Meanwhile Rufaniel, my mid-50s champion, is still just as crazy OP as the champions have been for a while. I tried her running in tank mode, and in AoE, and both work beautifully. AoE seems to be just a touch more efficient for landscape quests, at least, but switching trait lines on-the-fly is easy enough that I can jump into tank mode if I know a boss fight is coming or some such.
So I expect I'll be bouncing back and forth between these two for a while. Amusingly (at least to me), the two of them use almost the exact same character model and they're both from Mirkwood, so now my headcanon is that the two of them are sisters. I'm thinking of maybe tweaking their skirmish soldier cosmetics so they can run "together" that way; naturally I've come up with personality traits and how they interact in my head. I might even start doing story posts like the old "Life of a Bounder" series with them, although I'm not sure there's enough of interest to me in southeastern Middle-earth to support that. Maybe stuff in Gondor, if the game ever gets there; but Lachwen at least is a very urban sort of character and finds both Dunland and Rohan to be hick country.
I don't know why I'm suddenly interested in LotRO again out of the blue; it may be seasonal. Or maybe I just had a long enough break to be able to come back to it "fresh," I dunno. I do find it telling that I'm just not interested in playing Maedhroc or Galadhalion these days-- particularly considering that mechanically Rufaniel and Galadhalion are practically the same character, just at different leveling stages. But really, Maedhroc's story feels "done" to me-- his spirit was sorta crushed by what happened to him at Dol Guldur and then just ground into the dirt by his capture and imprisonment in Isengard. He has retired to his nice little home in the Shire to recover. As for Galadhalion, I'm sure he's still out there, probably raising heck somewhere with Shamat and Poppy in tales left untold.
It's time for new stories, with Lachwen and Rufaniel, to occupy my time off for a bit.