An Acquired Taste

Oh, my poor head. I woke this morning feeling as though a family of bog-lurkers had nested in my mouth! I stumbled downstairs to the common room of the Floating Log and called for breakfast.

I realised, after my 3rd blueberry muffin, that I had little recollection of the night before. Luckily I had some notes and drawings in my journal and, after questioning the Innkeeper, I was able to retrace my steps.

It all started after I left Hobbiton and made my way up past The Hill and to the little community of Overhill. There I met Everard Holebourne who told me ‘I’ve lost my lucky sling-stone! I had just dropped a deer when suddenly a bear – a huge, brown bear it was, too – grabbed the kill and dragged it off! I don’t care about the venison, but I need my lucky sling-stone! I can’t hunt without it. Please, help me if you can and get back that sling-stone from the deer’s carcass. The bear dragged it off into that big den to the north of here. He’s probably on the slopes north of the Bolestones, feasting on the deer I killed.”

So I set off and soon came upon the bear den. There were quite a few bears about but they had little interest in me. That is, until I found Everard’s sling-stone. Just as I started back with it, I was attacked by the biggest bear you ever did see! I discovered later that he was well known around these parts and the villagers called him Old Broadpaw. Well, such a battle we fought, it seemed to last forever. He gave me some good clouts and I gave him some good pokes and finally I slipped my spear into his eye and killed him. I took one of his paws back as a trophy; well I could hardly manage the whole corpse or even the head!

On the way back, I came upon an abandoned waggon. I reported my find and discovered it belonged to Otho Broadbelt. He said that the area had been plagued by giant spiders and asked me to report this to the Shirriff in Hobbiton, Robin Smallburrow, and see what he thinks should be done. The last thing the Shire needs is an infestation of spiders nearly as big as a hobbit!

It turned out that Hobbiton Shirriff had already received reports about the creatures in Bindbole Wood and I was charged to kill as many of the spiders as you can, but also to find their nest.

First though, I need to make my way down past Bywater towards Frogmorton where I had a task to do that I had been putting off for a while – collecting what I can only describe as “toad gunk” to be used as an anti-venom potion. Ugh! You can see why I wasn’t keen but I am such a helpful little hobbit – well, when you pay me anyway haha.

I made it down to Frogmorton and started on the job. While I was doing so, I discovered a most interesting plant, new to me. It turned out to be a variety of hop called by the locals Frog Hops. I gathered up a bundle to show to the Innkeeper at The Floating Log. He was delighted and as my reward he said I could sample this local brew with my supper. I needed no second invitation and promptly knocked back a flagon of Toad’s Tongue Ale.

Oh, that was ….. interesting. Somewhat of an acquired taste I think you could say. Luckily, I seemed to acquire the taste somewhere between the 6th and 7th flagon. But this morning, I wish I could un-acquire it! Suffice it to say, I plan on nothing strenuous today – just a spot of fishing at a delightful spot I noticed at Bywater.

Oh, here’s something. I noticed a drawing in my journal of The Hill. Its where the hobbits go to party and it seems there is the Harvest Festival approaching. Already the decorations are being put up so I hope to see you all there soon 🙂

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About Keligamer

Lotro player, Medieval history student, geek
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