|“||It is said that the mounds of Tyrn Gorthad, as the Barrow-downs were called of old, are very ancient, and that many were built in the days of the old world of the First Age by the forefathers of the Edain, before they crossed the Blue Mountains into Beleriand, of which Lindon is all that now remains.||”|
–The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A
The Barrow-downs or Tyrn Gorthad are a set of downs south-east of the Old Forest. The location of ancient burial ground from the Elder Days, these hills were part of the Kingdom of Arnor and later a stronghold and burial site of the Kingdom of Cardolan. But after that realm's destruction by plague and war, the Witch-king of Angmar sent terrible spirits to haunt the barrows, and there they still dwell. This is gloomy place, prone to sudden fogs, but a brave treasure-seeker can find many riches in the old ruins and barrows--if they have the courage to face the peril within. The Barrow-downs are bordered by the Old Forest to the West and by Eriador on all other sides.
Upon entering the Barrow-downs, you will get the achievement "The Hills of the Dead".
Standard: Normal Barrow-downs biome.
Hills: Larger hills.
Forest Hills: Larger hills with many trees.
Forest: Barrow-downs with many more trees.
Dead Oak Forest: Forest with many leafless oak trees.
The Barrow-Downs biome contains two structures among the broken piles of ruined bricks:
- Ruined Dunedain Towers - These towers are often found in Eriador. They have several empty, hole-covered floors and a stone chest on the top floor.
- Barrow-Downs Barrow - This structure is exclusive to the Barrow-downs. The barrow looks like a hill (similar to the Hobbit Hole) but contains a small room inside with a stone treasure chest. Barrow-wights guard the chest, so be wary! This chest contains many valuable things, including barrow-blades, the occasional Mithril nugget and, rarely (as some have reported) one might find a Mithril tool or a piece of Mithril Armour.
For some reason, the Barrow-downs contain all the normal animals, including wild boars instead of pigs, even though the animals were said to have been driven out by the Barrow-wights. However, no birds or butterflies spawn.
- Barrow-Wight - Deadly and mysterious spirits that dwell in their barrows, venturing aboveground when darkness falls. Because of fear of these wights, few enter these hills, and some say that when the fog comes, the wights too rise from the graves....
The Barrow-downs contain a few sparse trees that can be oak, spruce, birch or, most commonly, dead variants. There is an increased amount of double tall grass here, which once could also grow inside the barrows. Flowers grow little in these desolate hills.
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