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On my way back to the Shire

Hey Ilse,

Unfortunately I still haven’t heard from you. I’m beginning to think there’s something wrong with the postal service. Despite this feeling I’ll keep continuing writing you letters and I just hope that I’ll find the cause of the problem sometime in the future. As promised earlier, this letter concludes the second part of my day.

Jon Brackenbrook
I’ve had a delicious lunch. You know me, if I don’t make it myself, I’ll find someone who can cook perfectly. I found that person to be Peg Pruner. I’ve tasty rations. She really knows how to cook, or at least knows where to get these perfect dishes.

Once my lunch was over, I thought it was time to head out of Archet again and find this Jon Brackenbrook guy. I could only hope that he could find it in his heart to forgive his father for what he did and help in the defense of Archet.

Sign Post

I went out of the south gate and headed east. I decided to go back Bronwe’s folly to see if I could find the Hunting Lodge Strider told me about from that higher point. On my way I found wolves again, but I knew how to deal with them. I slayed them swiftly and took their skins as usual. Sure enough, from the east side I noticed some kind of building in the distance, so I decided to go and check it out. It turned out to be another building. Close by I found a sign post, though, and it showed the way to the Hunting Lodge.

On my way to the Hunting Lodge I made good use of my time and killed more wolves. I encountered some Marsh-flies as well and I thought ‘Why not kill those too?’ and thus I did. I find it more and more easier to kill these beasts. I never expected that from myself. I mean, I’ve killed before for my dishes, but killing like this… No. But I guess there’s some kind of violent side in each of us. No matter how peace-loving you are, when it comes to kill or be killed, I think most will choose the first option, wouldn’t you? Anyway, I’m digressing from our subject. I was on my way to find Jon. I found the Hunting Lodge in a good shape. I can imagine hunters can have a good time here after they’ve been hunting all day. I found several hunters there already. They were a bit bored and hoped they could fight the brigands some day. Well, their wishes might come true sooner then they’d expected.

I talked to Jon and he told me that he’s been keeping an eye on the town ever since his father told him to get away. Jon still doesn’t trust Calder Cob and he feared the town might be in danger someday. He promised me he’d come to Archet’s aid with the help of his men. While he’d make preparations for this, he asked me to help. He asked me to kill as many blackwolds as I could to thin their ranks. He also hoped I would stumble upon some information about their future plans. With Wil’s father, the farmhands and my own experience in mind, I was happy to oblige.

I decided it would be best to have some more training. I got out and continued killing marsh-flies, wolves and piglets on my way back to Archet. Once there I paid a visit to Teal again, since I felt confident enough to learn new skills. She agreed with me and taught me how to retaliate and overwhelm the enemy.

Blackwold Plans
That turned out to be quite effective against the blackwolds. I headed out of Archet and went southeast. I had seen blackwolds there, so I hoped to be able to defeat loads of them. And I did. And boy, did that feel good! It’s strange to feel so good about killing these villains, but after what they’ve done so far, I feel that here’s simply no other solution. Can you imagine that?

Blackwold plans

I managed to get closer and closer to their hide-out and eventually I managed to sneak inside. I cautiously went through the place, trying to avoid being seen by these blackwolds. I got deep inside and then I noticed several wolves protecting some blackwolds. I knew I could kill the wolves. Now, if the blackwolds need protection from wolves, how hard can it be to kill the blackwolds themselves too, right? So, I gave it a go and went on a killing spree. I think that’s what it’s called anyway. I killed the wolves, then killed some blackwolds and then I found myself opposed to their leader. He did wound me, but I still managed to kill him in the end with a few fierce blows. I sneaked into a quiet corner and waited until I could get around them and kill some more.
Do you remember I told you about the Brigand-lieutenant? Well, I met him again, right here in the hide-out. This time I defeated him with ease! I never expected that to happen, but it did. This really proves my fighting has improved.
In a corner next to the stairs I found plans that contained information Jon was looking for. I was lucky, cause the blackwold on the other side of the stairs didn’t notice me taking the plans. I don’t know what would have happened if she had seen it. I would have had the whole bunch on top of me. I don’t know if I would have won, but I didn’t need to worry about that anymore.

Spider’s invasion
I managed to get out of the hide-out and return to the lodge. When Jon saw the plans I had found, he complimented me on my terrific job. Isn’t that great? I finally felt I was actually doing a good job in protecting Archet.

Atli Spider-bane

Jon studied the plans and it seemed they’re quite useful. On the plans he found the information that the blackwolds wanted to use an old path east of Archet to invade the town. Jon knew about the path and wondered if there was a possibility to keep it safe. Therefore I had to find Atli Spider-Bane. Atli has traveled that path a lot in the past and he’d better be able to tell if it could be used in Archet’s defense.
I found him just outside the lodge. He was indeed familiar with the Old East path, as it is called. He told me the path is loaded with spiders. It’s a good thing Bounder Boffin isn’t here, cause he hates spiders. Anyway, Atli told me it wouldn’t be easy to go through the path unharmed by the spiders, but they could prove to be an ally for the defense, so it worth investigating.

Old East path entrance

Atli advised to go and investigate and so I did. I had seen the entrance to the path before. It’s on the other side of the river, opposite to the lodge and thus easy to find. I decided to go there immediately. I checked the stone wall first. It did have some breaches, but they seemed to be old. It was something to inform Jon about, though.

I slowly traveled farther on the path, defeating the spiders I met along the way. These spiders aren’t the easiest once, I can tell you that. They have huge fangs and I did NOT want to be spiked by those fangs! And like Atli told me, the spiders kept on coming. Now, I don’t have any fears for spiders, but there comes a point when even an adventurous, courageous Hobbit has had enough of spiders.

When I finally reached the Archet walls and found them intact, I was relieved. I would be able to return to Jon and leave the Spiders behind.

Archet Wall

You’d think that would be it, right? Find the wall, it’s intact, report back to Jon. Well, think again. The plans showed the path for a reason. These villains had indeed been scouting the path. And I found proof for that, just in front of the wall.

Dead Blackwold Scout

I examined the body and was relieved to find it dead. I noticed I’m slowly getting used to finding dead bodies now. It still unnerves me, but not as much as before. It’s a bit weird, but I guess that’s what adventurers will have to get used to in these times of peril. Anyway, the blackwold scout turned out to be killed by spiders. They weaved a web around his body, but not only that. They killed him with their venom. I think I’m lucky they haven’t tried to stab me with these fans of theirs yet. Atli might be right, these spiders might prove to be a great help to us in the defense of Archet.

I returned to Jon with the news that the path was still save, for now at least, and he was thrilled to hear that. He wanted to go to Archet to rally the soldiers for the defense. He gave me a few phials of Violet Dye as a thank you for everything I had done so far. Isn’t that sweet of him? I would have never expected that from a tough hunter like him. I have saved them for the future. I hope I’ll find some nice new outfits on which I can use these. You know how I love to dress well and you know Navy and Violet are my favorite colors. Would you like to save me some for you as well?
Anyway. enough about the dye. Let’s get back to the subject at hand. It never came to a rally, because soon after I had told him about the wall, one of his men returned with the news that Calder Cob was heading for Archet with these villains, who apparently came from Angmar. That was terrible news! Just when I was getting my hopes up that all was not in vain and that Archet would be able to get out safe this news reached us!

Archet’s Defense
With the grave news in mind that we had just heard, Jon decided we had to go to Archet immediately. He wanted me to come with him and his men. I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but I wasn’t ready at that moment, I suppose I would never be, right?
When we arrived at the outskirts of Archet we found parts of the city already ablaze. It was horrendous! I found Ned Pruner on the market after we had secured it and although he was mortally wounded, he asked me to go and find Amdir. The black riders were back and they were searching Archet for him and a hobbit. That was very bad news. Peg Pruner found us a way out of the market before she went to her husband.
Jon thought we had to go to the Mad Badger Inn, like Ned suggested. I, however, had doubts about that. What if the black rider would just pick any hobbit? Then again, what kind of guardian would I be if I would not do my utmost to protect Archet? So, I followed Jon to the inn.
We managed to secure the crafter’s area as well, but unfortunately we found the inn ablaze too. Jon was relieved, though, to find his father alive. I will not say well, as he was clearly wounded, but he alive nonetheless. It was a happy reunion of father and son, but it was short lived. Calder Cob came in with some of his villains and some evil looking men in dark red coats. I suspect they were companions of the black rider, there was such an evil mood spatting from them! These riders took Amdir as a slave to Mordor, have you ever heard of Mordor? I always thought this was something from spooky stories, but apparently not. Anyway, enough about Mordor. The more graver news is that Calder Cob killed Jon’s father. It was such a terrible thing! And he had pleasure in “finishing the job” as he put it. I suspected him to be evil from the moment I was ambushed by this wolf-leader and now I had the finite proof of that.

Like Jon said, this was a very sad day in the history of Archet. The town is lost, or at least I think it is. There was nothing more we could do. Even Jon thought that. He also thought it would be best if I’d return to the Shire and thus he escorted Celandine, Mundo and me back to the Shire.

Back in the Shire
And, that, my dear friend, is how I ended up back in my beloved Shire. Jon brought me and Mundo to Little Delving, thinking that would be a safe place for a while.
I have to admit I was feeling relieved to be back in the safety of the Shire, but at the same time I feel there are still adventures for me out there, outside of the boundaries of the Shire. All is not over yet, mark my words. Granted, I suspect it’s not only adventures that lay ahead in the future, but it’s time to grow up, don’t you think? Perhaps that why this burglar gave me his journal. Perhaps it was just a sign to grow up and find my way into the future.

For now I’ll take a couple of days rest in the Shire. Regroup, restock my cooking supplies and perhaps even visit a few towns in the Shire I’ve never been before. It would be a shame if I would have been out of the Shire but never visited other towns here, while we such a lovely country.

I hope I’ll hear from you soon now that I’m back in the Shire and who knows, perhaps we’ll meet again soon!

For now, I wish you a joyous life and I hope that you’ll stay safe!

Yours Truly, Sheherezi

Author’s note:
This story completes the tutorial phase of Lord of the Rings Online for the hobbits. Each race has it’s own tutorial part, so if you’re interested in other version, don’t forget to start other characters, perhaps on multiple accounts? That is allowed!
Quests covered here:

  • The exiled Hunter (find Jon Brackenbrook)
  • Into the Shadow (find the blackwold’s plans)
  • A slender hope (defeat the spiders and see if Archet’s wall is intact)
  • The storm is upon us (Instance: the assault on Archet): this quest is not yet finished. You can only finish it in Little Delving.

About Ilse Mul

Junior Game Designer, Author, Lotro addict, Puzzle Pirates addict

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