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  1. #26
    When we get to the Chamber of the Crossroads (Oct. 20 and 22) - there is going to be a bit of a slowness.

    Volume II, Book 2, contains two long marches. One through the Great Delving going to all of the libraries (including the one near Durin's Threshold where we battled the spider). The other back to the goblins south of Deep Descent. And then back to the Chamber of the Crossroads.

    Since one of my main interests is roleplaying my way through the story . . . Hedgerow/Alphred will likely make the first of these trips on Oct 20, 22 respectively, and the second on Oct. 27, 29. Then spend intermediate time working on the side quests.

    Folks who have less of an interest in this type of session may want to consider spending the group time doing group stuff.

    Examples include:

    (1) Helping anybody who did not finish the Forgotten Treasury get their final deeds completed.

    (2) "Tell stories" of the Library and School of Tham Mirdain. Recommend: Set the level to 55 to collect Level 55 gear for the next level cap increase.

    (3) Revisit some of the old haunts such as the Rift, Helegrod, Fornost City, Annuminas, Great Barrow - help folks to complete instances they never got to do. My formula for this has been to increase the instance level by 1 for each character above 2 (for fellowship instances), so 3 characters is level + 1 and 6 characters is level + 4.

    (4) Skirmish. NOTE: Skirmishing in certain areas helps to complete slayer deeds for that area. Examples include Icey Crevasse for Forochel slayer deeds, Ford of Bruinen for Trollshaw slayer deeds. My solo settings for instances are: Duo or small fellowship (yes, for a single character), Tier II, Level + 3 (e.g., Level 54, currently).

    While doing this, Hedgerow and Alphred (respectively) and those who are interested in walking along with them and providing conversation, marveling at the view, and generally roleplaying through the Great Delving and Silvertine Lodes can make a smaller "expeditionary force" for walking its way through Book 3. We can just assume that, since we know that the trip will not involve anything dangerous, we'll send a few folks to take care of the chores while others help about the Crossroads and tell stories.

    Unless everybody actually wants to come along. That would be great.

    November 3, 5 (respectively), Chamber of the Crossroads should be done. We will muster at the Chamber to begin our march down Durin's Way towards the 21st Hall. We'll take the north route (rather than the winding, clear route) so as to help the dwarfs take control of that part of Moria.

    Sound good?
    Last edited by Tiempko; Nov 20 2018 at 12:28 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  2. #27
    The damage that the update is going to do to Club Eclair is going to be significant.

    Alphred went through the Level 54 LI instances at Dolven View by rounding up all of the mobs in the instances and defeating them in one big battle. Morale has gone up by 250%. Thorcundo is picking up jewelry and armor with an item level of 95 and stats 3x higher than what we are currently wearing.

    Some things we may want to consider is throwing away all jewelry (except the Turtle Rock). This would be a simple rule - easily implemented. Except it would mean the jewelers among us would lose their reason to craft. (Except for special items such as . . . I dunno . . . Lore Masters have some special pet jewelries, if I recall.)

    We'll discuss it.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiempko View Post
    The damage that the update is going to do to Club Eclair is going to be significant.

    Alphred went through the Level 54 LI instances at Dolven View by rounding up all of the mobs in the instances and defeating them in one big battle. Morale has gone up by 250%. Thorcundo is picking up jewelry and armor with an item level of 95 and stats 3x higher than what we are currently wearing.

    Some things we may want to consider is throwing away all jewelry (except the Turtle Rock). This would be a simple rule - easily implemented. Except it would mean the jewelers among us would lose their reason to craft. (Except for special items such as . . . I dunno . . . Lore Masters have some special pet jewelries, if I recall.)

    We'll discuss it.
    This doesn't sound good at all. 250% moral boost? What were they thinking? It's not like it was that difficult to begin with...
    The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach

  4. #29
    Vastin has reported the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Vastin View Post
    I was conservative with mid-level monster statting to adjust to the new player statting, but clearly too conservative, so I'll be focusing on that in my next update.

    The item level issue however, that is much more of a problem. Nothing we changed should be causing items to GENERATE with an abnormally high level, unless there's a real bug involved. Which instances are this happening in?

    -Vastin
    Thorcundo is helping them identify where the problem is at.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vastin View Post
    I'm just going to warn everyone straight up right now - the stuff that's dropping with a weird default level isn't being properly munged at all for some reason, so it's defaulting to a bad level.

    Not quite sure what's going on with those, but when we fix it those bugged pieces are very likely going to revert to level ONE, so be careful how much time you blow trying to farm it.

    -Vastin

    Since the jewelry/armour issue is a bug, I expect that to be fixed quickly. I expect that a lot of exploiters are going to harvest this jewelry and armour and give it to their new low-level characters to exploit as much as possible before the bug is fixed, so it will be fixed shortly. In the mean time, please . . . do not use the new armour and jewelry.

    I do not expect the overpower problem to be fixed until Update 24. January . . . perhaps. So, we have 3 or 4 months to suffer through that.

    I think we can discuss simply putting our jewelry (except specialized class jewelry such as for Lore Masters) in our vaults until the fix is in. After this weekend's visit to the Forgotten Treasury, we've got a long spell of landscape adventures through Durin's Way, 21st Hall, Water Works, and Redhorn Lodes before we go into the Grand Stairs. That will be about 4 months of landscape adventures, which isn't going to require a great deal of power anyways.

    Well, I'll put my jewelry away until Update 24, I've decided.

    It is my hope that, when Update 24 comes out, they will do to our levels what they did to levels 1 through 20. That is, we will not just go back to where we were, but things will be more difficult. I suspect that this will depend on their market testing of the Level 1 through 20 change. If it proves to keep players around longer enjoying some challenge, they will extend that philosophy. If, instead, the difficulty drives players away, we can expect less of a change at our levels. If the former, then the Moria instances will be more like the Moria instances of old - particularly with us going through them at Level 55.


    <***What follows has been reconsidered given further discussion below.+++>

    While I am here discussing gamey stuff . . . assuming we're not ruined . . . (I was sincerely worried about that when the update came out) . . .

    We will be completing Moria and Lothlorien at Level 55.

    We cannot even enter Mirkwood at less than Level 60. It is gated, using a letter that appears in our mail boxes when we reach Level 60.

    My thought is that we go to Enedwaith to level our characters from 55 to 60 . . . story-wise, while the Lothlorien elves prepare for the invasion of Mirkwood, we will find something else to keep us busy.

    Enedwaith was formerly a Level 65 zone. However, they changed it to a Level 60-65 zone a couple of years later. If we wait until after Mirkwood to do Enedwaith, then we will be going through a Level 60-65 zone as Level 65 characters. (Those who would go on, that is.) If, instead, we go through it as the elves prepare for the invasion of Mirkwood, we will be going through it as Level 55 - 60 characters. But, the drawback is that this will be about a 4 month side-trip from the original schedule.

    Also . . . we will not be able to do our Level 58 class quests until reaching Level 58 - which will be after Moria and Lothlorien. These Level 58 class quests will require returning to the six Moria instances. If we accept the Enedwdaith Option, it means "telling stories" for a few weeks when we get to Lhanuch (in the middle of Enedwaith) as we go through the Moria instances and complete our class quests. They have a couple of nice huts we can muster in at this time. And we do not each have to return to all of the instances. We simply need to get the correct classes through their correct instances - Grand Stairs for hunters, Skumfil for minstrels, etc. (*Imagines a pack of 5 hunters plus 1 minstrel going through the Grand Stair*)

    And, if we go with this option, there is the question of whether we go to Mirkwood immediately upon reaching Level 60, or staying in Enedwaith a while longer to complete its Level 65 quests - including the fellowship region of Thror's Coomb before returning to Mirkwood at Level 60.

    My vote is to go to Enedwaith at Level 55, complete the region (stopping at Lhanuch to spend a month completing class quests), and return for the invasion of Mirkwood when done with the region, still at Level 60.

    But, then, I don't want folks to be running away in horror and disgust at the thought of a 4-month diversion into Enedwaith.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Oct 11 2018 at 02:43 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    2,148
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiempko View Post
    While I am here discussing gamey stuff . . . assuming we're not ruined . . . (I was sincerely worried about that when the update came out) . . .

    We will be completing Moria and Lothlorien at Level 55.

    We cannot even enter Mirkwood at less than Level 60. It is gated, using a letter that appears in our mail boxes when we reach Level 60.

    My thought is that we go to Enedwaith to level our characters from 55 to 60 . . . story-wise, while the Lothlorien elves prepare for the invasion of Mirkwood, we will find something else to keep us busy.

    Enedwaith was formerly a Level 65 zone. However, they changed it to a Level 60-65 zone a couple of years later. If we wait until after Mirkwood to do Enedwaith, then we will be going through a Level 60-65 zone as Level 65 characters. (Those who would go on, that is.) If, instead, we go through it as the elves prepare for the invasion of Mirkwood, we will be going through it as Level 55 - 60 characters. But, the drawback is that this will be about a 4 month side-trip from the original schedule.
    Main problem with that would be story-wise. Many of the quests in Enedwaith assume you are aiding the Grey Company - which we will do in Volume III of the Epic.
    Doing Enedwaith first, and going through Vol. III afterwards could get weird.

    Unfortunately, I do not think we can start Vol III until level 65. If we could start it at level 60, then that would be an option.


    Also . . . we will not be able to do our Level 58 class quests until reaching Level 58 - which will be after Moria and Lothlorien. These Level 58 class quests will require returning to the six Moria instances. If we accept the Enedwdaith Option, it means "telling stories" for a few weeks when we get to Lhanuch (in the middle of Enedwaith) as we go through the Moria instances and complete our class quests. They have a couple of nice huts we can muster in at this time. And we do not each have to return to all of the instances. We simply need to get the correct classes through their correct instances - Grand Stairs for hunters, Skumfil for minstrels, etc. (*Imagines a pack of 5 hunters plus 1 minstrel going through the Grand Stair*)

    And, if we go with this option, there is the question of whether we go to Mirkwood immediately upon reaching Level 60, or staying in Enedwaith a while longer to complete its Level 65 quests - including the fellowship region of Thror's Coomb before returning to Mirkwood at Level 60.

    My vote is to go to Enedwaith at Level 55, complete the region (stopping at Lhanuch to spend a month completing class quests), and return for the invasion of Mirkwood when done with the region, still at Level 60.

    But, then, I don't want folks to be running away in horror and disgust at the thought of a 4-month diversion into Enedwaith.

  6. #31
    I ran into this same problem a few years ago with my champ. After Moria and Lothlorien, I ended up leveling to 60, and ran all of Mirkwood solo at 60. You can start Epic 3 by going to the Last Homely House and talking to the elf outside, if I remember correctly. Otherwise the letter doesn't appear until 65. I then remained level 60 until Dunland. Had to be 61 to get those quests. Story-wise, I think it makes more sense to finish Epic 2 before moving on to Enedwaith, but I can understand the reluctance to break from the normal -5 level questing style. I only get to quest with you guys every so often so my vote shouldn't count. I'll follow the club either way. Just thought I'd offer my previous experience with this problem.

  7. #32
    Swanee . . . thank you kindly for the additional information. In particular, knowing that we can short-circuit Volume III at 60 is a bonus.

    So, with this information in hand, the proposal would be to finish Lothlorien and Moria at Level 55. Then, return to the 21st Hall, raise the level cap to 58, and complete the class quests and the Black Goat meta-deed. Once that is done, raise the level cap to 60 and earn our levels in the various instances in Moria. When we get to 60, go to Mirkwood, complete Mirkwood at 60 to the end of Volume II. (Hopefully, we can defeat the Lieutenant at level 60.)

    For those who want to do Volume III, meet at Rivendell at Level 60 and short-circuit Volume III, round up the Gray Company, and then go through Enedwaith at 60. Which is not as good as 55-60, but better than 65 - and good enough for my purposes.

    There is also the In Their Absence quest chain. I do not think this can be short-circuited. It would be something to add when the group reaches Galtrev in the Dunland region - a couple of months of "story telling" while we learn about what has happened back home while we have been away.


    NOTE: LOTRO starting with Volume III was built for solo-play with little group content. This could be a problem. I intend to continue on through . . . and I would appreciate the company . . . but I cannot guarantee excitement.

    Except . . . there is a part of the story where the characters are captured and imprisoned. The game allows players to keep their armor and weapons while they work on escaping. I have wondered what it would be like to go through this - stripping off all armor and weapons and using only what we can pick up. It's all soloable. Can a fellowship without equipment (or with only equipment found after getting captured) go through this?
    Last edited by Tiempko; Oct 11 2018 at 02:19 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  8. #33
    I ran Alphred and Hedgerow through the Level 54 LI instances at Dolven View without jewelry.

    Alphred seems to be back to pre-update status. That is, he had to divide the instances up into two groups rather than take them all on in one big battle.

    Hedgerow still seemed to be hitting enemies harder than he was before the update. But, removing the jewelry took away much of the overpowering created by the update.

    They will be keeping their jewelry in their vault until the fix comes in.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  9. #34

    ((Club Eclair)) The Last Vaults

    Daffodilia Wildfeet
    Bounders of the Shire, Addernotch Station

    Sir!

    I am writing to fill you in on our progress against the villainy that threatens the dwarf city of Moria.

    This is going to be a short note. We have just finished cleaning out the last of 20 vaults in the Forgotten Treasury. As Sagla pointed out on one of our expeditions, these dwarfs were not too imaginatives. The person who designed the vaults showed some imagination, but then they copied the same plan through all 20 vaults. This meant that when we got it figured out, we could use the same ideas in each of the next further vaults. By the time we had cleared 20 of them, we were getting pretty good at the job.

    Last night, we sent a group of dwarfs into one of the vaults – figured it fitting that they should be able to take their own personal battle to the orcs. Brohalin, Fraori, Hroik, and Granleif made up the group. It took them a while, and there was some fretting that they had become eaten. It turned out that they were just spending their time dealing with the orcs and trolls proper. Alphred, Thorlily, Amio, and Medloth made up the other group – non-dwarfs all. The two groups cleaned up the last four vaults last night and now there are no more orcs in the Forgotten Treasury, The dwarfs can start piling new bundles of wealth there as they choose. Though, in the same way that we now know the secrets of the vaults, so do the Orcs.

    I think we have spent enough time there, and folks are eager to be moving on. We’ve helped the dwarfs get a firm foothold here in Moria by clearing out the first big cave what once was a large Dwarfen city called the Great Delving, and this mine area they call the Silvertine Lode. There’s even a city in this part of the caves called Old Silvertine City what we cleared out of vermin so that it is ready for the dwarfs to move into.

    But, as I understand it, this is just the doorstep to Moria. There’s much more to be found further within the mountain. So, we’re packing up and getting ready to move deeper into the mines.

    Our next stop is the Chamber of the Crossroads. It’s not far from here, at the start of a long and narrow hallway called Durin’s Way what goes into the heart of this underground city. Bosi is there – or so I hear. This may just be rumour, but he could be. I remember him as the first thing he had us do when we showed up at Moria those many months ago was to deliver lunch to the workers trying to get into Moria. Well, he’s in Moria now, helping to do the work what will reclaim all of Moria for the dwarfs. And he’ll be able to coordinate us once we get there.

    Not that we need coordinating. I’m coordinated.

    We’ll see iffen he needs anything from us and, if things are going well there, we’ll be set to go deeper into Moria. Mayhaps we will reach this place called the Twenty-First Hall that the dwarfs keep talking about. There’s a lot of stuff – and a lot of dwarfs – going there, from what we can tell. And it lies at the end of Durin’s Way, so we are going in the right direction.

    Erikin said that he’s got some business with the dwarfs and will be missing again for a bit. I’ll miss him. I was looking forward to us exploring Moria together. But, I got my maps and these areas, at least, seem to be properly tamed now.

    That’s about it for now. I hope things are well in the Shire. I’m glad to hear that everything is growing proper and it is all nice and green . . . nothing grows inside of Moria but mushrooms and fungi. It’ll be interesting to see how everything has changed since we left.

    Bye for now.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow


    Just a reminder, from now until we get to the Grand Stair – about 4 months, I am predicting – there’s naught but solo content and exploring. We’re not intending to go through every quest as a group but, instead, go on patrols in areas where quests tend to be fulfilled, completing quests as a side-effect of roleplaying.

    October 20 – November 2: Our base will be the Chamber of the Crossroads. We’ll spend two weeks here mostly for roleplay purposes. Book II involves two long treks. They are fore the roleplayers. Them who want more adventure in their adventure should consider sitting about the Chamber waiting for the roleplayers to return, visiting the Treasury for those who did not complete their deeds or other challenging places – maybe returning to The Rift.

    November 3 – 15: We’ll be walking down Durin’s Way, stopping and completing whatever quests we find along the way. I keep trying to guess how long it will take us to walk the distance. We could conceivably make the whole trip in one trek, though I am allocating two for the journey with no need to rush. There’s a side trip out into the snow we should take.

    November 16: From this point on we will be wandering about the Twenty-First Hall. Here, too, I am uncertain as to what we will find or how long it will take. There are a couple of long quest chains associated with this place, but at least one of them (I believe) is set up so that most of its quests will pop-up as the group goes out on a patrol. We’ll see what we find and plan accordingly. The first ventures will probably be to the Fanged Pit. There if a Fanged Pit deed that, as I recall, involves venturing down twisting and winding paths to the very furthest part of the Pit and out again.

    The twenty-first hall will be a nice place to be for the holidays. It’s got everything an adventurer needs.

    UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: Standing Stone will likely be making some adjustments over the next few weeks. This will have more to do with squishing bugs than balancing. To some extent, this will require relearning our skills.

    In the long run, Vestin said that they will be working on “mid-level monster statting to adjust to the new player statting”. This suggests that we should not expect any changes to the new player settings – that all future changes will be to the monster settings. They will, someday, acquire more morale and hit harder. One day, as Éclair makes its way through Moria, the villains will release a tougher breed of orcs and goblins amongst us. Just a note.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  10. #35
    Today's patch aims to address two issues - one in our favor, and one not.

    Some old jewelry which did not get updated will now be updated to the new (higher) stats. I expected this . . . the problem was that the new formulae was not being applied to some old jewelry. Now it will be.

    What's important, though, is that the monsters will hit harder. Specifically, "Monster damage has been adjusted in the mid-levels for better balance. Keeping it on the gentle side but we may tweak it further as needed."

    Note the phrase, "may tweak it further as needed."

    To the degree that we are able, I would like to run some tests and provide input to Standing Stone as to the need for future tweaks.

    I intend to have Hedgerow and Alphred return to the LI instances in Dolven View to see how they go. I would also like to arrange for some "story telling" about the Forgotten Treasury. We are familiar with it (after running the instance several times both before and after the update), so can provide some useful comparisons. We can also return to battle the drakes at the enterance (the level 54 small fellowship instance), plus the School and the Library - which we are also familiar with.

    I can understand their interest in approaching the difficulty problem from the side of monsters doing too little damage rather than too much. However, our input as to how Level 51 characters fare in Level 54 instances should be useful in getting a better adjustment.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  11. #36
    It should be interesting. I ran solo School/Library 10ish times yesterday. One interesting note is that everything gear-wise was the bugged ILVL 95 gear (Purple or Teal) except the Baubles that dropped were ILVL 48, whereas 2 weeks ago they were ILVL 54 (running level 52 instances). I feel like we ought to keep an eye on the pocket items. Crazy.

  12. #37
    Join Date
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    Erikin, Diary Entry 114 ((Dolven-view and Silvertine Lodes))

    Dear diary,

    I am together again with my friends! I had received a message from Hedgerow that he would come to Khazad-dûm to help us reclaim our old kingdom. I am not sure if it was out of neighborliness, as he'd say, or because he got bored and missed adventuring. He also said he was rallying most of our old group, the likes of Hroik, Thorcundo, Liatri, Jaytull, Sagla, Thirdal, Galdhron, Malibor and a few new folks to accompany him. So they went on the long march to the doors of Durin. I had been patiently waiting at Dolven-view for their arrival and I when I got word that a new group of adventurers had just entered the mines, I rushed back to welcome them.

    And then, in the soft glow of the crystals, I saw them already walking down the path. What a joyful reunion that was! Hedge said he was worried, as I had not written anymore and thought I had been eaten. Well, I explained nothing like that happened, the goblins I encountered so far are rather weak, but they had managed to disrupt the dwarves' supply lines and stole some post. I showed them around a bit, the Palace of Nain with the strange mushrooms, a great geode in a courtyard and then the way to Dolven-view where everybody settled in for a while. They were surprised how well organized the dwarves here are.



    We all got down to that filthy goblin-camp and thoroughly cleaned out the place. Chased them off, destroyed their food crates and burned their crude fortifications. When we left, this goblin stronghold was just a smoldering ruin. One thing was a bit disturbing though, it seemed there was large orc bearing the sign of the White Hand. Maybe them goblins are led by other forces and more organized then we thought.

    A bit later, we patrolled some in the huge cave. We found a few rather narrow walkways spanning endlessly deep rifts and Hedge got a bit annoyed that dwarves apparently have never heard of safety rails. Understandable. You have to be careful not to fall down. I think those were made to easier defend the inner parts from outside intrusion. We also saw and marvelled at the huge stoneheads carved into the walls, their long beards made up by water falling down through their mouths. Magnificient craftsmanship!



    My father would have loved that. And we found a huge and beautiful library. Maybe even bigger and more beautiful than the Elves' library in Mirobel. Well, it must have been beautifil once, now it was infested with stinking cavebears, their droppings and nests everywhere. We destroyed the nests, but it would take much more to clean the place and make it beautiful again.

    One day I met Heminhaw, who had also come to Moria, and together with Slagvi we made sure that the waterflow to the Dolven-view is restored. We entered a nearby cooling chamber with a whirlpool in the middle, drove off the goblins which had sabotaged it and then helped him repair some levers and two stuck wheels.

    With that done, we were told that other places may also need our aid and were sent to another dwarven outpost, the Deep Descent, where we should speak with Thettmarr, the master expeditioner there. Deep Descent is well guarded, Thettmarr was already expecting us and sent us further down into the Silvertine Lodes, to assist his group of miners who had already made camp there. From what I've heard this was once the richest source of true-silver in all of Khazad-dûm and by Durin, is this mine impressive! This is what you call proper mining! A huge cave with a blueish glow and an unfathomably deep pit in the center, and scaffolds, winches for heavy lifting and wooden walkways, trolleys and rails tracks leading into mining shafts.



    Of course, goblins too. They occupied a surprisingly large cavern nearby, but we had no difficulty cleaning that out as well. Found an interesting mural in it too, similiar to the one we found in goblin-town. Thirdal and Hroik think it depicts the time when Durin (a dwarf with a crown) was slain by Durin's Bane and the dwarves driven out of Moria. Could well be. Somehow I like goblin artistry. Maybe I should collect some pieces and see for how much they sell. We gathered ore samples for the miners, explored various tunnels, found green-glowing worms in one and helped a couple of lost miners get back to camp. I don't know, some dwarves are a bit careless and rash... We have come across several that just ventured into some dark places all by themselves, ignoring the danger they may get into. Overly excited, but also... dumb. I know of at least two who perished.

    There was was a wooden walkway leading down into the pit in the center and about halfway to the bottom we found an old treasure vault. When we got in, we found it was occupied by a couple of orcs. They were a bit stronger than the goblins we'd seen so far and wore some kind of armor that felt special. Not sure what it did though. The vault was empty, save for a statue in the middle, but there was a hidden door. It took us a while to figure out how to open it. You had to turn six statues in the right order, so that their light shone upon a crystal hanging from the ceiling. Then the crystal lit up and the door opened. Very nifty system of the Moria dwarves of old!



    Another orc had somehow managed to get inside and must have been trapped. After we ended his misery, we filled our pockets with gold and on the way out were almost taken by surprise by two nasty troll which jumped into the pit and challenged us to a fight.

    Then we went over to the old living quarters, Silvertine City. Now a ghost town, and again a lot of filth and dirt and another cavebear colony where we burned their nests. Must have been a pretty place once, with a river flowing through it, and stairs leading down into a garden of sorts, and from there it was just a short walk across a bridge to the mine where they worked for so many years. We collected many ore samples again and this time a dwarf named Öndott, who oversees the reclamation of this part, found a tiny trace of true-silver, miniscule, but he was ecstatic. Said the old city must sit on a rich source. Not surprising, considering the deep shaft nearby. Ha, I was happy for the Iron Garrisson, Mithril has been found at last!

    We were all done here and went back to report our discovery and deeds to Thettmarr. He now sends us to speak with Bosi, the leader of the expedition we had already met at the walls of Moria. Guess we earned his trust and he finally told us where Bosi went. He is at the Chamber of the Crossroads, further in. Or further up or down, know knows. He gave us some rough directions which Hedge noted down. We'll leave to meet him soon.

    So far our adventures have not been too adventurous. The goblins and orcs we encountered are weak. Moria is full of strange cave-dwelling animals, glass spiders and bugs, glowing worms and bats, but none of them pose any danger. This may change. I often find myself thinking about the story Rathwald told me when we were still outside. The story of the Fall of Durin. How Elves came to visit him and told him they heard the Mithril is running dry. They probably didn't mean it in a bad way, just stating facts, but old, proud Durin got upset and led them deep down, to the roots of the mountains, where the dwarves were about to open a new-found chamber said to contain a rich vein of Mithril. But inside they by accident awakened a large beast, a dark shadow with wings, breathing fire.



    It slew Durin, and a year later his son Nain. The dwarves were forced to abandon Khazad-dûm and nobody has since heard what happened to that beast. It may sill lurk in the dark somewhere. From what I understood, the Elves think it was a Balrog and from that fateful day on the relations between elves and dwarves were strained. Elves accuse dwarves of greed, dwarves accuse elves of being cowards and not sending help.

    If there really is a Balrog on the loose in Moria, the dwarves might get into trouble. I know we defeated one, but that most likely was only possible because it was weakened from centuries of imprisonment and with the help of a mighty high elf from an age long gone. We have not heard anything about a powerful, mysterious creature yet, except some dwarves mentioning their fear of Durin's Bane, but most of them are enthusiastic about their historic efforts and all, but I am a bit wary and can't help but thinking that our endeavors here may get more troublesome in the near future. Well, we'll see. First it is off to Bosi. Maybe he heard something about a Balrog? I am not going to tell him we defeated one.

  13. #38

    ((Club Eclair II) Bug Hunt

    Father

    Hullo.

    We’ve moved deeper into Moria today.

    This dwarf city is starting to look so big that I wonder iffen the mountains aren’t just hollow egg shells waiting to fall in on themselfs. While we were mustering at Dolven View to move our base to the Crossroads, the whole mountain shook and I had sudden fears of all that heavy rock falling on top of me. But, then I figure the dwarfs have been living underground for a number of years and likely know something about how to make them safe.

    Well, the area about Dolven View is safe enough, so we ventured on past to the Crossroads, as I said. Oh, there’s still a random chittering bug or a Goblin scout about, but not near what there used to be. I came across a couple of goblin patrols yesterday with near to a dozen goblins each, but I drove them back into the holes they came out of.

    I know that wading into a dozen goblins when I am about by myself may sound dangerous, but it really isn't, father. These goblins are notoriously poor at combat. I am thinking that these are the weakest of the lot, and thus are driven out to the fringes by the stronger goblins and orcs who take the best places for themselves. We saw that in the Forgotten Treasury where the strongest orcs took that place with all of its treasure to themselves. I would never venture into there by my aloneness.

    Anyways, Bohunc, Granleif, and Fraori, along with the bearlady Medloth got ourselves packed up and headed on to the Crossroads. Many of our number had made the trip but two days prior. We had gotten word that the dwarfs had sent Hedgerow out to look for scraps of knowledge in the various Dwarfen libraries. Of course, Hedgerow had them all mapped and was out and about with Sagla and Roy as company to protect him from goblins. Thirdal joined him eventually, and even Wilbus showed up. We haven't seen Wilbus since we left him in Rivendell and it was odd to see him here. Galdron and others told him about our adventures in the Forgotten Treasury.

    When we got to the Chamber of the Crossroads, we met Bosi, who we had known from the efforts to get into Moria to start with. He was coordinating everything from that place what he called his headquarters. The chore that he had for us was to clear out another infestation of chitterbugs and dicers what had moved into the Palace of Nain. We had cleared the palace before of these pests but, you know how pests are.

    Amio and Thorcundo agreed to go with us to clear out this nest of bugs.

    There's no easy way to get to the Palace of Nain. At one time, there was a flight of stairs going up the back end, but it were broken off in the years and no way to reach it. So, we had to take the long way around to get there. Once we got there, though, we came upon the infestation and took care of it.

    'Les you get this image of your head of the seven of us going about stomping and slapping some little bitty ants, let it be known that the chitter bugs are the size of a cat and built of a thick armour, while the dicers are the size of a full grown horse with pinchers that can cut down a tree on a single pass. So, there was some work to be done in getting rid of them.

    After finishing, I wondered iffen we couldn't get back going the short way. The stairs that we could not reach to climb we may be able to jump down to get back. Well, Medloth and Thorcundo jumped first, and it turned out to be further than I had thought. They ended up crumpled on the rocks below the stairs. I was relieved to see them up and about a short moment later, but we made agreements to go around and meet on the other side.

    Back at the Chamber of the Crossroads, the Dwarfs let us into a back room where they had meals set out and nice beds and a nice warm hearth what looked like a dwarfen forge. We were given liberty to make that into our staying room so long as we were helping out.

    Hedgerow and Sagla and them others had returned from checking out the libraries and brought back several scraps what proved useful. Bosi is now keenly interested in some axe what was built long ago of this dwarfen metal called "mithril" - of which I have found a few flakes but not even enough from which to make the smallest of rings. This foraxe has a name - Zigilburk - much like my own spear is called "Frog Catcher". Only, this is a proper dwarf name. I mentioned before as to how I get scowls for naming this spear I got from the dwarfs "Frog Catcher". It would be amusing to have such a weapon be counted among the great weapons of legend.

    Anyways, the dwarfs are keen to send us out to find more information about this axe. They're sending us to find a library - what Hedgerow keeps trying to tell them has already been found. They're not willing to tell him what to look for there until he goes out and brings back proof that it's the right place.

    He's been complaining to Bori, who is Bosi's son, the whole evening of the dwarfs disrespecting his carefully made maps. He's mustering a group to go with him and help discover that this library is the one that Bori named - a plaque or some such - so that Bori will tell him what to search for.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us will go about on some patrols to help secure this place. There's drumming up north that I can hear through the walls, and a goblin camp up that direction, or so I hear, where the goblins may be planning an attack on this place. An assault up the stairs to the north may be in order. Do not worry, father, I am not going to assume that I can battle these goblins a dozen at a time until it is proved. I will be careful.

    I'm not certain how long we are going to want to stay here helping these dwarfs find out about this magical axe. We have news that the dwarfs have an even bigger command center further into the mountain - a place called the Twenty-First Hall. That is where all of the supplies and wagons are heading, where they are setting up forges and cooking ovens and even markets. But it is down at the far end of a path called Durin's Way and there's no small bit of villainy between here and there.

    We'll give Hedgerow and others a few days to find something about this axe, but iffen they do not find something soon, I'll be calling for us to make the trip to the Twenty-First Hall. I have a feeling that the dwarfs there will have us doing a few things more important than just battling some weak goblin patrols and squishing chitterbugs.

    Love,
    Alphred Troute


    Oct 27, 29: We'll muster at the Chamber of the Crossroads and continue with Book II. Hedgerow will be roleplaying his way through the rest of Book II.

    Towards this end, Book II ends in a solo instance, and it would be fitting if a dwarf heads out with Bosi to try to find this axe (rather than, say, a hobbit). If there is a dwarf or two or three who wants to take a particular interest in this Axe and see the story through to its conclusion - that would help the story telling.

    Nov 3. 5: We will muster at the Chamber of the Crossroads and likely start our trek to the 21st Hall. (There is a chance that we will stay here for another week, if that is the popular view, though I am not thinking it is necessary. We can each do the solo quest at the end of this session and be ready to follow Brogur to the 21st Hall on the next week.)

    If we start down Durin's Way, we will likely visit the Door to the Clouds and take a look outside - as well as make a patrol around the hall to complete the quests for this hub. Then, make our way to the garden at Tharâkh Bazân. We can camp there (spend the week in the garden) completing those quests and deeds during the week - being ready to move on at the next session. Then, on the following weekend, leave the garden for Jazargund.

    Jazargund is a proper quest hub. As much as I am anxious to reach the 21st Hall, I believe we should vector into the Fanged Pit. That is the natural story-telling progression. The following week, we can pay another visit to the Fanged Pit and then end the session by taking the final steps to the 21st Hall and reporting to Brogur at the Chamber of Leadership.

    We'll be based out of the 21st Hall through the holiday season, I believe, heading to the Waterworks in January.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Oct 23 2018 at 11:36 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  14. #39

    Post Website update...

    Hey all,

    I'm back!!! ((literally had a series of meetings at church and was playing music for them for the past month, then fell asleep last week... sigh... but I should be back full time now on Mondays)).

    Alphred said to let you all know that I have updated my site with more rants. If you already saw it before, you have to scroll down for the latest.

    Thanks for letting me travel with you guys! You are awesome!

    Z.Z. Kestril.

    https://sites.google.com/view/swesto...oria-adventure
    First came the elves... next came the men and dwarves... then came the hobbits... and finally the line of Beorn... yet all are Tribesman and cousins.
    Play when I can but real life gets in the way.

  15. #40

    ((Club Eclair)) Word and Map Hoards

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


    Sir!

    After many anguishing hours, I think we've made a decision to pack up and leave this place and head to the 21st Hall. Bori and Brogur have already packed up and left without us. They went down a winding path that allows one to get to the 21st Hall safely enough. But we're an army, so we are going to go by a more dangerous route and clear the mines of vermin and villains as we go. That northern route is Durin's Way.

    I'm happy for this. I wandered down this Winding Way once. Some distance down I found a couple of dwarfs guarding an ancient library. I think I mentioned this in my last report. Anyways, actually, I've been to the library twice now, rescuing some books both times. The first time it was filled with goblins . . . but I had no trouble with them. I cleared out the place. The second time, cave claws had moved in where the goblin had left. There were so many books in this library it would take a thousand trips to rescue all of the books, but I do hope the dwarfs appreciate the few that I rescue each time I go.

    I haven't gone on to the 21st Hall . . . so I still haven't seen it. I think some of our troop have done so, but I can't say for certain.

    Anyways, we have finished up all we can do around here.

    Bori looked at the documents that we came back with last time we went out on patrol and said that there may be some useful information at a library called Katûb-zahar. He also called it the Dwarven "word hoard" and said it was on the east side of the Great Delving. I told him that I knew where that was at, and showed him on my map. I knew that was the place because there was a plaque and I copied the name from the plaque. Bori didn't believe me and demanded proof. My stoming and finger waggling about him not trusting my maps did no good, and I went out to find proof.

    At the time, I could only find Saga and Galdhron to go with me, but that would be enough. The mines in these parts are scarce dangerous anymore. When we got there, Sagla carried the name plate back . . . well, the larger piece, anyway. It had fallen and broken and I took the smaller piece, which was just a corner what chipped off. At first I told Sagla to throw it at Bori's feet when we got back as I was angry for him not trusting my mapping. But, in the end, I agreed to be neighborly.

    Once he trusted we found the right place, he told us that he was looking for information about some hidden ancient forge. He said he thought we could find it in the library - but we would not find it on some shelf for, if it were there, the goblins would have certainly found it by now. They told us to search in some cave claw nests.

    Well, hobbits are good at burrowing, so we returned . . . and I burrowed. Sagla and Galdhron were kept busy dealing with the cave claws that infested the place while I busied myself sifting through the piles of dirt they had turned into nexts. It were truly needle and haystack work, or so I feared. I could not believe my luck when I pulled out a parchment . . . which was all mussed up by the cave claws, but still readable . . . which told about how to enter some ancient forgery. It actually was written in some type of ancient hobbit - or so I assume - on account of I could read it, though the wording was strange. I assume the dwarfs were using it as some type of code. I think it's what drew my attention, the fact I recognized the words.

    We brought it back and the dwarfs were happy to know how to get into the secret forge. But they still had a problem - not knowing where the secret forge was located. I mentioned that the goblins down by the Deep Descent had some maps. I had stole some of them the last time I was there and sent them on to Rivendell. Brogur thought that we were on a wild shrew chase, but couldn't argue against sending a troop down to drive back the goblins and fetch their maps, even if they proved worthless.

    For the task of going down and invading the goblins, we opted to send more than just the three of us. We made up a battle troop made up of the three dwarfs Thorcundo, Bohunc, and Fraori. We also sent three hobbits - Alphred, Amio, and Kestril. And there was the bearlady Medloth. Alphion went as well. That was a decent group for invading goblins.

    Before they left, I showed Alphred a quick back route for getting to Dolven View that didn't require going around and around on tall flights of stairs. I was already tired given our trips to the library and all that digging, so I wasn't going with them. They were all just fresh and awake.

    From what they told me when they got back, they invaded the place and then spread out so that they could destroy the goblin camp and find whatever papers and maps they could find. Alphred got separated from the others and found himself in a section of the goblin camp by himself. He found a table filled with maps and papers and scooped them up. Just at that moment, he was noticed by a hoard of goblins who all charged at him at a rush. Stuffing the papers in his shirt, he went running back to the others at his fullest hobbit speed, with over a dozen goblins on his heals. From what Fraori said, as soon as the goblins saw all of the Eclairians, a few of the goblins turned around and tried to run away - but he chased them down. The rest ended up in battle against our Eclairian army, where the goblins had little hope of success.

    Anyways, when the Eclairians got back with the papers, neither Bori nor Brugar had much interest. But Bosi stared at them for a while, and thought he saw something that at least was worth investigating. Now, Bosi told us that this was a special mission just for dwarfs and that he insisted that everybody stay behind. He'd take one dwarf with him. In the end, it came down to Bohunc or Thorcundo. Now, Bohunc is a bowdwarf with more of an interest in bows and arrows than axes. Thorcundo, however, is a battledwarf. He said it would be an honour to go with Bosi.

    So, right now, they're preparing to make a trip to find this axe. Meanwhile, the rest of us are packing up to go to the Twenty-First hall as I said above. As soon as they get back, we'll start our march. Heck, we may just start off before he gets back, leaving a part of our group at the Crossroads for him to follow up on us a couple of days later. Also, as I said, we'll be taking a more dangerous route called Durin's Way - filled with vermin and villains. Then, this great "21st Hall" the dwarfs keep talking about. Apparently, it's the biggest place yet.

    I'll report when I can.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow


    So . . . . we're packing up and moving on.

    By November 3, being "caught up" means completing the Epic Story through the Book II, Chapter 7 solo instance to the forges. Folks should be on Volume II, Book 2, Chapter 8: "The Twenty-First Hall". I am still hoping that folks can gather at the off-times to help a few finish the Treasury. From that point, the schedule is:

    Nov 3, 5: Muster at the Chamber of the Crossroads and walk first to the Door of the Clouds. We'll spend the time finishing up the local quests as well as taking a patrol outside in the snow. (Dress warmly.) After finishing everything up there, we will move on to Tharakh Bazan. We are going to leave these solo quests for people to do at some time during the week on their own, rather than as a group.

    Nov. 10, 12: Muster at Tharakh Bazan. We will stop at Jazargund and pick up the quests for the region just to the east and then patrol that region. We may spend some time at the Fanged Pit, then end the day back at Jazargund. During the week, folks can catch up on solo quests left behind.

    Nov. 17, 19: Muster at Jazargund for a patrol through the Fanged Pit. (We could leave this to solo, but there's reasons to patrol into the furthest back corner and back again, clearing the caves of its occupants as we go.) When we get back to Jazargund, we will quickly pack up and continue on to the 21st Hall. There, we report to the Chamber of Leadership.

    From here, I have no clear idea of what is available at the 21st Hall. There looks to be a lot of quests, but they are associated with long quest chains. My guess is that we will be spending a couple of weeks patrolling Zelem-Melek until we are ready to move on to the WaterWorks. The trip to the Water Works itself will involve a walk through Zelem-melek to Dolven View, then Dolven View to the Rotten Celler.

    Another item of note: Legendary Servers will come out on November 6 and, when they do, I expect instances to suddenly be much more difficult.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Oct 30 2018 at 12:59 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  16. #41
    I temporarily lost my ability to edit existing posts (which has since been fixed), or I would have thrown this up as an edit to my previous post. Which I could not do at the time. Because I had lost my ability to edit posts.

    Warning: American Daylight Savings Time ends November 4. Saturday group will not be affected, but the Monday group will be. US players will show up an hour late, except Thorcundo.

    In addition: As a result of diligent research and pains-taking hours looking over ancient tombs and translating long forgotten texts, I think that this is our route through Moria for the next three months or so.

    Nov 3, 5: Leave the Chamber of the Crossroads and make it as far as the garden.

    Nov 10, 12: Muster in the Garden and go to the Fanged Pit.

    Nov 17, 19: Adventure in the Fanged Pit then conclude at the 21st Hall

    Nov 24, 26: Light duties - roleplay about the 21st Hall, mostly Book III and let folks catch up.

    Dec 1, 3: Hedgerow/Alphred will summon folks to the Crossroads for an emergency mission in the Silvertine Lodes (a part of Book III). Continue from there to Waterworks.

    Dec 8, 10: Patrol the Waterworks

    Dec 15, 17: Patrol more of the Waterworks; make plans to return to the 21st hall (on our own, between sessions).

    Dec 22, 24: 21st Hall: A light day because of the holidays. Roleplay a chapter of Book III. Otherwise, instances and catch-up.

    Dec 39, 31: 21st Hall: Another light day because of holidays. Roleplay, instances, and catch-up.

    Jan 5, 7: In the Great Hall of Durin helping Domar

    Jan 12, 14: Patrol down Zelem Melek to Dolven View. (A stack of remote quests will appear as we travel, I believe.)

    Jan 19, 21: March to Orcwatch

    Jan 26, 28: Raise level cap to 53 as we explore the Redhorn Lodes

    Feb 2, 4: Continue in the Redhorn Lodes

    Feb 9, 11: Unknown. Most likely we will raise the level cap to 55 and prepare to enter the Grand Stairs. With the rebalancing of instances, the Grand Stairs (and other instances) remains a mystery. The second most likely option (if the instances are too tough - though, how will we know this?), leave the level cap at 53 and go to the Flaming Deeps, bypassing the instances for now.

    With this, we will have finished the Great Delving, Silvertine Lodes, Durin’s Way, Zelem Melek , Water Works, Redhorn Lodes
    Last edited by Tiempko; Nov 01 2018 at 09:09 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  17. #42

    ((Club Eclair II)) In the Garden of Moria

    Father

    We are heading further into the Mines of Moria. Apparently there is a place at the heart of the mountain called the Twenty-First Hall. In the days of the old, it was the center of all that happened within the mountain. From what I am told, it is a massive room once teaming with shops and stores, places where dwarfs could buy or sell anything from the finest jewelries and gold to sturdy weapons and tools. Bori and Brugar are anxious that it once again be the center of a vast Dwarfen city. Bosi, however, is concerned that the other dwarfs are moving too fast. There are still dangers within the mountains.

    We’re leaving without Thorcundo. He left with Bosi to go search for some ancient, hidden forges where, once upon a time, a great axe was built. Bosi has come back to tell us that they found the forge, but no axe. Nonetheless, Thorcundo sent word that he was staying behind for a bit and that he’d catch up with us further down the trail. So, we’re off to the Twenty-First Hall.

    At least the dwarfs do not need to worry anymore about the beast they called Lord Durin’s Bane. We found it laying quite dead on the side of the mountain. It seemed to have fallen from a great height . . . and only recently as well, as the area where it landed was still smouldering and filled with a sense of the creature’s great malevolence. Mind you, this was a very cold mountainside – one steeped in a winter chill as severe as what we found at Helegrod or Forochel. I had gotten a note from Hedgerow in the first group to travel east that we were to dress warmly, so I had my winter coat with me. Yet, the crater was not only warm, but burning to the touch if you put a hand or foot in the wrong spot.

    When I told the dwarfs inside what we had found, they seemed already to know this – or, at least, they were not too excited.

    But there is another menace about – Saruman the Wizard. We are seeing more and more sign of his “white hand” within the caverns. They are trying to organize some of the scattered goblin tribes within the mines. I know that Saruman has created an army quite strong enough to push the dwarves out of the mountain and to reclaim it for themselves – if not for the fact that he is also busy elsewhere, such as Enedwaith to the south, through which we had marched a year or so ago. While he is not devoting his full attention to Moria, he is not ignoring it either, trying to find some way to gain a stronghold.

    We attacked one of these goblin camps on our way here. It was a big room, largely flooded. We found out that bears are good at swimming when Medloth fell in and struggled to find a way out.

    We made one assault on the camp and was ready to move on to the garden when, of a sudden, the dwarfs got their temper up at having goblins in their fine city and charged in again. Kestril and I waited outside – as the goblins were no match for a team of angry dwarfs. Granleif, Fraori, Bohunc . . . and, a new dwarf, whose name escapes me at the moment, what said he had run into us in Angmar long ago. Anyways, them and the bearlady decided to give the dwarfs a second serving. That’s when Medloth, the bear-lady, fell into the flooded room.

    I am wondering how Saruman is getting his orcs into the mines. I know of three entrances to this place. There’s the one we came through. There is the one that goes out to the cold mountaintop. And there is the one that exits the mountain on the other side. Apparently, there is yet another, as folks have spoken of an undergound river that, once upon a time, washed up a hobbit from the Misty Mountains. No doubt, it would be possible for a wizard like Saruman and an army of orcs to carve yet another enterance. This means that, the closer we get to it, the more numerous and more deadly Saruman’s orcs are likely to become.

    But, enough of those dark thoughts. I am someplace where I never thought I would be in these dark mines of Moria. A garden – filled with trees and water falling off of cliffs into ponds filled with lilypads and fish. It is a wild forest, in a sense, patrolled by goblins and wargs and bat ladies. One must be careful. But the dwarfs have built a camp for us here and keep constant watch on the wilds while we sleep.

    We are going to stay here a few days while we clear the area of vermin and villains, as we promised the dwarfs we would do, before heading further in towards the Twenty-First Hall. Bohunc – a dwarf who is quite fine with a bow – went with me in one look about the garden, where we found glowy rock crystals for the dwarfs to use for lighting and collected mudroots for medicines.

    So, there will be a few more days of patrols and such from this garden camp . . . and some evenings spent fishing, no doubt. Then we will be on again to find Brugor and Bori at the Twenty-First Hall. I’ll write again when I get a chance.

    Love,
    Alphred Troute


    Legendary Server comes out Thursday, apparently. I would not mind finding a few minutes for venturing into the Angmar or Helegrod instances to see how they may have changed.

    If you are falling behind a bit in these landscape quests, note that there are light weeks ahead for the holidays that will provide opportunities to get caught up – if you want to get caught up. I am, as usual, pacing this according to the ability of my two characters getting all of the quests done – walking (as is my style) – and taking my time. Also, the epic story will send us back here for another visit.

    The quests are chained to some extent, so it is best to start at the Chamber of the Crossroads and work your way east, if you are catching up.

    For now, we are camped in the garden.

    Nov. 10, 12: We will pack up and leave the garden, heading east for Jazargund. After dropping our gear off at Jazargund, we will go patrolling off to the east of those lands off into the direction of the Fanged Pit.

    Nov. 17, 19: There is an explorer deed, a slayer deed, and several quests to be advanced by a patrol through the Fanged Pit. So, we will make a pass through the caves and return – then continue or walk to the Twenty-First Hall where we will meet up with Brugar.

    The following weekend will be for patrolling and roleplaying about the Twenty-First Hall. There are a few chapters of Book III to roleplay through. However, I do not think we are going to find a lot to do so it may be a good day to tell stories about the Treasury or some other past adventures, and give folks a chance to catch up.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  18. #43

    ((Club Eclair II)) The Batfolk Cavern

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

    Sir!

    It is my honour to report our progress against the villainy that threatens the home of our good friends and neighbors, the Dwarfs of Moria.

    I have been wondering for a while how best to introduce these reports and I think this works quite well, don't you think?

    I am sitting about the fire with Thorfaniel, Galdhron, and Brohin talking about our battles at Barad Gularan in Angmar while we try to relax from today's adventure so that we can get to sleep. From where I sit, I can look about upon a whole massive cavern - mayhaps the size of the whole west farthing - as tall as it is wide - with glowy chrystals in the distance what illuminate the whole room in a gloomy blue glow.

    Erikin found us. He had left us at the Chamber of the Crossroads to spend some time with dwarf folk, and I am glad to see him again.

    I still haven't talked to Thorcundo since he went looking for the mithril ax. I do know from Bosi that it was not in the forges, but Thorcundo offered to stay behind and do some work getting the forges into proper working order. I suspect he'll catch up to us soon as Erikin did.

    We’re making our way down Durin’s Way to the 21st Hall. (I have no idea what happened to the other 20 halls. We haven't seen anything yet given such a name.) On the way we have had a chance to clear the passageway of villains and vermin. We found a few goblin camps . . . four, in fact . . . that we have raided along the way, as well as clearing the hallways of giant bats and such.

    We also had a chance to go outside. There's a hole in the side of Durin's Way that leads to the top of a mountain. It weren't an enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine, though. The ground was covered with snow what went up to my chest. Once, I fell over when a warg rider were chasing me and there were nothing visible to the world but my feets. I wear boots in the cold. Otherwise, my toeses gets frozes - and we were warned to dress warmly to be certain.

    Anyway, we saw a beast on the side of this mountain what looked like it were recently slain and had fallen from the sky - crashing into some type of tower once built upon the mountain so that the whole side of the mountain was awash with rocks and debris. It were a monster of a beast - much like the creature we defeated in The Rift - but bigger. I don't know what brought it down here, but I am glad we will not be meeting it in the dungeons. I am of the belief that this is the creature that the dwarfs have called Durin's Bane - the monster that was originally responsible for the dwarfs losing their home and for letting the orcs and goblins take the place over.

    They have a garden down here, too. That's where we had been staying for a while - using it as a camp while we went about exploring and mapping and clearing out them villains and critters that I mentioned - and attacking the goblin camps as I mentioned.

    Actually, we have paused here a bit to help the dwarfs do battle with a colony of nearby batfolk. These are folk who are a lot like bats with big flappy wings what like to live in things what resemble trees. There's a cave filled with them nearby. The dwarfs did not have anything resembling an army to spare for the battle until we got here, so we said we would see about driving the batfolk out of the dwarf caves. One could wonder about living with them as peaceful neighbors, but these batfolks seem to have allied themselves with the forces of villainy. They had a powerful presence up in Angmar and about Carn Dum, and these have shown the same dispositions to villainy. They are building siege weapons for battle, and the dwarfs can scarce handle a group of batfolk charging at them out of the darkness.

    You'll never guess who we met here! DeWitt! He's an explorer of sorts. We seem to meet at the oddest places. Overlooking the Bruinen river near Rivendell. Atop Weathertop. On one of them islands in Evendim. It is odd that we seem to meet up so often and in such odd places. He said he'd come in before we did and had been trying to see as much of the mines as he could before heading on.

    Well, I am off to get some rest. We're going to muster our army for a sweep through the bat folk caves here in a few days and drive them out as well as we can. Then we'll continue our trek to the 21st Hall. Brugar and Bori went the short and easy way, remember, so they should have it set up proper in the time it has taken us to travel the longer and more dangerous route.

    Until later.
    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow.


    Nov. 17, 19: It turns out that there is a chain of quests requiring repeated patrols into the Fanged Pit plus a return to the snow-covered mountainside. I have concerns about boredom and impatience. I would like to make a patrol around the Fanged Pit for the explorer and slayer deeds (and whatever quests people have), but then travel to the 21st hall with a promise to return. Folks can return to the Fanged Pit to finish the quest chain at their leisure. Of course, I will have Alphred and Hedgerow each walk their way through it as is my way - but I will not subject others to this unless there are volunteers. Sunday, Nov. 18, at 10:00 AM.

    Nov. 24, 26: Roleplay our way through the first chapters of Book III. We will end up with a request to take a book to Bosi at the Chamber of the Crossroads - which Hedgerow/Alphred will volunteer to do accordingly before the start of the next session. This should not take long. It would be a good opportunity to take folks through a story of the Forgotten Treasury - once or twice - for those who still have work to do in there.

    Dec. 1, 3: Hedgerow or Alphred will be at the Chamber of the Crossroads to deliver a book, but will be asked to help rescue (another) lost Dwarf. So, they will send back to the 21st Hall for reinforcements. Upon mustering at the Chamber of the Crossroads, the group will travel to the south end of the Silvertine Lodes. From there, might as well continue south to the Water Works and spend a couple of weeks there doing errands and patrols. The plan is to be back to the 21st Hall by the holiday season.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Nov 13 2018 at 11:01 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  19. #44

    ((Club Eclair)) Leaving the Fanged Pit

    Father:

    We haven’t reached the Twenty-First Hall yet. We went on a last patrol of a place the dwarfs call the Fanged Pit and, when we were done, we decided we were too tired to venture into unknown and unexplored lands. So, it was decided that we would stay here at Jazurgund and head to the twenty-first hall at the start of a new day when we are refreshed and ready for adventure.

    The Eclairians I travel with seem to agree that we disliked the Fanged Pit most of any place we visited so far. Dolven View was the introduction and so had some wonder to it. The Silvertine Lodes had Old Silvertine City and that mine shaft with the forgotten treasury. Durin's Way was as well preserved sample of dwarven construction with a nice garden. The fanged pit was a dark, dirty, hole in the ground. I think that Medloth the bear lady and Alphion the elf expressed that sentiment. None expressed that they were unhappy leaving it.

    I don't know why I did not know this before - and I may have known it but I forgot - but Alphion is from the elf lands just east of Moria, a place called Lothlorien. We're practically on his front porch.

    Anyways, it’s not the dwarfs’ fault that the fanged pit is such a dismal place. It is a raw cavern, unworked by Dwarven hammer and chisel. Well - that's not entirely true. There's a very ancient bridge we saw that goes from nowhere to nowhere that we could tell what had marks of dwarf construction. Plus there are a lot of towers with mirrors that tell a story of the dwarfs funneling light through the place. But that is it. I don't know why the dwarfs would lack interest. It is filled with ore. No mithril - an ore these dwarfs seem to favor above all other - but ores nonetheless. I have boxed up quite a bit of it and will be shipping it to Mr. Sweetweed as soon as we get to 21st Hall. You should expect a payment from him to follow.

    No, I don’t carry it around with me. We Eclairians work out of campsites that are our home for a bit, and I load this stuff into boxes that the dwarfs deliver from camp to camp. And that home is about to be the 21st Hall.

    The dwarfs tell us that the twenty-first hall is a short walk and has no dangers along the way. They also say that Brugar and Bori are working to make it like the heart of dwarven life as it was in the old days. They speak of shops and a fine forge and making it a center of commerce and business. One thing I learned of dwarfs, they are business folk - with a love of long and complex contracts covering every detail.

    We might have made it to the Twenty-First Hall iffen we hadn’t gotten lost in that Fanged Pit. Dwarfs looking over the place told of bat ladies making siege weapons. Imagine a burrow large enough for a functioning catapult. We were sent to destroy it, but we got lost. We went this way and that and finally found a dwarf scout what pointed us in the right direction. It were my fault, really. I thought I could read Hedgerow’s map.

    Then we got news that the bat-lady leader was atop one of the towers in that chamber we thought that iffen we could trap her and defeat her that this would be the end of the threat. Granleif led the way. We climbed the tower and surrounded the mirror and challenged the leader. Fools that we are, we neglected the fact that bat-folk can fly. She just jumped from the tower and glided off.

    We had heard some bat folks mention that this leader was looking for a "Hall of Mirrors" that would bring light into Moria through a shaft in the side of the mountain. When we went out into the cold we saw a cave we did not enter. I will bet my left boot that this is the Hall of Mirrors they spoke of.

    Which, by the way, may delay us here a day or so. Some folks - some of the less tired folks - are going to head out into the cold and see iffen they can’t deal with that leader. So we will wait until they get back.

    Well, I think I am finally getting relaxed enough to fall asleep. I have fluffed up some grain sacks for a bed. I’ll slip this in the dwarfed post and hope that you get it. Hug the girls for me.

    Love,
    Alphred Troute



    Nov. 24, 26: We will be mustering at Jazurgund and head to the 21st Hall. We will report to Brugar and roleplay our way to Volume II, Book 2, Chapter 3 - where we will be asked to carry a book to Bosi at the Chamber of the Crossroads. Hedgerow will volunteer to take the book down the winding path. It's safe enough.

    Dec. 1, 3: Hedgerow - at the Chamber of the Crossroads - will be asked to rescue another lost dwarf, so he will summon folks to the Chamber of the Crossroads to help. The journey will go to the southern part of the Silvertine Lodes. From there, we will be a short walk away from the Water Works, so we will continue on and, from there, proceed to explore the Water Works.

    I am expecting a couple of patrols about the Water Works - and that we will be back to the 21st Hall by the holidays (Dec. 22/24) where we will take it easy for a couple of weeks as folks enjoy the holidays. (The Monday group will be on Christmas and New Years' Eve so I expect attendance to be nothing to write home about.)
    Last edited by Tiempko; Nov 21 2018 at 11:56 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  20. #45
    The Moria Addendum

    I am including this in part so Eclairians can plan ahead and in case there is anybody who would want to join us in going through the Moria instances and want some time to get a Level 55 character ready. NOTE: Level 55 will be a hard cap.


    Once we start the Moria instances in February, I think the thing to do is to go through each instance – leaving the landscape quests surrounding each region for people to do in their spare time. Specifically we will complete The Grand Stairs, then go to the Flaming Deep for the Forges of Khazad-dum and Fil Gashan, travel to Nud Melek for the Sixteenth Hall, then to the Foundations of Stone for Skumfil and Dark Delvings. The goal will be to finish the quests and deeds in each instance in turn before moving on to the next one - for story purposes.

    NOTE: Between the Flaming Deeps and Nud Melek we may wander over to the Water Works for a turtle hunt and a squid hunt. Or at least attempt them. We may need a gate keeper, but we should give them a try.

    This means that every group session for several months will actually be a fellowship adventure – entering instances as fellowships or (in the case of the turtle and squid hunts) raids. It will be constant battling against the forces of evil week after week as we work our way through the quests and deeds associated with each instance. On weeks where we get 7 to 9 folks, if the instances are difficult, we may send 5 or 6 into the instance and let the remaining 2 to 4 wander the landscape - then switch off - with completionists using the opportunity to advance their instance slayer deeds.

    As I see it, we will use the campsites associated with each instance as our base. During off-times, Hedgerow and Alphred and any who seek to accompany them can wander around the landscape doing landscape quests, returning to the campsite to enter the instances for our group sessions.

    When we are done, we will find ourselves at the furthest corner of the Foundations of Stone having completed all 6 Moria instances. From there, we will return to the Twenty-First Hall where we will learn of Bori’s plan (Volume II, Book 3, Chapter 6). We can then roleplay our way through the epic story line until we leave Moria and get to Lothlorien (Volume II, Book 6, Chapter 1). NOTE: There are three new skirmishes that will open up in Book 5 and a fellowship quest in Book 4.

    At this time, we would have gone all the way through Moria. The elves will send us back into the mines to complete some tasks but, other than that, the Moria half of Volume II will be done.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Nov 26 2018 at 10:54 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  21. #46

    ((Club Eclair)) Send Help. Please.

    Mr. Brogur
    Chamber of Leadership, 21st Hall, Moria

    Sir!

    I would like to respectfully request that you have the other Eclairians meet me at the Chamber of the Crossroads forthwith.

    I have arrived here safely enough - what with Galdhron and Erikin escorting me and the book safely down the winding path. Though I should note we detoured along the way to visit the library you have here. As per the requests of the dwarfs here, we entered in order to try to secure some of the books from a flock of batfolk what had taken up residence inside. Galdhron took the right hallway, I took the left, and Erikin went down the center - so as we could cover more of the territory in the short time we had avaialble.

    We did fetch a fair number of books which the dwarfs added to the collection they are forming outside, and then continued along the way, with Galdhron's cat Flounder clearing the path of crickets and spiders and such - not that they would be a threat to any dwarf travelling this way. Still, it is good to have the pathways cleaned.

    Speaking of which, there is a great deal of work what would require a shovel and cart the place is heaped with sand and gravel and there is water standing in some of the low corners big enough to hold fish.

    Anyways . . . when we got to the Chamber of the Crossroads, I delivered the Book of Mazarbul to Mr. Bosi as requested. However, upon arrival, Mr. Bosi has informed me that he has misplaced another dwarf. More to the point, Mr. Bosi said he would take the time to read the book, and then informed us that one of his dwarfs - one with a particular interest in hunting goblins - has been lost in the Silvertine Lodes. My companions will recall a goblin camp we met down there near the Deep Descent and a few goblins patrolling about - and even some fierce orcs and trolls in the Forgotten Treasury, so it is possible he ran into trouble.

    I suspect I may have seen Mr. Bosi's missing dwarf when we patrolled that region. There was a dwarf by himself to the south - within sight of the doorway to Old Silvertine City. He weren't friendly or talkative in any way, though he did give us directions when we were looking for that city I just mentioned. We left him to his business. I suspect that this is the dwarf we are looking for and I have a good idea where to start looking.

    When you send my companions this way to aid in the patrol, I am wondering iffen I could not also put upon you to send some provisions. Iffen I am right as to where I might find Mr. Bosi's missing dwarf then we will be but a short distance away from the Rotting Cellar. Indeed, perhaps that is where we will find him. One of your dwarfs, a Mr. Simbi, inquired as to whether we could check upon a friend of his by the name of Aguti at the Rotten Celler. We might as well see iffen we can't take care of both chores at the same time. I don't know what kind of provisioning we can expect for ourselfs at a place named the "Rotting Cellar", so I am thinking I will bring my own, iffen you don't mind. I was able to reprovision from the supplies that Mr. Sweetweed from the Shire had sent there, so there should be pleanty.

    Our time at the Rotting Cellar will give Mr. Bosi time to read the book.

    Anyways, I will wait here for the arrival of my companions, which I expect to be shortly.

    I remain, as always, at your service.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow



    Reminder: The very beginning of the very first post contains an account of where we are at and where we are going each week. I update it each week after the Monday session to describe what will happen the following week.

    Dec. 1, 3: In answer to Hedgerow's note above, Eclairians are to find their way to the Chamber of the Crossroads. There, we will pick up the quest for Volume II, Book 3, Chapter 4, and head down to the Silvertine Lodes to rescue another missing dwarf, then continue further south to the Rotting Cellar. We should have enough time to pick up a load of quests and go on an initial patrol about the area, just to see what's there.

    We'll spend the next couple of weeks here doing additional patrols and such. I am not fully certain what we will find here. I believe that there is a quest chain focused on a wheel house in the far corner of the area. We will not be able to enter the raid areas just yet. We could try - but these are Level 60 raids and I think best put off until we are Level 55 at least.

    The plan is to spend the holiday season (last week of December, first week of January) back at the 21st Hall. Then, back to adventuring as we make our way to Orcwatch.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Nov 27 2018 at 11:11 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  22. #47

    ((Club Eclair II)) Something Rotting

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


    Sir!

    To think, I have given up the Twenty-First hall for this. I feel like a mushroom. I am cold, damp, and the very air itself tastes like mold. One night! One night is all I had at the Twenty-First Hall. Beds. Tables piled high with foods. A warm fireplace. Dry. With a pool of water nearby down a safe passage that there was no problem getting enough for a bath. One may wonder what the dwarfs used to keep their fires going – but that was easy enough to answer. Coal.

    The orcs, on the other hand, use trees. We have seen some orc camps. It males one wonder how they are getting outside to harvest lumber. Or, mayhaps, the orcs know of more inside gardens like the one we saw in Durin's Way . . . but they would have to be mighty big gardens.

    Now, I am in the Dwarfen sewers. Well, they are not actually sewers. There's a lot of water flowing through here and a lot comes straight off the mountains. It's tolerable clean.

    At the same time, I have to admit – there is a greatness here. Have you seen the falls at Little Delving? Well, the dwarfs here have waterfalls like them coming out of the walls and falling into a lake that, itself, would be larger than Hobbiton and Bywater combined. Indeed, if you were to travel to Waymeet from Addernotch Station, you’d not cover as much ground as the water works the dwarfs have built here. Water falls into aqueducts – that’s what the dwarfs called them – dwarf-made streams what flow high above the ground from where there was water to where the dwarfs wanted the water – typically, right above some massive wheel that the water turns as it falls. And these weren’t little paddle-wheels like at Hobbiton. These were massive wheels that powered bellows, hammers, wood saws, and drills.

    But it’s wet. Everything is wet. And it has been wet for ages – so the wetness is in everything. And where everything is covered with water, it is covered with slimey and slippery mold.

    And at any minute I am expecting a tentacle to rise up out of the water and grab me and drag me to an untimely drowning. Sagla mentioned that the Watcher – what Erikin had helped drive away from the entrance to Moria – may be down here. The waters here are certainly big enough and deep enough to hold such a beast. I am going to have quite the fear of water by the time I get done.

    Well, others went swimming out into the lake. There were some goblin bodies on some rocks sticking out of the water far from shore. Leeches had been feeding on the bodies, and a dwarf had given us anti-leech toxin to put on the bodies to kill the leaches. Erikin and I stayed behind on the shore while the rest wam out to do the chore.

    And there are spiders here. Spiders what look like they are made of glass – a type of glass that glows with an inner light like the natural crystals found growing among these rocks. Indeed, one of the dwarfs is asking us to slay spiders and bring their prism-like legs back to use as a source of light – apparently the glow does not fade when the spider is killed. At least, not for a long while.

    Anyways, our plan is to help the dwarfs here conquer this place – then it will be yet another part of Moria that has been tamed and ready for occupation. Then, we will return to the Twenty-First Hall. We sent Bohalin back to the Chamber of the Crossroads to let Bosi know that we had found his missing dwarf – this one found alive and battling goblins. He’ll tell the others of our plans to stay at the Water Works and help out a bit and likely send them down here to join us.

    With their help, it is my hope that we can be done with this place soon enough and be back at the Twenty-First Hall. The dwarfs will bring down teams to fix the wheels and get the machinery up and running for rebuilding the city. And we will be back among the beds, tables piled high with foods, and warm fireplace. Dry. With a pool of water nearby down a safe passage that there was no problem getting enough for a bath.

    I will write later.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow


    Research shows that we are at the start of a long quest chain. We may end up being here longer than expected. It will start with the quest "Clearly Problematic" where we are asked to slay 10 spiders and return with their legs. We will follow this chain as far as we can get - accomplishing other quests on the side as we go.

    NOTE: As far as the epic story goes, a reminder that we will be leaving the epic story for several long months. We will instead focus on finishing up Moria, focusing on the six Moria instances (as we try to drive the orcs back). Those who are accidentally at Level 52 - the last epic quest to pick up is Chapter 5. We will pick up Chapter 6 and continue the story when we are ready to leave Moria and visit Lothlorien.

    NOTE: Update 23.2 has an adjustment to Level 51-54 gear. It does not say which way - but watch for it.

    NOTE: The Standing Stone folks are also testing out a set of "newly updated tier effects" on (1) The Rift, (2) the Dwarf Holds instance, and (3) the Helegrod scaled instance. If these test out well, I am expecting that they will apply it to the Moria instances we will soon be starting.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Dec 04 2018 at 12:51 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group just starting Volume II, as we begin our adventures in Moria to help the dwarfs reclaim the mine from the orcs (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Germany
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    215

    Erikin, Diary Entry 115 ((Zigilburk, a dark cavern and a monster in the snow))

    Dear diary,

    many things have happened in the last weeks, first and foremost is that we have reached the Twenty-first Hall, the main center of the dwarves' expedition. We also learned about a great mithril axe named Zigilburk, and we found a large dead moster on the top of the mountain. But let me start with where I left in my last entry.

    So I met Bosi again, one of the leaders of the expedition whom we had already met before Khazad-dûm wasn't even open. He remembered me from our battle against the monster in the lake. He had gone with a couple of dwarves to the Chamber of the Crossroads, not far from Dolven-view across another long, narrow bridge with giant dwarf heads looking down on you. The chamber is near a junction in the mountain where one passage leads back to the Dolven-view, one going east and another one going up. It is basically a guard post to look over this crossroads; there are several guards, some goats, a deep well and a mess hall in which I also met Bori and Brogur again.

    They all welcomed us and then we all somehow worked together to learn about an ancient axe, made in the time of Durin, entirely of Mithril, very light yet so sharp that it will cut through any material with a single swipe. First it was Bosi who started everything, by saying he was keen to learn more about the history of the old kingdom of Khazad-dûm and he had seen many old libraries and studies on his way to the Crossroads. So Hedge went with some others to take a look and came back with some sort of half-withered records mentioning this axe. It was more a journal, or diary, of a smith named Hróthi, who lived at the time of Durin. In it he mentioned a master smith named Ongli, who was given a secret forge with a concealed entrance by Durin to make this axe. This Hróthi was pretty jealous and disgruntled by the special attention Ongli received from Durin. Even put a curse on him and his axe, ha!

    Bosi sent us to speak with Bori, who at first didn't show too much interest in the axe. He is still devastated by the loss of his friend Broin. Bosi says he hasn't been the same since Broin was slain by the monster at the Doors of Durin. Hasn't talked much, hasn't eaten much and, when before he was all excited about the expedition and the adventures to be had inside of Moria, he now doesn't seem to care anymore. Bosi thought that when we give him something to do and he hears about the axe, that may help him a bit to alleviate his grief and give him a new sense of purpose. So, even if this axe never existed, the story itself is good in a way that it may help Bori to recover and rekindle his spirits. Bori still had the idea to search another big library nearby for the secret word to open the forge and I believe it was Hedge and Sagla who went there and indeed found something after a lot of searching. I remember we went to the same place before and found it full of cave-claws, their nests and their filthy droppings. Must have been quite the adventure, ha!



    Bori became a bit more animated after we found the words to open the forge, but we still didn't know where the entrance to it was. This was where, maybe unintentional, Brogur helped us. Brogur is as grumpy as a dwarf can get (I hope he will never read my diary!), and even more so now that his son has perished. He thinks we are wasting our time and fell for some kind of spoof. If such an axe had ever existed, it would surely have been known among the dwarves and mentioned in many a tale, he said.

    But he still sent us out to do something useful while we look for the axe. Perhaps we could steal some maps from the goblins while we kill them. This is what we did and then later, when Bosi looked at the many maps we brought back, he suddenly started to smile. "I have unravelled our riddle!" he said. I don't know exactly how, as those maps were quite crude and blotched, so much so that even Hedge couldn't make anything out of them, but by studying them closely he learned where the forge is located.

    He chose Thorcundo to go with him, our most prolific fighter. As it happens, they did find the forge, which is called the "Heart of Fire" by the way, but not the axe. From what I heard they had to fight a few goblins who had followed them, but the most interesting part was when they stood in front of a plain wall that didn't look any special, and then Bosi spoke the magic words and a door lit up and then Thorcundo saluted the old, long-dead smith Ongli and the door opened, ha!



    Bosi wasn't too disappointed about not finding the axe though. He thinks it was to be expected, as an axe is made for battle and not to gather dust at the smithy where it was forged. And finding the Heart of Fire and putting it into use again is still a great boon for the Iron Garrison.

    Brogur and Bori have now left for the Twenty-first Hall. We should follow them and let them know not to rush things too much. We have not found a lot of hazards here yet, but Moria is still a dangerous place where carelessness or overconfidence can lead to disaster. I stayed with the dwarves for a bit and did some smaller errands here and there, and when I got back to the Crossroads my friends had already left. I learned they had taken the northern, or upper, route to the Twenty-first Hall. When I hurried after them, I noticed that the way led mostly upwards and it got more and more bright. The upper pathways, while not bathed in light, are still well lit and you can see the grand columns and nicely decorated walls and ceilings.



    On my way I arrived at a cleft in the mountain's wall the dwarves call "The Door to the Clouds". Curious, I stepped outside and found myself at the side of the mountain, almost near its top. It was bitterly cold, the wind howled and I had difficulties seeing through the flurry of snow. I also wasn't dressed for it, so I decided not to stay too long, unless I might freeze to death. I found something odd though, a smoldering crater among the broken rocks of an old structure. As I got closer to investigate, I found that inside the crater lay a large, dead beast. It had horns and wings and, even though dead, still invoked a great sense of fear. It looked a bit like the Balrog we had slain in the Rift, albeit bigger. And it could not have been dead for too long, for the rocks around it were still warm.



    The dwarves inside had not mentioned it, maybe they haven't been outside yet. And as I told them, they didn't pay too much attention, maybe they didn't believe what I was saying. They were more preoccupied with yet another orc stronghold nearby. When I talked to my friends later, they told me they had also been outside and seen the beast. Hedge thinks it is Durin's Bane, the Balrog that had driven the dwarves out of Khazad-dûm according to the stories we'd been told. He surely was happy that the monster was dead, one thing less to worry about. We have no idea though who had slain it, only the greatest of warriors could have done so, or a whole army. Maybe it wasn't Durin's Bane, but another mighty beast killed by Durin's Bane? A rival? Or, if it is Durin's Bane, maybe it was slain by a far greater foe lurking in the depths below? Or was it an all-mighty High Elf? But then, where did this hero go, did he fall down the mountain in the battle? The snow had at least erased all footprints or other signs of the battle.

    I caught up with my friends in a nice garden, something I would have never expected to see in Moria. There were ponds and trees and all kinds of plants that like the damp, warm climate, and a nice statue on a mound in the center. They were just about to leave for Jazargund, where we had to cross yet another bridge to get there. There was a huge mirror there, catching a beam of light from above and sending it to other mirrors who in turn send it to yet other mirrors and thus lighting the halls. The mirrors can be tilted and rotated, depending on where the light comes from or where the dwarves want it to go. Very ingenious and nifty system!




    A bit off we got a glimpse at the famous Endless Stair, which leads from the deepest depths of Moria all the way up to the top of the mountain. From where we stood, we could not see the top nor the bottom of it.

    We found yet another group of dwarves who had established a camp near the big mirror. They told us about yet another orc stronghold off a passage to the east, which we cleared out for them. These belonged to the White Hand and I was wondering again when and for what purpose they had come to Moria. Ión, who commanded the Iron Garrison here, said the White Hand Uruks want to take control of the Moria orcs to then use them against the Mordor orcs. But why and what the Mordor orcs do here, and if there are any, he does not know. He also doesn't care and thinks we are lucky, for as long as they are busy fighting each other, they don't fight the dwarves.

    We made sure they stay hostile towards each other by defeating the White Hand leader here and placing a banner of the Mordor orcs on his throne to cause confusion. Ión was ecstatic, saying the White Hand orcs have begun fleeing from Khazad-dûm, being pressured from both Mordor and Durin's Folk. I think he may be a bit overoptimistic.

    We were not ready yet to go to the Twenty-first Hall though, for we were sent to bring provisions to another group of dwarves in the "Fanged Pit", where a large tribe of dangerous and blood-thirsty Merrevail have made their home. When we got there, we found five or six dwarves sitting around a campfire. All they had was sleeping bags, a few sacks of rice and some crates, likely filled with tools or weapons. I don't know, but many of the members of the expedition are either incredibly brave or stupid. Here they faced a whole army of bat-ladies, which occupy an immense natural cavern, dimly lit by large crystal that grow out of the walls.

    We made several patrols, cutting down the posts on which they like to perch and store their food, burned their food and released several goblins they held in small cages. These goblins looked terrible, hunched over, some limbs totally out of proportion and their skin all red blisters. They were clearly infected with some sort of terrible disease and must suffer from great pain, their faces a distorted grimace. I almost felt sorry for them, even though they didn't show any gratitude and attacked us as if they had gone totally mad. I tried to not touch them to not get infected too.

    We crossed a waterfall near its top and found a lake at the bottom of a deep pit. It's water was as black as the lake outside, and it was in parts overgrown with lilies, so for a moment I though that this might be the place where the monster had retreated to if it was still alive. But there was no sense of fear or dread and nothing happened. We also found a few wooden towers with mirrors at the top, but no light shone upon or from them. Those mirrors were the only signs that any dwarf has ever set foot in this cave.

    Of course the merrevail didn't like our intrusion and fought back fiercely, but in the end they stood no chance agains us. I believe we cleaned the place out pretty nicely, so the Iron Garisson should have nothing to worry about from here anymore. Their queen got away though. When we found her on top of one of the towers near a mirror, she glided down and slipped away. The dwarves believe she may have escaped to a place called Lumul-nar, or the Mirror-halls, where more Merrevail are gathered. We may have to check out that place too.

    But that is for later. We finally headed to the Twenty-first Hall to seek out Brogur.
    Last edited by Craiden; Dec 05 2018 at 05:01 PM.

 

 
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