Hobbit Bungo Grubb is upset, and he has a good right to be -- after all, a stout black rock appeared in his pipe-weed fields and spoiled his crops something fierce. In a strongly worded letter reposted on Lord of the Rings Online's website, Grubb complains about the source of this menace:
"Right in the middle of my field, someone had placed a tall stone block bearing unpleasant symbols... Furthermore, this stone artifact, or relic, or what-have-you, is a public nuisance! Anyone who gets too near it begins to feel most unhealthy, and cannot bear to look at the thing for too long."
While the reason and consequence of this relic is unclear, the fact is that many like it are popping up all over Middle-earth. Players can track down five of these mysterious relics to earn the ominous-sounding "Calm Before the Storm" title. Is this the prologue to the Rise of Isengard later this year or something different entirely?
In other LotRO news, PC Gamer awarded the game "MMO of the Year" for 2010, saying that "when it came to keeping us entertained all year long with small updates, plus throwing us the occasional party with huge loads of free content, LotRO treated its fans the best." Congrats to Turbine for this award!