The world of Middle-earth has many large mountain ranges.
During the shaping of the world, the Valar made Arda in a perfectly symmetric fashion. The central continent of Middle-earth originally had four mountain ranges. In the northwest were the Blue Mountains, or Ered Luin; in the northeast, the Red Mountains, or Orocarni; in the southwest, the Grey Mountains (Harad Mountains; not to be confused with the northern mountains of the same name); and in the southeast, the Yellow Mountains (their remains are located on dark land continent, which is not included in the mod).
Melkor raised the Iron Mountains in the far North, in order to protect Utumno, his great stronghold, from attack by his enemies. This chain of mountains was broken many millenia later during the War of Wrath, but some parts survive into the Third Age: the Grey Mountains, the Mountains of Angmar, and the Iron Hills.
Melkor also raised the Misty Mountains in the centre of Middle-earth, and these were the highest mountain range in all of Arda, save only for the peaks of the Pelori in Aman where stood holy Taniquetil upon which Manwë and Varda dwelt. The White Mountains of Gondor may be a continuation of this range.
The black mountains of Mordor formed a strong natural fortification against the outside world and a defence for Sauron against the forces of his enemies. The origin of these mountains is unknown, for Sauron was not powerful enough to create mountain ranges.
Because of the height of mountains, they can present formidable obstacles to travelers who wish to travel Middle-Earth, and they do not usually have much food or wood, although there may be occasional trees at the lower elevations of mountains. Before crossing mountains, it's a good idea to bring a Mount, plenty of food, and to use the Roads that cross them.
Despite the difficulty of travelling through mountains, it is often worthwhile exploring them, for many mountains contain more ore than the areas around them. In addition, Mithril Ore can only be found beneath the Misty Mountains. Some mountains are even home to various Factions, such as the Blue Mountains and the Iron Hills, both of which are home to Dwarven factions. They make great soldiers for those that are allied with them, but will attack evil players without hesitation.
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