Shamus Plays

Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 3

Shamus Young | 3 Feb 2010 21:00
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If you remember from last time, I'm here in the town of Archet as the result of a series of very bad decisions. Last night I needed to deliver a letter. By the end of the evening I was going to be killed by the Nazgul. As of today I'm about to watch the destruction of an entire city.

The town is surrounded by brigands who are waiting for nightfall before sweeping in here and giving the entire population of the city a free all-expenses-paid trip to the afterlife.

One of the town guards is actually working with the brigands, and it's my job to go and tattle on him to the captain. I don't know why Amdir wants me to do this. I have no proof. I'm just repeating the rumor.

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Captain Brackenbrook is not glad to see me. Apparently he's not willing to imprison and execute one of his own men based on the gossip from a random foreigner.

I go back to Amdir and tell him his idiotic plan didn't work. He gives me a nice pair of gloves. I don't know why he gives me gloves. Maybe he just hands out free stuff to people who insult him. Maybe he'd give me a fancy taffeta ball gown if I told him his mother was a whore.

(I'm sure she was a nice lady.)

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Have you noticed how all these NPCs have rings over their heads? No? What are you, blind? Oh. You were being sarcastic? Okay then.

Anyway, instead of the standard MMOG exclamation mark this game uses a flaming ring as the symbol for "This bloke has a quest for you, why don't you chat him up?" Not just any ring, but the icon is obviously The One Ring. The single most evil object in the history of the entire world. This is like using a pentagram containing a flaming swastika made of horned skulls as the universal symbol for "help wanted."

Amdir has sent me out to the sheep pens to help out the sheep guards. Yes, this town has people guarding sheep. They're about to be wiped off the map by bloodthirsty raiders, but by all means send half our guards outside the city to protect the livestock. No doubt neutralizing our sheep will be the linchpin of their entire assault.

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The leader of this Wooly Vanguard introduces himself as Dirk Mudbrick and explains the wolves are prowling around and threatening the sheep. In order to protect the flock, he needs me to kill six of them.

"This is just shocking. I can scarcely believe it. Are you seriously telling me that your name is DIRK MUDBRICK?!? You poor man. I don't care what other problems you have around here, you really should fix that as soon as possible. Especially since you're probably going to die when the raiders attack. Do you really want to be buried under a tombstone with the word MUDBRICK written on it?"

I look around the sheep pen. Dirk is at the top of the hill. There are four more guards at the bottom. Already these sheep are more fiercely guarded than the town itself. Either the captain of the guard really loves these sheep, or he really hates his fellow citizens.

But rather than sparing a member of the sheep vanguard they're sending out a random musician to kill some wolves. I'm sure the deadly beasts will be no match for my lute and iambic pentameter.

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