Tuesday, February 26, 2013

To be a Thane

I held off writing about Hytbold for a while because I didn’t want to give away too much. The end of the Hytbold quest line is one of my favorites in lotro. Over this article I will touch on some of it but promise not to give too much away. :)

Gather round kiddos and I will show you some pictures of how I became a Thane. My thane-ness happened a few months ago on December 23rd. I didn’t get there without help however. What every Thane-wannabe needs to know is the link to a very useful guide by Fredelas. The Hytbold rebuild is a complicated puzzle web of quests for whom to talk to to get certain portions built. So, go ahead and bookmark the guide at

On reaching level 84, Fastred, Reeve of the Sutcroft, will send a letter asking for help.

Having been burned to the ground, Hytbold needs a lot of help. I focused on things that gave me “working pieces”. I wanted to get the town functional before making it look pretty. Some of my first pieces were Meadhall Outdoor 1 and 2 for milestone and mailbox, The Smithy for forge and ore instance, The Lumbermill for workbench and wood instance, The Armoury for forge-master and relic-master, The Library for scholar instance, and The Stable for the stable-master.

As I looked at the Hytbold plot plan, I probably would have designed it differently. I tend to think very orderly and probably would have laid it out with straighter and wider lanes for riding horses through town and used street signs so it was easier to navigate. I also had hoped to get better ceiling vents put in the Forge area so the building didn’t fill with smoke. 

On discussing my city build plan with my friend Menelchol, he strategically pointed out that making it more difficult to navigate gives us the advantage when defending it. Of course, he is right. He empathized with my smoky Forge, but that is why it is important to get precise details upfront with your build contractor. Lesson Learned.

Here is a lovely picture of the Armory. I assigned a couple of guards to stand around and look busy.

To build all these pieces, you need plenty of Tokens of Hytbold. It is a bit of a marketing campaign, trying to get people to come to Hytbold by going to the other towns of Rohan and earning reputation and working in the currency of Tokens of Hytbold. I enjoyed going out and doing all the quests! Here are a couple of pictures that didn’t already show up in Scenes of Rohan.

Over in Harwick, the people like to play games. I played dress-up with the model.

And, I rode a hobby-horse to gain credibility with the kids. I didn’t get to keep the hobby-horse unfortunately. Danaish won one during Yule festival (yule-festivals-end-2012) and I’m rather jealous.

I also went to various places, which was always interesting. Here is one called Dwergfant. I went out on detail to keep the Limlight River safe.

I went to the Entwalk to help small woodland creatures. (Lilikate would be impressed.) The creatures are nice and cuddly but beware that Ents do not distinguish between orcs and other humanoids. They will smash first and ask no questions. Here I am hangin' wit da foxes I saved.

Parphad is the scholar instance. It seems to attract orcs or other baddies about once a day that need to be removed.

When building the town, any strong town needs horses, right? (All-the-Steeds)

Here are the Steed of the Minstrel and the Steed of the Eastemnet hanging out in Hytbold.

And, here is a Steed of Khundolar as I visit with him while riding a Steed of Khundolar.

I got a small chuckle out of the fact that we had to hire Rohirrim to barter the RK armor as it was a deal made with the Rohirrim Workers’ Union. The deep words are not for the Race of Men, what do they know about Rune-keeper armors? :) Dalmann, Hrofgyr, and Rungat keep a good selection of armor and the barter price is fairly cheap.

During the “Scenes” article, I indicated that when I became a Thane I would have a hall like Fastred’s. Here is one of the pictures of a large tapestry that came in and I had just gotten it hung from the ceiling. Stay tuned… next article I will show you how I fly around the hall!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rohan: Land of Horses! (too)

Yay for the continued celebration of Middle Earth Horses! Picking up where I left off in (rohan-land-of-horses), here are a few more horses hanging out in Cliving.

Ok, sometimes I get more excited than some visiting with the Stable-Master’s horses. Here is one I met north of Eaworth, at the lone location between Eaworth and Fangorn Forest. He is wearing the Steed of the Champion caparison (All-the-Steeds/store-steeds). It is such a simple thing, sans saddle and halter, but looks so sharp!

Here is a steed I was trying to rustle away from its owner. The Grim Southron kept back-peddling; I think I tipped my hand when I was paying less attention to him and more attention to the horse. He must have seen the Horse Gallery and known that I had ulterior motive.

In the previous installment, I did leave off with a teaser that you would see some famous horses show up at danania.net. I hope not to disappoint. Here are a set of three that agreed to make an appearance; and here is a great link that discusses some famous horses of Middle Earth at (http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Horse).

Arod is first up. He carried my friend Legolas across Rohan. He is such a clever horse, cracking me up with “knock-knock” jokes. He also loves to rattle off the “Mister Ed” theme song… “A horse is a horse, of course, of course…”, which apparently the herd gathers to watch on DVD every Tuesday night at 9pm (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054557/).

Hasulfel was with Arod and carried Aragorn across Rohan. He said he was quite a fast horse and had been looking forward to challenging Supergirl to a race across the plain. Arod was being a trickster and stood on my cape at the beginning of the race, lol! As you see, Hasulfel beat me by a nose.

Shadowfax, chief of the Meras, liked my moxie. As he can run faster than any other horse in Middle Earth, I had to challenge him to a race as well. This time with no trickery I fared slightly better. J I was honored to run with him and respect that he is lord of the herd.

Framferth is Thane Fastred’s horse. I think my horse is smitten.

Here is where I got a fancy green banner, called the “King’s Banner Accessory”. It is an award from the Epic quest Book 9, Chapter 8. Neither the green flag nor the brown haunch-piece is dyeable, so it wasn’t really an accessory for me. I do think more flags are warranted as accessories. Mebbe, the Steed of Minas Ithil would be a great choice to make into a Warsteed.

In my excited-to-see-decorated-steeds file, I have this picture of when I was riding a Red-clad horse of the gap and bumped into a Red-clad horse of the gap. Oddly enough, I have no idea where I took this picture, though I know that I had seen the Red-clad horse in Hytbold.

Fancy Tail: This tail was the only tail I ever bought from the lotro store; I got it on sale. Actually, I have never bought any other warsteed cosmetics, well, except for buying every horse, which happen to come with warsteed cosmetics. My warsteed was feeling very fancy.

New Bree has gotten busy since it got a facelift. Granted, I don’t go to Bree often, but I see that horse parking is at a premium!

Here are a few people I saw looking dapper on their warsteeds around Rohan.

Rruin and I compare the craziness of heavy versus light warsteed sizes. Note that Rruin is a dwarf; he sits high and proud while riding a pony. It is a heavy pony, which makes it bigger than a normal pony. However, the heavy PONY is a LOT bigger than my light HORSE. I find the size difference to be such an odd thing. My light horse works for me quite well as a RK. (referencing the traiting guide rohan-warsteed-traiting-part-5).

Macswife shows off her fancy horse decked out in Burgundy as she wears a perfectly matched outfit.

Assmunahi sits pretty atop a Rose Racing Warsteed.

Commander Drendolith shows off the Bone warsteed outfit, along with the green King’s Banner Accessory.

Caramelkr looks like she is heading to a party. She rides the Warsteed of the Captain, red dyed cosmetics, dressed on a Black Tobiano.

Does this next picture answer the question of how I have so many horses in the All-the-Steeds Gallery (All the Steeds)? Hahaha, no, I am not a horse rustler! Well, not exactly. That was a fun picture though helping bring together a Wild Horse with a new Rider to enjoy him. J 

May you delight in your horses and enjoy the ride across Middle Earth!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rohan: Land of Horses!

For certain, one of my favorite things about Rohan was the horses! 
Sure, I liked the Warsteed. I liked playing with the warsteed, optimizing the warsteed and writing the Warsteed traiting guide (rohan-warsteed-traiting-part-5), and surprisingly for me, I really enjoyed playing with the cosmetic options of the Warsteed (rohan-warsteed-cosmetic-looks).  

However, Rohan was not all about the warsteed. Other than stable-masters and Bill the Pony in Eregion, I don’t recall really seeing much as far as horse NPCs across Middle Earth. Rohan captured my attention by dotting the land with wild horses, some of which we interacted.

I had so many horse pictures to post in this article that I am splitting it in two parts so it doesn’t gag the system.

Sadly, I am no expert on lore. I read that Rohan means "Land of horses" at the very informative link... The Military Structure of Rohan. How amazingly appropriate for a name. I had no previous Beta-type knowledge of what to expect as far as interaction with Rohan horses. So, the first day I stepped foot in Rohan and met a random horse out on the landscape, I was drawn to it and had to take its picture. It was raining on us and he was a simple grey horse but I was fascinated. :D

Before long, another horse came up to me. I was going to have to get used to seeing random horses on the landscape as the norm.

By the time I got to Harwick, I had seen many horses but the only Warsteed I had seen was Buttercup, who belonged to Thane Utred of Langhold.

In Harwick, things were getting serious (in a pro-horse way). There were many warsteeds and a trainer to teach me how to ride them. I was not drawn into buying all the warsteed clothes I came across but I was excited to photograph them.

An outfitted Warsteed… (I think I got that set or something like it while questing)

And another… (turns out I had that outfit set, he is the Steed of the Guardian, seen at All-the-steeds/store-steeds)

And another… (that one is the Steed of the Hunter at All-the-steeds/store-steeds)

The Warsteeds also came in a variety of hide colors and I was excited to see all the variations.

I had mentioned in the previous "Scenic Rohan" articles that I met Burnoth, Leofdag, Hutha, and Ulf in Harwick. In fact, I met their horses first. I am on the Steed of Minas Ithil here chatting with horses as Burnoth walked up.

For “Did you know” horse trivia,
  • Flyting = light brown hide, light brown mane, belongs to Leofdag, son of Winedag
  • Brynmod = light brown hide, black mane, belongs to Burnoth, son of Baldeg
  • Hafoc = white hide, white mane, belongs to Hutha, son of Hengest
  • Gesith = charcoal hide, black mane, belongs to Ulf the Reaver

Of course, like me, they have more than one main horse. You can see them riding with me here.
  • Leofdag is riding a Green-clad Horse of the Gap that has dark Brown hide (the standard green-clad horse of the gap is a blonde sorrel).
  • Hutha is riding the Prized Galadhrim Horse of the Lorien elves.
  • Burnoth and Ulf are both riding Prized Ashen Horses given by the Council of the North out of Angmar.

Horse, Horse on the Range… Back out on the trail, I saw more pretty horses. Here was a unique looking red mane horse.

I stopped for dinner out under a tree and the horses came up to meet me. Here are two who shared my pack of apples.

I got to rescue a Stolen Horse… (no I didn’t steal him, though the thought crossed my mind to “give him the choice to follow me home”…)

I found a Lost Horse… someone must be missing him, he is a Prized Theodred’s Riders Horse out of Dunland.

I even worked with an Unruly horse… who was also a Prized Theodred’s Riders Horse.

My horse trough overfloweth, so stay tuned for more exciting pictures of horses and cameos by some famous horses in the next post!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rohan: Scenes from Rohan, interlude

Does calling the title an “interlude” seem more interesting than calling it “random pictures I really liked that are discontinuous from rohan-scenes-from-rohan-part-3 such that I didn’t really see it as a part 4”? The interlude term would also indicate that I haven’t finished the series. Well, I haven’t even mentioned Hytbold yet, and have lots of random horse pictures, so it kind of works!

This warg follows me around. I’m not sure what to think about that. But my advice, do not feed the wargs. You might just end up with him as a pet.

This Mysterious old man follows me around also. My advice, do not feed him either, you might end up with him as a pet.

This dragon was singing me a song. He was just getting to the good part, but I think he was out of his upper range.

I took a swim near the East Wall. Yeah, I don’t fly and ride horses ALL the time. If you get out far enough into the lake, you can no longer smell the orc filth.

I flew up to light the Beacon at Eaworth. Someone has to do it, right? Surely we weren’t supposed to use all those tiny steps and beams and hop up… that would have been silly.

I also flew over to an orc camp and rained on the picnic of some orc skirmishers. By the time you realize I am levitating above you dear orc, your will be defeated!

Moria has goats, but Rohan has more realistic goats. I adopted a flock of little horned goats. Mebbe my hobbits can ride them.

Here is a shot of me and my Cliving homeys (from rohan-scenes-from-rohan-part-2). We are stirring up a ruckus in Sutcroft I believe.

I will pick up next time with some of my horse pictures that weren’t included in the Warsteed Traiting Guide (rohan-warsteed-traiting-part-5), the Warsteed Cosmetic looks (rohan-warsteed-cosmetic-looks,) or the many posts on steeds and warsteeds that ended up in the Gallery (All the Steeds). See you soon!