Well THIS is another fine mess you got me into, Puddleglum! Thanks to you and Mr. Squirrel here for sitting idly by while I was captured and am now being tortured. Fun times. Can’t wait to write it all down in my diary. If I have opposable thumbs left at the end of the day, that is.
FLASHBACK: Two hours earlier.
I log into Lord of the Rings Online, feeling a little under pressure (internal pressure) to keep moving in this hellhole of a zone. I’ve arrived at the very doorstep of Naerband, the supermax prison that towers over the landscape, but for the past few nights, I haven’t seen any groups coming or going. I wait for an uneventful half-hour to see if I can find a partner to blitz through this place, but no such luck.
Time to do it the hard way.
I summon Puddleglum, who has become my go-to pet in Mordor as of late. The Bog-guardian actually tanks well while putting out some respectable ranged damage, and that translates into personal survival. After a light snack, we head inside to see what there is to see.
Lots of internal fire damage. I’m guessing that stone isn’t flammable and that this is in part the result of Mt. Doom blowing its top. Still, lots of creatures hanging around in a half-burning jail. Might be time to evacuate, is all I’m saying.
Naerband is big, one of the public dungeons that Mordor seems to prefer, and without any companions I play it safe with pulls. Fortunately, for all of its ominous presence, it’s not as hard as I first thought. I’m able to carefully take down guards and progress at a slow and steady pace, working my way through the pocket full of quests that I picked up earlier on.
I do that trusty dungeon strategy of always hugging the left (or right) wall and seeing where that takes me, and lo and behold, I end up mapping the full place and finishing up all of my quests. Two hours of blood, sweat, and tears, but it’s a satisfying experience. Plus, I always like checking out prisons in MMOs. Devs get creative in these spaces.
That’s when some kid gets captured and I rush to his rescue, only to be captured myself. Looks like I’m doomed for some rack action while my faithful pets look on while I scream at them to disembowel this Orc, but nothing doing. I anticipate coming out of this a few inches taller than when I started.
But then the Human Torch shows up and nudges the warden to find more fuel for her fire, so I’m let off the hook. Seriously, at this point I need a well-organized chat to keep track of all of these post-Sauron villains. I’m guessing “always on fire yet still walking around” means this one is a pretty serious threat, but I’m not able to take her on. Not yet.
Instead, I am given the opportunity for a jail break, which is at least the second large-scale one I’ve participated in in this game (thinking back to Isengard). At least I’m not mopping up Orc puke and backtracking constantly this time around. And at least getting out of here means that my sentence at Naerband has been commuted — time to continue on with my journeys!