Dimzad and I are currently questing in both Forochel and Angmar. Both areas are bleak landscapes, one an icy tundra situated on a frozen bay, the other charred and volcanic. Both areas have interesting and relevant history, so I thought I’d do a little researching and post some information about each zone.
Forochel, although only one hundred leagues north of The Shire, is still gripped by the icy cold of the realm of Morgoth. It is inhabited by the Lossoth, who have devised ways of travelling swiftly over the ice either by attaching bones to their shoes or by using carts without wheels. Ice-skates and sleds immediately spring to mind and these can be found in the online zone. (I will admit to being quite disappointed when delivering one of these carts as part of a quest, I wasn’t able to ride it back!)
The Lossoth also assisted King Arvedui and his followers (fleeing from the Witch-King’s invasion in 1974 T.A.) He originally hid in some old dwarven-mines but, driven by hunger, sought the help of the Lossoth. They were initially distrustful (and this is echoed in lotro where players start at -10,000 repuation) but gave them enough help to survive. Meanwhile, Círdan had heard of their flight to the North and sent a ship to assist them. The journey took many days but eventually arrived at the Bay of Forochel, where they spotted a fire kept burning by the King’s men. The Lossoth, by this time, had become more friendly and took the King and his company across the ice on their sliding carts, where they were met by the small boats of the ship.
The Lossoth advised them to wait until summer
…you may stay here till the Witch-king goes home. For in summer his power wanes; but now his breath is deadly and his cold arm is long
Arvedui did not heed this counsel and gave the Chief of the Lossoth a parting gift of his ring. [The ring of the House of Isildur] The ship set off and before it had even cleared the bay, a great storm arose and crushed the ship back against the ice. The ship foundered and all were lost. [The palantíri he was carrying were also lost, these were the Stones of Annúminas and of Amon Sûl] The news of the shipwreck eventually reached the Dúnedain, who travelled to Forochel to ransom the ring.
The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain, Appendix A, The Lord of the Rings