For my first Quests to Remember I thought I’d start right at the beginning with one of the most enduring pieces of action I’ve come across – the Nazgul attack in which The Ranger Amdir is ‘fatally’ wounded by a morgul blade. This only happens in the introduction part of the game* and only to players choosing to be either a man or a hobbit** and even then with slightly different version depending on which of those two races you play.
When I started LOTRO back in May I was new to the whole MMO schtick so wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure I knew about clever training levels (I’m still in love with the into to the first Half Life) but what I did not expect was that as soon as the brief character creation part was over I would find myself being rescued from jail by Aragorn himself and facing a ruddy great Nazgul! LOTRO, you had me at ‘Aragorn’, you cheeky flirt! Strider breaks me out of prison! Strider wants to spar with me! Strider wants me to help save some Hobbits called Baggins from the Brigands before they can be handed over to the Nazgul! I killed brigands, I rescued Hobbits and together we set fire to the jail in an orgy of fun, flames & fan-boy squeeing. This was heady stuff for the first few minutes and I loved it!
And then the Nazgul arrived.
My character was struck immobile with terror as Strider’s companion & fellow Ranger Amdir stood against the Black Rider. But alas neither Aragorn nor I could save the poor devil in time as the Nazgul stuck the man down with his cursed blade, sealing the Ranger to a terrible fate. This was played out in front of me, as was Aragorn’s defense of his fallen friend and the Nazgul’s furious retreat sans Halflings, with nary a cut scene in sight – I was in the middle of the action and it was intoxicating and it is the reason I am still completely hooked on this wonderful game.
So there you go – one of my favourite quests is the very first one in the game – it drew me in quick and deep, immersing me in the action of a world I had dreamt about for nearly 30 years. Next time I’ll tell you about the defence of Archet and how I could happily replay that a dozen times and still love it just as much as the first 🙂
You can read a detailed walk through of this quest here.
p.s. Why did I call this quest “The Doom of Amdir”? Well dear reader, all shall become clear as I recount more of my favourite quests to you over the coming weeks and months, suffice to say that even a noble Ranger can prove to be less doughty than a humble hobbit when poisoned with the tip of a Nazgul’s blade…
* An instance separated from the main game world and used to ‘train’ new players in the game’s controls and systems.
** Dwarves and elves get their own exciting introduction up in Erid Luin battling an undead Dwarf lord!