Welcome to Know Your
LotRO Lore, a new weekly column here at Massively showcasing the lore of J.R.R. Tolkien's world as it intersects with Turbine's
Lord of the Rings Online.
Long ago, the Dwarves were numerous and mighty. This was an age when the Elves, Men and Dwarves lived in harmony, the mithril
was plentiful and the Orcs were driven back to Sauron's lair. This was the end of the Second Age: the age of Khazad-dûm. To first understand Khazad-dûm, we must start at the very beginning.
Early in the First Age, "long before the creation of the Sun and Moon," according to Tolkien, Durin "The Deathless"
had awoken at Mount Gundabad
, far to the north in the Misty Mountains. His growing clan of Longbeards eventually moved southward down the vales of Anduin, being driven out of Gundabad due to constant attacks from the Orcs of Morgoth. It was during this journey that he discovered "a glen of shadows between two great arms of the mountains." He followed a series of short waterfalls down into an oval lake, which he believed to have a magical quality. The glow of this lake and the reflection of stars in the water led Durin to believe it was a sign, and he went on to name it the Mirrormere
. It is near this area where Durin chose to create his ultimate stronghold: The Dwarrowdelf, or Khazad-dûm in his native tongue.
Throughout Durin's long lifetime, Khazad-dûm grew to be an enormous settlement for the Dwarves, and eventually the richest of all Dwarven kingdoms. This was due to the fact that mithril was discovered in great veins running throughout the caves. This precious metal was boasted stronger than steel, but much lighter. It served as the life-blood of Durin's new settlement as it was soon traded to Men for food, which was scarce under the mountains. You may also remember mithril as playing a large part in the longevity of Frodo when a mail shirt saved his life.
Follow along on our tour of the Dwarven underworld that is Khazad-dûm.