Lost trails of LoTRO: Vol VIII

The lonely ride of Redwine Eardwrecca, exiled Rider of Rohan, continues. Retrace his hoofbeats from Vol I through II, III, IV, V, VI, and VII!

After going as far as the banks of the Anduin the last round, I couldn’t stop thinking of the last time I had played for real, there in the Great River, and all the things that had contributed to my retirement from LoTRO: absent friends, game burnout, the telltale signs that Turbine wasn’t so ‘into it’ anymore. I remembered the sinking feeling, and the feeling of liberation as well.

For a moment, I felt more like Redwine than I ever have. The exile long abroad where the stars are strange, knowing he can never go home again.

Then I did something I thought I would never do. I stepped back into the role of the active LoTRO player, and pushed on to a place nearly three years old but which I had never seen – the Argonath. The content border between those who bought Riders of Rohan and those who didn’t.

I sat on the bank for a little while, admiring the silent wardens of a long-vanished kingdom. And then chuckled to myself and rode on back.

From that ride came more shots harking back to my last active weeks in LoTRO: shots of Dunland and the Great River, back when the high-levels partied in those places.

Water under the bridge.

Desolation of the Gardens (48.0W, 32.7S)

Desolation of the Gardens

Great River (48.0W, 32.7S)

I wish there was another, mob-free instance of this place to RP in, but too bad – the only way you’re getting in here is through a group of Signature-difficulty trolls.

Hands down, the Desolation gets my vote for Most Fairy-Tale-ish Place in Turbine’s Middle-earth. Look at that – way out in the Brown Lands, tucked away on the very edge of the map, it looks like something out of a Tim Burton production.

Turbine lore says this used to be a garden of the Entwives until it was ruined by Sauron during the War of the Last Alliance. Well, the last I heard of the Entwives was in the Old damned Forest, and this is a damned sight better-looking, so I’d say we need more of the Entwives in LoTRO.

Cliffs of eastern Pren Gwydh (13.0W, 79.5S)

Cliffs of eastern Pren Gwydh

Dunland (13.0W, 79.5S)

Dunland looks so much like Enedwaith, I feared I wouldn’t find anything worthy of inclusion in this series. The land proved me wrong. Not far from the uphill road to Tâl Methedras – itself a lovely little walk I almost snapped as well – the Dunlending cliffs offer sights to rival anything further north.

This spot, in particular, is a fine, flat slab of land where I can easily imagine Redwine pitching a tent and stoking a fire (if only such mechanics existed in LoTRO). Or perhaps keeping watch on that little cartrev down there…?

Weatherway (41.2W, 29.0S)

Weatherway

Bree-land (41.2W, 29.0S)

This lonely Arnorian bridge in the Weather Hills stands as one of the game’s finest examples of world & quest design. It sits in an area I’ve always thought to be one of LoTRO’s most neglected, just like Nen Harn up north. And it was that very remoteness that struck me.

What better place to take ownership of and enjoy a spot of secluded roleplay or screenshotting? Plus, being on the border between Bree-land and the Lone-lands, one can easily make a case for traveling in either direction.

I still wonder how many (or how few) have bothered to come out this far from Bree. Those who do will be rewarded with a small hub of repeatable quests, targeted at the Orc-infested ruins of Ost Alagos a short distance northeast. Skyrim much?

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4 Responses to “Lost trails of LoTRO: Vol VIII”

  1. I love the desolation of the gardens as well. Like you say, it’s annoying that those trolls are out there to ruin the screenshots.

    I was so positively surprised when I discovered this place. The Entwives were always a mystery in the Lord of the Rings. It is nice that the developers thought of including this. Shows how much they care for the lore!

    • I wish there was some sort of option to render ourselves invisible to mobs! But I can’t think of how that would be done – for RP purposes – without opening up the possibilities for exploits.

      They were a mystery even to Tolkien himself! I read somewhere that he wrote he himself did not know what became of them. I always found it an enchanting example of how immersed an author can get in their own creation.

  2. […] The lonely ride of Redwine Eardwrecca, exiled Rider of Rohan, continues. Retrace his hoofbeats from Vol I through II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII! […]

  3. […] exiled Rider of Rohan, concludes. Retrace his hoofbeats from Vol I through II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and […]

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