02 · Introduction

The for­tunes of Durin’s Dwarves during the Third Age waxed and waned with the pas­sage of time. Now­here was this more evident than in their attempts to colo­nize the Grey Moun­tains. Though they strug­gled in the face of an unfor­gi­ving and, at times, inhos­pi­table cli­mate, the proud Dwarves were ulti­ma­tely driven from their halls. They retur­ned empty-handed to Erebor, the Lonely Moun­tain. Ever the bane of Morgoth’s crea­tures, they fell victim to the lust of the Dra­gons of the Withe­red Heath.

Thus it was as Gimli (of the Nine Wal­kers) recor­ded :

Thrain 1, Nain’s son, came to Erebor, the Lonely Moun­tain, near the eas­tern eaves of Mirk­wood and there he began new works, and became King under the Moun­tain… But Thorin 1 his son remo­ved and went into the far north to the Grey Moun­tains, where most of Durin’s folk were now gathe­ring ; for those moun­tains were rich and little explo­red. But there were Dra­gons in the wastes beyond ; and after many years they became strong again and mul­ti­plied and they made war on the Dwarves, and plun­de­red their works—At last Dain toge­ther with Fror his second son, was slain at the doors of his hall by a great cold-drake.” — Appen­dix A, LOTR III

The Dwarves, to their own detriment, arou­sed in the Dra­gons an insa­tiable wrath ; and in the times that fol­lo­wed the great Drakes roamed the barren Heath, sear­ching for new foes on whom to vent their rage. But there were none to be found ; the lands about were deso­late. And so the Dra­gons quar­re­led with one ano­ther, and a time of vio­lence erup­ted in the Withe­red Heath, the prin­ci­pal battle ground. For cen­tu­ries, they fought until, finally, they des­troyed each other. From the ruins of battle no victor emer­ged.

2.1 Overview

From the mena­cing sou­thern faces to the gent­lest nor­thern slopes, from the dry wastes of the Withe­red Heath to the fringes of Gun­da­bad, the Ered Mithrin is a place of cold beauty, a veil over the peril that lies beneath. The Grey Moun­tains stretch for over four hun­dred miles ; as such they form the nor­thern border of Rho­va­nion, blun­ting the effects of the Forod­waith’ s bliz­zards on Mirk­wood.

Like the stroke of an axe, the Withe­red Heath splits the eas­tern part of the range into two forks. A huge tract of tor­tu­red land, it is alien to the sur­roun­ding moun­tains and val­leys. North of the moun­tains, the broken pla­teaus and dis­join­ted hills of the Forod­waith stretch far beyond the hori­zon, the bleak land­scape a tes­ti­mony to Morgoth’s curse. In contrast, the Nan

Taur­duin south of the moun­tains is a plea­sant land, abun­dant with wild­life. The region abounds with danger and wonder, chal­len­ging all.

The races which make the region their home are many and varied. Vassal Orc tribes of Mount Gun­da­bad prowl the wes­tern, sou­thern, and eas­tern slopes, main­tai­ning a guard for the Rhun­nish supply trains and making occa­sio­nal forays into the low­lands. The Bei­ja­bar (Beor­nings) range the low­lands, their num­bers grea­test in and around the Nan Taur­duin. Dwarves of Durin’s tribe mine the cen­tral and sou­theas­tern moun­tains, del­ving at the moun­tain roots for the abun­dant silver. In the nor­thern foo­thills stands the stron­ghold of the Ice-orcs, Kala Dula­kurth (aOr. Dark-ice For­tress). The castle is cun­nin­gly construc­ted from a large, hollow out­crop of basalt which rests upon a level table of sand­stone. From here the Akul-uruks (Or. Ice-orcs) survey the north, patrol­ling the region for the Witch-king. Nothing trans­pires in the north without their know­ledge.

Of late, the silence of the moun­tains has been broken by the roar of Dra­gons in rage, the night skies lit by flashes of Dragon-fire. Once again, these feared beasts stalk the Heath.

2.2 The History of the Gray Mountains

The Elder Days

The Grey Moun­tains were once but a part of a great moun­tain chain that stret­ched across the nor­thern part of the world. The War of Wrath at the end of the First Age chan­ged the shape of Middle-earth. Apart from broken and shat­te­red hills in the far North, and the Iron Hills to the south-west, the Grey Moun­tains are all that remain of Morgoth’s mighty chain, the Iron Moun­tains.

In the years that fol­lo­wed the awa­ke­ning of Men, the Grey Moun­tains were the loca­tion of many Adan holy sites. Although they were later aban­do­ned as the Edain moved west­ward toward Bele­riand, the mys­te­rious ancient sites remain sacred to the Rho­va­nion North­men. This was espe­cially so in the case of the Bei­ja­bar, as the nor­thern groups uti­li­zed these sacred sites in latter-day rituals.

The Second Age was a dark time for the men of Middle-earth. The Númenó­reans seldom came far inland, cer­tainly never fur­ther than the eaves of Mirk­wood. Orcs issued from under Mount Gun­da­bad to harass the peoples of the region ; dark things ente­red Mirk­wood. Howe­ver, the threat was les­se­ned when Sauron was defea­ted in S.A. 1701 by the Elves and the Númenó­reans.

In the Grey Moun­tains them­selves, the Dra­gons slept. Having fled the ruin of Than­go­ro­drim, they hid them­selves in an effort to escape the detec­tion of the Valar and their ser­vants. The Ice-orcs esta­bli­shed them­selves in the nor­thern foo­thills, remai­ning apart from the other races. Of the great battle that ended the Second Age, only rumor came to the cold North.

The foundation of Angmar

The first mil­len­nium of the Third Age was, gene­rally, a quiet time in the North. But around the year 1300 a dra­ma­tic change came over the region. In the Witch-realm of Angmar, north-west of the Ered Mithrin, Orcs and other evil crea­tures grew in number.

Angmar was not a fer­tile land. The gro­wing season was too short, and agri­cul­ture was limi­ted. Food was thus impor­ted from more arable lands. Grain and other food­stuffs were trans­por­ted over­land from Rhún to feed the men of Angmar ; and the Nor­throns (Esta­ravi) of the upper Anduin vales grew food for the Orcs. The Arthe­dain soon lear­ned of this from their spies in Rho­va­nion, and mer­ce­na­ries were hired to sabo­tage these prac­tices.

From T.A. 1370 to 1395 Arthe­dain’ s North­men mer­ce­na­ries regu­larly raided Esta­ravi lands and atta­cked the wains from Rhún. The Asha­rag Orc-tribe from near Mount Gun­da­bad was sent to fur­ther streng­then the guard on the supply trains, and the­reaf­ter the Artha­dan mer­ce­na­ries were not as suc­cess­ful in their raids as they had been at first. The ven­ge­ful Orcs also had an effect upon the Bei­ja­bar popu­la­tion. Many depar­ted south, while others were forced to retreat into the remo­test regions of the Nar­rows.

Silverplunge and Scatha the Worm

In T.A. 1440 a small band of Durin’s folk tra­ve­led north from Khazad-dum and esta­bli­shed a silver mine at Mount Gond­mae­glom, the Ered Mithrin’s tal­lest peak (10,720 ft.) The mine was called Sil­ver­plunge, for the moun­tain was rich in silver and the veins ran deep. For almost two hun­dred years this small group pros­pe­red, and Khazad-dum’s wealth increa­sed. Then, sud­denly, all contact with the out­post was lost.

The Great Plague (T.A. 1635 to 1640) was first thought to have clai­med the small colony ; but many years later Durin’s folk lear­ned that it was not so. It was no plague, or disease, that brought an end to Sil­ver­plunge, but the wrath of a power­ful Dragon.

The dig­gings of the Dwarves (and Orcs) had stir­red the Dra­gons from their long slum­ber ; but they were also called forth by the malice of Sauron. The rise of the ancient drakes was an omi­nous war­ning to the peoples of the North. Dra­gons were once again seen stal­king the bleak moun­tain­sides and gla­cial val­leys of the Ered Mithrin.

And so it was that Scatha the Worm, newly awoke, greedy and aggres­sive, stor­med the halls of Sil­ver­plunge in T.A. 1635. He routed the Dwarves, slaying each and every one, and he plun­de­red their riches for his own.

The fall of Angmar

The North-king­dom of the Dune­dain was over­run and des­troyed by the armies of the Witch-king in T.A. 1974. The next year the ven­ge­ful forces of the Elves and Gondor coun­ter-atta­cked and anni­hi­la­ted their vile foes. The realm of Angmar was fini­shed.

The Orc-army of Mount Gun­da­bad also was des­troyed, although the city-hold remai­ned intact. The new Ash­dur­buk (Lord of Gun­da­bad) was openly flou­ted by the Grey Moun­tain Orcs ; and his inabi­lity to main­tain control over the moun­tain tribes resul­ted in a loss of power.

With the col­lapse of the Witch-king’s realm, the Éothéod, led by Frum­gar, remo­ved to the upper Anduin vales. The Eotheod were a hos­tile force who threa­te­ned the Orcs of Mount Gun­da­bad and kept them under a vir­tual siege. The Esta­ravi, the former inha­bi­tants of the land, had pro­vi­ded a major source of food for the Orcs, but they were driven off or slain by the Eotheod. This proved disas­trous for the Orcs.

The trials of Durin’s Folk

In the search for mithril, Durin’s folk in Khazad-dum dug far beneath Caradh­ras (S. Red­horn), and their del­ving tou­ched upon an ancient net­work of tunnels—the Under-deeps. These Under-deeps had served as a prison to a hideous crea­ture, a Balrog of Mor­goth, who, rising from the dark­ness, fol­lo­wed the Dwarves into their mines and slew the king, Durin VI. Defense was use­less, and so the Dwarves aban­do­ned their mines to the evil beast.

A year later Nain I was slain in a vain sortie against the Balrog, and the Dwarves fled Moria. Many went north, up the Anduin vales, while others, led by Thrain I (the new king), tra­ve­led east through Mirk­wood.

The grea­ter part of the Dwarves had taken the nor­thern route in their flight. After many years of wan­de­ring they came to the Grey Moun­tains, and there lear­ned the fate of Sil­ver­plunge. Broken in their des­pair from the loss of Moria, the Dwarves began new del­vings, fin­ding the moun­tains of their new home to be rich in silver. In T.A. 1994 they esta­bli­shed a new set­tle­ment. It became known as Thun­der­cleft.

Thrain I led his com­pany first through Mirk­wood then north to Erebor, the Lonely Moun­tain. At Erebor the Dwarves foun­ded a Dwarf-king­dom under the moun­tain” (c. T.A. 1999). There Thrain found the Arkenstone—a beau­ti­ful jewel, pure white in hue. It was the heart if Thrain’s realm. In 2002 contact was esta­bli­shed with the Dwarves of the Ered Mithrin and Thrain lear­ned of the fate of Sil­ver­plunge.

Over the course of the next cen­tury and a half, the Dwarves expan­ded in the Ered Mithrin, where silver was in abun­dance. Many Dwarves left Erebor and moved to the North, and more colo­nies were foun­ded. Norr-dum was esta­bli­shed in T.A. 2095, Sil­ver­pit in 2149. Long Peak was exca­va­ted three years later.

Thorin I became king of Durin’s tribe in T.A. 2190 and, in 2210, he left Erebor and remo­ved to the Grey Moun­tains. Norr-dum became the capi­tal of Durin’s folk. There was a brief skir­mish with the Asha­rag Orcs who raided the iso­la­ted set­tle­ment of Long Peak. The Dwarves hunted them down and slew the entire tribe.

The Eotheod went to the aid of Gondor in T.A. 2509, for a force of Orcs and Eas­ter­lings assai­led their eas­tern border. Eorl the Young won a mighty vic­tory on the field of Cele­brant, defea­ting Gondor’s would-be inva­ders. As a reward the Eotheod were given the land of Cale­nard­hon to dwell in. They migra­ted south during the next two years. This proved to be a bles­sing for the Orcs of Mount Gun­da­bad who, freed from their siege, began to reas­sert them­selves as a power in the North.

The Dwarves mined the Grey Moun­tains for nearly four hun­dred years ; and they pros­pe­red, in a fashion, though they never forgot the wonder and splen­dor of Khazad-dum. More Dra­gons appea­red in the Withe­red Heath. From c. T.A. 2550 they were increa­sin­gly active and they began to trouble the Dwarves. A Dragon would sud­denly appear, slay many Dwarves, then leave, taking the bodies of the fallen. The­reaf­ter the Dwarves tra­ve­led only in large groups, well-armed. Trade with the peoples of Rho­va­nion was ren­de­red vir­tually impos­sible. In their mines and smi­thies the Dwarves were iso­la­ted, but they had resol­ved not give up their moun­tain homes.

The dragons attack

Khu­za­drepa (Kh. Dwarf-slayer?) the Foul first struck at the Dwar­ven mining set­tle­ments. In T.A. 2563 he took Thun­der­cleft in a furious assault. The few Dwar­ven miners who esca­ped south to Norr-dum told of dark powers and horror uni­ma­gi­nable. For Thun­der­cleft was not taken by might alone ; Khu­za­drepa also was accoun­ted a mighty sor­ce­rer. It is said that his vile spells broke the will of the Dwarves who sought to defend their town.

Soon after, in T.A. 2578, Angurth drove the Dwarves from their halls beneath Long Peak. The reso­lute Nau­grim tried to stand their ground but could not pre­vail against the intense heat of his fiery breath. The brave actions of a small group of Dwar­ven miners allo­wed a grea­ter part of the colony to escape. They fled west to Norr-dum with their tale of ruin and woe. King Nain II lis­te­ned to the fate of his smal­lest set­tle­ment, and his head bowed with grief. At length he came to his main hall and cursed the Dra­gons, vowing never to sur­ren­der Norr-dum or Sil­ver­pit to the foul Worms.

Indeed, it seemed that their luck had chan­ged when, in T.A. 2580, the Cold-drake Leu­ca­ruth was slain by Nain II in an attemp­ted assault upon Norr-dum. But it was only a tem­po­rary respite, for in 2589 Ando-anca fell upon the Dwar­ven hold. He sma­shed through the outer defenses and slew King Dain I before the door of his own halls. He then sacked the trea­sury of Norr-dum and piled the wealth of Norr-dum and of Durin’s folk into a vast mound ; and Dain’s former throne room became Ando-anca’s hoard cham­ber. From there he hunted the Dwarves across the moun­tains as they fled.

The tale of Scatha the Worm

Fol­lo­wing the wide-ran­ging des­truc­tion of the War of Wrath, the Dra­gons fled the ruin of Than­go­ro­drim, and as the world ente­red a new Age, so too they ente­red the bleak land­scape of the Grey Moun­tains. There they slept for an Age, and more. The years rolled past uncoun­ted ; not until the middle years of the Third Age did the Dra­gons begin to stir. The dig­gings of the Dwarves and Orcs roused the slum­be­ring Dra­gons, and the gro­wing power of Sauron becko­ned to them.

One of these was Scatha the Worm, the eldest sur­vi­ving son of Glau­rung, Father of Dra­gons. Scatha was the first to wake from dor­mancy around T.A. 1600. A vain beast, he suf­fe­red no rival ; thus the Dwarves of Sil­ver­plunge raised his ire, and he lusted for their trea­sure. In 1635, he came to Mount Gond­mae­glom and the Dwar­ven out­post of Sil­ver­plunge. The Dwarves were taken com­ple­tely una­ware, and the slaugh­ter that fol­lo­wed left not a single Dwarf alive. Sil­ver­plunge became Scatha’s lair ; its main hall was turned into his hoard cham­ber, and the mound of silver and other pre­cious metals within it was immense. Yet Scatha was not content with his mas­sacre of the Dwar­ven colony. He remai­ned active, roa­ming throu­ghout the area in search of mischief and more trea­sure.

From T.A. 1650 onwards, he conti­nually raided Man­nish dwel­lings and wagon trains. Sto­ries tell of his son, Hyar­leuca, who joined him in his attacks against the Bei­ja­bar, and toge­ther they made the Nar­rows unin­ha­bi­table. The Bei­ja­bar fled west and south to their kin­folk in the Anduin vales to escape Scatha’s fury.

His pride grew apace with his greed. In T.A. 1995, he turned his atten­tion to the Eotheod and their lands about the upper Anduin vales. This ulti­ma­tely proved his undoing, for Fram, son of Frum­gar, Lord of the Eotheod, tra­cked Scatha back to his lair, and there slew him. As he died Scatha stared at Fram with his bale­ful eyes and laid upon him a ter­rible curse. But Fram did not heed his words, and he took Scatha’s hoard back to his own lands. There they had peace from the long-worms for many years.

Fram, using his trea­sure, built a town, Fram­sburg, for his people. But when the Dwarves of Thun­der­cleft and Erebor lear­ned of the slaying of Scatha, they deman­ded that Fram yield the hoard. Fram refu­sed and offe­red them only a neck­lace made from the Dragon’s teeth. The Dwarves were incen­sed by Fram’s petty offer, and soon after­wards Fram was mur­de­red. His death was shrou­ded in mys­tery ; it is said (by some) that Scatha’s curse was visi­ted upon him. The Eotheod, howe­ver, blamed the Dwarves for his death, and there was ill fee­ling bet­ween the two races for many a year.

The rotted car­cass of Scatha lay in Sil­ver­plunge, cas­ting a pall of death over the ancient Dwar­ven halls. In later times it was again occu­pied ; by lesser evil beasts—Orcs, Cave-drakes and other such fell crea­tures.

Narvi V and the legend of Celeb-Ost

Narvi V was a des­cen­dant of the acclai­med master smith, Narvi of Khazad-dum, the maker of the West­gate. He is remem­be­red both with admi­ra­tion and great sorrow. He was a fiery orator and a master crafts­man, held to be one of the grea­test smiths of Durin’s folk. As one of the first Dwarves to be born in Erebor (T.A. 2009), he grew up with tales of Khazad-dum ; its beauty and its mithril. The true-silver of Moria became an obses­sion with the young Narvi. It was rare in Erebor, for little of it was taken by the Dwarves in their hasty flight from Moria.

Mithril was the corner-stone to Narvi’s flawed nature ; it was the cause of his feud with the King, Thrain I. For Narvi held that mithril should be avai­lable to all smiths, espe­cially him­self, whe­reas Thrain had decreed that only the most expe­rien­ced smiths should work with the won­drous metal. Narvi recko­ned him­self a master crafts­man (as indeed he was), but to the other Dwarves he was still a young­ster”. He became bitter and long spoke against the King’s poli­cies ; many heated debates he had with Thorin I, heir to the throne. Narvi’s rebel­lious nature finally led to his expul­sion from the school of Smi­thing. His answer was to speak out in public against the King, and while not openly advo­ca­ting trea­son, his tone spoke volumes.

Large silver depo­sits, grea­ter than any ever found in Khazad-dum, were dis­co­ve­red at Thun­der­cleft in the Ered Mithrin, c. T.A. 2084. Exci­ted by the news, Narvi belie­ved that mithril would surely soon be found. He sought to remove to the Ered Mithrin but was denied by Thrain, who wished to keep an eye” on the proud Dwarf. Narvi was faced with the choice of an inglo­rious exile or remai­ning in Erebor. He chose the former, and his heart was fore­ver turned against his King.

Narvi conduc­ted secret mee­tings with many like-minded young Dwarves, and in T.A. 2086 he finally convin­ced two hun­dred to follow him into exile. Thrain let him go, though his heart was heavy for he felt that ill would come of them. It was the first (and only) serious dis­sen­sion within Durin’s folk.

Narvi led his fol­lo­wers north into the Ered Mithrin. They went fur­ther than the other Dwarves, and set­tled above the Withe­red Heath, in the north-eas­tern spur. There they fashio­ned dwel­lings out of a natu­ral cavern com­plex. Within two years they had lat­ched onto a huge vein of silver. This wealth the miners brought to the sur­face convin­ced Narvi that mithril would soon be found. His pride and greed grew, twis­ting his mind. He became acu­tely para­noid. He orde­red that the halls be hea­vily for­ti­fied, for he belie­ved that Thrain would learn of his sil­ver­mine and chal­lenge him for it. Their halls became known as Celeb-ost, the silver for­tress.

Narvi ruled like a tyrant, and he gathe­red about him­self a group of hench­men to do his bid­ding. His mind became increa­sin­gly uns­table. When fewer than a score of years had passed, the Dwarves of Celeb-ost became divi­ded. The ten­sion esca­la­ted bet­ween the two fac­tions. The other, led by Nalin, a well-known and talen­ted smith, wished to return to Erebor. But Narvi refu­sed to let them go. He feared that they would dis­close to Thrain and Thorin the loca­tion of Celeb-ost. When the group tried to force their way out. Narvi orde­red them slain, and the evil deed was done.

With the rebel­lion to his rule sup­pres­sed. his hench­men retur­ned to their mines. The times that fol­lo­wed were hard, and the search for true-silver was in vain. No mithril was found. This proved too much for Narvi ; delu­sion and greed were his mas­ters, and his mind (or what was left) soon snap­ped. By trea­chery, he slew each and every one of his hench­men, so that he alone could pos­sess the mithril. For although none was found, his mind told him other­wise, and he clut­ched des­pe­ra­tely co his dream. He wan­de­red crazed and broken among the mines, sear­ching for a lost hope, until at last he died.

Howe­ver, in death he found not rest ; his ghost still walks with those he foully mur­de­red. Toge­ther they stalk the empty halls of Celeb-ost, cea­se­lessly guar­ding Narvi’s much-desi­red mithril”, suf­fe­ring none to come near it.

2.3 The Gray Mountains in later times

From T.A. 2600 to the fall of Erebor

The Dwarves fled from their Grey Moun­tain holds ; bitter and disen­chan­ted, they retur­ned to Erebor, although some went east to the Iron hills. With—the pas­sing of the Dwarves from the Ered Mithrin, the Dra­gons ruled supreme in the region. But they soon found they had no new set­tle­ments to plun­der ; the moun­tains were deso­late and the lands to the south empty of men. Ever acqui­si­tive, the Dra­gons became res­t­less, and consu­med by their pride and jea­lousy of other Drake’s hoards, they turned upon each other. Conflict was inevi­table.

The Withe­red Heath bore wit­ness to many a fierce encoun­ter, beco­ming a battle-field. The earth was pitted and bla­cke­ned with their marks of war ; the peaks resoun­ded with the sound of Dra­gons roa­ring in vic­tory and defeat. Of these savage duels only rumor and dis­quiet came to the south lands. The Orcs hid in fear, and the Akul-uruks abased them­selves before Throk­maw and wor­ship­ped him. Some Dra­gons left the range, driven out by the more power­ful Drakes. They retur­ned north, from whence they had first come.

Howe­ver, Smaug the Golden flew south, lea­ving the fruit­less combat to the lesser Dra­gons. For news had come to his wicked ears of new Dwar­ven wealth, at Erebor. In T.A. 2770 he des­cen­ded upon the Lonely Moun­tain. The nearby town of Dale he razed to the ground. Girion, its Lord, was slain. Only a small number of Dwarves esca­ped the sack of Erebor. Thror, Thrain, and Thorin among them, they fled first to the Iron Hills, and Smaug hunted them across the land. Once more the Dwarves were bereft of a home.

Close of the Third Age

Azog, Lord of Gun­da­bad and ruler of a large Orcish empire, brought the rebel­lious Grey Moun­tain tribes to heel for the first time since the fall of Angmar nearly a thou­sand years before. In a short, brutal cam­paign (T.A. 2775–76), he ensu­red that tri­bute again flowed to Gun­da­bad. In T.A. 2790, he mur­de­red the Dwarf-lord Thror, who had gone on a crazed pil­gri­mage to Moth. This pre­ci­pi­ta­ted the War bet­ween the Dwarves and the Orcs. Three years later, the muster of the Dwarves was com­plete. In the search for Azog, their ven­ge­ful forces sacked every Orc-hold in the Misty Moun­tains, inclu­ding Mount Gun­da­bad. In T.A. 2799 they came to the vale of Aza­nul­bi­zar, before the East-gate of Mona. There they fought a great battle. The Orc host was huge, but the wrath of the Dwarves pre­vai­led ; Azog was slain, and his army per­ished. Revenge was visi­ted upon the Orcs, though at great cost to the Dwarves—barely half their number remai­ned.

Over the next cen­tury and a half, Bolg, son of Azog. sought to rebuild his father’s empire. Mount Gun­da­bad, not Mona, was the center of his realm, for he desi­red to rule the north lands. Bolg re-esta­bli­shed Orc-holds in the Grey Moun­tains ; many of the old Dwar­ven tun­nels were occu­pied by the Orcs, crea­ting a huge net­work under the sou­thern peaks of the range. Those Dra­gons left in the area did not stir.

In T.A. 2941, Smaug was slain by Bard of Esga­roth, a des­cen­dant of Girion. Bolg lear­ned of Smaug’s death and desi­red revenge on the Dwarves for the slaying of his vassal, the Great Goblin. He mus­te­red and led them to Erebor. There the Battle of Five Armies was fought amongst the ruins of Dale. The Elves, Dwarves and Men had the vic­tory over Bolg’s legions of Orcs and Wargs. Thorin II was slain by Bolg, who was in turn slain by Beorn, the mighty Beor­ning lord. Damn II Iron­foot, was ins­tal­led as the new King of Durin’s folk. He res­to­red the King­dom under the moun­tain” to its former glory. Thorin II was buried at the heart of the moun­tain and the Arkens­tone laid upon his breast ; Orcrist, the mighty Elf-sword, was laid at his side. Fili and Kili his sister-sons were buried next to him. Bard became King of Dale, which was rebuilt.

The Orcs were deci­ma­ted by their defeat in the Battle of Five Armies. Only one tribe remai­ned in the Grey Moun­tains, the rem­nants of the three that had once dwelt there. During the War of the Ring these Orcs and a deple­ted force from Mount Gun­da­bad assai­led Thranduil’s folk and the Wood­men in Mirk­wood. They atta­cked to no avail, and with the fall ofSau­ron the remai­ning Orcs lost heart and fled. Small bands esca­ped the Elves to return to the moun­tains. It was the begin­ning of a new Age.

2.4 A brief timeline

c. T.A. 1300
The realm of Angmar is foun­ded.
c. 1350
The supply trains begin tra­vel­ling from Rhún to Angmar during the summer and autumn months.
c. 1370–1395
Attacks upon the supply trains, per­pe­tra­ted by North­men. increase. (Actually mer­ce­na­ries in the pay of Arthe­dain).
Under pres­sure from the Witch-king. Gun­da­bad sends the Asha­rag tribe to the eas­tern Fred Mithrin to guard the supply trains.
The Dwarves of Khazad-dum esta­blish an out­post at Mount Gond­mae­glom, in the cen­tral Ered Mithrin. called Sil­ver­plunge.
The first of the Dra­gons begins to stir.
Scatha the Worm attacks Sil­ver­plunge, making it his lair. No Dwarves sur­vive.
The Great Plague sweeps across north-wes­tern Middle-earth. Rho­va­nion is devas­ta­ted. The plague is little felt in the cold north.
c. 1670
The Nar­rows are laid waste by marau­ding Dra­gons. The Bei­ja­bar leave the north, migra­ting to join their kin­folk in the lower Anduin vales.
1950 More Dra­gons begin appea­ring in the Ered Mithrin–
End of the North-king­dom of the Dune­dain : defeat of the Witch-king’s army and the fall of Angmar.
With the col­lapse of Angmar Gun­da­bad loses its hold upon the far-flung Orc tribes of the mountains—The three tribes in the Grey Moun­tains, always more inde­pendent than others (due to iso­la­tion). send no more tri­bute to Gun­da­bad.
The Eotheod are led nor­th­ward by Frum­gar. This has a disas­trous effect upon Mount Gun­da­bad.
Del­ving deep beneath Caradh­ras (S. Red­horn) Durin’s folk in Mona loose a Balrog. Durin VI is slain. The Balrog forces them from the lower levels.
Nain I is slain in a vain sortie against the Balrog ; the Dwarves aban­don Moria. Many flee north up through the Anduin vales, while others, tinder Thrain I (the new King). go east through Mirk­wood. e-1990 Most of Durin’s folk gather at the Grey Moun­tains. They begin to esta­blish them­selves in the region.
Durin’s folk found a new silver mine in the Ered Mithrin. This later becomes known as Thun­der­cleft. c.l999 The rest of Durin’s folk settle at Erebor. the Lonely Moun­tain.
Scatha begins his raids into Eotheod lands. His son, Hyar­leuca, often joins him.
c. 2001
Fram of die Eotheod slays Scatha the Worm.
c. 2001–2500
The Dra­gons, fol­lo­wing the death of Scatha, are not seen for many years.
c. 2001–2005
Using the Dragon hoard, Fram rebuilds the old Esta­ravi fort. Wraec­burg. above the river Lang­well. He creates a new capi­tal for the Eotheod, naming it Fram­sburg.
The two sun­de­red branches of Durin’s folk, at Erebor and Thun­der­cleft, re-esta­blish contact. Thrain I learns of the fate of Sil­ver­plunge, and of the slaying of Scatha.
Lear­ning of Fram’s wealth. Thrain I of Erebor demands he yield the trea­sure. Fram is mur­de­red. The Eotheod blame the Dwarves for his death. There is no great love bet­ween the two races.
The Dwarves in the north expand their mining acti­vi­ties. Sil­ver­pit, Long Peak and Norr-dum are esta­bli­shed. Many Dwarves of Erebor remove to the Fred Mithrin.
Narvi V chooses to go into exile in the Grey Moun­tains. taking with him two hun­dred of his fol­lo­wers from Erebor. They are never seen again.
Thorin I. the new King, leaves Erebor and goes north to the Ered Mithrin–
The Asha­rag tribe is wiped out by the Dwarves–
Eorl the Young wins the vic­tory of the Field of the Cele­brant. Under the lea­der­ship of Eorl. the Éothéod remove south to settle in Cale­nard­hon. Deser­ted. Fram­sburg soon falls into ruin. It is looted by the Orcs of Gun­da­bad, who have inhe­ri­ted control of the upper Anduin vales.
c. 2550
The Dra­gons are unquiet in the Withe­red Heath.
Khu­za­drepa the Foul takes Thun­der­cleft— The sur­vi­ving Dwarves flee to Norr-dum.
Smaug the Golden flies south from the Barl Synac. He makes his lair at Anvil­mount. a vast del­ving that was an Adan holy site in the First Age. Typi­cally he defiles and plun­ders the tombs.
Angurth storms Long Peak. Few Dwarves escape.
Leu­ca­ruth is slain attemp­ting to seize Norr-dum.
The Cold-drake Ando-anca slays the Dwarf-king Dain I, sacking Norr-dum. The Dwarves aban­don the Grey Moun­tains. Many return to Erebor with Thror, the new King. Others go with Gror to the Iron Hills.
Ruin­gurth occu­pies the deser­ted Sil­ver­pit.
The Dra­gons fight amongst them­selves–
Smaug learns of the new wealth of Erebor. He leaves the Ered Mithrin and des­cends upon the Lonely Moun­tain. Dale is des­troyed. Girion. Lord of Dale. falls—Thror. Thrain. and Morin escape. Few others sur­vive.
Azog, the Ash­dur­buk of Mount Gun­da­bad. asserts his control over the Ered Mithrin tribes. Tri­bute again flows to Gun­da­bad.
Fol­lo­wing the disas­ter of the Battle of Aza­nul­bi­zar. Bolg conso­li­dates in the north. The Unik-erag rebel but arc ruth­lessly sup­pres­sed.
c. 2800–2900
Bolg streng­thens his num­bers in the north. Orcs re-occupy the old Asha­rag holds.
Smaug is slain by Bard, a des­cen­dant of Girion. The Battle of Five Armies. Thorin lI is slain. Bolg is slain. The Orc num­bers are dimi­ni­shed in the north.
Orc num­bers increase slowly in the north. There is now only one tribe in the Fred Mithrin.
The War of the Ring. Grey Moun­tain Orcs battle Thranduil’s folk and the Wood­men under Mirk­wood. Few Orcs escape back to the North.


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