Maedhroc is running out of quests! Most of the major quest chains in the Shire are finished, with the exception of the main story Prologue and the quests taking you into the bandit camp south of Farmer Maggot’s place, largely because those are really iffy without a group or at least a duo and I’ve been mostly running solo. Maedhroc reached level 15 yesterday and so acquired his first class-based quest — an instance in Bree — and so it looks like it’s just a matter of time before he finds himself there.
I must admit to a certain wistfulness about this. Maedhroc loves the Shire, and so do I. While I’m sure he can find some quests in Buckland to keep him close to home, the Northfarthing/Oatbarton quests are way above his head at this point (starting around 27th level). Galadhalion, my wanderlusting elf Champion, enjoys exploring new places for their own sake and so happily tromps all over Forochel, Eregion, and even down into Moria. But Maedhroc only wants to protect the people and places he loves — he is a hobbit, after all — and has no particular ambition to save the world.
In a way, the 15th level Warden quest may become an important turning point for him. I’ve attempted it a couple times now (without success, le sigh!), and the premise is that Maedhroc’s prowess as a “protector of the land” (he is an Honorary Shirriff now, after all) has brought him to the attention of the other Wardens, who’ve called him to come help in the defense of Bree against an incursion of bandits.
The Wardens, a creation of Turbine as far as I can tell, are basically the Rangers with the serial numbers filed off and missing the Dunedian racial requirement. How much of an organization they’re supposed to have is not yet clear in the game, although they definitely have “commanders” and “troops.” In the Shire, Maedhroc is a big fish in a small pond and content to be so, but when he gets to Bree and is told to simply take his place holding the line with the other Wardens, it’s something of a humbling moment.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this character develops. Not in terms of how the “toon” develops in the game — I don’t really care about that except as a facilitator to the story — but in terms of how the character’s personality evolves in my mind. Galadhalion started out with a pretty set character in my mind but over time has sort of faded into being little more than an avatar, although he still retains enough of a personality that I made a point of finding a cosmetic outfit for him to wear “in town.” He’s an elf, he wouldn’t wear his armor when visiting Elrond in Rivendell!
Maedhroc, being more rustic, sticks with pretty much the same outfit wherever he goes. Although I imagine that when he’s spent some time among the Big Folk (and earned enough rep with the Mathom Society), he’ll get himself something a bit more appropriate to wear at formal occasions … and maybe even take that silly helmet off!