#LOTRO: As Arkwright would have said, it’s been a funny old week…

So on top of work grabbing me by the doodahs, poor Mrs Antfarm has ended up in hospital with suspected Swine Flu and a near-miss with pnuemonia, all of which meant many tips to and from hospital and looking after my wee Gazelleling so not much gaming has been done with only Ranhold doing anything of note

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Master Expert Weaponsmith & Master Scholar. Level 45

I finally, finally, FINALLY got to the city of Annumias in Evendim and boy I was not disappointed! The who place is magnificent… and bloody dangerous! I died more there in one day than I have in the past 3 months! Bands of Angmarian invaders roam the streets, pockets of Rangers hold key areas and sudden burst of violence erupt as street battles unfold around you. I freaking love it! It feels more ‘alive’ than many other places I’ve been too and I get the impression this pales in comparison to the latest work in Isengard (which in itself is but a shadow of what is to come by the time we get to Gondor!). I’ve been questing a little – the roving quest giving Ranger is a really neat idea! but my main drive has been to get the Epic Storyline involving the re-forging of Narsil completed so instead of fighting around the city, I spent some time completing the Blue Lady quests in order that she would un-flood Elendil’s tomb and allow me to regain the jewel I needed to take back to Aragorn.

Christ on a tandem that was hard! Seriously hard! In the end I had to beg the help of my kin mates and was delighted when 6 of them answered and agreed to help me out there. We retrieved the stone and then went on to do the remaining three instances in Annuminas which were brilliant fun! And despite my fears that I’d be a weak link or hold back these players of 65 & 75, I managed to hold my own and even tanked one of the bosses successfully and was the last man alive at the death of the Cargul! Sure it was largely down to the heroic efforts of the other team members, not to mention a fair bit of luck, but it was also some damn fine playing on my part – I was, as they say, in the zone! Hoohah!

My next steps will be to return the jewel to Strider and help re-forge the famous sword, but in the meantime (and as is the way when playing such a complex tale, i.e. occasionally out of order) I managed to be present at the departure of the Fellowship from Rivendell. It was, without doubt, the coolest moment of my 6 months playing the game – I was there as Gandalf & Elrond spoke to the hobbits, men, dwarf and elves about the their perilous journey ahead, as Boromir again argued for more action, as Aragorn counselled caution and as Bilbo tearfully bade farewell top his nephew. Hell, I even watched as Sam led Bill the pony over the bridge and toward the Misty Mountains! This was a seriously squee, fanboy, 14 year old playing MERP moment for me and no mistake 😀

As this week settles down in to a new routine, albeit temporary until the good lady of the house come back, I shall be moving Ranhold into the mountains as well – I have a certain dwarf named Gloin to meet and several legendary items that won’t collect themselves…

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Master Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 27

Gorfrik dropped an anvil on his foot and is still laid up in Esteldin driving the Rangers there mad with his rude comments on their health care system.

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Master Expert Woodworker. Level 22

Nimlarn has become so fey as be almost transulcent and has spent the last few weeks drifting around Bree like a pointless cloud.

Hocko – Hobbit, Burglar, Tinkerer & Master Jeweller. Level 20

Poor Hocko is currently under lock & key in Esteldin when his sticky little fingers were found to be somewhere they, and the rest of him, shouldn’t have been. Bail has been set at 10gp.

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 32

Rolcko was returning from his visit to his great Aunt Rose in the South Farthing when a squirrel spooked his horse and he too a tumble. He’s currently recuperating in the house of a very nice widow hobbit named Fleur who is feeding him fit to burst. Could love be in the air?

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 32

Keltorn received a letter from his mother asking him to return to Bree as his uncle was very sick and someone needed to run the farm. He is not best pleased about this as he also received a letter from an Elf in the North downs who needed a good Warden and had been passed his name. He hopes to ride out there soon.

You can still read Keltorn’s adventures here and I actually do have plans to carry them on at some point.

Elsewhere…

Workworkworkworkwork and more work, visiting a poorly wife and looking after a small child. I picked a hell of a week to stop sniffing glue.

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