Last I wrote about LOTRO we had left Walstow in somewhat better state than we found it, and were being sent back to Snowbourn. Snowbourn remains much the same, a town under threat with less than ideal leadership. Fastred means well, but he has a tendency to charge out the door before putting his boots on. He comes across as really quite young – which is what he is so this is actually a very effective representation of his character.
Initially upon our return the spy plot that simmered under the surface when last we were here takes centre ground, amid a minor witch-hunt. Eventually however the real spy oversteps his mark, and is apprehended. There is a certain amount of satisfaction in that – but there is no time to celebrate because almost immediately we are sent flying back to Walstow which has again come under attack.
This is an instance – we do not actually have to gallop across the Sutcrofts (pity), but to be honest I think it is one of the weaker instances in Eastemnet. It feels like a distraction … which in fact is more or less what it is, because immediately after we help save Walstow we go immediately back to Snowburn which itself is now attacked. This leads through to the major instance ending the questline, and this one was a very great deal of fun. My one complaint, as I have felt at several steps in the Eastemnet instances, is that this should have been a skirmish. In particular this was tailor-made for Dol-Gulder style skirmish (in particular I am thinking Assault on the Ringwraith’s Lair). The final fight was – for me – quite challenging and resulted in me only having 200 health at one point. Ultimately though we prevailed, the general of the enemy was slain, and the forces of Sauron were pushed back … for the time being.
That essentially wrapped up the end of the ordinary questline in Sutcrofts, as far as I can tell. I did the last few quests in Snowbourn in a single evening’s play session – and not a massively long one either, so this was really just the conclusion of the story arc that has been running ever since we entered The Wold. However, I say conclusion but matters are left very unfinished. The battle was won, but Rohan is still over-run with invaders. Fastred has triumped, and by the end of the battle we are told he has grown more into his manhood, but he remains young and his people remain beset. We have not thrown the Orcs back across the Anduin, we have merely given them a blood nose. Many dangers lie to the east … and also behind us. Something is rotten in Rohan.
For my own part I am going to hold off moving onto Wildemore until I have completed rebuilding Hytbold. My work there has slowed of late, but I now only appear to have the Sutcrofts Quarter to complete, and I have done a fair bit of that, and hope to get more done soon.