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Summertime in Middle Earth: The Basics of the Festival
When the festival is taking place there are four main areas where you can participate: Bree Land’s Festival Grounds, The Shire’s Party Tree, Duillond in Erid Luin, and in Thorin’s Hall. Each area has a variety of events to take part in, and some events will require you to travel to every location. Participation in these events will earn you tokens that you can exchange for prizes, or some other type of award.
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The Human, Dwarf, Elf and Hobbit Dances
All four festival areas have a Dance Leader who leads a dancing event every twenty minutes. To successfully complete this event you must follow the commands that they give you. They will call out a series of dance steps, and you must perform the correct emote to succeed. To do this, make sure you have the dance leader selected, and then type either /dance1, /dance2 or /dance3 into the chat window, depending on which step is called for. If you miss any of the steps you’ll be forced to repeat the quest, but the pace is pretty slow so as long as you’re careful it should be simple to complete. Just be certain not to stray too far from the dancing area or you’ll fail the quest.
Your reward for completion is a new dance emote. Each of the four Dance Leaders offers two unique emotes, which means that if you want to earn them all you’ll need to travel to all four festival hubs and complete every dance twice.
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In every festival area except Bree Land you can find an NPC who will send you on a quest to find five missing items. They’ll give you hints as to where the items are and the search area is small, making the quest fairly simple. Make sure to use the delete key to highlight nearby objects, which will make the hunt easier. If you’re having trouble, here are the precise locations of the items.
First, the Shire hunt. The book can be found on a rock just east of the Party Tree. The wine is on a table just behind the character that gives you the quest. The twine is resting at the base of the Party Tree. The teapot is on a table near the stoves, and finally the parasol is just down the hill from the Party Tree.
Next is the Elf hunt in Duillond. The goblet is on a table near the ovens. The jewellery box is on the steps of the northernmost building. The blue book is on the edge of the fountain, while the brown book is by a flowerbed at the top of the south stairs. Lastly, the bundle of books can be found across from the vendors.
Finally, the Thorin’s Hall hunt. The blue bottle is near the minstrel trainer. The green jar is by the vault-keepers. The note can be found by taking a right turn out of the tavern. The pack is just outside of the Blue Stone Garrison. The red jar is next to the auctioneers.
Your reward for completing these scavenger hunts is some special pipeweed, as well as recipes for this pipeweed which you can learn if you are a farmer.
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A Taste of Hobbiton and Dwarf Keg Racing
In the Shire and Thorin’s Hall there are races happening every twenty minutes that take place between four NPCs. You have the opportunity to watch and pick a favourite, scoring big prizes if your pick comes out on top. To play, first talk to the Race Trader to get two race tokens. Note that you need to talk to him twice to actually get the tokens, which are used for betting. Next, talk to the Race Master and take your pick of the four contestants. Again, you need to talk to the Race Master twice to finalise your bet; he’ll then take one of your race tokens.
Now you just have to watch and cheer on whichever Hobbit or Dwarf you picked. The winner is purely random, so you’ll just have to keep trying until you get lucky. It’s well worth the effort though, as your reward is an impressive twelve festival tokens. You can get another pair of betting tokens every two hours, so with a mixture of patience and luck you can eventually rack up a lot of festival tokens if you're willing to do a little grinding.
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Joining the Inn League
In the Shire you have the opportunity to join the Inn League. To do this, talk to the Inn League Member by the Party Tree. He’ll send you on a series of quests to every pub in the Shire, where you’ll need to have a few drinks at each stop. This can be tricky because you’re under a pretty strict time limit, but there are a couple of things you can do to ensure success.
First, be sure to always ride your horse or pay to ride from a Stable Master. This will make the time limit much more forgiving. Second, since having all of these drinks will quickly make your character drunk (your screen will be blurry and many on screen items will be doubled) it can be very tough to properly select the mugs you need to drink with your mouse. To make this easier, use the keyboard instead: press delete to highlight the nearest cup and then U to use it. This will make the quest go much more smoothly.
Your reward for completion is either a membership in the Inn League, or additional reputation if you are already a member.
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Fishing around Middle Earth
To begin the fishing quest head to the Bywater dock in The Shire and talk to the NPC there. He’ll give you a quest to travel to the other three festival areas and catch three special fish in each pond. There’s no trick to catching these, you simply have to keep fishing until they’re caught. Note that the Bree Land and Erid Luin ponds are not located with the rest of the festival events, but rather are just outside of Bree Town and in Celondim, respectively. Once you’ve got them all, return to Bywater and turn them in for some festival tokens. With this introduction complete you can now access the rest of the festival’s fishing quests.
In Bree, Thorin’s Hall and Celondim you now have the opportunity to fish for a twenty minute period. As you do so you will catch a variety of special festival fish which can be traded in for tokens and, in the case of some rare fish, put towards unique prizes. Again, there’s no trick to this, you simply have to be patient and see what sort of fish you end up with.
You can fish from Bywater as well, but this one works a little differently. You only have ten minutes to play, but you’ll also get the chance to catch rare fish from all three of the other areas. So this is good for getting a variety of prizes, but you’ll probably have to do it a few times before you catch everything you need due to the shorter time limit.
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Farming and Fireworks Quests
There are two more festival quests that don’t take much effort. First, in the Shire, you can talk to a Travelling Farmer. If you’re a farmer yourself you can plant some seeds she gives you in a nearby patch of dirt. You can then come back during the fall festival to collect a reward. If you chose not to be a farmer you can’t participate in this quest.
Finally, there is the fireworks quest in Bree. A human NPC in the Festival Grounds wants you purchase special fireworks from each festival hub. Do so, return to him, and receive reusable summer fireworks as a reward, which can be shot off for fun whenever you like. This quest is simple to complete; just make sure to finish within the generous time limit and ensure that you purchase the fireworks the NPC requests of you, rather than some of the other ones that are offered.
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If you complete all of these quests you will have acquired a hefty amount of summer tokens. Each festival hub has two places where you can trade these in: the fishing Quartermasters, and either the Race Traders or Summerdays Provisioners. They all offer unique prizes, so be sure to talk to each one.
Rewards range in price from three to twelve tokens, and are primarily cosmetic items and housing decorations. Special clothing, music boxes, furniture, wallpaper, fireworks launchers and more are all available to give your avatar and your house a distinctly summer feel. So pick whatever you think looks best and enjoy the rewards the summer festival has to offer you.