vrijdag 8 februari 2013

Finding Scholar artifacts in Lotro

Finding Scholar artifacts in Lotro
So, you’ve decided to take the path of the Scholar in Lotro. Be aware that this is one of the more difficult crafting professions. Not because it is hard to craft stuff or acquiring scholar crafting recipes. No, the problem is that the stuff you have to find is hard to obtain. As a scholar you are looking for artifacts, like an archeologist. You are looking for old pitchers, ancient vases, urns, old texts and hidden coffers and lockers...  Which may contain ancient materials you need for your scholarly research. Well, if you know something about old artifacts, I think you get the picture where you have to look for them. Right, in ruins!

The difficulty is that ruins are not so common in the world of Middle Earth as you may think. At least not so common as forests, shrubs and hills with wood and ore. So you have to discover them and investigate their occupants. The other problem is, that most of the ruins are infested with enemy forces, poisonous spiders or some other evil or fierce enemies. In this perspective the Scholar is perhaps the hardest crafting profession there is. Elves, hobbits and burglars may be better off as a scholar, since they can sneak in stealth into those dangerous ruins. But a brute force of hack and slash, or a magic daze or root can be very handy too. If you like danger, hunting enemies for scholar artifacts (goblins, orcs, trolls, thieves and brigands can drop now and then artifacts too) or looting ruins, the Scholar crafting profession is the thing for you!

In the table below you can see which artifacts belong to each scholar tier. 
As you can see, each artifact contains a special kind of resource. Sometimes you can find also a byproduct, like a special candle ... or ... a very rare resource, like a shard!
With these resources found in the artifacts you can make materials to create all kinds of interesting stuff. Like power and morale pots, crafting buffs and buffs for shooting arrows, defense and attacks. Just look in your crafting menu and pick one of your choices.

For crafting, you have to go to your scholars study-table, of course ... in a crafting area. Note: choose processing on the crafting menu to create the materials which are needed for the various recipes!

 Scholar Artifacts per Tier

Type of Artifact
Resource & Byproduct
Shattered Pitcher
Aged Scraps of Texts
byproduct: Dim Candle
Broken Urn
Worn Tablet Fragments
byproduct: Rushlight Candle
Antique Vase
Cracked Dwarf-carvings
byproduct: Beeswax Candle
Forgotten Text
Fragment of Dúnedain Script
very rare resource: Adamant Shard
byproduct: Tallow Candle
Ancient Vase
Worn Elf-carvings
very rare resource: Beryl Shard
byproduct: Ornate Candle
Sage’s Locker
Sage’s Casket
Sage's Lockbox
Rune-carved Tablets
very rare resource: Mithril Flake
byproduct: Bright Lamp
Banded Coffer
Scraps of Weathered Dunlending Texts byproduct: Page of Gondorian Parchment
very rare resource: Cracked Rhi Helvarch Sigil
Ornate cache
Scraps of Rohirric Texts
very rare resource: Tarnished Crest of Rohan
byproduct: piece of Eastemnet Sealed Wax

Adorned Chest
Tattered Rohirric Parchments
very rare resource: Emerald Shard
byproduct: piece of Westemnet Sealed Wax
Lavish Chest
Tattered Anórien Parchments
byproduct: Piece of Anórien Wax
very rare byproduct: Zircon Shard

Making dyes in Lotro
Most scholars are looking for artifacts, so they have to search in ruins and - mostly - have to kill a lot of evil creatures or man. This kind of scholar specialization can be called an archeologist. But if you don't like such an aggressive way to become a scholar, and you are more of the docile type, you can always become a gardener or a botanist. Why? Because with these specializations you can make colorful dyes, which sell well on the Auction Hall, and which give you some points for crafting experience too. Making dyes can be done by looking for rare plant-species (the way of the botanist) or making dye ingredients by harvesting crops on a farm field (the way of the gardener).  

Both ways are explained on a separate page, to access them: click on this link

The way of the archeologist: searching for artifacts
The most common way to level your proficiency as a scholar, is searching for artifacts. As said, the can be found mostly in ruins. Sometimes you have to look in enemy camps or in mines.

Tier 1 – Apprentice: Shattered Pitcher 

A shattered pitcher contain the raw materials for first-tier scholar recipes. To use get these materials, your scholar must have a scholar's glass equipped. The Shattered Pitcher artifact contains the following raw materials for crafting:

- Aged Scraps of Text
- Early Third Age Relics
- Worn Tablet Fragments.

Shattered pitchers can be found in the starter areas of Bree-land, Ered Luin and the Shire.  

Probably the best place to look for tier 1 scholar artifacts is Bree-land, where shattered pitchers can be found in the wide surroundings around the Midgewater Mires (see map). Some places there are easy to loot, but most are in ruins guarded by many mobs. So be careful! 

Ered Luin is also OK for gathering Shattered pitchers, and like Bree-land most pitchers are located in ruins.  

Not surprisingly, in the Shire scholar artifacts seems rare. This region is hardly known for ancient Elven occupation and big ruins are rare here. So, if you see one from a distance, it is worthwhile to explore that ruin. Until now, I have found 3 spots only: 2 in ruins and 1 around a abandoned farm-house.

For all known locations of Shattered pitchers (at least known to me), see the maps below. I have recently checked them and ommited old records where I couldn't find scholar artifacts.

Tier 2 -  Journeyman: Broken Urns and Woad plants 

Tier 2 artifacts, broken urns, can be found in ruins with mobs of roughly lvl 15-25. A broken urn provides 2 kinds of raw material for crafting: 

- Cryptic texts
- Second age trinkets

Broken urns can be found in the enemy-infested ruins of Ered Luin, Bree-land, Lone-lands and North Downs. No records are known From the Shire. You can also find them in the undead or spider infested barrows of the Barrow-downs, SW of Bree.
If you want to avoid such dangerous places, you can also look for woad-plants. These plants can be used for making a several blue dyes. But be aware: woad plants are not as abundant as broken urns, so you will only find one ore two plants on a spot. But if you like plant gathering, nothing stands in your way to become a botanist!

Ered Luin (see map above)
Broken urns seems to be a bit rare here, and the best places to look out for them are Emyn Hoedh and Kheledûl. You can also kill some evil dwarves and goblins, since they regularly drop scholar stuff they have found.

Bree-land (see both Barrow-donws maps below, and the Bree-land map above)
Like the tier 1 artifacts, Bree-land is also the best region for tier 2 artifacts: the broken urns. They can be found in ruins in Bree-land and also in several barrows of the Northern and Southern Barrow-Downs. The Barrows are rather dangerous at equal level, but the mobs you have to conquer will drop excellent stuff! Some barrows have a nice surprise, since they also contain some Antique vases, a tier 3 artifact that is rather uncommon in the Breeland region. You can find these vases in the bigger rooms of the barrows, usually guarded by a small boss.

Lone-lands (see map Tier 3, below) 
Minas Eriol region (around [35.3S, 38.4W]

The North Downs (see map Tier 3, below)

Minas Vrûn region [12.0S, 51.6W]


Tier 3 – Expert: Antique Vase    
Antique vases can be looted by scholars if they have at least Expert proficiency and - of course - a scholar's glass equipped. This third-tier node will give you three kind of raw materials to craft receipts:
- Faded Sindarin passages
- Torn craftsman's diaries
- Cracked dwarf

Antique vases can be found in ruins throughout The Lone-lands, The North Downs and Evendim In Bree-land they can be found in barrows in the Barrow-Downs (see maps above). 

Bree-lands (see maps above)
In Bree-land antique vases can be found in the barrows of the Northern and Southern Barrow Downs. They are reported from Haud Taenthond, Haudh Methernil*, Haudh Nogbenn and The Barrow of Ringdor* in the northern Barrow Downs. These relatively small barrows are less dangerous than the big ones in the southern Barrow Downs.
The biggest barrows in the Southern Barrow Downs are the most dangerous ones and quite lethal if you enter them solo, at least at a low level. I found vases in The Great Barrow and Haufh Iarchith, both are instances. Two smaller barrows in the NE corner of the southern Barrow Downs has also antique vases: Goetham and Gwantham.
Take notice that you have to enter a barrow to find these vases, since they don't appear on your mini-map when you are above ground, tracking them. At 3 locations I found antique vases above the ground; they are all located near the big ruin of Ost Gorthad, in the SE corner of the map.

* reported by EternalLurker (see comments)
Lone-land (see map below)
East of Weathertop, in ruins south and north along the road to the last bridge, you can find several locations with antique. All places are guarded by mobs and are not easy to reach when you are level 15-20. In Iorvinas you have to go into the dungeons to find some vases. Agamaur and a ruin in Harloeg are even more dangerous, and here you can find Forgotten Texts, which are the Tier 4 artifacts.

The North Downs (see map below)
In the North-downs all scholar artifacts are to be found in ruins. I haven't found any artifacts in enemy camps, like Dol Dinen. I skipped the remote Nan Wathren, since I don't expect to find any artifacts here on basis of the stated observation. Most ruins will contain antique vases and these places are guarded by enemies, of course. The only easy places to loot are the two ruins with Broken urns, NE of Threstlebridge. Curiously, I couldn't find any scholar artifact within one of the biggest ruin of Middle Earth, the enormous castle of Fornost. I entered this huge complex of walls and towers, and even the northern - instance - parts. But alas, I din't found anything but zillions of mobs...  However, they drop a lot of raw scholar materials, so they must have looted all the artifacts here.

Evendim is rich in ruins and also rich in scholar artifacts. Almost every big ruin inhabited by enemy forces or aggressive animals - like wolves, bats and salamanders - contain at least 1 artifact. Most of them are antique vases, but a some (more dangerous) places you will find forgotten texts. Be aware of these texts, because they can stay a long time hidden in plain sight. When you reach almost the place where the text will be, it will appear like magic. Probably all these text are enchanted and hidden for the unaided eyes of strangers!

In the Map below you will see all the places I have visited in Evendim and wether you can find a scholar artifact or not. The two ruins east of Parth Aduial are actually in the Northdowns, adjacent to the border of Evendim. These ruins are named Glirost and Tham Lorn.

Tier 4 -  Artisan: Forgotten Text
Forgotten texts contains two types of raw material (tier 4):
- Fragment of Dúnedain Script
- Relic of Lothlórien
These ancient texts seem to be enchanted, since they stay hidden in sight, and they only appear when you stand close enough to see them. Fortunately, they can be seen in the mini-map (radar), when the Track Artifacts skill is activated. In heavy mob infested ruins, these texts can be a pain to find, since you have to fight your way through lots of mobs until you reach the right spot. It is always a rare sight to see the shimmering lectern with the old textbook appear when you stand close enough. And after a wild search it gives great satisfaction to extract the most wanted scholar materials - fragments of Dunedain Script and Relics of Lothlorien - of these texts.

Forgotten texts, can be found in 5 regions: in the easternmost parts of the Lone-lands, throughout the Trollshaws, Evendim and Angmar and only 1 place in the Misty Mountains.


Lone-lands (see map above)
Forgotten texts can be found in the eastern part of the Lone-lands. They are situated in places with heavy resistance, like the undead in Ost Haer and Nindor and the elite forces in Agamaur. I didn't found any artifacts in the instance area Garth Agarwen, so skip this place for artifact exploration.

Evendim (see map above)
Evendim is not very rich in Forgotten texts and I have found only 4 places. I expected a lot in the huge ruin town of Annúminas, but actually its relatively scarce in artifacts. I have only found 2 places near Minathranc, and when you loot them they will reappear on 2 other spots near that place. I have marked all the 4 places on the Annuminas map. Since there are so many Angmarin and Trolls, it is actually not worth it to venture forth in this very dangerous area. All mobs are around level 40 and are elite forces. 

The tombs in Men Erain - northeast of Annuminas - are a better place to look for these elusive magical texts. I found three spots along the road. Two are located around the tomb Haud Arantar and one is south of Haud Valandur, in a small open tomb-ruin. All these spots are much easier to loot than the dangerous places in Annuminas.  

Another option is the salamander island Tyl Ruinen, although I could only found 1 spot there in the ruin of Tollobel. Salamanders can be a nuisance here, and since Forgotten text can be hidden for a while in plain sight - although they appear in the radar - it may be hard to get these texts. Consider it a challenge when you are of equal level!

Trollshaws is the best region to find forgotten texts. However, most places with scholar artifacts are infested with lots of monsters, like trolls and wights. Except Ost Durgonn, most places are very dangerous at level 35. So, my best advise is to loot them in a fellowship, or go back when you are some levels higher. After lvl 50+ it is an easy area. Thieves and elves may sneak - unseen - behind the trolls, snap the text, and flee away. But if the trolls are some levels higher then you, they will undoubtedly sniff you out. Even if you are in sylvan shadows...


Misty Mountains
Not worthy for any visit. I only found 1 spot with a forgotten text, at the Bitter Stair near Helegrod. If the place is looted - near a stone column the text will appear on the opposite stone column.

Despite the many ruins and old forgotten towns in Angmar, scholar artifacts are not very common in this grim place. Almost all places with forgotten texts are full of mobs, such as Angmar priests, evil men, large trolls and countless orcs. Since the rewards by killing them are many, it's advisable to finish a lot of this evil spawn. besides the interesting loot and money, they will drop ocassionally some fragments of Dúnedain script or some relics of Lothlórien too. The locations of the forgotten text I have found, are marked on the map below. 
Forgotten texts and ancient vases are rare in Angmar
Tier 5 – Master: Ancient Vase
Ancient Vases contain 4 types of raw scholar material of tier 5, and you need to be at last a Master to open these vases. 
The following types of raw materials can be found in ancient vases:
-  Long-lost Second Age Text
-  Torn Scholar’s Journal
-  Undeciphered Moon-letter
-  Worn Elf-carving

Ancient vases, can be found in ruins throughout The Misty Mountains, Forochel, Angmar and Eregion.

Ancient vases at The Lonesome Stones - in Forochel - are easy to loot

Despite the many ruins and old forgotten towns in Angmar, ancient vases are very rare in this grim place. I have checked Carn Dum, The Rift, Barad Gularan, Ram Duath and Ongbishuk, but all these places seems to be empty. Probably most vases are stolen or destroyed by the high amount of enemy forces which can be found in these areas. You can, of course, slay monsters in the above mentioned grim places. Monsters will definitive drop some raw materials from the stolen vases. The only place where I fount vases, was at Rhunendin, east of Himbar. This places is so heavily infested with angmarin priests and trolls, its not worthwhile to bother it for ancient vases. Just skip this depressing place and head for the easy to loot frosty ruins of the Lonesome Stones in Forochel!

Misty Mountains 
Like Angmar, Misty Mountains seems not a good place for ancient vases. I only found one spot with 2 locations of them, near the ruins of Gabalizan (see map). Even in Goblin town or the stone houses of the giants - in Giant Halls - there are no scholar artifacts to be found. Hope somebody will find a new spot in this region. Tell me if you do!

Ancient vases are a bit scarce in Forochel. Maybe some ruins are now blanketed by thick ice-layers and vanished until warmer times appear. I have found, until now 3 locations. Three are situated in ruins named Kibilzahar, The Lonesome Stones and The Ironspan. With some care Kibilzahar and especially The Lonesome Stones can be looted fairly easy. In both places there are only two spots where you can find ancient vases. Just kill some enemies and wait until they reappear. Kibilzahar is a small ruin and the vases will reappear at the same spots. The Lonesome stones are much bigger, so the 2 vases have 4 spots where they can appear. Luckily the place is fairly empty of enemies and it is the safest spot to loot you valuable  The Ironspan however is heavily guarded by lots of Angmarin, so take care when you try to loot the vases at that place. Don't go there when you are several levels lower than the Angmarin at this place!

The ancient vases near Zigilzund are hidden by sight and you have to enter the Icereave Mines to find them. At first sight you only see 1 vase, but if you pull a lever downstairs a hidden passage will appear. In that passage 2 other vases can be found. The place is infested with dourhand dwarves and peikko-snowbeasts, but they drop a lot of loot. Don't go in if you are some levels lower as the mobs since they will surely overrun you! Come back when you are a higher level, or loot in a group of 2-3.

Like Forochel, the ancient vases are also rare in Eregion. I have found until now only 3 places. First place to go are the ruins at Pembar, with lots of worms and half-orcs. You will find 2 spots with vases there. In the west I found 2 spots in Barad Morlas, another ruin with lots of half-orcs. You can combine both places with quests, especially Barad Morlas. South of Barad Morlas there is a small ruin with 2 other spots of ancient vases. Both spots are fairly easy to loot. If you circle around in Barad Morlas, you can kill half-orcs and their wolf-guards, do a lot of quests and looting at least 4 spots with ancient vases, until they reappear.
Curiously enough, I haven't found any vases in the well known ruins of  Tham Mirdain, like the School and the Library. Also the orc-camps near the Red Horn Pass (Thar Stag) and the Angmarin and Dunleding-camps in Emyn Naer don't contain any vases. So, like Misty Mountains and Forochel, the Ancient Vase is a rare scholar artifact indeed.

Tier 6 -  Supreme: 
Sage's Locker, Sage's Casket and Sage's Lockbox
There are 3 kinds of tier 6 artifacts: sage's lockers, caskets and lockboxes. They can contain up to 5 types of raw materials. The materials are:
- Etching of Moria
- Rune-carved Tablet 
- Relic of Khazad-dûm
- Broken Dwarf-statue
- Tattered Khuzdul Parchment

Here is a rough table with estimated droprates of the 3 types of lockboxes you can find:

Bright Lamp
0-1 (20%)
0-1 (20%)
0-2 (20%)
Broken Dwarf-statue
0-1 (50%)
1-3 (100%)
0-3 (90%)
Tattered Khuzdul Parchment
0-1 (25%)
1-2 (100%)
1-3 (100%)
Etching of Moria
1-3 (100%)
0-1 (25%)
0-1 (75%)
Relic of Khazad-dûm
1-3 (100%)
0-1 (90%)
0-1 (50%)
Rune-carved Tablet 
1-3 (100%)
0-1 (50%)
0-2 (90%)

Read the table as follows: a Sage's lockbox has a 100% drop rate (100%) for at least 1 Tattered Khuzdul Parchment, although sometimes 2 or 3 can drop (1-3). A Sage's Casket drops most of the time (90%) a Relic of Khazad-dum (0-1). In a Sage's Locker you will always find at least 1 Etching of Moria, 1 Relic of Khazad-dum and 1 Rune-carved Tablet. Up to 3 of these relics can be found in a Locker (1-3). However, the Echtching of Moria droprate of a Sage's Casket is only 25% and only 1 will drop (0-1). The same amount of such a relic can be found in a Lockbox, although the chance to find one is twice as high as in a Casket (50%).

You can find all these tier 8 artifacts in Lothlorien, Moria, Enedwaith and/or Mirkwood. Sage's Lockers can be found in Moria and Mirkwood. Sage's Caskets can be found in the lower depths of Moria, starting in the Redhorn Lodes. Sage's Lockboxes can be found in Lothlorien, Mirkwood and Enedwaith.

There are lots of places to find Sage's caskets and Sage's lockers in the Mines of Moria.
As an elf, I don't like the depressing environment of narrow, dark and countless maze-like paths beneath the earth. I mapped all the places in Moria where I found artifacts, and below you see my final results. Print them out, or use a second screen like I do (they are easy to access these days at a 2nd hand shop). 
The Moria maps I have used are the detailed real travel maps, from which you will see a small portion in your radar. The named locations are the points of interest which will appear as flagged objects on the radar. You see them also on the overview map as flags (when pressing the M-key). For you convenience I have marked the stables (purple dots) and on most maps also the stable-routes You only have to travel some part of a route, by foot or goat, and wind your way in the dark caverns and halls of Moria,

Sage's Lockers 
Sage's lockers can be found in the upper levels of Moria: The Great Delving and Durin's Way, and in the sub-lower levels Silvertine Lodes and Zelem-Melek. They can also be found in the Waterworks.

Great Delving
When you enter Moria, you start in the Great Delving. At first sight Moria is an overwhelming place and the Great Delving seems pretty easy. Strange enough the starter areas are full of mazes and you are lost pretty easily. Since all dark caves are literally infested with swarms of orcs and goblins, a wrong turn can result in a great havoc and lots of frustration. Moreover, there are many places where you can drop in the endless abyss of Moria, so you are warned!
Sage lockers can be found in lots of places, and when you wait a bit they will respawn quickly. I have provided also the stable routes on the map, so when you are lost you have to go to the stable route and wind your way back to a safe place. 
Moria - Great Delving. Yellow dots = sage's locker, yellow line = stable route (stables = purple)

Durin's Way
North of the Great Delving, when you pass the Dwarf-lords Gate, you enter (the zone) Durin's Way. The whole western (left of 'the cross' of Jazargund on the map) is rich in sage lockers, but you don't find them in the winding passage from the Chamber of Crossroads to the 21st Hall.
All the locations are guarded by orcs or other nasty critters. The garden is surprisingly empty of sage's lockers.

Durin's Way. Yellow dots: sage lockers, yellow lines: stable routes, 
stables: purple dots, white triangles: special places
The Fanged Pit
East of the cross of Jazargund there is a gigantic Cavern with small hills, peaks, platforms and lots of winged evil creatures. Despite the vastness of the Fanged Pit, there are no scholar artifacts to be found. I crossed all the paths, but didn't see any. So, as a scholar in search for artifacts you can skip this area.

Fanged Pit. Yellow dots: sage lockers, yellow lines: stable routes, 
stables: purple dots, triangles: special places

Silvertine lodes
Silvertine lodes lies south of Deep Descent and can be considered as a sub-lower level. This zone contains some spots with Sage's lockers, but it is not a very rich place. I found 3 spots in the central part, near the spiral wooden platform of Menem-berej. The Old Silvertine City and the goblin infested caves south of Gamil Filik offers also some spots. If you desperately need some lockers, the upper levels of Moria are richer and more easier to loot. 

Silvertine lodes: Yellow dots: sage lockers, yellow lines: stable routes, 
triangles: special places, purple dotted lines: boundary

21-st Hall
South of the 21-st Hall is a big hall complex with the same dark brown tiles, called the Great Hall of Durin. You can enter it by the 21-Hall West Arch, and by following the stable route you wil find 3 spots of lockers. The hall has several sublevels connected with stairs. In total you can find 7 spots with lockers in the brown tiled halls. Two places are dangerous and heavily guarded by orcs, Bult-kar and gazata-ru. The other locations are not a very big problem, as long as you are the same level as the orcs in this zone.
If you follow the stableroute, you can go to the Wide Halls and entering the Zelem-Melek zone. This is a very huge zone, with a maze like structure with small hals and orc infested rooms. Zelem-melek is gradually changing in the Flaming depths-zone in the SE.

Zelem-Melek, 21-st Hall (north) and Great Hall of Durin (south)
Yellow dots: sage lockers, yellow lines: stable routes, 
stables: purple dots, triangles: special places

Zelem-Melek Northern part
Zelem-Melek is a big hall complex with many separated small halls and orc infested areas. It has several Sage's lockers, but they are a bit scattered throughout Zelem-Melek. South of the Hall of Flowing Water this zone seems to be a bit empty, but this will change when you are entering the southern part of Zelem-Melek (see entry below). This part of Moria can be entered from the 21 Hall in the NE or the Great Delving in the West. In the far NE you will entering the Redhorn Lodes. 
 A curious gorge is running north-south and bordering Zelem-Melek from the Great Delving. You can follow this gorge right to the Flaming Depths. There is much ore to be found in this underway tunnel, but no scholar artifacts.

Zelem-Melek, northern part: Yellow dots: sage lockers, yellow lines: stable routes, 
stables: purple dots, triangles: special places

Zelem-Melek Southern part
The South part of Zelem-Melek is much alike the north part with lots of Sage's lockers. All are concentrated in orc infested rooms, so be a bit prepared to hit and run if there are too much orcs attack you. Since there are many dead ends, its advisable to approach every room cautiously. This hall-like zone changes after you pass the Orc-Watch in the east, when you enter the big cavern of the Redhorn Lodes. This is a lower zone of Moria, with Sage's caskets.
In the south is the stable of Anazarmekhem, and at that place you enter the Flaming Depths, a dangerous lower zone of Mora, with Sage's caskets.

Zelem-Melek, southern part: Yellow dots: sage lockers, yellow lines: stable routes, 
stables: purple dots, triangles: special places,  blue dots: Sage's caskets

The Waterworks
The Waterworks is one of the coolest places to be in the Mines of Moria. it is a world on its own, with strange quiet pools and interesting chambers to explore. For a lower level area it is not a very dangerous one, in most parts. The Globsnaga orc place - the red room  bordering the Chamber of Dark Waters - is one of the more dangerous places. An interesting place to explore is The Lost Palace with beautiful translucent spiders.
 The Waterworks is a fun place to discover and you will find several scattered places with sage's lockers. Surprisingly, in this lowest level of Moria, there are no caskets to be found and you will find only sage's lockers. The western part, south of Narag-kheleb didn't contain any scholar artifacts. I checked all the places there, but couldn't find anything.

The Waterworks, southern part: yellow dots = sage's lockers, yellow line = stable route

Sage's Caskets
Sage's caskets can be found in the lower depths of the Mines of Moria, like the Redhorn Lodes and Flaming depths. The Waterworks is a beautiful area, but contains only Sage's Lockers. Nothing was found in the awful caves of the Foundation of Stone. 

A big part of Nud-Melek is the gigantic Second Hall with huge stone columns, shaped like ancient trees. This area - the 2nd Hall - has 4 spots of sage's caskets, and you can circle it by emptying the caskets and slaying the numerous orcs and nasty big glowworms. 
From Khurjezer to the First Hall I only found 3 locations and west of the 21 Hall, in the lava-rich stone-bridge area only 1 spot. 
Don't go in the passage north of Khurjezer for scholar artifacts, since there are none to be found. This passage is a nuisance anyway, because after slaying countless and countless orcs you pass Balin's Camp and will encounter a non-passable roadblock, guarded by ... orcs! You have to fight the whole way back, since there isn't any passage to the 21st-Hall (although the map and mini-radar suggest it...). 

Sage's caskets (blue dots) in Nud-melek. The yellow line it the stable route.

Redhorn lodes is a surprisingly pretty easy high level area to look for sage's caskets. The caskets are concentrated in the NW part of this zone, I didn't found any in the Eastern half and the southern part (infested with countless spitting Grodborgs).

Sage's caskets (blue dots) in Redhorn Lodes. The yellow line it the stable route.

Flaming Deeps
The Flaming deeps is an interesting place to be, with lots of lava pools and heat-loving critters. There are several spots with sage's caskets to be found, most of them in the near vicinity of the stable route. If you are careful, they are not very difficult to loot, but this place seems to be a bit more dangerous then the Redhorn Lodes.

Sage's caskets (blue dots) in the Flaming Deeps. The yellow line is the stable route

Foundation of Stone
In this gruesome place, with indescribable horrors, totally none scholar artifacts where found.

Of all zones in Middle Earth where I have searched for Sage's lockboxes, the golden wood of Lothlorien is the easiest and most relaxed place to be. You need to cross the Nimrodel, since these artifacts can only be found in the golden wood. I have discovered six places with coffers: Cerin Nauth,  The Quiet Garden, The Garden of Memory, Cerin Brethil, The Vineyards of Lorien and Lady's Rest. All these places (except the Vineyard) will give you 3 easy to loot spots with Sage's lockboxes. There are hardly no enemies which will attack you here - if you stay away from them - and it's a much more comfortable place to look for artifacts then the ugly halls of Moria. Although I realize that the hack-and-slash scholars may find it a bit to dull in Lothlorien (slashers: go to Mirkwood for artifacts). Anyway, if you circle between Cerin Nauth,  The Quiet Garden, Cerin Brethil and The Garden of Memory, you will have a lot of artifacts in no time. 

At the Vineyard of Lórien I found artifacts at 4 node locations, but they seem to spawn with only two together. So most of the time you will find only 2 boxes around the Vineyard. You have to look a bit around here to find them, they are sometimes hidden between a hedge or a garden wall. The nodes are located at 18.7S, 64.0W;18.6S, 64.2W and 18.15S, 64.2W. I forgot to note the coordinates of the 4th node, because it seldom spawns. With your artifact-radar on, it shouldn't be a big problem to locate this one.

If you want to do quests and also collect a lot of lockboxes in Lothlorien, the best strategy is to circle around along all the mentioned places, and picking up quests near each location. Many locations do have repeatable quests, so you can do them many times (although a bit dull, ofc).

Compared to Enedwaith and especially the golden forest of Lothlorien, Mirkwood is a grim place to be. But if you are careful it's not such a pain as the numeral deep crevices of Moria. You have to venture far to reach the ruins with artifacts (Sage's lockboxes) and they seem to be concentrated in the orc and ghost infested ruins of the Ashenlades. I have marked six ruins where lots of lockboxes can be found.  Most places have 3 lockboxes, and the two ruins at Sad Doldur contain a total of 6 boxes. If you circle around here, you will encounter 20 locations with lockboxes, and this is one of the highest density places with scholar artifacts to be found in a small area. If you want to do some slayer-deed, like orc-slaying, or want to do some ruin discoveries, the Ashenlades is certainly the place to be!
I didn't found any other places with Sage lockboxes in other ruins, like the Mirk-eaves in the western part of Mirkwood, Emyn-lum and Taur-morvitch. Even the huge ruin complexes in Dol Guldur and Gathburz seems te be empty (probably all stolen by evil man). The tower of Minas Gil is also not worth a visit for artifacts, although you can slay a lot of sorcerers there (slayer-deed). Like all humanoids they will certainly drop some raw material of the stolen scholar artifacts. Note that the orc-camps with tents and wooden palisades(western part of Mirkwood) and the barrows at the Shrine of the Ancient One (far eastern Scuttledells) didn't contain any artifacts either. 

Not much is known of the scholar artifacts in this zone of Middle Earth. I have discovered 4 regions with several spots of Sage's lockboxes. 
In the north there seems to be only 2 places with lockboxes. The first place to enter is the deserters camp of Lhe Lhechu, in Forditith. A far better, but much more dangerous place is the giant ruin of Amon Min. It is heavily guarded by robbers, but it is an awarding place to loot: I have found 6 spots with lockboxes there. The King's Way Gate, NW of this great ruin was empty; I only found a regular wooden chest there.
In the south there are 2 major regions for Scholar artifacts. You can find quite a lot of Sage's lockboxes in the lich infested barrow downs of Lich bluff. Most locations here are west of the road, but you can also find some east of it. All the lockboxes are heavily guarded by numerous liches
In the giant hills of Thrors Thomb there are also some sage's lockboxes to be found, between the giants... These huge creatures are lvl 65 and they have a health of 20300 morale! So, it's a bit tricky here, unless you are level 75 or higher (then a very easy spot!). They are all located near Mafan-mudum. I didn't find anything in the north-eastern snowy dragon area or in the ancient dwarven library of Nár's Peak.

Tier 7 – Westfold: Banded Coffer  
Banded Coffers can be found in Dunland, the Gap of Rohan, Nan Curunír and the Great River. 
The coffers contain the following raw materials:

- Page of Gondorian Parchment (rare)
- Scraps of Weathered Dunlending Text (common)

Heavy banded coffers can drop the very valuable Cracked Rhi Helvarch Sigil, a great item to craft special legendary weapons and books.


The Great River - Thinglad
Some places at the Great Rover are surprisingly empty of enemies and a pleasure to look for banded coffers. You can find 3 near the ruin of Haldirith and 2 near the giant statue, called The Cuthstan. A far more dangerous area is the Limlight Gorge with gargantuan spiders and walking trees (huorns). The Fallen Tower is more or less easily to approach, but all the other places with banded coffers are dangerous. Starting at the Fallen Tower, the scholar can do the Ancient Ruins of the Limlight deed here. For this deed you have to find very small ruins.  Two of these very small ruins - white fallen walls, pulsating when not discovered - can by found by tracking artifacts: the tumbled and ancient elf-ruins are accompanied by 1 banded coffer (although it can be empty if they are looted by another scholar). The other 3 places in the Limlight Gorge with small elf-ruins are the mysterious [27.0S, 69.0W], hallowed [27.4S, 70.4W] and engraved elf-ruins [27.0S, 71.2W]. I didn't find banded coffers at those places. If you go to the far southwest, you will find one Banded Coffer near the tree trunk bridge of Limlight Falls and one in the hidden Limlight Glade (just cross the bridge and follow the mountain trail upwards).

The elven settlement in the ruins of Haldirith has 3 easy coffer locations to loot. To the north and south you find orc-camps with some more banded coffers. I have found 5 locations at the camp of Hîs-urdan and 2 in Ûngund. Those in Ûngund were heavy banded coffers and one of them contained a very rare Cracked Rhi Helvarch Sigil. So be keen and loot always the heavy banded coffers first! You never know when another scholar will show up...

Somewhat isolated in the Wailing Hills there are also 2 locations of Banded coffers. If you are lucky, you will meet a giant friendly eagle, named Landroval.

If you cross the fields from Stangard to the ghost infested Field of Celebrant, you will pass 3 small, nameless ruins. They all contain 2 or 1 Banded coffer. The neighboring Eorlsmead Tower, however, had no coffers  when I visited it. Two locations can be found in a small circular ruin at 30.4S and 59.2W.
To the east lies the big ruin complex of Ost Celebrant, and this place is really full of banded coffers. A problem is, that the old ruined city is infested with many ghosts and brigands - so beware!. I couldn't find any coffers in the Brownland camps.

The North of Dunland seems to be full of banded coffers, even more then in the Great River area. Especially the wight infested Bonevales offers much for a scholar. I have found 10 locations with banded coffers! I noticed also some Indigo plants in this place, but didn't map them. Other good places in this part of Dunland are the dragon clan settlement (north and south) and the adjacent Rooks hut.

In the center of Dunland lies the strange winged tower of Flam-cadlus. Its is heavily guarded by lvl 68 dunleding riders, but there are many rewards here! I have found 5 spots with normal banded coffers and 2 spots with heavy banded coffers (1 dropped a Cracked Rhi Helvarch Sigil). The other tower, Hen Turrau, lying SE of this tower, has 3 lightly guarded spots with banded coffers. One of them is of the heavy type, so it may drop a Cracked Rhi Sigil.

Other places in central Dunland give only 1 or 2 coffers, but the Tree of Tribute maybe an interesting spot. One of the coffers here can be a heavy one (special drop!). The warg panels, north of the Howling caverns - in Pren Gwydh - are also a good place for looting coffers, but beware all these lvl 67 wargs with their goblin trainers. If you are careful, this place can be looted by a solo caracter of lvl 65+.

To the southwest, Lhan Covarn (in the NW point of the Dunbog) is an interesting place. Four coffers can be found, but this place is literally swarmed with malevolent orcs. Don't go there if you are low level, or go in a group. However, at level 75+ it is an easy place to loot. 

To the far south are the Withered Stones. This is an ancient ruin in a swamp, with lots of strange Dun Avanc (lvl 71): a kind of reptilian which looks like a small stegosaurus. Don't underestimate them, they are fierce creatures!

The Tal Methedras settlement, in the NE of Dunlaind doenst contain any banded coffers.

Gap of Rohan
In the Gap of Rohan I found 4 locations with banded coffers, all in the enemy infested settlement of Brôntrig. There are a lot of lvl 72-73 Draig-lûth Warriors here, so be careful! Otherwise this area is not interesting at all to search for banded coffers, although I didn't inspect the evil settlement of Wulf's cleft.

Nan Curunir
Nan Curunir is Saruman's place, with the forbidden Black tower of Orthanc permanently in sight. It is a gruesome and very malevolent zone, and not the place to be for gathering banded coffers. I only found one location, with 2 spots: in the Blackmarch Fort, which is literally swarming with lvl 75 Shak-Hai Archers, Warriors and Woodcutters. The name woodcutter sounds like a normal woodcutter, bit these beasts are Saruman's creatures, so Uruk-Hai. They have cut down the lovely forest here. I can imagine a better place for looting Banded coffers, like the Bonevales in NW Dunland!

Nevertheless, for the bold adventurer it is fun to steal artifacts right under the nose of Saruman. His tower is outside the wall guarded by lvl 75 warg-rides and half-orc sentries. Inside you will find - of course - a host of lvl 75 enemies, like Isenguard warriors, Isen Warg Riders, Shak-Hai Warriors, signature Shak-Hai Overseers and the elite 76692 morale War-Troll (immune to root and stun). Some humans can also be found here, a kind of sorceres called Apprentice of Saruman.

Outside the gate I found only 1 spot with a banded coffer, but inside is a ring of 10 or more coffers. Two are heavy banded coffers and may (not will...) contain a cracked rhi sigil.

The Gate is guarded by 2 arch-nemesis trolls, called Ufdragh and  Barashal. They are immune to stun and root. Both trolls are 751700 morale and extremely dangerous. Ride your horse and sprint through, in a straight line to the black tower of Orthanc! Hopefully they don't hit you with a devastating hit! They can do each 4044 Common damage with a critical hit, or 1333 normal shadow damage. Normally only 1 troll will hit you, but sometimes - that is a stated fact - two. If you run far enough, they will stop and retreat to their watchpost at the gate.

Inside you have only to avoid - or slay - the swarms of mobs there. Its pretty easy when you are lvl 84, since no one - except Ufdragh and  Barashal - will attack you. The only thing you have to be careful at, is the escape route. If you hit that place, you enter a one-way sewer tube to the outside and cannot go back. Anyway, have a lot of fun at Saruman's dwellings. Sadly enough, you cannot visit him to drink a cup of green tea. The door of the black tower is firmly closed...

To enter the inner circle you have to pass these nemesis-trolls

Tier 8 & 9 Artifacts in Rohan                                           

For information of the locations of Tier 8 and 9 artifacts in Rohan, click here or on the header text above!

Tier 9 & 10 Artifacts in Gondor and Anórien

For information of the locations of Tier 9 and 10 artifacts in Gondor and Anórie, click here or on the header text above!

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