It’s that guy! That guy from ALL the way BACK in the tutorial zone that you met for, like, two quests. And now he’s back for some reason, having hiked his way down to Mordor. Because he heard that there were spiders, and that cannot abide.
I won’t lie, I was getting pretty frustrated with LOTRO by the time I was in the thick of Talath Úrui. It was just kicking my butt all over the place, and I wasn’t having fun at all. So I heeded some advice to put that zone on hold for the time being and head over to Lhingris instead, which was reportedly easier, especially if one hasn’t yet hit the level cap.
This was a good move. I can confirm the easier difficulty level as well as a more streamlined questing experience. Plus, as a bonus, there are actual trees and waterfalls and ponds about, which is a first for Mordor in my adventures. Granted, they’re web-wrapped trees and fetid green pools of water, but after a few weeks in a volcanic wasteland, I’ll take it.
I even whipped together a new “practical adventurer” outfit. I wanted to use a twilight purple dye on it, but there was none to be found on the auction house, so I went walnut brown instead.
As my title indicates, Lhingris’ theme is “spiders, and lots of them.” It kind of picks up on the thread of Shelob from the books and extrapolates a whole spider society of sorts that was allied with Sauron. Now that he’s fallen, the spiders have broken faith with the Orcs and are turning on them left and right. I don’t feel a lot of sympathy for either side in this.
Going through this zone feels strangely apt for my life right now, because for whatever reason, we have spiders everywhere in our house these days. And since I’m the only human being in our house who does not scream loudly and flee rooms when one is spotted, I’m the one being enlisted to kill them on sight. So why not in a video game, too?
There’s even some nasty body horror going on here, as some of the spiders have “hollowed out” living Orcs with baby spiders laid inside their bodies. Guess everyone loves a good Aliens reference, eh? At least it’s only described, never truly shown.
I’ve actually enjoyed going through the zone, thanks to its manageable difficulty and top-to-bottom flow. It is a little odd how there’s no stable master anywhere in the area — or any camps of free peoples at all. Just two milestones and two friendly NPCs that pop up here and there. Makes for a more isolated feeling.
Oh and if you ever wanted to see a mostly naked Frodo, this zone’s for you. You sicko.