Highlights: Fanrel follows her dreams to the Great River
January 29th - February 4th
The Great River, or also known as the Langflood to the ancestors of the Rohirrim, is a divider between the life of the forest to the west and the destroyed wastelands to the east. There are quite a few people who may decide to skip this region for it overlaps Isengard between the levels of 70 to 75. Yet, the epic and Bingo Boffin's quests do run through here. And it all starts with a dream in Volume 3 Allies of the King Book 6: Mists of Anduin.
Features. The Great River has a lot of content you have already seen in Enedwaith and Isengard.
- Phasing - Not only do individuals or the status of buildings change. Entire camps disappear or appear. Your actions in the area can also effect whether specific enemies attack you in an instance or when certain quests become available.
- Instance specific items - There comes a point at the end of the region where you have to choose between helping or harming the oathbreakers. Your reward is highly dependent on your choice. Amusingly, your reward only helps you in one of the two repeatable quests for Golden Token of the Anduin - Brúngwath's Horn for Sunset Storm or Bagmund's Medallion in Lights in the Land.
- Tokens are now offered as an alternative reward to every quest in the area.
- There are multiple baubles as rewards from various quests catered to each of the classes. If thrown out, a person can barter for them again.
- You can barter the Swan Fountain (Large Yard) reward for Huge Swan Fountain (Huge Yard).
- It appears nearly every instance can be duoed.
- There are various decorations available from a couple of vendors in Stangard for every reputation tier. Outfits and horses are offered when reaching Kindred status.
- Roots of Fangorn is the instance available for this area. You must discover the entrance before entering.
Book 6, Chapter 1: Troubled Dreams is an instance that is packed with a lot of content. Many players expressed their gratitude to the quality of such an addition.The tone of the epic shifts from the frantic action from the Gates of Orthanc and the Fords of Isen to the unusual sleeping slumber of what currently occupies your distressed mind. The first half covers your past experiences and fears (from previous chapters of Volume 3). The second half can be deciphered as some sort of premonition, or warning to some things that have not yet come to pass. I still haven't figured out a way to wrap text around an image so just bear with the format for now.
The sight of the fallen Prince still fills you with regret and with worry for the future of his kingdom.
No living person seems to be left in Grimbold's camp
Candaith is with you. Is he the spirit guide of your fallen comrad or a construct of your combined courage?
There is Morflak, the commander of the Uruk-hai you met while imprisoned in Isengard.
Morflak says, "You will never escape!"
Candaith says, "How much hardship will our friends face before the end?"
You see Golodir stand before you. He speaks of chasing after Mordirith but then speaks of Lheu Brenin, leader of the Falcon Clan.
Lothrandir stands before you. He struggles against his bonds.
Calenglad fears of not being able to return to Gwindeth in Lake Evendim.
Ignoring the fact that you traveled through Isengard, the familiar faces of the Fellowship follow-up the events right after Volume II, Book 7 after meeting with Galadriel.
The developers were rather sly to include dialogue without using the words ringwraith or Nazgûl. Besides, this was their first encounter of one capable of flying. Would they have known?
Sam: "That shape won't be coming back, I wager. Legolas saw to that with his arrows...'You clutched your shoulder when it appeared, and looked to be in a great deal of pain. Are you sure you are feeling all right?'"
Merry: "When that winged shadow came out from behind, I thought we were done for."
Pippin: "Gimli says that shape we saw in the sky was a Balrog"
You see Wadu's sword jabbed into the ground. Nona stumbles around it.
Galadriel beckons you to come to Lothlórien. She states to bring the Ghost. Is she stating Nona has or will die?
If things couldn't get any more exciting, something amazing happens in Chapter 5: Old Friends and New Tidings. You get to see Gandalf! Some debate that the mysterious visage in Book 2: Chapter 15 is Gandalf's wandering spirit. Those who ventured into Ost Dunhoth for the In Their Absence chain are gifted with Mithrandir's presence on the final boss. But for most, this is the moment of truth you discover that he is indeed alive.
The unusual thing is you still don't know who might have given you the dream. Both Mithrandir and Galadriel deny interfering. The only thing they can agree on is the fact that the Fellowship is in danger and your presence is needed on the banks of the Anduin. You receive Swan Fountain as your reward.
The story starts out pretty strong down on the corner of the Green River, I mean Great River. An elf has you try to scare away anyone that comes close to the borders of the Great Wood. One Rohirrim refuses. He falls in love with the elf and dies pretty quickly by the hands of an orc. I haven't seen a tragic romance move this fast since watching Up. Not only does this mirror Arwen's affair with Aragorn but also foreshadows Nona's relationship with Horn.
The core of the region is here in Stangard. Being of Rohirrim background, they just don't let anyone in. Because Nona isn't allowed in, she entrusts you with Wadu's sword. Then when she is given permission, she responds in a very awesome way "I have permission to enter? Ha. I'll stay outside." The voice-overs for this region is awesome. Of course, things get even more complicated when Bingo isn't allowed in either. Not even proof of an incoming attack seems to sway their minds.
The story gets rather indepth when you discover this feud between the town's leader Stanric and the envoy of the King Sithric. You find out how deep the rabbit hole goes with the rebel forces, feeding not just the men but the horses too, hunting down the Uruk-hai emissary Dargum, first receiving word of Stanric's death and finding out he is still alive, then breaking him free out of prison. You have no idea how many quests there are in this story arc. The lesson here? Don't trust bald men.
There is a lot of action that happens just north of Stangard. Why wouldn't there be? Just zoom out to the large Rhovanion map and picture all those orcs and goblins venturing southward from the Misty Mountains through Moria to Isengard. Then you have the forces of Isengard, the White Hand, infecting the lands of the Horse-lords. Then you got Mordor forces seeping in from the Anduin river. Those poor Rohirrim. It is up to you to go save them. But then you get to see someone you did not expect - Landroval. Yep, seems like Landroval needs your help rescuing Meneldor. While you are doing that, you can find Dewitt the Explorer on one of the hills. Oh look! Snow!
The Rohirrim go south to the Abandoned Farmlands and spruce things up with their Green Thumb. At the same time, I'm here admiring the grand sunset over the tower. There is this large storyline about the Oathbreakers being cursed because they accepted the Easterlings bribes. Which means I should... toss this treasure in the river. You try to redeem them. But who cares when you got some brigand tents to burn! The only thing I wish they would have changed was how you received quest items. My bags were full and I somehow got like a dozen of them in my overflow.
There comes a time when you reach a point you sometimes wish you didn't know the truth about something. The Easterling attack is real. It was real long ago and it is real now. Sauron tore apart the homes of the Entwives and their beautiful gardens east of the river. The only hope that remains is that of one lone flower. Many trolls have now turned to stone. You can actually barter for one from Stangard and place it in your yard if you so desire. There is also the remains of something even more devastating but that story will be told in the next post.
by Resolina on 2018-02-13 09:42:28
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