|“||We have fought for Felagrog for a thousand years and will fight for him for ten thousand more. The fools who stand in our way will die. You cannot fight a fire with steel, and the Fire will consume you regardless.||”|
–Nagithas the Indomitable
|The Twisted Flame, the emblem of Moria|
|Government type||Militaristic Autocracy (Gundabad Clan)|
|Current Ruler(s)||War Chief Nagithas the Indomitable (Grievous1138), as right hand and on behalf of Felagrog, the Balrog of Moria|
|Emblem||The Twisted Flame of Moria|
|Flag||Banner of Gundabad|
|Claimed Lands||Misty Mountains between Moria and the Gladden Pass, northwestern Eregion, western Vales of Anduin between the Gladden River and Lothórien|
|Map of Lands|
|Capital||The Balrog Halls|
|Allies||Other Gundabad Clans, Dol Guldur, Angmar, Isengard, Dunland, Mordor, Moredain, Near Harad, Umbar, Half-Trolls, Tauredain|
|Population||20 and rising|
|Used NPCs||Gundabad NPCs, Black Uruks, Olog-hai and other troll types, Uruk Warg-riders|
The Orcs of Moria are Orcs in the service of the Balrog Durin's Bane and his right hand, Gundabad War Chief Nagithas the Indomitable. They are fierce fighters, diligent miners, skilled builders, and very militaristic, being assigned each to one of ten companies. They are fiercely loyal to their leaders, and will follow the Fire Orcs into battle wherever they go.
The Moria Orcs currently hold what will be roughly half of Moria, and are always on the watch. They use diverse arrays of troops - from Black Uruks to Warg Riders to Olog-hai to Gundabad Uruks - and are trained in various weapons. No Moria Orc is to be underestimated.
The History of the Orcs of the Black Chasm
Disclaimer: This history is almost completely fictional lore and did not happen on the server. Any reference to hostilities with the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm - or any dwarves, for that matter - has no relation to the server itself.
This history has been taken in full from The History of Moria, Volumes VI and VII, written and composed by War Chief Nagithas.
Moria, the Black Chasm, known far and wide as a place of shadow and horrors and as the greatest city in Middle-Earth, was not always as it is. It was once Khazad-dûm, the chief city of the Longbeard Dwarves and indeed all the Dwarves of the world. It was steeped in riches and had a long history, as for millennia it had stood as a bastion of light in the midst of an ever-growing sea of darkness. But the Kingdom of Khazad-dûm first came to an end in the middle of the Third Age, and Moria passed to new rulers: a Balrog and his clan of Gundabad Orcs.
The fall of Khazad-dûm began, though the Dwarves did not know it, with the return of Gombar the Black. One of the first of the race of Black Uruks, Gombar had survived the fall of Sauron at the end of the Second Age, and with a band of Orcs plagued the Gladden Fields until fifteen hundred years afterwards. It was around that time that he made his way to Mount Caradhras, the northernmost of the Mountains of Moria, and on its northern extremity built a great fortress in secret. To bolster the ranks of Gombar’s orcs came thousands from other parts of the mountains and the lands about, and others were bred within. They terrorized the lands nearby, and caused problems for the Dwarves, and though none yet knew where their fortress lay all considered him a foreboding omen.
Of the Orcs bred in Caradhras, one was named Nagithas, Grievous in the ancient tongue of Mordor, for he came while a plague was culling the ranks of Caradhras, and he was the only one of his brood to survive birth. The plague left him with sickly green skin, thin features, and bulbous red eyes, but he nonetheless rose in prominence in Caradhras. He had unparalleled night vision, and for it became a Captain, put in charge of resource-gathering operations deep in the mines of Caradhras. This company, nearly a hundred strong, was efficient and often received praise from Gombar himself, for they contributed much to the strength of Caradhras. But one day, when Nagithas was fifty, the company went down into the mines and never returned. They were considered dead by their comrades, and the full story did not reach the ears of Gombar for years to come.
For Nagithas and his miners were not dead. They had stumbled upon another tunnel while mining deep below the mountain, a tunnel that - to Nagithas’ surprise - appeared to have been melted into the rock. Much of the tunnel had since collapsed or had been refilled with molten rock thousands of years prior, but nonetheless the miners were able to descend deep into Mount Caradhras. They found the end of the tunnel blocked, and when they cleared it they were met with a sight beyond their comprehension. There, in a cavern of stone lit by the glow of magma, was a creature of shadow and flame, a Balrog of Melkor, long thought dead.
At the end of the First Age, during the Fall of Thangorodrim, a Balrog known as Felagrog fled the wrath of the Valar, crossing Eriador in a blaze of fire, before melting himself deep into the heart of Mount Caradhras. There, at the very roots of the mountain, he slept for thousands of years, until the call of Sauron awakened him. But when he awoke, he found himself trapped: the way he had come in was blocked, and there was no way out. And so he lay imprisoned until the arrival of Nagithas’ company, on the twenty-first of April in the year 1980 of the Third Age.
The Orcs would likely have perished there, were it not for Felagrog’s memories of their kind, and for Nagithas’ first move. Seeing the creature as it was, as a messenger from Melkor himself, Nagithas prostrated himself before the Balrog and pledged to worship and serve it for as long as him life lasted. The orcs of his company, crowded in the tunnel, took heed and did the same.
It was at this point that the Dwarves arrived. Under King Durin VI they became greedier than ever, digging constantly deeper under Caradhras for mithril, which their king demanded in ever greater quantities. At this point in time he had become convinced that his miners were slacking, and so was personally overseeing operations at the Redhorn Lodes. It was while pursuing an especially large vein of mithril that they broke through the walls of the Balrog’s cavern, and unleashed horror upon themselves.
At first the dwarves were frozen with horror, staring with terror into the eyes of the Balrog, failing to notice the orcs close at hand. Then one of Durin’s guard made a move. A throwing axe flew through the air, only for the hilt to catch fire and for the head, half-melted, to bounce off the wall of the cavern. Then in a blaze of fire the Balrog struck back. In one hand it drew a sword of fire, but with the other it seized Durin out of the group by the head and crushed his skull in one swift motion. Flinging the king’s corpse against the wall, it bore down on the other Dwarves as they took to flight, crying out in terror of Durin’s Bane.
Durin’s Bane pursued them, and the Orcs followed suit. But before departure, Nagithas stripped the partly burned corpse of Durin VI, taking his mithril-trimmed armor, with the exception of his mangled helmet. He then led his men back through the Dwarves’ mines, catching up with the Balrog and coming eventually to the Mining Halls, the northernmost part of Moria. There, all of the Dwarves present save those who had returned with messages to the prince took up arms, and prepared to defend the halls in which they lived and worked.
They were massacred. The Balrog burned through the initial waves of Dwarven miners and soldiers gathered in the Redhorn Hub, and scaled the walls up to the Overseers’ balcony, from which he charged into the Halls proper. The Orcs followed, killing any dwarves left alive in Felagrog’s burning wake, and killing the guard in the proper entrance to the mines. In short order, there were no dwarves left alive beyond the mithril gate of the halls, which would later be renamed the Balrog Halls, as they became the dwelling-place of Felagrog himself.
In the following months the Orcs mustered for a follow-up attack, as Felagrog brooded. They armed themselves with gear obtained from corpses and the Dwarven armories, and prepared for their enemy to move against them. No attack on the Balrog Halls came. Indeed, the new King, Náin I, had recalled almost all his troops to Durin’s Crossroads to prepare for such an attack, but the muster was slow, and the Orcs made moves in the meantime. One by one, they silently seized control of the abandoned checkpoints along the Great Northern Road, occupied the empty Iron Pits north of Durin’s Crossroads, and in an attack eliminated the skeleton guard that had been left at Fanuidhol. Felagrog effectively had control of the entire northern industrial stretch of the city, but the greatest attack was yet to come.
At Durin’s Crossroads came the next stroke. As they mustered, the Balrog attacked, and a massive battle began. If the dwarves had the means and the courage, their numbers might even have slain Felagrog, but the Orcs had some tricks of their own. Under Nagithas, they broke into the now-abandoned waterworks and unblocked all the tunnels that Cave-Trolls had been causing problems from in the centuries prior. The trolls were released and were driven into combat, distracting the enemy as the orcs climbed up the well near the crossroads and attacked from yet another angle, shattering the stone lid of the well in the process. An Orc of the company, known as Sadaauk, managed to locate the systems that funneled water to the main city as this happened, and poisoned Khazad-dûm’s water supply. The battle at Durin’s Crossroads and in the nearby halls on the Endless Stair lasted nearly to the end of the year, as the Balrog’s forces were not in numbers enough to openly challenge Náin’s army. At last, however, they were able to incur casualties enough that the dwarves retreated to the eastern side of the city, and Durin’s Crossroads were secured. All the city-sections to the west were abandoned, and another stalemate ensued.
The end of the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm was near. Their population had been devastated by previous battles, and during the months of the second stalemate these numbers plummeted even further, due to the poisoning of their water supply. The Dwarves concentrated their forces between Third Deep and the Third Level, abandoning the lower Deeps and upper levels as Thráin, son of Náin, evacuated the remaining dwarven civilians to the Second and First Halls. Náin himself prepared with the bulk of his army in the Market-Hall at the end of Durin’s Way, anticipating the final stroke.
The final stroke came in a blaze of fire. Durin’s Bane charged into the Market Hall, slaughtering all in his path, as the Orcs unleashed Cave-Trolls down from the Seventh Level and into the Deeps. They then joined in the attack themselves, and the final battle proved fierce. Deep by deep, level by level, the Dwarves were pushed back until only the first of each remained in their grip. Each of the Orcs fought well, killing many dwarves, but they paid for it, and nearly all of them perished in the effort. Many trolls, too, fell. But Durin’s Bane was unstoppable. As the remains of the Dwarves’ army was recalled to the First Deep, he entered the Throne Room in the Seventh Hall, and slaughtered the last of the royal guard. The Dwarves were pushed back to the Second Hall, where Náin bravely attempted to kill the Balrog in a desperate last stand. He was completely destroyed, and all that remained of him was ash, melted steel, and the great mithril warhammer that he used in battle. With his death, Thráin ordered a retreat, and the rest of the Dwarves all fled Khazad-dûm, leaving it to Felagrog. The city became known far and wide as Moria, the Black Chasm, and all avoided the area for fear of the Nameless Terror, Durin’s Bane.
As the last of the Dwarves fled, a silence fell upon Moria. The remaining Cave-Trolls that survived took their plunder and began their return to their caves under Durin’s Crossroads. Them aside, only five remained alive in all of Moria: the Balrog and four Orcs. These stood in the Great Hall as the Dwarves fell back, with Felagrog brooding silently as the Orcs tended to themselves. These four Orcs - named Nagithas, Sadaauk, Ushnotz, and Angmarzku - rededicated themselves to Felagrog, and Felagrog accepted them as his lieutenants, those who would carry out his will for over a thousand years.
For the next five hundred years, Moria would lie empty. The great city, the work of countless dwarves over thousands of years, fell into decay. Many of the great lamps of crystal burned out, and torches died, leaving much of the city in darkness. The halls of the main city were abandoned, and began to crumble. The only part of the city that saw use was the Balrog Halls, which the Fire Orcs, as they came to be known, kept in good condition, as a home and shrine to the Balrog. All four lived in the Halls, though they often went out to explore parts of the city and loot abandoned halls and store-rooms. No other visitors came to Moria for fear of the Balrog, and many of the ways into it became lost.
After the Dwarven retreat from Moria, Nagithas took the old warhammer that Náin had used in his futile attempt to slay Felagrog, and named it Grond, after the ancient Hammer of the Underworld. Though the Fire Orcs had no real structure, all acknowledged him as the leader of the four, and he chose for himself the moniker of Indomitable. Over five hundred years he explored all of Moria, and knew the whole city like the back of his hand. But while the others developed their own skills, Nagithas often remained in the Balrog Halls with Felagrog, learning of Melkor and the history of the world, and of the arts of flame. It is said the Felagrog imbued the Fire Orcs with some of his power, and in Nagithas this became most prominent. He achieved an influence over fire, and Grond became laden with fell enchantments that allowed it to set targets aflame. He also had Ushnotz refit the mithril-trimmed armor he had stolen from the body of Durin, and wore it.
Sadaauk, even more so than Nagithas, explored the ruins of Moria, and over the centuries had been through every last corner of the city multiple times. He honed his combat skills during this time as well, sparring often with the other Fire Orcs and occasionally venturing into Dimrill Dale to hunt the animals that lived in the vale, or the Elves that occasionally wandered up from Lothlorien. Sadaauk often rummaged through dwarven armories and weapon-stores to find salvageable equipment, which proved useful for all four Fire Orcs. It was Sadaauk who found the ancient Utumno helmet Nagithas took for a crown in the King's Treasury on Seventh Deep, and for himself took a set of gold-trimmed armor that belonged to a dwarf-lord that he had slain in the great battle. As a weapon he wielded a great black spear forged by Ushnotz, and a cleaver that he had brought from Caradhras. Felagrog taught Sadaauk the arts of shadow, which he used to conceal himself and distract his enemies. Sadaauk took the moniker of Shadow-Weaver, a name which the few Elves that had seen him already whispered.
Ushnotz took the moniker of the Blacksmith for evident reasons, for he had an opportunity no other Orc-smith in Middle-Earth had: access to the great forges of Khazad-dûm, and hundreds of examples of the metalwork of the dwarves. Ushnotz spent much time in the various forge halls scattered across Moria, especially in the massive Great Forge Hall of Fanuidhol, and eventually figured out how to work all the forges and machines within. With this knowledge and centuries to work, he eventually figured out the most coveted secrets of the dwarves: how they forged their armor. Ushnotz’s methods were imperfect, but for the most part sound, though he would not make new sets of armor in numbers for a while. He did, however, forge weapons for the Fire Orcs, including Sadaauk’s spear and his own battleaxe, and refitted trimmed dwarven armor pieces to go over the Orc-mail all of them wore; this included a gold-trimmed set that he himself wore. For Sadaauk, himself, and Angmarzku, Ushnotz forged three horned helmets of black steel in the likeness of Felagrog.
Angmarzku, like Sadaauk, used a spear in combat, as well as a shortbow of his own making, and with his Balrog-helmet wore the silver-trimmed armor of Durin’s herald over his mail. Angmarzku not only explored Moria, but also the caves that the dwarves had blocked off in the deepest parts of the city. He dug a few tunnels himself, mostly based on old mineshafts, and in the caves the trolls inhabited near the Waterworks made the start of a stronghold, which would later be called the Troll-Caves. To the east of the Troll-Caves, Angmarzku also discovered halls that had already been long abandoned, half-completed and left to ruin. He connected these to old mine systems and a series of cave networks, the start of what would eventually become the Orc-Warrens. For this, and his later works more so, he was given the moniker of Architect, a role he would truly come into in later centuries.
Five hundred years after the Balrog was freed, Moria changed forever. For in Mirkwood to the east, in the ruins of Dol Guldur, the Dark Lord Sauron was stirring again, and in his guise as the Necromancer he spread his influence across Middle-Earth. As part of his plan to have Orcs block the ways through the Misty Mountains, he sent shadowy messengers to Mount Gundabad, the capital stronghold of the Gundabad Clans, to meet with High Chieftain Azog the Defiler. To Azog they spoke of the vast wealth of Moria that lay unguarded, and eventually stirred him to claim them. Azog gathered a great army of Gundabad Orcs, and they marched south to Moria.
Upon arriving at the Great Gates of Moria, Azog and his army marched in without thought, believing the city completely abandoned. But when they entered they were met with the terrifying visage of Felagrog, with the Fire Orcs behind him. Many of Azog’s company cowered in fear, but Azog instead knelt before the Balrog, seeing him for what he was. Felagrog accepted the presence of Azog and his army, and the Fire Orcs joined with the new arrivals, operating in the northern parts of the city while Azog took the southern ruins for his own.
Azog declared Moria the new capital of the Gundabad Clans, and took the throne the Kings of Khazad-dûm once had sat on for his own. In his army there were two captains of great strength, Khaz-bahg and Urghâsh, but he placed Nagithas over them due to the Fire Orc’s power. The other Fire Orcs became great leaders in their own right, but Nagithas, Khaz-bahg, and Urghâsh became the chief of Azog’s lieutenants, with Nagithas being in charge of defense, Khaz-bahg being in charge of the main army, and Urghâsh being in charge of aid to allies. Khaz-bahg and Urghâsh took up equipment similar to that worn by the Fire Orcs, and salvaged silver-trimmed armor sets to wear over their own.
Under Azog, legions of Orcs spread across Moria, especially in the deep parts of the eastern city. The Fire Orcs called them the Gundabad-hai, for they came from Mount Gundabad and were of that strong breed. The majority of the Orcs that came with Azog were soldier-orcs, but many of the elite Gundabad Uruks had come as well, a number of which formed the elite guard of Azog. The leader of these Uruks was called Shagor-tûr, and he grew close with the Fire Orcs, for they were similar in skill sets. Many of the Gundabad Orcs eventually became more like Nagithas and the others, and worshipped Felagrog as well as Melkor.
But during Azog’s reign, other Orcs spread throughout Moria as well. The Gundabad Orcs bred in the dark pits of Moria, and some began to mutate to adapt to the dark. Through the influence of Felagrog this was accelerated, and so the first Orcs of Moria were born. They bore a resemblance to the Fire Orcs, all with green skin, black hair, and large eyes. They were akin to the soldier-orcs of Gundabad, and over the course of three hundred years became the dominant Orcs of Moria, and the Northern Road System was almost entirely inhabited by their kind. They were relentless in their devotion to the Balrog, and tended to favor Nagithas over the other captains. Their contemporaries called them the Zaudrop-ushataru, the Warriors of Moria.
Many of the new arrivals raided the armories of Moria, and took pieces of dwarven armor as trophies. Azog saw the strength of such armor in early conflicts, and so ordered Ushnotz to make more like it. To that end Ushnotz made black armor of intricate design, covered in spikes and close-fitting, with spiked helmets that masked the face. With this armor he paired great shields modeled on Felagrog’s wings, and cunning weapons of sharp and unusual design. Most Orcs in Moria began to use this armor, though some retained their original sets that had been brought from Gundabad.
Nagithas ordered the population of the Balrog Halls and Fanuidhol, while the Iron Pits and West-Gate had relatively small populations, but Azog considered the eastern parts of the city to be the core of his realm, and sought to effect improvement. In the Deeps of Moria, Azog ordered Angmarzku to build better defenses and more tunnels. Over centuries the Orc-Warrens became heavily inhabited, and transformed into a massive, confusing network of tunnels, caverns, and forgotten halls. These were connected to the lower Deeps of Moria, which were fortified as the greatest population center of Moria. The Troll-Caves were also expanded, and Azog had other entrances to the lower parts of Moria built in the mountains. The largest was the fortress hidden behind a ridge over the main Great Gates, but there also existed hidden entrances to the west of it that led to the Warrens and to the Troll-Caves.
From Moria, Azog coordinated all of the Gundabad Clans, and orchestrated raids on anyone within reach. Some say he was under the sway of the Necromancer, while others claim that he was simply attacking on a whim, but regardless his forces attacked Men across the Vales of Anduin, burning villages and slaughtering their civilians. Lothlorien, too, faced attacks from the Moria Orcs over the course of the next three hundred years, though all were fought off with relative ease.
The Dwarves in particular found themselves targets of Azog’s attacks, for their new kingdom in the Grey Mountains had grown prosperous. The attacks lasted for nearly a hundred years, and were mainly executed by the Orc-clans at Gundabad and hiding in the mountains themselves. During the War of the Dwarves and Dragons the Orcs tentatively sided with the Dragons, though their actions in the war were limited to looting and minor, opportunistic attacks. Following the Dwarves’ defeat in the War, Azog mostly left them alone, as Erebor, their new kingdom, was out of reach.
Following the retreat of the Dwarves Azog’s attacks on his neighbors decreased in magnitude, though he sent armies out when he could at seemingly arbitrary moments, especially against the Dúnedain, which is believed to have been a result of the Necromancer’s influence. A large army was sent from Moria to attack the Northern Army of Gondor in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant, backing them against the river and allying with the Balchoth. This army, however, was destroyed with the arrival of Eorl and his horsemen, and none survived. Another army was sent out by Azog during the Long Winter, and was responsible for an attack on Tharbad that left much of the city ruined, and the east side entirely unpopulated.
But then, nearly two thousand and eight hundred years into the Third Age and nearly four hundred into Azog’s reign, a new arrival came to Dimrill Dale. Thrór, heir of Durin, former king of Erebor, had in a moment of despair come to the Great Gates, having lost all and desperate. He entered, like a king who has returned, and orc-scouts unseen reported his presence to Azog. Azog personally dealt with the Dwarf-King, having sworn to crush the line of Durin, and snuck up on him in the dark of the Second Hall. Azog cut off Thrór’s head, and tossed it and the body out on the steps up to the gate. Nár, Thrór’s companion, was left alive to deliver the message of the Orcs to the Dwarves: Azog is the ruler of Moria, and those who challenge him will not be tolerated. When Thráin, Thrór’s son, heard this tale, he was filled with grief and rage. News of the tale was spread across the Dwarven Kingdoms, so that armies from all seven houses marched out to avenge the heir to the first of their race. So began the War of the Dwarves and Orcs.
The War was long, and lasted seven years, but the Moria Orcs saw little combat until the end. The first attacks of the Dwarves, at Gundabad and in the Grey Mountains, failed, and the Orcs held the upper hand in the war for much of the first part. Only in the second half of the War did the Dwarves take the upper hand, and by then they proved nearly unstoppable. They sacked Mount Gundabad, and proceeded to attack every Orc-hold from the far north to the Gladden Pass, searching for Azog. But they did not occupy any of these holds, for they had not the numbers, and only sought one thing: the head of Azog. Orcs, therefore, trickled back quickly to their old holds, and by the end of the war all the Orc-Holds of the mountains were occupied again.
After the Dwarven sack of the Gladden Pass, they moved south to Caradhras, where they had finally learned an Orc-Hold lay. Anticipating the attack, Nagithas and the Fire-Orcs took a legion of Moria Orcs and, with the permission of Azog, marched to reinforce their brethren. The Dwarven attack on Caradhras had begun when they arrived, and Gombar was preparing to retreat beyond the gate of the great fortress. But the army of Nagithas came from behind, and between the two armies the Dwarves were routed. There, on the field of battle, Nagithas and Gombar met again, and the mystery of the disappearance of the Fire Orcs was solved. But there was little time to discuss the past, for there was still a war on, and the final move was about to commence.
At last, the Dwarves had gathered to attack Moria. The Battle of Azanulbizar, of Dimrill Dale, was the largest battle of the war to date. Ten thousand dwarves mustered in the vale, while fifteen thousand Orcs had gathered on the hills above the Great Gates under Nagithas, and Khaz-bahg and Azog mustered the other Moria Orcs. On a dark winter day the battle began, and the Orcs quickly gained the upper hand. The Fire Orcs fought madly, and Nagithas and Sadaauk slew Fundin I and Frérin I, great lords of the Dwarves. Angmarzku fought Thráin in single combat, and though neither perished, Thráin lost an eye in the duel. Khaz-bahg, however, was killed by Thorin, Thráin’s son, who would soon be called Oakenshield, for in his fight with the Orc-captain he was forced to use a fallen oak branch as a shield. Despite their losses, however, the Orcs clearly held the upper hand until the arrival of Náin.
Náin, leader of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills, came late to the battle, and drove the Orcs back. The Dwarves began a counterattack, slaughtering all in their path to the Great Gate. All the while, they called out for Azog; and Azog came. With an elite guard, the High Chieftain charged out of the Great Gate, cuttin through Náin’s men. Náin himself attempted to kill Azog, but he was weary, and Azog easily defeated him, breaking his neck in one swift stroke. But by the time the duel was done, the Orcs were being routed. Many were fleeing south, where they would eventually come to trouble Rohan. Others retreated up the mountains, where they came back to Moria through hidden ways. But Azog was slain by Dáin, Náin’s son, and with his death the Orcs were defeated. But the Dwarves did not enter Moria, for they had nowhere near sufficient numbers, and worse, Dáin’s glimpse inside confirmed the suspicions of the Dwarves: Durin’s Bane still waited within.
The Orcs likely would have attempted a sneak-attack on the dwarven survivors had they left, were it not for the Balrog. Felagrog commanded them to wait, and to regain their strength in the years to come, and the Orcs obeyed. Azog’s title and power fell to Bolg, but Bolg left Moria to return to Mount Gundabad, and so the Moria Clan came under the rule of Nagithas the Indomitable. Nagithas declared himself the War Chief of Moria, and was accepted in this by all the Orcs that remained inside the city. The Gundabad Clans were severely weakened, but by no means were they destroyed. Over mere decades, they once more rose to be one of the foremost threats to the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth.
Nagithas greatly reorganized the Moria Clan following the battle, and gave the Fire Orcs high ranks in his army. Sadaauk and Urghâsh became the captains of Moria, while Ushnotz and Angmarzku were elevated to the rank of High Lieutenant. All Orcs in Moria were converted to the worship of Felagrog and Melkor, and the Balrog once more took a high place in the affairs of the ruined city. Nagithas organized his army rigidly, splitting it into legions that were, in turn, split into companies. Nagithas oversaw every aspect of Moria, and ruled with an iron fist.
The majority of the Orcs in Moria were now those who had been bred by Durin’s Bane, but their numbers had been greatly decreased in the battle, while few of the Gundabad-hai remained. Many of those that remained became officers. As a result, the Orcs bred once more, swelling their numbers and yet again introducing a new breed. Thanks again to the influence of Felagrog, a new breed, often called the Zaudrop-gurmusu, began to spread. These Orcs were smaller and thinner, with pale blue eyes and thick black hair. They served well as scouts or assassins, and there were soon thousands of them, especially in the Deeps of Eastgate. The numbers of the Orcs of Moria soon returned to former heights.
With the approval of Felagrog, Nagithas brought the Moria Clan closer with the other Clans of Gundabad, united under Bolg. As the Orcs across the mountains recuperated in secret, their leaders came to meet often at Mount Gundabad to plot. Nagithas and Sadaauk in particular became familiar with many other Orc-Leaders in the Misty Mountains, including the Great Goblin and his chief lieutenant, the latest chieftain of the Gladden Pass, the War Chiefs of the clans in the Grey Mountains and in Eriador, and Bolg himself. Gombar and Nagithas also became close friends, though Nagithas only rarely visited Caradhras.
One hundred and fifty years following the conclusion of the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, news spread across the mountains and stirred the Orcs to war. The Great Goblin, leader of the Goblin Clan of the High Pass, had been killed in his own city - by none other than Thorin Oakenshield. Furious, the Orc-leaders gathered at Mount Gundabad. Nagithas was among them, and foreseeing Bolg’s course of action he ordered Urghâsh to gather an army of warrior-orcs for battle. Sadaauk he left in charge of the defense force in the case of a counterattack, which was the larger of the two by a considerable margin.
At Mount Gundabad, the Orc-Leaders decided to pool their forces and those of the Wargs into a great army, and then sweep through the Anduin Vales until Oakenshield was found and killed. Their armies marched north and mustered as one host under Bolg, many tens of thousands strong. But new news interrupted their plans: Smaug, the Dragon of Erebor, was dead, leaving a vast treasure unguarded. Lured by the promise of a new foothold in the north, Bolg changed targets, suspecting that the Dwarves had something to do with it. All of the Orc-leaders intended to lead their armies in battle, but it fell to Nagithas to remain behind in case the assault failed. This was a favorable turn of events, in the end.
The attack became widely known as the Battle of the Five Armies. The full tale of that battle is well-documented: Bolg’s army of Orcs and Wargs executed an attack on the combined armies of the Wood-Elves, Dwarves, and Men of Lake-Town. Urghâsh and the Orcs of Moria fought valiantly in the battle: in the second wave, they attacked the Wood-Elf army that had gathered upon Ravenhill, breaking their lines and eventually scaling the hill with the spikes of their armor. They were only pushed back by the arrival of the Eagles of the Misty Mountains, who swept down and cleared them from the hills, killing Urghâsh and allowing the Elves to slaughter the rest of them. Bolg, as is known, died in the battle, and three-quarters of the army was destroyed. The remaining Orcs and Wargs fled back to Gundabad or into the Grey Mountains. The Clans were in chaos once more.
Dagalûr, the former captain of Bolg’s bodyguard, led the survivors, and claimed the title of High Chieftain when he returned to Gundabad. Nagithas gathered the remains of his forces and returned to Moria as Dagalûr attempted to rebuild the clans. For sixty years, Nagithas ruled in effective isolation, contributing to the overall efforts of the Clans but focusing on the affairs of his own. Due to the small size of the force sent to the battle, the armies of Moria had suffered comparatively few casualties, and so there was not much rebuilding to be done. Urghâsh was replaced in the clan hierarchy by Ushnotz, and Shagor-tûr, a Gundabad Uruk who came to Moria with Azog, was made a High Lieutenant to serve alongside Angmarzku. It was around this time that yet another breed of Moria Orcs, the Zaudrop-kapulu, came to maturity. They were bred as miners, and in the decades immediately following the Battle of the Five Armies did indeed serve in that purpose. But they were also highly skilled in mineshaft combat, for they were small almost to the point of goblin-size, and had large eyes and long fingers. They bred rapidly, especially in the Orc-Warrens, and in later years would see plenty of use as swarm soldiers.
War came to Moria unexpectedly in year 2989 of the Third Age. Balin of Erebor, with a large company of Dwarves, set out for Moria in an attempt to reclaim it. To their attack on the Great Gates only a company of Nagithas’ army was sent, and the Orcs were slaughtered, including their lieutenant. Balin’s forced proceeded to drive their way into Moria, and Felagrog ordered Nagithas to pull back so as not to deplete their forces, and counterattack later. Balin and his dwarves took the First Deep by force, and Nagithas abandoned the Seven Levels to them. After their initial victory, Balin set up his throne in the Chamber of Mazarbul on the Seventh Level, and began to attempt expansion.
Oín, one of Balin’s chief lieutenants, personally led a large part of the Dwarves’ fighting force deeper into the eastern part of the city, taking the Second Deep and the Third Deep despite massive losses. From the armory on Third Deep they salvaged what there was left from the pillaging the Orcs had done over the years. They then proceeded to attempt to take Fourth Deep, but this effort miserably failed, and they barricaded the passage down to the Fourth Deep instead. Oín then captured Durin’s Crossroads in a two-pronged attack from Mazarbul and from the Second Deep, though the Dwarves’ grasp there was weak and they took none of the surrounding halls.
As the Dwarves pressed deeper into Moria, the orcs began to resist more, preparing defenses and mustering for an attack. As Oín pressed westwards through a network of tunnels, Felagrog too began his own work. He had long known that immeasurably ancient things dwelt in the Foundations of Stone beneath Moria, and after the abandoning of Khazad-dûm one such creature had crept into the Waterworks. This creature was an ancient Kraken, bred by Melkor, and Felagrog met with it, and ordered it to bar all passage to and from the West-Gate. Through dark underground streams it crept up to the bed of the Sirannon, and dammed the river, flooding the vale before the Gate. The creature became known as the Watcher in the Water, a terrible beast indeed. Oín did eventually clear a path to the West-Gate, but when he found it blocked they made no attempt to cross the dark waters. From the beginning, the Dwarven grasp on the western parts of the city were extremely limited and quite weak, and patrols there had to fight off constant Orc attacks.
In his five-year reign of Moria, Balin recovered many treasures, including plenty of mithril and Durin’s Axe. Their colony prospered - but the counterattack was soon to come. On the fifth anniversary of his arrival in Moria, Balin went out alone to gaze in Mirrormere. While he was there, one of Nagithas’ assassins took their chance, and shot him. Balin fell, and when the Dwarves came to recover the body Ushnotz led an army down from Fanuidhol to attack. As an army of Dwarves was hastily sent out to engage them, several others retreated inside immediately and prepared for an on the Gates. But the attack came from other sides first. Oín and a company tried to escape through Westgate, but the pool was up to the wall, and the Watcher was ready. Only four survived the beast’s furious attack, and Oín was not among them. Following the destruction of Oín’s party, the Orcs led a rapid attack in the west, quickly recapturing Durin’s Crossroads and purging all of Moria to the west of it of Dwarves.
Then came the final strike. Sadaauk led a massive attack from the Deeps, breaking the Dwarves’ barricade and pushing their defenses gradually higher. The army Orí, the last leader of Balin’s company, sent to Third Deep was ambushed from behind by Angmarzku, who attacked from the Troll-Caves and drove the Dwarves to the First Deep. There the Dwarves fought like mad, under attack from two sides, until their final doom came. Felagrog himself arrived, leading more Orcs into the fray, and slaughtered all in his path, including several Dwarven champions. A company, under Fundin II Dwalinul, was able to burst out of the Great Gates shortly before Ushnotz captured them, fresh from the slaughter of the army sent to stop him. Fundin, a company of Dwarven warriors, and many civilians were able to escape undetected, and for months hid in Dimrill Dale.
But those who were not with Fundin weren’t so lucky. Methodically, Sadaauk and Durin’s Bane led Orcs up through the Deeps, killing any dwarves in their path. But Nagithas led an attack directly on the Seventh Deep. The Dwarves in the 21st Hall was massacred to the last of them, and Orí gathered the rest of the survivors in the Chamber of Mazarbul. They barricaded the doors, came under attack from both sides. It was Nagithas who broke this barricade, using Grond to drive through the western door and charge in ahead of his troops. Nagithas slew several of the Dwarves there, including Orí himself. The Orcs regrouped, and Nagithas, for a year, once more had control of all of Moria.
One year after Balin’s death, Fundin, captain of the dwarves, lead his dwarves back to Moria. He was the son of Dwalin, a friend of Thorin Oakenshield, dead King under the Mountain. He was one of the best warriors of the dwarves, and his bodyguards compared him to Durin IV of old. Secretly, the dwarves crossed the Redhorn Pass. When they came to the Doors of Durin, the pool had sunk, for it had not rained for many days. They entered the western side of the city secretly and captured it, and Fundin called himself King of Khazad-dûm. Nagithas took notice of them too late. In a bold move Fundin seized Durin’s Crossroads, this time also taking many of the districts around it and barricading the remaining defenders in the Troll-Caves. It was presumed that Shagor-tûr and Angmarzku had been slain in this attack, for they led the force that was to push back against Fundin.
In a great battle, the dwarves reclaimed the eastern side of Khazad-dûm, and the few surviving Orcs fled into the Dimrill Dale. The dwarves then pressed northward, and reclaimed the Iron Pits. At that point the Orcs of Moria had been depleted, for the massive majority of Nagithas’s force had been waiting in the Orc-Warrens and Troll-Caves when the Dwarves blocked off both without warning, destroying all entrances that they found. So it was that Nagithas, Sadaauk, and Ushnotz were left with only a fraction of their army when the Dwarves attacked the Dimrill Crossroads. The battle there was so furious that the tunnels partly collapsed, blocking off the Balrog Halls and sealing Felagrog - and many Orcs - inside.
Nagithas and those who remained with him retreated to Fanuidhol, but the Dwarves attacked there too, and from that final ruinous battle Nagithas, Sadaauk, and Ushnotz only narrowly escaped northwards. Fundin set right to setting up his realm, which became strong. He built holds across the Dimrill Dale, and made a great fortress at Methedras. Khazad-dûm again was prosperous. Much work was done, and mithril flowed into the hands of the king. Many Moria Orcs indeed remained, but more than three-quarters of Nagithas’ entire force had been trapped in their dark caves, the aboveground entrances to which were destroyed. The days of Nagithas in Moria were over for the time being, and Durin’s Bane was sealed in the Balrog Halls. But Nagithas was not killed, and as he fled Fanuidhol he vowed that he would return, and that he would shatter the line of Durin.
So it was that Nagithas, Sadaauk, and Ushnotz returned to Caradhras. There Gombar welcomed them with open arms. Nagithas retained the title of War Chief, and officially made Sadaauk and Ushnotz Captains of Gundabad. They were followed by a steady trickle of Moria Orcs, whose numbers swelled those of Caradhras and brought Gombar’s city to an apex. A few months after Nagithas’s arrival, Gombar left for the East to divine the will of Melkor in far-off places, and so in his absence Nagithas took command. From the Dark Fortress bands of raiders once more were sent out to trouble the Dwarves, and indeed all of Middle-Earth. The Dwarves of Khazad-dûm had thought the Fire Orcs extinct, but when stories began to reach their ears of Grond once more in open battle, they began to fear otherwise.
Nagithas helped to revive many Gundabad Clans, and served as an advisor to their leaders. He became acquainted with the Dark Alliance, the shadowy power that bound the forces of evil together, and joined their councils many times; indeed, Nagithas became one of the Alliance’s foremost. With renewed strength, Gundabad began to attack the Dwarves once more, and the Dwarf Lords were enraged. They declared a War of Retribution against Gundabad and Dol Guldur, and Nagithas readily answered.
So began the Great War, which for a month consumed all of Middle-Earth. Nagithas rose to prominence on a global scale through this war, and Gundabad forces won victories across the Vales of Anduin, in the Grey Mountains, at Caradhras, and at Mount Gram. However, his own attempted attack on Khazad-dûm failed, and he could not breach the Great Gates. The Great War died down shortly after this defeat, though not before all of the Fire Orcs won themselves great fame.
Gombar returned shortly after the Great War concluded, and Nagithas relinquished command of Caradhras to him. The Fire Orcs began to plot strategies for the reconquest of Moria, and often went alone to mine down in the tunnels that they once had worked in. But then, one day, the unthinkable happened. During one mining trip, they broke into a very familiar passage. Recognizing the melted nature of the walls, the trio raced down the tunnel, and after a trip through winding mineshafts found themselves once more in the Balrog Halls. They returned to Caradhras only to retrieve their stuff and summon their subjects, and the Moria Orcs returned home.
Upon returning to the Balrog Halls, the Fire Orcs discovered that Felagrog not only remained, but had also not been idle. The Halls had been damaged in the tunnel collapse that had destroyed the Balrog’s Road and the Dimrill Crossroads, but they were not completely destroyed, and in the ruins Felagrog had gathered all the Moria Orcs that had survived the battle, and with them had bred a new kind of orc. Based on the Bodyguards of Azog, which had been deadly during the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, there had been bred the Moria Uruks, tall orcs of great strength. Nagithas took them as his personal legion, and after clearing paths through the rubble in the Balrog’s Road and Dimrill Crossroads, he began the reconquest of Moria.
Nagithas’ first attack came without warning, and caught the Dwarves off-guard. Since their capture of Moria, Fundin’s dwarves had garrisoned Fanuidhol strongly, expecting it to be the most likely target due to its proximity to Caradhras. But they did not expect the attack to come from within. In a massive and bloody battle, Nagithas and Ushnotz stormed the citadel, and though the dwarves were many they were entirely unprepared for the sheer power the Uruks of Moria brought to the battlefield. Fanuidhol was captured, though massive amounts of damage had been done to it, and Ushnotz took it as his fortress. There, he set to rebuilding its ruined halls and defenses, while Nagithas, Sadaauk, and the bulk of their army moved on.
The Orcs set out west, and captured much of the Great Northern Road before their advance ground to a standstill. For weeks, they were unable to move west past a point a kilometer east of the Iron Pits, and so decided on a new tactic. Nagithas sent Sadaauk to personally lead an offensive, driving the Dwarves back far enough and for long enough for the small room to be fortified, and then had his troops pull back to it. This point became known as Checkpoint Ash, the first and best-defended of the checkpoints Nagithas built on the Great Northern Road. The road bent south after Checkpoint Ash, and where it turned back east was built Checkpoint Shuk. The Dimrill Crossroads were fortified as well, and between them and Fanuidhol was built Checkpoint Shre.
As Moria Uruks kept a defense at Checkpoint Ash, Nagithas had a team of miners dig a new tunnel southwest from Checkpoint Shuk, cutting off the Iron Pits and enabling Sadaauk and his army to reenter the Troll-Caves and Orc-Warrens. There he found Angmarzku and Shagor-tûr alive, along with a massive army of Nagithas’ old subjects. Both were made High Lieutenants, and their armies were resupplied. Taking this force under his overall command, Sadaauk proceeded to attack the Lower Deeps of Moria.
By this point in time the Dwarves were well aware of the presence of the Orcs, and anticipated an assault on the Deeps. Fundin sent many of his best warriors down to garrison the Fourth and Fifth Deeps (as the Sixth and Seventh Deeps had at this point been collapsed and flooded for years.) But Sadaauk was no fool. He expected the Dwarves to have guards at the old tunnel hubs on Fifth Deep, and so together with Angmarzku made an alternate route. Angmarzku’s miners dug countermines that connected with old shafts from the 31st Hall, which was the hub for the greatest mines of the southern part of Moria. Through these shafts, Sadaauk launched his attack.
It came swiftly and without warning, claiming the lives of dozens of miners and countless Dwarven soldiers. By the time the leaders of the Deep-garrison realized what was going on, the 31st Hall had already fallen, as had the annex rooms to the south of it. The Dwarves sent a large army down to Fifth Deep, but the Orcs had been quick in taking most of the eastern part of the Deep, causing severe damage and killing anything in their path. The Dwarves set up a defense in an old record-keeping room between the two halves of Fifth Deep, and for a few hours they succeeded in halting the advance. But the Orcs had anticipated this as well, as just behind the record-keeping chamber lay the great Treasure Hall of the Deeps, a prize the Dwarves were sure to protect to their last. With most of the Dwarven force engaged in the east, Angmarzku and his army unblocked the outlets to the Orc-Tunnels and entered the western Fifth Deep through the tunnel-hubs, seizing the foyer and the Miner’s Hall. The remains of the Dwarven Fifth Deep army made a last stand in the Treasure Hall, for with the diversion of forces to hold off Angmarzku their barricade in the record-room had been broken by Orcish battering rams. Despite the efforts of the Dwarves, the Fifth Deep fell to Sadaauk, and its treasure belonged once more to Nagithas.
From there, Sadaauk and his reinforced army attacked the Fourth Deep. Gradually, they fought their way through the western halls of the build, and succeeded early in cutting the Deep-Garrison off from reinforcements by taking the Fourth Deep Foyer. For a while, the Dwarves were able to hold Sadaauk’s horde off in the Hall of Gold, which separated the east and west halves of the Fourth Deep, but once more Angmarzku’s ingenuity proved their downfall. The Orcs dug tunnels up from Fifth Deep to the eastern Fourth Deep’s foyer, and Angmarzku himself constructed a contraption that broke through the roof of the Dining Hall, enabling the Orcs to swarm in and ransack the rest of Fourth Deep. The Dwarves of Fourth Deep were slaughtered without exception; however, the battle had depleted Sadaauk’s forces, and the Orcs had not the strength to attack Third Deep. Both the Dwarves and the Orcs built gates at the ends of the one stairway between the two Deeps, and the short tunnel between became no-man’s-land, the site of countless skirmishes for years to come.
One thousand and seventeen years after the discovery of the Balrog, Nagithas once more had control of much of Moria, and the Dwarves were unable to dislodge him from his holdings. Nearly all of the Great Northern Road was now under Orcish control, along with the districts built along it, and Nagithas also held control of the Lower Deeps, the Orc-Warrens, and the Troll-Caves. The two sections were connected by a series of tunnels, primarily for messengers or small groups, and both became home to half of the strongest army in Gundabad.
Nagithas restructured the Moria Clan’s command hierarchy after his conquest. Sadaauk was made his heir, and he and Ushnotz were to oversee military affairs, while the High Lieutenants dealt with most other issues. The new Army of Moria was divided into five Legions of two Companies each, and each major section of Moria became host to a Legion. The Fire Legion was chiefly composed of Moria Uruks, and inhabited the Balrog Halls along with the miners that worked in the Redhorn Lodes; they operated within the western part of the Great Northern Road complex, from Checkpoint Ash to Checkpoint Shre. At Fanuidhol Ushnotz built up the Ice Legion, a mix of many Moria Orc breeds with one common trait: most were warg-riders, who lived alongside blacksmiths and other workers in the greatest defensive bastion of the Clan. The Steel Legion of the Troll-Caves was led by Shagor-tûr, and was composed mostly of Cave-Trolls and those Orcs who had experience fighting alongside them. The Stone Legion of the Orc-Warrens was led by Angmarzku, and was mostly Orcs of smaller breeds, along with many miners and scavengers. Sadaauk’s Shadow Legion was the largest of the five, as it received most of the foreign orcs that would come to Moria in the coming years, and garrisoned the Deeps.
The Moria Clan would be at war with the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm for years of come. After the initial conquest, many parts of Moria quickly became the sites of frequent skirmishes. The Dwarven Iron Garrison, which dwelt in the Iron Pits, was isolated and so mostly stuck to defense, primarily in the east near Checkpoint Ash. Durin’s Crossroads became the site of many small battles, and the corridor between the Third and Fourth Deeps was soaked in blood more than any other site in the whole city. Aboveground, too, skirmishes occurred, as the Dwarves had constructed a fortress of their own across the valley from the citadel that served as an entrance to the Deeps.
Over the course of the next year, the Orcs of Moria worked hard to repair the damage done to their halls. Nagithas had the Balrog Halls repaired to exacting specifications, so that by the end of the year not a crack remained in the sacred dwelling-place of Felagrog. Repairs were begun on Fanuidhol, which had suffered extensive damage, and Sadaauk’s workers began to redefine the functions of several parts of the Deeps. The Deeps remained in the ruined state that they had been in for centuries, but they were altered to suit the needs of their new occupants, and so faced drastic changes. The western Fourth Deep was commandeered as a military subsection - the Lesser Forge Hall went rapidly from nearly unused to stressed by overuse and filled with slag, the barracks were occupied by Orcs, great drums were brought back to the 24th Hall, and the Command Room at the south end of that section became home to Sadaauk’s throne. The western Fifth Deep, on the other hand, generally retained its original purpose, though the War Room now held Nagithas’ battle-maps instead of Fundin’s.
The Moria Clan also began to expand outside of Moria. Officially, its territory at the time also contained the territory north of Moria, up to the Gladden Pass. However, the Gladden Pass’ multiple Orc-holds had long been loyal to their own chieftain, who at this point in time was Jirr-kel, Lord of the Forsaken Fortress. Jirr-kel swore allegiance to Nagithas, and the Forsaken Fortress became the northernmost Orc-hold of the Moria Clan. Its small population worked often with the rogues that dwelt in the Gladden Fields, and dealt terror to the Free Peoples for many months.
With Nagithas’ conquests came riches, both those that had been in Moria before and those that Fundin and his own Orcs had discovered. Mithril, in particular, was still to be found in the Redhorn Lodes, and after the Balrog Halls were repaired the Fire Legion's workers were sent there to mine for it. This drew many Orcs both from other Gundabad clans and from the other evil powers in Middle-Earth. From Mordor and Dol Guldur especially came groups of strong Uruks to reinforce Nagithas’ companies in exchange for mithril, and those powers came to ally closely with Moria.
Reconstruction on Fanuidhol carried into the next year, and eventually the outer defenses of the great Citadel were repaired. So, too, was the Great Northern Road, or at least the parts controlled by Nagithas. Work in the Deeps continued as well. The eastern Fourth Deep was made into something of a residential area, and many of its facilities retained their prior purposes, as that section had faced less damage in the battle than most of the other parts of the city. The Moria Clan also continued its work on the surface. A team of Orcs cleared the Redhorn Pass and fortified the Dimrill Stair, as well as the northernmost parts of the Dimrill Dale itself.
Around midsummer, the Moria Clans began a coordinated military operation in conjunction with the other Gundabad Clans. In a rapid strike, the Orcs raided the western vales of Anduin, which was only sparsely populated, and after only weeks of fighting claimed control of the region. All of the Men of the Vales that dwelt west of the River were slain, and the Moria Clan itself claimed a swath of hills and plains between the Gladden River and Lothlorien. Several small military garrisons were established out in the Vales, commanded from the Forsaken Fortress, and at the Anduin the territory of Gundabad and Dol Guldur now met.
Following the Anduin Campaign, workers from other legions were sent to Fanuidhol, and construction there rapidly headed towards completion. After months of work, the Great Forge Hall was finally repaired, and once more began to churn out equipment for the Orcs of Moria at rapid rates. The entire citadel was completed once more not long after, making the entire Northern Road System fully operational once more. The year ended on a good note with the Feast of Shadow, as work in the Deeps turned east once more.
As TA 3000 began, so did a new war. Gundabad had joined Mordor in its neverending war on Gondor, but as the Dark Lord's forces advanced without trouble in the South they turned to face the Rangers of the North. The full hosts of Mordor were marching to the Misty Mountains to muster with Gundabad for a sweep down into Eriador, with a large bulk of that force being housed in the Deeps of Moria and at Fanuidhol. After the New Year began, the assault began, driving every last man out of the Lone-Lands once more and beginning sieges of ranger fortresses. Their fortress at Minnas Alqua fell, yielding the South Downs to the Orcs and humbling the proud lord of the city, who not-so-bravely fled for fear of death, a battle in which High Lieutenant Angmarzku and the Stone Legion partook. Not even a week later, the city of Bree was attacked, besieged, and captured as well. The Rangers, greatly decreased in numbers, sued for peace and left the war. Mordor turned its attention to a renewed Gondor as a result, and though a small group of fighters from Moria joined in that theater of fighting, Gundabad on a whole largely left the war after this.
As the fighters of Moria began to tighten their grip on the Iron Pits, the workers of the Deeps began work on the eastern Fifth Deep. That subsection of Moria had been all but completely destroyed in the most recent assault - many rooms lay completely ruined, many of the water-pipes in the old waterwork maintenance room were destroyed, and the 30th Hall was left with most of its floor caved in. The Orcs made no moves to repair these, leaving many rooms as they were, and repurposing others. The maintenance room became a rather unique arena, while the 30th Hall was turned into a Warg pit, and the Mine Hall once more entered use.
Thus this history comes to the present day, when Moria is consumed in constant strife between Fundin and Nagithas. The songs that filled the halls of old are now exchanged for the conflicting cries of “Du bekar!” and “Ghâsh dig uk!” which echo over the clash of weapons. Whose hate will win out is yet to be seen.
The full text of the History of Moria - which, in Volumes I-V, detail the history of Khazad-dûm before its fall - can be found in the Library of Khazad-dûm and in Nagithas’ personal library at the Balrog Halls.
The Moria Orcs
|“||We are the Shadow that kills.||”|
–Captain Sadaauk of Moria
The Moria Orcs are unique in that they are divided into five legions, which are divided into two companies of three players each. Each legion inhabits a different city district, and each company has a unique troop type that they are advised to use. Companies are urged to work together on various projects.
Moria is ruled by Felagrog, the Balrog outsiders call Dúrin's Bane. War Chief Nagithas stands as his public representative and is considered by many to be ruler, but Felagrog is the true ruler of Moria, and Nagithas obeys his every command.
Awards are listed in brackets.
Fire Legion (Balrog Halls)
First Moria Company
- War Chief Nagithas the Indomitable (Grievous1138)
- Warrior Azok the Younger (Miguelcacilhas)
- Warrior Hurdash (gromash46)
Second Moria Company
- Lieutenant Shagani (cashiel98)
- Warrior Fûshar (fdomc)
Ice Legion (Fanuidhol)
Third Moria Company
- Captain Ushnotz the Blacksmith (NanoBoat)
- Warrior Shar-guk (Sqambles)
- Warrior Vizla-tâk (DeathwatchUnit)
Fourth Moria Company
- Lieutenant Dakarash (dcatanzaro)
- Warrior Lagzûr (CraftVegeta)
- Warrior Skazg-nûl (Raylord658S)
Steel Legion (Troll-Caves)
Fifth Moria Company
- High Lieutenant Shagor-tûr the Endless (Olgierd_)
- Warrior Glower-râk (Snipertje1)
Sixth Moria Company
- Lieutenant Mirgo-shûr (MIL0SEVIC)
- Warrior Slith-rat (Rowanvl300)
Shadow Legion (East-gate Deeps)
Seventh Moria Company
- Captain Sadaauk, Weaver of Shadows (dylanhugh) [Two Gold Rings]
- Warrior Strigz-thi (WarPig1237h
- Warrior Ehror (Fallen_Rohirrim)
Eighth Moria Company
- Lieutenant Jagurhz (The_JJ)
- Warrior Morlûk (mstalfoort)
- Warrior Rog-lug (ivanstalfoort)
Stone Legion (Orc-Warrens)
Ninth Moria Company
- High Lieutenant Angmarzku the Architect (Angmarzku)
- Warrior Garanashka (GBKKA)
- Warrior Tak-gar (Qemeh)
Tenth Moria Company
- Lieutenant Kharnash (Spess_Mahren)
- Warrior Mukalog (minerprince13)
Separate Players (Other Forts)
- Lieutenant Jirr-Kel (Shockblaster)
- Warrior Skrithûrz (oscarzve)
Legion of the Fallen (Inactives)
- Lieutenant Morgo-lûk (Morgul_Lord)
- Warrior Bashk-ughâr (Balance_Ba3st)
- Warrior Azok the Elder (obsidianwizard)
- Warrior Thrak-ghôr (Thramili_Grorson)
- Warrior Garaglûr (GarrysMod)
- Warrior Crag-rût (crag_rut)
The Strongholds of the Moria Orcs
|“||To enter Moria would be to walk into a trap, and hardly better than knocking on the gates of the Dark Tower itself. The name of Moria is black.||”|
–Boromir of Gondor
Orc-controlled Moria consists of the cities of the Balrog Halls, Fanuidhol, the Deeps, the Troll-Caves, and the Orc Tunnels, along with much of the northern road complex. The Moria Orcs also control several more remote fortresses in the mountains.
The Balrog Halls
The Balrog Halls are the capital of the Orc-realm of Moria. These ancient halls were ordered to be built by Durin V to service the Redhorn Lodes at the beginning of the Third Age. They were the first to be captured by Durin's Bane, and were never reclaimed by the dwarves. Nagithas the Indomitable has his throne here, and the Moria Uruks of the Fire Legion ensure that these halls remain unconquered by enemies. Currently the city contains two magnificent Halls, the Hall of Flames and the Hall of the Shadows, various corridors with storage rooms and barracks, a feast hall, a trophy room, a meeting-room, troop barracks, stables, farms, mines, shrines to Melkor and Felagrog (Dúrin's Bane), the Dark Alliance Vaults, the great War Room of Gundabad, and the throne room of Nagithas himself. Few of dwarf-kind have glimpsed the Hell-throne of Moria and lived. Under the Balrog Halls, great mineshafts extend out from the large cavern known as the Redhorn Hub in a complex network of tunnels that bore into the Redhorn Lodes. Lost among the twisting thunnels is the cavern in which the Balrog was long imprisoned - which still holds the skull of Dúrin VI. One of these tunnels breaks off, and joins with mineshafts originating from the fortress of Caradhras.
Fanuidhol was the final part of Moria to be built in the early Third Age. Originally built as a watch-fortress, Fanuidhol quickly became of more importance with the construction of the Great Forge Hall. It was conquered long ago by the orcs and used as the strongest defensive position of the city, and has been the site of a number of important battles. Captain Ushnotz the Blacksmith commands this fortress, and it is mostly used as a gate of Nagithas's realm and a great forge and armory for the Orcs of the region. The exterior citadel features several large walls on the north, south, and east, a long and fully defendable entrance tunnel, a large and fully defendable gate, and a massive courtyard, which is paved and contains a monument to the Moria Orcs and their history. The interior is almost complete, and split into four sections. The entrance section contains a foyer, a few corridors, armories, a tunnel to the battlements of the gate, stables, troop barracks, and hiring captains. The industrial section consists of the colossal Great Forge Hall, vaults, a fuel room, two crossroads, shrines, a trophy room, a war room, a command room, and a well to the mines. The stairwell section is centered around a double staircase that descends from the main corridor to the mines, and contains storage, player barracks, farms, and a feast hall. The final section is known as the mines. Based around the Fanuidhol Terminus, it includes many mines and a miner's hall. Fanuidhol is guarded by the Warg-riders of the Ice Legion.
The East-gate Deeps
The great main city behind the East-gate of Khazad-dûm consists of seven levels and seven deeps. Nagithas rules the Fourth Deep and the Fifth Deep; the Sixth and Seventh Deeps are caved in and flooded. Captain Sadaauk, Weaver of Shadows, commands this region. The western Fourth Deep is the heart of the war machine of the Shadow Legion, and contains the 23rd Hall (the Lesser Forges) and the 24th Hall (The Drum Hall). It also contains various war-rooms and defensive tunnels, barracks for troops and players, stables, armories, a meeting-room, and a command room. The eastern Fourth Deep, which is less ruined and more of a residential area, contains the 25th Hall (The Feast Hall) and the 26th Hall (The Bathhouse), as well as a second foyer, a ruined storeroom, a guardroom, a torture room, the secondary barracks, a kitchen, shrines, and the 27th Hall, the ancient Hall of Durin. The 22nd Hall lies between the two halves of Fourth Deep, and is well-known as the Hall of Gold, a massive hall built in older days as a monument to the power of the Lords of Moria. The western Fifth Deep, dedicated to facilities for clan officers, is home to a foyer, many mineshafts and tunnels, the 28th Hall (the miner's hall), farms, storage, the 29th Hall (the great Treasure Hall), the negotiation room, and the War Room. The eastern Fifth Deep, an old mining complex, is almost finished reconstruction and is the most ruined part of the city. It contains an old record-chamber, the 30th Hall (the Warg's Hall), an arena, a trophy room, a foyer, a guardroom, an execution chamber, a lava pit, and the incomplete 31st Hall (the Mines). The Sixth and Seventh Deeps, which were built long ago, have been lost to cave-ins and flooding, along with much treasure within. The Deeps are connected to each other, the Troll-Caves, and a network of catacombs by the Orc-Tunnels. The Deeps are defended by the Moria Orcs of the Shadow Legion.
The Troll-Caves are a series of caverns, mineshafts, and tunnels located beneath Durin's Crossroads. Commanded by High Lieutenant Shagor-tûr the Endless and occupied by the Orcs and Cave-Trolls of the Steel Legion, the Troll-Caves are a mix of old dwarven ruins and orc- and troll-built tunnels. Discovered by Shagor-tûr centuries ago as the source of cave-trolls that had long troubled Dwarven Moria, the Troll-Caves were expanded from the ruins of dwarven guardrooms, waterworks, and maintenance shafts to include a massive network of caves and tunnels. They contain a gate and foyer, the massive Cavern of the Drums, the Waterworks of Moria, the Dungeons of Moria, the Chambers of Shagor-tûr, player barracks, and a network of tunnels. In the future housing for units will be built, along with forges, storage, additions to the dungeons, breweries, a treasure hall, a war room, farms, mines, and connections to other tunnel systems.
The Orc-Warrens are a network of tunnels and catacombs between the Deeps and Troll-Caves. They have recently begun reconstruction and are well on their way to completion. They are commanded by High Lieutenant Angmarzku the Architect and defended by the Stone Legion. The first bit of work to be done here was the fortress that many consider to be the entrance to the Deeps. This fortress consists of many balconies, walls, and watchtowers clustered around a tunnel, and happens to be across a valley from a dwarven watchfort. The tunnels themselves currently stretch from the West Tunnel Hub on the Fifth Deep, and contain a confusing network of catacombs before finally reaching the Main Cavern. This cavern is home to farms, pools, a library, an armory, barracks, a tunnel to the surface, forges, and further catacombs. In the future the tunnels will be expanded to connect to several parts of the Deeps and to the Troll-Caves, and will serve as a supply route between the three southern fortresses of the orcs.
The Northern Roads
Though not actually inhabited, the Northern Road Complex is nonetheless essential to Nagithas's realm. This system centers around the Great Northern Road, an old dwarven highway that runs from the dwarven hold at Celebdil to the lowest levels of Fanuidhol. The Orcs of Moria control the majority of this road up to a thousand meters from the gate with Celebdil, but the western leg of the road is the site of constant skirmishes between the dwarves and orcs. This road meets with the Balrog's Road, a short tunnel leading to the Balrog Halls, at the Dimrill Crossroads, which are also home to shrines and lava springs frequented by Moria Orcs.
The Dimrill Crossroads are patrolled by the Second Company, which fights alongside the First Company to solidify control of the roads to the west, which contain various checkpoints, including the infamous Checkpoint Ash, which is on the effective border with the dwarves and the site of constant skirmishes, and Checkpoint Shuk, a guard-post monitoring the bend in the road where the Celebdil Bypass breaks off. The Northern Road complex also includes the Celebdil Bypass, an orc-dug tunnel leading from the Troll-Caves to part of the Northern Road, connecting all of Nagithas's realm. The road continues between the Dimrill Crossroads and Fanuidhol. About halfway between, Checkpoint Shre serves as a marker for where the Fire Legion's patrol region ends and the Ice Legion's begins. The entirety of this road system, excepting the Celebdil Bypass, is complete up to the Fanuidhol Terminus, a large room at the eastern end of the road.
The Redhorn Pass
Though not considered a build in the traditional sense, the Redhorn Pass was built and is maintained by the Orcs of Moria. The pass stretched from Eregion to the Dimrill Stair, and includes the High Cave, the Abandoned Tower, and the Stair Falls at the Dimrill Stairs. Around the stairs, the clan maintains a network of watchforts. The Redhorn Pass is not considered part of Moria.
The Forsaken Fortress
An ancient fort built in the deeps of time, the Forsaken Fortress overlooks the entrance to the Gladden Pass and serves as a border-fort between the Moria Clan and the Goblin Clan. Lieutenant Jirr-kel rules it as he sees fit. It is not part of Moria proper, but it is often linked to it anyway.
The military of the Moria Orcs is one of the strongest and most regimented in Middle-Earth. And as they have technical enemies living above them, it is no wonder at all. The military of the Moria Orcs is mostly effective because of troop diversity. Each company has a designated troop and every Moria Orc is supposed to have thirty of their type hired at all times. These troops are listed below.
- First Company - Black Uruks
- Second Company - Black Uruks
- Third Company - Uruk Warg-Riders
- Fourth Company - Uruk Warg-Riders
- Fifth Company - Olog-hai
- Sixth Company - Mountain-Trolls
- Seventh Company - Gundabad Uruks
- Eighth Company - Gundabad Uruks
- Ninth Company - Gundabad Uruk Archers
- Tenth Company - Gundabad Uruk Archers.
In addition, Nagithas the Indomitable is the head strategist of Gundabad - and indeed, for the Dark Alliance as a whole. He can pre-assess a battlefield better than most, and is excellent at determining how to conquer his opponents. He uses various in-battle Orcish commands to signify a specific movement without letting the enemy know his meaning.
- Ghâsh dig uk! (The Fire burns all) - Signifies a charge of all companies at the enemy. The commander of the battle leads this charge from the front. This is also used to start a battle.
- Mirdautas vras! (It is a good day to kill) - Signifies a concentrated attack behind the speaker.
- Kurrauz u kurrauz! (Back to back) - Signifies a fall-back or tightened defensive line.
- Thrak kok <name>! (Bring me his head) - Signifies a mass attack on one player. Normally used for the fear factor or to take out a high-profile target.
- Vrapog! (Retreat) - Signifies a full-blown retreat.
- Mushof dil! (Blot out the sun) - Signifies an archer volley.
- Marzgi kafak! (Crush their skulls) - Signifies a troll-charge.
- Vrapog poshat! (Run them down) - Signifies a cavalry charge.
- Nûmbrag Highâsh! (For the Balrog) - Signifies an elite charge (either of the commanders or the Fire Legion).
As with the rest of Gundabad, the Moria Orcs have a rank system. Each rank has different amounts of control (detailed on the Gundabad page), and different armor sets.
- Warriors use Gundabad Uruk Boots and Leggings, Dwarven Chestplates, Black Uruk Helmets, and Black Uruk weapons.
- Lieutenants use Silver Trimmed Dwarven Boots, Leggings, and Chestplates, Black Uruk Helmets, and Black Uruk weapons.
- High Lieutenants use Silver Timmed Dwarven Boots, Leggings, and Chestplates, Gundabad Uruk Helmets, and Dwarven weapons.
- Captains use Gold Timmed Dwarven Boots, Leggings, and Chestplates, Gundabad Uruk Helmets, and Dwarven weapons.
- The War Chief uses Mithril Timmed Dwarven Boots, Leggings, and Chestplates, an Utumno Helmet, and Grond, the mithril warhammer that serves as his badge of office.
The Moria Orcs are divided into two sects: the older Melkoran Sect, who worship Melkor as the chief god and Durin's Bane as a lesser one, and the newer Higarian Sect, who worship the Balrog alone. Both consider Durin's Bane, the Balrog of Moria, a diety. He is known as Highâsh to most orcs (which means shadow-fire), but the Fire Orcs (the four original Moria Orcs who survived the Sacking of Khazad-dûm) know him by what they belive to be his true name: Felagrog.
The Melkorans believe that Melkor was the true creator of Arda and was betrayed by the Valar, who cast him down and invented the myth of Erú to undermine him. It was Melkor who created Orc-kind out of his goodness, along with Troll-kind, Warg-kind, Spider-kind, and others, with the help of the Umaiar, the lesser gods. In response the Valar and their Maia servants created Elves, Men, and the filthy Dwarves to cast their lord down. In the end the traitors succeeded, banished Melkor's body, and slew many of his lesser gods. The Melkorans consider Felagrog and Sauron the highest of the gods that are still roam Middle-Earth, and await the return of the full power of Melkor.
The Higarians are relatively simpler in their beliefs: the Balrog is god, period. They care not of how they came to be, or anything else, and believe that they merely exist to carry out the will of the Shadow and Fire.
Unlike other clans, the Moria Clan has very few members of the Dragon Cult, as many of the orc-leaders consider it heresy. However, the arrival of reinforcements from the Grey Mountains softened these attitudes, and a few orcs of Moria follow the Dragon Cult. They are still, however, few in number, as Nagithas and his loyal followers still preach the glory of Melkor and Felagrog.
Rules of the Black Chasm
Despite being laissez-faire when it comes to rules, as a part of Gundabad, the Orcs of Moria have more rules than most other Gundabad clans (although still considerably less than many other factions.) Breaking of these rules will have consequences decided upon by the War Chief.
- Use common sense. Although this applies for all of these rules, it is very important for Moria Orcs to actually think before doing something. This is the most important rule of all. If you follow this one, you will find that you follow the others as well. Special items under this rule include not placing torches in completed halls (it looks sloppy and prevents allied mobs from spawning), and not killing the Hill-Troll Chieftain (it'll kill your alignment - trust me on this).
- Do not steal. Whether it's supplies, a mount, or whatever, if it belongs to someone else, just don't touch it. Especially if it's someone's white warg.
- Help your fellow Orcs out. If another Moria Orc needs supplies and you have some to spare, feel free to share. It is also encouraged to put excess items into community storage, which is open for all to use.
- Don't kill allies. Again, this should be common sense. Don't kill allies of the Gundabad faction, and do not kill the dwarves, who we are at peace with.
- Don't place any new banners. Your War Chief and legion commander have a system of banners in each build designed with purpose. We will keep your items protected from theft. If you feel banner protection is lacking, ask the War Chief to fix it.
- Follow the Gundabad Honor Code. It's not just to make us look good. The Code is intended to prevent you from getting banned, and because we consider ourselves to be good players. The Code is as follows: Follow the normal server rules at all times. Do not kill players that are building. Do not kill a player more than once per day, and no more than 3 times in a 7 day period; however none of the following count towards this limit: self-defense, killing trespassers in Gundabad owned land, killing in response to insults against Gundabad, and Kill-On-Sight players. Do not kill ANY new players (anyone in or around the Shire, except experienced players, and anyone with no/minimal gear unless one of the above exceptions apply). Make sure you are up to date with alliances, peace treaties and KOS lists; there will be an accurate list in the rules room at the Recruit Camp.
- Be respectful. We are Orcs, not filthy dwarves. We have a moral standard to live to. Do not sink to the level of the enemy by hurling petty insults, even in response to the same. The enemy will absolutely insult you and the faction. After all, that's the nature of good players: they're rarely good in practice. You're better than they. Act like it.
That's it. These seven rules are all that you have to follow, Moria Orcs. Follow them well.
There are various breeds of Orcs who live in Moria. Some are large and strong while others are smaller and quick. These various breeds are here listed.
- Ghâsh-uruku - The Ghâsh-uruku, or Fire Orcs, are ancient Orcs that were bred in Caradhras. Due to mutations that affected many of their tribe, these Orcs all feature sallow green skin, thin yet long black hair, and bright eyes. There are only four in existence: Nagithas, Sadaauk, Ushnotz, and Angmarzku. The four of them are all of considerable height for orcs, with their tallest - Sadaauk - reaching six feet tall. Over a thousand years of war-filled life has given these four great intelligence and prowess in battle. To make them even deadlier, they can tap through secret arts Felagrog's powers of fire and shadow, to a limited degree.
- Gundabad-hai - These orcs came with Azog from Mount Gundabad. They have no difference from those of the Mountain, save in terms of equipment. There are very few of the original Gundabad Orcs left in Moria. Among them is High Lieutenant Shagor-tur. The Gundabad-hai are not to be confused with Foreign Orcs, as these are either descendants of Azog's original followers or themselves from the initial group.
- Zaudrop-ushataru - This breed was bred as a race of warrior-orcs by Felagrog before the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, after the fashion of the Ghâsh-uruku and the Gundabad-hai. They evolved over the centuries to become tall, strong warriors, with pale green skin, little hair, and large, dark-irised eyes. Among their number are Strigz-thi, Thrâk-ghor and Cashûr.
- Zaudrop-gurmusu - Bred after the Battle of Azanulbizar, these orcs were made to be better as scouts and assassins than their predecessors. They were shorter and thinner than the others, and had pale blue eyes. Their hair is thick and black. Notable members of this breed are Crag-rût and Ufûrz.
- Zaudrop-kapulu - These Orcs were originally bred as miners, but became skillful as swarm-fighters who could worm through the air-shafts of Moria. They were mostly bred after the Battle of the Five Armies. They were short, nearly the size of the Goblins of the High Pass, and had large, pale green eyes and long fingers. Notable Orcs of this breed are Rog-lug and Morlûk.
- Zaudrop-uruku - These Moria Uruks first saw combat after the Battle of the Northern Road, when Felagrog was sealed in the Balrog Halls, but had been secretly bred in the years before. The Balrog saw the need for greater warriors to surpass the strength of Fundin's dwarven champions. So came the Zaudrop-uruku - great warrior-orcs of the Fire Legion. They are huge (even for uruks), and have strong armor to boot. Notable members of this race are Azok, Hurdash, and Bashk-ûghar.
- Foreign Orcs - The strength of Moria is not only from within. Mordor, Dol Guldur, and occasionally Isengard too have interest in the riches that are mostly held still by the orcs in the deeper armories. These Orcs are often sent to reinforce the Moria Orcish defense, in exchange for gold, silver, and mithril.
Noticeboard for the Moria Orcs
All Moria Orcs should regularly check this section of the page. Here shall be posted tips and orders for the week on (generally) a weekly basis.
- All Moria Orcs are reminded that standing armies of thirty hired units are mandatory, and are encouraged to engage in PVP training.
- All Orcs should recruit as much as possible! If you see someone who wants to join, inform a commander.
- All Moria Orcs are encouraged to help in construction at their fortresses. Construction opportunities are listed below.
- ALL available builders are requested to contact Nagithas about helping construct the Mine Hall in the Deeps, especially those of the Shadow Legion.
- Stay alert.