Quest for Durin’s Legacy

La Quête de l’Héritage de Durin (3A 3020)

It is after the War of the Ring, and the tale of Gan­dalf s triumph over the Balrog has spread far and wide. This means, of course, that adven­tu­rers’ minds are tur­ning to the vast amount of wealth still stored within the halls of Khazad-dûm, now unpro­tec­ted by the Demon’s might. Of course, just because the mighty Balrog has fallen does not mean that Mona lies wide open, its riches free for the taking. The place is still full of hun­dreds of the creature’s minions. Howe­ver, the Dwarf-halls are far more approa­chable than they have been in over a thou­sand years. Even the Balrog’s Lair might be sacked !

Adventure summary

Requi­re­ments: An ambi­tious party of expe­rien­ced plun­de­rers capable of car­rying a heavy load of magic items and wea­pons a great dis­tance in the dark.

Aids: Maps of Moria, sacks for booty, and enor­mous quan­ti­ties of luck.

Rewards: For­tune and glory.

The tale

« For Durin’s Line is hearty and long,
His des­cen­dants are bold, fierce and strong
War­riors whose might gives them the right
To sing a robust vic­tory song !
Durin’s Crown of Seven Stars will shine
Long as the Khazad can fight and mine !
Trea­sure and terror loom in Khazad-dûm
Where one day Dwarves will pros­per in kind.
Seven Kin­dred, Seven Stars,
Dwarves will take what once was ours !
Glo­ries past and wealth to last
Us through the Age of nea­ring wars ! »

Much of the wealth of Durin the Death­less (e.g., his Great-axe) remains hidden within the Deeps of the Black Chasm. Enchan­ted wea­pons, magi­cal armor, and rare jewelry of all kinds still rest in the hushed sha­dows of Moria’s lower halls. Only last year, the Fel­low­ship of the Ring ente­red Moria, where Gan­dalf bat­tled an awe­some Balrog.

La Grande Hache de Durin

The adven­tu­rers have no spon­sors on this expe­di­tion, no Dwarves to hold their hands. They have paid a fair sum to get copies of maps of Khazad-dûm, and they mean to get their invest­ment back many times over. Still, most will have little idea what awaits them under the mighty Sil­ver­tine.

After Durin’s Bane per­ished, the society of Orcs and Trolls that cur­rently popu­lates Mona was plun­ged into total chaos. Now, many months after Sauron’s defeat, they have reco­ve­red somew­hat. The sem­blance of order is due to a new lord who has gras­ped the reins of control, a power­ful minion of the awful Balrog.

This new master, the Troll-king Uma­gaur the Pale, has lear­ned from the mis­takes of his fallen liege. Ever care­ful, he has not aban­do­ned his lair, which lies deep in the bowels of the moun­tain. Uma­gaur pre­fers to reside in the Under-deeps, a place he has called home since the Elder Days. The ter­rible Torog emerges only to check on his ser­vants from time to time, but he never ascends above the Sixth Deep.

Uma­gaur relies on ano­ther Troll, Ufga­mog. It is Ufga­mog who manages Moria on a daily basis. He is assis­ted in his efforts by the weaker but much more wily Torog, Mura­nog. Thus, three Troll-lords now rule in the Black Chasm.

The Orcs and Trolls res­pect Uma­gaur, just as they feared Durin’s Bane. The Troll-king refuses to fight at their side, but he is much more active and omni­present than his pre­de­ces­sor. He still punishes fai­lure of any sort with death, and, like the fallen Balrog, he is not inter­es­ted in any­thing other than results.

The deploy­ment means that adven­tu­rers have little chance of mee­ting the Troll-king. An encoun­ter should occur only if the Balrog result is rolled on the Master Encoun­ter Chart. Other­wise, the new master of Moria remains hidden in his secret lair, secu­red deeper in the earth than even the Dwarves ever dared to go.

The characters

There are no other cha­rac­ters the adven­tu­rers might meet in this adven­tu­rer, but there are plenty of mons­ters. Most notable amongst these are two Trolls : Ufga­mog and Mura­nog.


Soon after the death of the Balrog, Uma­gaur the Pale slew Buthra­kur the Green, his sole rival in the Under-deeps. Buthra­kur held the title « War­lord of the Under-deeps, » but Uma­gaur sought a grea­ter role. Pro­clai­ming him­self « Troll-king of the Hithae­glir, » he rose from the Bowels of Endor and took Mona as his own fief. His savage Torog war-bands issued forth from the great sub-pits and conque­red the whole of the Black Chasm.

Uma­gaur is known as the « Were­wolf-slayer, » and indeed he wears a black, full-length, Warg-hide coat and a black steel helm shaped like the head of a Demon-wolf. The helm is fitted with bright-red, steel tongue, a casing for the Troll-king’s own forked organ. He loves to use the sharp-edged device in close combat. Poi­so­ned, it is a lethal weapon. Umagaur’s other wea­ponry includes a Great warham­mer called « Bone-taker » and a solid iron and lead staff known as the « War­gherd. »

Pale of skin, Uma­gaur is a rare albino Olog. He traces his origin to Utumno. Concea­ling his noble bloo­dline from the Balrog, he remai­ned in the shadow of Buthra­kur until his lord’s demise. The Troll-king rea­li­zed that the Vala­rauko would kill him if his true strengths were unvei­led.


Ufga­mog is a brute at heart and likes nothing better than feas­ting on the roas­ted flesh of crea­tures he has killed with his bare hands. Those that serve beneath him are cer­tain to supply him with vic­tims to slaugh­ter, in the past, left without any­thing else to murder ; Ufga­mog has turned his mons­trous appe­tite upon his ser­vants.

Des­pite his cruel demea­nor, Ufga­mog is a coward at heart. When faced with an opponent that has him over­mat­ched, he will turn tail and run like a scared rabbit. Of course, because of his tre­men­dous strength, size and fero­city, this rarely hap­pens. The only crea­tures that have struck fear into Ufga­mog have been the two over­lords he has been pri­vi­le­ged to serve.

After the Balrog fell, there was a short war of suc­ces­sion to see who would again control of Moria. During this chao­tic time, Ufgamog’s grea­test foe was Mura­nog. Ufga­mog now counts Mura­nog as his most valued advi­sor, but he remains hor­ri­bly jea­lous of his rival’s intel­li­gence. He has been known to cuff Mura­nog whe­ne­ver the coun­se­lor offers him unso­li­ci­ted advice. The last inci­dent requi­ring such a repri­mand was some time ago, and Ufga­mog believes that he has shown the crea­ture its proper place.

Ufga­mog dreams of some­day killing the Uma­gaur and assu­ming his right­ful place as lord of all Moria Of course, if such were to trans­pire, Ufga­mog would find that he does not have the mental resources to control so many sub­jects at once. He is enti­rety lacking in subt­lety, and his usual res­ponse to any pro­blem that may present itself is vio­lence. While such a stra­tegy has worked for him thus far, it is cer­tain that, were he on his own, he would qui­ckly find that such a single-minded approach would not be suf­fi­cient to com­mand as large a force as is needed to hold Mona.


Mura­nog is pro­ba­bly one of the cle­ve­rest Trolls ever to shun the sun. Over the yews, he has taught him­self to read, a rare deed among the Tereg. Of course, his rea­sons for edu­ca­ting him­self are enti­rely self-ser­ving.

Mura­nog was the Balrog’s most trus­ted ser­vant, and when the Vala­rauko was des­troyed by Gan­dalf, the Troll was tem­po­ra­rily at a loss. He consi­de­red sei­zing Moria for him­self. When he saw the vast, chao­tic forces arrayed against him, he deci­ded ins­tead to team up with someone he thought a likely can­di­date for the lord­ship of Khazad-dûm. As it turned out, that crea­ture was Ufga­mog.

Although Mura­nog has endu­red much abuse at Ufgamog’s hands, the sly Troll-lord suc­cess­fully placed his dim­wit­ted master on the old Balrog’s throne. When the Uma­gaur the Troll-king arri­ved, Mura­nog was plot­ting to slay Ufga­mog and take the reins of power him­self. With the arri­val of his new master, though, he pru­dently deci­ded to bide his time until he could fully explore the rami­fi­ca­tions of the Umagaur’s claim.

Still, Mura­nog has no doubt that he will some­day control all of Moria. It is just a matter of time before Ufga­mog errs badly enough to draw the full filly of the Troll-king’s wrath down on his head. When he does so, Mura­nog will be present, ready to step into his place.

The places

If the PCs are see­king the Royal Items of Durin’s Line, the GM will need to be fami­liar with the King’s Cham­bers and Armory (cf. #54) and the Balrog’s Lair (cf. #50). The maps that the adven­tu­rers have in their pos­ses­sion do not indi­cate the cur­rent loca­tion of the Royal Items. They are still in the Balrog’s Lair, but the PCs do not know this and may go directly to the King’s cham­bers in the Seventh Deep.

If the PCs go loo­king for other sorts of trea­sure, there are major caches to be found in the Cham­ber of Axes (cf. #27) and the Crypt of Alvis (cf. #31). (For more infor­ma­tion concer­ning each of these places, be sure to read the pre­vious adven­tures in Cha­pitre 17 – Liste des aven­tures.

The task

The PCs are essen­tially on a trea­sure hunt. They know that the most valuable items still left in Moria are the Royal Items of Durin’s Line, but there are other pieces to be found as well. Their objec­tive is to reco­ver as much of Durin’s legacy as pos­sible. Hands and back­packs full, they should flee via the East-gate.

If they avoid mee­ting Uma­gaur (which they have a good chance of doing), their odds of sur­vi­val increase. Unfor­tu­na­tely, he is only one (albeit the stron­gest) foe among many. Mona boasts other beasts within its sha­dows, and nearly all stand arrayed against the PCs.

The capture

If the adven­tu­rers are out­mat­ched in an encoun­ter, try the fol­lo­wing sce­na­rio.

Belie­ving that death would follow their defeat, the PCs are sur­pri­sed to wake again in the Place of Vala­rauko (cf. #50d). The sound of Orc drums still beats in their ears, and, as their heads clear, they rea­lize their hands are bound behind them. Moments later, Mura­nog enters the room and dis­misses the three Troll guards so that he can have a word with the pri­so­ners alone. The guards balk, afraid that the pri­so­ners will escape, until Mura­nog points out that if one of them stands out­side each of the room’s doors, there will be no place for the adven­tu­rers to run.

Once the guards have left, Mura­nog informs the PCs that they are bound with frayed ropes which they should be able to snap easily. Before they do so, though, he asks that they hear his pro­po­si­tion. If they appear unwilling, he men­tions that without any of their wea­pons (they are still in their armor), they have little chance of depar­ting Moria alive. He intends to give them an oppor­tu­nity to improve their odds signi­fi­cantly.

He indi­cates the last of the three alcoves (cf. #50d-3) and informs the PCs that their wea­pons are sta­cked there amongst the Mithril-coated skulls and that Ufga­mog will soon enter the cham­ber to inter­ro­gate the pri­so­ners. Mura­nog wants the PCs to grab their wea­pons and kill the Troll-lord. If they do, he gua­ran­tees them their free­dom. They have no means of assu­ring them­selves that he is tel­ling the truth, but their options are seve­rely limi­ted.

Mura­nog wishes them good hun­ting, calls the guards back, and leaves. Soon after­ward, Ufga­mog enters the room and pre­pares to ques­tion the intru­ders. Now is the time for the PCs to make their move. They must break their bonds, get their wea­pons, and kill Ufga­mog and the three Troll guards.

If they suc­ceed, Mura­nog returns with congra­tu­la­tions. He will delay the soun­ding of the alarm that warns Ufgamog’s minions of esca­ping cap­tives. If the PCs try to kill the Troll, they waste valuable time ; avoi­ding his pur­suers he simply runs into the laby­rin­thine pas­sa­ge­ways.

If the PCs take Muranog’s advice and flee, they obtain a fif­teen minute start on their hun­ters. Filling their sacks with Mithril-coated skulls cuts their lead to 10 minutes. With any luck (espe­cially in encoun­ter rolls), they reach the East-gate, beyond which the Ores and Trolls do not go.


Assu­ming the adven­tu­rers leave Moria alive, they should be quite weal­thy. Then, should they want to thi­ther their for­tunes, they might ponder the idea of re-ente­ring Hadho­drond. Their expe­rience in the halls of Khazad-dûm will prove inva­luable. Of course, they cannot expect any gra­ti­tude or mercy from Umagaur’s new lieu­te­nant, Mura­nog, should they return.


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