So, those of you who are regular listeners to our wonderful The Founder’s Inkling podcast know that the beloved news leader Arwen Kester has a less than spectacular computer upon which she attempts to play LOTRO. Her frame rate skips and she has difficulty accomplishing even the most basic of quests. This has lead to endless frustration on her part, and endless teasing on the part of the other Network staff who play LOTRO. The one thing in all her time gaming that Arwen has desired is to see the fair valley of Imladris – Rivendell.
So, how do we solve this problem? With a quest!
I, Bandoras, opened my big mouth and brought up the idea of an in-game LOTRO meet and greet for Founders and Network members. This tiny, simple, idea turned into an epic adventure! First, we all gathered at the Bird and Baby where we spent quite a bit of time admiring each other’s steeds and simply enjoy the fellowship of our fellow gamers, all while shooting the breeze on our Teamspeak server. But such a simple fair was not to be limited to those who were present only in game and in Teamspeak. Middle-earth Radio Station Director Michael Kaiser had a moment of sheer brilliance and decided to broadcast the Teamspeak discussions live over the airwaves of Middle-earth Radio! That’s when the adventure truly began!
After a bit of persuasion, we convinced Arwen that we could, in fact, provide her with ample protection for a trek from the Bird and Baby in the Shire all the way to Rivendell itself! She protested, but John DiBartolo (sword in hand), charged eastward and we all were swept in his wake. Merriment and fun was had by all along the road, and we even stopped to see one of the famous Shire rainbows!
But, as we traveled, so too did our fellowship grow! You, dear Network members and listeners, heard our epic quest broadcast across the airwaves and flocked to our aid! Person after person joined our fellowship on all fronts! Whether in game, in Teamspeak, or even in the Radio chatroom, you showed your mettle and walked with us down East-West Road!
Along the way, we stood guard over the fragile Ms. Kester, pausing to slay orcs, crebain and even trolls that blocked our path! As we crossed the Last Bridge seperating the Lone Lands from the Trollshaws, a brilliant (if reckless) idea fell upon the company! Taking a large, wolf-laden detour, we paid a visit to Bilbo’s Trolls – still cast in stone to this day!
But our celebration of history did not dissuade our quest. Soon, we were off again and after a few encounters with some of the darker denizens of the Trollshaws, we came to the Ford of Bruinen. Pausing to admire the calm shores, we turned and made our way up the cresting hills and as the sun crept towards the horizon, we arrived at the Gates of Imladris and celebrated the company’s arrival in Rivendell with Arwen Kester’s character safely in tow.
But, this night was about more than simply helping out a Founder. It was about fellowship. Fellowship of gamers. Fellowship of fantasy fans. Fellowship of friends. Without all the wonderful support of the listeners who came charging to our aid, this never would have been possible. Everyone here at the Network staff would like to take a chance to thank you, our beloved listeners and Network members, for showing such an amazing level of support for an event that was developed in a very brief time and presented with very short notice. You have truly showed the strength of the Free-People today.
Given the extraordinary success and support of this event (dubbed by Mr. Kaiser “LOTRO Quest”), make sure you keep an eye out in the future for even more in-game Middle-earth Network events! Whether it’s music and dancing in the Shire, or exploring the hidden places of Eriador – there’s more adventure ahead for everyone!
Besides, we’ve still got to take the Arwen to Isengard, right? If you’d like Arwen’s account of this grand adventure, you can find great screen shots and a video of her expedition on her blog.
If you’d like to listen to our wonderful adventure, you can download it here, or steam it using the player listed below!
Thanks again, and be on the look out for more adventures in the future with LOTRO Quest!Read More