Return To Dunland Part I

Dagenath, a Warden of Gondor, has braved Eriador and Rhovanion and now has his sights fixed upon the Rise of Isengard in the south. With a fresh quiver of javelins and a sack skin full of ale, off he rides into Dunland in this series of posts to explore the current end-game region for The Lord of the Rings Online.

 And welcome to all Middle-Earthlings! This series of posts is a brief recollection of my adventure through Dunland on my Warden Dagenath. I have done it all before of course, on my main character Adhrean. But in all honesty, hitting level 75 just three and a half days after RoI launching did not seem or felt like an adventure on my Champion ; it was more of a race to 75. Therefore, I will be making up for it by soaking everything in this time around. There will be mild spoilers but it’s nothing game-breaking so not to worry. Shall we begin?

Trum Dreng or The Bonevales? Dismounting my steed on a high cliff on the Mournshaws I peer into the distance, scouting which path I must select to ride into Dunland. I start by assessing the Bonevales in the south east. Barren, rocky, surrounded by eerie hills and giving off the impression of an unearthed catacomb, the Bonevales is hardly inviting. I can barely make out the moving figures, but through experience I know exactly what I’m looking at. Wights. That’s fine I thought. Wights and the undead were never really a problem for me, and I don’t consider them as dangerous foes. Trum Dreng on the other hand, looked the exact opposite ; lush green lands with plenty of Skarn Nodes and Birch Branches as far as the eye could see. Some livestock roamed the plains, and there were signs of life from a village in the distance. As I was about to light my pipe for a smoke and some more pondering, I heard sounds of struggle coming from the outskirts of Trum Dreng. I see people now, those similar to the Algraig of Enedwaith. I do not know their native name, but the Dúnedain call them Dunlendings. Knowing that there must be something nasty going on down there, I hop on to my loyal grey steed Lunar, and gallop away down south west and into Trum Dreng.

That was how my Dunland adventure started. And just to clear something up, it doesn’t matter which area you pick to enter Dunland with, you can always do the other.

The Trum Dreng Landscape & Lhan Tarren Village

Once I had finished the preliminary quests in Trum Dreng, I found myself deeply embroiled in Lhan Tarren’s fight for survival. I really think that the developers did a great job with the quests here. Still a lot of kill X amount of Y and the sort, but it’s all good.  At the end of that one particular quest chain in Trum Dreng, I was left shattered and disheartened at what transpired. But with all setbacks comes the glimmer of hope, and I must now journey deeper into Dunland to discover what impact the rise of Isengard has on Dunland.

Which brings me to Galtrev. It is the current end-game HUB and has pretty much everything. Auction House, vaults, crafting halls and guild traders, armour vendor, skirmish camp, iron-man training dummies, you name it and it’s probably there in Galtrev. The attention to detail in this place is phenomenal.  So I stop here for a couple of hours to work on my crafting, bid on a few items I wanted in the AH and just explored. The only downside about Galtrev is probably the lag. Quests around Pren Gwydh offer pretty decent experience plus equipment. Not to mention some memorable NPC’s, like the wizard-in-training Rook. Rook was a joy.

Upon reaching Galtrev, Dagenath is level 69. My gear is pretty much the same pre RoI, except for a few quest awarded jewelry that boosted my Warden’s morale. At this point, I had deconstructed my favorite second age 65 spear and equipped a brand new 69 third age sword. The DPS took a significant spike and I find myself killing boars around Pren Gwydh way quicker than before. So far, my Warden has enjoyed his first few steps into Dunland. Next post, he goes further south to scout the Starkmoors and Carreglyn.

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