It’s a scholar’s life, being a scholar in LotRO. The other day I sought to improve my scholarlyness from Apprentice to Journeyman, so I schlepped over to Ered Luin for a chat with some Elf there.
“Ah, Zoso” she said “to prove to me how scholarly you are, I want you to compose a poem”
“Fair enough” said I; “There once was an Elf from Nantucket…”
“No, no, no. I want a ballad about Aiglos. You’ll need a Ruined Second Age Trinket, which you can obtain from vases found in a few terribly perilous ruins inevitably infested with hostile beasts, three Cryptic Texts from those same vases or possibly looted from the corpses of assorted monsters, and the Lost Stanzas of Aiglos which I gave to another random adventurer who promptly headed off into the middle of nowhere and got himself killed slap bang in the middle of an incredibly dangerous area.”
“Erm, right. Peril, death, peril, killing, danger, rifling through the pockets of blood-stained corpses, peril, poetry. Sounds like fairly standard academic research. I’ll get right on it. Unless…”
“Unless… well… it’s just I’ve been doing a bit of farming in my spare time, as us Historians are wont to do, and I just completed a quest for Farmer Barleymow over there to progress from being an Apprentice Farmer to Journeyman.”
“A quest, eh? That must have been challenging. I’ll wager you had to seek out an incredibly rare seed, protected by vicious birds who’ll give a nasty peck if you try and take it from them, and then you had to fertilise the seed with the dung of an albino Auroch, of which there are only known to be two, and it had to be watered with the tears of a Hero of the Second Age.”
“Not exactly, no. I had to read a book.”
“Yeah, The Kitchen Gardener: Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg by Alan Titchmarsh. It’s really good, lots of step by step guides, detailed pictures, it’s got a five star rating on Amazon.”
“But you had to ride for many leagues to obtain this book, no doubt?”
“He had a copy on him, just gave it to me. Or I could’ve got it delivered by 1pm the next day if I had to. Very convenient. So I was thinking, see, if there’s any profession where you ought to be able to improve your proficiency through reading, surely that would be a Scholar?”
“You’d think, wouldn’t you? Nah. Bugger off and kill some goblins.”
There once was an Elf from Nantucket,
Whose nose was so big you could fu…lly insert a pine cone.
Ha, I love this one. My poor Loremaster can thoroughly sympathize. He managed to do the Ballad of Aiglos by sneaking there gradually avoiding red and purple mobs at level 19, I think it was, and did not die or aggro anything. I felt so accomplished. The Expert one is in an even more fun and dangerous area. Less of an accomplishment, however, as I took along a level 65 warden and a level 58 or so guardian from my kin. At level 25. I did get hit that time, because none of us saw a warg that promptly sprung up and killed my horse in one swipe and took a third out of me in the next swipe. I responded by valiantly running in a tight circle around my allies screaming while they dismounted, a second warg spawning almost on top of us to join the chase. The warden peeled one off of me and the guardian then peeled both of them onto him with a single threat burst after which I was able to stand still and watch my green bar regenerate while throwing in a single debuff before they were dead. The warden walked the rest of the way ahead of me to trigger ambushes while the guardian followed close behind me, and we reached the top with several kills for the warden but no further risk for me. I grabbed the relevant item and mapped my way back to Rivendell to craft it, then kinhouse-teleported to south of bree to avoid the Trollshaw mobs and rode my horse the rest of the way back to the questgiver.