Middle-Earth Online drops you smack-dab in the middle of the Third Age. Timeline wise, The Fellowship has just escaped Moria and is continuing their journey toward Mordor. Though players will never come face-to-face with any members of The Fellowship, rumors of the heroes' actions will filter into the game world through stories relayed by famous NPCs. For instance, exploring The Shire would never turn up a personal meeting with Frodo, Sam, Merry or Pippin, but Farmer Maggot might relay a story of chasing a certain group of mischievous hobbits off his land. Similarly, though you could explore Rivendell for days and never find Legolas Greenleaf, Elrond might speak with you if you could gain an audience with him.