Obviously, this is a card game, so it's very abstract as far as what is going on in Middle Earth as you play. This may even be weird, but I imagine in my mind's eye what is going on as I play the game.
For example, the heroes commit to a quest. The encounter deck flips a card. It's a Forest Spider. To me, our heroes happened to be on their journey (through Mirkwood or whatever), and the Forest spider spots them and stalks them until it is time to encounter (whether willingly - i.e., my threat is above his - and he attacks, or I willingly engage). Let's say I then 'travel' to this location. Let's also say the spider engages.
So when the spider is 'engaged' with me, I imagine a continues battle going on. This is where my disconnect happens.
I have heroes and allies that commit to a quest, leaving those who are not committed to the quest to battle the spider.
So... what is this an abstract of? In the middle of a fight, a few characters run off to go search a location? They then come back for a turn, maybe take a blow from the spider, then take off again next turn to go on a quest? The timing here is messed up in my mind. Either the fight with the spider is taking weeks and is an engagement that is off and on constantly as they are stalked by the spider on their adventure, or my heroes and allies are The Flash.
"Okay, guys... I'll be right back... gotta quest..." and they zoom off in a cloud of dust and then suddenly reappear, panting.
What do you guys imagine? Can you help me change the way I think about it?