December 29, 2011

An Unexpected Journey

Welcome to the first post of my blog!  How did I get here in the first place?

I have been playing LOTRO for almost 3 years, and have leveled up 4 characters, with many other "babies" in a spectrum of levels 8-75.  I'm part of a vibrant kin, I like to raid, I like to quest.  I love to collect outfits - my wardrobe and shared storage are filled to the brim, and I even won an outfit contest on Cosmetic LOTRO recently (yes, this is my Farmer Girl!).  I also love to collect houses - that's right, houses.  I own a Deluxe house in each of the four neighborhoods, plus three kinhouses of my own or that I share with a couple friends/family.  It costs me over 9 gold/month just for upkeep!

Yet even with all these special interests in the game, I was recently bitten by the completionist bug.  What is this bug, you may ask?  It compels me to take my main, a Captain named Leeowyn, through all aspects of the game.  This means completing all quests, deeds, hidden deeds, raids, instances - you name it.  I have a few friends in my kin who are completionists, and I always thought they were a bit mad.  Nevertheless, I now find myself in the same state.  It is made all the more challenging due to the fact that I switched mains one year ago, and since she was the fourth toon I chose to take to the level cap, I admit skipping large swaths of quests all over the place.  This means I have a lot to go back over.

Since the Yule Festival is currently underway, much of my time has been devoted to running consecutive Inn League and Ale Association quests to get both to Kindred, while also earning enough Yule tokens to get 300 each of the 5 consumables available (oh yes, I must complete all those deeds, and have finished one already!), complete all the Frostbluff deeds that were not finished last year (all but one, handing out coins to the poor, are finished), and earn enough other Yule tokens to get the nice cosmetics and other items that I want.  This has meant lots, and lots, and LOTS of Yule festival grinding, but I'm pleased to say I have both beer-drinking factions in the middle of Ally, I'm making good progress on obtaining the consumables, and have obtained all other barterable items that I wanted, including the horse, snowglobes, and wallpapers.

So - all this grinding has also meant I have needed a break here and there.  If not running Tier 2 of the Foundry with my kin, what better time to take Leeowyn back to the beginning, and start wiping out quests and deeds in Bree-land.  I am almost done there, except for wrapping up a few kill deeds in Haudh Iarchith.

A giant on the borders of The Shire.
In the midst of my completionist activities, I came across a quest to go retrieve a backpack from the giant Svalfang.  I had done this quest on other toons, albeit a long time ago, and had forgotten all about this small but very neat quest arc that takes you into a rarely visited section of Bree-land.  As it so happens, I also recently started my annual re-reading of the trilogy, and was just going over the part where Sam and some other Hobbits are sitting in the Green Dragon in Bywater, discussing the strange folk who have been passing through The Shire lately.  Sam states his cousin Halfast claims to have seen a giant on the borders of The Shire!

Now, based on the description, we could interpret that also as an actual Ent, or possibly a Huorn, as Sam's description of what Halfast saw could be taken to actually resemble a tree, specifically an elm, and not just being "bigger" than a tree.  And there is indeed another quest bestowed by Gammer Boffin in Overhill, to go rescue a "walking tree" caught in the spider's lair in the Northfarthing.  At any rate, the description of giants on the borders of The Shire jumped out at me this time around.

Despite having read the trilogy countless times, and run through the Svalfang quests in the past, I never made the connection between that small account in the FoTR and this giant in the far Northwest of Bree-land.  And as any Tolkien fan who plays LOTRO understands, that warm fuzzy "ah-ha!" glow of recognition you get when once again Turbine has managed to weave a tiny bit of canon into the game, is truly a pleasure to experience.  Hence this blog is my own attempt to collect those warm, fuzzy Lore bits for everyone to enjoy.

Much of this will not be new news.  In fact, many readers will know or have encountered or heard about things I will discuss here.  My intent is to create a sort of Mathom House of lore nuggets collected by myself and others as well.  Comments will be welcome, particularly if you think I have made an error or missed some vital information.  Herein may certainly be spoilers, so fair warning!  But my hope is that folks who don't mind a spoiler may enjoy the growing compilation, possibly even learn of something new and how to find it in-game, and get that warm, fuzzy Lore glow just like I do!

So thanks for joining me.  I look forward to the company along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Woot, Here I am at the beginning of your wonderful Blog and I can't wait to crack a Green Dragon's Breath Ale and begin reading and traveling throughout Middle-earth to see all of your places.