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Lord of the Rings Online: New Beta Journal Views Past Adventures

Lord of The Rings Online Beta Journal looks at the adventures players have had in Middle Earth.

For today's Beta Journal, we asked our Beta Program participants to talk about a memorable adventure they'd had during the course of their travels in LOTRO.

Our journey began in the Lone-lands. Two champions, two hunters, and two minstrels (myself one of the latter) gathered in Ost Guruth, determined to make our way deep into Garth Agarwen and destroy the evil festering there. We shared several quests from across the Lone-Lands and Bree-Land, for the occupants of Garth Agarwen - the hillmen of Rhudaur and the cursed shades of Arthedain - had made numerous enemies in their service of the Red-maid.

Leaving Ost Guruth we traveled east, entering the Haragrim swamp and then turning north. From there, we fought our way through the corrupted forest of Agamaur. More difficult foes presented themselves as we approached the outer gates of Garth Agarwen, but we pressed onward, determined to complete our quests...

Our group wasn't well balanced, or typical, so planning and executing each encounter was rather interesting - and the results entertaining. Our hunters laid traps to take an enemy or two out of commission and then let loose with a rain of arrows. Ducking behind the nearest cover, they lured the enemies towards our fellowship. Unleashing furious attacks, the champions then took over. The minstrels had very different traits slotted, so one focused on healing (with improved casting times and power costs) while the other concentrated on enhancing the group's abilities (with improved buff effects and durations).

The inside of Garth Agarwen is a maze of ruins, overgrown with foreboding red trees and scattered with foul pools of water. Most of the enemies were severely challenging for adventurers of our experience, so our fellowship made its way slowly and carefully deeper into the ruins. We fought groups of hillmen, and slogged through pools haunted by gloom-waters. Eventually we found ourselves within an eerie glade. Our fellowship had been told of this place, where a great tree named Oakenbark had fallen to corruption. Now named Grimbark, he stood between us and our goal.

Our champions charged the great tree while the hunters eliminated the roots that sprung forth to hinder us. The battle went on, both champions constantly being swatted by Grimbark's branches, and everyone else suffering from surprise attacks by roots. Low on power only a third of the way through the battle, we appeared to be in trouble, until a lucky strike opened a conjunction for our group.

"Choose blue!" everyone yelled simultaneously, and moments later (thanks to some luck and quick thinking) everyone's power was completely restored. We fought on even harder now. But two-thirds of the way into the fight, Grimbark shook his branches and dropped beehives directly onto our fellowship. The angry bees made a beeline for both minstrels. A horde of angry bees can be quite demoralizing, especially on the receiving end, and without support the rest of the fellowship soon succumbed to Grimbark. But despite the dread of this defeat, our fellowship swore to return another day and finish what we had started.

Read more here.

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