Ever since the developers bridged the regional divide between Eriador, Rohan and Gondor, chickens have been packing up their belongings and sojourning all the way from the Shire to Gondor to ascend the seven-tier
cake city of Minas Tirith. Previously, the only reward was an imaginary pat on the back, but now with Update 17.2, players who complete this feat will be rewarded for their efforts with +2 Zeal and a fancy title: Lady or Lord of the Wings.
To get things started, speak with George, the chicken at Sandson’s Farm north of Michel Delving in the Shire. This new quest will only be available to characters who have completed the Flying the Coop quests. The chicken in this session play is the same as for the Crosser of Roads deed; for a primer on those basic skills, refer to Lotro-wiki’s Chicken Play Guide. The guide presented here strictly covers the path from the Shire to Minas Tirith and tips for staying out of danger along the way. To give you an idea of the time commitment, I completed this journey unescorted in two and a half hours with a few breaks during the run.
Here’s the basic route:
- The Shire
- Dunland (Bonevales -> Galtrev -> Gravenwood)
- Gap of Rohan
- West Rohan (Westfold -> Kingstead)
- Paths of the Dead
- West Gondor (Blackroot Vale -> Lamedon)
- Central Gondor (Ringló Vale -> Dor-en-Ernil -> Lower Lebennin -> Pelargir)
- Eastern Gondor (Upper Lebennin -> Lossarnach)
- Minas Tirith
- Keep your eyes glued to the radar. Those little red dots do not show the spread of chicken pox but nearby aggressive enemies and their movements.
- If an enemy does manage target you, hit your play dead skill if you’re far enough away from it’s respawn location.
- If you pull aggro on an archer, kiss your juicy cutlets goodbye.
- In mounted combat zones (e.g., Rohan, Gondor) keep your skills ready in case an enemy crosses your road, and if one does, activate all your skills at once while flailing your arms wildly.
Revisiting the Shire, Bree-land and the Lone-lands
If you remember your Flying the Coop quests, this section will be a breeze. Well, not a breeze, but more like a meandering whisper at the rate a chicken waddles. Stick to the road, and you’ll be fine. Don’t forget to stop by Bree-town for an encouraging send-off. As a word of caution, boars and bears in these regions may aggro without warning.
Shortcuts and detours in the Trollshaws
As you come through the canyon about halfway along the road to the Trollshaws where Thorenhad lies directly north, there is a small path that cuts through the mountains and leads past Echad Candelleth. The problem is that this sidetrack has many wandering mobs and difficult-to-navigate terrain. Experienced adventures should try their luck to shave a few minutes off their time, but if you’re hesitant, you’d best take the long way along the Bruinen river.
Dashing among Elf ruins in Eregion and blazing through Enedwaith
Once you make the summit at Gwingris, the path is relatively calm, so again, just stick to the roads. At the beginning of Enedwaith, you’ll lose the path, but head southwest aiming for the great royal road. Keep an eye out for the rare day-to-night shift (or vice versa) because wolves and wargs will respawn and may pop up right in front of you.
Take it slow in Dunland
Tread cautiously through the Bonevales and head south to Galtrev’s southwest entrance (the one guarded by Ruthless Tom). Take the high road east out of town heading toward Tâl Methedras, then veering south into Gravenwood. The mobs here have no regard for the carefully carved path so keep your eyes peeled for wandering orcs and crebain. As you head into the Gap of Rohan, keep your wits about you; the road here is vague at best and it may be worth spamming stealth detect for peace of mind. Head toward the ford of Isen and into West Rohan.
Don’t get roasted in West Rohan
As you carefully bob your little chicken head through Rohan, you’ll soon realize that this is the first time you’ve encountered mounted enemies. It doesn’t matter how quickly you move, they move quicker and will slice your head off if given the opportunity.
If activated, your radar will show little red dots indicating enemy locations. It is a good idea to watch it closely here and if any mob is swiftly approaching your location, figure out the best course of action. Head east along the road till you approach Edoras when the road dips southward through the staging areas of the Rohirrim.
A casual stroll through Western Gondor
The Paths of the Dead are a pass-through landmark as is Western Gondor for the most part. Don’t make the mistake of going through Tarlang’s Crown, but through Tarlang’s Neck instead. These areas are almost as calm as Bree-land, so if you collapse here, none of this advice here can really help you.
This area is similarly sparsely populated, but there’s two hiccups. First, there’s an overrun town along the road in Dor-en-Ernil, so you’ll have to make a detour. I suggest around the north side of the town and then find your way to Linhir. Second, Lebennin is crawling with mounted enemies. Use the same tactic as in Rohan by staring at corsairs along the roadside, silently clucking curses in their direction.
Eastern Gondor (Upper Lebennin and Lossarnach)
If you’ve quested in Eastern Gondor, you’ll likely remember the Crossing of Erui where mobs are pitted against one another in an unending battle. So you’ll want to avoid that by taking the northern route that connects Lebennin and Lossarnach leading across a bridge into Arnach.
When you reach the orc-infested port of Harlond, head for the rubble to the west of the entrance and creep your way past the orc sentry on the right side. Keep running toward the breach in the outer wall until you can smell the barbecues in your honor.
Almost to Pelennor and Minas Tirith
But you’re not there yet! If you’ve survived this long, don’t take any risks by running straight through the fields. As always, stick to the road and keep glancing at your radar like it’s your rear-view mirror. If you make it to the gates of Minas Tirith, you’re rewarded with an additional challenge: ascend the city and jump from the top. Oh yeah, and chickens can’t use the horses to swift travel to the top, so you’ll spend another 15 minutes trying to find your way up. Once there, do a little dance, salute and say sayonara as you plunge into the courtyard below. The chicken session play ends automatically and will return to you your character with a brand new title (and +2 Zeal).