Whilst Gorfrik has been pounding on the Dourhands, Ranhold has been mired down in the Barrow-Downs – and it ain’t been pretty…
At first, I loved the Barrow-Downs (I still do – they are amazingly atmospheric places – I’m just not sure poor Ranhold is as keen as me) but as time wore on I began to lose my sense of purpose and direction in a long line-up of kill & collect quests, tasks and deeds until I began to wish for some light & open space again and I began to yearn to restart the Epic Story Line I’d paused to do all the quests I could in Bree-Land.
But more of that in the future – for now let me take you back to the Barrows. After my initial visit with Lirwen where we blasted through several of the Northern Barrow-Down barrows at breakneck speed, I was determined to return and have a good look around a little more and explore them all. And wow are they impressive! So much work has gone into them it’s almost impossible for me to list the things I love here – the rolling mist, the eerie landscape & even eerier sound-scape, the individual design touches on the barrows – all these things go to helping you lose yourself in one of the scariest places I’ve played in for a while.
For those who don’t know, the Barrow-Downs are the old burial grounds of the once noble, now vanished kingdom of Arnor – the kings and warriors were laid to rest in earthen tombs very much in the style of Celtic kings in England and northern Europe, only in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth the Witch King of Angmar sent undead barrow-wights to haunt them and they became a place of terror for all. There are two Barrow-Down areas, North & South, with several explorable barrows chock full of nasties such as wights, spirits, troll-type things, spiders, wolves and bats with some barrows containing ‘boss beasts’ that are tougher than the rest. Ranhold made short work of the spider boss but got his arse torn off twice by the wolf beast who is one tough bastard and no frigging mistake!(1)
Anyhoo, I was very lucky that my kin mate Arabelith came to help me at one point (although play was stopped by kid-not-sleeping as is often the case at the moment… kids are brilliant at ruining all manner of late night fun, little sods) because without her I would have given up long before I reached the Southern Barrow-Down area, but more of than in my next post 🙂
- Tried all the Barrows (the only one he can’t do on his own is the wolfy-boss one – be warned, go in a group!)
- Did all the quests given to him by the silly buggers sheltering in the areas at the west and east of the area. Why they don’t just call it a day and bugger off home is beyond me!
- Collected all the stuff to complete lots of daily tasks in Bree and enough relics to trade for reputation with the Hunters in Bree.
- Helped the Wandering Shade, a dead warrior who spoke in naught but riddles which is probably why he was killed, and his similarly annoying friend in Bree.
- Killed a barn load of everything that was stupid enough to wander near him, or he was stupid enough to wander near.
Ranhold – European Snowbourn server.
(1) Top tip – the Barrows-Downs can be quiet busy at times and if you are struggling to clear a Barrow but aren’t in a Fellowship or have friends who can come and help you, then you can kite. Kite? What is this madness Burro? Easy! Follow someone else in, preferably a group, and they will slaughter the creatures as they go and you just follow the bodies – a very handy, if cowardly, way of completing the “Collect 10 Things” from a barrow you are under-powered to enter. Hey! I may be a coward, but I just needed 5 more cave moss and I kept dying! Ah screw you, I can kite and still look at myself in the mirror *sobs*