Wednesday 2 February 2011

A scholar always treads on the path of righteousness

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 what?”
“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.”
“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.”

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