2011 has been a great year for href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro">the Lord
of the Rings Online
so far. As revealed in our href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/podcasts/live/30">Episode
30 Podcast with Kate Paiz and Adam Mersky, LotRO has tripled
its revenue since going free-to-play, with many casual players spending
small amounts of real cash to enhance their gaming experience, and many
more actually subscribing once they got a taste.

And the rewards for excellence are not just feduciary - PCGamer has
named LotRO its href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/01/11/pc-gamer-uss-games-of-the-year-awards/4/">MMO of
the Year, citing the game's loads of updates, Turbine's
attention to detail and the "most friendly and enthusiastic" player
community as deciding factors.

Of course, the year has only just begun, and there is much more in
store. The Isengard expansion is just a few months away - and by "a
few" I mean probably "slightly less than a year, hopefully" - and in
the meantime, Turbine has promised several smaller chunks of content to
keep the game fresh and fun. And it looks like that new content could
be arriving very soon.

Mysterious relics have popped up all over Eriador, much to the chagrin
of its NPC residents. Hobbit farmer Bungo Grubbwas so incensed about
the mysterious relic that popped up in his pipe-weed field that he
wrote a href="http://www.lotro.com/gameinfo/feature-articles/988-a-strongly-worded-letter-from-bungo-grubb">Strongly
Worded Letter to the Mayor, which was promptly posted on the
LotRO site. There are 5 of these relics for players to find, and a
different story for each:

  1. Evendim - Oatbarton - Bungo Grubb's field:
    This one has a green symbol on it and has killed off several plants in
    the area immediately surrounding the relic. Bungo blames a rival
    pipe-weed farmer for this strange thing being there, believing it to be
    an attempt to sabotage his Grower's Festival entry.

  2. North Downs - William Peake's Farm:
    A farmer has found a strange helmet in his house, which he assumed was
    vendor trash and promptly sold to one of the merchants in
    Trestlebridge. However, there could be something more to the story -
    the night he found the helmet, someone broke in and burned his house to
    the ground, leaving a red-marked relic behind. Interestingly, there is
    a new town just northeast of this farm, up on the mountain - follow the
    path around the base until you get to the rusted-shut portcullis and
    you will see the ruined, empty town square beyond. 

  3. Trollshaws - Gladdalf - Laenan caves:
    Way in the back of this cave, past the level 64 orcs, is a
    yellow-marked relic, sitting before a sealed door. Elrond tells you
    that this door leads to a long-lost Rhudarian temple where people once
    worshipped a dark god of some kind.

  4. Forochel - The Iron Span: All
    the way at the back of this fortress is a purple-marked relic. This is
    the site where the Witch-King cursed the land of Forochel with freezing
    cold winter, and the people investigating the thing believe it may
    signal his return.

  5. Enedwaith - Thror's Coomb:
    This black-marked relic, located amidst the gwibers just southeast of
    the log bridge leading to the path to Nar's Peak, has a profound effect
    on the scaly beasts that prowl the area. They won't go near the thing,
    and the Grey Company recommends you do the same.

Finding all 5 relics grants the character the title "Calm Before the
Storm." At this point, no-one really knows what, exactly, these things
are, but it is safe to assume that they are foreshadowing for some kind
of new content that will be delivered before long. In our November
interview with Aaron Campbell and Adam Mersky, the lads mentioned that
there would be "multiple" new raids coming in 2011 before the release
of Rise of Isengard (you probably remember from href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/features/coming-in-2011">This
Article). Could these relics be the key to unlocking these
new raids and instances? My money is on "yes," but we'll find out for
sure soon enough.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016