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THE GREY MOUNTAINS

Forming the northern border of the Rhovanion and Mirkwood, the Grey Mountains span four hundred miles: from Angmar’s Witch-realm to the Iron Hills. Shot through with Dwarven mines, Orc warrens and Dragon caves, the Ered Mithrin are a cold and foreboding ranges. They promise treasure and adventure, but more often deliver an untimely demise to explorers.

North of the Grey Mountains lay the Northern Waste. This land was known as Dor Daedelos during the First Age, but most of it was destroyed in the breaking of Arda. Where the Grey Mountains met with the Misty Mountains lay Mount Gundabad, an ancient Dwarven holy site and later the capital for the Orcs of the north. During the Third Age, the branch of the Grey Mountains west of the Misty Mountains were also known as the Mountains of Angmar, as they were within the Kingdom of Angmar. The eastern end of the Grey Mountains was split into two chains, and in between lay the Withered Heath, whereDragons bred. After that was a wide hilly plain, until the Iron Hills continued the old line of the Iron Mountains again. Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, was not part of either range. From east to west the mountains stretched some 350 Númenórean Miles, and the sources of the Great RiverAnduin, the river Greylin, and the Forest River of Mirkwood arose in this range.

History

Since sometime after the awakening of Durin the Deathless, the Longbeards had mined and colonized the Grey Mountains as part of their vast mountain territory. Through the First Age there was peace in the region, and the Dwarves explored and mined without hinderance. During the Second Age however after the War of Wrath, and the subsequent sinking of Beleriand, hordes of Orcs began to invade and make war against the Longbeards in the Grey and Misty Mountains as well as Mount Gundabad. However the Orcs were eventually subdued for a time, and the Dwarves went back to work.

The Third Age

After fleeing Khazad-dum Durin’s folk scattered, and later gathered again in the Grey Mountains, but after six hundred years all the Dwarven strongholds had been abandoned or raided during the Wars of the Dwarves and Dragons. Its sole purpose now seemed to be to divide Forodwaith from Wilderland. Although it seems that the Orcs started moving into the mountains after the Dwarves fled, and were a large threat until after the Battle of Five Armies. It seems that some Dwarves still dwelt in the Ered Mithrin during the late Third Age, so it is likely after the War of the Ring, the Dwarves drove whatever Drakes and Orcs were left totally from the mountains, and reclaimed the rest of their halls and mines in the Grey Mountains.  (Copyright http://tolkiengateway.net)

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