Welcome to LOTRO Epic A Day, where I guide you on an epic journey through Middle-Earth, one day at a time. Each Book of the Epic quest is separated into its own Day, with Side-Days for leveling up to the next book. Any plot spoilers are contained within the story overview in “Turning the Pages”. Gather up your belongings and hit the road, a new Day awaits!
We have traveled a long distance in our journeys; we have battled wolves in the Shire, orcs and Evil Men in Angmar, bears in Forochel,goblins and bugs in Moria, and vicious orcs in Mirkwood. The inhabitants of these regions have been fairly welcoming (those who didn’t try to kill us), but that changes as we venture south into lands less well-traveled. A new power is rising, which means new alliances must be made, but we are fortunate to travel with some old friends.
Prologue: Messages from Lórien
We begin this level 65 book by speaking to Pethelen outside the Last Homely House in Rivendell (if you have reached level 65 you will receive a letter directing you here, but the quest can be started at an earlier level). Elrond has requested our presence, but the details remain secret until we meet with him inside the House. Speak to Pethelen again to travel inside the House in an Instance (instead of walking through the doors ourselves).
Elrond’s sons have arrived from scouting the Wild, where they found war in the south. News has also come from Lórien; Galadriel has sent messages of the Fellowship’s journey down the river Anduin. Aragorn requires need of his kindred, the Dúnedain, in Rohan. Elrond sends us to gather the Rangers from across the whole of Eriador: Radanir in the Trollshaws, Candaith at the base of Weathertop in the Lone-lands, Saeradan at his cabin in Bree-land, Halros among the hobbits of the Shire, Halbarad at the hidden camp Esteldín in the North Downs, Calenglad at Tinnudir in Evendim, Lothrandir in the frozen lands of Forochel, and Corunir in the village of Aughaire in Angmar. Elrohir asks Elrond why we are not told to take Golodir – Elrond feels that Golodir should be left in peace to mourn the loss of his daughter.
Chapter 1: Gallant as Elf-Lords
The first Ranger we should find is Radanir, who is staying at Thorenhad. Elrond’s sons have gone ahead already, so meet Elrohir when we arrive at the campsite. Radanir had left the area before the Elves arrived; speaking with Elweleth reveals that he intended to confront an Orc war-band in the Laenan Caves.
Radanir is found a short distance inside the cave. The ranger is eager to join his leader, but asks us to deal with the Laenan Orcs while he gets ready to leave; the Rangers have all grown close to the people and land they watch over and cannot leave them vulnerable when they venture far away. Follow the tunnel through the cave, defeating 8 warriors and 4 defilers along the way, until reaching the Orc-leader. We can return to Thorenhad and speak with Elrohir after defeating the required Orcs. Our reward is either a legacy of Vitality or a Map to the Lone-lands, which takes us directly to the next Ranger and is only useful if you lack use of the Stable-mounts.
Chapter 2: Candaith’s Hidden Cache
Elrohir directs us towards the second Ranger to meet; Candaith remains at his camp at the base of Weathertop in the Lone-lands. Make use of travel skills, Stable-mounts, or the map from the previous quest to reach Candaith quickly. Like Radanir, Candaith has a task for us to complete while he packs up his camp. He has a hidden cache of supplies at Echad Sûl that need to be recovered to use on the journey south. We find not the supplies, but instead an enemy waiting to strike us down. The robber is easily defeated and we can return the supplies to Candaith in a short amount of time.
Chapter 3: Saeradan’s Watchfulness
Candaith points us in Saeradan’s direction; the calm Ranger will help provide wisdom to the Grey Company. Finding Saeradan is simple – his cabin is a short distance west of Bree-town. We are asked to speak with Barliman Butterbur at the Prancing Pony while Saeradan prepares to leave. Barliman is happy to watch after Saeradan’s cabin while he is away, but asks us to do him a favor by fetching supplies from a nearby crate. This entails running back and forth between Barliman and a nearby room in the Inn’s back hallways. After serving as temporary kitchen help we must deal with a ruffian who has been scaring off paying customers. Uchdrud sits in the main room of the Inn and tells us to meet him outside, for tea and cakes I assume. Uchdrud doesn’t have a pleasant greeting for us, instead choosing to attack. Beat him into submission before returning to Saeradan’s cabin so that we can move on to finding the next Ranger.
Chapter 4: Halros, Ranger of the Shire
Saeradan sets off to gather the Dúnedain of Bree-land while we travel to the Greenfields in the Shire to find Halros. The Ranger declares that he will watch over the Shire so long as there are goblins threatening the hobbits, but he listens to our explanation of the Grey Company’s need. This seems to change his mind and he asks us to deal with two trouble-makers while he prepares. When we return to Halros we find him still struggling over whether he should follow Aragorn or stay and watch over the Shire. He asks us to help him make his decision and we are given the option of advising him to stay or go. Help Halros make his choice and then speak to Lotho Sackville-Baggins at the Plough and Stars. The hobbit is very interested in the Ranger’s whereabouts, but doesn’t say much more. Return to Halros, who thanks us for helping him to decide. Any ramifications of this decision are unkown, possibly to be discovered in the future.
Chapter 5: Loose Ends in the North Downs
Because Halbarad is often away from the hidden encampment in Esteldín, Halros sends us to Daervunn instead. The Ranger tells us that Halbarad has gone to clear out a nearby cave of foes who have established a settlement in the hope of creating a new Angmar. Enter the cave and join Halbarad in his effort to rout the enemy. Halbarad tells us to destroy statues of the Angmarim’s revered leaders to diminish their hope and drive them away. This involves fighting past numerous Angmarim troops to the top level of the cave. Each statue is guarded by a Signature-rank Artifact-master who should be defeated before interacting with the statues. After destroying the statues Halbarad sends us back to Daervunn, who is to select as many Rangers as can be spared to travel south with the Grey Company.
Chapter 6:Farewell to Evendim
Daervunn sends us to Calenglad in Evendim, even though he does not believe Calenglad will want to leave the lake and the ruins of Annúminas behind. However, the Ranger does not shy away from his duty and declares that he will join our quest. He does wish to save some relics of the ancient city before we leave. Speak to Calenglad again to begin an instance to protect the relics from being plundered. The instance takes through a section of Annúminas filled with robbers and bandits. Once we reach a flooded tomb Calenglad will send us inside to clear the area of robbers while he searches the nearby streets for more wandering bandits. We must ensure that the entire tomb is emptied of robbers before turning our attention to their plunder. After examining the item Calenglad appears and calls to Gwindeth, who steps out of the watery passages. The two discuss death and parting as we awkwardly listen in on their conversation. Those with long lives mourn the short lives of men for countless years, especially when those men choose to leave before their years are spent. Although parting is difficult, Calenglad knows he must attend to his duty.
Chapter 7: Lothrandir of the Frozen Wastes
Calenglad tells us that Lothrandir can be found in Forochel. He sent the Ranger to meet with the Lossoth and discuss the threat posed by Angmar back when they were a growing danger, but Lothrandir developed a fondness for the people and remained in the northern land. Find Lothrandir in Sûri-kylä, where he is investigating a mysterious foe attacking the Lossoth under the cover of night. Speak to Lothrandir again to begin an instance where we will hunt the shadowy enemy. We explore an enormous cavern full of beasts and ice. The shimmering ice crystals reflect the monsters in a strange manner, but do not become distracted from the danger!
At the end of the cavern we find a strange woman kneeling by a campfire. Avair was exiled from her tribe, the Trév Duvárdain, after being defeated during the Rite of Clúcath (part of the Aughaire quests). When the tribe stripped her of her name she took the name Gun Ain and joined the Angmarim, only to see her new allies destroyed by the same person who bested her in the first place! Gun Ain tries to take revenge on us, but we defeat her easily and Lothrandir sends her away from Forochel, giving her mercy as long as she leaves in peace. The Lossoth are safe after we complete the instance. Now ready to depart, Lothrandir joins the Grey Company.
Chapter 8: The Depths of Duty
Lothrandir does not agree with Elrond’s decision to ask Golodir to join the Company, but does give provide us with his current whereabouts. We travel to Aughaire to find Golodir, but discover that he is not there. Speaking with Corunir reveals that Golodir relapsed into grief shortly after defeating the False King of Angmar. Fueled by anger, Golodir went into the Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu alone. We must rescue him by completing the Rescue in Nûrz Ghâshu skirmish, which this chapter unlocks for anyone level 60or above. Complete the skirmish solo or in a duo, fellowship, or raid group to continue the epic quest.
Travel through the lava filled Rift with Corunir, making sure to use your skirmish soldier to help the situation. You can also set the skirmish to level 60 even if you’re at a higher level to lower the difficulty. Defeat the boss at the end of the skirmish to free Golodir from his madness. Corunir appeals to his sense of duty, and the Ranger agrees to come with us and leave Angmar behind.
Chapter 9: The Gathering of the Grey Company
We have spoken with all of the lead Rangers, so Corunir sends us back to Elrond in Rivendell. We find him in his study and tell him of our success. Elrond thanks us and offers us a place in the Grey Company, to accompany them on their journey south. Prepare for a long trek; we begin our journey to Isengard in the next book by traveling through the dangerous land of Enedwaith.
Turning the Pages
New evil rises in Middle-Earth and so Elrond sends us on a new quest to aid Aragorn in Rohan. However, we spend this book traveling through familiar territory instead of moving forward in our journey. This allows us to reacquaint ourselves with the characters we left behind in Eriador. Some of these characters are more memorable than others, or at least had a bigger impact on the story thus far, including Calenglad and grief-stricken Golodir. The others had less of a presence in Volume I (and none showed up in Volume II), but the chapter gives us the opportunity to remember our time with them. In a way the short quests and instances are like meeting up with old friends and remembering how things used to be, assuming you actually remember playing through those epic quests so long ago. The massive amount of traveling and backtracking in this book definitley helps bring back old memories, though that is not necessarily a positive connotation to make at the beginning of this journey.
Fortunately, during the following books the story will lead us through entirely new regions without taking us back to our old stomping grounds. There are new dangers to face and new kinds of relationships to form with the people we meet that ride a thin line between hostility and acceptance which is never really clear. Having old friends along for the ride will be a major benefit during this, not just for numbers and physical backup but also to maintain a connection with the events we witnessed and took part in earlier in the game. Even as the epic quest takes us through later parts of the Lord of the Rings story it is good to be reminded of what had lead up to this point, making earlier parts of the story still matter even though they might be “lower level” or “old” content. In this way we won’t forget the months or even years we have already played through even as we look forward to exciting new updates and new epic books.