If I hadn’t left Bree that day to visit old Roper the trainer in Combe, I would never have ended up in Archet as it burnt.
Some might have cursed their bad luck at this, resentful that their poor choice of time or direction should have led to their capture and rough treatment by Blackwold thugs. They might have raised their fist to the sky and railed at the fates for assailing them; for conspiring against them, turning on them and betraying them.
If I had chosen another time to visit, or postponed my training altogether, content instead to gather crops in the fields and make merry in the Pony like so many of my brothers and cousins and friends, then I would never have discovered the full extent of the terrible danger my beloved hometown of Bree faced. No, I was glad then and am glad now that I found myself in the stinking goal of the Blackwolds, for without them, and the assistance of the Ranger who freed me, I would never had had the opportunity to play my part in not only the defence of Archet, but of Bree and all the lands to the east.
So I thank the Blackwold scum for taking me alive that night or I would not have found myself fighting by the side of Strider, Atli, Jon Brackenbrook & his father, not to mention Evenwyn the brave warrior who became my blade-mate that night, as the town burnt around us. And although the Captain of the town and many others fell in the battle, we saved the town and its people and finally had our complacent eyes opened to the evils that were waiting unseen in the shadows, ready to pounce and devour us all at a moment’s notice.
And now I am irrevocably locked onto a path, a javelin streaking towards the heart of my foe, and this journal shall serve as record of my journey and testament to not only my achievements, but those of my sword-bothers who share my path. My friends and I may be few, but we are resolute and determined, our steel tempered by the fires of Archet until even our passing will wound our enemy.
I am Keltorn, son of Willdayne, Warden of Bree and today I train in Combe for tomorrow I go to seek out and crush the Blackwold threat once and for all.
Sorry about that but it had to be said 🙂 Now for some more measured words on my very limited experiences of playing a Warden.
1) I am in love, did I mention this? Partly it’s the good, old-fashioned manly love I have for the Spartans (only made even deeper by the visuals of 300) and partly it’s because of the noble nature of the the class’ portrayal in LOTRO (based, as it is, on Haldir) but there is also a large dollop of lust over the look of the class too – I love the cut-out shields and the whole javelin and spear attacks are just gorgeous! Watch these two LOTRO videos here and here to see what I mean 🙂
2) I’ve always loved my Champion and my Guardian has been a delight and although I’ve really enjoyed my Hunter, my Burglar and my Minstrel, I’ve come to realise that what I like more than anything is running up to monsters and beating the living tar out of them toe to claw, nose to snout and my Warden is another class that lets me do this with (nearly) all the style of my Champ mixed with some of the survivability of my Guardian. What a mix…
3) The Gambit combat system is a nice touch – you complete one of three attacks (spear stab, shield block/whack or big old bellowing scream) follow it up by another and they unlock a more powerful attack (so two jabs give you a huge jab, two shield block give you a huge whack, etc) that is both effective and fun to watch. Ah but three attaks in combos of two do not result in all that many improved attacks, do they? No they do not Mr Burro. Well fear not for you can begin to learn more attacks and more combinations so the powerful gambit pool grows as you progress which give you some nice moves including self-heals and, my favourite, a fekking great kick attack to the balls (or face if you are a wolf/pig/hobbit).
So there you have it – another studdly HBA is let loose in Middle Earth to right wrongs, help the helpless and kick the daylights out of Blackwold scum and grubby little goblins until his knee aches. Gawd Bless the Warden!
p.s. Take a gander at these two videos, one showing the Warden in combat at level 13 in Chetwood and one with a Warden at level 65 taking on a huge dragon. It’s like the Champ and the Guardian had a wee bouncing baby 🙂
I. Am. In. Love.