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The following is the second part of my escapades as a new dwarf character in Lord of the Rings Online.  The first part can be found here.

The Hazards of Yule-fest

Looking out from Thorin’s Hall

The Northern part of Ered Luin is locked in a perpetual grip of ice and snow, and the eternally cold climate means winter’s pinnacle is little marked by the dwarves.  Yet even so, Yule-fest is celebrated by the inhabitants.  It is supposed to be a time of merriment and abandon, but Freryn found the dwarves of the Blue Mountains were not the most enthusiastic revelers.

Freryn enjoys himself, even if others are more somber

There were few festival goers to be found (most folk were still mining, or smelting, or being general sticks-in-the-mud). He found even those in drink were hardly less dour than the Dourhands, bemoaning their lost Lords, and whispering something about a mystical return of King Thrain via a thunderstorm.  He didn’t know if they meant Thrain the first, or second, but he didn’t ask.  The whole idea was unnerving.  He’d seen enough things in the world, some very recently, to know one should not invoke spirits of the past, ally or otherwise.  The dead were likely happier in the Halls of Waiting.  There let them remain, or else risk their wrath!

The only sort of spirits Freryn wanted to invoke came in a short stout glass!  But the tavern keep had none of those finer beverages, so he settled for ale.  What it lacked in quality, it made up for in quantity!

Despite valiant efforts, his own cheer failed to invigorate his dull companions.

Beer or cheer? Neither, thanks.

Many pints later, and with only a few coins remaining in his purse, things were getting a bit fuzzy.  Careening into bed sounded like a most productive quest.

Squinting to shut out the unwelcome light of dawn, he started down the road from the festival hall to the inn.  Almost too late did he see the pair of goblins blocking his path.

They were apparently lurking in the rocks, waiting to take advantage of drunken festival patrons—such as himself. He wasn’t sure what was worse, the glare from the rising sun on inebriated eyes, or the shrieking shouts of the goblins.  But one thing he did know; the faster they died, the sooner they’d be quiet.

What’s a Yule-fest without a bit of blood and death?

Part III

Out of Character Ramblings:

Freryn made it to level 10, and most surprisingly earned The Undefeated title (no deaths in 10 levels).  I say this is surprising, not because it is hard to do, but because I’ve let him stand around and get beat on by goblins and bears while taking screenshots, only noticing at the last minute that his morale was down to nothing.  I doubt he will get The Undying title (level 20 without dying).

One observation I’ve made in my short brief time playing a dwarf is how much more frequently players of other races invade my personal space, compared to when I’m playing an elf or a human.  So far, I’ve had big folk butt in front of me at the auction, I’ve been crowded at the mail box, and even stood upon by an elf chic and her horse for several minutes (it is possible to overlap two characters and create a horrid-looking hybrid).

Freryn demonstrates object overlap with the new Yule-fest steed

I’m suspicious that it stems from a conscious, or subconscious, prejudice against my race.  The last example could hardly be construed as anything but rude. I understand there are places in the game that necessitate clustering to get at a resource, (though in none of these instances was it busy enough to do so) but in this case, I was on the steps of Thorin’s Hall, surrounded by many yards of open space, and all of a sudden there is the snorting nose of a horse in my hair.   The elf lass either did not see me (impossible considering I am a strapping 4′ 8″ ball of awesome!) or was intentionally doing it as a slight to my people!  She even walked her stupid steed forward a pace until I was completely engulfed in horse (Freryn still has nightmares).

And what did I do about it?  Absolutely nothing.  Knowing the best way to deal with bad behavior in game is to ignore it, I stood my ground, neither stamping, shouting, nor cursing this elf fiend’s immortal ancestry (“Ha! Good luck getting your hands on yer grandmother’s silverware, since she is never going to die!”  How’s that for karma?)

Little Miss Nearsighted finally logged out from that very spot, and I was left to fume over the whole thing.

Even a typically easy-going dwarf can only take so much elf egotism

It remains to be seen if these incidents are just hapless misunderstandings, or indicate a consistent trend of intolerance.

Part III