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Exploring Middle-Earth: Bree

Posted by Jon Wood on Sep 18, 2006  | Comments

Exploring Middle-Earth: Bree - Lord of the Rings Online - MMORPG.com

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has rleased a new point of interest feature. This one, "Exploring Middle Earth: Bree" takes us to another familiar middle-earth location:

 

At the intersection of the Great East Road and the North Road, the town of Bree has long stood as a gathering place for Men, Hobbits, and other travelers from the far-off lands of Middle-earth. Long ago, Bree was a thriving town, set against a large, sloping hill within the vibrant lands of Arnor. Although Arnor has long-since faded into distant memories, the remains of those glorious days can still be found throughout the town's varied streets and winding ways. Travelers along the Great East Road, which joins the Shire to the west with Rivendell and the Misty Mountains to the east, still stop at The Prancing Pony Inn to share tales of adventure or news of distant lands. Bree is home to both Men and Hobbits, though adventurers must now be wary of the motivations of many of Bree's residents. As the shadow of evil creeps across the lands and the corruptible spirits of Men weaken, many of Bree's citizens, who were once open and friendly to travelers, may now have been lured into service by agents of darkness.

Bree-town contains a wide variety of neighborhoods, some purely residential, some catering to the needs of trade guilds and village government. At the eastern edge of Bree can be found the marketplace, where proud and venerable merchants clash with an older, prouder class of farmers. South from the West-gate, blacksmiths ply their trade, though resentful of their reliance upon trade with Dwarves for the raw materials they need. At the south end of town is the Stone Quarter, a small community of Dwarf-merchants trying to earn a living trading in imports from the Blue Mountains, North Downs, and the Lonely Mountain. In the southwest, the grey and mournful abodes of the towns poor lay, a slum where little hope dwells. Just within the South-gate, the woodworkers of Bree are busy about their trade. At the center of all lies the Upper Way, where the few who have obtained a modicum of wealth and lore dwell, putting themselves above all others.

For the players in LOTRO, Bree is an excellent travelers' destination just east of the Shire, and is a center for news, commerce, and social interaction within the game. In designing the town of Bree, which is itself likely over 3,000 years old, the artistic decisions made by the Turbine design team had to incorporate varied architectural styles and period influences. Bree buildings are a mix of large dwellings for Men, smaller holes for Hobbits, the familiar Prancing Pony, and a wide variety of shops and buildings one would expect to see in an area settled by such varied peoples. Bree is designed to feel like a living town, albeit a town in its declining years. It is an important social center of the game, as well, so there are a number of common areas throughout which players of many different races and skill levels can spend time sharing tales, trading goods, crafting objects, and preparing for adventure into the barren Lone-lands or the mysterious North Downs not far from the gates and the protective hedge which surrounds the town.

For more on LOTRO click here.

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