22 Nov 2009

Mirkwood, the Forest of Great Fear

(Mirkwood by J.R.R.Tolkien)

Mirkwood is a deep, dark and thick forest east of the Misty Mountains, south of Ered Mithrin populated by spiders, wood-elves, orcs, and of course, nazgûl. Known also as Taur-nu-Fuin or Forest of Great Fear, Mirkwood was probably part of the original woodland that covered Middle-earth. In the year 1050 of the Third Age, evil came to the ancient forest, known as The Necromancer, the evil was in fact not other then Sauron the Ring Lord himself who built the fortress of Dol Guldur in the souther reaches of Mirkwood..His dark powers transformed the once beautiful forest into a place of dread and darkness inhabited by giant spiders, orcs, wolves and evil spirits.

The old Silvanian Elf Woodland Realm of Thranduil survived only just in the northern reaches of the forest but the power of the wood elves was not enough to stop the spreading of evil. In The Hobbit Mirkwood is a major obstacle standing in the way of the Dwarf company of Thorin Oakenshield and the road to the Lonely Mountain. At the time of the War of the Ring, Sauron's forces from Dol Guldur came in great numbers against the Woodland Realm in the north and the Golden Wood of Lothlorien, however both these attempts failed. Thranduil repulsed Sauron's forces in the bloody Battle Under Trees and clear northern Mirkwood of Sauron's forces. At the same time the elves of Lórien led by Celeborn and Galadriel assaulted Dol Guldur. The elven armies knocked down the walls of Dol Guldur and the fortress is destroyed.

"Well, here is Mirkwood! Greatest of the forests of the Northern world. I hope you like the look of it." (J.R.R.Tolkien)

This ancient forest is going to be the main setting of the new Lord of The Rings Online Expansion due for release on December 1st. Siege of Mirkwood will give players the chance to get closer to Sauron himself in the fortress of Dol Guldur, on the hill Amon Lanc. There are many additional changes which will give a game a new and more exciting dimension - skirmishes, soldiers, and new instances too. Combat promises to be far more responsive. The auto-attack will runs in the background so that players' skills will always trigger as soon as they select them. Mounts have been totally revamped and players will be able to use emotes while mounted on their horses. Mmorpg.com has a very interesting preview of the new expansion. Since its launch in 2007, Lord of the Rings Online has established itself as a very solid and likable game that does appeal to a large audience, not only would-be-hobbit like me :) Siege of Mirkwood looks really good and I am really looking forward to visit the Forest of Great Fear.