After a somewhat long hiatus of these blog posts, largely the result of university exams, I have decided to write another biome of the week blog. When I talked about this on the Official Server last night, I got a variety of responses, but they all seemed to revolve around one theme: mountains. And, in honour of all the Blue Dwarves who were online that night, I have decided to feature the Ered Luin in this issue.

Where are they?

The Blue Mountains are found on the western edge of Eriador, and are located east of Lindon. They used to separate the land of Eriador from Beleriand, before that was destroyed after the War of Wrath; the same war also broke the mountain range in half, creating the Gulf of Lune. They were one of the four mountain ranges created when Arda was first created, along with the Red Mountains, the Harad Mountains, and the Yellow Mountains, whose remains are located on a continent not included in the mod.

Why do you like this biome?

I like this biome for a goodly many reasons. Firstly, it's a mountainous biome, and we all know how much I enjoy mountains, both in the mod and in real life. One of my favourite parts of this biome, however, is that it is relatively close to the biome where all new players spawn, The Shire, and can be reached relatively quickly by travelling along the Great East Road. Once you get there, you will have access to a powerful faction, the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, featuring above-average health, deep mines where you can find ores, and strong tools and armour, which provide great protection in a fight. Finally, there are no Orcs to worry about at night, unlike in the Iron Hills.

Any advice for travellers?

The Blue Mountains themselves are very safe for any players that are aligned with that faction, but very dangerous for players who are allied with Gundabad or Angmar. If you are allied with those factions, be very careful when entering the strongholds and mines. Mounts won't fit in these places, and there are many strong Dwarves here. Even if you go mining underground in caves, Dwarves spawn frequently underground, and if you get cornered, you'll be in trouble.

For players who are allied with the Blue Mountains, there is not much danger in this biome, other than the occasional Gundabad invasion. While the mountains themselves lack trees, there are many forested valleys, in which you'll find enough lumber for all your woodcutting needs. Be warned, however, that animals aren't common above the treeline, so you'll have to do a bunch of climbing whenever you want to go hunting. Finally, be careful when exploring, as it is easier to take a lot of fall damage if you jump of a high place, intentionally or by accident.