|“||The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
–Bilbo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring
Roads are a generated feature that link many of the regions of Middle-Earth with one another and often pass through many regions, making travel across the land a good deal faster and easier than otherwise. In addition to the main, long-distance roads that traverse Middle-Earth, there are shorter regional roads that link many of the waypoints throughout the lands, and small roads not on the map that link the various buildings in Gondorian Settlements, along with most other villages in the Mod.
Roads were originally mentioned in August 2013. Mevans' original idea for making roads was to use something called a Lagrange polynomial. A Lagrange polynomial is essentially a fancier form of a quadratic equation.
Unfortunately, Mevans later found that these polynomials wouldn't work for a variety of reasons. So the search was on for a new kind of polynomial that would work. In the end, the decision was made to use a Bezier curve. This is the same type of curve that is used to make
.svg files. As a result, roads are technically not generated structures, as they do not have their own
Why do roads need polynomial equations?
The roads have to be generated via a mathematical algorithm because if roads were a separate biome (like rivers) then the map would have to be 16 times bigger than it is at the moment (which would pretty much require a 1:1 scale map of Middle-earth) or the roads would be the size of large rivers.
Road generation adapts to the environment as much as possible. The paths will cross ravines and follow the terrain uphill or downhill, sometimes shaping it to suit.
Where a road meets a river, it will create an arched, raised bridge made of oak wood with beams supporting it and fences edging it. In certain biomes with special river types (such as Mirkwood) the wood type will be different.
The material used to build the roads varies by biome as well: some roads will be made out of a mixture of gravel or dirt-type blocks, whereas other roads will be made out of cobblestone or faction bricks (especially in the more populated areas of Middle-earth). Some regions have roads that have fallen into disrepair after long years of disuse.
Because roads smooth out the terrain around them and generate bridges over rivers, it is generally easier to travel on a road than off.
Note that in updates where the position of waypoints were moved, entering a world created with an older version may result in roads "hopping" around (see the last picture in the 'old pictures' gallery).
List of roads in Middle-earth
These roads are those that are named in the mod's
.lang file (most are visible on the map at the higher zoom levels). Notable waypoints that the roads pass through are shown in italics.
These roads typically pass through multiple biomes and cover great distances.
- Great East Road: One of the longest roads in Middle-earth. Runs from South Mithlond in Lindon to Baraz-tûm in the Red Mountains, passing through Eriador, the Shire, Bree-land, the Lone-lands, the Misty Mountains, the Vales of Anduin, Mirkwood, a small bit of Wilderland, Dale, and Rhûn on the way.
- North-South Road: Begins at Little Delving in the Shire, and ends at Amon Dîn, Gondor. Along the way, it passes through Waymeet, Longbottom and Sarn Ford in the Shire, skirts the border between Eriador and Minhiriath, and runs through Tharbad and Enedwaith. After fording the Isen, the road enters Rohan, passing the Deeping-coomb, Edoras, and Aldburg, crosses the Mering Stream, and enters the province of Anórien in Gondor, finishing at Minas Tirith via Amon Dîn.
- Harad Road: Starts at the Black Gate, and heads south through Ithilien for a long while, before reaching the Crossings of Poros and entering Harondor. From there, the road goes further south to the Crossings of Harnen and heads through Harnennor and the Half-deserts to Ijdi-ilel.
- Sauron's Road: Starts at Minas Morgul and passes east through Mordor via Mount Doom, Barad-dûr and Seregost before reaching the Eastern Guard and then the Ashen Ford where it splits in three directions. One branch follows the mountains west to the Black Gate; another travels north-east through Rhúdel to the capital city of Rhúnost; the third, and longest, travels south and then west, just south of the Ephel Dúath, and then along the river Poros through Harondor. It then turns south once it reaches the coast to enter Umbar and finally Anât an-Khôrumor.
Most of these roads pass through fewer biomes, and don't cover nearly as great a distance.
- Chetroad: travels north from the Great East Road with small branches off it leading to the villages of Staddle, Coomb and Archet.
- Note that there are also some short, unnamed roads that branch off from the crossroads at the Bree waypoint and other nearby roads to reach the village itself (as seen in the image).
- Erebor Road: Travels north from Long Lake to Erebor.
- Dale Road: Runs south-east from Dale to Bardhaven, crossing the Great East Road and Rhovanion Road.
- Wine-road: Continues the Dale Road from Bardhaven and ends at the Golden Ford, via a winding route that passes through the Dorwinion Crossroads and the Vintner Court.
- East Road: Connects the Rhovanion Road at Old Rhovanion to Mirulond.
- Elven-way: Begins at Lond Daer, and passes through Tharbad, Eriador and the Lone-lands until reaching the Old Elven Way where it continues East to Eregion, ending at the West Gate.
- Greenway: Passes east from Annúminas to Fornost and then south to the Greenway Crossroads via Bree, where it crosses the Great East Road.
- Causeway: A short road from Minas Tirith to West Osgiliath which then crosses the Anduin to reach East Osgiliath.
- Morgul-road: Another short road continuing the Causeway to Minas Morgul via the Crossroads of the Fallen King.
- South Road: A fairly long road that starts at Minas Tirith and heads south then west through several major settlements of Gondor's fiefdoms, including Pelargir and Calembel, before looping back north and ending at Erech.
- Dol Amroth Road: Branches off the South Road as it turns north towards Erech and winds through the settlements of Dor-en-Ernil before reaching Dol Amroth.
- North Road: Travels north-east from Amon Dîn to Cair Andros and then meets Sauron's Road at North Ithilien.
- Pelargir Road: Starts at Pelargir and heads south-east towards the Anduin, where there is a ford and the road stops. It continues on the far bank towards the Crossings of Poros, where it meets the Harad Road.
- Dwarven Road: Connects the East Peak and West Peak of the Iron Hills.
Lindon and Blue Mountains
- Blue Dwarven Road: Travels south from Belegost to Nogrod where it splits: one branch travels south-west to Forlond and the other loops southwards to reach North Mithlond.
- Lindon Road: Loops around the Gulf of Lune, from Forlond to Harlond, passing through North and South Mithlond on the way.
- Morannon Road: Short road from the Black Gate to the Valley of Udûn.
- South Mordor Road: Continues the Morannon Road south-east from the Valley of Udûn to reach Thorband in Nurn, via Barad-dûr.
- See also the long-distance Sauron's Road that has a significant section in and around Mordor.
- Rhovanion Road: Starts at the East Rhovanion Gate, heads through the Wilderland and Dale, and ends at the West Peak of the Iron Hills.
- Dimril Road: Short road from the Dimril Dale to the House of Nimrodel in Lothlórien.
- Anduin Road: Heads north-west from the Black Gate through Dagorlad and the Brown Lands before travelling north, between Mirkwood and the river Anduin, to the Forest Gate.
- Framsburg Road: A continuation of the Anduin Road from the Forest Gate to Dain 's Halls in the Grey Mountains via Framsburg.
- Elf-path: The path that Thorin and Company travelled in the Hobbit, leading east from the Forest Gate to Thranduil's Halls.
- Dol Guldur Road: Branches off the Anduin Road and reaches Dol Guldur from the west.
- Golden Road: Runs along the coast of the sea of Rhûn from the Golden Ford to the Great East Road at the Northern Marches via several settlements of the Easterlings, including Rhúnost.
- East Rhúdel Road: Runs east from Atalak, on the shores of the sea, to Karslan.
- Rivendell Path: Short road from the Ford of Bruinen to Rivendell.
- Isengard Road: A short road that branches north from the North-South Road at the Fords of Isen until it reaches Isengard.
- Deeping-road: A short road from the Deeping-coomb to Helm's Deep.
- Woldway: Runs north-east from Edoras to Woldhall via Entwade.
- Bywater Road: Short road north-west from Bywater to Hobbiton.
- Hill Road: Short road north-east from Hobbiton to Overhill.
- Buckland Road: Leads southwards from Hay Gate to Haysend via Buckleberry.
- Nobottle Road: Travels east from Tighfield to Needlehole, bending southwards to Little Delving and then northwards to Nobottle on the way.
- Oatbarton Road: Travels directly south from Oatbarton to Frogmorton.
- Stock Road: Travels directly east from Tuckborough to Stock.
- Causeway: Travels south from Scary to Deephallow, via Whitfurrows and Stock, and crossing the Great East Road.
- Willow Road: Short road north-east from Willowbottom to Deephallow.
- Umbar Road: Leaves Sauron's road at Umbar and stretches southwards along the river Athrassir (?) to Izêm-ulzuz.
- Gulf Road: Wraps around the Gulf of Harad from the Town of Bones to Ephalôn.
- Note that the long-distance Sauron's Road and Harad Road both have significant sections in Near Harad.
- Old Taurethrim Road: Begins at Otoch Kåh and cuts eastwards through the Far Harad Jungle and Grasslands until Yahash Kåh, where the Taurethrim Road branches off it. The road continues to Shaman Påh, where it seemingly ends. However, a second branch of the Old Taurethrim Road can be seen stretching north-east from the Emerald Lakes to Kimen Kåh in Taur-i-Thorogrim, while intersecting the Taurethrim Road at Lakin Påh.
- Taurethrim Road: Begins at Shaman Påh and leads south-east to Ethir Haraduin in the Far Harad Mangrove. Another segment starts at Pishan Kåh and extends south-east through the jungle to Yahash Kåh.
- Deep Jungle Road: This is the only road in Far Harad that does not have two unattached segments. The Deep Jungle Road begins at Shaman Påh and heads south through the Far Harad Jungle to Mûmakåh, while intersecting the Taurethrim Road at Nohoch Kåh.
Roads were ported to the renewed version of the mod in Renewed Snapshot 2.6, with several notable changes. They are customisable (and addable/removable) using datapacks; they flatten terrain more naturally over a wider range; some utilise the vanilla dirt path blocks; some have different slabs at their edges and trees will no longer generate on roads.
Roads (especially bridges) have gone through many changes since they were first added.
- Public Beta 22: Added roads to the mod.
- Public Beta 22.1: Roads now smooth the terrain out around them, and build bridges over rivers.
- Public Beta 23: Changed the roads in Mordor to be made of Mordor dirt.
- Public Beta 25: Added several waypoints and roads.
- Public Beta 26: The 'basic' roads that were made of cobblestone were changed to dirt path and roads in hilly biome variants were made flatter. Bridge generation was changed somewhat too.
- Public Beta 28.1: Dirt path roads now feature a mix of blocks, such as gravel and grass blocks.
- Public Beta 29: Some roads have fallen into disrepair, also roads are made more smooth (using slabs of dirt etc. to make them easier to walk on). Bridges were also greatly improved and roads in the Great Desert were made to use Gondor brick. Map labels for roads were also added.
- Public Beta 29.2: Removed flowery roads added to the Pelennor fields due to performance issues.
- Public Beta 29.5: Changed the Near Harad desert roads back to Haradric brick.
- Public Beta 31: Fixed caves cutting through roads.
- Public Beta 32: Moved the Great East road near Rivendell, and roads near Tharbad; removed the branch of the 'Elven-way' road between Rivendell and Eregion.
- Update 36: Made roads in Rohan more worn-down, removed a non-canonical bridge over the Anduin near Pelargir; moved some of the Bree-land roads.
- Renewed Snapshot 5.3: Added fences below the sides of bridges to act as supports.
Gameplay mechanics of the Lord of the Rings Mod
Equipment Modifiers •
Achievements and Quests:
Other / Technical: