Quest:Instance: Plans of the Golden Host

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Instance: Plans of the Golden Host
Level 61
Type Solo only
Starts with Braiglinn
Starts at Imlad Lalaith
Start Region Lothlórien
Map Ref [17.4S, 63.8W]
Quest Group Vol. II. Book 9
Quest Text

Bestowal dialogue

"The Golden Host of Lothlórien has crossed the river Anduin, but now a second, smaller party must follow in its wake. These are the Elves of the Hidden Guard, chosen to bring the prisoner Mazog to the gates of Dol Guldur."

Background

The Hidden Guard, the company of Elves charged with delivering Mazog in secret to Dol Guldur, is preparing to make the crossing of Anduin, after which they will meet the dwarves transporting the Orc-leader.

Objective 1

Braiglinn is waiting to speak with you at Imlad Lalaith.

Braiglinn: 'Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel have determined that the Elves of Lothlórien must stand allied with the dwarves of Moria, as long ago they once did. They have selected a number of Elves to oversee the passage of Mazog through Mirkwood to Dol Guldur, where the Orc will be exchanged for the enemies held by the Enemy in that fortress.
'I will bring you to these Elves, this Hidden Guard, as they make their preparations.'

Objective 2

  • Follow Braiglinn to meet the Elves

Braiglinn is waiting to speak with you at Imlad Lalaith.

Braiglinn says, "This way, <name>. I will introduce you to the Hidden Guard."
Braiglinn says, "The Hidden Guard is composed of five Elves, chosen for their skill in various disciplines."
Braiglinn says, "You, too, will be a member of the Hidden Guard. I know your help will be invaluable."
Braiglinn says, "Allow me to introduce Raddir, Sigileth, and Achardor, three members of the Hidden Guard."

Objective 3

Braiglinn has brought you to meet some of the Elves you will be fighting alongside during the Golden Host's journey through Mirkwood: Raddir, Sigileth, and Achardor.

Raddir: 'It is a pleasure to meet you, <name>. I know that you will be a great asset to us upon this errand. If we are to bring the Orc-leader to Dol Guldur with the hope that we can exchange his freedom for that of the dwarf prisoners, we must do so in secret. Our numbers are not so great what we can resist a determined effort to take him from us before reaching the fortress.'
Tell me about yourself.
Raddir: 'I learned the ways of the forest from our kin in the northern reaches of Mirkwood, and that place holds little fear for me. What the Enemy has wrought in the southern reaches of the forest fills me rather with anger, and with sadness for the life that once sheltered there.'
'I have planned a route through the forest that will permit us to bring Mazog almost to the very gates of Dol Guldur without being seen.'
I hope it is so.
What can we expect in Mirkwood?
Raddir: 'The forest is dark and dense, and its paths are not to be lightly trod, but you need not fear overmuch, for I am familiar with its ways. I will bring you safely to the gates of Dol Guldur by secret ways the Enemy knows not.
'Once we are there, however, we will rely upon the other Elves of the company; my skill is in tracking, and not in battle. If the exchange does not go well, it may come to fighting.'
If it must, it must.
What do we know about Dol Guldur?
Raddir: 'In the far reaches of southern Mirkwood, the fortress of Dol Guldur stands atop a rocky height. It was the stronghold of the Enemy for a time, and still his evil festers there.
'I walked there once, long ago. The memory is grim, and were it not for my companion on that journey I would have despaired. If all goes well, we will not need to tread where I once did, and for that I am grateful.'
I am as well.


Sigileth: 'I am Sigileth, <name>, and I know already of your deeds. You are welcome to accompany us upon this errand, though I have my doubts as to its wisdom. It is a sorrow that the dwarves have lost their own to the cages of the Enemy, but that is the way of war. Returning Mazog to his allies seems indefensible to me.
'If Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel see value in it, it is not the place of Sigileth to question.'
Tell me about yourself.
Sigileth: 'There is little to tell. I have lived long in Lórien, and in all that time I have not seen such an endeavour as that of the Golden Host. If any of its aims come to pass it will seem to me a wonder.
'But I vow to see to the will of the Lord and Lady in all things, for they have shown me kindness and beauty in such measure as I would not have believed were I not witness to it myself.'
I believe it.
Where did you get your knives?
Sigileth: 'I crafted these knives myself, friend. This one is called Egnassigil, for his sharp point can pierce even the air, and this one is Lanchigil, for his edge can halve a whisper. They are the last knives I will ever make, for all others would be less.
'For each Orc I slay, I will carve a mark on the hilt of the knife that deals the killing blow, and I will gift Lanchigil and Egnassigil to the Lord and Lady when the grips are completely filled with these marks.'
A worthy gift!


Achardor: 'My brother Faengris was slain by Orcs that came down from the mountains following the company that sought refuge in the Golden Wood recently, and I desire to end Mazog's life myself! It pains me to know we must turn him over to his allies, and I have argued long against it already.
'I petitioned Lord Celeborn to let me accompany the group transporting the prisoner, but he denied my request. Only once the Lady Galadriel spoke to him did he change his mind; I do not know what she said, but I am grateful to her for it! Now I will keep a close eye upon Mazog for the duration of the journey, and if he gives me the slightest reason, I will take my vengeance upon him.'
Tell me about yourself.
Achardor: 'A short time ago I visited the halls of Thranduil and spent the days feasting and conversing with our cousins in northern Mirkwood. My brother Faengris was slain while I was away.
'Mazog will not leave my sight. If he gives me even one reason to do so, I will end him. The Lady Galadriel must agree with this, for why else would she speak on my behalf to Lord Celeborn?'
I wonder.
I have met Núrelleth.
Achardor: 'I know you have, and you have my thanks for easing the burden of my brother's widow. She may be content to remember Faengris, but it is not enough for me. I desire vengeance.'
I understand.
What do you think of this mission?
Achardor: 'I think it is foolhardy to return Mazog to his allies, no matter how many dwarves might be saved.
'But I doubt also that Mazog will ever reach Dol Guldur alive. He will surely try something on the journey, and I, Achardor, will be there to end his life. I will delight in my vengeance, and shed no tears for a plan unrealised.'
Perhaps.

Objective 4

  • Talk to Braiglinn

Braiglinn is waiting to bring you to more of the Elves that make up the Hidden Guard.

Braiglinn: 'The Elves of the Hidden Guard were chosen for their varied expertise in a number of areas: Sigileth for her skill in melee combat and Raddir for his expert tracking ability.
'Were it my decision, I might have let Achardor join the main force of the Malledhrim rather than the Hidden Guard, given the recent tragedy of his brother's death. But I am sure Lady Galadriel had her own reasons for speaking on his behalf and believes he will be an important part of the Hidden Guard.
'I will bring you to the rest of the company, <name>.'

Objective 5

  • Follow Braiglinn to meet the rest of the Elves

Braiglinn is waiting to bring you to more of the Elves that make up the Hidden Guard.

Braiglinn says, "Come with me, <name>. I will introduce you to Issuriel and Cúcheron."
Braiglinn says, "Issuriel was offered the strategic oversight of the Golden Host, but she turned it down."
Braiglinn says, "I do not know why, exactly, but I believe she thought others might be better-suited for leadership."

Objective 6

Braiglinn has brought you to meet two more of the Elves you will be fighting alongside during the journey to Dol Guldur: Cúcheron and Issuriel.

Cúcheron: 'Welcome, <name>! We are the Hidden Guard, formed by order of the Lord and Lady, and it is our mission to bring Mazog to the gates of Dol Guldur, there to trade his life for those of the prisoners held in that fortress. Secrecy is our watchword, and surprise our ally!
'Issuriel has told me already of your great deeds. I know you will be a vital member of the Hidden Guard on this journey!'
Tell me about yourself.
Cúcheron: 'It has been my honour to provide food for the feasts of Lothlórien, and in recent days to guard its borders from the Orcs stirred out of Moria. I fought alongside Haldir and his brothers to keep the passes of Fanuidhol free from evil.'
I see.
What do you think of this mission?
Cúcheron: 'I do not know if victory is possible, but I will meet the challenge standing upright, with Cúmaeth bent, his string taut. We cross the River and bring the fight to the very lawns of the Enemy. While the Golden Host launches its attack, the Hidden Guard will deliver their charge to the gates of the fortress, and demand satisfaction.
'If fortune is on our side, one of our aims, at least, will end in victory. We will be better for trying, even should we fail.'
I see.


Issuriel: 'Mae govannen, <name>! It is good to see you again, and I welcome you to the ranks of the Hidden Guard. The knives of Sigileth, the bow of Cúcheron, the path-knowledge of Raddir, and the strong will of Achardor will see this mission through, and the friendship between Moria and Lothlórien will be stronger for it.
'Let the Enemy quake when he learns of the approach of the Golden Host, and he will think nothing of the Hidden Guard until we be at the gates of Dol Guldur and demand the prisoners kept there in exchange for the life of Mazog.'
Tell me about yourself.
Issuriel: 'I am a stranger to war and battle, friend, and I am proud to say so. To learn the secrets of our shared past, and the knowledge that comes from wisdom, is my aim, not the doing of great deeds. I hope to bring the perspective of history and my knowledge of lore to bear as part of the Hidden Guard. For prowess in combat we will need to rely on Achardor or Sigileth.'
I too will help.
What can you tell me about Mirkwood?
Issuriel: 'Raddir has chosen a route through the forest that should bring us to Dol Guldur in secret, but there will still be dangers upon the way. Evils live still in Dol Guldur, it is said, and a great cloud spreads out from those grim reaches. We will have secrecy on our side, but we must not be lulled into complacency. The way will still be fraught with perils, not least from Mazog himself.'
Still he hates us.
What can we expect from Mazog?
Issuriel: 'Mazog remains a dangerous foe, even in captivity. We will meet the dwarves escorting Mazog once we make the crossing of Anduin; they will not let down their guard, and neither should we. I am certain Mazog will try to escape, or worse, at some point on the journey.
'I wonder if that is our real peril, or if it will be keeping Achardor from slaying him once it happens?'
The road is long.

Objective 7

Cairches is waiting to transport you across Anduin with the company of Elves charged with delivering Mazog to Dol Guldur.

Cairches: 'It will be my pleasure to guide the Hidden Guard across the river on this, the first step of their journey.
'May it end in victory.'

Objective 8

  • Talk to Raddir

You have crossed the river with the company of Elves charged with delivering Mazog to Dol Guldur, and Raddir is now waiting to speak with you.

Raddir: 'We have made the crossing, <name>. The dwarves should be just ahead with their captive; let us greet them and discuss the plans for our journey.'

Objective 9

  • Follow Raddir to the party of dwarves

You have crossed the river with the company of Elves charged with delivering Mazog to Dol Guldur, and Raddir is now waiting to speak with you.

Raddir says, "This way, <name>. The dwarves must be just ahead."
Raddir says, "I hope Bróin and the dwarves understand the importance of this errand's secrecy."
Raddir says, "The dwarves of the Iron Garrison are not known for their subtlety."
Raddir says, "The dwarves and their captive are just ahead. I fear they have been waiting awhile."

Objective 10

  • Listen to the discussion of the plan concerning Mazog

The Elves and dwarves are discussing the plans concerning Mazog.

Raddir says, "Hail, dwarves of the Iron Garrison. I am Raddir of Lórien."
Raddir says, "You already know my ally, <name>, a <class> of great worth and bravery."
Bróin says, "We do."
Bróin says, "I am Bróin, son of Brogur, and these are the brothers Greyhammer."
Bróin says, "We go to Dol Guldur to trade the Orc Mazog for the freedom of my cousin Bori."
Bróin says, "Am I to understand you know the paths of this unpleasant forest?"
Raddir says, "I know the ways of Mirkwood, for I trod them long ago, to the very foundations of Dol Guldur."
Raddir says, "The Elves of my company, the Hidden Guard, will bring Mazog there by these paths."
Mazog says, "You will not make it a league! The Orcs of Mirkwood will descend upon you and free me!"
Rósar says, "Be silent, filth!"
Stígur says, "Quiet, prisoner!"
Mazog says, "Latu gadhumúrz bagu!"
Issuriel says, "He is frightened, though it be not of us."
Raddir says, "Think you so, Issuriel?"
Bróin says, "It is the strength of we dwarves that frightens him!"
Rósar says, "Surely it is!"
Issuriel says, "No, Bróin."
Issuriel says, "Mazog is frightened of being brought to Dol Guldur."
Bróin says, "But why? Are his allies not there? What could cause him to fear that place?"
Bróin says, "That makes me all the more eager to bring him there! Let him quake upon the road!"
Bróin says, "Come here, <name>."

Objective 11

Bróin has asked to speak with you.

Bróin: 'At last we are underway, <name>! If you have faith in these Elves, this "Hidden Guard," then I will as well.
'May our journey through Mirkwood be swift, and our return trip be the swifter, with Bori and the other captives hale and hearty!'
Bróin: 'Let us see the camp these Elves have made. There will be little in the way of dwarf-comforts here in these dark woods, but I will do the best I may not to complain. A great journey awaits us!'