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Berawena / Oct 31, 2015
We've helped Elladan and Elrond scout for the missing Black Rider - it took us all the way into the woods with Legolas and fights with a band of giant wood trolls.

We're currently at level 35, and Book 5 doesn't start until level 37 (level 42, like the band). The logical move would be to go to the Misty Mountains - but the problem there is that most quests also doesn't start until level 37.

So Bera's proposal is that for the next 2 levels we attack Annuminas - and maybe Fornost as well - trying to get our hands on how to handle the instances a bit more. It's going to be a lot of fun!
Berawena / Sep 29, 2015
Welcome to Imladris, Berawena. It is good that you have come. Rest well, but not too deeply or too long! We have need of adventuring folk, for there is evil beyond the vale.

'Not more than two months ago, a hobbit by the name of Frodo Baggins and his companions were pursued to the Ford of Bruinen by servants of the Enemy. I speak of the Nine, the Nazgûl, fell creatures in the service of Sauron, and though the Bruinen fell upon them at my command, we have found the steeds of only eight. One of the Riders is unaccounted for.

'My sons set forth with scouts bound to them by friendship to seek this missing Rider. I ask that you speak with Elladan at their camp of Thorenhad, among the Bruinen Gorges, and lend your aid to the search. We must learn where this Nazgûl has gone, and most importantly, his designs.

So said Elrond - it is time we go searching for this rider! First session Wednesday, Sep 30.

In the fall season, Berawena will focus on the Epic Quests, getting us forward in that great trip to Angmar.
Berawena / Jun 11, 2015
The summer is usually an (even) slower time for the turtles, so here's what we hope to achieve this summer:

We've come a long way gathering the Council of the North to counter the massive orc and goblin armies of Angmar, and we've helped Radagast in the Lone Lands find out more about Ivar and the Red Maid, who threatens the Free Peoples from the East. But now, Aragorn the Ranger has sent us traveling to Evendim and the old city of Annúminas to help him mend the blade that was broken - none other than the sword Narsil, that cut off the ring from Sauron's hand (if the stories are to be believed).

People are going to be on holidays and stuff coming up shortly, so a lot of this is flexible. If we have only a few people on we might just do quests in the appropriate areas, if there are more we can try fellowship stuff.

10/06 Rivendell - Explore / Discuss journey to Evendim (see Jim's post on the forums of our "Shortcut through mushrooms")
17/06 Evendim - Oatbarton (Level 28 Trouble in Tuckborough)
24/06 Evendim - Kings Crossing
01/07 Evendim - Tinnundir
08/07 Evendim - Ost Forod (Level 30 if need be)
15/07 Evendim - Tyl Ruinen
22/07 Evendim
29/07 Evendim
05/08 Trollshaws (Level 32)

In August we plan to be level 32 which means we'll be starting Book 4 of the epic quests - and we'll also be able to return to Garth Agarwen and finally make a dent in that Barkgrim's bark.

Book 4 mostly takes place in the Trollshaws and concerns the hunt for a nazgul!
Berawena / May 21, 2015
“I’ve seen dragons!” said Lylan.

“Dragons?” I said. “Dragons don’t exist. They’re the stuff of old wives tales.”

“I tell you, I’ve seen dragons. Up in the mountain passes that lead to Angmar,” Lylan insisted.

“Dragons exist,” said Kiri. “Dwarves know as much. Or they existed. The last one was shot down over Lake Town years ago.”

“Whatever,” I said. “Even if they do exist, I’m pretty sure you didn’t see one, Lylan.”

“Not one ... but many!” she said. “I’ll show you!”

And off we went, into the mountains north of Esteldin. The borders of Angmar. My first time going there. I fear it will not be my last.

We crossed fields full of wargs and foothills full of spiders - and then inside the pass, we saw it: A slithering, scaly monster with a gaping mouth full of sharp, pointy teeth.

“There!” said Lylan. She pointed, proud.

I gasped, horrified.

“It hasn’t any wings,” said Kiri and shrugged.

“So?” said Lylan.

“So, it’s not a dragon ... it’s a worm. I studied this stuff.”

“Sigh,” said Lylan.

“Let’s kill it anyway,” I said.

And we did. And many of its kind. But they were just worms.

That is until ... we saw it. “It” being this time a gigantic creature, much larger than the worms. Shiny red scales, batlike wings, a roaring mouth full of fire!

“If that is not a dragon, I don’t know what is!” said Lylan, whispering and shouting at the same time.

I gasped again, my knees shaking.

“Technically ...” said Kiri, “that one is not a dragon. Its a Drake. Because even if it has wings, it cannot fly.”

“Sigh,” said Lylan.

“Whatever,” I said. “Let’s kill it.”

So we did. And many like it. We went deep up into the mountains above Esteldin and killed worms and drakes, so many they cannot be counted. Lylan had to go back as she had fired all her arrows. Kiri and I headed on, got lost in a maze of passes and crags and deep, slimy holes filled with drakes. Over a ledge we saw at the bottom of a deep chasm some kind of human settlement. Hillmen, Kiri said. Neither on our side or the enemy’s. They will have to choose, I said. Someday, they will have to choose.

We went back. We had found worms and drakes, but no dragons. In some way it comforted me. Dragons do not exist. At least that I could be sure of: dragons do not exist.

And then I saw it...

Berawena / May 19, 2015
Berawena's Tenth Letter Home

"Dear Sister,

It has been a long time since you heard from me. But events have been unfolding fast. In the Lone-Lands we got involved with a band of troubled men living in the ruins of Ost Guruth - a place that was once a fair city but is now only a shadow of its former self. The Eglain they call themselves, but you might as well call them the Forsaken. They were troubled by goblins and orcs and other foul creatures - but they had in their midst the one we were searching for, Radagast. A strange wizard he was. It seemed he wanted more to do with the squirrels of the woods and the toads of the lakes than with us.

Still, Radagast knew things that we needed to know: That the Lone-Lands were beset by a evil that is no longer nameless: Angmar has sent his lieutenants, Ivar the Blood Hand and the Red Maid, and they have awoken the dead of Rhudaur, the betrayers of the Dunedain. We have only searched the outskirts of their forts, since we were called away for other business, but we now know a lot more. Unfortunately what we know is not good. In some way I wish it could be unknown again.

Still, Radagst felt that to meet the danger facing us we had to travel to the North Downs to the town of Esteldin, where the remnants of the Dunedain - the Rangers of the North - have made their camp. These are the companions of Strider and Gandalf and I have grown to trust them. One of their leaders, Halbarad, has seen the danger clearer than any others I have talked to. While the Lone-Lands are besieged by necromantic evil, the North Downs are threatened by more mundane dangers: goblins, orcs and trolls - and wargs. No less evil, no less dangerous.

Guardian of Esteldin

A ranger with a plan

The witch-king of Angmar is raising not one but three armies here. In Nan Wathren, in Dol Dinen and in the old king’s castle of Fornost. We have fought skirmishes with all three army groups, but for every victory we score, more enemies seem to appear. By all logic, Angmar must be emptied by now - but I fear it is not so.

But we must not lose hope. If Esteldin falls, then Trestlebridge will fall, and then Bree will fall. And all will be lost. Halbarad is gathering an alliance of men, elves and dwarves and we are helping him do so. It strengthens me to know that we have allies and friends everywhere, if one knows how to find them.

We have grown to call ourselves “turtles”. Ask not where the name came from, as I do not know. But I think it is because we move slowly, yet never lose stride - and we’re hard-hided and hard-biting. Once we bite in, we never let go!

Our little band is working hard to secure the borders on all sides. Jimhaden, Lylan, Kiri and Rychyrd all take their turns. Ermenrich is wounded, but I hope he will recover soon. Reginart the hobbit we lost somewhere near Fornost, but I hope we see him again soon. More friends are always needed, so send any you can find. I hope to hear from you soon. How is mom and dad?

When I am not busy, I try to sketch my memories. I am sending some here. Will send more soon.

Sister, I send you my love,