Welcome to Quest Notes, the place to go if you want to learn about some of the neat new things the Content Team has planned for your questing enjoyment in the next update: there’s a new Epic Book to continue the story of Volume II, the Fellowship of the Ring has (mostly) arrived in Lothlórien and will be pleased to see you again, and the land of the Galadhrim must be kept safe from the dangers of the outside world. In fact, one of the challenges you as a player must face will be proving to the Galadhrim that you yourself are not a danger to the Golden Wood.
The Trust of the Galadhrim
The Elves of Lórien are right to be cautious: Orcs of Moria have come down from the mountains in the wake of the Fellowship’s passage, readying for an assault on the Golden Wood. Elves hidden along the border are prepared to shoot any who trespass, with skill so great that the only warning an unwelcome visitor has to their presence will be a swift and final rain of arrows. How then can you gain safe passage beneath the leaves of Lothlórien? There are several ways you can prove yourself to the Elves and gain limited access to Lórien.
Completing Quests from Echad Andestel
Located west of Lothlórien, the camp of Echad Andestel in Nanduhirion is home to merchants and wanderers on this side of the mountains. Elves of Lórien come to the camp to trade and to learn news from the outside world, but these days the news is seldom good. Several Elves are visiting the camp for the moment: Celegúien, who wishes to reuse arrows that have been used against the Orcs in order to slay even more of their kind; and Dindirith, who rages against the filth-encrusted boots of the Orcs for polluting the swift-flowing Nimrodel. Each of them can be persuaded to trust you if you aid them with their concerns. As the threat of the Orcs grows you will be able to continue aiding them with their efforts.
Completing Quests from Talan Haldir
South of Echad Andestel, the Elf Haldir maintains his vigil atop a flet, or platform, among the trees. Among his allies there are Hadroneth, who wishes for you to discourage the Orcs from establishing more outposts in Nanduhirion, the Dimrill Dale, and Maethoron. Hadroneth knows that though the Orcs appear limitless, every weapon they are deprived of reduces their attack capabilities. Aiding the Elves in these matters and others will encourage them to give you their trust.
Completion of Volume II Book 6
There is one more method of gaining enough trust to be allowed beyond the borders of Lothlórien, and you may have already done it. If you have personally aided the Lady Galadriel over the course of Book 6: The Shadowy Abyss and have gazed into the Mirror of Galadriel at the end of Chapter 9, you will be trusted enough by the Elves of Lórien to enter the woods.
Once you have earned the trust of the Elves through a combination of these methods, and speak with a Galadhrim Lookout just outside the border, he will notify the hidden archers that you are friendly and you will be permitted inside the Golden Wood.
Epic Book 7: Leaves of Lórien
The story of Volume II continues in the next update with Book 7: Leaves of Lórien, but unlike many of our other Epic books, this one represents a new ‘on-ramp’ onto the Epic story. Whereas each of the books we added for Shadows of Angmar required completion of the previous one, with Volume II Book 7 we are allowing you to begin the quest chain without completing the previous book. This means that if you’re still working to defend the Iron Garrison from the Orcs of Mazog in Volume II Book 5 or have yet to take your stand against Gwathnor in Volume II Book 6, you’ll still be able to experience the adventure of the Volume II Book 7 Epic story by earning the trust of the Elves and speaking to Haldir on his flet south of Echad Andestel.
But a word of warning about this! You’ll be able to experience Book 7 without completing the previous books, but it is strongly recommended that you try to do them in order! If you haven’t already seen the previous books in the Volume II epic, you may very well be surprised at the fate of characters that were left in safety when last you saw them! When exactly did Bósi get his robotic dog and machine-gun arm? If you haven’t played the first six books of Volume II before beginning Book 7, you won’t know.
(I’m only kidding about the machine-gun arm, by the way. He doesn’t get that until Book 8.)
The Fellowship in Lothlórien
The remaining members of the Fellowship have arrived safely in Lothlórien, and though they mourn the fall of Gandalf in Moria, they must take what comfort they can and steel themselves for the next leg of their journey. Once you have gained access to the Golden Wood, you should pay a visit to the hill of Cerin Amroth, around which you will find Frodo, Sam, Legolas, and Gimli, and can learn something of the history of Lórien. Merry can be found taking one of his walks in the vicinity of the hill, or resting in the nearby garden of Bain Gwaloth. Boromir, the bold captain of Gondor, is impatient to leave the land of the Elves and broods atop a rise not far from Cerin Amroth. His mood is not improved by the many Elves all about; he has not seen Aragorn for some time. Aragorn is not in Cerin Amroth, and will not return there for a long, long time (as prophesied in The Fellowship of the Ring).
Pippin is asleep somewhere. The dangerous road ahead can wait.
Quest Hubs Within the Wood
There are solo questing opportunities all throughout the Golden Wood, and each major quest hub has its own style of questing:
Cerin Amroth – Quests originating from Cerin Amroth are concerned mainly with the history and traditions of Lothlórien, as well as ceremonies that involve the singing of songs and the working of crafts.
Talan Fanuidhol – This flet on the outskirts of the Golden Wood is humming with activity relating to the Orcs mustering outside and above Lothlórien, on the slopes of the mountains.
Imlad Lalaith – There are many preparations to be made for the nightly feasting that takes place beneath the stars on this expansive lawn, and the nearby vineyards are used in production of the highest quality wine.
Caras Galadhon – Visitors to the city of Caras Galadhon will need to be especially trusted by the Elves before they are permitted inside, but gaining this level of trust will open up new opportunities for questing. Banners inside the entrance will help players gauge their progress at helping the Elves of Lórien prepare for the oncoming attack of the Orcs.
The Battle of Lórien
The attack of the Orcs cannot now be forestalled; it can only be met, and it must be hoped that the preparations for the defence are sufficient. When the Orcs begin their attack, the Elves will call upon a trusted few to assist them in the Battle of Lórien, a six-man instance that brings with it some interesting new features: the ability to command NPCs, a Deed that tracks the number of times you have successfully won the Battle, and a set of optional challenge quests that unlock as your skill in the Battle instance increases.
Commanding NPCs – At the outset of the Battle, you’ll have an opportunity to assess the strength of the defenders at three defensive points and make decisions about where to send your most skilled NPCs in three categories: healing arts, melee combat, and ranged combat. Do you send them to the same point, and concentrate your Fellowship on the defence of the two other points, or do you spread them out among the points?
Completion Deed – The Deed that tracks the number of times you have completed The Battle of Lórien will award you titles at each plateau, and also unlock optional objectives to complete within the instance that provide you with greater reward.
Optional Battle Objectives – There are several different objectives that can be pursued within the Battle of Lórien that range from defeating optional bosses before they leave the battlefield to preventing certain Elves from taking too much damage, and more. There is also a Legendary Challenge to be undertaken that combines all of the optional objectives into one extremely difficult quest; it will take a lot of skill and precision to pull this one off!
And There You Have It!
And that brings us to the end of this first edition of Quest Notes, a smorgasbord of tasty morsels that hopefully has you questers ready for the main course: the opening-up of Lothlórien in Volume II: Book 7!