I have been wandering. My brief visit to Tyria has left me bereft of a direction to head in, the enthusiasm I once held for massively open worlds diminished to a worrying level. I had thought of returning to Azeroth to witness the emergence of the Pandaren, or even to aid the Jedi in their never-ending fight against the Sith, but, frustratingly, there are unwelcome barriers blocking my path. With no other world interesting me, I began to fear that my journey has come to a pre-mature end.
Until an unexpected event reminded me of an old friend.
I chance upon a moving picture book titled The Hobbit, and by the end of the story I found a burning desire to revisit the realm of Middle-earth. It has been long since I last walked the plains of Bree-land, and access to this world was no simple task, requiring me to reacquire access to this long-forgotten realm. However tedious the process was, I persevered and eventually made my journey through the familiar portal. Deciding to continue where I left off many cycles ago, I entered the world with eager anticipation and hope that my journey continues.
Much has changed in Middle-earth. Where once I was a founder of this realm, I now find myself staring at my own body with great bewilderment. It is both familiar and foreign, the changing of time clearly evident not only in my own form but also in the surrounding environment. When I was here last, you had a pay for the privilege of entering the world. Now entry is free to all, with a whole new points system for accessing desirable items and bonuses.
Immediately two things are clearly evident; the region of Rohan has had a major influence on the styling and fashion of travellers, and, more amusingly, there are a hell of a lot of dwarves running around. Where the former must have something to do with the mounted combat the horse-lords have brought with them, the latter is blatantly a result of that blasted story. Everywhere I look there are dwarves, so much so that, as a man, I begin to feel like the giant Norn from Tyria again. Stout and strong they may be, but I sure do wish they would crawl back to the mountains from whence they came.
After several hours reacquainting myself with the role and skills of a Champion, I take up my bow and swords and head out on my next adventure. This warrior form is a quick and nimble one, favouring high speed burst damage over the slow and deadly two-handed weapons. My journey resumes in the region known as the Trollshaws, a woody area that leads me straight to the enclave of the elf-lord Elrond. I have seen Rivendell many times in these moving picture books, but nothing beats the sight of it in real life as I descend the cliff face leading into the enclave. Standing on the precipice, I take in the splendour of the city before heading back out to continue my journey. The elves may be pretty-boys, but boy do they know how to style things!
Riding down the path through the Trollshaws, I stop to do some mining along the way. Nothing changes here, for no matter the world, the need to mine remains constant. I find it therapeutic, able to take a step back from bloodied swords and just hammer away at a menacing rock. They don’t fight back, and my supremely shiny armour is not covered by the inevitable disgusting entrails of those I have slain. I am content, but much to my disdain my good mood does not last.
Further along the road I am attacked from behind. It was not the attack that has soured my mood, but more the attacker and the subsequent realisation that, once again, my friend and nemesis has shown his grizzly snout.
‘Oh, dear boar, what have I done to you in my past life that you keep haunting me so?’ I think to myself.
Killing the boar is a simple task, its leathery hide and blunted tusks are no match for my newly sharpened swords, but upon killing it my task book whirls as if a magical nymph has had its way with it. I have killed one boar…and have to kill nine more for another pathetic fool.
My hatred for the boar quest aside, my thoughts turn to the creators of these worlds. The boars may follow me everywhere I go, but these creators are the ones who put them there. Why are they so hated? What must they have done to be certain fodder in every world I come across? Is it just me?
I know I will not get an answer to my questions, and as the warrior that I am, I quickly release it from my mind quicker than an elf combing an errant strand of hair. It will do me no good dwelling on such perplexing riddles. The boars are here to stay, I may as well get used to it.
Finishing off the quest, I head deeper into Middle-earth with a calmness that I have not felt in a long time. I have been away for a while, but with all the changes that have happened here in my absence I still feel an air of familiarity to everything. I am comfortable wandering off the road and rediscovering old locations. I run into past friends, both of this world and fellow travellers, and am delighted that I am remembered.
I am a traveller of many worlds, but in Middle-earth I feel like I am home.
I am Kallam. I am a warrior, and for now my journey leads to Mordor.
Journal of a Travelling Warrior is an alternative look into the warrior classes of various games, written from the viewpoint of the character himself. These articles are not intended to be reviews of the games featured and account for only the author’s experiences within the respective games.