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  1. #126

    ((Club Eclair)) The Battles of Moria

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


    I have just returned to the 21st Hall from battling orcs at the Deep Way and The Way if the Smiths and found the place a shambles. It seems some orcs went around those places and came straight at the 21st Hall.

    Fortunately, there was a squad here to meet them. Amio , Alphred, Thalachon, Fraori, and Bohunc were here. The orcs caught them by surprise and were able to force them out of the 21st Hall. But, like with us at the Way of the Smiths a couple of days earlier, the dwarfs and Eclairians charged right back into the fight before the orcs could rest and build up their defenses and retook the room place.

    It has been a long week of hard battling. The Orcs have launched seven full-on attacks against three Dwarfen strongholds this week. Three waves each went after the Way of the Smiths and the Deep Way – one of them nearly succeeding as I mentioned. Then there was this sneak attack on the 21st Hall. Nobody can guarantee that they are done, either. Wili has set out watches and guards to warn us iffen the orcs march another large army in that our direction. Meanwhile, dwarfs are about rebuilding the damage done in the last attack.

    I am wondering iffen the attacks on the Deep Way and Way of the Smiths had been diversions to draw folks away from the 21st Hall. Their first attack ws so easily driven off that there was reason to think it was merely a probe aiming at figuring out what we had defending the place. Their next attacks were tougher, but we still had reason to believe that they were not sending their best or their brightest. Granted, their forces were not so weak that they stood no chance. Their near success at capturing the Way of the Smiths shows that fact true enough. But even that was more due to a tactical blunder on our part where we allowed ourselves to get split into two groups than on account of the fact that the orcan army was just too overwhelming.

    Iffen you want to know what happened at the Way of the Smiths, the orcs were coming at us from all directions. At one point they herded a dragon into the space below the Supervisor's Platform. Me and Sagla and most of us went down to take care of it, while Medloth stayed behind to protect Stóthkell. Well, a second force charged into the Forges at that point and Stóthkell could see that he and Medloth alone could not hold them off so Stóthkell ordered a full retreat. We fled from the Forges, but we gave the orcs no time to rest or build up their defenses. We took a few deep breaths and set ourselves and charged right back in - quickly clearing the orcs out of the forges and then defending it against waves of future attacks.

    No doubt the near victory heartened the orcs. The next day, they launched another wave of attacks against the Deep Way and Way of the Smiths. But, Galdhron had just arrived, and Roy and Thorfaniel and Alphred were in the area to reinforce the dwarfs. Mayhaps this was just a diversion to keep folks away from the 21st Hall while another group assaulted it. But Alphred returned to the 21st Hall directly and was there to meet that attack as well.

    Of the seven battles we have fought to date, Alphred has been in five of them, as has Roy. It might be a hazard being near each of them since the orcs are seeming almost to attack wherever they are standing.

    I have seen but two fights myself.

    I should report that Bosi is worried that there are just too many orcs for the dwarfs to handle, so he will be asking us to go talk to the elfs of Lothlorien and see iffen we cannot come back with some help. This is just rumour . . . I have not heard anything from him officially or directly. However, I know that Amio and Alphred and Thalachon have all talked to him and they are all reporting the same thing.

    I was wondering how he was going to get us to the east gate as the bridge has been destroyed . . . which I hope I had mentioned in an earlier report. But, I have talked to dwarfs here who say they found a passage to the First Hall and even have sent some dwarfs there to greet anybody who might enter the mines from that direction. I will be sure to have them tell me the route before we go. Won't want folks getting lost.

    I can't forget that Bosi's son Bori is in the hands of the orcs as well. It was explicitly reported that Mazog's new Dol Guldur sorcerer insisted on keeping Bori alive for some reason. So long as Bori is alive, Bosi, no doubt, is harboring thoughts about how to rescue him. I can't but doubt that his interest in summoning help from the elfs is aimed at securing a better chance at rescuing.

    In fact, Bosi, judging from what I have heard, wants to send all of us . . . the whole Eclairian herd. I haven't heard why and I fear what would happen iffen all of us were off in Lothlorien when the orcs launch another attack. Indeed, iffen I were an orc, I would be looking to the fact that the Eclairians have marched away as a good time to launch another attack. There is but some hope that the orcs, having suffered so many defeats, do not have the heart for yet another fight at the moment, even if it seems easy. Bosi assures us that his dwarfs will be able to take on any Orcan army.

    Bosi wants to send us on account of some who are of high status among the elfs know us and have likely spoken well of us. I don't know what opportunity Elrond might have had to mention us, but there is some slight possibility that our reputation has travelled to Lothlorien before us. Though I do not know how, with the mountains passes being blocked. Mayhaps elfs have secret ways of talking to each other, like them Palantir stones we saw about as we battled the Witch King.

    Well, at the moment, I am packing up for another trip. I should be . . . .

    I gotta run! Wili just sounded an alarm! There's another orc army marching up through Zelem-melek. They'll be here in minutes. Gotta get ready.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow,.

    Summon the Eclairians! Muster at the Mile Stone! The orcs are attacking!

    Sat, Oct. 19, 9:00 AM: The orcs launch their biggest attack ever - this one targeting the heart of the Dwarf incursion at the 21st Hall. Eclairians are being summoned to fend it off. After the victory, Bosi is going to send us to Lothlorien to see iffen the elfs can offer up reinforcements. The skirmish should actually take less than an hour. Erikin has asked for a skirmish at Tier II to try out the higher difficulties. So, after the regular skirmish, we will see if folks might want to muster for a Tier II skirmish to see how we do.

    OOCly - talking to Bosi means a trip to the Chamber of the Crossroads, which is a bit much to do in-character. Therefore, we will simply assume that Bosi has sent instructions for us to talk to the elfs and people can quickly go talk to him after the skirmish as time allows.

    Mon. Oct 21 and Sat. Oct. 26: Muster at the 21st Hall for a march to Lothlorien - or at least out of the east gate of Moria. It will take us a few weeks to reach the Lothlorien elfs as we march from quest hub to quest hub doing favors for the local hubbites as we go - mostly involving landscape patrols.

    NOTE: Book 6, Chapter 2, sends us back into Moria to complete the Orc and Goblin Moria slayer deeds. (Not the advanced slayer deeds, just the basic deeds.) I will assume that everybody has done that and we will be able to skip right through that chapter. The elfs are going to be sending us right back into Moria, so we should not get too used to sunshine and fresh air.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  2. #127

    ((Club Eclair)) Leaving for Lothlorien


    I wanted to let you know that we are travelling again - heading into new and unexplored lands. We are heading to Lothlorien, one of the elfen kingdoms. It's one of three that I know about; Rivendell, Lothlorien, and that group Bilbo Baggins ran into in Mirkwood - I forget iffen they had a name.

    You can go ahead and continue to send your posts here to the 21st Hall in Moria. We are travelling for the dwarfs, and they will know how to get the post to me. Besides, I expect that we will be back here in a few weeks or so. We are going to try to get the elfs to help the dwarfs fight the orcs and will be returning with whatever help the elfs are willing to offer - if any. I have come to understand that the elfs and dwarfs do not get along well, pretty much as Baggins described in his stories. But, they face a common threat and they would be well served to face it together.

    The dwarfs need help, too. I don't know iffen I mentioned, but one of the dwarfs here named of Bori decided that he was going to attack the Orcan leader directly and charged off with a half-dozen friends. Only one made it back, and he told a story of the Orc leader taking orders from a Dol Guldur sorcerer. Anyways, they captured Bori and his wonderful axe and then tried to drive the dwarfs out of Moria.

    There have been at least a dozen full-on attacks. And, in each one, the orcs sent better and stronger troops then they had sent before. In their recent attacks, they sent their forces direct to the heart of the Dwarf occupation here, a place called the 21st Hall.

    I had only just arrived from battling the orcan assaults on a couple of the strongholds at the Deep Way and Way of the Smiths. Those were the first assaults and relatively easy to drive off. After we had been there a few days, some other Eclairians showed up and I came back to the 21st Hall. I thought I was going to get some rest, but I was mistaken.

    We were sitting about talking when the orcs attacked. It was me, Amio, Thalachon, Bohunc, and Fraori. It was a fierce attack, too - the fiercest attack I had witnessed. We struggled against them and knew that we were in for a hard fight right off. They drove us back and, ultimately, drove us out of the 21st Hall entirely. But we did not give them time to enjoy their victory. We charged back in and drove them off. But we were more determined then before and were able to hold our own against them. In the end, they went away.

    Though, it turned out, they regrouped and came back yet again. But, by the time they attacked, others returned from the Way of the Smiths and the Deep Way who were here to meet the attack. The orcs weren't able to surprise them since the first attack caused the dwarfs to be on alert, and them orcs were driven off.

    Then, the drums stopped.

    The dwarfs are thinking that the orcs are not up to attacking again for a while until they think of a better strategy, or they are looking to get more reinforcements for themselfs. That might be difficult. We know of some battling going on far to the south of here and the Moria and White Hand orcs are being expected to contribute soldiers to those fights. They may not have enough left to push out the dwarfs.

    I think that this is why Bosi is willing to spare us for a bit to go get some help from the elfs.

    He's sending all of us - the whole Eclairian force. That might not be the smartest move since it leaves them vulnerable to orcan attacks without us here to help. But, Bosi is thinking that the Eclairians are known as a group and we may have some sway among the elfs. Indeed, some of us are elfs - Thalachon, Galdhron, and Thorfaniel. They are going along, to becertain.

    Though some of the dwarfs - Erikin, for instance - are not liking the idea of asking for elfen help too much.

    Anyways, the dangers seem to have passed and I am fine. It will be nice to step out into the open air and sunshine again. I have not seen the sun in so long I have forgotten what it looks like. Once I leave, it will be difficult to turn and come back into the mines to carry on the fight - even with elfen help - assuming they will help.

    I keep thinking - once we leave, I will be on the far side of the Misty Mountains. Who would have thought when I left Little Delving that I would some day step into the lands beyond the Misty Mountains - just as Bilbo Baggins had done. I am thinking that, some day, I may even see the Lonely Mountain myself. It is out there somewhere.

    I will write and let you know about the elfs once we meet.


    Alphred Troute

    We are on Volume II, Book VI, Chapter 1. However, it is no longer the case that one must be caught up on the epic story to travel with us. We will be doing landscape and instance work for a bit.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  3. #128
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entries 123-125 ((The battle for Khazad-dûm))

    Dear diary,

    The axe, we only had it for a short time. Now the orcs have it, and they have Bori too. And the orcs have started to attack the Iron Garrison in full force. How could this happen?

    Well, Bori had found out where Mazog's headquarter is, a place called Zabadgathol in the far reaches of the Redhorn Lodes, between the Redhorn Lodes and the Second Hall. He sent some scouts and I went with them. We should have been warned, the orcs were talking about a new ally and we found some coffers filled with valuable relics and jewels. On them were runes showing the letters D.G. and Bori thought the treasure was coming from Dol Guldur, a dark place in a dark forest. And whoever rules Dol Guldur is paying the orcs for their services.

    So Bori didn't want to waste any more time. He hand-picked a group of capable and reliable warriors, took Zigilburk and started his assault on Zabagathol before this alliance could get stronger and whatever their plans are would come to fruition. He didn't ask us to go with him. I don't know why, maybe he couldn't find us in the hurry he was in or something made him think we would not approve of his plan, or that wielding the axe would make him invincible. Or whatever, it is as it is. And I am not sure if it would have made any difference if we were there. Sweina, the one survivor who made it back, reported that Bori was very confident. "We will not sneak up to the orcs this time. We will attack openly, and the orcs will fall under the bite of Zigilburk. This is what the axe was made for! This is why it came back from the darkness!"

    Everything went fine in the beginning. Bori led them into several small skirmishes which they comfortably won. Victory seemed imminent. They made it to the doors of Zabadgathol, knocked and challenged Mazog to come out. He did and brought his personal guard with him. The dwarves fought valiantly and defeated his troops. A glorious fight, as Sweina, the survivor, said.

    They would have surely won. But then everything went wrong, as a man suddenly appeared, walking down the steps leading up to the door. A sorcerer of sorts, clad in a red and golden robe, a spellbook chained to his belt. And by means of some dark magics Bori and his squad were suddenly unable to move. He questioned him if he was Bosi, the leader of the dwarves, and Bori told him he was his son. Mazog wanted to slay them on the spot, but the sorcerer stepped in and told him not to. "We can put him to better use", he said. Maybe wants to keep him as a hostage or exchange him for something he wants.

    So, the good thing is that there are hopes that Bori is still alive. The sorcerer told Sweina to leave and bring word of what happened to Bosi, Bori's father. On his way out, he was mocked and insulted by the orcs who had lined up left and right.

    Bosi is devastated. He said all dwarves rejoiced when Broin returned and with him the great axe. Everything seemed possible. But now... He didn't know what to do. We left him to cope with his loss and returned to the Twenty-first Hall. We have to find a way to rescue Bori somehow. And get the axe back aswell. We didn't have it for long... it came out of the darkness, only to be taken by the orcs a few days later.

    And then the drums started.

    Low at first, you could barely hear them, coming from far away, or far below, reverberating through the stone. But they grew louder over time. These must be the drums mentioned in the Book of Mazarbul. The orcs are preparing for war. Everybody was getting nervous, the normally cheerful and sanguine attitude of the dwarves of the Moria expedition became apprehensive and subdued. I overheard talk that it might be better to get out while we still can. But most of them are willing to stay and fight. And so will we. But I must admit that I am nervous too. We all are.

    So far, the orcs have left the dwarves more or less alone, minding their own business. They may have seen the Iron Garrison as just a small bother, as they prep for a much bigger battle, one against the elves. At least, that's what some papers say we found. It was us who started almost every fight and attacked them, be it in the hidden treasury, the Grand Stairs, the great Forges, we even invaded one of their main barracks and slew Mazog's right hand! But now, after Bori's attack on Zabadgathol, they are roused. We don't know how many they are, or how strong they are, or where they will strike first. It is good that we have prepared for this. Bosi is a wise dwarf. They are coming.

    New entry:

    Dear diary,

    The orcs have launched two massive attacks, but we have managed to throw them back, at least for the moment.

    The first blow fell in the Deep-way. We were stationed at Dolven View at the time, not too far from it, and when the alarm was sounded, we all rushed over to help defend it. The Deep-way is a passage between Durin's Vault and the Water-works, a strategic shortcut to get faster from one place to the other. The Iron Garrison knows of its significance and had fortified it with a lot of barricades made of beer kegs and wooden planks. Even Brogur was present. He had come here along with many warriors and now rallied us: "We will hold the Deep-way and stand against the orcs as long as we must!", he shouted to encourage everyone.

    And then they came. The were two tunnels leading into the Deep-way, and the orcs breached both entrances and came storming in, wave after wave. There were barricades set up in each tunnel, and they were manned by capable warriors. They did their best to fend off the orcs, but at times there were just too many and then they sounded their horn. Then we ran over to either the northern or the southern tunnel to assist in the defense.

    The orcs had brought wargs with them, and a few trolls, and there were defilers in their ranks. The battle got quite hectic, as we had to rush back and forth between the two frontlines. But everybody stood firm. At the end of the battle there was a loud rumble, as one of the walls in the central chamber, from where Brogur directed his troops, collapsed. Looks as if the orcs had been digging a secret tunnel! And in they poured, and among them the leader of this assualt. "Long live Mazog, son of Bolg!", he shouted and then we had to protect Brogur at all cost. The battle was fierce, but he finally fell and the last of the orcs lay dead on the floor. The flow of the battle ebbed away and there was a sudden quietness.

    But we, and the dwarves of the Iron Garrison who had fought by our side, were just too tired to cheer. We had thrown back the orcs, at least for now. But it was too early to celebrate, this may have been just the first of a series of attacks. We had won a battle, but the war was far from over. It wonder if it ever will be.

    And the second attack was launched soon enough. We had returned to the Dolven View and hardly found time to eat and rest a bit, when another alarm sounded. This time, the Heart of Fire, the great forge that was recently discovered, was under attack. We quickly raced down into the Silvertine Lodes and arrived just in time. Apparently the orcs got wind of the forge and had dug tunnels behind the walls to break in and claim it for their own. It was another tough battle and at the end a massive troll burst through the main door, but we have seen much worse and fought them off. Medloth turned into a big angry bear and off they ran, ha! Stothkell promised us that he'll make sure to properly repair the door, fill up the tunnels and seal the walls again so that no orcs can sneak up on them like this again.

    New entry:

    Dear diary,

    The orcs have launched another attack, their biggest one yet. And this time they attacked the heart of the Moria expedition, the Twenty-first Hall itself.

    We knew about it beforehand. Scouts reported massive forces of orcs marching towards the center of Khazad-dûm. Bosi was concerned, if we lose the Twenty-first Hall, we lose Moria, he said. Here too a lot of barricades had been set up. Still, it was a wide open space, easily accessible from different directions. Everybody was tense. The drums were getting louder. And closer. And then the attack began!

    Wili, who commanded the Iron Garrison, held a short, inspiring speech in front of his warriors and then they all an off and manned the barricades. The first horn sounded from the east, and as we rushed over, a dwarf came running towards us, shouting that their post was already overrun. A large host of orcs came charging down the stairs, and we engaged them in combat. Thor stood in the middle, shouting loudly and drawing their attention. He wore the thickest armor and actually seemed to enjoy the fight, while the dwarves of the Iron Garrison, Bohalin and I cut down the orcs with our axes. Galdhron commanded one of his many animal pets, a small bear, and laid down funny circles, and Hroik used his stone tricks, and Hedge shouted and cried and encouraged us all.

    We defeated the first wave easily enough, when more orcs came rushing in. Some carried pots of fire to set the Hall aflame, there were archers standing in the back, a frontline of capable warriors, several defilers and lieutenants, but we resisted fiercely until they were either dead or had retreated.

    Then a horn rang from the west, a guard shouting in panic: "We were overrun! The enemy is too strong!" The orcs had brought a few trolls this time. It was tough, but we also prevailed this time. By now, everybody was exhausted and sweating. Two outer positions had fallen and the Hall was just too big to defend on all sides. Several good dwarves had fallen, or were still engaged in a lone and heroic battle somewhere.

    Wili ordered us to retreat to the Chamber of Mazarbul. Just like Balin's ill-fated expedition, we were forced to make our final stand in the very same chamber! Were we also going to perish here? Had anybody written a book? Were where Bosi and Brogur, had their positions also been overrun by now? And, as Bosi was not here, who was going to write the final words? Maybe Hedge should have done it.

    But there was no time for it, as the door flew open and a massive, armoured troll, accompanied by a horde or orcs and wargs stormed into the chamber. We fiercely fought for our lives, as we have often done before, and before too long the troll and his escort fell. We anticipated and got ready for the next wave, but... it never came... There was a sudden silence. Silence? Hedge was the first to notice.

    The drums had stopped.

    It seems this was the final assault, at least for now. Wili also thinks this victory might be short-lived. The orcs are endless in numbers, they will regroup and strike again, and the expedition is ultimately doomed to fail. The Iron Garrison is just not strong enough to hold on to Khazad-dûm. That seems to be the general consensus now.

    But Bosi had come up with an idea. If the orcs have found an ally, why should the Iron Garrison not do the same? "We must seek help of our own. We need the assistance of the elves of the Golden Wood. There is a woman of great power, the Lady Galadriel", he said. He wants an audience with her. But he is also afraid, because some say she is a dangerous woman. She also may refuse to talk to him, for the friendship of old between the dwarves of Khazad-dûm and the elves of Lothlorien has suffered after they had accidentally awoken Durin's Bane.

    So he gave us a new mission. Go to the Golden Wood and find out if we can get the help of the elves. The dwarves have found a way around the destroyed bridge of Khazad-dûm and the eastern exit.

    It will certainly be nice to be outside again. But I don't like the idea too much, I don't want to go there. I heard they live in the trees and I'd rather stay with my kin. And if we all go, we should try to be back as quickly as possible. I hope there will still be any dwarves left when we return.
    Last edited by Craiden; Oct 25 2019 at 08:28 AM.

  4. #129

    ((Club Eclair)) Sitting in Sunshine


    I am writing to you under the light of an late afternoon sun. There is a cool breeze coming down out of the mountains to our west, rustling the leaves in the trees as it passes by. Nearby, there is a nice lake, not so grand as Evendim but quite cold with water that falls from snow-covered mountains to the north. Take the falls that come into Little Delving behind our house and make it twenty times bigger and twenty times higher and you can imagine the sight. We camp miles away, yet I can still hear the roar. It is odd - I can see the reflections of the stars even in daylight - and even as clouds pass overhead.

    I am on the far side of the Misty Mountains. We passed wholly under them - from one side to the other. This is the side where Mad Bilbo Baggins found that bearfolk. Off to the East, somewhere, is the Lonely Mountain. I wonder if I might visit there. I wonder, if I did, whether they will recognize the name Bilbo Baggins.

    I am at a camp built just outside of Moria - a camp filled with dwarfs with a smattering of elfs. The elf’s here say we need to travel further East to find somebody who might be able to answer the dwarfs’ plea for help. Meanwhile, Galdhron is advising us the we should make ourself useful so as to earn some favor. There are orcs about, what have come from Moria and have I’ll intent towards the elfs. We are intending on a patrol a bit later to try to drive off some of the orcs.

    There has already been one patrol. We stepped out of Moria at near midnight. We stumbled to find ourselfs a place of rest. I got here with Fraori, Amio, Bohunc, Thorfaniel, and Medloth. We also stopped along the way to pick up the dwarf, Svanr. He's a dwarf we met earlier on our patrols about Nud-melek - a part of Moria - and who we knew wanted to see the outside. We had left him at the broken bridge when we thought there was no way across. Once we learned there was a way across, we opted to pick him up and take him with us.

    I am feeling a bit out of sorts on account of I thought that all of us knew Svanr and, once I thought back on the trip, it seems Amio and Svanr might not have met. Amio was confused about us bringing him with us. I should have introduced him - but I was so certain at the time we all knew him that I did not think to do so. It was only later that I remembered that Amio had gone for quite some time and might not have been with us when we first met Svanr. I feel bad about that. I need to make sure to talk to Amio when I next see him and apologize.

    The mapping group, lead by Sagla and Thorcundo, with Erikin, Bohimli, Galdhron, Hedgerow, and Roy, came out near dawn. Roy stayed at the camp with us and helped with setting up the camp, but the others decided to go right off on a patrol for the dwarfs - since the day had truly just begun when they arrive. Those that came with me were all still sleeping. They sought to drive the orcs off of the mountain where the orcs are trying to open a pass through to the west so they can stream over. In that, they were successful and returned in time for supper. But, during the night, we could hear the orcs up on the mountain rejoining their work to open the pass.

    So, now it is our turn to persuade the orcs to abandon their project. Once I get done with this letter, I will send out a call for volunteers. We’ll sweep the area of orcs, and hope that this will earn us some favor with the elfs. There are about four elfs camped here who can send word of our deeds to Lothlorien. Though we would take the patrol even if there were no elfs. We've made a name for ourselfs being helpful and that wouldn't stop once we left Moria.

    We’re not so busy that I couldn’t spend the morning testing the quality of the fishing in the lake. I caught over a dozen fish, fixed one up for lunch, prepared others for keeping, and sold the remainder to the dwarfs. The fishing here is quite good. About what I have become accustomed to in this part of the world. Sitting on the bank with a fishing pole, a waterfall in the distance, sunshine above, relaxing in the grass under a tree, was enough like home that I missed Little Delving something fierce. But, I gotta help our neighbors. That's what you always told me, father. A good hobbit is neighborly, and - though they are far away - these dwarfs of Moria are as much our neighbors as any in Little Delving.

    Well, I suppose I should get ready for that patrol.

    Take care, father. And hug the girls.

    Love, Alphred Troute
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  5. #130

    ((Club Eclair II)) Approaching the Elfs

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


    I am writing to let you know that we are about to head off to see about visiting with the elfs of Laurella, who live just a ways east of here – to see iffen they care to help the dwarfs of Moria.

    We’ve been patrolling the lands about the east gate of Moria for a few days now. It is plum full of orcs. Where they are coming from, I do not know. I am still thinking that they must have their own secret passages into and out of Moria as they are not using Durin’s Threshold or the First Hall to pass in and out. It Is an awful big city – sitting underneath three whole mountains as I understand it – and in the years the orcs have lived here they certainly had time to make their own ways to the surface.

    I did find a cave south of here. It had some treasure in it what was pointed to by riddles what were posted all over Moria. After all this time, it is a surprise that the riddling remained intact. It started way in the Silvertine Lodes a year ago and I was able to follow the riddles all the way to this cave with the treasure in it. But, one thing for certain, the orcs are not using that cave to get in and out of Moria. There wouldn’t be any treasure there iffen that had been the case.

    Anyways, iffen the dwarfs and elfs are going to be working together they are going to need cleared up roadways connecting them, so I figure the work we have been doing here for the past several weeks has been worthwhile. We’ve resolved to go out on lone last patrol to clear out the last of the orcs along the wilderness – other than those who will certainly come wandering in out of whatever orc holes they have built. Then we will pack up and head off to the next place.

    The camp they are sending us to, as I hear it, is just this side of a river called Nimrodal which is the boundary of the Elf lands of Lothlorien. It’s a full fledged army camp, as I hear tell – built for the fighting of orcs. I guess all they needed was a few more reinforcements to tilt the balance. No doubt they will have chores for us once we get there.

    The advantage is that, once we get there, the elfs that are with us – Galdhron, Thalachon, and Thorfaniel – can start to have talks with whomever the elfs send to talk for them. Galdhron, as I know, has already been having chats with them. Because of our patrols along the road, it has been clear enough that Galdhron has been able to get through to the elfs, though it has always been him alone at this point. He has come back and told us that the elfs are looking for proof of our good intentions – for which we are continuing our own efforts to clear the road as I have mentioned.

    I suppose once we get there it will be a matter of sitting and waiting and talking until the elfs decide to talk with us. Then there will be more talking until the elfs decide to help. Then, we can return to Moria. I am wondering if it is okay to hope that these talks go on a while – but that would be bad. The dwarfs are in need of help and I do not think that waiting will do them good. We need to get back. Sooner or later the orcs are going to attack again. When they do, if we are not there, the dwarfs may have problems. Of course, they confidently say otherwise. At the same time, they never cease to find things for us to do.

    It is hard enjoying the sunshine and the breeze and the green, growing things knowing that I will have to leave it shortly. I am trying not to enjoy it too much so that I will not miss it so much when I return to the mines. But I am failing.

    And I am so anxious to meet the elfs.

    I will let you know what they are like when I can.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow

    We will be mustering at the dwarf camp outside of Moria again. After making sure that our last dwarf chores are done, we will be packing and heading off to another camp on the bounds of Lothlorien.

    I suspect we will only need one week to convince the elfs to provide help. Then, it will be back into the mines. At which point, Hedgerow will sadly wave goodbye to the sunshine and trees – assuming that there is sunshine and trees – and, once more, return to the darkness.

    Upon our return, we will be spending at least 3 months in the Foundations of Stone. There are three fellowship instances there, though we will try to split them up some. There is also a raid, but I do not know yet if it will fit in the story better now or later. If it does, we may be in Moria longer than 3 months. Either way, it won’t be anything like the year that we were in it previously.

    Then . . . back to Lothlorien. The epic story will take us into the heart of Lothlorien. I am thinking that, this time, we may stay a few months and work on the Lothlorien quests and deeds, before returning to Moria.

    Then . . . back to Moria for Book 8 of the epic quest chain. This centers around the Chamber of the Crossroads – an area we already know. There will be no more new areas to map, just instances to run.

    It is at some time around here that we will raise the level cap to 58 for a bit and work on our Level 58 class quests. This will require returning to the instances for the class quests – and finish off any other instances and raids we haven’t finished yet. This time, when we leave Moria, we will never be seeing it again. We’ll be done.

    What we will be seeing instead is Mirkwood.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  6. #131

    ((Club Eclair II)) Meeting the Elfs


    Well, it’s back into the hole. The elfs are sending us back into Moria.

    Seems that the elfs already had a group in Moria what were working on something else. They mentioned some other party coming out of Moria a while back – no news on who they were, but bringing distressing news that the elfs decided to investigate. As it appears, when the dwarfs entered from the west and began to set up their efforts to retake the mines, the elfs came in from the east. Just like the elfs what go through the Shire on their way west, the elfs in Moria haven’t made themselves known. Come to think of it, I saw some elfs about . . . but, with Thorfaniel and Galdhron and Tharachon about in our own party, one or two other elfs was not really worth much of a notice.

    Well, we got no information about this other party and their distressing news, but the elfs are sending us to a place called the Shadowed Refuge to talk to the elfs there. I am of no mind as to how our work there will tie in with helping the dwarfs. But, we will be in Moria, and it is near to certain that whatever is an enemy of one is an enemy of the other.

    As far as writing to me, that won't change. The dwarfs are moving folks down there as well and will be able to forward all posts from the 21st Hall - which remains open and unattacked since we left. We must have given the dwarfs a true bloody nose to have them stop all attacks.

    It was nice being out and about in the sunshine, even if it did not last as long as I would have liked. The fishing was good. We formed a bit of an army for passing down the road and clearing it of nefarious orcs. Me, Thalachon, Thorfaniel, Fraori, Bohunc, and Medloth went down and actually got to step foot into the elf lands. It was just a foot, mind you - something of a meeting on the front porch. We never got to look inside. Thalachon did most of the talking and introduced us to the elfs.

    The elfs live in tall, tall trees on platforms that they call "fleets", I think. You'd have to imagine a tree the height of a Shire hill with a long, tall trunk and branches that spread about way up into the sky on which they build these fleets. They drop a rope ladder down through a hole and you climb it to get up to the platform on which they stand. Bohunc truly did not like being so far up, and Fraori wasn't too interested in talking with the elfs anyway. Thalachon introduced us and spoke with the elfs, mostly in their own language, so I did not understand much.

    They had us do some chores while Haldir, the person what runs this particular outpost, sent some sort of message into the elf lands to hear what was to be done with us. It did not take them long at all. By the time we had cleaned up some orc droppings, retrieved some arrows, and went on a patrol to raid a nearby orc camp, they were ready with the news already mentioned that we are to return to Moria and seek elfs at the Shadowed Refuge.

    Then, the six of us all bundled ourselfs up with arrows and to deliver back at the dwarf camp nearest Moria.

    Thalachon is quite the fast runner and made the run much faster than the rest of us. Medloth, I bet, was upset what she couldn't run as a bear while carrying an armload of arrows. Nobody can defeat a warden in a foot race, but I held back to make sure everybody was okay, though I would have needed to drop my arrows iffen anybody needed help.

    We got chased by a couple of orcs, but we were able to outrun them and made it to the camp with just a couple of bruises.

    Now, we are getting set to return to Moria. Back into the dark. But, we are going to a part of Moria we have naught seen before . . . the deepest, darkest, bottomest parts of the mines. And the elfs are talking about a great menace down there.

    Not to worry, I still have my friends about me. I will write to you and let me know how it goes.


    Alphred Troute

    Week of Nov 16-18, this will mostly be a walk unbroken by quests and such. We will march through Moria and head south, through Nud-melek, and on to the Shadowed Refuge. There will be some quests to turn in there. If we have time, we will take a bit of a look around the landscape to get our bearings and help Hedgerow add some details to his map.

    Then, for the next several months, we will be adventuring in the 16th Hall. This is one of those large instances we will need to complete several times in order for everybody to complete their slayer deeds and qualify for the black goat (Moria metadeed). It might even take us to the end of the year. Per suggestions, we may break our visits into the instance up with a couple of landscape patrols - just for variety.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  7. #132
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiempko View Post
    This is to let people know that I am currently unable to access any Standing Stones site or game. I cannot launch LOTRO or DDO Online. Nor can I reach the LOTRO.com or DDO.com web sites through my wireless system on any device. (But only those sites - everything else works fine, and only through the wireless connection, my mobile connection works fine.) Something is blocking the sites. The fact that it impacts all devices says that it is not a machine issue. Xfinity has elevated the issue to Tier 3 support and I can expect a call back in 48 to 72 hours. But, I suspect, this may take longer than that.
    Addendum: I will be in the game on Saturday. I'll walk to campus Saturday morning and use their WiFi. (An advantage of being a student and having the game on a laptop.)
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  8. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiempko View Post
    Addendum: I will be in the game on Saturday. I'll walk to campus Saturday morning and use their WiFi. (An advantage of being a student and having the game on a laptop.)
    If you can’t make the Monday patrol, we can just do some patrolling in the Shadowed Refuge area until Alphred returns. Then we can take our shots at the 16th hall.

    - Thalachon

  9. #134
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Somerville, MA, USA
    What is your current level cap?
    On Crickhollow: Wenslydale (Hobbit Burglar), Leolwyn (Woman Hunter)
    On Anor, Mithril League: Ardith (Woman Captain)
    Learning to raid on Anor https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...League-Kinship

  10. #135
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Echoweaver View Post
    What is your current level cap?
    Currently level 55.

    You can find that information, and what we are currently up to, in the very first post in this thread. That post gets updated on a regular basis.

  11. #136
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 126 ((Visiting the Elves))

    Dear diary,

    we have left Moria and visited the Elves. But we have been outside only a few days. And now we are back again, and in the deepest depths...

    After many months beneath the mountain, we went out of the eastern gate. And how great a feeling that was! Fresh air, blue sky, birds singing and trees swaying in a light breeze... It was truly delightful, even for a dwarf, and I can only imagine how it must have felt for Hedge, or Galdhron or Thorfaniel for that matter. I don't think Sagla cares too much, she is fine and stoic either way.

    To get there was not that difficult in the end. The dwarves of the Iron Garrison had found a way around the shattered bridge of Khazad-dûm, on the northern side of the deep chasm. Svanr, who was waiting for us near the bridge, showed us the way. En route, we disrupted a small orc operation by destroying their mine-carts which they use to bring supplies outside, but that was it. In the First Hall, the dwarves had already established a small outpost. And then the time had come to step outside!

    The gate on this side of the Misty Mountains is much more grandiose than that hardly visible, tiny door on the other side. A giant dwarven face carved into the rock, where you enter through its long beard. And a broad promenade lined with statues and many stairs leading towards it.

    In the valley below lay a long, chill lake. This lake was odd, as its surface was dark and showed stars, as if reflecting a night sky even though it was day and the sun was shining. So the old tale about Durin I. is true then? I mean, that he looked into this lake, and saw a crown of stars upon his head, and then decided to found Khazad-dûm right here? I think so then, yes. Must be! There is even an obelisk of sorts near the shore, right where he supposedly looked into the water.

    We found a small camp just outside the gate, near the lake shore, occupied by both elves and dwarves. The Iron Garrison had brought a few supply wagons out of Moria and seemed to have settled down nicely. I mean, there were tents and goats and supply crates and two campfires burning. Everything you need for a proper expedition. And they were mostly in a good mood, saying it is time to put the old dispute between elves and dwarves behind and work together for the benefit of all.

    The elves however, not so much. I believe they came up from the Golden Wood to greet the dwarves, but they pretty much still held on to their old resentments. They constantly reminded the dwarves that it was them who awakened the Balrog, one of them even said they should have never returned here. And this frustrated some dwarves, complaining about why they still blame them when those who did that have perished long ago. They didn't openly argue with each other, but there was some bickering going on and the overall atmosphere here was... a bit tense. That was at least my impression. We all felt a little uneasy, but there was nothing we could do about it as we only spend a brief time here on our way to the Golden Wood.

    There was quite some work to do there though, as orcs had also come out of Moria and set up several camps. They were also looking to clear a path across the Redhorn Pass to avoid having to go through Moria. So the next day we went up there to take a look. They haven't made any progress though, a huge icefall blocked the way. I'd say you can't simply walk across these mountains. The view down into Azanulbizar (or the Dimrill Dale) was breathtaking though. Far below lay the lake and even further away in the distance, behind it's southern shore, we could make out the yellowish treetops of a massive forest. The fabled Golden Wood!

    [[Here is a short video of that trip:]]

    The next days we cleaned out the orc camps. One they had built right next to Durin's Stone, where they chipped away at the rock, trying to topple it. Ha, what blasphemy! We made sure this stopped before they could turn it into rubble. We also collected the bits and pieces they had already chipped off and brought them back to Haflith who promised that one day he will add them to the obelisk again. Near another camp the orcs had felled trees and started to build siege-weapons. We think their intention was to roll them down to the Golden Wood when they'd start their attack on the elves. We burned a lot of woodpiles and half-finished catapults and siege-engines and found, and dealt with, their… mmh foreorc.

    In yet another camp, a bit further down the road, the orcs have been training wargs. We also went in there, slayed a lot of the wargs and burned down their training course. In each camp they had a leader and we sought and destroyed them to leave the orcs disorganized. We also planted dwarf banners in the camps to show them to whom the valley of Azanulbizar belongs. Still belongs! It was here where we had one of our greatest victories over the orcs after all.

    While all this was going on, Galdhron had gone ahead to seek out and speak with this Haldir. We met him again in our camp. He said Haldir, who is the protector of the Golden Wood, had word of our arrival and was already expecting us. Apparently he has many eyes along the road we came and his scouts have been watching every move we made. Strange, I haven't see a single one. He also said Haldir has a spy in Moria, but wouldn't elaborate further on that.

    So we left that little camp near the entrance to Khazad-dûm at around midnight to speak with Haldir. This time we avoided to engage the orcs, except for the odd one that hung around the road. Then, as the sun was rising, we made our way to the Golden Wood at last. The road led upwards a bit, and as we reached the crest we had a most magnificent view of it. Trees as tall as the stone trees in the Second Hall, with large, white trunks and crowned with yellow leaves.

    [[And here is a video of when we got to Lothlorien:]]

    Galdhron led us to a tree across a small creek where Haldir was waiting for us. He stood on a "flet", a platform high up in the tree. You had to climb a wobbly rope ladder to get there! I was less than excited, and so were Thorcundo, Hroik and Bohalin. Bohalin was especially fearful. But then, once you started, it wasn't that bad. You just had to make sure to never look down. I was happy though when we were back on the ground.

    Galdhron took great efforts to introduce us, but Haldir cut him short. Said he wouldn't let us pass further into the forest, let alone speak with the Lady of the Wood. But when he heard of our ordeal, and how many orcs and goblins we had slain and how we saw to the invasion of the Golden Wood being hampered, he agreed to speak to the Lady. She may consider a way how the elves can help the dwarves.

    While we waited for him to come back we patrolled around the outskirts of Lothlórien a bit. We didn't dare to go inside since we didn't have leave to do so and we didn't want to anger the elves. I was most curious however. Well, maybe another time. We met two of Haldir's brothers and slew a few more orcs. And we found several beautiful vistas of the elven forest.

    Then we returned to Haldir. He told us the Lady had already sent a group of elves into Moria. Well, that is true, we have seen a few of them. Never thought much of it though. She wants us to look for a particular, small group of them in the Foundations of Stone, the deepest known place in Moria. Haldir also told us that not too long ago another group had arrived here, and they bore sad news. Then the Lady had looked into her magic mirror and saw a great evil, a far greater threat than the orcs, in the deepest depths.

    And that was why she had sent some of her elite elves to investigate. If we want to help the dwarves, we have to help the elves there, Haldir said. And that was it. He just sent us back. And to the deepest and most dangerous parts of Moria, ha! I don't think Hedge is very happy about it, he just got out a few days ago. A few days of sunshine, light and fresh air. And we never even got to see the Lady! I don't know if I should be happy about it or not. I would have liked to see her, I think, just out of curiosity. So that was a bit disappointing.

    We also discussed who this "other company" could be and what these sad tidings could have been. Did Bosí send another group, not only us? And did they get to see the Lady and told her that Bori was taken by Mazog's orcs? Does she know about this sorcerer from Dol Guldur? Anyways, we'll head back to Moria at first light. From what we gathered, the Lady has only sensed a great evil, but doesn't know the exact nature of it. So she sent that company of elite elves into Moria, to find out more about it.

    And we will help them.
    Last edited by Craiden; Nov 29 2019 at 01:14 PM.

  12. #137

    ((Club Eclair)) Cleaning the 16th Hall

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


    Gad! I am so sorry!

    When I sat down to write this report I looked back at my last report to see what I had told you about, and found out that I had sent it even before we visited with the elfs. I was certain I had reported on the elfs at least once.

    Well, there's not much to say. The elfs told us that they were investigating reports what were given to them from a different group what had made its way from Moria a while back bringing distressing news. That distressing news, we have now learned, is that Gandalf fell into a deep canyon and has perished. Whether he lives or dies is unknown. It was at that broken bridge we found in Moria. Gandalf confronted some great even there and broke the bridge to prevent the malevolence from passing. He fell to the bottom with the villainous beast. And the elfs are searching the bottom of the pit - the Foundations of Stone - looking for signs of Gandalf.

    So far, we have seen neither sign or signal of either Gandalf or the beast.

    But we have not ventured into the farthest regions of the Foundations yet. We are helping the elfs and dwarfs secure the areas about their camp at the Shadowed Refuge. On our patrols we have slayed spiders and fungal orcs and trolls and a strange type of creature where none will tell me its name, saying only that they are "nameless". It would be easy enough to change that. I could call them Marlo. I never liked Marlo when I was a lad - he was always teasing and bullying me about my love of books and of writing. Ridding the world of Marlos seems as it would be a worthy way of spending my time.

    One of the worst infested regions that we have come across is what is left of the 16th Hall. The area is filled with orcs, and the deeper one gets the worst it becomes. We have found where some fethid disease-filled bugs have come up from the bottom and made their way into the lower parts of the 16th Hall. Over time, it seems to be making its way closer to the front, investing orcs as it goes. We don't seem to be vulnerable to this pestilence as none of us have been infected in the time we have been here - not for long, anyways. But orcs appear to be particularly vulnerable.

    Way down at the bottomest parts of these pits is a creature that Erikin speculates is a source of all of the disease. Whether it is the source, or rather just a gardener, is something that Erikin and Sagla debated a bit. Either way, this monstrous creatures that live at the heart of this disease and filth is somehow responsible for its spreading. They have proved particularly difficult to slay. Indeed, twice, we have been forced to retreat from our battles with these things and try again.

    Our first success was a near thing as well. I succumbed to its noxious fumes and smells early in the fight and found myself being revived by Sagla and sent straight back into the fight. As I got to my feet, nearly all others had been overcome from the fumes and were laying about - all except Thorcundo who was still standing toe to toe with the creature. Sagla helped me just as she herself could endure the fumes no longer and collapsed into the muck. This left Thorcundo and me in the battle by ourselfs. But Thorcundo kept the creature's attention while I repayed my debt to Sagla and got her back in the fight. Then I was able to get Bohimli to his feet. Sagla helped Galdhron and soon we were near up to full strength again. I was just near to helping Erikin when the creature fell and the battle was won.

    We have defeated three more of these beasts in these depths now and think there may only be a couple more left. We will be hunting them down in the next week or so.

    Then, the elfs and dwarfs have told us of another den of disease and filth called Skumfil they want us to work on cleaning. That is yet to come.

    Well, after all this work, I was getting low on provisions so I decided to come to the 21st Hall to reprovision. After all, I have good reason to believe that we will soon be sent into the deepest parts of the Foundations in search of any sign of Gandalf. There won't be any chance to reprovision once we leave on that mission, not until we return. At least, it would be foolish to expect it to be otherwise.

    That should catch you up on our doings. This is definitely the worst part of Moria we have confronted so far. There is much for us to do here and we may be here a while. I will let you know how things go.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow

    12/07 and 12/09: Our third trip into the 16th Hall. Those who have been able to go on each trip should finish out their slayer deeds. We will need to make arrangements for others. Sundays at 10:00 AM will be a make-up time for 16th Hall slayer deeds. If anybody needs another time, let me know and we will see about getting more volunteers. For the slayer deeds, we should not need a full squad - only enough people to get past the first boss (which will not take so many people if we control our pulls).

    12/14 and 12/16: A landscape patrol around the Shadowed Refuge to complete local landscape quests.

    12/21 and 12/23: With the holidays behind us, we will be venturing into Skumfil for the first time. It shall be expected that folks will be missing over the holidays. Remember the Bounders' rule: Home and family come first. They're not to be neglected for the pleasure of squishing bugs. We will do what we can with the folks that are available and then clean up the remainder in January.

    Mid to late January - March into the darkest corners of the Foundations of Stone in search of Gandalf and the Dark Delvings.

    Mid to late February - Return to Lothlorien.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  13. #138

    ((Club Eclair)) The Lost One


    I am quite tired. We just returned from a ferocious fight with a most villainous foe. It is a type of creature unlike any I have seen before. The folks about simply call it “the lost one”. It lives in the deepest part of a fetid and infested system of caves below what the dwarfs call the Sixteenth Hall.

    The Sixteenth Hall seems to have been some sort of community center for dwarfs. The hallways are lined with doors, though the doors have all been sealed shut and there is no call for us to enter. At the centers of these communities there appears to be a bit public square with a balcony. I can imagine that mayhaps the dwarfs had competitions in these rooms while people looked down from the balconies above, or used them for community meetings.

    Anyways, the orcs have certainly overrun the place. But, in the years, some disease-filled vermin dug its way from caves far in the underdark and penetrated into one of the deeper halls. It infested the orcs living there, and is still working its way upwards. The dwarfs living nearer the top seem to be the least effected. But, the deeper you go, the worst the infection becomes until the orcs nearer where the disease-riddled vermin of the under dark broke through are the most infected of them all.

    In their own caves, there are no orcs at all. There are just slime and bugs. I would guess that iffen any orcs had ventured into their dens, then they have been long since eaten. On an earlier venture into these dens to try to clean out the vermin, I got knocked off of a walkway into a fetid soup of these creatures. Amio gave me the honour of jumping down after me. Together, we fought and battled our way through waves upon waves of these insects trying to get back to the rest of the troop – what was busy fighting their own bugs. Soon, we were able to join up again.

    There was an earlier battle where Amio and Medloth were able to save us from ruin in the Sixteenth Hall. I am afraid that this was my fault. I charged a group of orcs without noticing an even larger group standing around the corner such that, when I started the fight, we were quickly overrun by villains. The orcs had quickly beaten all of us down. Amio flopped over as if he had

    Amio was with us on the battle against the Lost One. It was me, Thalachon, Amio, Medloth, Jaytull – you may remember me talking about him from time to time, he has been gone for a long time – and Roy, who had just returned from visiting his family.

    It was a battle, to be certain. I think that Amio took a whallup what sent him down, but Thalachon got him to his feet. I am not certain of this as I was busy. I took my javalins and threw them at the Lost One to try to get them to chase me. Meanwhile, Amio and Roy were being chased by all of the Lost One’s little helper bugs, and Thalachon and Medloth were about trying to destroy the fetid mushrooms what popped up and poisoned the whole room. We were all quite busy – my most important chore making sure that I was keeping the Lost One chasing me while others slowly wore him down and tired him.

    See, iffen you are standing to near to the Lost One he can whallup a whole group and send them down. He was chasing me about all the time, and that made it difficult for others to stay out of his way. I managed to keep my distance on account of being focused square on him as I had him chase me, but others – doing their own chores – managed to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn’t long until the only two what were left standing was Thalachon and me. But we had so tired the Lost One by then that the two of us were able to seal his defeat.

    Amio and Roy had an interesting job. See, in order to utterly destroy this Lost One we had to defeat it with its bug helpers unharmed. There was some such note that, iffen the bugs died, then the essence of the Lost One would seep into the underworld leaving mostly just its monstrous body behind and it would not be completely destroyed. I do not understand these things. But, we took the elfs’ word for it and tried to defeat the Lost One without harming any of these little bugs. This meant that they were chasing Roy and Amio all about. At least until the Lost One swept them away with a sweep of his hand. Then, they all came after me.

    Once we had gotten him bested, Thalachon went around to help everybody else back to their feet.

    I am back at the Shadowed Refuge now, following our battle. It was such a long and hard-fought affair that I simply removed my battered battling equipment, sponged myself off right quick in the cold clear water that flows through the elf cave, and crawled into bed for some good sleep. No matter how tired I get from such a battle, it always takes a long time before I can sleep again. Indeed, it takes a long time until my heart quits pounding in my chest and I am able to convince myself that I am not about to be eaten. And then there is just this great wave of relief and . . . well . . . joy that one gets to see another day.

    But now time has passed and I suddenly feel as tired as I have ever felt before, and I fear that I will fall asleep as I write unless I get this letter sealed and posted. I will write again later.

    Alphred Troute

    Officially, we are done with the Sixteenth Hall. Unofficially, we will still visit to help folks finish up their slayer deeds. Plus, we will return to all of these instances at Level 58 to help people get their class deeds.

    For the epic story, folks are progressing from Chapter 5 to Chapter 7 (Book VI) as we do the landscape quests around the Shadowed Refuge. By the end of this week, folks should be on Chapter 7 – though there is still time to catch up if not. Chapter 7 asks us to go to the Endless Stairs – which we will visit at the same time we travel to the Dark Delvings instance.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  14. #139
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 127 ((Foundations of Stone, part I and the Sixteenth Hall))

    Dear diary,

    We are still in the Foundations of Stone, the deepest roots under the Mountain, helping dwarves and elves unravel the secret of the great evil the Lady saw. Probably has to do something with the fungus I think, but progress has been slow. We have gone on several patrols and brought samples of fungus and flesh of infected orcs for the elves to study, but nothing to report yet.

    None of us was in a particularly good mood when we re-entered Khazad-dûm. There was a kind of dread and gloom within the group. Going back into the "Black Pit" after having smelled the grass and the flowers in that lovely alpine valley seemed to weigh heavily on everybody's spirits and we had hardly talked as Hedge studied his maps and led us to the Foundations of Stone, the deepest parts of Moria.

    It is a huge and dark cave system, tunnels and passages leading in various directions, and easy to get lost in. A lot of spiders roam about and more fungus-infected orcs than we had seen anywhere else.
    There is a sort of furry red mash on the ground, as if the fungus seeps up from below, and mushrooms grow everywhere, glowing purple and bathing the caverns in an eerie lavender light.

    And in the shadows lurk more of these odd creatures unlike any known, half goat, half man, but then not really. Horns and mouths full of teeth. But these were not even the strangest of the creatures we found here, can you imagine. Creatures that noone even has a name for. We always stay in a group here, no wandering about on your own, unless you may simply disappear forever.

    After many hours of walking, we finally arrived at the Shadowed Refuge, a small camp the elves have established. But there were not only elves here. A surprisingly large group of dwarves had also made their way down here, probably sent by Narfi or maybe Bosí himself to lead their own investigations. They were cooperating with the elves, but the elves stayed a bit apart on their own inside a cave. You could tell though that noone is particularly excited to be here. There is a general sense of uneasiness and I heard one dwarf whisper to another that they have to be wary if even the elves are afraid of something in these depths. And they seem to be quite terrified by the nameless creatures and the fungus.

    One of the elves told us that these nameless once served the Balrog, Durin's Bane, but now they serve another master. Who exactly they don't know. Not yet at least, I think that is what they came down here for, to find out. But that also means that Durin's Bane is no more, right? Then what we found in the crater at the top of the mountain must have been his remains? But who defeated it? Who has the power to slay a Balrog? They elves certainly did not. Was it the new master the nameless serve now? If so, this new master must be more powerful that we thought and I am starting to get worried myself.

    Or was it this sorceror from Dol Guldur? We learned his name is Gorothul and that he likely asked Mazog to send his orcs down here, but for what purpose is unknown. They seem to seek something, but what? And almost all his orcs have been infected by this disease that is spreading among them, grossly deforming their bodies. We were told the sorcerer's name by Lenglammel, a pretty elven woman in a shiny blue and white robe. She is leading the scouts from the Golden Wood. She also said the Lady sent us here for a reason, as she sees many things in her mirror. I remember that I dreamt about her once, while still back home in the Blue Mountains. Before I even knew anything about her! Weird. But it makes me feel a little better. We may even leave these depths alive and victorious.

    She (and many other elves and dwarves too) sent us out on several missions, the main goal however is to find out what causes the disease and what Mazog or Gorothul want to find down here. It was quite a lot they asked, so much that Hedge said he's never had so many chores, not even in the Shire, and it seems someone must have told them we were coming and they put all their tasks on hold to burden us with them.

    We killed spiders, poured fresh water into a well the orcs drink from, burned mushrooms and buried dwarves who went out and were killed, before their bodies could be eaten. We found some orders indicating that Mazog attempts to enslave the nameless creatures. But why? From all we know they could easily throw the dwarves out of Moria without them, and they haven't really made much of an effort to do so. Well, except for that one major assault on the Twenty-first Hall, of course. Lenglammel thinks Mazog is just a puppet of that sorceror and his ultimate goal is the Golden Wood itself. She also thinks Mazog is playing a most dangerous game and has no idea what he is messing with.

    One of our patrols led us into the Sixteenth Hall. This once was a neighborhood, or living quarters of sorts. There were many, now locked, doors leading into modest houses or storage rooms, and passageways and larger plazas, maybe marketplaces or mess halls. But now it was decrepit, full of orcs, and filth had piled up everywhere. The first orcs we encountered were of the normal type, quite strong, but not infected. But as we got deeper inside we understood why we were sent here, which was to bring back fungus samples and samples of infected orc flesh for the elves to study. They hope to learn how potent the disease is and how it spreads.

    Especially worrisome were the larger squares where dozens of orcs were gathered. We had to be careful to not alert all of them to our presence at ther same time and picked off smaller groups one by one. In one room, a former mess hall by the looks of it but all tables and chairs long gone, we found what seemed to be a leader. Not a general, but a leader still. At least he had two bodyguards with him. I don't know what he had eaten, but he apparently was very sick. Maybe an early stage of the fungus infection. Poor guy looked pretty pale and threw up several times during the fight. Well, the good thing is we put him out of his misery.

    Behind that hall, stairs were leading down and that was were things got really bad. The disease ran rampart and there were many, many orcs suffering terribly, their bodies grossly deformed, and obviously in geat pain. It was the horror, absolute horror. Some of them were just sitting around, holding their stomachs and clearly in great agony. When we approached them, their bodies exploded in a cloud of blood and intestines and big worms popped out. I don't like orcs, but this is ... just not right. We all got sprayed by their blood and there was great worry that we'll also catch the disease.

    We got all the samples we needed for the elves, but also discovered a tunnel system and caves beneath the Sixteenth Hall which we explored. In one cavern we found a lone orc, massively transformed. His body looked more like a gnarled tree, with branches growing out of his head. The tunnels beyond were not dwarf-made, but natural. There were patches of fungus everywhere. As if it grows through the rock from below.

    And there was a myriad of hard-shelled beetles, scurrying back and forth. I think they might be to the fungus what bees are for flowers. Maybe, no? And they dig holes for the fungus to grow in and spread. We found a whole nest of them at an underground lake, occupied by several queens, and made sure to remove them all.

    In a small pond beyond the lake we discovered another lone creature. This was not an orc, or at least I think he wasn't. Fungus was growing all over it's body, so it's hard to say. It had a strong, muscular body and it's arms reached all the way down to it's knees, but... the odd thing was... it had no head! Only a large mouth filled with rows of sharp teeth just above the chest, where the neck would be. Scary!

    We don't know where it came from, or for what purpose, but we couldn't just leave it standing there doing some evil things, right? Maybe it oversees the spreading of the fungus in the Sixteenth Hall. It had some kind of connection to the beetles, for when we attacked it, several of them came rushing in to defend it. Maybe he is some kind of beekeeper, or should I say bugkeeper. This thing put up quite a fight though, knocking down a couple of our group before it finally dropped. And then it just shrivelled away, leaving behind only its dry hide.

    We took that, a pouch of spores and the fungus samples and infected flesh strips back to the elves in the Shadowed Refuge. I am not going into detail how we cut the flesh from the orcs, no way. But for all we went through to get the samples, the result of their analysis so far is quite the disappointment I must say. All the elves said was they were not familiar with this species and need more time to study it. The good news is that the disease does not seem to affect the "good" people, only bad orcs and other critters. I guess they gleaned that simply by looking at us and listening to the account of our excursion into the Sixteenth Hall. I could have told that myself.

    But every time I go to sleep I kind of expect to wake up and find the first growth of fungus on my skin.
    Last edited by Craiden; Dec 30 2019 at 07:47 AM.

  15. #140

    ((Club Eclair)) Deskumfilling

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


    I beg for humble forgiveness in my failure to right for such a long time. I got myself caught up in helping the dwarfs work on the library of materials that they have been gathering from the dark places of Moria. They left a lot behind when dwarfs were chased out of this place, and some of it still remains - in different qualities of condition. I spent each day telling myself, "Tomorrow, I will make time to give the Chief a report." But, the day ended, and I still did not have it done.

    I have a few minutes now. I was working on categorizing more of the Dwarf library materials . . . and I just decided: Hedgerow, you need to file a report with the Chief. You have put this off long enough.

    In spite of how long it has been since I have written, not much have happened. There is a place within this Foundation of Stone where the orcs have been piling their bodies. And there have been lots and lots of bodies. We should know. We made a good many of them. So there has been food apleanty for the vermin that have been living in the lower darks of Moria - and they have grown big and fat. Very big, and very fat.

    For once we are not battling orcs. We are battling spiders and crawlies and giant cave rats that I have called cave bears on account of their size but really they are cave rats.

    We have entered time and again to try to reduce their numbers. It is like going into a root cellar that was once fully stocked and the owner then neglected for a whole winter - only to find it full of mice. You can catch so many mice that you think that none more could possibly exist. But, the next day, it is as if you had never done the previous day's work. It takes weeks to months before the root cellar is cleaned out again - and that is without the fact that no more food is being added. That's not the case with these vermin. The orcs continue to throw dead bodies down here. None of them have landed on us yet, but we see fresh ones lying about.
    The spiders are the worst. When you step into the spider den, it is as if there is a whole underground city of spiders out of sight from which they come out and swarm any who dare to step foot on their front porch. There is just no end of them. The best we can do is to rush in, slay a queen or two . . . usually just one . . . well, always just one. That is all we have had been able to master. Then we charge out and wait for the spiders to settle down. You would not be amiss to imagine stimping on an ant mound or slapping a bee hive with a paddle

    I am honestly thinking that we are not going to get this chore finished. There are other things what need doing, and we cannot stay here forever. There is a place called the Dark Delvings where there is a dark power that is a threat to the lefs and dwarfs alike. We may well need to leave the vermin alone and deal with this more serious threat. I am beginning to hear mention of the thought that we may just have to pack up and move on.

    Anyways . . , so, that is where we are at. I just wanted you to know I was safe. I am wading knee-deep in bug parts most days and helping to sort and file books and scrolls I can't read on others. The work continues.

    Hedgerow Shrewburrow.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  16. #141
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 128 ((Foundations of Stone, part II and Skumfil))

    Dear diary,

    the elves did not only come here to learn more about the great evil. Lenglammel told us that the Lady also sent them to find out what happened to a guy named Mithrandir. And I learned that is the elven name for Gandalf, the wizard. Ha, the old man! I remember I first met him in Bree and then later in Rivendell where he left with this small group of people on a secret and most important mission. Apparently he fell into the Abyss and the Lady hopes he can be found and is still alive. Must have lost his footing and fallen into one of the many cracks in Moria... I doubt he will ever be found, poor old man!

    But what did he do in Moria? If he was here, the others he travelled with must have been aswell. This King Aragorn, and Gimli, son of Gloin, and the Hobbit named Frodo who I took a walk with in Rivendell. So they passed through Khazad-dûm then! I remember we cleaned up after them and then lost track of them in Eregion, on the other side of the Misty Mountains, and never found out which way they went. And if the Lady knows that Gandalf has perished, maybe the other group Haldir mentioned, the one that bore sad news, was them! Yes, it all makes sense now. There also is another elf looking for Gandalf, Magor, but he has not returned yet.

    So we went looking for the wizard and this elf. We found a large spider nest, but no sign of them there. And at the very bottom of the Foundations of Stone we found a large underground lake. The water glowed green as if from a source of light from below and in places steam rose from its surface, and in other places the water was covered with a reddish muck, half-liquefied fungus.

    Near its eastern shore we found a small island and it looked as if something big had fallen into the lake from above. As we got closer, we could see it was a dwarf-made structure, broken and shattered. It could have been... a bridge? Or part of a bridge. Hedge looked at his maps and said it could be that we are right beneath the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and this would then be the piece that broke off and fell down. I looked up but of course could not see anything in the darkess.

    And near it we found a hat, grey and pointed. It did look like the wizard's hat. It was burned and blackened in several places. No body though. So the wizard was either down here too, ot his hat fell off while he stood near the sundered bridge above. We took the hat with us and continued our search.

    On the other side of the lake was the bottom of the Endless Stair and Lenglammel had asked us to look for the wizard there too. To get there, we had to go around the southern edge of the lake but what we found there made me doubt my sanity. Horrible, deformed beings, some without heads, and a myriad of large, soft eggs standing in small pools of water. Some of them had already opened, others looked as if they might pop open at any moment. It was not from this world! And I wondered who had laid these eggs. Hedge said we may have found the spawning grounds of the nameless creatures.

    The eggs were guarded and several of these goat-like beings came running at us on all fours, like a pack of dogs on thge hunt. They they stood up and lashed at us with their long arms, trying to bite us with mouths filled with rows after rows of sharp teeth. I was glad when we left that place behind us.

    We made our way to the Endless Stair and climbed up. A long climb it was and just when I thought the name might be meant literal, a pile of burned rubble blocked the way and we could go no further. Then we returned to our camp. We haven't found much and knew as much as when we left. Well, a bit more maybe, we found the wizard's hat at least, but where he is and whether he is still alive or not we do not know.

    The dwarves in the Shadowed Refuge had another gruesome task for us. They sent us to a place they call Skumfil, the bottom of a deep chasm into which the orcs throw the dead bodies of their fallen.This has attracted a lot of kergrim, who feed on the rotten flesh of the dead. And not only kergrim, also many, many bugs. They lay their eggs in the corpses so that their younglings have enough to eat. The bugs that later dig through the stone are spreading terrible diseases and to thouroughly rid the place of the carriers would make Khazad-dûm a much safer place for the dwarves. The elves also wanted samples of the innards of the bugs, to find out if they spread the disease among the orcs.

    The entrance to the pit was near the underground lake and as we got in, the smell of rotten flesh was almost unbearable. It was a round cave, with heaps of dead bodies, rotten, bloody flesh, lot of bones sticking out. We saw the bugs and the kergrim fighting each other over their food. We thouroughly cleaned the place out, but it took several trips to destroy all the vermin.

    At one timne we followed a side tunnel in which we found a particularly large kergrim and two bigger cave-claws. He seemed sad as we killed his "pets". "My little friends! Why kill them? Now I all alone!" There was a brief moment where I almost felt sorry for him, but we put him out of his misery soon after. He was a mean guy anyways, trying to kill us.

    The tunnel opened up into another cave, where we found the biggest pile of dead bodies ever. And on top of it sat the largest gredbyg queen ever, as long as maybe six supply carts of the Iron Garrison. As she became aware of us, she lifted her upper body and started to rattle menacingly with her front limbs, lined with sharp spikes. This must have alerted some of her offspring, for as we climbed the slimy hill several smaller bugs came out of the pile to defend her. Some of them had a sort of hypnotizing gaze, weird. I looked into the eyes of one of them and was unable to move until my friends killed it. That not only happened to me, but to others as well. Very weird. I frantically slashed away at them to free my stunned comrades.

    Meanwhile, Thorcundo had the beast's full attention while we were hacking away at her. It was a long fight to bring her down and we had to be careful to dodge the poison she spat or the sting on her abdomen, which she skillfully moved around to stab us. She was too slow and big though to be much of a threat. And as she lay dead, we noticed the dead body of a very big kergrim lying next to her. She probably defeated him in a mortal combat over this heap of rotten flesh, the biggest prize in all of Moria to her.

    Below the pit was a large spider den. Sooo many spiders in there, hundreds, if not thousands! There just was no end to them. We wanted to get to their queen, a creature horribly deformed by fungus, but to get there was quite the challenge. Every time we defeated a couple of spiders, new ones showed up. We got totally swarmed and had to retreat. We tried again, and this time stayed closer together. We fought them in one place, then quickly moved to the next place where a couple of them were sitting, so as not to alert more. But sometimes one of us stayed behind a bit, got spotted and swarmed. We got desperate and started to shout at each other: "Come here! Stay with the group!"

    We finally made it to the end of the room where the queen was, near another large pile of rotten flesh. We hid in an alcove and brought her over to fight us there. She lay a puddle of poison which was pretty painful, and sometimes knocked us back. Then we would fall right into another group of spiders which came scurrying in to join their queen in battle. It was a difficult encounter, but after a few attempts we managed to destroy her. And also get back out alive.

  17. #142

    ((Club Eclair)) Return to Dark Delvings Campsite


    I have left the Shadowed Refuge and will not be back for a bit.

    There is a place here in Moria called the Foundations of Stone with this huge lake beneath it. But it is not a like the Water Works. This is vile and sickly - and filled with the worst vermin that one can imagine. There are creatures here - they do not even have a name, so far as I know.

    Well, they do have nests. I have mentioned the nest called Skumfil filled with bugs and cave bears. We have done the best we can in clearing it out. But the orcs keep throwing bodies in and, with so much food, no doubt the numbers will burst again and the vermin will spill out into the rest of the Foundations. There's a spider nest with literally hundreds of spiders from dog-sized to smial-sized.

    But we are going to another nest where a type of creature what doesn't even have a name lives. These are creatures out of your worst nightmares. They do not even have a head - but imagine a beast with arms half-way down its chest on each side and a big mouth in the upper part of his chest. Well, even that poorly describes these creatures. Anyways, we are about to enter a huge nest of these.

    Before leaving, I decided I need to stock up on provisions, so I ventured back to the 21st Hall and got some supplies. I arrived just as Mr. Sweetweed's most recent food shipment was delivered, so it was very timely. I stocked up with honey bread . . . what isn't as good as what Medloth makes, but I would not say so to him in case he should be offended. Medloth is an expert in such things.

    Anyways, with new provisions - and with getting rid Sagla's group went first to clear the way. The story has it, they found one of them giant turtles along the way. But we have good tactics for turtle fighting and everybody remembered their duties. Sagla and Thorcundo switched off handing attentions back and forth, while Wandrin and Hedgerow kept them refreshed. Roy, Bohalin, and Galdhron worked on beating up the turtle, slowly exhausting it until they could get in a final blow.

    We followed a couple of days later. The trip was quite easy. We had a few chores to do along the way - heading off into some of the side passages to clean out the few vermin and villains that were making their homes back there. We cleaned out a nest of orcs, a small nest of spiders, and one of these tribes of nameless creatures. They have a strange mystical altar of some sort - and as Wandrin just so much as touched it their leader got all enraged and attacked us. But we were ready for this and had numbers on our side, so we slayed it.

    We had Bohunc with us. We really should make more and better use of his tracking skills. I think I am going to invite Bohunc to keep an eye out for special tracks and help us track down some of the greater foes that sometimes roam our adventuring areas.

    Wandrin was with us, too - as it turned out. After making the trip with Sagla's company, Wandrin and Roy returned to the Shadowed Refuge to show the rest of us the way there.

    I travelled with Thalachon, Jaytull, Bohunc, Medloth, and Fraori . . . along with Wandrin and Roy, of course. We have so tamed the landscape that we scarce even stayed together, at least at the start of the trip. But there are safety in numbers so we finally got ourselves organized and headed out.

    We were asked to look over the places where the signs of Gandalf were found - where the rubble from the fallen bridge was piled up and at the top of the Endless Stairs which are no longer endless. But we could find nothing new.

    While we climbed the Endless Stairs, Fraori stayed below and prevented us from being trapped up there by keeping the nameless beasts away. Then Jaytull found one of the orc leaders and attacked it . . . but he jumped into a canyon he could not get out of. To get out, he had to go a long path filled with these nameless creatures. I ran to rescue him, but he was handling himself well enough. That is not the only time he rushed off. He shouted once that he had heard rumors that the Balrog's original home was nearby and went running off into the darkness, by himself. He returned in one piece, though. I never learned if he found what he was looking for. I think he did, but he found it was nothing special.

    Anyways, after we rest up here some after our long march, we will gather our supplies and head into the Dark Delvings. I think there is sufficient good mail delivery here at this camp that I can continue to send you posts and receive yours. But, if you do not hear from me for a bit, you know why.


    Alphred Troute
    Last edited by Tiempko; Feb 04 2020 at 10:51 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  18. #143

    ((Club Eclair)) A Dark Day

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


    We have been bested!

    I don't think this is such a great threat to the Shire as the dwarfs have a plan to keep these beasts contained for now . . . and they do not like the light. But they bested us.

    We have not been bested by such a creature since what we found in Barad Gularan in Angmar - at least until Wilbus and Liatri figured out a way to defeat it. But neither are with us any more. We have taught their tricks to Bohunc, the bow-dwarf - but he is just one person. At least, last I checked. He's pretty wide, but I am guessing he is still only one person.

    The dwarfs sent his against a villainous villain that lives in the darkest dark of Moria. It seems to command the dark. The darkness surrounds you, penetrates you, drawing the courage out of you like an icy winter in Forochel draws out your warmth. It is dreadful.

    In spite of the dread, we ousted on, battling the minions it had sent to block our way. They were a true challenge. Particularly one that commanded an island we needed to cross.

    Thrice, we charged him. Thrice, it threw us back, forcing us to retreat and regather our strength. But with each battle we learned. Finally, we figured out a set of tactics that would defeat it.

    Thorcundo the battle dwarf was with us, and he needed to command its attention. But that proved to have its own hazards. The beast would swat Thorcundo, and off he would go . . . flying . . . flying . . . off the edge and down to the moat. Thinking itself victorious, the beast would retire . . . until Thorcundo returned. Then it would come from its den, fully refreshed. While we were tired, battered, and abused.

    I got tossed aside once. I got tossed right into a tangle of snake ropes. The snake roads are much like snotty spider webs, but crawling with crawlers instead of spiders. Hit a snake rope, and it would shake loose a gathering of worms, what would spit at you and cover hyoid in sticky so that you couldn’t even move until they ate you.

    Indeed, as I watched, I noticed that the effects of light and dark were opposite on the villains as they were on us. In the dark, I trudged along like an ant crossing a puddle of molasses. But I was freed of this burden when I was near a light stone. As I watched these creatures of the dark, they raced across the dark unhindered, buy slowed and struggled when they stepped into the light.

    Fortunately, they seem to have the intelligence of brutes, allowing us to draw then to the light where we were at its strongest and them at their weakest.

    None of us got eaten.

    Our tactic was to stand where he could not batter us into the moat. I stood with a big glow rock behind me. He swatted me, and I flew up . . . straight up . . . until I feared that I would pop out of the top of the mountain. I thought of waving to the Shire as I felt I would be certain to see it. But I landed . . . right near to where I had started, and still very near the battlers what needed my aid.

    In spite of our failures, we did not give up. I went with Wandrin, Roy, Medloth, and Wandrin in another attempt. We got driven back again after some fierce fighting.

    Then Thalachon, the ancient elf what has joined us, entered with Medloth, Wandrin, Fraori, Bohunc, and Alphred. Thalachon was knowledgeable about such beasts. He taught them of the need to strike the second leader when it raises a hand to strike a most devastating blow. Also, that a creature the leader summons will restore its power if given an opportunity to do so.

    They ended up fighting in the dark when the villain extinguished all of the light, but managed its defeat.

    All totaled, I am doubtful we can defeat the creature that commands this pack. We have instructions to try again. If we fail, we are to restore the lights that keep the villains trapped in the deeps and return to the Shadowed Refuge. There, the elfs have engineered a special mission that might put an end to this dark menace.

    I will let you know how we do.

    Hedgerow Shrewburrow

    The boss here is Level 63 (Purple) and needs to be interrupted to prevent serious blows.

    We faced the same problem with the creature in Barad Gularan, but there is a hunter trap that stuns even these creatures. Currently, we are short of hunters - having only Bohunc.

    We will give it another try. The dwarfs want us to try once again.

    If we succeed . . . then we will spend a couple of more weeks here.

    If we fail . . .

    Feb 22-24. We will muster at the Shadowed Refuge for some roleplay. We will report our failures and send two characters out on a mission (Book VI, Chapter 8) that is hoped to defeat an important beast. With that accomplished, we will make arrangements to pack and head off to Lothlorien. Given some time to spare, we may help folks complete some instance deeds that need doing and add a turtle hunt - as we still have fewer than half of the coins that will be needed at Level 60.

    Feb. 28 - Mar 2: We will muster at Echad Andestel in Lothlorien. Éclair has already made the march once, so no need to march again. We will head over to talk to Haldir, who will have us taken - one at a time (alone) - to talk to Lady Galadriel. We will be blindfolded, taken, and brought back. In game terms, we do not need to do this one at a time. Once everybody is done and we are all back together, we will start on the Book VII quests. This will be a walk-and-talk to Cirin-en-Galadh in Lothlorien.

    Book VII: I have just taken a look at Book VII, and it is set up quite poorly for us. Chapter 4 sends us back to Durin's Way in Moria for five chapters - four of which are solo instances. What I might do . . . for story purposes - is ICly stay at Cirin-en-Galadh and rest while we send a dwarf (Erikin?) back to talk to Bosi. We can then do the quests OOCly between sessions. Then, when our one character returns to Cirin-en-Galadh at the end of Book VII, continue from there.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Feb 11 2020 at 11:32 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria

  19. #144
    [Note: There is a new story posting above, but I wanted to add this separate.]

    Story Structure

    We have reached a point where Turbine made the LOTRO epic quest a solo quest. It is a story of one character taking part in this great adventure - not a fellowship.

    There are still landscape fellowship areas and raids, but the epic story is solo-only.

    If I lived in my ideal preferred world, there would be a player who would be willing to keep up the epic quests as a side-story. It is something he or she is taking care of on the side while the rest of us travel across the landscape. This character can draw upon our help for particularly challenging encounters such as the small fellowship quests in Book VIII and the skirmishes in Book IX.

    For example, while this character returns to Moria for Book VIII, the rest of us also travel to Moria to clean out the last of the vermin and villains in non-Epic instances. And while this Eclairian takes Book IX through Mirkwood, that character comes to us from time to time and says something like, "I need help. I need to go rescue some folks and I can't do it alone. Can we muster for an attack?" And so the whole group is involved in the skirmish.

    I just think it would read better if it wasn't a hobbit. Meanwhile Hedgerow and Alphred will continue to report back on what the main group is doing.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Feb 11 2020 at 11:54 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group working our way through Volume II - we will be spending 2019 working our way through the Moria Instances (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow). https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-II-Into-Moria


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