It's been five days since Rohan was launched, and I haven't been able to write a single post. Shame on me! I've been so busy with my studies (and I don't expect it to get any less busy the coming two years, to be honest) that I barely had time to let alone play the game, and I'm level 77 as we speak (while many of my kinmates are already level capped). Nevertheless, it's time to get rid of some screenshots I have been capturing!
In fact, I thought it would be cool to guide you through the different regions of Rohan while I quest through it. Today will be all about the East Wall area, where I started off with the new epic book quests.
And what better than to start with the Argonath, the giant statues of Isildur and Anárion that mark the passage into the large lake Nen Hithoel, and more symbolic, that into the reign of Gondor at that time. If you follow it more to the south, you will end up at the Falls of Rauros and Amon Hen, where the Fellowship fell apart.
The landscape of the East Wall region is rough, with many wild weeds, pine trees,
rocks and clear water creeks,
and warped trees. Not warped as like those crazy trees in the Old Forest, but warped in form. Even though capricious, I really like what these look like. I would love to walk through the landscape on the picture above in real life, if only there weren't Uruks hiding behind the trunks.
Sadly enough, these lands near the river banks of the Anduin are infiltrated by orcs of all sorts. Some even got the guts to settle themselves in fortifications such as on the picture above. I was pleasantly surprised, though, when I encountered these. The forts strongly resemble the Iron age and early medieval hill forts as found in northwestern Europe (including England, France, the Netherlands and Germany). It is no secret that Tolkien was inspired by archaeological remains as there are still many to see in Great Britain.
Often, these forts, by rule situated on hills, had ditches around them, and circular earthen walls brought up with the earth that was collected through digging them. In this case, the rocks already figure as walls, so ditches are unnecessary. Professionally, I've spend a lot of time studying the early medieval forts, and have recently attended two lectures about Iron age hillforts in France and Germany, so I thought it was pretty cool when I ran into this. For me it brought a bit more realism to the landscape.
As a first impression, I'm glad to discover there has been as much effort put into the landscape of the East Wall (and probably the rest of Rohan as well) as we are used to. It's no punishment to run around here and slaughter some orcs.