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  1. #1
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    Treasures of Westemnet

    World-building is one of LotRO's strong points, and for a reason.
    Westemnet continues to show us just why they have earned the praise.
    While conquering the new content, it pays to stop and admire the sights and details, for like before, there are treasures to be found, and sometimes the vistas are enough to take your breath away.

    This thread is for all of those. Details and nuggets and delights...
    [center]Jestem tym, czym jestem.[/center]

  2. #2
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    Statues

    Rohirrim seem to prefer wood over stone for their buildings and towns; at least more than the Gondorians, whom the Horse-lords have named "Stanlendingar", Stonelanders.
    However, wood is frail compared to stone, and those the Rohirrim do not wish to forget have been memorized in rock.

    In Aldburg


    Before the mead hall of Aldburg, two statues stand: another holding a sword aloft, another blowing a horn, between them a brazier.
    They aren't just random statues: in the pedestal of each of them, the by-now-familiar lines of Anglo-Saxon fuþorc are carved. The one holding the sword is named by them as Brego, whereas the one blowing the horn is named Eorl Geong, Eorl the Young in Old English, which Tolkien chose to represent Rohirric.

    These two statues, then, represent the founder of Rohan, Eorl the Young, and his son, Brego.
    But why are they here, before the mead hall of Aldburg in Eastfold, and not in Edoras, where the King's throne sits?
    Because when Eorl was given Calenardhon, the lands that became Riddermark, he set his throne in Aldburg. His son, though, built the Golden Hall of Meduseld and set his seat in Edoras. His descendants followed suit.

    In Helm’s Dike


    Helm’s Dike, the first line of defense for the vale beyond it and the Aglarond, is a fun place to visit. At least if you’re not a Dunlending.
    For towering above the structure, visible from a far away, is a reminder to all that approach that the Rohirrim will fight: statue of Helm Hammerhand himself stands, larger than life, blowing his horn.
    But how do we know it’s Helm, and not just some random dude posing for the fun of it?
    Because on the pedestal we see again the fuþorc, spelling out clearly Helm Hamorhand. And no, that’s not a typo anymore than it’s a typo on the tapestry featuring him in the smoky twilight of Meduseld. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if Turbine's folks (had) decided that the statue stands exactly where they found Helm standing, frozen to death, during the Long Winter of T.A. 2759...
    [center]Jestem tym, czym jestem.[/center]

  3. #3
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    Engravings

    Barrowfield


    At the foot of a walled hill the way ran under the shadow of many mounds, high and green. Upon their western sides the grass was white as with a drifted snow: small flowers sprang there like countless stars amid the turf.
    "Look!" said Gandalf. "How fair are the bright eyes in the grass! Evermind they are called, simbelmynë in this land of Men, for they blossom in all the seasons of the year, and grow where dead men rest. Behold! we are come to the great barrows where the sires of Théoden sleep."
    "Seven mounds upon the left, and nine upon the right," said Aragorn.
    Flanking each side of the road that leads to the main gates of Edoras lie the mounds of the Kings of Rohan, exactly as described by Tolkien.

    The mounds are fine creations, each decorated with equine beauties, braziers and lanterns alight as the night falls. And each of them bears the name of the King entombed within, written in Old English, in fuþorc.

    To pay your respects in chronological order, you should start from the gate, though, and work your way outwards, remembering that during Théoden's reign, there had been only two royal lines in Rohan. The third began as Éomer succeeded the throne.

    First of the mounds on the left (from the gate) bears the name Eorl Geong, Eorl the Young, and onwards: Brego, Aldor Eald (the Old), Fréa, Fréawine, Goldwine, Déor, Gram... and Helm Hamorhand, Helm the Hammerhand, the last of the first line, his sons dead before the Long Winter claimed him, too.

    The second line, on the right from the gate, begins as it should with Helm's nephew, Fréalaf Hildesunu (son of Hild), with Bryta Léofa (the Beloved), Walda, Folca Huntere (the Hunter), Folcwine, Fengel and Thengel Thriwabreme, Thengel the Thrice-renowned. It is to this line Théoden will be buried, too, but not Eomer, or his heirs.
    Nor does Théodred, Théoden's son, lay here; his mound guards the Fords of Isen.

    The Dark Door



    Go up the Stair of the Hold, past the púkel-men and jagged rocks of Firienfeld, following the path through Dimholt, passing the single dark rock...until you pass constructs of sticks and bones and you'll behold the Dark Door: "Signs and figures were carved above its wide arch too dim to read, and fear flowed from it like a grey vapour."

    Turbine’s gotten the Door right on both accounts: the moment you approach the door, Dread sets in heavily and world's bled of all colour. Stand there for too long, and you’ll lose your life. Try to walk through it, and you're faced with instadeath, for "no living man may pass." And the signs and figures are there... though not too dim to read.

    At a cursory glance, they may look like any other runic inscription in Middle-earth. Look closer, though, and you realize you can forget about fuþorc and even cirth.
    These are something else.

    But they're not completely alien, either.
    They’re lesser known than the runes of Germanic tribes, probably, but just as real. Though like the people who wrought the Dark Door and the púkel-men, the language that used Etruscan alphabet in the real world is lost to time, too.



    Make no mistake, this is not a structure the Rohirrim have built. This predates them, and even Gondorians, Calenardhon's former inhabitants. This was built by the "forgotten Men", those who fled from Isildur’s curse and dwindled away in the mountains.

    The very same markings, with the exception of the last four, also appear all over the "single mighty stone like a finger of doom".
    [center]Jestem tym, czym jestem.[/center]

  4. #4
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    Tapestries

    Eastemnet's Epic introduced us to the Rohirric weavings, in-line with the book's description of the Golden Hall. What Turbine did was to extrapolate from "many woven cloths were hung upon the walls, and over their wide spaces marched figures of ancient legend" and it was glorious.

    However, the tapestries of Meduseld aren't the only woven works to admire in Westemnet.

    Remember, Edoras wasn't always the capital of Rohan. It was preceded by Aldburg.
    So while you're visiting Eastfold, go to the Mead Hall. Behind the seat of the Reeve, a tapestry unlike any we’ve seen before graces the wall.




    The Tomb of Elendil, the beacon, upon Halifirien rules the scene, with Felarof looking on as Eorl the Young and Cirion, the Steward of Gondor, forge an alliance, swearing upon the Red Arrow.
    This is one of the very first times we’ve seen any suggestion of Gondorian finery. Or, to be more exact, of the finery the Steward’s Men might have. It’s also in-line with what we can learn from the books, even if there’s roughly 500 years between the scene of this tapestry and the War of the Ring.

    There’s more to this tapestry than just pretty clothing, though.
    Going on seven years, we’ve been taught to associate a heptagram, a seven-pointed star, with descendants of Númenor. It’s here, too, right above the beacon.

    We also have two men behind Cirion; as the story goes, the alliance’s foundation was witnessed by Cirion’s son Hallas, a Prince of Dol Amroth and two members of the Council. We’re two men short, but I’d like to point out that the emblem of the Princes of Dol Amroth was silver-on-blue and the tall, black-haired man in this picture is wearing a blue coat.
    Anyone up for guessing who’s who?

    But how do we know who these men even are supposed to be?
    Even though it’s practically impossible to get a good shot of them, there are fuþorc below the scene. The runes spell out Eorl Geong stiwearde aðselleð.
    Transliteration goes roughly: “Eorl the Young (and the) Steward gave an oath.”

    But that’s not the only new one.
    Hornburg is a grand place, too, it’s history plain for everyone to see: built by the sea-kings of old, their marks are still strong, under the Rohirric trappings. Heptagrams adorn the doors and the portcullises, and the architecture is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Or at least almost.
    Look around, especially in the Great Hall, and it becomes abundantly clear how very, very similar this great fortress is to another building made by those same people of long ago: Isengard, Orthanc, Angrenost.
    How very, very fitting.

    The stonewalls of that Great Hall, well-lit and lofty, are softened by banners and emblems of Rohan as well as tapestries featuring some of the rulers of Mark, famed for their deeds: Aldor the Old, Fréalaf Hildeson, Brytta Léofa, Folca the Hunter. And the furthest wall bears the likeness of none other but Helm himself.

    The others we’ve seen before, in the twilight of Meduseld: Helm’s tapestry is unique to Hornburg’s Great Hall.




    Helm is shown blowing on the horn he was renowned for, atop the fortress it was renamed after. As the story goes, the Deep would echo a horn blown within, amplify its sound. And Helm put the fear of that sound into the hearts of enemies of Rohan.
    What of the fuþorc, though?
    Transliterated, the runes spell out Helm Hamorhand horne blawð.
    Old English for “Helm Hammerhand blows (the) horn.”

    But why are these five depicted?
    Because of what they did. Aldor the Old, grandson of Eorl the Young, fought off the Dunlendings. Helm Hammerhand declared war on the Dunlendings, while his nephew, Fréalaf Hildeson, cemented the hostility between the Rohirrim and Dunlendings for all time, as he reclaimed the throne of Rohan.
    But Brytta the Beloved, son of Fréalaf, and Folca the Hunter, grandson of Brytta… their reigns were marked by the threat of Orcs.
    All of these five kings have fought to keep Rohan safe, against intruders. Some succeeded in it better than others.
    [center]Jestem tym, czym jestem.[/center]

  5. #5
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    Other

    Curiosities that don’t fall under earlier titles. For not all lovely details are as clear as inscriptions or tapestries… but their effect isn’t any lesser. Though I’m sure I’ve missed something...

    Gríma's Locked Chest
    How appropriate, isn’t it, that this quest item shares the graphics with the Easterling chests seen the first time all the way back in the Great River region...

    Ellen Fremedon
    Oh, Ellen Fremedon… here is a character who is easy to love or hate. Whereas Éowyn comes of exactly as cold as she should, Ellen is believable in her suspicions and reactions to our toons.
    From the moment we first learned of her, her name pulled at a string in my head. So I did my digging and understood why.
    Her first name, Ellen, is not derived from the name Helen as it usually is; her surname, Fremedon, is not a name at all, either.
    But take them together, and you can find yourself faced with Old English...
    “Hwæt! we Gar-Dena in gear-dagum
    þeod-cyninga þrym gefrunon,
    hu þa æðelingas ellen fremedon.”

    And those are lines from nothing but Beowulf. And her name that isn’t really a name… ellen, Old English for “valour, honour, fame, power, strife...” and fremedon, past tense of “to do.”
    Valour wrought, perhaps?

    Fastitocalon
    In the marshy banks of the Entwash river, a wanderer should watch his step… for even though Fastitocalon rivals the Mead Halls in size, he can catch an unwary traveller by surprise.

    A poem in “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil” is dedicated to a creature called Fastitocalon, “the last of the mighty turtle-fish”, though the story’s roots lie further still, in Greek account of an aspidochelone.

    In LotRO, Fastitocalon is a large Turtle, an Arch-Nemesis in the landscape, part of a raid-tagged quest.

    Squirrelhome
    East of Aldburg, atop a hill, a house no Man has lived in for a while lies, overtaken by a colony of red squirrels.

    Peculiar Home
    Deep within the Everholt, a small cottage lies, bears roaming its yard, a gnome ‘guarding’ its entrance.
    But if one explores that cottage…
    Three chairs, three beds, three sets of utensils… all different sizes, with honeycomb on the table and what’s this? A young girl asleep in the smallest bed? Sounds familiar, though not from Tolkien...
    [center]Jestem tym, czym jestem.[/center]

  6. #6
    Great tourism guide Daeross, very well researched and written. I haven't had much time to play the game since the expansion went live unfortunately, so I haven't seen many of these things yet. Thanks to this excellent guide I'll know some of the things I needs to look out for

  7. #7
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    Beautiful and very educational. Thank you so much for posting these. Will there be more?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    I said that she is a female descendant from Beorn that keeps the trait to transform into bear. Well wasn't the rohirrims descendants of Beorn after all?---
    You mean Beorn the skin-changer, from The Hobbit?
    Rohirrim weren't the descendants of Beorn; they were recognized a little less than 500 years before him.
    However, his people, the Beornings, were considered to be kin to Éothéod, the ancestors of Rohirrim. And nothing's to say one of Beorn's children or grandchildren hadn't wandered off to settle in Rohan, have a family... but that's just speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickysmom View Post
    Beautiful and very educational. Thank you so much for posting these. Will there be more?
    Thank you!
    There'll be more if I can find something else... and who knows, maybe in hindsight something will pop up, when we get to explore the areas south and east of Rohan...
    [center]Jestem tym, czym jestem.[/center]

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    Well then how is that there are bear people at West Rohan or there is no Goldilocks house?
    There are bear people in West Rohan?
    [center]Jestem tym, czym jestem.[/center]

  10. #10
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    So amazing, thank you for these. Very much!

  11. #11
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    Great read ! Please make more, I love a nice story!
    ****************************** ****
    Happy homeowner on Landroval and Laurelin!
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  12. #12
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    Thanks I truly enjoyed it, everything excellent.

  13. #13
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    Thank you Daeross for your excellent post. I hope there is more to come.
    << Co-founder of The Firebrands of Caruja on Landroval >>
    Ceolford of Dale, Dorolin, Tordag, Garberend Bellheather, Colfinn Belegorn, Garmo Butterbuckles, Calensarn Nimlos, Langtiriel, Bergteir


  14. #14
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    Excellent thread Daeross, thank you

  15. #15
    Thank you for this thread. This is why I play LotRO.
    Landroval: Adyria - L95 Guardian; Calliah - L40 Champion; Silima - L31 Runekeeper
    Crickhollow: Lita - L15 Hunter

  16. #16
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    I just wanted to thank you for making this thread.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
    Continuing the never ending battle to keep Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in check

  17. #17
    Superb post thank you Daeross

    This just goes to show that there are people/devs working on the game that love the lore like many of the players, and little details like this add so much to the ability to escape into the world of Middle Earth....
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/2921e0000002063c2/01006/signature.png]undefined[/charsig]

    It lies, all my characters are Supreme Masters in there crafts!

  18. #18
    This is a fantastic post Daeross and wonderful catch on line 3b of Beowulf.
    I would just like to add one thing concerning the Etruscan runes. I do not claim to know Etruscan but transliterated it to the Latin alphabet from sources on the web.
    AN HENT IO SERR

    When we consider that the forgotten men of the White Mountains were relatives of the Dunlendings, and when we consider that Turbine has chosen to represent the Dunlending language as Welsh within the game, would it be surprising to find out they represented the language of these forgotten men with a relative of Welsh?

    AN HENT IO SERR is Breton for The Way/Route Is Closed/Shut

    'The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut.’

    (I do not know Breton either but studied Middle-Welsh and realized it was not Welsh but seemed VERY familiar.)

  19. #19
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    Has anyone figured out what the other house, to the north-east of the Goldilocks house, is meant to represent? A family with a son and daughter (fishing at the nearby pond)... Hansel and Gretel's original home?
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/06205000000120df5/01006/signature.png]Arienfell[/charsig]

  20. #20
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    Threads like this make me wish for the days of the rep system.

    Well done indeed!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceredig View Post
    When we consider that the forgotten men of the White Mountains were relatives of the Dunlendings, and when we consider that Turbine has chosen to represent the Dunlending language as Welsh within the game, would it be surprising to find out they represented the language of these forgotten men with a relative of Welsh?

    AN HENT IO SERR is Breton for The Way/Route Is Closed/Shut

    'The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut.’

    (I do not know Breton either but studied Middle-Welsh and realized it was not Welsh but seemed VERY familiar.)
    There are not enough words in the world to thank you for this. I'm not that well-acquainted with Welsh/Breton, but the inscription bothered me; alas, RL kept interfering with research and kept me from LotRO, too... Just... THANK YOU.
    [center]Jestem tym, czym jestem.[/center]

  22. #22
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    I had to come back and look at this thread. I really do love it.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
    Continuing the never ending battle to keep Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in check

 

 

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