With Gaff blazing the trail to Moria ahead of me, I was able to trade on some of his experience.
One of the things you get in the Moria expansion is an epic weapon that gains experience and grows in power over time. That seemed like something to get started on sooner rather than later.
Which, in turn, meant getting started on Volume II of the epic quest line that follows the story of the books.
This meant running around and helping the fellowship get ready to go and then seeing them off.
The whole thing plays out just as in the books… or in the movie I suppose. There are farewells. Boromir sounds his horn. Everybody heads off.
Then it was my own turn to depart.
One of the things that the game does make you think about is everything else that was going on while the fellowship was making its way through Middle-earth.
That is, after all, your role in the game.
Sometimes you get to help the fellowship directly, and might rise to be renown as the “third elf on the left.”
But most of the time you are working behind the scenes, or just tending to the everyday business of the world.
But to get on with my own business, I had to find Eregion.
Fortunately, it was on the map, and the path seemed obvious.
Of course, like a lot of maps of this scale, there is some missing detail.
I managed to get myself into a dead end loop just to the left of where I wanted to go and spent a good 10 minutes in constant flight from elite level giants and rock worms. Eventually though, I found my way out of that pocket, still alive (barely), and hit the right path.
And, true to form, the game threw out its usual representative for the first mob I encountered: The boar.
I suppose by this point it would be just weird if I ran into anything besides a boar, a bear, or a wolf .
But at least I am now into the the Mines of Moria expansion.
I can now wear my Moria Expeditionary title with pride. I should dig out the cloak as well. I’ve only had it sitting around for nearly 3 years now.