The Shire Forecast – Spring Issue
Here’s our first Shire forecast for you! It gives yer a good overview of the seasonal weather, some of the latest happenings in the Shire, and other things of hobbit interest.
Warmer and brighter days ahead
The weather is slowly getting warmer, and there is more daylight as well. That means busy times for many farmers, who start tilling the earth and planting the first seeds. It’s also time to prune yer fruit trees to ensure a good harvest. The livestock also needs some care, so they can be out and about after a long and cold winter.
The weather gaffers predict average spring weather this year: Mild temperatures, with regular bouts of rain, but many fine, clear and sunny days as well.
Animals going wild
The spring is a busy time for wild animals too. As the forests and fields wake up after the winter, most animals seek a new partner, make a nest or burrow, and defend their own territory. Nature is full of life. During daytime, you might witness boxing rabbits, and in the night, there are regular hooting concerts in the woods. It’s a perfect time for easy strolling through the woods and countryside if you like to see some wildlife.
Trouble at the farms
Speaking of animals going wild: many farmers report chaos near their properties. Shrews are multiplying again, and the Shire farmers are busy using all their tricks to shoo them away. A farmer from Bywater reports that the shrews are growing bolder than ever, even getting used to loud noises like fireworks.
In addition to shrews, some farm animals have gone wild after spending the long winter inside a barn. Three cows have been reported missing in the area between Little Delving and Michel Delving. They must have shaken off their cowbells so they can roam around freely without getting caught. If they are not caught soon, there won’t be many flowers left near the Bounder’s Statue Garden.
At the Sandson farm, the chucks are growing restless, seemingly eager to roam the lands. This likely means there will be regular calls for chicken herders to provide safe passage for our feathered friends. If they don’t arrive safely, Matzo will be even more cross than usual.
New roads to other hobbit settlements
The Mayor has been up to something more than emptying his pantry. Rumours say he is planning to build new roads to an area in the north, Yondershire. Although there are many fine villages up there, the area is also said to be the home of recluses and troublemakers living in the wilderness – the promised land of rascals, it seems. It is expected that many hobbits will be interested in travelling there this spring. The region should provide nice fishing ponds, berry spots and hunting opportunities, as well as many inns to slake your thirst. Hopefully, the roads to the area will soon be ready for travelling.
Spring is a time for traditions. Soon, the reign of the current Shire May Queen and King ends, and tradition demands that new, qualified hobbits are elected to fill their spots. Green Dragon Friday celebrates its fourteenth anniversary in May, with parties already planned. And once again, many will keep their eyes open for badgers greeting the spring welcome with songs. None have seen them yet, but you never know…
OOC: This is our first Shire forecast. We plan to publish these seasonal issues regularly in the Gazette to provide common pointers and ideas for hobbit roleplay in LOTRO. In future, we might ask you for ideas and input as well. Stay tuned for more hobbit news!