The Curious Disappearance of Mad Baggins
Baby Dwarf decided to be a good boy this morning so I logged on Gilforniel, my Elf Champ, with the intention of making some dyes and checking my post. But when I got there, I realised that the new Yule Festival had started today, so I went for a little explore, just to see what was going on in the different festival locations and to find out how to get to the new festival town.
I did the usual rounds, and got very excited at the return of the Beer Fights at Thorin’s Hall. I smacked all the people I could find with my Beer-Club, and am now the proud owner of a Glorious Beer mug, which you get for completing the first quest there. There’s also the return of the Ale Association and Inn League quests, and in Thorin’s Hall the same quests as last year – chipping ice from the frozen waterfall, and collecting snow and red berries.
The Shire has a couple of new quests, one is to collect ribbons, flowers and berries dropped on the road to Overhill, and the second is a quest chain where you basically have to oust Lobelia Sackville-Baggins as the official Party Planner, by means of snooping around to see whats she’s up to, telling the Mayor over in Michael Delving all about it, backing it all up by finding the official records for the position in the Great Smials of Tookborough, and finally by talking to the townspeople of Hobbiton to sign a petition against Lobelia. I really liked this quest chain, to me it summed up Tolkien’s Hobbits, completely unaware of anything else outside the Shire.
After that I found the way to Winter-home, the brand new festival area. You get there by talking to a Festival Stablemaster, who has appeared right next to the regular stablemaster in West Bree, Michael Delving, Celondim and Thorin’s Hall. Winter-home is only a free swift travel away, and opens up a town and its surrounding area, with a ton of quests, ranging from snowball fights, eating competitions, shooing away beggars, collecting wood, and the best yet – the Theatre!
Adam and I had seen something about this on a Dev Diary, and were pretty excited about it. I can’t tell you anything about Winter-home in general other than there’s lots to see and do, because I wanted to wait until we could explore it together, but I couldn’t resist having a little peek inside the Theatre.
The Theatre, home of the G.L.O.B.E company (Green Lilly Orators, Bards and Entertainers) and run by Mr Shakesburrow is staging a production of “The Curious Disappearance of Mad Baggins” where they portray Gandalf and an Evil Dwarf as being instruments in the disappearance of Bilbo following his birthday party.
Once inside, like any good theatre there is a concessions stand where you can buy flower petals (to shower good actors) and rotten fruit (to pelt bad ones).
Go further inside and there are ushers who explain how things work, like how to react to the acting, where to stand, etc. Now what makes this different is the audience participation. There is an NPC, “The Audience” which has to be pleased with the performance, which will take part if there are at least three active (AFK marked players don’t count) players in the theatre. Three players are chosen completely at random and ported backstage, where they are assigned parts in the play, again completely at random. The Hero is Bilbo, the Villain is Gandalf and the third part is an extra, in the role of Party-goer. I was aware of this after reading the Dev Diary, but little did I expect to be whisked backstage and assigned the role of Bilbo Baggins! I was actually nervous! You enter the stage and the story starts, and you have three parts in the story where you have to emote your lines, choosing one which best fits the dialogue. You have only a 10 second window to select an appropriate one. If you choose wrong or miss your cure entirely, the other players are given the prompt to throw rotten fruit at you. If you get it right, they are given the prompt to shower you with petals. There are deeds for audience participation, and you get 5 Turbine Points for completing each one.
All actors who participate receive a title and 5 TP’s and I also received the title “Star of the Show”! But what would any Thespian adventure be without the Critics? In one of the Theatres boxes are Statdor and Waldo, the resident hecklers. Their comments are strangely familiar (who hasn’t seen the Muppet Show?) and is what I can only call a stroke of genius! I laughed so hard I woke up Baby Dwarf!
Merry Yule Festival all!