There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy, and there are certainly more strange and terrible things in LOTRO than ever see the light of day. Or, to be more precise, not everything in Beta eventually finds its way to the final release. In a recent thread on the Codemasters forum, Steelskin posted the following highly intriguing snippet: “There are quite a few mobs used in beta which make it into the final client but are not used, I remember a "Squirrel-King" but it apparently got deleted at some point”.
A piss-take? Quite possibly, though if it was, fellow poster Ganoderma must also have been on it, since he weighed in with “Ah, the good old squirrel king: see http://lorebook.lotro.com. Official entry is gone, page still exist though”. Well, Ganoderma is quite right; the page referenced is there but empty. However, a quick bit of detective work on the net eventually traced the original Lorebook entry, above. The full entry runs as follows:
"Ever since regaining access to Moria the dwarves have been trembling. The Watcher is not the only creature lurking in the depths and catacombs of the previously great palace. Far beneath the pool where the Watcher hides lies a hidden cavern, patrolled by NeekerBreekers and squealing spider queens lies the most fearful monster, surpassing even Balrog. Laying under the Mithril Mines for Aeons this creature lay trapped until the Balrog, released by the greedy (and hairy) dwarves tripped over a rock and broke through... releasing the Squirrel King.
Be aware that your average level 60 raid party has no hope of bringing down this Uber-Nemesis Level 70 boss who uses acorns to bring down even the strongest and most able warrior. Later in the year though the level cap will be lifted and you can leave turtle soup and calamari behind to get kicked in the nuts by this boss of bosses."
So did the dread Squirrel-King enjoy a ghostly existence in Beta? All one can say for certain is that Turbine, for reasons best known to itself alone, saw fit to delete every trace of its brief existence… Did I hear the muttered words “conspiracy theory”?