Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Tone Deaf Minstrel

Mousey the Minstrel was renown
For his ‘talent’ in his singing
His tone deafness, to him, unknown
Villagers’ ears would be ringing!

For those who heard his awful voice
Would howl in pain and hold their ears
“Give us silence and we’ll rejoice!
We’ve tolerated him for years!”

One night when Mousey was in bed
The townsfolk made an evil plot
“We’ll cut away those strings instead,
Then all his songs can be forgot!”

The folks crept up to his small house
With a ladder to the first floor
“We will creep in through like a mouse
And his songs will be nevermore!”

They approached his bed, scissors ready
To cut the strings of his dear lute,
Holding their weapon a-steady
When one man tripped! SMASH! “Shh!! Be mute!”

“Hey! Who goes there?” the dwarf cried out
Poor Mousey’s heart was now racing
“How did all of this come about?”
Standing now, to the group facing.

“We wish you stop and hear us speak:
You are tone deaf, silly Minstrel!
You do not hum, you rather squeak,
You do not sing, you simply yell!”

Mousey replied, boastful and proud
“I am a dwarf of Khazad Dum,
Yes dwarves will shout, I am allowed!

Now leave me be or I’ll kick your bum!”

A Warden Afraid of Splinters

A Warden of noble descent
In the Old Forest he would dwell,
With beard brown and javelin bent
This strange fear we could not foretell:

To some of us we fear the dark,
Insect bites or a mighty height.
But to our brave Friend of the Mark
A splinter can be quite the fright.

Spear and javelin he would wield
Strengthening his agility,
Let’s not forget the wooden shield
Unfathomable ability!

One morning carving his new spear
He heard the charging of a boar,
The tusks our warden did not fear
But in agony he did roar!

The pig missed his Warden prey
Slipping on the wet morning grass,
Poor Celebrimbus’ delay
Caused a splinter into his ass.

“Oh you vile pig! Away with you!”
He cried, throwing his javelin.
“Leave me be, good riddance! Now shoo!”
And off the boar went travelling.

“Oh what am I to do with this?
A damn splinter in my butt cheek!
I’m in a terrible crisis…
This will hurt my butt for a week!”

And so he wore a thick, grey cloak
With gear to evade a splinter,
But still his fear of Elm and Oak
Will haunt him ‘til next winter!

You will now be known as Man-at-Arms Celebrimbus Splinterbottom, Warden of AnnĂºminas to those you meet in your travels.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Two little kegs... too many Dwarfs!

Trewesdei, the 6th day of Wedmath (Tues 6th Aug)

It was an unwise decision to place two kegs in the kin house. Even more so to inform my fellow dwarfish kinsmen. I had, of course, neglected the warning of my fellow officers - Ulgur the minstrel dwarf of the Blue Mountains - had recently discovered the delights of ale and had developed a love of its taste.

If only I had taken heed of their words.

I was sitting peacefully in the office atop the stairs of our kin house when the tapping began. Little taps at first, like a woodpecker at its tree. I thought nothing of this, and continued my studying of Elvish battles of times long past. I had finished my research on the battle of the Last Alliance, ready to take my rest... when the window by the kinship door smashed in. Immediately I took my shield and sword to arms. Years of fights won have prepared me for this moment. A protector of the weak, I was the Guardian to the kin, and the Enemy had attacked our home.

"FOR STORMBORN!" I yelled, charging into the hallway, sword raised and ready to strike. It was here that I realised the kin drunk, Ulgur, had been on a "boozer" and lost his keys to the house, using his axe instead. Of course, his quest was to continue using our Sinister Keg.

I lowered my sword, and sighed deeply. "Dwarfs..."

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Behind the character.

I have written a few articles now, and thought I would tell you a little about myself. My name is Hannah, and I am a psychology student in the United Kingdom. I joined Lord of the Rings Online about 2 and a half years ago.

In my apartment at University.
I've read most of Tolkien's Legendarium with my favourite books being the Silmarillion and the Hobbit. I began playing LOTRO with my girlfriend, and loved the atmosphere of the community as well as the game's design.
I love art, and use a lot of creativity when writing blog posts (hence my own GIFs and calligraphy). I develop my art when I can, and have created a few graphic designs for companies across the UK.
I'm keeping this brief as I am on holiday at the moment with my girlfriend on the south coast of England. It is quite beautiful here.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A Ridiculous Challenge: 85 levels, 85 days.

From left to right: Mousey, Himeros, Astalder, Hannihr, Celebrimbus, Ihrhan, Berg, Sagittarius and Hannasiel.

In 85 days' time, I will have all of my characters to level 85.

I have set myself a goal of getting all of my characters to L85 within just under 2 months. Hannihr and Astalder are already at the level cap. If I can develop all of my other alts to 5 levels a day, they will all eventually reach the cap. I hope.

Forochel's Sea

Arvedui's Ship

Stormborn has reached 100 kinmembers!

Our first major milestone as a kinship: Stormborn has reached its 100th member!

We're smokin' hot.

We treat the kin house like a pub.
We began as a kinship on 18th February 2012. Inactive for most of that part due to University and work, we have finally become an active and social kinship again!

Northern lights in Forochel

Saturday, 27 July 2013

An Elven Wedding

Yes, this actually happened. My girlfriend I started playing 2 and a half years ago. Me, on my Guardian Hannihr, and her on Aliramiel, her Hunter.

We traveled over Middle-Earth together. Well, she would run off to a quest and I would try to keep up. We ran from Celondim to West Bree. There and back again. I like her serenade her sometimes.

"And IIIIIIII wiiiill alwaaaaaays loooove youuuuuuu!"

Here we are in Angmar, enjoying the romantic... brown... water...

Eventually we decided to have an Elven engagement. Yes, we actually had a friend of ours as a priest... there was a guest list and everything. So began the hen night.

The following day we had the wedding.

...and had the reception at the Green Dragon.

And so, Evernight had its first same-sex marriage. We received a few petitions against it:
"Eru made Arwen and Strider not Arwen and Ida."

But oh well. We had fun. We reached a level of nerdom we didn't know was possible.

Celondim Sky

A little GIF I created of Celondim's sky. One of the first things I loved about Lord of the Rings Online was its skies.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Kinship Recruiting

Kinship recruiting can be an absolute pain in the Carn Dum (that's Elvish cockney for bum). I have seen some truly excellent kinship adverts while venturing across Middle-Earth, but unfortunately I have walked into some regional channels with dreadful attempts at finding new recruits. It is therefore only fair that I use some examples now to give you an idea of what NOT to use when recruiting. Or, Eru forbid, I should use one of your examples in a future article!

Giiiirl I am fabulous.

Example one:

"We are ..... and we are recruiting all levels, races and classes into our kinship. Please send a tell to join!"

No imagination, no creative flair, no originality and certainly nothing that stands out. It's not even your bread and butter. It's your "can't-believe-it's-not-butter" and stale, brown bread. Do not use this! Ever!

Example two:

"..... is recruiting today. We are a rank X kinship offering regular instances, a social environment, kinship house, and fun. Send a tell to Arragoorrn to join!"

It makes my skin crawl. Almost any relatively decent kin will have some sort of regular timetable. Will have instances, a kinship house and, of course, a social atmosphere. You have to razzle dazzle your audience. Tickle their fancy. Use your sense of humour to cause a giggle - you'll get people's attention and will be recognised for having the ability to make others laugh.

Example three:

"If you join ..... today, we will give you 500s! Come to the Boar Fountain to join and receive your gold after joining."

This actually happened about two years ago. I was in a well established kinship, and some left for a few minutes so they could get their gold and then sneakily return to our kin. This "kinleader" was bribing others to join. Thankfully it never happened again, but just a warning - it's not worth the humiliation.

Sneakingses my precious!

How to improve:

This is something I created when recruiting a fortnight ago. It's simple, but gets the attention you need.

"Do you fall off cliffs because your warsteed hates you? Have you done hundreds of OE runs, and still cannot get that shiny new item? If you are unlucky, then why not get even unluckier and join us? Send a tell to join Stormborn!"

and another...

"Are you grinding for hours to get your elusive gold item, but would rather your kin gave you them for free? Are you bored of playing with n00bs and want to join some hardcore, elite players? Do you want help power levelling? Well, that's not us. But we're recruiting anyway. Send me a tell to join Stormborn!"

If you have read any great kinship ads, or would like your kinship featured in a future article - comment here or send me a tell in game!

Which type of LOTRO player are you?

I have compiled a list of different player types that I have come across over the past few years. There will be many I have missed out, but these seem to be the more common types within our game.

The Arragoorn
Enjoys role-play, but cannot think up an original story line for their own character. They believe they are a born again (insert protagonist name here). This is possibly the player's first character, and may opt for a name change later on (I am guilty of this).

The Troll
This player takes their entertainment from annoying others. While they may not do this every day, they will still take delight in causing mischief to others when the moment arises. This player has likely "kin hopped" many times for obvious reasons.

The Lone Ranger
This player will be kinless, or very inactive in kin chat. Prefers to solo new content and will rarely acknowledge the "multi-player" within an MMORPG. Will only group up when necessary. As their character's level increases, as does the amount of "Hey! Would you like to join a kinship?" they'll receive daily.

The Beacon of Light
This player will bring humour to the game, and never takes it too seriously. They are loyal to their friends, are outgoing to the players they meet in their travels and can bring hope to even the most difficult of situations.

The AFK Player
What it says on the tin. They play infrequently (less than two days a week) and may not have a character at the level cap. Sometime they will be the founder of a well established kinship but rarely plays anymore.

The Elite
The elite players will be accustomed to tier 2 end game raids. Will have had excellent gear at every expansion. They will have an advanced knowledge of most (if not all) classes to an L50+ level. Draigoch would be jealous of the amount of golden gear they are wearing.

The Hoarder
Will roll on anything in a raid. Even if they do not need it themselves. This is likely due to having many characters and assuming one of them may need it one day. Their vaults are full of items they have collected over the years. May create alts as "banking characters". An example of disorganised hoarding:

The Hardcore PVPer
Has spent so many years in the Ettenmoors, the developers of LOTRO are considering naming one of the NPC Captain-Generals after them. In some cases, a hardcore PVPer will reminisce about the "good ol' days" of LOTRO, before the Moors changed and how it's "more PVE than PVP". Despite their discontentment with the changes, some may still play every day. The pros of being a hardcore PVPer is that you are likely to become somewhat "famous" among your peers on your server, and will gain considerable respect for your rank and dedication.

The "Thingo"
Finally, we have the "Thingo". I have named this type of player after a much loved character in Evernight's Ettenmoors. The "Thingo" will be a veteran of the game, with an appreciation for the lore. Has excelled in their class and engages in role-play on occasion. This player will be light-hearted, social and rarely causes disputes. Gold, gear, levels and rank are not too important to them as long as they are having fun and can enjoy the game.

Can you think of any more types? Comment on this post for suggestions!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Welcome to the Birdcage,

"A collection of ramblings, nerd things and bird wings"

My favourite blogger. Avid Tolkien nerd and LOTRO player, this is a blog to keep as a favourite. (Psst... I also designed that banner.)

Click here to visit her site :)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

If you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

Good morning, fellow LOTR lovers!

It is snowing heavily here in England. With a hot cup of tea and a roaring fire, I shall tell you of my pointless adventures around Middle Earth in hope that the happy memories keep we warm. This had better work before my toes freeze off.

So, I shall begin.

My favourite part of LOTRO is finding little secret areas that no one else knows about. Although I love collecting rare items and tanking in raids, standing on top of the Prancing Pony and having a half dozen of new players trying to find out how I got there… that’s what makes the game worth playing.

There are areas you can get to without sneaking over borders (a prime example of this is the King tower in Evendim from a quest line), but the best in my opinion is walking on top of the hills of the Lone Lands.

The Lone Lands

Make your way over to Ost Guruth, the main city of the Lone Lands, and head towards the northern wall.

Almost there...

Now you an see the broken northern wall, you need to make an attempt to jump behind it and reach the hills.

Keep jumping! Keep jumping!

Congratulations, you have made it to the other side.

From here you can run up the hill and make it to the top. I don’t want to ruin the surprise of making it there yourself and seeing the sites, so I will let you explore.

Have fun :) and remember, when you get off the map for longer than a minute, you will be ported to the nearest rallying point (usually a starter area).

South Bree Gate

I am dedicating this particular guide to Sasiarai of Evernight, who happened to watch me fall from the South Bree Gate multiple times without laughing. This will be a bit easier than the last, I promise. Make your way to the South Bree Gate, and jump onto this little house:

Now jump onto the hedge, and face the gate.

The idea here is to jump around the gate holding up and right. With practice you will make it to the other side.

Now you can jump onto the higher part of the gate and take a silly number of screenies.

The Evendim King Statue

This doesn’t take parkour skills, just the patience to finish a quest line and click a rope. Make your way to Tinnudir, then take a horse to High King’s Crossing. When you have completed the quests in the King’s High Crossing area, you will have access to the rope.

Ta daa! What a view!

Comment below if you know a sneaky way of getting around Middle Earth.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The road goes on, ever ever on.

The server is down for three hours and the withdrawal symptoms have started to kick in. 5 cups of coffee later, I have decided to create a blog that is dedicated to my experiences in Lord of the Rings Online.

I have played LOTRO for two years on the Evernight server as “Hannihr”: an L85 elven Guardian who forgot to equip her belt for 2 raids without noticing. I have another 8 characters of each class, unlocked every area and tried all instances. I suppose all I can do now is to give advice, educate a little and warn you not to trust Elrond (for reasons I shall explain later).

This is Hannihr, on her warsteed, having just jumped over the border between Western and Eastern Rohan (pre-Western Rohan expansion). One of my favourite aspects of LOTRO is getting off the map in as many sneaky ways as possible. After this beginning post, I shall tell you my secrets of how to leave the map (which annoys the GMs, I can tell you…) and the old ways of jumping on top of certain buildings in Bree: the Prancing Pony, the Auction House, the undersigned area in the centre of town and the gates of South Bree.

I hope you will enjoy this blog as much as I do in writing it.