Book III Vol 1: pastures old
Book 3, Volume 1 is now out. I had the pleasure of making a start the other day.
I haven’t finished Book 2. I thought perhaps that I ought to. Then I thought, I don’t actually want to. I realised that if I waited until I finished Book 2 before I started Book 3 I might be waiting a very long time. So I didn’t.
Concern was expressed that Book 2 would be a prerequisite for Book 3 but no, there in Lhach’s mailbox was the usual cryptic little note requesting urgent assistance. Lhach had to go. So, accompanied by two stout companions (that is stout as in moral fibre, not stout as in too many pies), he set off to Rivendell.
There was a slight disappointment when the first part of the Book was solo, requiring us to disband. But there was no doubt the prologue worked well as I was set my task. I was impressed with myself. I recognised everyone mentioned. I even remembered who was involved and what happened at the end of Book 1; this may not sound like much but I assure you, it is.
So, fired up, I met up again with my fellow adventurers outside the Last Homely House.
Our mission was to travel through Middle Earth and marshal the Rangers of the North. Of course this meant much travel which I suppose I should have guessed. But we had a hunter with us, so without much more delay we were soon racing through Middle Earth. Though in our case, racing is a relative term involving breaks for cake, tea and cat grappling.
We started by returning to the Trollshaws and meeting the ranger there who wanted us kill some orcs in some caves whilst he got himself sorted to leave. Entering the cave complex we encountered a kinmate who was either leaving or going in, no-one was quite sure, the caves are confusing, and he joined us. I liked the caves. They had ruins and were partially water-filled in some places so you had to swim. The orcs were easy for our group to kill, but since the ranger had managed to do it on his own before, that wasn’t surprising.
After that we stopped by Bree and Weathertop, finishing in the Shire. Again the quests the rangers gave us were soloable. But I was happy, one of them offered us armour as a reward, none of it any use but it was nice not to be given a handful of feathers. And for some people the armour might have been lovely.
I enjoyed re-visiting areas and catching up with our Ranger friends. But I worried about us all blowing any cover they’d had, there were crowds round every campsite. Maybe that was the intention…to send so many people to find them, the Rangers would have no choice but to leave since every Sauron’s minion for miles around would now know their exact location.
Hey ho, that’s war I suppose.