I'm back with a region spotlight. Now if you're wondering why I haven't written anything in a while, check the storm story, in which I deal with a windstorm with 110 km/h winds, and the cleanup that followed.
Wintry weather aside, let's actually feature a region of Middle-Earth! This time, I have not chosen a "region" or even a "regional variant" as such. This region is actually another dimension of Middle-Earth, accessible by going through the icy wastelands of Forodwaith. That's right, I am doing no region other than Utumno.
Where is it?
Utumno is not easy to get to. You have to travel a long way through the icy wastes of Forodwaith if you want to get there, and follow a very specific route. Once you get to the end of your journey, you'll come to a structure known as The Pits, which always spawn in the same spot regardless of the world. You can then climb into the long stairs leading down to a portal, although you will see a warning on the way down. If you've brought hired units (or swans -- more on that later), push them into the portal now. Then hop into the portal for yourself. You must be quick about this, though; if you linger for more than a minute, you will never find your hired units again, for the timer which picks where entities are placed in Utumno resets after a minute.
Utumno is the realm of the Greater Dark Lord, Melkor. It was built long ago, even before the First Age of Middle-Earth, and in it He bred many foul things, including Orcs, Trolls, and more. While Melkor was cast out into The Void, the ruins of his former fortress still remain, along with a way to get into it. More can be read on the faction page.
What do you like about this region?
Well, I can't say I like much about Utumno. It's definitely not a place where I'd like to live, for there are too many foul things that dwell there, and all of them seem to have one goal; to make my stay there as short and uncomfortable as possible.
But, on the other hand, Utumno is a great realm if your goal is to fight. There'll be lots of fighting around every turn, possibly more than you bargained for. It's a great place to test out whether your heavily enhanced equipment is up for a big fight.... or not. If you die, you'll lose all of it. But if you escape, you can get some very powerful items.
Any advice for travelers?
I don't recommend entering Utumno ill-prepared. Get yourself some strong equipment, Dwarven Tonic, food, and lots of ammunition at minimum if you don't want to be cut to pieces in a hurry. I also like to bring along some Athelas Brew, to heal up quickly. Torches aren't very useful, as it's too dark. I strongly recommend using equipment with enduring on it and making sure it's in tip-top shape before entering; the last thing you want is to be facing a Balrog and your highly-protective chestplate breaking. These are just the things I like to bring along; in fact, I am thinking of doing a video of a run through Utumno sometime in the near future. This page may also prove helpful in your quest for domination of Melkor's realm.