“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.“
– Gandalf’s last words, The Return of the King
Today marks the 200th episode of the much beloved Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) based podcast, A Casual Stroll to Mordor (CSTM), and with it, they have announced it shall be their last.
With their 4th anniversary only a couple months away, CSTM will discontinue after tonight’s final podcast, set to air live at 9:30pm EST. The Founders of CSTM, Merric and Goldenstar, posted the following personal message to their fans:
It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce the end of A Casual Stroll to Mordor. Merric and I have been talking for months now. It’s been something weighing very heavily on our minds.
Basically the long and short of it is that CSTM is a lot of work and we are having difficulty giving it the time and attention it needs to keep the standards we have for it. Part of it is just life is busy and full of stuff and some of it may be a bit of burn out as well.
We didn’t make this decision lightly and we are sad to let this go but we feel we must.
They will indeed be truly missed! Many of the Middle-earth News staff, such as myself, play LOTRO and have come to trust CSTM as the leading source for LOTRO gaming news. Their passion and dedication to their readers and listeners goes beyond any other gaming sites out there.
Below, you’ll find our “fond farewells”, and we encourage any of you who have at any time, visited to CSTM’s site or listened to their podcast, to do the same.
Britta – “I started playing LOTRO in 2009, and since then have always turned to CSTM for help – especially during the many in-game festivals! Their guides have been an invaluable resource for many players, and their passion and dedication to the game is inspiring. Thank you, Merric and Goldenstar, for all that you have done for the LOTRO community! You will be missed!”
Myla – “I’m still a newbie in the LOTRO world and haven’t had the chance to really get into CSTM but I’ve seen how important they are to the community and it’s sad to see them go. And it’s fully understandable as to why they’re choosing to end CSTM. Running that site must have taken a lot of time and dedication. I remember watching Golenstar on the WotW LOTRO episode and was so impressed with how much she spent helping out people.
Wishing Merric and Goldenstar all the best!”
Lily – “I only just started playing LOTRO about a month ago, partly due to a bet from one of the other Middle-earth News reporters! Anytime I searched for help choosing a class or figuring out just what exactly I was supposed to do, I always ended up at CSTM. They had everything a fumbling little noob could need!
I saw Goldenstar on the LOTRO episode of Warriors of the Westfold, and I was amazed at the amount of time and energy she spent…and all just to help people play the game. As new as I am, I can’t imagine how we could have done it without CSTM.
I’m sad I won’t get to be even better acquainted with Goldenstar and Merric through CSTM, but we as a community can never thank them enough for their helping hands and seemingly all-knowing advice.”
Arwen – “Merric and Goldenstar, you guys deserve medals! I know how challenging it can be to run a site and podcast while simultaneously managing jobs, kids, family, etc. You all did this for nearly 4 years. You put your time, effort, and passion into creating a place where we LOTRO gamers could read up on the latest news, meet other gamers, and laugh along with your podcast.
It’s that passion and love for what you all were doing that kept me coming back, and I cannot thank you enough! I wish you all the very best.“