|“||For a little space you may triumph on the field, for a day. But against the Power that now arises there is no victory.||”|
–Denethor II, The Return of the King, The Pyre of Denethor
Mordor is the fearsome realm of the Dark Lord Sauron, utterly subservient to his will. The greatest of the forces of the Shadow, the Mordor faction is the strongest power in Middle-earth, with plans to crush the Free Peoples and dominate the world. Based in the land of Mordor, this faction is composed of millions of foul creatures, most notably the Mordor Orcs, who serve their Dark Lord alongside a number of other fell beings. The faction of Mordor is indisputably evil and formidable, a black tide that threatens to sweep the Free Peoples of Middle-earth into the Sea. The power of Sauron grows by the day, and soon all of Middle-earth will fall sway to him and his servants!
- 1 History
- 2 Subfactions
- 3 Locations
- 4 Alignment
- 5 Conquest
- 6 NPCs
- 7 Structures
- 8 Items
Of the Founding of Mordor
The Black Land of Mordor is widely known as the home of the greatest threat to the free lands of Middle-Earth, a land long since destroyed and ruled by a power beyond the strength of any other. Yet it was not always so. At the end of the First Age, the War of Wrath caused massive volcanic activity that tore apart the land, which once had been much more fertile, rendering it a wasteland. By the end of this period, Mordor had become much like it is today, surrounded on three sides by the Ash Mountains and Mountains of Shadow, spurs from which split the land into the ash plains of Lithlad and the volcanic plateau of Gorgoroth.
At the heart of Gorgoroth was a volcano called Orodruin, which came to be known in later years as Mount Doom, and it was this fiery mountain that drew Sauron to Mordor. The former servant of the first Dark Lord came to Mordor in the year 1000 of the Second Age, determined to build a fortress for himself against the growing power of the Men of Númenor. In the cone of Orodruin he built the Sammath Naur, the Chambers of Fire, so as to exploit the mountain as a forge; there, in the heart of Orodruin, he founded the realm of Mordor, and declared himself its Dark Lord.
In Mordor Sauron called the remnant of the forces of Angband to him, and gathered armies of Orcs, Trolls, Wolves, and Men. He began to fortify the land, building up great fortresses at crucial points and filling the wastelands with camps for his soldiers. He enslaved the land of Nurn, converting it into farmland tilled by armies of Mannish slaves. Then also began the construction of Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower, a vast, unassailable fortress east of Orodruin.
By SA 1500, Mordor had grown to become a significant power in Middle-Earth, and Sauron’s schemes began to extend beyond the borders of his realm. Leaving Mordor under the control of his greatest servants, Sauron went north to Eregion, and there over the next century forged the Rings of Power with the Elven-Smiths that lived there. The Elves were glad of his help, for his knowledge was great, but Sauron had ulterior motives - he intended to use the Rings to control the Elves that remained in Middle-Earth. The nineteen Great Rings were completed near the end of the 1500s; but one more was soon to be added to their number.
As the Elven-Smiths of Eregion celebrated their success and distributed the Rings to the greatest of the Elves in SA 1600, Sauron returned to Mordor in haste. There, in the fires of the Cracks of Doom in Sammath Naur at the heart of Orodruin, Sauron forged the One Ring, the greatest of the Rings of Power. The power of the Mountain required a great part of the power of Sauron to match it, and so the chief part of the strength that was native to him in his beginning passed into the Ring, with which Sauron intended to control all the others - One Ring to rule them all. The other Great Rings were enslaved by it, and though the Elves remained uncorrupted by its influence, their Rings could not be used without Sauron’s knowledge while the One was his. With the One Ring Sauron at last finished the construction of Barad-dûr, solidified its foundations to the point of indestructibility, and made it the capital fortress-city of his dark realm. The influence of the One turned all the evil creatures of the world to Sauron’s influence, and many of them joined the armies of Mordor. Millions of Orcs flocked to his banners. The power of Mordor quickly became insurmountable.
Of the War of the Elves and Sauron
With the forging of the One Ring in SA 1600 Sauron’s evil was at last revealed to the Elves, none of whom would ever trust him again. War was inevitable; yet it took more than ninety years for it to finally begin. When Sauron realized that the Rings were unable to corrupt the Elves, he was furious, and demanded that the smiths of Eregion surrender them to him. This they did not do; for at the moment when Sauron forged the One and spoke the Ring-Spell that brought it to life, Celebrimbor, Lord of Eregion, had heard him from afar, and understood the intent of the Dark Lord. And so even as the High Elves bolstered their defenses and prepared for war, Sauron too prepared his forces in Mordor.
As the 1600s drew to a close, Sauron determined that the time had come to strike at the Elves and sweep his enemies into the sea once and for all. He called many Men to his service, and many Men came; for many Men in the near south and east already worshipped him and were pledged to Mordor, as with the Dark Men that dwelt in the lands around the White Mountains and in Enedwaith. In SA 1693, Sauron mustered the full armies of Mordor and led them through the Black Gate, from which they marched west and then north into Eriador. So began the War of the Elves and Sauron. As the chief armies of Mordor marched to Eriador in 1693 and 1694, other military groups under the Dark Lord made moves elsewhere. Orc bands and Easterling armies conquered most of Wilderland in those years, and the Silvan Elves that lived in the woods hid in the deeper parts of their realms. Dark Men attacked the Numenorean havens along the coasts, though they were repulsed quickly.
In SA 1695, the forces of Mordor invaded Eriador. Large swaths of the northwest were seized and ravaged by Orcs, and the assault on Eregion began. For two years the armies of Sauron attacked Eregion, surrounding it and slowly conquering it. The Elves held out there long, but they could not hold back the black tide forever. In SA 1697, the Orcs of Mordor breached the gates of Ost-in-Edhil and overran the city. The Lord Elrond and all the Elves he could gather fled north and founded the refuge of Imladris, or Rivendell, in the foothills of the Misty Mountains; but Eregion was captured and destroyed, and all the Elves that did not flee with Elrond were slaughtered. The Orcs plundered the city and destroyed all that remained, leaving Ost-in-Edhil utterly ruined. Celebrimbor was captured and interrogated; by torture Sauron extracted the locations of the Seven and the Nine Rings from the Elf-Lord, but to the last Celebrimbor did not reveal the locations or bearers of the Three. He died in horrible torment, and his corpse was impaled on a pike and marched as a banner before the hosts of Mordor for the rest of that war.
As Sauron sought out and seized the Seven and the Nine, the armies of Mordor assaulted the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm. In the many battles in Eregion the Longbeard Dwarves under Durin III had often fought with the Elves and done great harm to the ranks of Sauron’s armies, and now he intended to destroy them in turn. A great army of Dwarves from the western part of the great underground city marched out to fight, alongside Elves of Lóriën, but they were utterly routed. However, this was not in vain, for Elrond was able to escape the fall of Ost-in-Edhil through their efforts. When the Orcs attacked the West-Gate of Durin’s city they could not take it, and were ultimately forced to retreat. Nonetheless, they did the Dwarves great damage. Casualties in the war were high and crippling for the Dwarves, whose numbers grew slowly, and after it the gates of Khazad-dûm were shut to the world, and the Elves were estranged from them.
By SA 1699, the armies of Mordor had almost completely overrun Eriador, and began assaults on Lindon and the Blue Mountains. Sauron called himself the Lord of the Earth, a name by which his servants called him through the rest of the Age; but the tides of the war were about to change. In SA 1700, the Númenoreans landed with massive armies in Lindon, and at Tharbad and Lond Daer. With the help of the Men of Númenor the High Elves pushed back the forces of Mordor, and dealt Sauron several defeats. For a year the forces of Mordor resisted; but Sauron’s enemies had the advantage, and in SA 1701 Sauron was pushed out of Eriador at last. The Dark Lord withdrew his armies to Mordor, and thus ended the War of the Elves and Sauron.
Of the Fall of Númenor
After the end of the War, Sauron returned to Barad-dûr, and began to plot ways to salvage his grand plan. Despite his eventual defeat, Sauron had succeeded in seizing the Seven Rings and the Nine Rings, and though the Three remained elusive, the Ruling Ring was his still. He endeavored to ensnare the other races of Middle-Earth to his service, and to use them to destroy the Elves once and for all. The Seven he gave to the seven Kings of the Dwarves, one for each clan, though the Longbeard Dwarves claim that their Ring was given by Celebrimbor personally to Durin III, and not by Sauron, who they say never touched it until the late Third Age. But regardless of from whom the Seven came, they did not ensnare the Dwarves as intended, to the wrath of Sauron, and only served to amplify greed for riches.
The Nine Rings Sauron gave to great lords of Men, and was successful in ensnaring them. The bearers of the Nine Rings became great among Men, and their kingdoms flourished during their extraordinarily long reigns; they became powerful new allies of Mordor, most of which remained ever after in the service of Sauron. One by one, the bearers of the Nine Rings took ill, and gradually disappeared, though few marked it; by SA 2250 all had been consumed by their Rings, and became the Nazgûl, the Ringwraiths, the chief servants of Sauron. They came to Mordor, and there under the One they became wielders of great power, and the most feared of all the generals of Mordor. From SA 1700-1900, Sauron spread his influence far and wide in the lands of Middle-Earth, especially in Rhûn. Groups of Númenoreans came to Sauron, chiefly followers of the three Númenorean Ring-Wielders: the first of the Black Númenoreans, who became some of his chief servants.
In SA 2300, Sauron unleashed the Nazgûl on his enemies. Around the same time, the Men of Darkness increased their attacks on the Númenorean havens, and it is said that in some Orcs aided the Men of Darkness, and that in a handful the enemy was led by wraiths of great power. Nonetheless, Sauron was unable to overcome the Númenoreans in nearly a millennia of trying; but he needed not to. For a shadow had fallen on Númenor anyway, the shadow of death and resentment. Sauron observed, from Barad-dûr, the fall of his strongest enemies; and as the Númenoreans grew closer to darkness the attacks on their havens slowed, and halted completely for the Black Númenorean havens in Harad.
Sauron bided his time and watched his enemies until SA 3262. Those were the days of Ar-Pharazôn the Golden, the last King of Númenor. Though Sauron had marked the decline of his enemies under the shadow, he underestimated the strength of Ar-Pharazôn, and had recently continued his attacks on the Havens in renewed force in an attempt to drive out the Númenoreans; to add insult to injury, Sauron had begun to call himself the King of Men, a title the Kings of Númenor had claimed for themselves. Ar-Pharazôn set out with a great host that year, and landed at Umbar with such splendour that, when Sauron heard reports of the strength of his enemies, he faltered, and made a new plan. He came to Umbar and delivered himself to Ar-Pharazôn as a prisoner, leaving Mordor under the rule of the Nazgûl. As his forces retreated back to Mordor, Sauron himself came to Númenor.
Though the Númenoreans appeared victorious in this, it was Sauron who profited from this. He corrupted the Númenoreans and their King, and turned them to evil and the worship of Melkor, until at last they thought to challenge the Valar themselves. For seven years Ar-Pharazôn prepared the Great Armament, a massive force of Númenoreans that none had equalled before. All the forces of Númenor were brought together for it, and on one dark day the Númenoreans set forth to attack Valinor. And as his enemies set forth Sauron watched from Númenor and laughed, expecting that the Númenoreans would be utterly destroyed by the Valar, and that he would rule over his greatest enemies in their weakness.
But Sauron failed to fully anticipate the wrath of the Valar. As is known well, they beseeched Iluvatar for help, and the world was changed. Númenor was utterly destroyed, and Sauron’s mortal form was destroyed with it. In the very moment of his great triumph, he fell into the gulf of ruin as Númenor sunk into the abyss in the changing of the world. His spirit escaped, and passed over the seas to take up shape again in Barad-dûr. But he paid a price for it: never again was he able to appear fair to Men, and his powers of deceit were hindered. He was able to return in a new form in part due to the power of the One Ring, and the form he wrought was bound to it; and though this form bore similarities to his original, he was now become in body as well as manner a Dark Lord great and terrible, something that had once been fair but was now horribly and irreversibly corrupted. And Sauron’s eyes were now in entirety inhuman and unsettling, and not unlike those of a cat; it is said that they burned as with fire when he was filled with wrath. The glare of the Eye of Sauron the terrible, Dark Lord of Mordor and Enemy of the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth, was impossible to endure for long.
Of the War of the Last Alliance
Sauron wasted no time in mobilizing his allies to exploit the void that the downfall of Númenor had left. He called the Black Númenorean colonies in Umbar and Harad to him, and they entered his service. His Men moved to seize Númenorean outposts that did not swear allegiance to Mordor before they could recover from the loss of their leaders over the sea, and so destroy the Men that remained opposed to him in Middle-Earth and leaving the Elves and Dwarves vulnerable to his wrath.
But to Sauron’s everlasting rage, he soon found that not all of his enemies had perished with Númenor. Chief among those he hated in his time there was Amandil, leader of the Faithful, and his son Elendil, and he had marked the loss of his mortal form as a small price to pay for their deaths. But though no news came of Amandil, the spies of Mordor learned that Elendil had escaped Númenor with four great ships of Men, and that his sons Isildur and Anárion had escaped with five, and that both had many Men and key relics of Númenor, including a seedling of the White Tree and the seven Palantirí. Elendil landed in Lindon, and in Eriador was ordering the realm of Arnor. His sons, however, had come to Pelargir, and founded the realm of Gondor in the southern vale of Anduin, and were driving the Dark Men west and into the hills. Their chief city they had built at Osgiliath on both sides of the river, but each had built a city on either side, with Anárion raising Minas Anór at the feet of the White Mountains in the west and Isildur building Minas Ithil in a vale of the Mountains of Shadow, on the edge of Mordor itself.
Sauron’s wrath at this was immeasurable. Immediately he gathered the armies of Mordor, and prepared once more for war. In SA 3429, Orodruin erupted once more, sending flames high enough to be seen from Gondor. Men there correctly interpreted it as an ill omen, and named the volcano Amon Amarth - Mount Doom. This eruption heralded the start of the end of the Second Age, and the War of the Last Alliance. For even as Mount Doom burst into flame, the armies of Mordor mustered and marched forth, and through the Ithil Pass in the Mountains of Shadow they came down and besieged Minas Ithil in its vale. In Gondor was great strength of Men from Númenor, but the kingdom was yet young, and the power of Mordor was many times greater than its own. After just a month Minas Ithil fell to the Orcs of Mordor, who took it as a stronghold and burned the White Tree that Isildur had planted in it, though a seedling was saved and the Palantír escaped. In rapid succession, the rest of Ithilien, the lands of Gondor east of Anduin, fell to the armies of Sauron.
Isildur, having escaped the fall of Minas Ithil, fled north to Arnor to seek aid, while Anárion defended Osgiliath against the legions of Mordor. Many were the Orcs thrown against the defenses of the City of the Stars, and long they assailed the capital of Gondor; but Anárion succeeded in defending the city, and kept the forces of Mordor at bay until help could arrive. And indeed, help was soon to come. For when Elendil heard of the renewed assaults of Mordor, he sent messages to Gil-Galad, High King of Lindon, asking for aid; and so the Last Alliance of Elves and Men was formed. The Men of the Númenorean Realms in Exile were joined by the High Elves of Lindon and Rivendell, the Elves of Lothlórien and Mirkwood, and also by the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm. It is said that all races were divided in that war, save the Elves and Orcs only; for Sauron and the forces of Mordor were joined by many armies of Men out of Rhûn and Harad, and by Black Númenoreans and small groups of wicked dwarves.
To slow the armies of the Alliance Sauron conquered and burned the wide lands between Mirkwood and Mordor, which hosted the gardens of the Entwives, and drove the Entwives out. His destruction of that country was so thorough that not a single living thing was to be seen in it for many leagues, and it was named the Brown Lands. Nonetheless the Alliance came forth, and early in SA 3434 they came to the great rocky plain before the Black Gates of Mordor, which was afterwards named Dagorlad, the Battle Plain. There they fought long and hard before the Black Gates against the vast armies of Sauron. The Battle of Dagorlad lasted many months, and the fighting was hard and bloody. Of all the combatants, the Silvan Elves suffered the worst loss, for the hosts of Amdír and Oropher, the Elven-kings of Lóriën and Mirkwood, attacked the hosts of Mordor early and out of turn, and Oropher was slain. The Orcs then drove them into the marshes west of Dagorlad, where the Elves were trapped, and Amdír was slain; but the Men of Gondor arrived in time to push back the Orcs of Mordor and save the remnant of the Elven forces. Due to the Battle of Dagorlad, Sauron had withdrawn his forces from the attack on Osgiliath and brought them north to Dagorlad, and so Anárion was able to join the Alliance with his army.
Though the near-destruction of the Silvan army was a blow to the Last Alliance, they eventually began to prevail against the armies of Mordor. Though Sauron had the greater numbers, the High Elves were many, well-armed, and powerful, while the Númenoreans had within them the strength of Westernesse. Elendil and Gil-Galad, also, were great warriors worth many of each race. Aeglos, the spear of Gil-Galad, and Narsil, the Sword of Elendil, could not be withstood, and so after months of fighting the Alliance finally broke through the Black Gates and forced the armies of Mordor to retreat. The Black Gates and the fortifications of Cirith Gorgor were destroyed, and the Alliance marched through Udûn, destroying the camps of Mordor and moving on into Gorgoroth. There they came even to the Iron Bridge of the Dark Tower itself, and the armies of Sauron fought them before it. So began the Siege of Barad-dûr.
The Siege of Barad-dûr lasted seven years, and was the greatest of the battles of the Second Age. The defeat in the Battle of Dagorlad had greatly weakened the forces of Sauron, and few now remained of the Men that had fought there. The Orcs of Mordor, however, and those that remained to fight with them fell back to Barad-dûr, the greatest fortress of Sauron, and to there all his armies were withdrawn. Though the Alliance now had the mastery in the war, Barad-dûr was immeasurably strong, and held within it vast armies and great store of weapons and supplies. The siege was long and terrible, and both sides are to this day loathe to speak of it, for the dead were innumerable. The Alliance formed a leaguer around Barad-dûr as best they could, and for many long years they hurled rocks and all manner of projectiles into Barad-dûr with siege weapons or bows, but they were unable to deal any significant damage. The Orcs, meanwhile, rained arrows down upon them, and had a seemingly endless supply of ammunition of all sorts. Losses were high for both sides - it was said that the Nazgûl were all defeated in the battle, while Anárion, son of Elendil, was slain later in the sixth year when his head was smashed by stone-cast from the walls of Barad-dûr.
Eventually, the great resources of Barad-dûr began to thin, and in the seventh year of the siege Sauron realized that he would only gain victory through his own power. To that end he gathered nearly all of the forces left to him into a great army, and personally led a sortie the size of which had not before been unleashed. The leaguer was broken, and the Last Alliance was forced into a retreat with heavy loss, and prepared for a desperate battle on the slopes of Mount Doom. As the vast armies clashed on the plain of Gorgoroth thousands were slain. Sauron himself fought against his enemies, and could not be defeated, for he was strong and fell, and the power of the One Ring compounded his own. He led many assaults in which his enemies were scattered completely, and in one such instance he forced Gil-Galad and Elendil themselves up the slopes of Orodruin.
There, before the gates of the Sammath Naur, Sauron fought with the two kings in open combat, as Isildur son of Elendil, Elrond the herald of Gil-Galad, and Círdan captain of Lindon watched. Sauron’s power was at its greatest then, for the Ring was near to the Crack of Doom. He killed Gil-Galad, High King of the Noldor, by the heat of his hand alone, and he also struck Elendil dead, shattering Narsil in the process. But Sauron was weary and had been mortally wounded in the fighting, and as he was distracted Isildur took up the hilt-shard of his father’s sword and cut the Ring from the Dark Lord’s finger, taking it for himself. When the One was taken, Sauron was destroyed. The forces of Mordor wavered and broke, and the Last Alliance scattered them; so the realm of Mordor was destroyed. Barad-dûr was sacked and razed, as were the other known fortresses of Sauron. But the One Ring endured, as is known, and Sauron and his Nine Servants would return.
Of the Ruins of Mordor
With the end of the War of the Last Alliance, Mordor was no more. Its lands became desolate or tributary to Gondor, which claimed the Dagorlad, Udûn, and the Mountains of Shadow as part of its realm. The Orcs that had lived in Mordor were dead or scattered. But the Last Alliance was not thorough in its destruction of Sauron’s realm. For though the Orcs were scattered, they were not completely destroyed, and sizeable bands hid in the mountains, far from the watchful eyes of the Gondorians.
Two hundred years after the fall of Sauron, the rulers of Gondor became determined to keep watch on Mordor to prevent it rising again. Before the pass of Cirith Gorgor they built the great Towers of the Teeth, Narchost and Carchost, which kept watch over all Dagorlad and barred entry into Udûn. At the eastern end of the deadly Pass of Cirith Ungol they built a great tower-fortress, designed both to keep the monster of the pass at bay and to keep those Orcs that remained in Mordor away from newly-reclaimed Minas Ithil. Greatest of all the watch-fortresses was the castle of Durthang, which stood tall over the southern walls of Udûn at the end of a trough in the mountains.
At first these fortresses were manned with large guards, and their vigilance was unending, though their watch would soon wane. Durthang was considered the chief of them, though generally all were considered part of the fiefdom of Ithilien, and therefore were under Minas Ithil. Minas Ithil was recaptured quickly by Gondor after the conclusion of the war, and quickly rebuilt to be even greater than its former self, though its influence in Gondor waned in comparison to its mightier sister-city. Nonetheless Minas Ithil prospered and was beautiful, while the watch on Mordor was ever-vigilant. Yet despite the vigilance of Gondor, the Orcs of Mordor slowly began to regroup in secret, beyond the scope of their watch. In the mountain-spurs they built the fortresses of Mornost and Seregost, where they began to gather once more.
By TA 1640, Gondor had been greatly weakened by war, and with the onset of the Great Plague it was short of men. The watch-fortresses at Cirith Ungol, Cirith Gorgor, and Durthang were all abandoned, and the Men that garrisoned them were sent to more important companies, for between Orc attacks and the shortage of troops the watch on Mordor seemed hardly worth it. So Mordor was left unguarded even as the Orcs began to multiply and return to it. Though the Kings of Gondor paid it no heed and deemed Mordor forever destroyed, it was not so. For though Sauron and his Nazgûl hid themselves still in the ruins of Dol Guldur, he still had many agents in the world, and over the centuries organized the decline of his enemies, and the slow rebuilding of his own strength. Mordor was soon to return.
In TA 1980, after the fall of Angmar, the Nazgûl returned at last to Mordor. Led by their Black Captain, the Witch-King of Angmar, they gathered armies of Orcs to themselves and occupied the abandoned fortresses of Gondor. Three Nazgûl occupied the Towers of the Teeth with a great Orc-band, and three more did the same at Cirith Ungol, while the Witch-King and the other two took Durthang with the largest as their temporary capital. In secret they refounded the realm of Mordor, and the Orcs of Seregost and Mornost joined them.
For twenty years they gathered their armies beyond the knowledge of Gondor, and Gorgoroth was made an evil place once more. Then, in TA 2000, they made their first move. The Nine and a great army of Orcs executed a surprise attack on Minas Ithil, and besieged it. Their leaguer around the city was secure so that none escaped, and no reinforcements were of avail due to the terror of the Nazgûl. The Siege of Minas Ithil lasted for two years, and though the Men of Gondor fought valiantly they could do little against the wielders of the Nine Rings. The forces of Mordor took Minas Ithil, and the last inhabitants of the City of the Moon were massacred.
Once more, the forces of Mordor had control over Minas Ithil, but this time they did more than occupy it. The Witch-King declared it his capital, and from it ruled the fief of Morgul Vale, as the Ithil Vale was now known. The Nazgûl took Minas Ithil and corrupted it beyond return, and it was named anew Minas Morgul, the Tower of Black Sorcery. Minas Morgul fast became a loathsome place. Its walls were coated with Gulduril, so that they glowed with a sickly green corpse-light. The city within became corrupted and loathsome, and inhabited by armies of Orcs and foul Men, largely Black Númenoreans. These Orcs were many, and they eventually came to number in the tens of thousands, and they were better-equipped than the Orcs of Mordor. The Morgul Orcs fought under their own banner, that of the Dead Moon, and even when the Dark Lord returned they were an army apart, the first and deadliest fighting force of the Black Land, save that of the Dark Tower itself. The Nazgûl dwelt in Minas Morgul ever after, and claimed its great tower as their own. At the top of the Tower of the Moon, in a hidden chamber restricted to all but the Lord of the City, they found the Ithil-Stone, the Palantír set there by Isildur. This they took, and for a time used; but not even the Witch-King could bend it to his will, or break it from its connection to the other Stones of Gondor.
In TA 2043, the Witch-King learned that Eärnur, who had bested him during the fall of Angmar, had become the King of Gondor. Remembering how he had humiliated the King proud king, the Morgul-Lord challenged him to single combat, and bade him ride to Minas Morgul. Eärnur was stayed by his advisors and did not answer, but in seven years the Witch-King repeated the challenge, and taunted him as a coward. This Eärnur did not endure, and so rode to Minas Morgul to answer the challenge of his foe. He never returned. So passed the last King of Gondor for many years, and the strongest realm of Sauron’s enemies was greatly weakened. The Nazgûl then continued to rebuild the armies of Mordor, establishing the fortress of Amon Angren to keep watch over Nurn.
For the years of the Watchful Peace Mordor stood silent, and waited. But in TA 2475, after Sauron’s return in greater power, the Witch-King prepared another stroke against Gondor. He unleashed the Black Uruks of Mordor on Ithilien, and they ravaged the Land of the Moon. At length, they even managed to take East Osgiliath. Osgiliath was no longer the capital city of Gondor; that title had long since passed to Minas Anór, which after the fall of Minas Ithil became called Minas Tirith, the Tower of Guard. Osgiliath was largely empty and ruined, but the attacks of the Black Uruks finished the job, and drove the last civilians of Gondor out of the city. The Rammas Echor was built around the Pelennor Fields as a result of this, as a defense in the event of an attack from Osgiliath.
But the Black Uruks failed to hold the ruined city. Later that year, Boromir I, the son of the Steward of Gondor, led a force of men against Osgiliath. The battle was long and hard, for the Black Uruks were fell and strong, but slowly Boromir began to push them back. At last he was on the verge of victory, and the Black Uruks prepared a retreat; but as they did a company of warriors from Minas Morgul arrived, armed with Morgul Blades. As Boromir forced the enemy into retreat, he received a Morgul-wound, which crippled him and cut his life short. The Nazgûl continued to order raids on Ithilien over the course of the next five hundred years, both by Black Uruks and the Orcs of Minas Morgul. By TA 2901 Ithilien was almost completely abandoned, though Gondor’s secret military refuges in the western part remained. The Nazgûl bided their time, and expedited the rebuilding of the armies of Mordor, for their master was soon to return.
Of Mordor Rebuilt
In the year 2941 of the Third Age, the White Council attacked Dol Guldur and drove out Sauron, deeming him defeated. But it was not so. For the next year he returned at last, secretly, to Mordor, and wrought himself a new form. In TA 2951, after nearly three thousand years, he declared himself the Dark Lord of Mordor once more, and openly refounded his dreaded realm. The armies the Nazgûl had gathered rallied to him, and the reconstruction of Barad-dûr, which had long been prepared, was initiated. Three Nazgûl, led by the Black Easterling, went north to prepare Dol Guldur, while the other six reordered the Black Land. The Shadow of Mordor lengthened over all of Middle-Earth.
Udûn and Gorgoroth were fortified once more, and became filled with camps and fortresses to house the vast armies Sauron was gathering to himself. Between them Sauron built the fortress of Carach Angren as an additional defensive measure. Nurn was enslaved again, and the prison-fortress of Thorband was built to watch over it. Fiery Narroth was built to the north of Nurn, and ports were built on the shores of the Sea of Núrnen. Nan Ungol and the Vale of the Fell Beasts, distant corners of Mordor inhabited by the most foul of creatures, were brought under Sauron’s control, and as the realms of Rhûn and Harad swore loyalty to Mordor once more, the Eastern Guard was built along the road to Rhúdel. In TA 2954, Mount Doom burst into flame again, and the last inhabitants of Ithilien fled far away. In TA 3000, Barad-dûr was completed for a second time at long last. Sauron took up his dark throne once more, and began his final preparations for the War of the Ring.
Even now, the legions of the Great Eye arm themselves, and preparing to raze the kingdoms of all who oppose them. The iron might of Mordor grows every day, and each night new and terrible weapons are forged. Soon, the Shadow of Mordor will loom over all the known lands. The world of Men will be utterly destroyed, and all who walk the earth hereafter will do so in chains.
The armies of Mordor are divided into five subfactions, which share territory and alignment but have different mobs, banners, and shields. These subfactions are as follows.
- Mordor - The primary division of Mordor. Most Mordor NPCs, structures, and regions are primarily affiliated with Mordor proper, which represents the primary armies of the Dark Lord. Mordor's invasions feature all of Mordor's NPCs, and can be summoned by Warhorns of Mordor. Mordor is represented by the Banner of Mordor, which features the Red Eye on a black field, and its champions wield the Shield of Shadows.
- Mordor Wargs - The Wargs of Mordor and their riders are technically part of their own subfaction, which allows them to have their own invasions. These invasions can be summoned by Warghorns of Mordor. Outside of invasions, Mordor Wargs are practically part of the Mordor subfaction, as their units also appear in Mordor invasions and have neither their own banner nor their own shield.
- Minas Morgul - The Minas Morgul subfaction represents the Orcs of the Morgul Vale, and exists primarily as a placeholder. The only NPC in this subfaction is the Minas Morgul Banner Bearer, and Minas Morgul only truly exists for banners and shields. It is represented by the Banner of Minas Morgul, which features the Dead Moon on a black field, and its champions wield the Shield of Morgul.
- Nan Ungol - This subfaction represents the Mordor Spiders and their riders, who can be found in Nan Ungol. Nan Ungol mobs do not normally spawn outside of their home biome, including in invasions, which can be summoned by Warhorns of Nan Ungol. Nan Ungol units can be hired from Spider-Keepers. Nan Ungol does not have a shield, but it does have its own banner, which is represented by a red spider and Eye on a black field.
- Black Uruks - The elite Black Uruks of Mordor have their own subfaction, the units of which can be hired from Black Uruk Chieftains. Black Uruks spawn across Mordor, but are rarely seen outside of the Black Land, save through invasions, which can be summoned with Warhorns of the Black Uruks. The elite of Mordor are represented by the Banner of the Black Uruks, which features a fire and a blood-soaked cleaver on a black field, and its champions wield the Shield of the Dark Elite.
The spawn of Mordor plague a wide swath of Middle-earth. Most notably, they inhabit the biomes of Mordor itself, where they can be found at all hours. Mordor also controls Dagorlad, Nindalf, and the Emyn Muil, where Mordor Orcs spawn commonly at night. Mordor is at war with Gondor for control of Ithilien, and Mordor NPCs can spawn in the various biomes of Gondor at night as well.
The following waypoints are located within the territory of Mordor:
- Black Gate - The great gates of Mordor, wrought of twisted steel and dark stone. None pass unless the Eye of the Dark Tower wills it.
- Valley of Udûn (Not available for enemy players) - The Orc-infested vale behind the Black Gates. Named in imitation of Udûn, the first fortress of Morgoth, also called Utumno.
- Carach Angren (Not available for enemy players) - The Iron Teeth, a guarded mountain pass between Udûn and the plateau of Gorgoroth.
- Durthang (Not available for enemy players) - A powerful Orcish stronghold built upon the slopes of Ephel Dúath.
- Minas Morgul (Not available for enemy players) - Once Minas Ithil, the fair Tower of the Moon; now a dark and sickly place ruled by the Lord of the Nazgûl. .
- Cirith Ungol (Not available for enemy players) - The dark and twisted Spider's Cleft within the mountains of Mordor, watched over by an evil guard-tower.
- Mount Doom (Not available for enemy players) - Orodruin, the great fire-mountain in the heart of Mordor, wherein Sauron forged the One Ring long ago.
- Barad-dûr (Not available for enemy players) - The Dark Tower: fortress of Sauron, Lord of the Earth, and the seat from which all the evil hosts of Mordor are bent to his will.
- Mornost (Not available for enemy players) - A watch-post upon the shadowy spurs of the Ephel Dúath.
- Seregost (Not available for enemy players) - A fortress in the mountains of Mordor. The armies of the Easterlings pass through here on the road to Barad-dûr.
- Amon Angren (Not available for enemy players) - A dark hill in Mordor, upon which stands a fortress of the Nazgûl.
- Narrost (Not available for enemy players) - The Halls of Fire, a watchtower above the pass into the plateau of Gorgoroth.
- Thorband (Not available for enemy players) - A terrible prison-fortress of Mordor on the shores of Núrnen.
- Dunurnen (Not available for enemy players) - The sad western shores of the Sea of Núrnen.
- Fornurnen (Not available for enemy players) - The dreary northern shores of the Sea of Núrnen.
- Harnurnen (Not available for enemy players) - The bleak southern shores of the Sea of Núrnen.
- Rhunurnen (Not available for enemy players) - The dim eastern shores of the Sea of Núrnen.
- Valley of Spiders (Not available for enemy players) - A grim and shadowy corner of Mordor, infested with the spawn of Ungoliant.
- Vale of the Fell Beasts (Not available for enemy players) - A dark valley behind the walls of Mordor infested with fell beasts and evil creatures.
- Eastern Guard (Not available for enemy players) - A fortress that keeps watch over the road into Mordor out of Rhûn.
Mordor, as the chief evil faction in Middle-earth, is mortal enemies with all good factions. Naturally, its leaders encourage war crimes, which is to say the killing of enemy civilians.
Basic Ranks of Mordor:
- Enemy (-)
- Stranger (0)
- Mordor Thrall (+10)
- Mordor Snaga (+50)
- Mordor Brigand (+100)
Pledged Ranks of Mordor:
- Mordor Slave-driver (+200)
- Mordor Despoiler (+500)
- Mordor Captain (+1000)
- Lieutenant of Morgul (+1500)
- Commander of Lugbúrz (+3000)
Inter-faction relations for Mordor (MORDOR)
•Dúnedain of the North
Sphere of Influence
The armies of Mordor invade many locations, spreading death wherever they go. Mordor most commonly invades Dagorlad and Ithilien, but uncommonly invade the Brown Lands, Gondor, Harondor, and Wilderland. On very rare occasions, you may even encounter a host of Mordor Orcs in Dale, the Dead Marshes, Dor-en-Ernil, Dorwinion, the Emyn Muil, Nindalf, or the White Mountains.
Note: The following include all sub-biomes unless otherwise stated.
- Fangorn (except Wastelands)
- Emyn Muil
- East Bight
- Iron Hills
- Southron Coasts
- Far Harad
Only Aids Allies
- Far Harad Volcano
- Misty Mountains
- Grey Mountains
- Blue Mountains
- The Angle
- The Shire
- Old Forest
- Vales of Anduin
- Gladden Fields
- Dol Guldur
- Woodland Realm
- Field of Celebrant
- Long Marshes
Mordor's population is almost exclusively military, but a few types of traders inhabit the wastes of Mordor, as well.
- Mordor Orc - Evil Orcs of Mordor, equipped with Mordor armour and armed with Mordor weapons, such as scimitars, spears, battleaxes, daggers, warscythes, or warhammers. They can be found on foot or riding Wargs.
- Mordor Orc Archer - Mordor Orcs equipped with Orc Bows. They can be on foot or riding Wargs as well.
- Mordor Orc Bombardier - Mordor Orcs with armed with Orc Bombs. They are very destructive, and when the bomb has been used, the Bombardier will switch to a dagger. Hired bombardiers can be re-equipped with new bombs.
- Mordor Warg - Black Wargs allied with Mordor. Wargs are rideable giant wolves, which can be saddled and equipped with Mordor Warg Armour by those with +50 Mordor alignment or higher. They can be ridden by Mordor Orcs or archers; Wargs with riders can spawn armored.
- Mordor Warg Bombardier - Wargs with triple-strength Orc Bombs mounted on their backs. They do not spawn naturally, though they can be hired. When they sight an enemy, they charge towards them and blow themselves up.
- Olog-hai - Giant trolls bred by Sauron that do not turn to stone in the sun. Native to the Ash Mountains, they are fast, heavily armoured and carry giant warhammers. They are some of the deadliest soldiers of the Shadow, capable of devastating area of effect attacks that come with plenty of knockback. Some can have two heads, which makes them even more powerful.
- Mordor Orc Commander - Mordor traders that spawn in Mordor Orc Towers from whom you can hire all of the above, plus banner-bearers for both Mordor and Minas Morgul. They are equipped with Mordor Armour, with the exception of the helmet, and an Orc Skull Staff. They hold a silver coin in their hand to show that they are traders.
- Mordor Orc Trader - Mordor Traders that spawn in Orc Camps from whom you can buy and sell goods. They are equipped with Fur Armour. They carry coins and use daggers (which may be poisoned) to defend themselves.
- Black Uruk - Deadly Uruks bred by Sauron. They are expensive and elite shock troops with plenty of health, capable of dealing a lot of damage. They have formidable Black Uruk Armour and use Black Uruk Equipment. They are rarer than the standard Orcs of Mordor, and are technically part of their own sub-faction.
- Black Uruk Archer - Black Uruks armed with Black Uruk Bows.
- Black Uruk Captain - Black Uruk traders that spawn in Black Uruk Fortresses from whom you can hire Black Uruks and Olog-hai. They are equipped with Black Uruk Armour, with the exception of the helmet, and an Orc Skull Staff. They hold a silver coin in their hand to show that they are traders.
- Mordor Spider - Large spiders that spawn exclusively in Nan Ungol. They come in different sizes and inflict poison on enemies. They can be ridden by Mordor Orcs and archers. They can be bought from Mordor Orc Spider Keepers. These spiders can be tamed and ridden by evil players only.
- Mordor Orc Spider Keeper - Mordor traders that spawn in Mordor Spider Pits from whom you can hire Mordor Spiders. They hold a silver coin in their hand to show that they are traders.
- Slave of Nurn - Slaves who farm wheat for the food of hundreds of thousands of Orcs. They can be bought and will plant and harvest whatever seeds you give them. They only spawn in Nurn, primarily in slave farms. Slaves are classified as being part of the Gondor faction, allowing evil players to kill them without drawing the ire of the Eye.
- Mordor Orc Slaver - Mordor traders that spawn in Mordor Orc Slaver Towers from whom you can hire Slaves of Nurn. They hold a silver coin in their left hand to show that they are traders, and a branding iron in their right.
- Banner Bearers - Orcs wielding banners. There are variants for all of Mordor's Banners, including regular Mordor Banner-Bearers, Minas Morgul Banner-Bearers, Black Uruk Banner-Bearers, and Nan Ungol Banner-Bearers. They can be hired from the various Orc hiring units.
- Wicked Dwarf - Mordor traders that can be found wandering around Mordor, Rhúdel, and Angmar in small groups. They are rogues exiled from the eastern kingdoms of the Dwarves, and have since come into the service of the Shadow. They sell various dwarven items and can repair mithril gear. They sometimes wear Dwarven Armour and wield dwarven weapons. They also hold a silver coin in their hand to show that they are traders. They function similarly to Half-Troll Scavengers.
The Orcs of Mordor inhabit the following structures.
- Mordor Tower - Tall towers made of Mordor Brick. These towers have a number of floors full of Orc guards, with windows are made of Orc steel bars. One floor contains three Orc Bombs and three barrels of Orc Draught. At the top of the tower, a Mordor Orc Commander always spawns. Mordor banners are plentiful here. These towers spawn in all Mordor biomes except Nurn and Nan Ungol.
- Mordor Orc Camps - Camps with 2-4 tents (which are made of wool and charred fences, and include one loot chest, a crafting table, and a Morgul Crafting Table), 0-2 Forge Tents (which are made of Mordor Brick and contain Orc Forges), a number of skulls on fences, orc torches, and a Table of Command at the center. The tents generate in a ring around the central table, as the ground between them is dominated by Mordor Dirt and Gravel. Mordor Orcs spawn here, as well as one Mordor Orc Trader. They can be found across all of Mordor, except in the mountains, in Nurn, and in Nan Ungol. They can also be found in Wilderland.
- Mordor Warg Pits - Pits of charred wood and Mordor Brick that contain rideable Mordor Wargs. These pits are built with two levels - an upper level for the guards, and a lower level for the Wargs. The lower level can be accessed by a ramp built off to the side, which leads down into the pit proper, which contains two stalls for Wargs and a loot chest. The upper level features a battlemented balcony that overlooks the pit and ramp, as well as a small charred wood shack, which is carpeted and contains two Orc Beds, a chest, and a table with a barrel of Orc Draught, mugs, and plates. Tarps of brown wool shelter the shack and the ramp from above. Warg Pits can prove valuable for evil players, as they provide a number of readily-available mounts, and generate in all of Mordor except the mountains, Nurn, and Nan Ungol.
- Black Uruk Fortress - A large and imposing fort inhabited by the Black Uruks of Mordor, Sauron's elite soldiers. This structure is the only place where Black Uruk Captains spawn naturally, making it an invaluable find for evil players. Built of a mix of Mordor brick, black tiling, charred wood, and steel bars, the fortress is surrounded by a thick wall with roofed battlements, into which a number of rooms are built. A large gatehouse at the front of the fortress features a table of command on its parapet, and two of the fortress' corners feature watchtowers. In the corner to the left of the gate, a dining room is built into the wall, featuring an open fire-pit for cooking stew, tables laden with Orc food, and barrels of Orc Draught. A prison featuring four bare-bones cells is built into the opposite corner of the fortress. The barracks are built into the rear of the fortress, and feature plenty of Black Uruk equipment and armour on racks, as well as rows of bunk-beds in the back. A rope in the barracks allows access to a small upper turret, which grants a nice overview of the fortress. The fortress' interior courtyard features a cluster of forges with blocks of orc and Black Uruk Steel, a shallow, fenced-off pit for brawls, and a training course set up for target practice. These fortresses are uncommon, and only generate in Mordor proper and in Gorgoroth.
- Mordor Spider Pits - Almost identical to Mordor Warg Pits, Mordor Spider Pits are variant structures that contain Mordor Spiders instead of Wargs. The spiders in the pits can be tamed, or they can be hired from Mordor Spider Keepers, which spawn inside the pits. These structures can be found only in Nan Ungol.
- Nurn Wheat Farm - Small farms where Slaves of Nurn grow wheat for the Orcs of Mordor. They contain four patches of wheat, orc torches, water sources, a Morgul crafting table, and, of course, slaves. They can only be found in Nurn.
- Orc Slaver Tower - Skeletal, moderately large wooden towers with several floors. They contain Mordor Orc guards and an Orc Slaver, from which Slaves of Nurn can be bought. They can only be found in Nurn.
- Orc Dungeon - Underground brick structures in which spawn a number of Mordor Orcs. These can spawn in almost any biome, though only those within Mordor's area of influence will have Mordor Orcs. They also contain loot chests.
The following items are acquired naturally, but are associated with Mordor due to being found only or primarily in the Mordor biome.
- Mordor Rock - The basic rock of Mordor, used in its construction materials. Can be made into slabs, stairs, and walls.
- Durnor - Fiery orange crystals found as an ore in Mordor, typically used as a substitute for coal.
- Gulduril - Sickly green crystals found as an ore in Mordor, used for all manner of dark sorcery.
- Man-flesh - Flesh taken from dead Men, a delicacy for Orcs.
- Suspicious Meat - The flesh of some creature or other, salted to be more palatable.
- Morgul-shroom - Red mushrooms grown by the Orcs of Mordor in their camps for food.
- Morgul-flowers - Sickly, unnatural flowers that grow in Morgul Vale.
- Withered Moss - Dead, brown moss that grows in Mordor.
- Stabbing Thorn - Deadly thorns that stab anyone who walks on them.
The following items are associated with Mordor and acquired through use of an Orc Forge.
- Orc Steel Ingot - Dark metal used to forge basic Orcish equipment.
- Black Uruk Steel Ingot - A stronger alloy of Orc Steel and Durnor used by the Black Uruks.
- Morgul Steel Ingot - An alloy of Orc Steel and Gulduril used by the Nazgûl and their servants.
The following items can be crafted on the Morgul Crafting Table by those with at least +1 Mordor alignment.
- Morgul Crafting Table - Used to craft all of the following, including itself.
- Banner of Mordor - The banner of the legions of Mordor.
- Banner of Minas Morgul - The banner of the Orcs of Minas Morgul.
- Banner of Nan Ungol - The Banner of the Spider-hordes of Nan Ungol.
- Banner of the Black Uruks - The banner of the Black Uruks of Mordor.
- Mordor Brick - The dark brick of Mordor. Can be made into stairs, slabs, and walls.
- Mordor Pillar - Mordor Rock pillars used alongside Mordor Brick.
- Orc Forge - Forges used by the Orcs of Mordor.
- Orc Gate - Crude wooden gates reinforced with steel.
- Orc Bed - Poor-quality beds used by Orcs.
- Orc Steel Bars - Bars made of Orc Steel.
- Orc Chain - Chains made of Orc Steel that function like ladders.
- Orc Plating - Blocks of steel scrap used as a crude building material.
- Orc Torch - Tall, dim torches made with two sticks and one piece of Durnor.
- Orc Chandelier - Elegant yet evil light fixtures made with orc torches and steel.
- Morgul Torch - Torches made with Gulduril to glow with an eerie light.
- Morgul Chandelier - Spiky chandeliers made with Morgul Torches.
- Orc Bomb - Bombs used by the Orc Bombardiers of Mordor, which can also have fire variants.
- Mordor Equipment - The equipment used by the soldier-Orcs of Mordor.
- Black Uruk Equipment - The equipment used by the Black Uruks.
- Morgul Blade - The weapon of the Nazgûl, which deals the Wither effect upon the victim.
- Black Uruk Bow - The bows used by the archers of the Black Uruks.
- Orc Bow - Bows used by the common orc archers of Mordor.
- Orc Skull Staff - Staffs used by Orc Commanders.
- Mordor Armour - The armour worn by the rank-and-file orcs of Mordor.
- Black Uruk Armour - The armour worn by the Black Uruks.
- Morgul Armour - The armour of the Nazgûl and their chief servants. This armour decreases the durability of any weapons used against it.
- Mordor Warg Armour - Armor used by the Warg-riders of Mordor to protect their mounts.
- Morgul Horse Armour - Evil horse armour used by the Nazgûl and their servants.
- Maggoty Bread - Stale bread that is rotting and full of protein.
The following drinks are associated with Mordor.
- Orc Draught - A burning red beverage that grants speed and strength, albeit at the cost of some health.
- Morgul-draught - A sickly green beverage that grants night vision to evil players, albeit at the cost of some health.
|The Hosts of Mordor|
Black Uruk (Archer) •
Orc (Archer, Banner Bearer, Bombardier)
Blue Mountains •
Dol Guldur •
Dúnedain of the North
The Deeps of the Earth: