned in the Unfinished Tales, and supposedly only had 10 cats - 9 black and 1 white.  There are way more cats than that in the cat-house, and of all colors and patterns!  We get one mention of her in the Fellowship of the Ring, by Aragorn when the company enters Moria, when he speaks of relying on Gandalf to find the way:  "He is surer of finding the way home in a blind night than the cats of Queen Beruthiel."
  • The Chickens - What about the chickens themselves?  To the best of my knowledge, NOT Lore nuggets.  Pimpinella, Telltime, Moonlight, Cineraria, Bellflower - as far as I can tell, these are just creative Hobbit names, most if not all of them plant-related.  (Unless Telltime is part of the old joke, "How does a chicken tell time? one o'cluck, two o'cluck...groan!)  Then there is Bilina the Chicken - Dorothy and Oz, anyone?  And what about George the Chicken?  There are several Chicken Georges in pop-culture, but again, this seems to be some sort of inside dev joke from what I have been able to gather.  I do believe there was/is a LOTRO dev named "Chicken George."
Once you complete all of the Chicken Play quests (you earn the coveted Cloak of the Cluck for this, by the way), it the opens up a golden, Free-Range chicken who can engage in that Ultimate Chicken Adventure Royale, the Crosser of Roads deed!  This is not for the faint of Chicken heart, as it must be completed in one sitting and takes about 5-6 hours to complete (the game gives you a maximum of 8 hours, and if you log out or die, you go right back to square one).  If you would like to read more about the Crosser of Roads deed and strategy, a wonderful Community Guide was created on the LOTRO forums by Lorr, aka Nightwind.


  1. The Free Range chicken event sounds like a lot of fun! I once encountered a chicken player in the Trollshaws and was quite devastated when a stealth cat got him while I was trying to escort him. Hope all your kin make it!

  2. We usually have a death of two - those stealthed cats in the Trollshaws are sneaky!