November 5, 2012

Cracked Eggs: Prostitution in Middle Earth???

I know, I know.  The Riders of Rohan expansion just came out; I took a several month hiatus away from blogging about Middle Earth lore in LOTRO.  And what do I choose to be my first topic upon return?  In my defense, it is the expansion that finally prodded me to cover this subject!

The Inn at Elthengels
No, this is obviously not a Lore-related post, hence my titling it as a "Cracked Egg" submission.  If you remember back to my early blogging days, the Cracked Eggs series are devoted to little non-Middle Earth jokes and Easter eggs.  I'm drawing a line in the sand and calling out the Dev's obsession with, yes, prostitution!  *WINK*

The impetus for this post actually came from exploring the early areas of the new Riders of Rohan expansion.  In the village of Elthengels in The Wold, they have a lovely tavern.  Being able to explore the insides of the very beautiful homes and buildings of the Rohirrim is something I particularly enjoy.  In Elthengels, we eventually get to go in and speak to some of the patrons.

The upstairs of this particular tavern is a busy place, with many men and women sitting at tables, enjoying the tavern fare.  Curiously there are two small bedrooms that open directly onto the tavern area, partitioned off only by hanging curtains.  One room has a large, full-sized bed; the other room has two small single beds.  *WINK*
"Walking the Streets" - Cosmetic LOTRO

Yes, yes I know what you are thinking:  these are the rooms of the tavern owners, or their servants.  Or the tavern also serves as an inn, and these are guest rooms.  It's Middle Earth!  These are the Rohirrim!  They wouldn't...!  They didn't...!  That seems entirely logical.  But not for me!  My first thought on seeing those rooms were that they are rooms meant to conduct business of generally fairly short duration, several times a night.  *WINK*   It isn't at all unheard of to see such rooms above taverns through history.  Of course, it is equally common to see true inns being run in taverns as well.  What can I say, sometimes the imagination runs and I have to let it.

OK, so maybe I'm be overly imaginative.  But what made me more inclined to make this leap of the imagination are the precedents set in Bree.  Yes, Bree.

In one of my first blog posts, I reference Wink the Cat *WINK* and the Cat House in Bree.  Much has already been discussed about this house, particularly in the LOTRO Forums over the years.  In one of those Forums, Turbine's Berephon is credited with stating this was an inside joke among the Devs.  Believe me, I'm not the first to speculate on exactly what that inside joke might be.  Let's think of different words for "cat."  When a number of one of those "cat" words are congregated together in one house, there could be several types of living situations possible.  And no, I'm not thinking of a sorority house.

Wink and the Other Cats in Bree
Visiting that house is of course part of Chicken Play.  Not to mention being ported there after getting stinking drunk using an Inn League keg - how often is that how most people get into a Cat House in the first place?  Or, sweetest of all, at least we used to be sent there with flowers during the spring festival (even if they really were meant for the "nice" lady next door).

So "cat" lovers *WINK* in LOTRO have always had a special place to go in Bree.  But what if a cat isn't your favorite animal?

Enter - the Turtle House! *WINK*  In the spring of 2012, a new series of quests was introduced to Bree, after teasing us for some time with what were locked doors that could presumably be opened some day.  This let us travel into the interior of a few more Bree buildings, in line with what the Great River area brought us in Stangard and beyond.

Scary little turtles!
But my little radar tells me it was more than this.  After years of having the Cat House in Bree, it was only fair that a Turtle House should open up.  After all, we are told in this quest line that "the mayor has been known to turn a blind eye to the keeping of numerous pets within homes in Bree."  We covered "cat" euphemisms earlier, now let's think about what "turtle" and "turtle shell" can be used to describe.  *WINK*  (Hey, I do try to keep my blog as family-friendly as possible, which is quite challenging with this particular subject.)  We meet the Hobbit Grobo in Staddle, who is clearly a...turtle-phobic?...Hobbit.  Just the thought of these turtles getting bigger fills him with dread.

All I can say is - three cheers for Mayor Graeme Tenderlarch for being Equal Opportunity in permitting fans of cats, or turtles, or both, to have places to visit in Bree!  After all, in the words of Quick-wit Culver in the instance The Infiltrator's Surprise, "Are you sure you're one of us? This has been a long time coming, and I don't want some outsider spoiling it."  Long time coming, indeed!  Fortunately all the turtles in Bree have a home with Artie Root (such a name), who happens to own the nicest window view in the whole town.

The Turtle House - Nicest window in Bree!
I understand, it appears I have my mind in the gutter and there could be all sorts of Freudian interpretations made about ME.  And that I could be accused of drawing these assumptions with very little concrete evidence.  But - meh - I call 'em as I see 'em!  And I see Devs who like to be playful and about as naughty as they probably dare be while still maintaining the integrity of Middle Earth.

Plus I wanted to return to my blog in a big way.  NOW on to Rohan....

Many thanks to Hymne from Cosmetic LOTRO for letting me post one of her early outfit designs, "Walking the Streets."  It has always stuck in my memory and I was pleased to be able to link to it here.  If you have never visited her site before, you are missing so much - please stop by!


  1. Hmmm... naughty turtles? Still sooooo very cute!!

    1. They really are lol. And thanks again for letting me post your outfit!

  2. This is by far the strangest "Lore" post I've seen, but at least it made me smile. :)

    Good to see you're back!

    1. Thank you! Well, maybe this is just what it took to get me back into the blog, even if it was a bit of a stretch of the imagination lol. And fun to write!

  3. I don't really know why the cat house is that full of cats, but I do know that there is a Session Play at level 6 in the Shire in which you are a chicken and you have to ask for help at several animals in Bree-land, and a cat inside this cat house is one of them. This is also the reason for the existence of the invincible young aurochs in ND and the lonely steed at the stables in Rivendell. :)

  4. Srry, scratch that post. I've just once again been learnt to read the entire post first before commenting on it. :)