Having entered Angmar and gotten the stable master stop in Gath Forthnir, I was ready to continue on with the epic quest line. Getting to Gath Forthnir was the first chapter for that. From there on it was a lot of running around.
The basic plan involves getting Lorniel into Carn Dum in order to find her father, Golodir, a ranger in Angmar who has gone missing. This is setup in chapters 3 through 6 which sends you to Rivendell to speak to Elrond, then to Thorin’s Gate to speak to Dwalin. The dwarves need to forge a key to Carn Dum, but of course Dwalin’s smithy doesn’t have all the parts, so you have to go to Michel Delving and Archet in order to pick up pieces. Then it is back to Thorin’s Gate to make the key, with a side trip to Skorgrim’s Tomb, before finally heading back to Gath Forthnir to tell Lorniel you have the key. I would dearly love to find out the burglar class gets to skip all of that by simply picking the lock, but I suspect that wouldn’t pass muster. Surprisingly, after riding across all of Eriador, she still remembers who you are when you finally return.
All of that gets you on the way to the Carn Dum instance where you must escort Lorniel and keep her safe as she searches for her father.
Like many of the quests in the epic line, this one has been change to give you a special boost to allow you to do it solo.
And so you use the key and enter Carn Dum and follow Lorniel as she runs directly into danger. So it goes with escort quests. I actually failed at the very end of the instance when I wasn’t able to pull aggro off of her at one point and she was defeated. So I had to do the instance all over again.
Whatever. With that boost at least I could kill the trolls in Carn Dum, which helped me move a deed along. The second time I was more careful. You get an opportunity to run ahead at one point at clear the path, so you don’t face so many mobs at once. And so we made it to the end of the instance to face Mordirith.
And, of course, Mordirith slays Lorniel, because irony demanded it I suppose. I worked so hard to get her there safe and this is what I get.
But I did get Golodir back. That finished up Book 7 and led into Book 8 which, as you might guess, involves Golodir going back to get Mordirith. But not before another set of collections.
Not that Golodir was having it to start with. In his misery he sent me off to Laerdan who had a plan… a plan that involved me finding yet more trinkets. I was off to Barad Gularan out in Nan Gurth for another repo job. Golodir’s gear was being held and I was tasked to get it.
I have to admit that Barad Gularan is one of the more badass locations in Middle-earth. Admittedly, I haven’t been to Mordor yet, but this place is pretty neat. It is a set of towers that you have to approach individually via various winding paths and bridges.
The screen shots don’t really do it justice.
The trick here is that this area was set up for raid groups. At least I assume it was set up for raid groups, since elite master mobs are wandering around near the base of the whole thing so if you take the wrong path you can end up in a world of hurt.
You have to find Golodir’s sword, shirt, and shield, each of which is behind a door up one of the paths to the tower. The key is that each is held by a different type of mob (hill man, goblin, and dwarf), so you can tell you’re on the right path when you spot those mobs. Follow them up the path to the door, behind which is the instance where you get to defeat the champion of each.
Each encounter has its own mechanic, which seems easy enough to figure out. The buff you get makes you more than powerful enough. So I was able to best each of them and collect all of Golodir’s missing gear.
Outside of the Goblin door there is a quest. Dirdre wants you to release her and escort her to safety.
However, since the first thing she did upon being released was run straight into a mass of goblins, I left her to her fate. She wasn’t on my list of things to acquire.
Back in Gath Forthnir it was found that the gear needed some sprucing up before we gave it to Golodir, so I was back on my horse to visit various locations in Eriador. It turns out there is no one-stop repair shop for gear, so it was Esteldin for the mail shirt and the shield, then Rivendell to get an elf to work on the sword.
With all the gear now looking good we were able to revive Golodir’s spirits and get him out of his room and on his way to challenge Mordirith. And so we were off into the palace within Carn Dum. Golodir had a warning as we arrived.
Mordirith’s main plan seemed to be to monologue us into defeat. That and to toss some of his minions at us in every room as we advanced to the main chamber. So it went, quip, kill, quip, kill, until we arrived in the big room.
There, in the throne room, before the dais on which sat his throne, we finally got stuck into Mordirith. Again, there is a mechanic to the battle that is pretty simple to figure out once the event is on. You cannot damage Mordirith until Golodir does his special thing, so you just kite the big guy around until he is vulnerable and they lay into him with all you’ve got while you have the chance.
Mordirith doesn’t hit too hard, but the level of dread is high… and I didn’t have anything besides the good old Glass of Aglaral to counter act that… special edition for the win I guess… so my hit points were essentially cut in half. That was enough that I had to get on my bicycle and stay out of range so the solo buff would heal me up some.
Mordirith continues to talk and sends visions of Lorniel out to torment Golodir, but it is to no avail. We have his number and soon enough he realizes the jig is up.
There was a bit more dialog as Mordirith assured us that he was down but not wholly defeated before he fled. Then the fight was done and I was wandering around, taking a few screen shots of the throne room and wiping my backside on the tapestries of Angmar.
Golodir had the flaming ring above his head, which I assumed was just going to be the end of the instance, let’s go home part of the event. But when I interacted with him, rather than the usual cheers all around, he announced that the east gate of the throne room had opened.
Indeed it had.
And who should walk in through the gate but Sara freaking Oakheart.
I did a search and found that I have not mentioned Sara Oakheart on the blog. I feel remiss in that, since she is the prime reason to roll up any race besides that of man. In the epic quest prologue out of Bree called The Hideout, she is the target of an escort quest. As usual, she won’t leave until she has fetched some nick nack taken from her, a stick in this case. Everybody is always so worried about their possessions when you’re trying to save them.
But the big deal about her is that she may be the slowest escort target ever in the history of fantasy MMORPGs. The mobs arrayed to stop her escape are practically tapping their feet and fidgeting with impatience waiting for her to make her way to them. She is practically legendary in her slowness and stands as a measure against which all other escort quests measured.
I go on about Pengail in the Lone Lands or Lalia in the Barrow Downs, but creeping along with Sara Oakheart is the real misery. Even Dirdre up the page here, she may have headed straight into a mob of goblins, but at least she was quick about it.
She also, oddly enough, appears in the Elf/Dwarf prologue, but you don’t have to escort her. She is just a captive of the goblins… seems to like being a captive I guess… and thanks you for releasing her. Then she grabs he stick and goes while you deal with Skorgrim.
So color me surprised to have her suddenly show up at the end of the instance. I feel like I must not have been paying attention. And then double down on that surprise when she stuns us then runs… actually gets up and moves in a way one wished for back when doing that damn escort quest… and steals the palantir from the throne room and scampers off.
Did I not mention the palantir? Yeah, Mordirith had one. It was his bat phone to Mordor and he used it to torment Golodir with visions. It came up a few times, but wasn’t exactly key to the events… until Sara Oakheart stole it.
But now the instance was done, though Golodir had a few words of dread to dispense.
But at least Mordirith had been thrown down. That was it for Angmar I suppose. It was certainly the end for the initial set of epic quests. With the end of that I had finished the deed for Volume I of the epic quest line.
At that point I already had the prologue and opening for Volume II in my quest log. That features the fellowship of the ring packing up in Rivendell to head out towards Moria.
But I also received the forward to Volume I, Book 9, and that had Sara Oakheart written all over it.