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  1. #76
    To: Daffodilia Wildfeet
    Chief, Bounders of the Shire, Addernotch Station.


    Sir!

    I’m writing just to let you know that I am safe. We are having a relaxing time at the Twenty-First Hall here in Moria training up for our missions into the deepest darks of Moria.

    I had a wonderful idea recently for figuring out how difficult things may be when we get into them deeper realms. Thorfaniel, Galdhron, Wandrin, and I were sitting about in front of the fire in the Chamber of Leadership eatery when it came to me. I was recalling our battles in the Great Barrow against Sambrog and his minions and I got to thinking . . . let’s set up a training session what looked like the Great Barrow battles and set them up to be about as difficult as we expected the Grand Stairs to be. We did have some information from the dwarfs what would allow us to make some reasonable assumptions. So, we did so.

    Now, we figured that with two lore master elfs and two morale-boosting minstrels it wouldn’t be a full and fair test. So, I went and got Alphred out of his bed to be the lead battler and set myself up to watch as they went through the battles to get an expectation of what things might be against the Orcs.

    There was some challenge to it, but I am thinking that four folks can get by on the Grand Stairs. There was some serious battling done . . . but the four of them were able to fight their way through without too much risk, and nobody got defeated in the battles. Though a bit of carelessness could cause things to turn poorly.

    The next day, Alphred went out on another training session with Brodhi, Bohalin, Fraori, Medloth, and Granleif. The four of them battled through a training session built like the hall of drakes we found at Helegrod. And though that battle was thought to require 12 folks, there was only 6 of them on the training exercise. But they were able to get their way through.

    It turned out that many of the folks weren’t too familiar with fellowship maneuvers, so it became a long training session about how a group of folks can coordinate their attacks in a way that made them stronger and their enemies weaker. It began with instructions on how such maneuvers worked, and then practice. It was a good day of training and practicing, from what I hear. I was going over my notes and books and preparing for our battles, so I only got to hear about their trainings.

    Me, Sagla, Galdhron, Roy, Bohunc, Erikin, and Zubrette . . . and later Thorfaniel . . . went over stories of battles what were taking place in Eregion since we left. We had hoped to get some ideas of what the villains were up to and also give some consideration to possible attacks we can use. There was drake hunting, of course, though that is rather typical. But there was also a battle where some villains came upon a camp what the elfs were using as a type of hospital for collecting their injured. The place were undersiege and the challenge was to go and lift the siege. Fortunately, these were just training exercises, as things turned against us right quick. We couldn’t figure out where the ballistae were and, all the while, the villains were attacking the elfs and battling their way back to the wounded. Since it was just training, when things went poorly we were able to set up the training session and try again. Eventually, we got it and figured out how to attack the villains.

    Then there was a training session what involved sneaking into an enemy camp and destroying it. We got into the camp easily enough but, so far, in our trainings, we haven’t figured out a tactic what would allow us to get the camp destroyed before the villains all get organized enough to stop us. Alphred, Thorfaniel, and Galdhron did their best and quite nearly got it one time, but there’s been no success yet so far as I have heard.

    Meanwhile, Erikin and I went out and practiced defending a place from waves and attackers.

    None of the new folk showed up at the training sessions this week, so I got worries they may have decided to try things on their own. We’ll see. We have one more week of trainings – then it is off to the Grand Stairs.

    What I know of these Grand Stairs is that this is a place what connects the upper parts of Moria where we are with the deepest darks of Moria. It’s a whole conglomeration of stairs going up and down. Now, we call these the “deeps” of Moria . . . well, that’s what I call it, since I don’t speak dwarf . . . but it’s not actually any deeper in terms of going down. Though it is pretty far down. Some of these places are just off to the side. Moria, after all, is built under three whole mountains so there’s room for quite a bit of stuff.

    Anyways, a little bit more practicing and we will be on our way. I’ll let you know what we find.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow


    We have one more week of practicing and getting folks trained up and ready to go to the Grand Stairs. Most of us are trained up fully (to Level 55). There’s four or six more who still have a bit to go. It is looking like we will be in good shape by March 30.

    As mentioned above, four of us set up The Maze instance for 4 people, level = 58, just to get an idea of what the Grand Stairs will be like (since it is also Level 58). It looks like 4 people can handle things.

    Something to note, however, the Grand Stairs are Level 58 (or 56, depending on who you ask). The Forges are Level 59. The rest are Level 60 . . . so I am still curious about how we will do in an instance set to Level 60. We can do some more testing in the week ahead.

    Oh, and some folks have expressed an interest in siege trainings (to get promotion points and class trait points). Iffen you have an interest, just let it be known.

    On March 30 (Saturday group) and April 1 (Monday group), the mustering will be at the campsite just outside the entrance to the Grand Stairs. You should pick up the quests at Orc-Watch before the session - still 11 to 13 days away. Of course, iffen I know Hedgerow and Alphred, they’ll find some time to walk there – perhaps taking the route through Dolven View, into the Silvertine Lodes, and through the Way of the Smiths. Or down Zelem-Melek. Either way, they will get their talk to the dwarfs at Orc-Watch, and reach the campsite before the mustering.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  2. #77

    ((Club Eclair)) The End of Training

    Father:

    I am about to leave the 21st Hall for the Grand Stairs.

    We have been putting in a whole great deal of training as of late. This 21st is a huge place. We set up . . . using our imaginations as well as some materials the orcs have laying about . . . a lair that looked much like the Great Barrow. We have no familiarity with these Grand Stairs, but many of us do remember the battling that we did in the Great Barrow. The dwarfs here looked over our handiwork and promised to model our adventures to be as difficult as we can expect in the deep darks of Moria.

    We have given ourselves reason for a big boost in confidence. Even though there was few of us, we were able to survive the dangers that the dwarf trainers set up for us, meaning that we can full expect to be able to win the battles in the Grand Stairs, even if we divide our numbers into two partial squads. I went on one training mission with Roy, Wandrin, Galdhron, and Thorfaniel. As is usual, I was put in front for dealing with the foes toe to toe, as I am agile and difficult to hit and the others can use their wizardry on the villains while I keep those villains distracted. There were certainly some long drawn-out battles, but we kept our feet throughout.

    Roy also went out on some training exercises with Medloth, Thorcundo, and Hedgerow. With the smaller number, this was even more of a test . . . particularly with Hedgerow along, as he should have stayed in the Shire where I am certain he was an excellent clerk. But they were able to keep to their feet as well. And they were able to practice their fellowship maneuvers. These are complex maneuvers what, if a group can pull off the maneuver successfully, the folks can get a significant advantage over the enemy. I had heard that the three of them were successful more often than not.

    I think we are truly ready to confront the villains waiting for us in the Grand Stairs.

    This complex of stairs, from what the dwarfs tell us, is quite large with stairs leading off in all different directions, up and down and sidewise, heading off to the distant parts of the Moria complexes. We will likely split ourselves into smaller groups so as not to get in each other's way . . . a huge army is more of a bother than a help in tight spaces when trying to advance along narrow passageways. That is why it is good to have learned that we can likely take on the orcs with only four folks . . . it gives us a lot more options for splitting up into several patrols.

    Our first missions will just be patrols so that we can become familiar with the place and an understanding of the villainy we will find there. We'll push in slowly, clearing out the orcs and such as we encounter them, hopefully avoiding any particularly bothersome counter attack. But we will be cautious enough to leave ourselves a safe line of retreat in case we encounter any serious resistance.

    After we become familiar with the terrain and the way the orcs function, we may come up with some more difficult plan what can do the most damage before we move on. The dwarfs have informed us that they have no intention of moving into the Grand Stairs. They simply want the orcs there weakened so that they can not be a threat as the dwarfs work to reclaim the areas that are already settled.

    Really, there is not much more news to report than that. The next time you hear from me will be after I have made my first patrol of the Grand Stairs. Then, I may just have something interesting to tell you about.

    Until then,

    Alphred Troute



    Several of us spent the weekend going through the Great Barrow scalable instances set at level 60 - to match the level of the Moria instances we are about to enter. I think we are going to do fine, even with groups of four Level 55 folks. If, for example, 8 people show up, then two groups of 4 should be quite doable.

    For new folks, our first visits to an instance are something of a "dungeon crawl". We go slowly so as to learn how to deal with the villain inside. Also, recall that this is roleplaying. This means we tend to shun exploits and such that cannot be expressed in IC terms. For example, one tactic to use on the Grand Stairs for the challenge involves sending a character ahead on a suicide run. We will not be doing that. We will push our way through and meet whatever challenges we confront along the way.

    After a couple of weeks visiting in quest mode, we will try the challenge. Indeed, given our completionist nature, we will not leave the Grand Stairs until we have gotten everybody through the challenge at least once. When we are done, we will pack up our stuff and wander over to the Flaming Deeps for the Forges of Khazad-Dum. There, we will do the same thing . . . enter for the sake of exploring and mapping for a couple of weeks to get people familiar with the villains and how they defend themselves. Once people are familiar with the place we will organize for the Challenge. Then Fil Gashan.

    Then we will wander west into the Water Works. We will go on some turtle hunts (aka the Filikul raid). Filikul drops first-age items as well as coins that folks can use to purchase first-age items. We will hunt enough turtles to get people what they want.

    Then we will wander further west into the Vile Maw to battle the Watcher. This instance requires a careful dance. There is a significant challenge in getting folks to perform all of the right steps at the right time to gain a victory. It may involve several defeats, and we just may well decide to leave the Watcher alone for a bit and come back at Level 60.

    Then we will return to the 21st Hall. We will take up the Epic Story where we left off as well as the quests for Nud-Melek, and begin working our way out of Moria into into Lothlorien.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  3. #78

    ((Club Eclairs II)) Sweeping the Stairs

    To: Daffodilia Wildfeet
    Chief, Bounders of the Shire – Addernotch Station


    Sir!

    We have entered the Grand Stairs to battle the orcs there.

    These orcs are definitely fiercerer then those what have been forced up into the higher places in Moria that the dwarfs of reclaiming. Them orcs that have been forced out are weak and offer little in the way of threat and danger. The orcs in the Grand Stairs and, one may guess, the other places in the Deep Darks of Moria are much, much stronger.

    We are entering into a place with five armies. There is an army of trolls, an army of fire orcs like what we met in the Flaming Deeps, an army of warg riders, an army of White Hand orcs, and an army of Moria orcs. The White Hand orcs and warg riders came from outside – from an army being built by a villainous wizard. The Fire and Moria orcs and the Trolls are natives of the deep dark of Moria.

    Now, these orcs do not get along very well. Indeed, we saw some battling between the Moria orcs and the White Hand orcs while we were patrolling the Grand Stairs. It don’t bother us that they are busy battling each other.

    Each of them has a lieutenant of sorts what is leading them that we have been trying to reach. However, they have been escaping our grasp. In four separate patrols we have made of separate parts of the Grand Stairs, we have heard stories of Nardur and The Devoted both just ahead of us, but we have been unable to find and defeat them. Thus, they continue to form and organize their armies, even as we clear the stairs of smaller squads and lesser leaders.

    I am afraid that what it is going to take for us is to find out where they are at and rush them so as to reach at least one of them before they have a chance to escape. I do so hate rushing. There’s a tendency to rush into something what turns out to be a lot worse than what it is one was expecting to rush into. And then one ends up getting eaten. I resolved myself not to get eaten iffen I can help it.

    However, in this case, I am seeing no other way so as to find and destroy Nardur and The Devoted. We will have to rush in and get to them – through all of the villainy that they might put up between us and them. A good thing about our patrols so far, though, is that I am getting good maps of the stairs. I think I have a route plotted for us. When we go on our next patrol, I want to scout out this route and make sure that everybody knows it so that, when we make the grand charge, everybody knows where to go.

    So far, we have had four patrols of the Grand Stairs. I have been on two of them. The first patrol was the easiest as we had the largest crew. Sagla, Roy, Phad, Galdhron, Thorfaniel and me all went into battle. Phad just came to us from a long time away. I am thinking that he has been a long time away from the fight. Galdhron spoke with him and is helping him get back into fighting trim. Galdhron is good friends with the bearfolk Medloth, and so she knows something about how Bearfolk do battle. It seems as there was an issue respecting armours that Phad needed to catch up on.

    Medloth herself came with us on the second, third, and . . . eventually . . . fourth patrol. The second patrol was just me, Roy, Medloth, and Thorfaniel. The four of us did not actually have much trouble standing up to the orcs. Oh, it was heavy fighting and there were some near things, but we ended up all of our battles on our feet and the orcs did not.

    The same can’t be said for Killiell, Alphred, Wandrin, and Bohalin. That group did well enough . . . until . . . from the stories I hear tell . . . Alphred were foolish enough to get himself swamped by two squads of orcs at once. They drove the group into a full retreat – all of the way back to the entrance of the cave where they had to start over. This weren’t their last retreat either. Eventually, they called in reinforcements. Medloth and . . . some elf minstrel what travels with us with a really long elvish name I can’t full remember right off . . . rushed off to aid them in their final battle.

    All things totaled, though, we are winning our battles. We have a few more patrols ahead of us and then we will try to charge in and get to Nardur before he can escape again. That is our goal.

    That’s all I have to report this week. The next time I write to you, I hope to tell you that Nardur has been defeated and we are making our plans to move on to the next battlegrounds. I hear it will be some deep forges the orcs have taken over off in the Flaming Deeps.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow



    Hedgerow thinks he has a plan to reach Nardur and get him slayed. It involves rushing in and rushing to Nardur’s Station before he has a chance to escape again.

    On the next adventure, he will show folks the route that is planned. It involves (1) slaying the drawbridge guard, (2) charging down the stairs to the right past two wargs, two goblin stalkers, and two more wargs, (3) ignore the orcs on the left – they do not care about our business, (4) turn right down the stairs, (6) battle the wargs at the bottom of the stairs, (5) turn right and cross the bridge, (6) battle the warg pack on the far side of the bridge, then (7) climb the steps and battle Nardur. All within 10 minutes.

    So . . . always go right. Slay villains as fast as you can and move on.

    But . . . on our next patrols . . . we will walk the course so that everybody is familiar with it. Nardur will escape, but he will escape for the last time. After our rehearsal, we can wander about and slay the rest of the villainy - and prepare for a genuine assault on the next adventure.

    Folks who have not done so should pick up the quests. First, talk to Narfi at the Twenty-First Hall to pick up the initial quest. Take that quest to Orc Watch, turn it in, then talk to the other dwarfs about what needs to be done in the Grand Stairs.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Apr 03 2019 at 02:04 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  4. #79

    ((Club Eclair)) Practicing the Nardur Run

    Sir!

    It seems that we are about ready to make our attempt to find and slay the orc leader Nardur.

    Nardur is one of the main leaders of the orcs of the Grand Stairs but, so far, we have been unable to engage him in battle. When the word goes out that we are in the area, he usually packs up and leaves with his guards – and is gone from his station by the time we get there.

    But, we have a plan.

    We are going to rush in and get to his station in such speed as he will not be given time to escape.

    I have plotted a fast route to his station. Now, we simply await word from the dwarfs that he is at the station. Then, we will make our assault.

    I have been teaching the route to others so that we will be ready when the opportunity comes. A couple of days ago, I went to the Grand Stairs with Galdhron and Thorcundo and I showed them the way to get to Nardur’s Station. Then Bohunc, Roy, and Erikin joined us and they got to know the route. Yesterday, Roy and I took Medloth and Thorfaniel on the route. The four of us yesterday were simply learning the course we would have to travel and, truth be told, we nearly made it to Nardur’s station before he escaped. We were at the bottom of the stairs leading up to his station when we heard the noises of him gathering up his guards and leaving. I am certain that a squad of us can reach him and get him slayed.

    Though I am a bit worried about confronting Nardur and all of his guards. Just because we can reach him does not mean that we can defeat him with all of the help he has nearby.

    After defeating Nardur, then the dwarfs think we should pull off another trick. They think we should go to Igash – the overall leader of the orcs – and demonstrate the weakness of the orcs by engaging Igash in single combat. That is to say, defeat him without defeating any of his minions, so that they can spread word of our strength far and wide among the orcs in the deep dark of Moria.

    I suppose the dwarfs know the orcs in Moria better than a mere hobbit so, iffen they think that this will help, then we should give it a try. There’s a part of me that thinks that the dwarfs simply dream these things up so that they can prove their bravery and skill in combat to themselves and it has no effect on the orcs at all. Still, I am not fit to question their wisdom in such matters. So, as the dwarfs request, after slaying Nardur, we will go and confront Igash and prove that we can slay him without slaying any other.

    I will let you know how it goes.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow


    Things are progressing well at the Grand Stairs.

    On a Sunday patrol (some of us have been meeting Sundays at 10:00 am), four of us (Hedgerow, Roy, Thorfaniel, Medloth) went on a walk-through for the Nardur assault route. Even without trying we reached the bottom of the steps before Nardur made his escape. So, this should be doable.

    With this, and with the slayer deeds progressing, we should be ready to move on from the Grand Stairs in a couple of weeks.

    (Note: In spite of repeated visits, neither Alphred nor Hedgerow has yet found the Drums and Beasts letter. It is a random drop from a mob. Is anybody else having trouble with these?)

    Also, note, some folks are wanting to gather Wednesday at 7:30 PM for siege trainings (epic battles) to earn Promotion Points, new jewelry, and marks and medallions.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Apr 15 2019 at 11:16 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  5. #80
    Father:

    I am here at the Grand Stairs in Moria.

    They truly are grand, though they show the dwarf’s disdain for anything what might be called railings to prevent folks from falling into the deepest darks of Moria. These mountains are much like an egg what has had all of the insides sucked out of them and then folks built a city inside of it. This whole mountain is hollow. Actually, three mountains, side by side, what with tunnels and such connecting the bottoms of them.

    The Grand Stairs we are patrolling is what connects the upper parts of one mountain – which is where the dwarfs have established their foothold – with the lower parts and the parts of the other mountains that sit nearby.

    Our first patrols were a bit rough and difficult, but we are thinking that the villainy is being forced to draw upon weaker reserves as we have defeated their initial soldiers and things are getting much easier. Just yesterday I went in with Thorcundo, Galdhron, and Roy for a patrol that went off without a difficulty. We have figured out how to defeat their captains – who command some type of shadow what greatly demoralizes us when he calls it down upon us. But we have ways of resisting this darkness what we are learning the importance of using.

    Many of their more powerful leaders seem quite cowardly and will run off iffen we can’t get to them fast enough. Sagla went out with Erikin, Thorcundo, Galdhron, Hedgerow, and Wandrin a couple of days ago on a plan to slay one of their lieutenants. They worked out a map and a course to follow with the hopes they could carve their way to through the soldiers and get to the Lieutenant before he could round up his soldiers and make good on his escape. They made it, and one of the lieutenants are slayed. This is an advantage, as orcs are so prone to battling among each other that without a leader over them to command respect they are not so much of a danger to anybody but themselves.

    The dwarf spies tell us of finding a couple more leaders and is sending out word to muster a couple of squads to go after them. I’m sitting here waiting to see who answers the mustering call. Iffen at least eight show up, we may be able to go after both lieutenants at once, slaying them before they get a chance to warn each other and make good their escapes.

    After that, there’ll just be a few patrols while we clean the villainy that remains out of the deepest and darkest corners. We are already being pestered to go to another battleground against the orcs in the deep dark of Moria – a place they call the Forges of Khazad Dum. Which is an odd name, truth be told, as there are forges everywhere here and, indeed, some – such as the forges in the Way of the Smiths – what are far more grander than anything else I expect to see here. But that is the name the dwarfs have given to this place.

    There’s a bunch of orcs discussing battle plans at the Flaming Deeps outposts – what has a name I cannot even pronounce, let alone spell – who has talked to a few of our Eclairians as they passed through the outpost. They were given all sorts of instructions about what was needed in these Forges, which seem to be full up with goblins, orcs, and trolls.

    But, as you always told me when I was a lad . . . don’t go leaving one job half-done to get another job half-begun. We’ll finish sweeping these stairs, then we will move on.

    Love,
    Alphred Troute


    We will be spending the next couple of weeks finishing up the Grand Stairs.

    Monday, we will be going after Nardur. After that, I’ll be asking folks what they still need to get done . . . slayer deeds, slaying Nardur, slaying the Devoted, completing the challenge . . . and we’ll focus on whatever will help folks complete what they need to complete.

    Then we will pack things up and move to the Forges and do the same thing . . . battling the orcs there until folks are done. Then, move on to Fil Gashan.

    After Fil Gashan, we will return to the Epic Story line (Volume II, Book 3) and landscape questing (Nud-melek). It appears that both of these will get us out the eastern gate of Khazad Dum quite rapidly.

    Evidence suggests that Standing Stone has upped the difficulty for the Watcher and the Turtle so that level 60 groups on the legendary servers are having some difficulty with it. Not too much difficulty, but enough to suggest that it may be outside of our abilities at Level 55. We may give it a shot anyway. I am always up for a challenge, and I wouldn't mind harvesting enough coins to be able to pick up a First Age LI or two. Since a successful turtle hunt is a relatively quick battle, if we can have a successful turtle hunt we may simply close out our sessions by spending 10 minutes hunting a turtle, once we can do so.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Apr 15 2019 at 02:09 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    220

    Erikin, Diary Entry 117 ((Zelem-melek and a friend killed))

    Dear diary,

    It's been a while, but we haven't been idle. We are still in Moria, in fact we are assaulting the more dangerous strongholds of the orcs within Khazad-dûm and have reclaimed the big crossroads of the Grand Stairs. But let me start where I left off.

    So, after the Water-works we went back to Brogur in the Twenty-first Hall and reported that we had discovered the lair where that malicious tentacle creature from the pool is now hiding. We were told to wait with our attempt to kill it a bit and stayed a couple of days in the big hall. Made friends with a dwarf named Reinn, a nice, reasonable elderly fellow with white hair and a white beard and I had hopes that he may join our group. I don't know what exactly his position in the Twenty-first Hall was, it seemed as if he was an assistant to a dwarf named Mögr, who himself was the foreman of the guards. But for an assistant he surely had his own thoughts about how the operation should be handled, always warning the easygoing Mögr to be more careful, that there are problems that shouldn't be ignored, like orc-arrows lying about nearby or large rocks falling down from the ceiling and leaving big craters on the ground.

    But Mögr wouldn't listen, saying he ruins his troops' morale and maybe he was also annoyed by Reinn's constant nagging. So he sent him out to go and explore the halls himself. We accompanied him and I even told him when we left that he wouldn't have anything to worry about, as he is with us. He greatly enjoyed seeing the wonderful Halls of Durin. Turned out we found a merchant named Domarr on his way to the Redhorn-lodes and he warned us about a larger orc camp nearby. Says the place was far from safe. He even showed us where the camp is and as we were hiding beneath some stairs below the camp, Reinn made off, saying he knew there were troubles and he will report back to Mögr.



    As the halls had been pretty safe except the odd weak goblin here and there, none of us thought much of it or stopped him, or went with him. Instead we mustered and cleaned out the orc camp and when we got back to the Twenty-first Hall, Reinn wasn't there. I started to worry and we put together a search party, and after some looking around we found him, lying in a hallway with his face down on the cold stone. It was a terrible sight which shook me right to my marrow. He was dead, murdered by an orc.

    We found his killer and slew him, but revenge didn't feel sweet at all. I was devasted and blamed myself for this happening. We, or some of us, should have kept him company or stopped him from running away all on his own. We told him he would be safe with us, and now he is dead. A fine dwarf he was. Mögr was really devastated and shaken too. His head and shoulders sagging, he blamed himself just as I did blame myself, for sending him away. He promised to never let his guard down again, but it was just a small consolation. When I told the others how I felt about the whole thing, Sagla was pretty cold about it, or logical as she always is, saying we cannot take care of everything and everyone and dwarves should know how to handle themselves.

    Well, there was nothing more to do about it and we were sent to assist the dwarves in Orc-watch, an outpost way down near the Redhorn Lodes. It was a rather long trip, down winding corridors and flights after flights of stairs, and along a wide underground tunnel, and when we finally got there, it felt as if we had reached the deepest parts of Moria. On the way we were on a war path, I had to think of Reinn all the time. We found many more orc camps. They seemed to be everywhere. We cleaned out all those we found pretty thoroughly, burning their tents, destroying barricades, provisions and totems.

    In one well-hidden camp, tucked away in some remote corner, we stumbled upon a large Uruk, an emissary from the White Hand, negotiating with the Moria orcs there to join him and his crew. We destroyed them all. We found a large supply camp complete with a kitchen, an open mess hall with crude dining tables, ovens, sleeping quarters with bunk beds and all. They held a couple of dwarves prisoner and it was rumored that they were going to eat them. We freed them and they were extremely relieved and thankful, dashing off immediately towards the Twenty-first Hall. I hope they got there safely. Still a bit further down was a forge, where they made weapons and armor and we made sure they cannot do that anymore.



    One of the camps was particularly worrisome. Several orc-defilers were brewing up some kind of poison. They even had a steaming, smelly pool filled with a viscious goo. And from the looks of it, they tested the poison on their own kind, for there were many dead orcs that had suffered a gruesome death. Most of them they had piled up and burned in a back room, maybe out of fear to get infected themselves. We also made sure to clean that place out thoroughly and destroyed all the defilers and their ovens. What an evil place that was, but it shouldn't be a threat to the expedition any longer. We were all happy when we were done, had left and could breathe fresh air again.



    Then we got lost in these unending halls and it felt like we had wandered about for hours. Hedge studied his maps and scratched his head. He didn't know either. But he was certain that the Orc-watch couldn't be far off, so we kept going. We followed another hallway to the east, got into another large room and found a set of traps. We determined they had been set up by dwarves and carefully made our way around them. And then we found the dwarves, in a well-fortified post with barricades made of iron and thick wooden spikes to defend against any assault. Looking down, we saw the dusty, yellowish haze of the vast cavern which is the Redhorn Lodes. We were clearly very deep down in Moria now.



    I will write about our adventures there next time.

  7. #82
    To: Daffodilia Wildfeet
    Chief, Bounders of the Shire, Addernotch Station


    Sir!

    We have swept the Grand Stairs of orcs and we are moving over to another location where the orcs have established themselves in strength – the Forges of Khazad Dum in the Flaming Deeps.

    The Orcs of the Grand Stairs have been quite fairly defeated. Just yesterday, with merely three Eclairians – Alphred, Roy, and Thorfaniel – the three were able to fight their way to Nardur’s Station before the orcs stationed there could drag off their treasure. The dwarfen spies had told us that the orcs had carried some treasure there. Of course, the trick was to get there and capture the treasure before the orcs could move it. Only those three Eclairians answered the call to muster, but they opted to give it a go, and they made it. With Alphred keeping the villains busy, Roy keeping Alphred on his feet, and Thorfaniel using her magics against the villainy, they were able to rush up to Nardur’s Station before the orcs could react to their coming.

    This were just one of several patrols. Sagla and I went on a warg hunt the day before with Roy, Erikin, and Bohunc. We got to the warg pens easily enough and slayed about 2 dozen wargs what the orcs were raising there. Then, since we were in the neighborhood and already armored and ready for battling, we cleared the orcs and their kin from the rest of the area. Erikin taught us how we could disassemble the troll drums and take them with us, which I did not know we could do. It was a sad time to have finally figured that out - just as our patrols were ending.

    Well, there will be one last sweeping of the Grand Stairs today. Alphred, Fraori, Medloth, Thorcundo, and others are mustering for the adventure, I hear. Mayhaps Jaytull and Granleif will go with them.

    After this last sweeping, our intent is to go to the Flaming Deeps and retake some forges that the orcs have moved into.

    To be honest, I am already there. There is a dwarf outpost called Anazârmekhem where the dwarfs have been planning plans against the orcs. I arrived here a couple of days ago and have spent the orcs spend the last couple of days battling lizards and orcs that are in the neighborhood. I’ll make it the rest of the way to the station the dwarfs have built for taking care of us nearer the forges before we are due for our first mustering.

    I had to stop by the Twenty-First Hall along the way as I had run out of provisions in battling the orcs of the Grand Stairs – as well as my training exercises. I was quite out of foods and other supplies what are useful in battles. But now I am well stocked for at least a few weeks engaged in battling the orcs of the Forges.

    I have some worries about the Grand Stairs. The dwarfs do not have enough folks to hold it from the orcs. We have made it dangerous for the orcs and reduced their numbers. As is typical of orcs, iffen an area becomes dangerous, the stronger orcs stay where it is safer and the weaker orcs are forced into the areas where there’s a good chance of getting slayed. I am thinking that this is why the area of the Grand Stairs has become less threatening recently. But the deep darks of Moria have more of a chance of supplying more orcs than the dwarfs have of supplying more dwarfs. Plus, the orcs have allies from Isengard and Mordor whereas the dwarfs involved in this expedition seem to be an afterthought among the dwarfs – who are busy defending places like the Lonely Mountain.

    So, we fight in the Grand Stairs and the orcs settle in at the Forges. We move to the Forges and the orcs return to the Grand Stairs. And if the orcs ever quit being distracted by events at Gondor and the like they may well get the numbers and the determination to drive the dwarfs out of Moria for good. The dwarfs have to get some reinforcements iffen they hope to have any of a chance to hold on to their gains here.

    Well, we will do what we can. Recall that the dwarfs helped us in the Shire and, iffen I can be of any benefit to them, I owe them a chance to reclaim their home as they gave us a chance to defend ours.

    I will keep you informed.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow



    Monday night (April 29, 8:30 PM) will be our last official patrol in the Grand Stairs. We will start by completing the Challenge, then return and patrol what we can, starting with the wargs, as the warg slayer deed is the hardest of the slayer deeds to complete.

    We will return at Level 58 to help the hunters complete their class deeds if anybody has some additional work to do in this area. Though, by the sound of things, nearly everybody has completed their deeds.

    Those who want to do more can muster at 10:00 on Sunday. We have been mustering then to help folks finish out their chores. Or, we can arrange some other time at mutual convenience. As Alphred, Roy, and Thorfaniel has shown, it takes only three people to hunt on the Grand Stairs for completing slayer deeds.

    Our next stop is the Forges of Khazad Dum.

    May 4, May 6: Muster at the campsite near the Crossroads of Ash in the Flaming Deeps. Before the session, meet the dwarfs at Anazârmekhem (the Flaming Deeps outpost) to pick up their instructions (quests). As with the Grand Stairs, we wills pend the first couple of weeks patrolling the Forges and learning the lay of the land. Then, we will go for the Challenge.

    Once we start working on the challenge, we can make multiple (probably up to 3) assaults on the Forges on a given day to advance the Troll slayer deeds. It will take 8 trips with any character to slay the trolls and complete the slayer deed (so as to advance the black goat metadeed).
    Last edited by Tiempko; May 01 2019 at 11:41 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    220

    Erikin, Diary Entry 118 ((The Redhorn Lodes and the Grand Stairs))

    Dear diary,

    we cleaned out the Redhorn Lodes, a proper working mine, dark and gritty and dusty. The rock here is again different. While in the upper parts it's mostly granite and in the middle the great halls were made of black marble, here it was brown, brittle sandstone. The ore here is of low quality, but abundant and the orcs now use the mine to make weapons and armor for themselves, albeit of low quality. The dwarves of old, when they left, destroyed the forges and rail tracks and locked their houses, but still the orcs made the mine operable again, at least to some extent. They had repaired some of the tracks, built rocker-boxes to sift through the dirt for ore and crude furnaces to melt it. We destroyed what we could to hinder their operations.

    Again, they were fighting among each other. The orcs from Moria were here first, but then the better organized White Hand orcs came in and were slowly taking over. This was quite handy, as when they fight among each other they weaken themselves which in turn makes it easier for us to throw them out, right?

    At the northern part stood the former living quarters of the miners who worked here, the workhouses where the ore was refined and the estates of the rich ore-barons, the dwarves what ran the operation or even owned parts of the mines. Now it all is a ghost town, abandoned, and all doors securely locked.



    Various tunnels led into the rock and railtracks had been built, some above ground on wooden bridges, with rocker-boxes to sift throught the sand and stone brought out from the tunnels to recover ore or gems. As said, most of the equipment had been demolished when the dwarves left, so the orcs who took over Khazad-dûm could not use it. But yet here they were, quite many and quite busy, hewing at the rock, sifting through the rubble, or melting ore.

    The dwarves of the Orc-watch were not happy that the orcs were stealing what they think belongs to them. And they wanted us to find out about the quality of the ore and disrupt the orcs' operations. And we did all that alright, took us a few patrols as the place is rather big and we got lost on several occasions wandering around.



    Also, a few dwarves which had gone out to look for treasure were missing. They had an argument about it and split up, but they still went. We found both parties, on different sides of the mine though. In one camp up a ramp a lone dwarf named Knakk whose companion, Kafli, was sadly murdered by orcs. He had run away when they were attacked by an orc raiding party. I cannot believe he left his friend behind to die a horrible death! And he even didn't seem to regret it too much!

    When we found his dead body, he was still clutching a beautiful locket in his hand. Turns out it was a gift from his sweetheart Finna Frostbeard. They were betrothed just before he left to join the expedition. And now he is dead, deserted by a partner and killed by a nameless gang of orcs! I am starting to hate Moria, a dark pit indeed. We are just losing too many good dwarves. Bróin, Nykr, Reinn, Kafli, and several others... Who is next?

    Close to Knakk's camp, on the eastern side, we found another field of fungus. This was the largest infected area we had seen so far. And here, it had not only infected the orcs, but spiders aswell. I think they were also suffering quite much, as they were highly aggressive. There was a very large one with a fungus growing out of its back. Horrible! The orcs here looked even worse than in the other places, as if their mutation had progressed. Almost their entire bodies were overgrown with a red crust, from which some kind of shoots or tentacles sprouted. It was a terrible sight. As if they had turned into yet another kind of orc, a Fungus orc. You could not say if they had been Moria orcs or White Hand orcs, or whatever orc before they were so... altered. The ground itself had transformed into a red crust, as if something seeps up from the depths below, and if we don't find a way to stop it, neither dwarves nor orcs may live in Moria for long. That is what Hedge had said and I think he is right, as he usually is.

    We went back and burned all the mushrooms we found, maybe that helps a bit. I again wondered where the fungus comes from. I still think an evil wizard plants it and infects the orcs and other creatures to grow his own army and claim Khazad-dûm for himself. Knakk had heard that the fungus is running rampant in the Foundations of Stone, the deepest known place in Moria, but had as of yet never been seen here. As we burned the mushrooms, we encountered a most peculiar creature hiding between some rocks. I first thought it was a goat, but it stood on two legs. It was not big, man-size, slender, with big claws and spines growing out of its back, and it had horns and a wide mouth full of teeth. A bit like the statues we'd seen in the swamp in Angmar. I felt a shiver running down my neck, this for sure was the scariest place I have ever been. A terror from the Deep!

    But the others, led by the fearless Sagla, moved forward and attacked the creature. It dropped rather quickly, then disappeared. Was this the "wizard" what had been growing the fungus? And is the problem now solved? We doubt it, most likely just a henchman, a "gardener" of sorts. And I fear we will be sent to the Foundations at a later time to investigate where the fungus come from.

    For now, we were sent to look for the other missing dwarves and deliver the sad news, as one of them was Kafli's cousin. We found them on the far side of the Redhorn Lodes, in a neatly set up camp, complete with a tent, some cozy looking sleeping bags, a lamp and a table and a stash of barrels filled with ale. When we arrived, they were roasting a rabbit over a fire and they looked like they were somewhere on a hiking trip and not deep down in Moria. Hedge was impressed, saying this is how one should travel. Kuli was devastated to hear about the untimely death of his cousin and said he was one of nicest and kindest dwarves there ever was, a friend to many. As is dwarf tradition, we drank to his memory, celebrating him and his life.

    Their camp lay near a big cavern where thousands of Gredbyg were nesting. We mostly left them alone, but they had also made their way into some ancient living quarters where the miners of old slept and ate, and we cleaned that out so that Kuli and Auti could move in. A gredbyg queen we found in the old mess hall had made this her nest and laid her pupae into the old beds. Blasphemy! We destroyed the queen and burned the cocoons, or eggs, or pupae, or whatever. We also found a tunnel leading into the Flaming Deeps, that was where we were heading next. But before, we cleared out the Grand Stairs, one of the major crossroads of Khazad-dûm.

    That place was a maze of stairs going up and down, leading to various different halls and levels within Moria. It also had many bridges leading across endlessly deep chasms, was nicely decorated in places with banners and well lit by braziers.



    In other places the banners were not so nice, as they signaled the strongholds of the various tribes of orcs the dwarves had told us about. The most important orc to find and bring down was one named Igash, a henchorc of Mazog, who now rules the orcs of Moria. He collects tribute for his master from the other orcs here. Our task was to stop this and destroy him, and also all other orcs we may encounter.

    As we entered, we overheard an argument between a large Uruk and a goblin on a warg. At the end of their dispute, the orc got angry and killed the goblin and his mount. It seemed the Uruk was a member of the White Hand and they conspired to kill Igash themselves and claim the riches he had amassed for Mazog. He commanded another orc who had witnessed this to go and make ready for battle. He stayed and attacked us, shouting that Moria will fall to the White Hand. He was quite a handful, but we defeated him and then we had to hurry to catch with the White Hand orc who had left earlier. But where did he go?

    There were bridges leading in three different directions. We decided to go left and came to a place where the Fire orcs of the Flaming Deeps had established their position. A stream of lava flowed down here, covered by a mash of wire. At the top, we found their leader and liquidated him and his troops. A bit before, stairs were leading down, patrolled by two large trolls. Patrolled by trolls, got it? Ha! As we fought them, we had to be careful to not get knocked over the edge, as that would have meant certain death. We got to the cave where the Uruks held their trolls, probably to use them in a later battle.

    One, which the dwarves fearfully called "The Beast", was particuarly big. A massive beast indeed, clad in amor and so feared by the orcs and goblins who handled it that they played drums to calm it down. Seems it falls asleep by the music. As we entered, the two goblins what had played the drums darted off and the beast stirred. Hroik quickly went over and started drumming, while the rest of us brought down the Uruk-handler. As he fell, the troll woke up and attacked, roaring and snapping at us with its massive jaws. Hroik stopped drumming and threw his rocks at it, and Thorcundo challenged it to get its attention, then cowered behind his shield, while Bohunc peppered it with his arrows.

    Then the beast got totally enraged and slammed his fists into the ground and we all had to run away to not get smashed. But in the end, it fell to our blows. It was not all that dangerous, not as much as it looked, and we had battled stronger trolls before. The ones in the Rift in Angmar were stronger.



    Then we went down the stairs on the other side and around a few turns and got to the place where goblins had brought their wargs. They had come down from the Misty Mountains and, according to dwarf scounts, allied themselves with the orcs of Moria. The wargs were held in a kennel behind wooden doors, which we opened and then destroyed the pack, includinbg their leader, a goblin sporting a funny hat as if he was going on a picnic. Still further in, we got to another crossroads. Banners of the White Hand clearly showed who had the say here. On a flight of stairs leading up, White Hand orcs were fighting orcs of Moria. Ha, we had arrived at just the right moment and joined the fray until none of the orcs were left alive.

    Then it was time to confront the fabled Igash himself. He resided in his "throne room" (there was no throne though on which he was sitting) at the very top of the Grand Stairs, protected by his elite guards. They put up a bit of a fight, but we got to Igash alright. When he saw us, he stepped forward, wielding two long swords, but he was bare-chested and wore no armor. His eyes were a glowing red light, and he looked quite... unnatural, not like a normal orc at all. And he said the most horrible things to us, that he will splatter the floor with our guts and paint the walls with our blood. Thorcundo, bave as always, stepped up and confronted him, and we engaged in battle as we had done a hundred times. Our enemy was quite powerful and used some dark magics, as at times a stinging shadow swept over us which hurt pretty bad. And a pale orc was dashing around, attacking us at random, trying to break our focus.

    When Igash fell, this orc ran off, shouting "Igash is slain! Flee orcs, flee into the darkness!" Ha! We let him go, maybe he'll scare the other orcs enough to stop them for a while doing what they are doing.

    The throne room was full of treasue, piles of gold and medaillons and gems and old relics. We filled our pockets with as much of it as we could carry, but also had to leave a lot behind. I think defeating Mazog's "treasurer" will deal a heavy blow to his plans, whatever they may be. Maybe he doesn't even have a plan and hopes the Iron Garrison will leave on its own one day! We told the dwarves at the Orc-watch about all the riches we had to leave behind and I am sure they'll send some of their own in to bring the rest of it out.

    Meanwhile, Igash's corpse had shrivelled away and only an empty husk remained. Very odd. We later brought it to Narfi in the Twenty-first Hall, but he didn't know what to make of it either. He thinks not even the normal orcs may know what is going on. There is something unseen happening with these orcs and he had received reports from the Flaming Deeps that he leader of the orcs in the great forge there had the same red glow in his eyes and a shadow about him. So he sent us there to find out more.
    Last edited by Craiden; May 07 2019 at 03:28 PM.

  9. #84

    Thalachon - The 3rd Age

    From the journal of Thalachon. Guard of the Seventh Gate of Gondolin.

    One moment I am on the plains of Dagorlad, the next, I am in a bed in Rivendell. 2000 years have passed, and I have been a witness to nothing but my own endless nightmares. How is this possible? Is this some cruel joke of the gods? I have a few tattered memories from that fateful day. A dark tower, my dear friend Harthalín, and that evil laugh. That laugh. Always present in my nightmares.

    Lord Elrond has filled some of the gaps in my memory. I have learned the great Lord Gil-galad perished at the hands of Sauron. As did the human king Elendil. Though our war was successful, the cost was high. Lord Elrond has offered his sons as companions to the Grey Havens, that I might sail into the west. This land is full of sorrow as are my memories. I would wish to make this journey along side Harthalín, but her whereabouts are unknown. Even Lord Elrond cannot say for certain that she still lives. So I begin this journey west. My armor is old and worn. My cloak is frayed. My blades, though they remain sharp, weigh heavy on my belt. It is time to go. I go with the hope of finding peace in the Undying Lands.
    Last edited by Swanee; May 15 2019 at 04:58 PM.

  10. #85
    From the journal of Thalachon. Guard of the Seventh Gate of Gondolin.

    The salty air of the sea refreshes my spirit. The sons of Lord Elrond have been fine companions on this journey although I remember little of the journey. My thoughts turned inward as we travelled the lands west of Rivendell. I remember marching with the Elven army, led by King Gil-galad in the Second Age. It was to be the war that ended evil in Middle Earth. We had met an army of Men at the great fortress of Amon Sûl. There Lord Gil-galad made plans for our fight against Sauron. I wonder if that fortress still stands. From there we journeyed into the land of Gondor. It was full of mountains, rivers and forests, as old as the world itself. I wish I could have wandered those paths. War, though, takes precedence over personal desires and we continued our march East to Mordor.

    Since we have arrived in Celondim, I have felt my resolve wavering. I am reminded of the great heroes from the war long ago. Elves and Men, stood shoulder to shoulder in defiance of the great evil. In defense of all that is good in the world, they gave their lives. I know that evil still lurks to the East. Elladan and Elrohir have told me as much. They have shared stories of their own battles against the forces of Sauron. I’ve learned of his return as the Necromancer and his expulsion from Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. They shared, also, stories of free peoples still defending Middle Earth. Once such group brought me a glimmer of hope. Elrohir told of an interesting group calling themselves the Eclarians. I am unfamiliar with the term, or the land of Éclair. They are a mix of all free peoples and have battled evil throughout Eriador. I wonder, has Harthalín found battles worth fighting? Does she fight with warriors much like these Eclarians?

    How can I leave this land when there are still battles to be fought? Will I find rest, knowing I failed to challenge the spread of evil? The sons of Elrond are waiting by the stables. I will tell them of my decision. Perhaps in Rivendell I will the find guidance I seek. Perhaps I will seek out these Eclarians and join in their battles. Yes, my cloak is dirty and torn, my armor still old, but my blades are sharp and I am ready for war.
    Last edited by Swanee; May 15 2019 at 04:58 PM.

  11. #86
    Father,

    We have moved on from our battling on the Grand Stairs to be battling in a new location called the Forges of Khazad Dum.

    You need not worry about sending your posts to an elsewhere for them to find me. The dwarfs here know that we are moved and can get your posts to me easily enough. So, just keep addressing your posts as you have and I will be sure to get them.

    I really think you should take the girls and head over to Hobbiton to enjoy some of the festivities. This “scavenger hunt” sounds quite interesting – and a good way for somebody to get to know the Shire and the surrounding lands. They weren’t doing that when I was travelling about, or I would have certainly taken them up on the offer. Unfortunately, I was long gone by the time the Mayor authorized such a thing. It is quite odd to think that Shire folks would be interested in a game sending folks beyond the Bounds.

    We left the lands west of the Misty Mountains relatively safe, so there ought to be little to be concerned about. Here in Moria, though, things are not at all peaceful.

    The orcs what have occupied these Forges are quite fierce battlers. But we are making headway against them. So far, we have cleared out seven of the forges – and I have personally gone on two of those patrols. The first patrols, of course, as we learned the layout of the forges and the ways of our enemies, did not go well. On the very first patrol, those who went (I was not with them) saw a goblin atop a platform taunting them. A couple of Eclairians went ahead. And then the goblin set a trap, blocking the entrances to the platform with four of the six Eclairians still on the other side. With just two Eclairians on the other side to battle the goblin, folks were obviously concerned for their safety. The four who were locked out tried their best to get over the debris, but they kept sliding back down on the loose gravel.

    But, then, one of the Eclairians made it over the rockslide. Others, seeing the path, climbed over as well. And the Eclairians managed to get all six folks together on the platform with the goblin and its villainous trolls. And they actually ended up winning the battle! It was a near thing, to be certain.

    The Dwarfs here have given us a challenge in order to weaken the morale of the orcs. That challenge is to meet and defeat the leader of the orcs and trolls in any one forge within 30 minutes of the leaders realizing we were there. Thorcundo, the battle dwarf, was put at the head of the column so as to clear out the enemies, with everybody else rushing behind him. Thorcundo would charge onto a platform with a bunch of orcs and engage in battle. Sagla and Erikin would be a short distance behind. Then Hedgerow there to provide assistance and Galdhron also in the battle. One of the other dwarfs was there as well. Bohimli, I think.

    Anyway, they beat the challenge with seven minutes to spare. But, there were six of them, and they are among our most experienced battlers. Except Hedgerow, of course, who served likely as a bit of an anchor, but one must give the orcs a fighting chance, I assume.

    A patrol of three Eclairians could handle much of the Grand Stairs orcs easily enough. However, as I said, these Forges orcs are tougher.

    Apparently, word has gone out that we are meeting more of a challenge here than we have before, as folks we haven’t seen in a while are showing up to help in the battles. Thirdal, a bowdwarf, showed up just yesterday and helped me, Thorfaniel, Galdhron, and Roy to clear the orcs away from the seventh forge. Candann and Kaleigh – a couple of tall folk – came about a week ago and help us with the third forge. Though the new folks that joined us at the Grand Stairs seem to have gone along their own ways – I haven’t seen them in a month. Likely, they went on to engage in some of the battling to the south.

    The dwarfs are not telling us how many forges there are all totaled, as I do not think they really know. Somewhere near to two dozen, according to the best guesses.

    Well, I am going to get some rest. Please, do try to get out and enjoy the festivities. Or, at least, let the girls go and enjoy themselves. I think they would really enjoy the party tree.

    Love,

    Alphred Troute



    We will continue to meet at the Crossroads of Ash and engage the orcs in the Forges of Khazad Dum instance for a few more weeks.

    On May 11, a group of 6 was able to complete the Challenge in 23 minutes. This suggests that a group of 5 should be able to finish in less than 30 - but a group of 4 may not be able to do so.

    One . . . I think entertaining thing about having a bit of a challenge . . . is that folks are thinking a bit about their equipment and skills in order meet the challenge. A few folks have gone on siege trainings (epic battles) to try to get some better jewelry. There tends to be a gathering at about 7:30 PM on Wednesday. It only takes two Eclairians logged in at the same time to go on any epic battle, so folks might want to feel free to invite each other.
    Last edited by Tiempko; May 15 2019 at 10:33 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  12. #87
    From the journal of Thalachon. Guard of the Seventh Gate of Gondolin.

    I arrived in Rivendell, 2 days past, to find quests underway. A most secret of tasks has been undertaken. I hesitate to even write about the quest, lest this journal fall into unfriendly hands. Lord Elrond was pleased with my new found vigor. He asked that I not pursue the most secret of errands. Instead, I am to find this wandering troupe of Eclarians. They have done much good throughout Eriador. My Lord Glorfindel even spoke of their heroism. He relayed tales of their heroism in defeating a balrog. I must admit, this tale brought forth memories from the fall of Gondolin. Though tales from that time have begun to fade, I still remember the sight of Lord Ecthelion defeating three balrogs. The greatest of which was Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs. My houses loss of our Lord and the loss of that great city still pains me to this day.

    This is not a time to dwell on past miseries. If I wish to bring war to the enemy, these Eclarians are the warriors I should seek out. They were last seen heading south into Eregion. That is a land full of Elvish history. It is where the deceiver began his mission of evil. It is also where the great rings of power were crafted. I will begin my search near the northern settlement of Gwingris. From there I expect to continue south towards Echad Erigion and then Echad Dúnann. If luck holds, I will find them within a tenday. I hope my despair induced delay has not afforded them too great a lead.
    Last edited by Swanee; May 15 2019 at 04:58 PM.

  13. #88
    From the journal of Thalachon. Guard of the Seventh Gate of Gondolin.

    I have searched through the land of Eregion for the band of Eclarians. Now standing before the wall of Moria I have begun to realize how great a challenge this may be. From Gwingris to Echad Dúnann, I have found evidence of their passing. There are few enemies wandering these lands. Those that I encountered were quick to flee, or charged blindly into my waiting blades. I expect a courageous band of warriors is responsible for the taming of this land. As the trail drew nearer south, I found a large hill, burnt on all sides. There were many remains of wolves and wargs in this area. No doubt the site of a fierce battle. I wonder if this was the work of group I chase, or another.

    The Elves in Gwingris were kind enough to lend me a horse for my travel south. He is a sturdy and noble steed, but if I continue into the mines, he cannot follow. I will have to entrust his care to the group of elves and dwarves camped at Echad Dúnann. A strange group indeed. I’ve never been overly fond of Durin’s folk. Truth be told I’ve had very little interaction with that race. Dwarves did not come to the Hidden City, and while the Longbeards were with us in the Last Alliance, I did not witness their prowess on those plains. I do, however, sympathize with their desire to reclaim the lost kingdom of Moria. It appears those elves sharing the camp, empathize as well. This empathy is tempered by stories of fire and shadow. The elves of Rivendell spoke of an ancient evil that forced the dwarves from their mines. An evil that has not been seen in some time. An expedition to retake the mines was led by a dwarf named Balin. While no word of his success or failure has reached the camps in Eregion, I am hopeful that group found the mines deserted.

    So now I will follow where these Eclarians have gone. I will pass through the Hollin Gate and into the darkness of Moria. While some tragedy struck at their initial entry, evidenced by the graves I passed, there has been no word since. The moon is rising as I stand at the entrance. There is a dwarf standing guard, but he offers little advice. Perhaps he is untrusting of High Elves. The water of this black pool is calm. There is little wind or bird song. It is as if nature itself is anxious for my next step. Into the mines I go.
    Last edited by Swanee; May 15 2019 at 04:57 PM.

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,202
    Quote Originally Posted by Swanee View Post
    From the journal of Thalachon. Guard of the Seventh Gate of Gondolin.

    I have searched through the land of Eregion for the band of Eclarians.
    Could you stop using such ridiculously large text, please. It is nearly unreadable, and takes a lot of unnecessary space on the screen.

  15. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by ertr View Post
    Could you stop using such ridiculously large text, please. It is nearly unreadable, and takes a lot of unnecessary space on the screen.
    No problem. I was going for the "handwritten" style. When it's smaller font, its really hard to read. I'll go back and edit the posts.

  16. #91
    From the journal of Thalachon. Guard of the Seventh Gate of Gondolin.

    This entry finds me surrounded by many of Durin’s folk. I am resting in the 21st Hall, following an exhaustive search Moria’s upper halls. Once I entered the mines I was greeted, not by disdain for my race, but with hearty hails and offers of guidance. The good dwarves in that entry hall remembered a mixed group entering the halls many weeks ago. All they could tell was that group moved further along to assist with the expedition. From there my path took me to Dolven View. While I would rather be under open sky, this area had a beauty to it that reminded me of a star filled sky. Once again, I was greeted by friendly dwarves both asking for and offering assistance. After providing some help thinning the ranks of a nearby goblin tribe I was directed to the chamber of the crossroads. Apparently the Eclarians headed in that direction. Some dwarves mentioned seeing a few members proceeding into the Silvertine Mines but later these too headed to the upper halls.

    When I arrived at the Chamber of the Crossroads, I was directed to speak with the dwarven leader there. A grim warrior named Bosi. While he could provide assistance in my quest, I was to first provide assistance with his. This appeared to become a theme during my search. I would provide help in the form of combat, while the dwarves would pay me with their knowledge. Truth be told, I don’t mind the fighting. After my long rest, it feels good to hold these swords again. I assisted Bosi, and his fellows, by scouting some unchecked areas in the upper halls. I also ran into quite a few goblins. At one path junction I spied the head on an Uruk Hai. I thought it out of place due to the marking of a white hand. I’m sure this has some meaning but I know not of what. Eventually my path led to a great garden with statues and pools. Of all the places I had seen in Moria, this was my favorite thus far. I was loath to continue my search, but an underground garden is still underground. A short way past this peaceful area I came to the stone halls and another crossroad. I was prepared to continue on ahead when a dwarf by the name of Oxi remembered seeing the Eclarians head down into the 21st hall.

    I do not plan to spend much time in this hall. While it is well provisioned, and seems quite defensible, it is painfully obvious that the Eclarians have moved on. The postman of the 21st Hall mentioned he called the “burnin’ cave”. I was not quite sure what he meant, but after asking several other dwarves I will be heading to a place called Anazârmekhem. Since it appears messages still are being sent to that location, for some Eclarians, I am hopeful that will be the end of my search.

 

 
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