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The Road to Mordor: A day at the festival


Every Friday, The Road to Mordor brings you the latest in Lord of the Rings Online news, guides and analysis.

It's a well-known fact that whenever the country fair or spring festival comes around to Middle-earth, even big bad Sauron takes a day off from pestering hobbits, disguises himself as a schoolmarm, and enjoys the sights, sounds and tastes of these celebrations. I'm telling you, the dude has a cotton candy craving that is insatiable!

As such, I feel perfectly justified in also taking my union-approved break from being a mass-murder machine to take in the wonders of LotRO's spring festival. After packing three light lunches (I am one of the Little Folk, after all) and equipping myself with A Casual Stroll to Mordor's excellent Spring Festival guide, I was off, giddy as a little schoolgirl.

Bree Festival Grounds

As soon as the gates opened, I rushed into the park, looking quickly about to figure which ride I wanted to go on first. Ooh! Horse races! I waddled over and grabbed first in line, only to be told I wasn't high enough for the event. I think he meant in levels but he was certainly looking down on me as he said it. Hmph!

Dejected, I headed to the Hedge Maze, which was last year's big attraction. No longer the shiny new thing, the crowds were thinner as I navigated the hedge rows and laughed at the "enlightened" elves who wandered about, completely lost. Apart from someone taking a big dab of Vaseline to my radar, the attraction was agreeable, and after a few run-throughs, I was the master of my domain. Unfortunately, the quest-givers outside were only handing out one paltry spring leaf (the currency of the festival) per run, and my time is way more valuable than that. So long, chumps!


The hobbits in Brockenborings apparently hijacked the Spring Festival for their own selfish needs -- in this case, to worship one of the greatest hobbits who ever lived, Bullroarer. For a guy who's greatest accomplishment in life – according to his statue – is that he made tee-off time with a goblin's head instead of a golf ball, hobbits sure seem to worship him quite a bit. All I'm saying is that if the PGA had little people smoking pipes and driving goblin heads down the fairway, I might actually watch.

"Honoring" Bullroarer wasn't too tough, although I failed to see how getting drunk and trying a feat of dexterity would please him. Ah well, as an undercover RPer, I must go with the flow, even if that means I might end up stone-drunk and trying to run across the top of a fence without hurling. Turns out, you can do both and still win fabulous prizes! So here's to Bullroarer and his cameo in Caddyshack 3!

Thorin's Hall

I can't say that I've ever spent more than a couple curious seconds in Thorin's Hall, being so out of the way as it is, but a little birdie told me that a new sinister group had rolled into town looking for help. I'm drawn to that sort of thing like a magnet, which probably explains why I keep joining new street gangs whenever I travel to a new city.

Turns out this new group was called the Ale Association, and they wanted my help to muscle out the Inn League's stranglehold over their beer monopoly. Seeing as how the Association was run by surly dwarves descended from the one and only Grumpy, I could hardly resist coming to their aid. Cue a couple hours of delightful, upbeat activities such as slapping dwarves until they cried, stealing family recipes out from under the noses of poor hobbits, and poisoning kegs left and right. LotRO: it's a family game!

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