The time has come for me to say Goodbye to LOTRO Weekly. I had a lot of fun and I hope I helped some people along the way. In the end, it’s not you, it’s me. No really. My main reasons for shutting down LOTRO Weekly are thus: not enough time in my life to devote to quality LOTRO blogging and feeling pressure from myself to be putting out content on a regular basis. These two things combined mean that I just don’t have as much fun writing for LOTRO Weekly as I once did. Like I said, this is mostly because of internal pressures that I put on myself. At this point, I spend more time digging through the forums and doing LW stuff than actually playing LOTRO, which I feel is not how it should be.
I will leave LOTRO Weekly up in a slightly different format so that people can still access the information herein, I’m not a Scorched-Blog type person.
I will still be active in the Windfola community and will still post to the LOTRO forums when it strikes my fancy to write a guide or something. I will also keep The White Captain up, as that is strictly for my RP pursuits and outfits.
Again, I hope I have helped some people in the past year this site has been going and I hope it continues to help people.
I am sure you all know that the LOTRO 4th Anniversary celebration began yesterday. There was a lot of excitement for a new horse and new cosmetics and new housing items. However, once it was determined exactly how much grind is required to achieve these things, people got grumpy. And people are still grumpy. I am still grumpy. I usually try not to write ‘editorial’ type articles on this site, however today I feel there is just cause for such an article. And here’s why…
Pipe-weed is an herb popular with many of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. It is also known as leaf, westmansweed, sweet galenas, and Nicotiana. It is referred to as tobacco in The Hobbit, and is also described as such in the text of the Lord of the Rings, though it is never referred to as such by characters in the latter book. The first true pipe-weed was said to have been grown by Tobold Hornblower of Longbottom in the Southfarthing, in around the year 1070 Shire-reckoning (roughly 350 years before the primary events of the Lord of the Rings).
While Tobold (or Old Toby) is considered the first to have grown proper pipe-weed, it is considered that the first variety of leaf originally came from across the Sea and was discovered by the Númenoreans. However, it was the Hobbits of Bree who first thought to smoke it in pipes. Aside from Hobbits and the Men of Bree, the smoking of pipe-weed was said to be popular amongst Dwarves, Rangers, and Wizards. It is not known if any elves smoked pipe-weed, however, the elf Legolas was known to be uninterested in pipe-weed and consider those who smoked it to be “strange folk,” implying that it was at least uncommon amongst the elves.
Several varieties of pipe-weed may be grown by farmers, across all crafting tiers. For the most part, pipe-weed merely makes amusing smoke shapes, although Shire Sweet-leaf is used by Loremasters for the skill “Back from the Brink.” While most pipe-weed is consumed upon use, one can also obtain a pipe with infinite uses and a one-hour cooldown from the quest “Missing the Meeting,” given by Ronald Dwale. There are also numerous quests involving pipe-weed. Most take place around the Shire or Bree, although one involves a barrel which has managed to make its way to the Trollshaws.
In the Lord of the Rings, aside from being smoked by several main characters, pipe-weed also functions as foreshadowing of the Scouring of the Shire, indicating that Saruman had dealings with the Shire. Merry Brandybuck would also later go on to write a book called “Herblore of the Shire,” which covered most of the history of the smoking of pipe-weed.
Today I was able to snag some screenshots of one of the Windfola winners of the Steed of Minas Ithil! Here is Gunbar on his pretty dwarf-pony!
Farmer Maggot was the owner of Bamfurlong, in The Marish in The Shire. His farm was renowned for its mushrooms, which led to much trespassing by young hobbits, Frodo Baggins included. He was also known for Grip, Fang, and Wolf, the three fierce dogs he kept to discourage said young hobbits from stealing his mushrooms. Those who were familiar with him knew him to be very shrewd, and to have regularly gone into the Old Forest. He also a friend to Tom Bombadil, who said of him: “There’s earth under his old feet, and clay on his fingers; wisdom in his bones, and both his eyes are open.” Farmer Maggot provided much of Tom’s knowledge of recent events in the Shire. Maggot had three daughters, at least two sons, and at least two other hobbits working on his farm.
Farmer Maggot is found at Bamfurlong, and bears the title of “Respected Farmer.” He is involved in a few quests, mostly involving either nearby bandits or early visits to the Old Forest. He also functions as a grocer, but does not sell the mushrooms his farm is known for.
Bamfurlong is also the subject of an early Burglar class quest, in which the player must prevent brigands from stealing Farmer Maggot’s mushrooms… and, naturally, pilfer some for him or herself.
At the time of the Lord of the Rings, Farmer Maggot received two strange visitations in short succession. The first was a Black Rider, seeking news of Baggins. The second was Frodo Baggins himself, along with Samwise Gamgee and Peregrin (Pippin) Took. Maggot managed to successfully guess that the Rider’s errand had something to do with Bilbo’s adventure long ago, but he did not recognise that the Rider came from Mordor, nor that it concerned anything more important than simple treasure (or if he did, he did not say as much). He then provided transportation to the Bucklebury Ferry for Frodo & Co., along with a basket of mushrooms from Mrs. Maggot.