|“||Neither [Sam] nor Frodo knew anything of the great slave-worked fields away south in this wide realm, beyond the fumes of the Mountain by the dark sad waters of Lake Núrnen[.]||”|
–The Return of the King, The Land of Shadow
Nurn is a biome in the southern half of Mordor, where the slaves of Sauron grow crops to feed the vast armies of the Black Land. A large portion of Nurn is taken up by the inland Sea of Núrnen, which, together with four rivers that snake through southern Mordor, allow Nurn to be more fertile than the rest of the Black Land. There is grass and similar forms of vegetation here, and trees as well - indeed, small swaths of the biome are even forested. Nurn is far from unspoiled, however, as the biome is composed of Mordor Rock beneath the topsoil, and many of the trees here are dead or charred. Furthermore, the biome is primarily inhabited by the Orcs of Mordor, as well as by the Slaves of Nurn who can be purchased here from Orc slavers. Those slaves were once Gondorians captured in raids by the forces of Mordor and its allies, now condemned to work under the whips of their Orc masters until their bodies give out.
As in the rest of Mordor, the sky in Nurn is darkened by the ash and dust clouds coming from Mount Doom, though not nearly to the degree seen in the rest of Mordor. The sky in Nurn is a sullen brown (as is all water in the biome), but the Sun, Moon, and stars can be seen through the clouds here. Nonetheless, the cloud cover is sufficient to protect Orcs and Trolls from debuffs during the day; in addition, evil mobs can spawn here at any time, not only at night.
Nurn is not a good place for good-aligned players to be, though it is not nearly as dangerous as, say, Gorgoroth. Similarly, it can be quite useful for evil players, especially those who enjoy farming. Nurn can be conquered by Mordor, Rohan, and Gondor at a rate of 0.5.
The roads in Nurn are made of Mordor Dirt, as in the rest of Mordor.
Upon entering this region, the player earns the achievement "Slaves and Slavers".
Sea of Núrnen
This sea is located in the centre of Nurn, in the south of Mordor. Its appearance is similar to the normal Ocean biome, but the water is a dead brown, like all water in Nurn. Four rivers flow down from the Mountains of Mordor into this sea, watering the fields of Nurn in the process. Small islands occasionally generate in the Sea.
The Nurn Marshes are a series of marshlands that generate in patches at the mouths of the rivers that feed the Sea of Núrnen. These swamps feature two variants: the uplands and the lowlands. The uplands are hillier and similar to a normal Vanilla swamp biome, albeit with less water. The lowlands are much more flat, and are a patchwork of unstable terrain and boggy pools. Ironically, though marshlands are typically less lively than the biomes that surround them, the Marshes of Nurn may be the most fertile parts of Mordor.
Nurn has several biome variants, which include the following.
- Flowers - A version of Nurn with an abundance of flowers.
- Forest - A more forested version of Nurn.
- Steppe - A very flat version of Nurn.
- Barren Steppe - A steppe, but with no trees. Structures generate here very commonly.
- Hills - A hillier version of Nurn.
- Mountain - A mountain that rises from the surrounding terrain.
The following variants can only be found in the Nurn Marshes:
- Swamp Uplands - A forested and higher version of the marshes, with less water.
- Swamp Lowlands - An almost flat portion of the marshes, full of quagmire and boggy pools.
Nurn isn't as developed as the rest of Mordor; while most of the Black Land is devoted to housing and maintaining vast armies, Nurn is instead dedicated to farming and feeding those armies, and as a result all structures here are designed for that purpose. The following structures can be found in Nurn, alongside small stone ruins, which are moderately common here.
- 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 are very common in Nurn.
- Orc Slaver Tower - Skeletal Orc-towers designed to oversee farming in Nurn. Made of charred wood, these towers have two floors, which are mostly featureless. These towers are staffed by Mordor Orc guards, and each contains an Orc Slaver, from whom Slaves of Nurn can be bought.
Mordor Orcs and their slaves can be found across Nurn, though they (along with their Wargs) do not spawn here as often as in Mordor itself. In addition, there are no Olog-hai here.
- 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 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 and can be saddled and equipped with armour by those with +50 Mordor alignment or higher. They can be ridden by Mordor Orcs or archers; Wargs with riders can spawn armoured.
- 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.
- Orc Slaver - Mordor traders that spawn in 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.
As with the rest of Mordor, Nurn and its variants are composed entirely of Mordor Rock, not stone, beneath the surface. The presence of Mordor Rock makes the biome particularly useful for evil players due to its use in Mordor building materials, as well as for those building in a more Númenórean style, which serves as a counterweight to the near-total absence of stone here.
Only three ores can be found in Nurn. Durnor and Morgul Iron can be found here at rates and Y-levels comparable to iron elsewhere, though Durnor veins are larger than Morgul Iron veins. In addition, Gulduril can be found here as well, at Y-levels comparable to gold, though with slightly higher rates. These three ores are must-have resources for evil players, and are used in crafting a myriad variety of equipment pieces, items, and even portals.
Nurn is far more fertile than the rest of Mordor, due to the Sea of Núrnen and ash blown over from Mount Doom. Common vegetation is mostly present here, and the grass is a dark but healthy green. Trees are much more common here than in the rest of Mordor, and while plenty of them are dead, many aren't. Charred trees, oak trees of dead, stunted, and standard varieties, and cedar trees can all be found commonly in Nurn.
When it was first added (in Public Beta 14), the Nurn biome had dark brown grass, very little vegetation, and stunted trees. In Public Beta 23 it was redesigned to better fit the description of a fertile land. The water is still a dark, sad brown, but the grass now has a more healthy green colour. Stunted and charred trees still spawn in the biome, but now alongside more normal trees.
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