LEAD Volume III Book 4: Rise of Isengard

December 19, 2011

LOTRO Epic Story

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!

Having made it through Enedwaith the Grey Company continues south into Dunland. Danger waits for them in the territory of the Dunlendings, where the might of Isengard is Rising as Saruman builds an army and works to bring the Dunlending tribes to his side. But we are not alone in our fight; allies are waiting beyond the hills.

Note: There are a number of chapters in this Book that involve a major plot spoiler merely by discussing them. If you don’t wish to know (and I recommend that you experience it for yourself rather than reading ahead), do not scroll or read past Chapter 17: Return to Tûr Morva.

Chapter 1: The Departure of Lhanuch

After reaching level 65 Elrond sends us a letter to travel to Corunir in Zudrugund, the records hall at the top of Nar’s Peak in Enedwaith (To Dunland quest). This Book can be begun immediately after Book 3 by speaking to Corunir, even if you haven’t reached level 65 yet, but I suggest waiting to be on-level to make the best use of Dunland’s enemies and rewards. The Grey Company is moving south and we need to assist with final preparations before the journey into Dunland. Corunir sends us to Halbarad in Lhanuch, who laments over the losses we have suffered during the time spent searching Enedwaith for danger. Saruman has learned of the company’s efforts, making the journey ahead all the more perilous.

Beautiful forests or rocky hills full of skeletons... Decisions, decisions!Because of the threat, Halbarad decides to split the company into two smaller groups to enter Dunland by separate paths. We are given the choice of routes to take, either through the western exit south of the Mournshaws forest where the Huntsman resides and into Trum Dreng  or through the eastern exit south of the Lich Bluffs and over the wight-inhabited Bonevales. Either path is viable, it is more of a decision of scenery and story. You can also still do the local quests of either area, the Bonevales  or Trum Dreng, by looting a quest-starting off a wight or finding a Dunlending lookout (74.0 S, 22.0 W), respectively. Speak to both Company members before making your decision.

Prestadír offers a path southeast through the barren valleys of the Bonevales. It is an unwelcoming land, but that just means there are fewer eyes to watch us.

Braigiar offers a path southwest through Trum Dreng. It is a shadowy forest glen that hides a tribe of Dunlending who try to avoid contact with all others.

With the plans made for our southern incursion, Halbarad asks us to choose which group to join.

Chapter 2: Land of the Stag

Accept Braigiar’s quest to follow the path to Trum Dreng. Pass into Dunland through the entrance south of the Mournshaws and meet with Braigiar upon arrival. He tells us to scout ahead and meet him in Lhan Tarren. Braigiar rewards us for arriving safely and lets us know that the Stag-clan could use our aid.

Chapter 3: South-east to Galtrev

Braigiar asks us to help the marginalized clan recover some of their lost strength. If our efforts win their favour they will be more likely to resist Saruman’s advances. We assist the clan until we believe we have done all we can to win their favour before moving on to Galtrev, the large village hotspot in central Dunland. You may speak to Halbarad in Galtrev to finish the Chapter whenever you wish; the Lhan Tarren quests are optional and not part of the Epic quest-line, but they do fill in the backstory of the weakened clan and show in depth the struggles faced by the Dunlending tribes, brought on by internal strife and aggression from Rohan even before Saruman began instigating trouble.

Chapter 2: The Valley of Bones

Speak with Prestadír to head through the Bonevales. We meet with the Ranger when we arrive in Dunland, traveling along the rocky paths where undead roam.

Chapter 3: South-west to Galtrev

We are asked to assist the Rangers and Dunlendings in the Bonevales, but may move on when we feel ready. All the side quests in this area are optional, but completing them will take you through the effort to cleanse the area of the undead. Wights are roaming the rocky crags of the Bonevales and must be put to rest and our work will eventually take us deep under the Bonevales to root out the source of the skeletal horde. There are also Dievlig (enemy Dunlending tribesmen) fighting to stop our passage; defeating them reveals the corrupted power their chieftain wields over his own people. Help the leader’s daughter defeat him to set things right for the Bonevales inhabitants. When you wish to continue onward in the Epic Quest travel to Galtrev to speak with Halbarad.

Chapter 4: The Lower Village

Halbarad tells us to investigate the situation in Galtrev, a major village in Dunland. He wants to know how far Saruman’s reach extends, so we head into town to find someone who will talk to us. We try to talk with Anwen, but she scowls and sends us to Catrin, another Dunlending. Catrin is much friendlier, pointing us in the direction of three different characters who will teach us about the lands of the Ox Clan. The person you choose to meet helpfully attacks us; defeat the angry Ox Clan member and return to Catrin so she can explain her treachery. Catrin is actually a member of the Clan of the Falcon, a group of poor laborers that struggle to get by while the wealthier clans take advantage of Saruman’s gifts. The elderly woman hopes we can be of use to her clan as they stand against Saruman’s allies.

Chapter 5: Catrin’s Rebellion

Sometimes the unlikeliest of people can lead the way for a rebellion.Saruman has used deceit, convincing lies, and bribery to gain the support of many Dunlending clans. Weaker clans have been put to work constructing goods and weapons for his massive armies. Catrin asks us to steal some of these weapons and dump them in a nearby pond, rendering the work useless in a small act of rebellion that might inspire greater efforts. After dumping the axes we return to Catrin for the next task, burning wood piles with the nearby torch. Catrin is ecstatic over the trouble we caused and thanks us for our work when we return to her.

Chapter 6: The Will to Stand

Although the Falcon-clan accepts our aid, not everyone is pleased to see outsiders.There are many people living in Galtrev and the greater Pren Gwydh area that could use our help. Catrin asks us to protect them and tend to their ills, helping to relieve some of the burden imposed by Saruman. You may travel to Tâl Methedras when you feel the people of Pren Gwydh have been aided sufficiently. Speak to Léolin outside the entrance to Tûr Morva (the village in the snowy heights of Tâl Methedras), a gruff of the Falcon Clan. The Falcon have had to deal with their own problems by themselves, but while Léolin doesn’t expect much from us or the Rangers he gives us the benefit of the doubt and takes us inside. The Grey Company meets the Falcon Clan’s leader Lheu Brenin during an instance in the snowy village. Brenin is firm in his resolve to stand against Saruman’s advances and though his people distrust us, our mutual enemy brings the two groups together.

Chapter 7: Aiding Tûr Morva

Falcon-clan member Penrod knows the important role both good preparation and strong allies will play when the time comes to wage war against Saruman and asks us to aid clansmen around the village to complete the preperations with haste. There are ten quests to pick up and finish before the village will be ready, unlike the optional quests in previous villages, so search around town for each quest (some will open after others are completed, so work on current Tâl Methedras/Tûr Morva quests if you don’t see any others).

Charm of the Huntsman: Cungen (75.2 S, 8.0 W) tells us of his childhood encounter with the Huntsman, a mysterious antler-helmeted man we have crossed paths with before. Cungen gives us a memento of his encounter, a piece of wood fashioned in his shape, and asks us to defeat creatures in the area to add to the charm’s legacy and give Cungen strength in the coming days. Defeat the beasts across the lake and return the token to Cungen.

The Practiced Arm: Mair (74.4 S, 8.3 W), Brenin’s daughter, has little faith in our fighting abilities and tells us to defeat one of the youths around the village to prove we have some measure of competency. Mair isn’t quite ready to trust our strength after defeating the youth and sends us to fight a more experienced opponent. Find and defeat one of the fighters and then return to Mair, who is now convinced we might be able to teach the Falcon something about combat.

Stronger Competition: Mair tells us to fight more experienced fighters this time, teaching them skills through practice. One of the master fighters is missing, so fight the remaining two warriors before returning to Mair.

A Full History: Evan (75.4 S, 8.8 W) doesn’t think we have a good opinion or understanding of the Dunlendings; he thinks little of our own people (whichever race you might happen to be) in return. Go to the two characters he directs us towards to find out what they know of Dunland. Unfortunately, it seems his suspicions are warranted, at least for Elves. Evan is happy to fill in some of the missing history for us, giving us a small bit of background information. Evan believes there can be understanding between the different peoples if knowledge is shared and sends us to Penrod, to relay Evan’s new opinion of us. The reward is a clickable item, that gives different powerful buffs to each race for one hour (with a 12 hour cooldown).

Rangers Put to Work: Penrod (74.2 S, 8.1 W) says the Rangers have been very helpful so far and tells us to check on them to see how the preperations are coming. Radanir roams about carrying a pitchfork and broom, muttering about manure. It’s probably best to leave him be after checking in, to avoid any further pleasantries… or foul odors. Halbarad is aching from his water-gathering task, but is willing to endure the struggle if it will help the cause. Braigiar,the third Ranger, is currently chopping wood at the bottom of the village. Speak with Penrod to inform him of the Rangers’ status.

Preserved for the Journey: Idele (75.4 S, 8.5 W) has to prepare food for the warriors who will travel south. She sends us to collect ingredients from a fellow Ranger. Begin by collecting apples from Golodir, then return to Idele for an empty bucket. Take the bucket to Golodir and return to Idele one more time with an armful of wood. After using the nearby fire the preperations are complete.

Curing the Leather: Rhus (75.0 S, 8.9 W) is fashioning armor for the Falcon-clan and asks us to get a tough skin from one of the oxen grazing on the other side of the lake. Use the nearby boat to get across quickly, loot the slain ox (75.8 S, 11.2 W) for its hide and then return to Rhus to turn the hide in. We have to use the buckets of water to clean the leather and then beat the stretched leather before Rhus is satisfied. He gives us the ox-skins to take to Taf at the lake shore.

Mark of the Falcon: Taf (74.2 S, 9.2 W) is working on the armor using the leather we gathered, but needs some red plants to mark the armor with the symbol of the Falcon. Gather plants along the lake shore to give to Taf and pick a color of dye to receive as a reward!

Kin from another mother.No Mercy for Traitors: Iwan (74.3 S, 9.3 W) shouts a threat to Saruman and his followers before telling us to scrape residue from toad skins to bring back to him. Complete the task for the definitley-mentally-stable Dunlending by heading across the lake to find the toads. Our clearly sane friend thanks us for the residue, takes it, and promptly licks it up. Hurry to Maelona to obtain a cure for the toxins. Give Iwan the root-powder and leave the strange chap to his own devices.

The Unwelcome Guest: Wynfor has found traces of a sneak near the far shore of the lake. Examine the trail while collecting avanc-jaws so that Wynfor can deal with the situation. Return to Wynfor after finding two sets of footprints and 5 jaws.

Setting Traps: Wynfor has crafted traps from the avanc jaws and gives us three to use against the creeping enemy. Return to the footprints across the lake to place three traps and then travel back to Wynfor to complete the quest.

Return to Penrod after finishing all ten quests. We are not done here however; Lheu Brenin wishes to see us about the troublesome Isengard emissary the Falcon-clan captured earlier.

Chapter 8: The Messenger of Isengard

The emissary has been less than forthcoming for the Falcon-clan, but Brenin thinks we might have some luck getting information from the captive. Enter the prison cave (75.5 S, 7.8 W) to interrogate the prisoner. Dondhreg, the emissary, boasts that Saruman has an army supported by many clans throughout the Dunland region, including the wild Starkmoor, toxic Dunbog, and treachourous Carreglyn areas. Give Brenin what little information we have learned.

Chapter 9: Return to Galtrev

A noble spirit can't be held back by others' faults or lack of faith.Brenin is worried that Saruman has gained more allies than previously thought. While the Falcon-clan is strong, especially with our aid, it is not capable of taking on all the rest of Dunland’s clans. We are sent on a mission to investigate the status of the other areas in Dunland, beginning with Galtrev. Find Catrin and discover what has happened in our absence. Catrin believes that Saruman has been encouraging the Ox-clan to bolder measures, however Catrin has been receiving aid in her resistance against the clan. The helper goes by the name ‘Wadu’s Ghost’; meet her to reunite with a friend we had left behind.

Nona has made her way into Dunland by herself, recently joining forces with Catrin to cause trouble for Saruman and his ilk. She is ready to join us, if we will finally accept her.

Chapter 10: Herdsmen of the Starkmoor

Nona approves of the danger we have faced, committing herself to a similar path by taking the title of her lost brother’s ghost and hunting down clans that swear loyalty to Saruman. Nona has observed many herds grazing in the Starkmoor, enough to feed an army. We follow her there to discover who is responsible for keeping Saruman’s forces fed. After meeting Nona in the Starkmoor examine the nearby farm, sheep-pen, and field. We discover the farms to no longer be under friendly Dunlending control, but the main trading settlement still needs to be investigated.

Chapter 11: Into the Dunbog

Nona believes that if we help the residents of the Starkmoor, they will be less inclined to supporting Saruman with vital supplies. This could be a heavy blow to the White Hand, so complete as many quests in the area as you can (or wish) and then meet up with Nona in at the entrance to the Dunbog (85.4 S, 20.8 W). I highly recommend finishing the level 70 quest chain here because of some surprises that occur towards the end of the chain. Speak with Andras (81.5 S, 19.4 W) and Levelha (83.5 S, 20.5 W) to begin the Starkmoor quests and head to Dunbog when you are satisfied with your progress.

Chapter 12: Outliers

Nona knows little of the people of Dunbog, a tribe that likes to keep to themselves and stay far away from the main Dunland region and troubles. Scout ahead to discover whether they are friendly or allied with Saruman already. Bethan (85.5 S, 21.1 W) and the scouts at the small camp to the south do not attack; the Avanc-lûth stand alone, but we might convince them to join with us against Saruman.

Chapter 13: Land of Iron

Nona tells us to help the residents of Dunbog, a strange and dangerous swamp, in the hope that they may welcome us and return the favor. Begin questing here by speaking with Bethan. You may find Nona in Carreglyn after you have finished enough quests to satisfy your curiosity in the unusual creatures of the bog. When finished, we travel to Barnavon in Carreglyn to find Nona waiting for us (85.1 S, 17.0 W).

Chapter 14: Bribing Gold

Barnavon’s Ox-clan is working for Saruman, in no small part because of the gold Saruman has handed over to the village leaders. It is time to show them the real cost of selling out their fellow Dunlendings by defeating them and taking their gold bribes to give to Nona.

Chapter 15: Friends in the Gravenwood

The leaders of Rohan are accustomed to bearing their weight in hard times and leading the charge into battles.Not everyone in Carreglyn accepted Saruman’s bribes. There are friendly Dunlendings in Carreglyn who we should help; we are again given the opportunity to assist as needed and to move on when we feel ready. When you wish to continue onwards, travel into the Gravenwood and speak with Amlan (83.1 S, 14.5 S). Amlan sends us onward to Saeradan, who has encountered a band of Rohirrim and is meeting with them at their scout-camp nearby. The Ranger leader takes note of our information and is glad for the assistance we gave to the various Dunlending tribes. Saeradan then introduces us to Théodred, son of the king of Rohan and leader of a company of Rohirrim on a mission similar to our own. Théodred  is angered by Saruman’s treachery and the Dunlending tribes’ increased confidence and aggression; he asks us for to lend our assistance to the Rohirrim by helping them retaliate against Saruman’s efforts.

Chapter 16: A Watchful Presence

Trees hidden by shadow sometimes get mistaken for frightening creatures. This one must look terrifying in the dark.Théodred’s company is out of sorts in the dark Gravenwood and feel eyes on their backs as they scout the woods. This gives credence to rumors that Saruman can walk amongst men at will without being seen. Théodred asks that we examine the places where the presence has been felt to see if we experience a similar feeling. We feel nothing near the mustering tree located slightly northwest of the scout-camp. Likewise, there is no presence at Uvel-cadlus, aside from the large camp of enemy Draig-lûth (wonder how the Rohirrim missed that presence). Théodred thinks that his men may have been troubled after spending too much time among the shadows of the wood.

Chapter 17: Return to Tûr Morva

Théodred suggests that we return to Tûr Morva and pass on the information we have gathered to the Falcon-clan chieftain. However, he also warns us against putting too much trust in the tribe, not accepting Dunlendings as friends due to their tense relationship with Rohan. Before we return we are advised to help the Rangers and Rohirrim in the Gravenwood; complete as many of the optional side-quests as you wish and then speak with Lheu Brenin in Tûr Morva.

Chapter 18: The Captive

Perhaps Théodred's warning had more behind it than his dislike for Dunlendings.Lheu Brenin stopped feeding the Falcon-clan’s captive, causing him to fall ill and approach death. We travel with Brenin to speak with the captive and hope his weakness loosens his tongue. We meet Lothrandir along the way, sent by Halbarad to give us assistance while the other Rangers bring up supplies from the Falcon-clan’s storage. A surprise awaits us inside the prison.

*Spoilers*

Unfortunately, the Falcon-clan has other plans than to fight alongside the Rangers against Saruman. Brenin captures us inside the prison and takes us to Isengard, hoping to curry favor with Saruman by handing us over slaves so that Saruman might learn the details of our mission. After seeing the might of Isengard proper and the tower of Orthanc up close we are taken into Isengard Depths, where the forges, dungeons, barracks, and kitchens are located far beneath the surface of Nan Curunir. Fâsh, a nearby White Hand Uruk, laughs and tells us we are here to work till we die.

Chapter 19: The Caverns of Isengard

The unexpected turn of events weighs heavily on our hearts, as do the lashes on our backs.Fâsh assigns an Uruk Overseer to give us work and keep us in line. Using the Shackles item in the inventory will re-summon him if necessary. It is possible to travel to other areas in Middle-Earth by using travel skills; if you leave the Isengard Depths you must use the Reminder of Captivityitem in your inventory to return to imprisonment and the Epic Quest.

The Slop: The first assignment is to visit the kitchens for work. Prepare to meet Surly Uruks along the way; these enemies have  decided to vent their rage on the nearest slave, who is often us. When we arrive in the kitchen Barkh, the cook, threatens to chop us up for stem, but fortunately merely has us clean up slop from the kitchen floors. When Barkh is finally satisfied with our cleaning he tells us to fetch slop to feed the orcs in the dungeons at the north end of the caverns. At the end of the passageway we are noticed by a prisoner. Baldgar asks us if Rohan is still safe, but it is not safe to talk so we must speak with our overseer and gain the next assignment.

Heavy Lifting: Our overseer sends us to Sagrúrz in the main cavern. The burly Uruk sets us to hauling barrels of weapons and armour to a platform above and behind Fâsh. Help a fellow prisoner by carrying his barrel before speaking with the overseer for a new quest.

It's nice to see the devs' sense of humor appears even in these dark dungeonsKill Ten Rats: Rats have been plaguing the Uruk-hai sleeping quarters. It is our heroic duty to venture on the quest to kill ten rats!

Finishing off the rats and speaking to Fâsh also finishes off this chapter in the book.

 

 

Chapter 20: In the Presence of Saruman

Our adversary Saruman, the Wizard at the center of the Rise of Isengard.The Old Man (aka Saruman) has finally demanded our presence. Speak with Fâsh to travel to Orthanc. The Uruk leaves us alone inside, ordering us to climb the stairs and speak with Saruman.

Saruman tells us that while he knows much, there are still mysteries of which he needs our help to solve. Together we might accomplish much and learn many hidden things. His voice has an alluring quality, but we must do our best to /resist his charm as he presses us for information about the Ring. He sends us back to work, this time at Isengard’s surface just outside Orthanc, so that we might have a little time to decide to help him.

Chapter 21: Servants of Saruman

The tower of Orthanc rises high above our Uruk captorsOur new Uruk commander Morflak gives us a set of Shackles to summon his lackey. The lackey gives us more jobs to do around the base of Orthanc.

Their Best Interests: A few Uruks have been plotting to act up and become the new commander. Visit and challenge one in each of the groups the lackey sends you to so that the others get in line.

Raiding the Larder: Morflak wants better food, so the lackey sends us to steal some from the guard-house by the gate. Don’t let gatekeepers catch you while you steal the food and abscond with it to Morflak (59.0 N, 11.4 E).

Trivial Business: The lackey commends us for our obedience, but we remember that this is the only way we can stay alive long enough to escape. We are sent to Urdan (59.6 N, 13.1 E) to help build siege-engines for Saruman’s war effort. Urdan has us pick up a crate of tools at the north end of Isengard and bring it to him for use on the siege engines.

With all 3 tasks done we can return to Morflak, who rewards our diligence by letting us work without an escort. Sometimes it is best to wait while the enemy makes a mistake.

Chapter 22: Feed the Prisoner

Morflak orders us back into the depths of Isengard to get new assignments from Fâsh. The entrance to the dungeons is in the middle of the north wall of Isengard. The commander of the depths sends us back to Barkh in the kitchens for more slop handling. While cleaning up grimy slop the slave Dulan catches our attention. He gives us poison to sneak into an Uruk-hai’s supper before cleaning our rag for Barkh. Our next job is to carry slop into the northern dungeons. This time we have the chance to speak with Baldgar, who has been working on a plan to escape.

Chapter 23: The Wizard’s Vale

Isengard was truly breathtaking before corruption and industry tore at its roots. However, Orthanc has long loomed menacingly over the vale.One of the Rohan captive’s fellow prisoners was once Saruman’s steward, attending the Wizard’s daily affairs until he fell out of favour. Acca has spoken to the other prisoners about knowing Isengard’s secrets; speak with the captive to learn if there is a way out. Acca shares a tale of Isengard past, beginning a session play in which we take the part of Gríma Wormtongue, that loathsome servant of Saruman that gained the ear of Théoden.

Saruman and Radagast were old friends long before we met either of them.The story begins in Isengard, but we emerge to see not construction, orcs, and smoke but rather clear water, green grounds, and trees beginning to change into autumn splendor. Take a moment to take it all in, breathing in the fresh air and basking in the sunny day. Isengard would cease being such a beautiful place not long after these memories. Speak with Acca and listen to the conversation between Saruman and Radagast – two wizards we have had the opportunity to meet, but this is the first time we see them in the early days of Sauron’s return to power, when Gandalf was just beginning to realize the true nature of Bilbo’s ring and Saruman still wore robes of white. At this time there were already troubling signs however; Radagast spoke of worried woodland creatures and Saruman informed him that the Nazgûl were riding abroad once again. Saruman advises Radagast to find Gandalf and give him Saruman’s offer of assistance, and asks us to attend to other matters.

Gandalf arrives precisely when Saruman means him to.Time passes and the story continues at Isengard’s gate. Speak with Acca and meet Gandalf at the gate. After having a few disapproving words with Acca, Gandalf follows the steward into Orthanc while we take care of his horse. We continue the story at Orthanc’s steps, where Gandalf meets Saruman in his Many-Coloured form for the first time. The wizards’ appearance and demeanor are at clear odds; Gandalf is impatient and worried in old, tattered robes, while Saruman stands regal and calm in his dazzling robes that change colors before our eyes.

Saruman and his Plasmantir Globe.We appear on top of Orthanc some time after Gandalf’s arrival. Against Saruman’s orders and Gríma’s warnings, Acca has decided take extra rations up to Gandalf. The wizard is no guest of Isengard but instead a prisoner, held captive on top of the tower and unable to help Frodo and the other Hobbits. Gandalf speaks gravely of Saruman’s descent into madness; the Grey wizard is dismayed by Saruman’s attempt to gain power and challenge Sauron for dominion over Middle-Earth. Gríma promises to not tell Saruman of Acca’s disobedience, but Gríma isn’t exactly someone worthy of trust. We speak with Saruman inside the tower, informing the wizard of Acca’s action. Saruman is angry with Gríma for allowing this to take place and angrier still with Acca for disloyalty; the latter is thrown into the dungeons while the former takes over the steward’s duties.

The story ends and we speak with Acca in his cage. The prisoner promises to  help us escape if Baldgar can create a distraction.

Chapter 24: A Pinch of Black Powder

Preperations must be made for the escape; both a distraction and a way out of the cages is needed. Saruman’s black powder creates enormous noise and spectacle, so we should gather enough for a good distraction. As we collect the powder we must complete Sagrúrz’s assignments as well to avoid suspicion; the Uruk will give new orders when we meet him back at the forges. He demands we gather scattered weapons, which provides a good cover to collect the powder as well. Because the uruk has no more tasks for us, we can immediately return to Baldgar with the stolen powder.

Chapter 25: Final Preparations

Baldgar wants to prevent Isengard from taking all of its war-machines to war. We can use the black powder to create a distraction and destroy one at the same time. Make your way to the surface, find the largest siege-engine and use the powder in your inventory until it is gone. Thak notices us hanging around the war-machine so head up the nearby structure to speak with him. We use the threat of Morflak’s orders to scare him from questioning us more. Now we have the option of speaking to Morflak as we threatened or heading directly to Baldgar; speaking with Morflak gives us the pleasure of bringing his angry retribution down on Thak, but no other direct effects. Baldgar is glad to see us when we return to the dungeons. Hopefully the flame will be enough of a distraction for our escape.

Chapter 26: Escape from Isengard

Speak with Baldgar to begin the escape instance. The first step of the escape is to collect keys from the Uruk-hai key-master. Head away from Baldgar’s cell and take a right at the first fork to find the Uruk-hai in the other dungeon corridor. Defeat the key-master and get the keys, freeing Baldgar, Acca, and the captive Dunlendings. We head outside with Baldgar and Acca, with the Dunlendings following behind in smaller groups to lessen the chance of being detected. In the next room we have to walk slowly so that the Uruk workers can’t tell that we are escaping (use insertkey by default to walk).

At the surface Baldgar says that someone must light the powder to create our distraction. Acca volunteers himself, saying he has no home outside of Isengard and wishing us farewell. Unfortunately, his sacrifice is in vain; Morflak has been alerted to the escape and must be held off while Baldgar lights the fire. Once the fire is lit the escape is complete. After leaving the instance, Baldgar carries us to the Gravenwood, but the escape was too much for him to survive. None besides us have escaped from Isengard.

Chapter 27: Repaying Treachery

We must return to Théodred and give him our news of Isengard’s growing armies and weaponry. It is also important that we reconnect with the Grey Company; hopefully the treachery of the Falcon-clan only ensnared Lothrandir and ourselves.

Théodred informs us that few of our friends have escaped from Tâl Methedras. He also believes that Lheu Brenin was not originally with Saruman, but aligned with him after hearing our news of his great influence in the entire Dunland region. Not all of the Falcon-clan agreed with the decision, however, and they can help us deal with Brenin along with the Rohirrim and the surviving Rangers.

Chapter 28: Survivors

Seren is one woman who did not go along with Lheu Brenin’s decision. She fled and has since been working with Saeradan to create a plan to free any captive Rangers who are still alive. Speak with Saeradan, Seren, and Théodred’s battle advisor Hogawise to work out the details of this plan.

Saeradan tells us that Braigiar has fallen during an escape attempt. Other Rangers have perished, but the last news had word that Halbarad and Elrond’s sons remain alive.

Seren is greatly angered at Brenin’s backtracking and dishonor. He has sold the Falcon-clan’s allegiance to Saruman, causing him to sink lower in Seren’s eyes than even the strutting prince of Rohan’s Horse-lords. She also tells us of her son’s beloved, a woman who spoke out against the decision as well and is now held captive by her fellow Dunlendings.

Hogawise knows that the situation in Dunland is worse than the Rohirrim had expected, but is still confident in their victory over the Dunlendings. Anyone rescued will make the odds even better, so he agrees with Saeradan’s wishes.

Théodred agrees as well and says that the rescue must be conducted immediately, before the Falcon leave Tâl Methedras and the Rohirrim must retreat to defend the Ford of Isen.

Chapter 29: City of Traitors

Some of the Rohirrim have been sent into Tâl Methedras to establish a forward encampment. We will use the location to scout the area and plan our attack. Travel north and into Tâl Methedras to find the Rohirrim camp and speak with Théodred, who has arrived ahead of us. Several preperations are necessary before the attack can begin.

Fallen Ranger: Radanir mourns the loss of Braigiar, who was lost when they made their escape from the Falcon-clan. He asks us to find Braigiar’s body so that it can be recovered and buried properly. Braigiar’s body is in the middle of Tûr Morva – find it and use it so that Théodred can carry it off before we return to Radanir.

Talons of the Falcon: We will face well prepared warriors during the attack; the Falcon-clan has benefited from our earlier assistance. Théodred tells us to thin their ranks before the main attack is made, so defeat 12 Hebog-Lûth warriors within Tûr Morva.

Champions of the Fallen: Although the Falcon numbers have been diminished there are still several masters of combat that will be highly threatening to the advancing rescuers. Use the three horns of challenge within Tâl Methedras to call them out to fight.Reaching these horns can be tough, especially when there are multiple Dunlendings and wolves close together, so plan your route around them  carefully (it is also important to clear the area of Dunlendings before using a horn so that you don’t have to face a group when facing the tougher masters).

Never Reported Back: Hogawise sends us after two Rohirrim scouts that never returned from their mission. Find Déormund on the western bank of the lake and Herestan on the eastern bank.

Trap-Breaking: Déormund was caught by one of the traps laid out earlier by …someone. He gives us a heavy stone to break the rest of the traps so that they do not catch more Rohirrim in their grips.

The Sleeping Poison: Herestan has been poisoned and needs an antidote quickly. Collect digestive roots nearby to cure him. The area is indicated on the map, but they are mainly on the western side of the lake. The roots must be ground at the stone north of Herestan and then fed to the scout to save him.

Provisions for War: The Falcon-clan has many provisions stored for war; stealing these goods will diminish their abilities. Seren has us ‘obtain’ 8 provisions from their stores.

We return to Théodred after all the preperations have been made. The attack is ready to begin.

Chapter 30: The Rescue

This prince is no stranger to getting his hands dirty.The rescue is underway. Speak to Théodred to begin the main attack. We enter the Prison-caves underneath Tûr Morva but do not see the Rangers. Théodred advises us to go further ahead, where his men are searching cells deeper inside the dungeon. Herestan and Hogawise are both cornered by enemies, so hurry to their aid. Return to Théodred after helping Herestan and Hogawise free several Rangers; we fight together to the next group of Rangers.

We find Golodir imprisoned in these cells and he tells us that Halbarad and Elrond’s sons are further ahead still. Go on ahead without Théodred, deeper into the caves. We find the Ranger and Elves making their own escape – follow them to face off with Lheu Brenin. The traitourous chieftan is flanked by dozens of Falcon-clan warriors; we have no choice but to retreat and deal with him another time. Finish the instance by speaking with Halbarad and then speak with him again when we emerge into the Gravenwood. Many Rangers have died in our journey through Dunland and we must mourn their loss, but Halbarad is greatful for the lives we have saved. Today we get some rest, because the forces of Isengard remain as strong as ever. Who can survive the full force of the White Hand?

Turning the Pages

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Saruman seems to have won this battle. The wizard has stretched his Hand over Dunland and brought most of its people to his side. He has build a massive army of creatures and weapons that could tear apart the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth. He has brought down death upon those who stood up to him, through his treacherous and cunning ways.

Yet he has not won the war. There are still those who oppose Saruman and his oppressive forces, including friendly Dunlendings who commit small acts of rebellion and the steadfast Rohirrim who stand in the way of the armies of Isengard. Rohan’s success is uncertain – the Grey Company tried to withstand the might of Isengard and suffered many losses – but Théodred remains undaunted. We stand with the Rohirrim, joining them as the war begins, but fate does not always smile on the brave.

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2 Responses to “LEAD Volume III Book 4: Rise of Isengard”

  1. AnAmoeba Says:

    Amazing writeup! Thanks for the great work!

    Reply

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