It was Saturday night and Earl was back with us in Middle-earth, so we must have straightened out a few things in the previous week’s sales session.
Earl was still behind the group in levels however, so we had a catch up night ahead of us.
Gaff passed for the night, preferring sleep while Enaldie concentrated on harvesting and crafting. That left Earl along with an alt each from Potshot and myself:
- Earlthecat – level 14 dwarf Guardian
- Nomu – level 15 dwarf Guardian
- Fergorin – level 18 dwarf Rune Keeper
We left off in Bree at the Prancing Pony last time, so we picked up right there, heading to Strider’s room and the start of Volume I, Book 1.
Strider sent us off after Amdir, so I was able to add yet another screen shot to my collection of such shots of this scene.
My goal for this particular instance now is to see how close I can get to Amdir before the dread kicks in and immobilizes me. Look how far I got as Nomu this time.
Amdir was, of course, defeated and we went back to Strider for the next task, which was out in Combe. However, Fergorin got left behind. He had already done some of Book 1, so while he could get pulled into instances with Earl and I, he couldn’t pick up the quest that whisked him off to Constable Underhill. So he sat out that round.
But that was fine. The subsequent instance is easy enough solo, so two of were clear overkill already.
Finishing that up got us back to Strider (and Fergorin) and also got Earl to level 15.
That sent us off to the Guardian class quest, which both Earl and Nomu needed.
Back in the early days, this quest was a real chore solo and was something of an example as to the wide variety of difficulty levels the class quests presented. Since then, they appear to have nerfed the whole thing. Rather than the harsh event that got my original Guardian, also named Nomu, slain, we stomped over a couple of bad guys and a boss and went on our merry way without breaking a sweat.
The rewards, which include a class trait and a helm were well worth the diversion. Earl also got the ability to wear heavy armor, something Guardians get at level 15. Nomu, the kinship backup armor crafter, had a level 15 set ready to hand.
Earl is wearing the Threk-halm, the class quest reward, while Nomu (who also dyed his armor olive) has his hidden under his hooded Harbinger’s cloak. That is Enaldie behind us on the horse, looking bored with the dwarves.
From there we pretty much followed the same path we did on our previous run through Book 1, which involves a bit of running up and down the Bree-Buckland road.
Back and forth, then off to Tom Bombadil, and then into the Barrow Downs. As before, we stopped and picked up the big pile of quests from the pack of quest givers on the path from Tom’s house. We even went along with Lalia for a walk again.
This time around though, escorting Lalia proved to be quite a boon. One of the rewards for the quest is the Guardian of Lalia, a heavy shield that was quite an upgrade for both Earl and Nomu as well as being a better reward than the quest used to give back in the day.
The detour to do the Barrow Downs quests is worth more than a level of experience, so well worth it given that, as a group, you can tackle them all in about half an hour.
We got ourselves back to Tom’s house and then embarked on the final big event in Book 1, Othrogroth.
This is, as I mentioned before, a light version of the Great Barrow, the big instance in the Barrow Downs, which we will assault later, once we have a few more levels.
This version of the instance does not require a full fellowship. In fact, it is manageable solo if you are well equipped and careful. For the three of us, it was a good work-up exercise as a group. Earl did primary tanking, Nomu assisted him trying to play the DPS guardian, and Fergorin shifted between DPS and healing.
We kept the surprise ending to ourselves, so hopefully it was a surprise to Earl. He had never done Othrogroth before. We got through okay and Tom lead us out and back to his home in the Old Forest.
That ended the evening’s fun and we headed back to Bree.
Earl ended up just shy of 18, which puts him in the pack with the rest of our characters.
Potshot also got some time in with his Rune Keeper. The experience was favorable enough that he might opt for him over his Minstrel for the healing role.
We’re still not high enough level to start in on Book 2, which runs up to level 30. So we’ll probably divert to the Barrow Downs for another round before we take up the call of the ranger’s and head towards Weathertop.