Today a new deed got released so my Loremaster went to check it out. If you don't want to be spoiled, don't keep reading. ;)
Mysterious relics have appeared throughout Middle Earth. Apparently people bumped into one whilst doing the Thror's Comb quests and once this knowledge became known on the forums, people started scouring Middle Earth to find the rest. Also Turbine released a letter called A Strongly-Worded Letter from Bungo Grubb which would tip off people as to one of the relic's locations. It's a pity I didn't visit that new area in the North Downs just a bit later as I would have found at least one of them on my own! You can start the deed at any of the relics. There is one in Thror's Comb, the North Downs, Oatbarton, Laenan's Cave, and Forochel.
In the North Downs near the new area I posted about:
In some fields east of Oatbarton:
In Laenan's Cave:
Forochel, at the end of the Ironspan:
At the end you have to speak with Barliman Butterbur and are then awarded with a new title.
I found it interesting traveling around and reading what all the npcs had to say about these relics popping up. The speculation is they have to do with new instances/raids coming up. After you inspected each relic, you were given a quest to talk to a npc nearby. I noticed these quests were at the level of the surrounding area, so I wonder what that could mean for the level of the new content. I do hope that all will be available for endgame as lets face it, we desperately need new group content.
People are also speculating that these have to do with the Gaunt Lords. In the Lorebook entry it says:
After Morgoth’s fall, the remaining Gaunt-men went into hiding in the realm that later became Angmar. Their power was greatly diminished, but when the Wizards arrived to lend wisdom to the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, the Witch-king summoned the Gaunt-men to his service. Among them, five gained greater power to match the five Wizards. These five, embodying death, pestilence, famine, war, and purest evil, became known as the Gaunt-lords.
If you pay attention to what the npcs say, you'll see from their talk that each one associates with death, etc. xhii over at roll one hundred has some nice close screenshots of each of the relics and speculating which relic is which. We've run into all these Guant-Lords throughout the game (Ivar, Ferndúr, Drugoth, Thadúr, and Gortheron) so it will be interesting to see if they are being brought back for some new content.
I like the way Turbine has released this, teasing us a bit and making people get out there and do some exploration. Fun times!