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Cancelled Misty Mountains [Part 3 - High Pass]

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Finrod_Amandil

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It is very necessary to tackle the Misty Mountains by the proper path, or else you will get lost in them, and have to come back and start at the beginning again (if you ever get back at all)

Hithaeglir
aka
The Misty Mountains

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PART 3:
High Pass
Entrance to Goblin Town
Eagle's Eyrie

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1564934931209.png
/warp Rivendell

Project Leader: Finrod_Amandil

Resource Pack: Eriador

1. Contents

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2. Introduction
I called this once the "largest project" which is now being put into perspective with Moria going on beneath the Misty Mountains. This project is what I spent most of my former days as Designer and Head Designer with and now I felt like it's about time to pick it back up again. As @barteldvn has noted correctly, eventually these peaks may get redone using World Machine, but that day seems still far outside the foreseeable future. And given the prominence of this terrain feature and its relevancy throughout all of Tolkien's stories, from the awakening of the Eldar at Cuiviénen all the way to the challenges the mountains pose to the Fellowship of the Ring it seems no waste of time to continue these mountains.

Any staff or holder of a Voxel badge is welcome at any time to tune into this project - of course given a prior check with the Build Heads - other projects take priority. Furthermore, jobs will be available within the mountains, and maybe even a contest at some point.

Course of action
The rough course of action as intended by myself looks about like this:
  1. Finish materials (incl. vegetation) and the Gladden Pass road in the section "Part 2 - Gladden Pass" (cf. Misty Mountains [Part 2 - Gladden Pass & High Moors]). There's not really any lore about the mountains there except that there is a pass there. I will however not further touch the lowlands in the vale of the Anduin as that is the matter of a lot of discussion and intricate detail planning as the lore of the Vale is very extensive but not at all straightforward.
  2. Detail planning for the mountains around the High Pass, again leaving out the Vale of the Anduin mostly.
  3. Terraforming corrections in the High Pass area to be able to fit in all features laid out in the Hobbit. Make a "clean" transition towards the parts further north which have a much lower significancy and thus may not be tackled any time soon.
  4. Continue with section around Isengard to finish the Misty Mountains towards the south. Have the idea to produce a neat little timelapse showing the complete conversion of WP terrain to voxel / handmade.
  5. (?) Vale of the Anduin (to be determined)
 
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3. Lore
The Gladden Pass
The Lord of the Rings - Book II - Chapter 3: The Ring goes south said:
Many [elven scouts] had gone east and south; and some of these had crossed the Mountains and entered Mirkwood, while others had climbed the pass at the source of the Gladden River, and had come down into Wilderland and over the Gladden Fields and so at length had reached the old home of Radagast at Rhosgobel.

The Upper Anduin Vale & Gladden Fields
The Lord of the Rings - Book II - Chapter 3: The Ring goes south said:
The country was much rougher and more barren than in the green vale of the Great River in Wilderland on the other side of the range, and their going would be slow; but they hoped in this way to escape the notice of unfriendly eyes.

The Lord of the Rings - Book I - Chapter 2: The Shadow of the past said:
‘But the Ring was lost. It fell into the Great River, Anduin, and vanished. For Isildur was marching north along the east banks of the River, and near the Gladden Fields he was waylaid by the Orcs of the Mountains, and almost all his folk were slain. He leaped into the waters, but the Ring slipped from his finger as he swam, and then the Orcs saw him and killed him with arrows.’ Gandalf paused. ‘And there in
the dark pools amid the Gladden Fields,’ he said, ‘the Ring passed out of knowledge and legend; and even so much of its history is known now only to a few, and the Council of the Wise could discover no more. But at last I can carry on the story, I think. ‘Long after, but still very long ago, there lived by the banks of the Great River on the edge of Wilderland a clever-handed and quiet-footed little people. I guess they were of hobbit-kind; akin to the
fathers of the fathers of the Stoors, for they loved the River, and often swam in it, or made little boats of reeds. There was among them a family of high repute, for it was large and wealthier than most, and it was ruled by a grandmother of the folk, stern and wise in old lore, such as they had. The most inquisitive and curious-minded of that family was called Smeagol. He was interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed under trees and
growing plants; he tunnelled into green mounds; and he ceased to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air: his head and his eyes were downward. ‘He had a friend called Deagol, of similar sort, sharper-eyed but not so quick and strong. On a time they took a boat and went down to the Gladden Fields, where there were great beds of iris and flowering reeds. There Smeagol got out and went nosing about the banks but
Deagol sat in the boat and fished. Suddenly a great fish took his hook, and before he knew where he was, he was dragged out and down into the water, to the bottom. Then he let go of his line, for he thought he saw something shining in the river-bed; and holding his breath he grabbed at it.

The Migration of Hobbits and about Men in the Vale of the Anduin
The Lord of the Rings - Prologue: 1. Concerning Hobbits said:
It is clear, nonetheless, from these legends, and from the evidence of their peculiar words and customs, that like many
other folk Hobbits had in the distant past moved westward. Their earliest tales seem to glimpse a time when they dwelt in the upper vales of Anduin, between the eaves of Greenwood the Great and the Misty Mountains. Why they later undertook the hard and perilous crossing of the mountains into Eriador is no longer certain. Their own accounts speak of the multiplying of Men in the land, and of a shadow that fell on the forest, so that it became darkened and its
new name was Mirkwood. Before the crossing of the mountains the Hobbits had already become divided into three somewhat different breeds: Harfoots, Stoors, and Fallohides. The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller, and shorter, and they were beardless and bootless; their hands and feet were neat and nimble; and they preferred highlands and hillsides. The Stoors were broader, heavier in build; their feet and hands were larger, and they
preferred flat lands and riversides. The Fallohides were fairer of skin and also of hair, and they were taller and slimmer than the others; they were lovers of trees and of woodlands. The Harfoots had much to do with Dwarves in ancient times, and long lived in the foothills of the mountains. They moved westward early, and roamed over Eriador as far as Weathertop while the others were still in the Wilderland. They were the most normal and
representative variety of Hobbit, and far the most numerous. They were the most inclined to settle in one place, and longest preserved their ancestral habit of living in tunnels and holes. The Stoors lingered long by the banks of the Great River Anduin, and were less shy of Men. They came west after the Harfoots and followed the course of the Loudwater southwards; and there many of them long dwelt between Tharbad and the borders of Dunland
before they moved north again. The Fallohides, the least numerous, were a northerly branch. They were more friendly with Elves than the other Hobbits were, and had more skill in language and song than in handicrafts; and of old they preferred hunting to tilling. They crossed the mountains north of Rivendell and came down the River Hoarwell.

The Lord of the Rings - Appendix A said:
After him began the long rule of Cirion. He was watchful and wary, but the reach of Gondor had grown short, and he could do little more than defend his borders, while his enemies (or the power that moved them) prepared strokes against him that he could not hinder. The Corsairs harried his coasts, but it was in the norm mat his chief peril lay. In the wide lands of Rhovanion, between Mirkwood and the River Running, a fierce people now dwelt, wholly under the shadow of Dol Guldur. Often they made raids through the forest, until the vale of Anduin south of the Gladden was largely deserted. These Balchoth were constantly increased by others of like kind that came in from the east, whereas the people of Calenardhon had dwindled. Cirion was hard put to it to hold the line of the Anduin. 'Foreseeing the storm, Cirion sent north for aid, but over-late; for in that year (2510) the Balchoth, having built many great boats and rafts on the east shores of Anduin, swarmed over the River and swept away the defenders. An army marching up from the south was cut off and driven north over the Limlight, and there it was suddenly attacked by a horde of Orcs from the Mountains and pressed towards the Anduin. Then out of the North there came help beyond hope, and the horns of the Rohirrim were first heard in Gondor. Eorl the Young came with his riders and swept away the enemy, and pursued the Balchoth to the death over the fields of Calenardhon. Cirion granted to Eorl that land to dwell in, and he swore to Cirion the Oath of Eorl, of friendship at need or at call to the Lords of Gondor.'

The Lord of the Rings - Appendix A said:
'Eorl the Young was lord of the Men of Éothéod. That land lay near the sources of Anduin, between the furthest ranges of the Misty Mountains and the northernmost parts of Mirkwood. The Éothéod had moved to those regions in the days of King Eärnil II from lands in the vales of Anduin between the Carrock and the Gladden, and they were in origin close akin to the Beornings and the men of the west-eaves of the forest. The forefathers, of Eorl claimed descent from kings of Rhovanion, whose realm lay beyond Mirkwood before the invasions of the Wainriders, and thus they accounted themselves kinsmen of the kings of Gondor descended from Eldacar. They loved best the plains, and delighted in horses and in all feats of horsemanship, but there were many men in the middle vales of Anduin in those days, and moreover the shadow of Dol Guldur was lengthening; when therefore they heard of the overthrow of the Witch-king, they sought more room in the North, and drove away the remnants of the people of Angmar on the east side of the Mountains. But in the days of Léod, father of Eorl, they had grown to be a numerous people and were again somewhat straitened in the land of their home. 'In the two thousand five hundred and tenth year of the Third Age a new peril threatened Gondor. A great host of wild men from the North-east swept over Rhovanion and coming down out of the Brown-lands crossed the Anduin on rafts. At the same time by chance or design the Orcs (who at that time before their war with the Dwarves were in great strength) made a descent from the Mountains. The invaders overran Calenardhon, and Cirion, Steward of Gondor, sent north for help; for there had been long friendship between the Men of Anduin's Vale and the people of Gondor. But in the valley of the River men were now few and scattered, and slow to render such aid as they could. At last tidings came to Eorl of the need of Gondor, and late though it seemed, he set out with a great host of riders. 'Thus he came to the battle of the Field of Celebrant, for that was the name of the green land that lay between Silverlode and Limlight. There the northern army of Gondor was in peril. Defeated in the Wold and cut off from the south, it had been driven across the Limlight, and was then suddenly assailed by the Orc-host that pressed it towards the Anduin. All hope was lost when, unlooked for, the Riders came out of the North and broke upon the rear of the enemy. Then the fortunes of battle were reversed, and the enemy was driven with slaughter over Limlight. Eorl, led his men in pursuit, and so great was the fear that went before horsemen of the North that the invaders of the Wold were also thrown into panic, and the Riders hunted them over the plains of Calenardhon.' The people of that region had become few since the Plague, and most of those that remained had been slaughtered by the savage Easterlings. Cirion, therefore, in reward for his aid, gave Calenardhon between Anduin and Isen to Eorl and his people; and they sent north for their wives and children and their goods and sealed in that land.

------------------

The path to Rivendell
The Hobbit - Chapter 3. A Short Rest said:
One morning they forded a river at a wide shallow place full of the noise of stones and foam [>> FORDS OF BRUINEN]. The far bank was steep and slippery. When they got to the top of it, leading their ponies, they saw that the great mountains had marched down very near to them. Already they I seemed only a days easy journey from the feet of the nearest. Dark and drear it looked, though there were patches of sunlight on its brown sides, and behind its shoulders the tips of snow-peaks gleamed. "Is that The Mountain?" asked Bilbo in a solemn voice, looking at it with round eyes. He had never seen a thing that looked so big before. "Of course not!" said Balin. "That is only the beginning of the Misty Mountains, and we have to get through, or over, or under those somehow, before we can come into Wilderland beyond."

[...]

Now Gandalf led the way. "We must not miss the road, or we shall be done for", he said. "We need food, for one thing, and rest in reasonable safety-also it is very necessary to tackle the Misty Mountains by the proper path, or else you will get lost in them, and have to come back and start at the beginning again (if you ever get back at all)". They asked him where he was making for, and he answered: "You are come to the very edge of the Wild, as some of you may know. Hidden somewhere ahead of us is the fair valley of Rivendell where Elrond lives in the Last Homely House."

[...]

There seemed to be no trees and no valleys and no hills to break the ground in front of them, only one vast slope going slowly up and up to meet the feet of the nearest mountain, a wide land the colour of heather and crumbling rock, with patches and slashes of grass-green and moss-green showing where water might be.

Morning passed, afternoon came; but in all the silent waste there was no sign of any dwelling. They were growing anxious, for they now saw that the house might be hidden almost anywhere between them and the mountains. They came on unexpected valleys, narrow with deep sides, that opened suddenly at their feet, and they looked down surprised to see trees below them and running water at the bottom. There were gullies that they could almost leap over; but very deep with waterfalls in them. There were dark ravines that one could neither jump nor climb into. There were bogs [>> HIGHMOORS OF RIVENDELL], some of them green pleasant places to look at with flowers growing bright and tall; but a pony that walked there with a pack on its back would never have come out again. It was indeed a much wider land from the ford to the mountains than ever you would have guessed. Bilbo was astonished. The only path was marked with white stones some of which were small, and others were half covered with moss or heather. Altogether it was a very slow business following the track, even guided by Gandalf, who seemed to know his way about pretty well.

His head and beard wagged this way and that as he looked for the stones, and they followed his head, but they seemed no nearer to the end of the search when the day began to fail. Tea-time had long gone by, and it seemed supper-time would soon do the same. There were moths fluttering about, and the light became very dim, for the moon had not risen. Bilbos pony began to stumble over roots and stones. They came to the edge of a steep fall in the ground so suddenly that Gandalf s horse nearly slipped down the slope.

"Here it is at last"! he called, and the others gathered round him and looked over the edge. They saw a valley far below. They could hear the voice of hurrying water in rocky bed at the bottom; the scent of trees was in the air; and there was a light on the valley-side across the water. Bilbo never forgot the way they slithered and slipped in the dusk down the steep zig-zag path into the secret valley of Rivendell. The air grew warmer as they got lower, and the smell of the pine-trees made him drowsy, so that every now and again he nodded and nearly fell off, or bumped his nose on the ponys neck. Their spirits rose as they went down and down. The trees changed to beech and oak, and hire was a comfortable feeling in the twilight. The last green had almost faded out of the grass, when they came at length to an open glade not far above the banks of the stream.

Elrond's side note that there are goblins in the mountains
The Hobbit - Chapter 3. A Short Rest said:
Thorin pondered these words. "I will keep this sword in honour", he said. "May it soon cleave goblins once again!" "A wish that is likely to be granted soon enough in the mountains!" said Elrond

The High Pass Road - western approach
The Hobbit - Chapter 4. Over Hill and Under Hill said:
There were many paths that led up into those mountains, and many passes over them. But most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad ends; and most of the passes were infested by evil things and dreadful dangers. The dwarves and the hobbit, helped by the wise advice of Elrond and the knowledge and memory of Gandalf, took the right road to the right pass.

Long days after they had climbed out of the valley and left the Last Homely House miles behind, they were still going up and up and up. It was a hard path and a dangerous path, a crooked way and a lonely and a long. Now they could look back over the lands they had left, laid out behind them far below. Far, far away in the West, where things were blue and faint, Bilbo knew there lay his own country of safe and comfortable things, and his little hobbit-hole. He shivered. It was getting bitter cold up here, and the wind came shrill among the rocks. Boulders, too, at times came galloping down the mountain-sides, let loose by midday sun upon the snow, and passed among them (which was lucky), or over their heads (which was alarming). The nights were comfortless and chill, and they did not dare to sing or talk too loud, for the echoes were uncanny, and the silence seemed to dislike being broken-except by the noise of water and the wail of wind and the crack of stone.

Dwarves had not passed that way for many years, but Gandalf had, and he knew how evil and danger had grown and thriven in the Wild, since the dragons had driven men from the lands, and the goblins had spread in secret after the battle of the Mines of Moria

Thunderstorm on the High Pass, Stone Giants and entrance to Goblin Town
The Hobbit - Chapter 4. Over Hill and Under Hill said:
He knew that something unexpected might happen, and he hardly dared to hope that they would pass without fearful adventure over those great tall mountains with lonely peaks and valleys where no king ruled. They did not. All was well, until one day they met a thunderstorm - more than a thunderstorm, a thunder-battle. You know how terrific a really big thunderstorm can be down in the land and in a river-valley; especially at times when two great thunderstorms meet and clash. More terrible still are thunder and lightning in the mountains at night, when storms come up from East and West and make war. The lightning splinters on the peaks, and rocks shiver, and great crashes split the air and go rolling and tumbling into every cave and hollow; and the darkness is filled with overwhelming noise and sudden light.

Bilbo had never seen or imagined anything of the kind. They were high up in a narrow place, with a dreadful fall into a dim valley at one side of them. There they were sheltering under a hanging rock for the night, and he lay beneath a blanket and shook from head to toe. When he peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang. Then came a wind and a rain, and the wind whipped the rain and the hail about in every direction, so that an overhanging rock was no protection at all. Soon they were getting drenched and their ponies were standing with their heads down and their tails between their legs, and some of them were whinnying with fright. They could hear the giants guffawing and shouting all over the mountainsides.

[...]

Soon Fili and Kili came crawling back, holding on to the rocks in the wind. "We have found a dry cave", they said, "not far round the next corner; and ponies and all could get inside." "Have you thoroughly explored it?" said the wizard, who knew that caves up in the mountains were seldom unoccupied. "Yes, yes!" they said, though everybody knew they could not have been long about it; they had come back too quick. "It isnt all that big, and it does not go far back."

[...]

Still it was not very far to go, and before long they came to a big rock standing out into the path. If you stepped behind, you found a low arch in the side of the mountain. There was just room to get the ponies through with a squeeze, when they had been unpacked and unsaddled.

[...]

It seemed quite a fair size, but not too large and mysterious. It had a dry floor and some comfortable nooks. At one end there was room for the ponies; and there they stood (mighty glad of the change) steaming, and champing in their nosebags

[...]

It turned out a good thing that night that they had brought little Bilbo with them, after all. For somehow, he could not go to sleep for a long while; and when he did sleep, he had very nasty dreams. He dreamed that a crack in the wall at the back of the cave got bigger and bigger, and opened wider and wider, and he was very afraid but could not call out or do anything but lie and look. Then he dreamed that the floor of the cave was giving way, and he was slipping-beginning to fall down, down, goodness knows where to. At that he woke up with a horrible start, and found that part of his dream was true. A crack had opened at the back of the cave, and was already a wide passage. He was just in time to see the last of the ponies tails disappearing into it. Of course he gave a very loud yell, as loud a yell as a hobbit can give, which is surprising for their size.

[...]

"We found them sheltering in our Front Porch."

<Orc town and riddle caves not part of this project>

Exits of Goblin Town
The Hobbit - Chapter 5. Riddles in the dark said:
Scuttling as fast as his legs would carry him he turned the last corner and came suddenly right into an open space, where the light, after all that time in the dark, seemed dazzlingly bright. Really it was only a leak of sunshine in through a doorway, where a great door, a stone door, was left standing open.

[...]

"I must get to the door, I must get to the door!" he kept on saying to himself, but it was a long time before he ventured to try. Then it was like a horrible game of blind-mans buff. The place was full of goblins running about, and the poor little hobbit dodged this way and that, was knocked over by a goblin who could not make out what he had bumped into, scrambled away on all fours, slipped between the legs of the captain just in time, got up, and ran for the door. It was still ajar, but a goblin had pushed it nearly to. Bilbo struggled but he could not move it. He tried to squeeze through the crack. He squeezed and squeezed, and he stuck! It was awful. His buttons had got wedged on the edge of the door and the door-post. He could see outside into the open air: there were a few steps running down into a narrow valley between tall mountains; the sun came out from behind a cloud and shone bright on the outside of the door-but he could not get through.

[...]

Of course they soon came down after him, hooting and hallooing, and hunting among the trees. But they dont like the sun: it makes their legs wobble and their heads giddy. They could not find Bilbo with the ring on, slipping in and out of the shadow of the trees, running quick and quiet, and keeping out of the sun; so soon they went back grumbling and cursing to guard the door. Bilbo had escaped.

The Hobbit - Chapter 6: Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire said:
Bilbo had escaped the goblins, but he did not know where he was. He had lost hood, cloak, food, pony, his buttons and his friends. He wandered on and on, till the sun began to sink westwards-behind the mountains. Their shadows fell across Bilbos path, and he looked back. Then he looked forward and could see before him only ridges and slopes falling towards lowlands and plains glimpsed occasionally between the trees.

Good heavens! he exclaimed. I seem to have got right to the other side of the Misty Mountains, right to the edge of the Land Beyond! Where and O where can Gandalf and the dwarves have got to? I only hope to goodness they are not still back there in the power of the goblins! He still wandered on, out of the little high valley, over its edge, and down the slopes beyond; but all the while a very uncomfortable thought was growing inside him. He wondered whether he ought not, now he had the magic ring, to go back into the horrible, horrible, tunnels and look for his friends. He had just made up his mind that it was his duty, that he must turn back-and very miserable he felt about it-when he heard voices. He stopped and listened. It did not sound like goblins; so he crept forward carefully. He was on a stony path winding downwards with a rocky wall. on the left hand; on the other side the ground sloped away and there were dells below the level of the path overhung with bushes and low trees. In one of these dells under the bushes people were talking.

[...]

"All of a sudden you gave one of your blinding flashes, and we saw the goblins running back yelping. You shouted follow me everybody! and everybody ought to have followed. We thought everybody had. There was no time to count, as you know quite well, till we had dashed through the gate-guards, out of the lower door, and helterskelter down here."

[...]

The wizard, to tell the truth, never minded explaining his cleverness more than once, so now he had told Bilbo that both he and Elrond had been well aware of the presence of evil goblins in that part of the mountains. "But their main gate used to come out on a different pass, one more easy to travel by, so that they often caught people benighted near their gates. Evidently people had given up going that way, and the goblins must have opened their new entrance at the top of the pass the dwarves had taken, quite recently, because it had been found quite safe up to now. I must see if I cant find a more or less decent giant to block it up again", said Gandalf, "or soon there will be no getting over the mountains at all."

The rest we all know -except that Gandalf knew all about the back-door, as the goblins called the lower gate, where Bilbo lost his buttons. As a matter of fact it was well known to anybody who was acquainted with this part of the mountains; but it took a wizard to keep his head in the tunnels and guide them in the right direction. [>> The dwarves and Bilbo exited Goblin Town through the same door]

"They made that gate ages ago", he said, "partly for a way of escape, if they needed one; partly as a way out into the lands beyond, where they still come in the dark and do great damage. They guard it always and no one has ever managed to block it up. They will guard it doubly after this," he laughed.

[...]

"Todays Thursday, and it was Monday night or Tuesday morning that we were captured. We have gone miles and miles, and come right down through the heart of the mountains, and are now on the other side-quite a short cut. But we are not at the point to which our pass would have brought us; we are too far to the North, and have some awkward country ahead. And we are still pretty high up. Lets get on!"
 
Down the mountains, Warg glade and Eagle's Eyrie
The Hobbit - Chapter 6: Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire said:
As they went on Bilbo looked from side to side for something to eat; but the blackberries were still only in flower, and of course there were no nuts, nor even hawthorn-berries. He nibbled a bit of sorrel, and he drank from a small mountain-stream that crossed the path, and he ate three wild strawberries that he found on its bank, but it was not much good.

They still went on and on. The rough path disappeared. The bushes, and the long grasses, between the boulders, the patches of rabbit-cropped turf, the thyme and the sage and the marjoram, and the yellow rockroses all vanished, and they found themselves at the top of a wide steep slope of fallen stones, the remains of a landslide. When they began to go down this, rubbish and small pebbles rolled away from their feet; soon larger bits of split stone went clattering down and started other pieces below them slithering and rolling; then lumps of rocks were disturbed and bounded off, crashing down with a dust and a noise. Before long the whole slope above them and below them seemed on the move, and they were sliding away, huddled all together, in a fearful confusion of slipping, rattling, cracking slabs and stones.

It was the trees at the bottom that saved them. They slid into the edge of a climbing wood of pines that here stood right up the mountain slope from the deeper darker forests of the valleys below. Some caught hold of the trunks and swung themselves into lower branches, some (like the little hobbit) got behind a tree to shelter from the onslaught of the rocks. Soon the danger was over, the slide had stopped, and the last faint crashes could be heard as the largest of the disturbed stones went bounding and spinning among the bracken and the pine-roots far below.

"Well! that has got us on a bit", said Gandalf; "and even goblins tracking us will have a job to come down here quietly".

"I daresay", grumbled Bombur; "but they wont find it difficult to send stones bouncing down on our heads." The dwarves (and Bilbo) were feeling far from happy, and were rubbing their bruised and damaged legs and feet.

"Nonsense! We are going to turn aside here out of the path of the slide. We must be quick! Look at the light!" The sun had long gone behind the mountains. Already the shadows were deepening about them, though far away through the trees and over the black tops of those growing lower down they could still see the evening lights on the plains beyond. They limped along now as fast as they were able down the gentle slopes of a pine forest in a slanting path leading steadily southwards. At times they were pushing through a sea of bracken with tall fronds rising right above the hobbits head; at times they were marching along quiet as quiet over a floor of pine-needles; and all the while the forest-gloom got heavier and the forest-silence deeper. There was no wind that evening to bring even a sea-sighing into the branches of the trees.

[...]

After what seemed ages further they came suddenly to an opening where no trees grew. The moon was up and was shining into the clearing. Somehow it struck all of them as not at all a nice place, although there was nothing wrong to see.

All of a sudden they heard a howl away down hill, a long shuddering howl. It was answered by another away to the right and a good deal nearer to them; then by another not far away to the left. It was wolves howling at the moon, wolves gathering together!

[...]

"Up the trees quick!" cried Gandalf; and they ran to the trees at the edge of the glade, hunting for those that had branches fairly low, or were slender enough to swarm up. They found them as quick as ever they could, you can guess; and up they went as high as ever they could trust the branches. You would have laughed (from a safe distance), if you had seen the dwarves sitting up in the trees with their beards dangling down, like old gentlemen gone cracked and playing at being boys. Fili and Kili were at the top of a tall larch like an enormous Christmas tree. Dori, Nori, On, Oin, and Gloin were more comfortable in a huge pine with regular branches sticking out at intervals like the spokes of a wheel. Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and Thorin were in another. Dwalin and Balin had swarmed up a tall slender fir with few branches and were trying to find a place to sit in the greenery of the topmost boughs. Gandalf, who was a good deal taller than the others, had found a tree into which they could not climb, a large pine standing at the very edge of the glade. He was quite hidden in its boughs, but you could see his eyes gleaming in the moon as he peeped out.

[...]

This glade in the ring of trees was evidently a meeting-place of the wolves.

[...]

Goblins do not usually venture very far from their mountains, unless they are driven out and are looking for new homes, or are marching to war (which I am glad to say has not happened for a long while). But in those days they sometimes used to go on raids, especially to get food or slaves to work for them. Then they often got the Wargs to help and shared the plunder with them. Sometimes they rode on wolves like men do on horses. Now it seemed that a great goblin-raid had been planned for that very night. The Wargs had come to meet the goblins and the goblins were late. The reason, no doubt, was the death of the Great Goblin, and all the excitement caused by the dwarves and Bilbo and the wizard, for whom they were probably still hunting.

In spite of the dangers of this far land bold men had of late been making their way back into it from the South, cutting down trees, and building themselves places to live in among the more pleasant woods in the valleys and along the river-shores. There were many of them, and they were brave and well-armed, and even the Wargs dared not attack them if there were many together, or in the bright day. But now they had planned with the goblins help to come by night upon some of the villages nearest the mountains. If their plan had been carried out, there would have been none left there next day; all would have been killed except the few the goblins kept from the wolves and carried back as prisoners to their caves.

[...]

"Whats all this uproar in the forest tonight?" said the Lord of the Eagles. He was sitting, black in the moonlight, on the top of a lonely pinnacle of rock at the eastern edge of the mountains. "I hear wolves voices! Are the goblins at mischief in the woods?"

He swept up into the air, and immediately two of his guards from the rocks at either hand leaped up to follow him.

[...]

Eagles are not kindly birds. Some are cowardly and cruel. But the ancient race of the northern mountains were the greatest of all birds; they were proud and strong and noble-hearted. They did not love goblins, or fear them. When they took any notice of them at all (which was seldom, for they did not eat such creatures ), they swooped on them and drove them shrieking back to their caves, and stopped whatever wickedness they were doing. The goblins hated the eagles and feared them, but could not reach their lofty seats, or drive them from the mountains. [>> Goblins mostly live below ground in the Misties]

[...]

The wolves that had caught fire and fled into the forest had set it alight in several places. It was high summer, and on this eastern side of the mountains there had been little rain for some time. Yellowing bracken, fallen branches, deep-piled pine-needles, and here and there dead trees, were soon in flames. All round the clearing of the Wargs fire was leaping. But the wolf-guards did not leave the trees. Maddened and angry they were leaping and howling round the trunks, and cursing the dwarves in their horrible language, with their tongues hanging out, and their eyes shining as red and fierce as the flames.

[...]

The pale peaks of the mountains were coming nearer, moonlit spikes of rock sticking out of black shadows. Summer or not, it seemed very cold. [...] He loosed Doris ankles with a gasp and fell onto the rough platform of an eagles eyrie.

[...]

Soon another eagle flew up. "The Lord of the Eagles bids you to bring your prisoners to the Great Shelf" [...] Very soon Bilbo was laid down, trembling with fear, on a wide shelf of rock on the mountain-side. There was no path down on to it save by flying; and no path down off it except by jumping over a precipice. There he found all the others sitting with their backs to the mountain wall.

[...]

As Bilbo listened to the talk of Gandalf he realized that at last they were going to escape really and truly from the dreadful mountains. He was discussing plans with the Great Eagle for carrying the dwarves and himself and Bilbo far away and setting them down well on their journey across the plains below.

[...]

The Lord of the Eagles would not take them anywhere near where men lived. "They would shoot at us with their great bows of yew," he said, "for they would think we were after their sheep. And at other times they would be right. No! we are glad to cheat the goblins of their sport, and glad to repay our thanks to you, but we will not risk ourselves for dwarves in the southward plains."

The Carrock
The Hobbit - Chapter 7: Queer Lodgings said:
After a good while the eagles must have seen the point they were making for, even from their great height, for they began to go down circling round in great spirals. They did this for a long while, and at last the hobbit opened his eyes again. The earth was much nearer, and below them were trees that looked like oaks and elms, and wide grass lands, and a river running through it all. But cropping out of the ground, right in the path of the stream which looped itself about it, was a great rock, almost a hill of stone, like a last outpost of the distant mountains, or a huge piece cast miles into the plain by some giant among giants.

There was a flat space on the top of the hill of stone and a well worn path with many steps leading down it to the river, across which a ford of huge flat stones led to the grass-land beyond the stream. There was a little cave (a wholesome one with a pebbly floor) at the foot of the steps and near the end of the stony ford. Here the party gathered and discussed what was to be done.

[...]

"We have no food, and no baggage, and no ponies to ride; and you dont know where you are. Now I can tell you that. You are still some miles north of the path which we should have been following, if we had not left the mountain pass in a hurry. Very few people live in these parts, unless they have come here since I was last down this way, which is some years ago. But there is somebody that I know of, who lives not far away. That Somebody made the steps on the great rock-the Carrock I believe he calls it. He does not come here often, certainly not in the daytime, and it is no good waiting for him. In fact it would be very dangerous. We must go and find him; and if all goes well at our meeting, I think I shall be off and wish you like the eagles farewell wherever you fare!"

[...]

After that they stopped pleading. Then they took off their clothes and bathed in the river, which was shallow and clear and stony at the ford. When they had dried in the sun, which was now strong and warm, they were refreshed, if still sore and a little hungry. Soon they crossed the ford (carrying the hobbit), and then began to march through the long green grass and down the lines of the wide-armed oaks and the tall elms.

[...]

"I followed these as far as the Carrock. There they disappeared into the river, but the water was too deep and strong beyond the rock for me to cross. It is easy enough, as you remember, to get from this bank to the Carrock by the ford, but on the other side is a cliff standing up from a swirling channel. I had to walk miles before I found a place where the river was wide and shallow enough for me to wade and swim, and then miles back again to pick up the tracks again. By that time it was too late for me to follow them far. They went straight off in the direction of the pine-woods on the east side of the Misty Mountains, where we had our pleasant little party with the Wargs the night before last."

[...]

Had they followed the pass, their path would have led them down the stream from the mountains that joined the great river miles south of the Carrock. At that point there was a deep ford which they might have passed, if they had still had their ponies, and beyond that a track led to the skirts of the wood and to the entrance of the old forest road. But Beorn had warned them that that way was now often used by the goblins, while the forest-road itself, he bad heard, was overgrown and disused at the eastern end and led to impassable marshes where the paths had long been lost. Its eastern opening had also always been far to the south of the Lonely Mountain, and would have left them still with a long and difficult northward march when they got to the other side.

[...]

North of the Carrock the edge of Mirkwood drew closer to the borders of the Great River, and though here the Mountains too drew down nearer, Beorn advised them to take this way; for at a place a few days ride due north of the Carrock was the gate of a little-known pathway through Mirkwood that led almost straight towards the Lonely Mountain.

[...]

"There is, if you care to go two hundred miles or so out of your way north, and twice that south. But you wouldnt get a safe path even then. There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go. Before you could get round Mirkwood in the North you would be right among the slopes of the Grey Mountains, and they are simply stiff with goblins, hobgoblins, and rest of the worst description. Before you could get round it in the South, you would get into the land of the Necromancer; and even you. Bilbo, wont need me to tell you tales of that black sorcerer. I dont advise you to go anywhere near the places overlooked by his dark tower! Stick to the forest-track, keep your spirits up, hope for the best, and with a tremendous slice of luck you may come out one day and see the Long Marshes lying below you, and beyond them, high in the East, the Lonely Mountain where dear old Smaug lives, though I hope he is not expecting you."

After the Battle of the Five Armies
The Hobbit - Chapter 18. The Return Journey said:
At last they came up the long road, and reached the very pass where the goblins had captured them before. But they came to that high point at morning, and looking backward they saw a white sun shining over the out-stretched lands. There behind lay Mirkwood, blue in the distance, and darkly green at the nearer edge even in the spring. There far away was the Lonely Mountain on the edge of eyesight. On its highest peak snow yet unmelted was gleaming pale.

The Lord of the Rings - Book II - Chapter 1: Many Meetings said:
Gloin looked at him. 'If you have not heard, I think we will not speak yet of that either. Master Elrond will summon us all ere long, I believe, and then we shall all hear many things. But there is much else that may be told.'
Throughout the rest of the meal they talked together, but Frodo listened more than he spoke; for the news of the Shire, apart from the Ring, seemed small and far-away and unimportant, while Gloin had much to tell of events in the northern regions of Wilderland. Frodo learned that Grimbeorn the Old, son of Beorn, was now the lord of many sturdy men, and to their land between the Mountains and Mirkwood neither orc nor wolf dared to go.
'Indeed,' said Gloin, 'if it were not for the Beornings, the passage from Dale to Rivendell would long ago have become impossible. They are valiant men and keep open the High Pass and the Ford of Carrock. But their tolls are high,' he added with a shake of his head; 'and like Beorn of old they are not over fond of dwarves. Still, they are trusty, and that is much in these days.

The Lord of the Rings - Book II - Chapter 8: Farewell to Lorien said:
'Indeed it is,' said Gimli. 'Why it is better than the honey-cakes of the Beornings, and that is great praise, for the Beornings are the best bakers that I know of; but they are
none too willing to deal out their cakes to travellers in these days. You are kindly hosts!'

The Lord of the Rings - Book II - Chapter 10: The Breaking of the Fellowship said:
But everywhere he looked he saw the signs of war. The Misty
Mountains were crawling like anthills: orcs were issuing out of a thousand holes. Under the boughs of Mirkwood there was deadly strife of Elves and Men and fell beasts. The land of the Beornings was aflame; a cloud was over Moria; smoke rose on the borders of Lorien

Miscellanous
The Lord of the Rings - Appendix A said:
In the days of Arahad I the Orcs, who had, as later appeared, long been secretly occupying strongholds in the Misty Mountains, so as to bar all the passes into Eriador, suddenly revealed themselves. In 2509 Celebrian wife of Elrond was journeying to Lórien when she was waylaid in the Redhorn Pass, and her escort being scattered by the sudden assault of the Orcs, she was seized and carried off.

The Lord of the Rings - Appendix B said:
c. 2480. Orcs begin to make secret strongholds in the Misty Mountains so as to bar all the passes into Eriador. Sauron begins to people Moria with his creatures.

The History of Middle-earth said:
+ This name, which I have found nowhere else, is unfortunately not quite clear, though Me- and -II are certain, and it is hard to read it in any other way. - Another name added to the Wilderland map was Rhimdath 'Rushdown', the river flowing from the Misty Mountains into Anduin north of the Carrock (see the Index to Vol. V, p. 446).)

The Silmarillion - Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age said:
From Imladris they [The Last Alliance of Elves and Men] crossed the Misty Mountains by many passes and marched down the River Anduin, and so came at last upon the host of Sauron on Dagorlad, the Battle Plain, which lies before the gate of the Black Land.

The Silmarillion - Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age said:
But soon he departed, and after he had given counsel to Meneldil, his brother's son, and had committed to him the realm of the south, he bore away the Ring, to be an heirloom of his house, and marched north from Gondor by the way that Elendil had come; and he forsook the South Kingdom, for he purposed to take up his father's realm in Eriador, far from the shadow of the Black Land. But Isildur was overwhelmed by a host of Orcs that lay in wait in the Misty Mountains; and they descended upon him at unawares in his camp between the Greenwood and the Great River, nigh to Loeg Ningloron, the Gladden Fields, for he was heedless and set no guard, deeming that all his foes were overthrown. There well nigh all his people were slain, and among them were his three elder sons, Elendur, Aratan, and Ciryon; but his wife and his youngest son, Valandil, he had left in Imladris when he went to the war.

The new land of the Éothéod lay north of Mirkwood, between the Misty Mountains westward and the Forest River eastward. Southward it extended to the confluence of the two short rivers that they named Greylin and Langwell. Greylin flowed down from Ered Mithrin, the Grey Mountains, but Langwell came from the Misty Mountains, and this name it bore because it was the source of Anduin, which from its junction with Greylin they called Langflood. 20 Messengers still passed between Gondor and the Éothéod after their departure; but it was some four hundred and fifty of our miles between the confluence of Greylin and Langwell (where was their only fortified burg) and the inflow of Limlight into Anduin, in a direct line as a bird might fly, and much more for those who journeyed on earth; and in like manner some eight hundred miles to Minas Tirith.
 
4. Overall Project Plan
Items marked with "-->" are projects within or close to the Misty mountains but are treated as separate projects, not part of this project.
  • 1: Moria [Done]
    --> Moria
    Moria West Gate w. Lake and Stairs, Walls of Moria
    Moria East Gate
    Redhorn Pass
    Dimrill Dale/ Nanduhirion / Azanulbizar
    Mirrormere
    Falls of Nimrodel
    Silvertine / Celebdil / Zirak-zigil with Durin's Tower
    Redhorn / Caradhras / Barazinbar
    Cloudyhead / Fanuidhol / Bundushathûr
  • 2: Gladden Pass [In Progress]
    Gladden Pass Road [In Progress]
    Gladden Fields [Done]
    High Moors of Rivendell [Done]
    Fords of Bruinen [Done]
    Hollin Ridge [Done]
  • 3: High passes [In Progress]
    --> Rivendell
    --> Goblin Town
    --> Vale of the Anduin
    Route of Thorin's Company ("a high pass") [ToDo]
    The High Pass (route taken by Glóin in TA 3018) [ToDo]
    Goblin Town Old Main Gate [ToDo]
    Goblin Town Front Porch [ToDo]
    Goblin Town Lower Door [ToDo]
    Warg Glade [ToDo]
    Great Shelf (Eagle's Eyrie) [ToDo]
    Eagle's Eyries [ToDo]
    Carrock [?] (done but may need to be moved / redone to match descriptions)
    Beorning Toll Stations [ToDo]
    Beorning watch towers [ToDo]
    Secret Orc Strongholds [ToDo]
    (Éothéod ruins)
    (Beorning settlements)
  • 4: Dunland [ToDo]
    --> Dunland
    --> Isengard
    --> Fangorn
    --> Wellinghall
    Nan Curunír
    Methedras
  • Mt. Gram [Done]
    --> Mt. Gram orc stronghold
  • Coldfells / Ettenmoors [ToDo]
    --> Rhudaur
    --> Mt. Gundbad
    Nazgûl tomb from the Hobbit movies
    Orc caves from Born of Hope
    Passes from MERP

misties overview.png
 
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4.1. Lore analysis
Given the primary literature quotes from above, I derive the following points for the map features of the area of the Gladden Pass and High Pass:
(Facts that were already applied, i.e. vegetation in the Gladden Fields, or the High Moors, are not discussed anymore)

Timeline
~ 1100 TA (1901 years ago): The Stoors leave the area of the Gladden Fields westward due to the rising threat of Dol Guldur and Angmar and increasing number of Men settling in the area.
1356 TA (1647 years ago): Some Stoors return from the Angle to the area of the Gladden.
~ 2000 TA (1001 years ago): The Éothéod move from their lands between the Carrock and the Gladden northwards to the sources of the Anduin. Reasons are many Men living in the middle vale of the Anduin at that time, and the increasing threat of Dol Guldur.
2463 TA (538 years ago): Sméagol finds the One Ring in the Gladden Fields. Thus at that point there are still Stoors living near the Gladden.
~ 2480 TA: Orcs build secret strongholds to bar the passes into Eriador. Sauron settles Moria with Orcs.
2489 TA (512 years ago): Start of Cirion's rule over Gondor. "Fierce people" under the shadow of Dol Guldur keep raiding in Rhovanion, leading to the area below the Gladden being largely deserted.
2510 TA (491 years ago): Battle of the Field of Celebrant between Gondor, the Éothéod, Orcs and the Balchoth. After that foundation of Rohan and migration of the Éothéod from the upper vale of the Anduin to Rohan.
2941 TA (60 years ago): Events of The Hobbit. Afterwards Beorn erects a strong realm in the Upper Vale of the Anduin.

Discussion of map features
  • Roads
    • There is a pass at the source of the Gladden River.
    • The path coming from the Gladden Pass passes through the Gladden Fields. Probably this is the easiest way to cross the Anduin in this area without a huge bridge.
    • The high pass road the Company of Thorin take is most likely not the same as the "High Pass" Glóin takes to get from the Lonely Mountain to Rivendell. This is further emphasized by the fact that Gandalf mentions that the former main gate of Goblin Town is placed on a different pass, which then was no longer used due to that. My interpretation is as following: There is a pass which is relatively easy to travel which forms the connection between the formerly very important Great East Road and the Old Forest Road, built and maintained for a long time by the dwarves as means of travel between Erebor, Gundabad, Moria (had only an Eastern Gate for a long time) and the Ered Luin in the west. That is "the" High Pass. Further mentions of this are that the Last Alliance used this way at the end of the Second Age (it is mentioned that the bridge over the Anduin at the Old Forest Road was renovated for the army). Also I assume that Isildur, when he traveled from Gondor to Arnor via the Vale of the Anduin in TA 2 used this pass (he got ambushed in the Gladden Fields tho).
    • Something that seems like a contradiction is Glóin's statement that the "Fords of Carrock" are well maintained, versus Gandalf stating that its only possible to get from the eastern bank to the Carrock, but not across all of the Anduin, as there is a sheer cliff on the western side. The compromise could be that the Beornings built the second part of the Fords after the events of the Hobbit. Given the LotR (TA 3018) is set 17 years after our server is set (TA 3001) we could even represent the road as being under construction.
    • Given multiple mentions of "many passes" (once in the Hobbit, once related to the route of the Last Alliance), even more passes might be eligible.
    • The Fellowship of the Ring's travel through Eregion was explicitly noted to be arduous, and a comparison of the terrain is drawn to the Vale of the Anduin. It is implied that the travelling there would be easier, but more dangerous. This seems to be the only argument why the Fellowship of the Ring discarded the option to travel over the same pass as Glóin used to travel from the Lonely Mountain to Rivendell. Glóin said the pass he took was guarded and safe, but seems like the middle Anduin Valley between the Carrock and Lothlórien is dangerous to travel, most likely due to Orcs, as Frodo sees when on Weathertop. (Dol Guldur is not occupied by Sauron at that point, but maybe by Orcs). The Vale has been inhabited by multiple folk before (Éothéod) and at the time of the server (Beornings), so roads are not unlikely. Also Isildur traveled through the Vale of the Anduin while his target was Arnor, west of the Mountains, naming it "the path Elendil took".
      --> Roads / paths in the Vale of Anduin
    • Many deceptive paths leading nowhere on the western side of the misties, as mentioned in the Hobbit. Maybe leading to Orc strongholds / ambushes.
    • After exiting through the Back Door / Lower Door, the Company of Thorin / Bilbo travels on distinct paths for a while, presumable made by Orcs. Both Bilbo and Thorin exit Goblin Town through the same exit. However it is a mystery to me how Gandalf and the dwarves remained in Goblin Town for almost three entire days...

paths.png

  • Settlements
    • Hobbits (Stoors): The most recent report is of Gollum finding the one ring, 500 years ago. There's no concise indications that the Stoors have left the area since then, but may have been forced away by Orcs.
    • Éothéod (Rohirrim): Abandonded ~1000 years ago.
    • Beornings: No clear accounts for this area. It's likely that the "many men" that drive the Éothéod northwards around TA 2000 are Beornings. Given the implied relatively rapid erection of the realm of Beorn after 2941TA there are still numerous Beornings living in the Vale of the Anduin, thus making up the most settlements. Beornings herd sheep (which get occasionally stolen by the Eagles) and are very good bakers (as praised by Gimli).
      Glóin in TA3018 states that the High Pass is well maintained and guarded by the Beornings, but the tolls are high --> Structures of the Beornings for collecting tolls and guarding the road (towers). They may however still be under construction as Glóin's news are voiced 17 years after the server is set.
    • Orcs. Many many sources speak of many Orcs in the Misties. Even multiple secret strongholds are mentioned. After the Battle of Five Armies, they retreat into their strongholds, but do not leave the mountains, as is seen by Frodo when wearing the Ring ontop of Amon Hen ("orcs issueing out of a thousand holes"). Also the Eagles' watch forces the Orcs to stay out of sight, thus making overground orc camps less likely / frequent.
 
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5.1. Detail plan (Gladden Pass)
gladden fields detail.png


5.2. Detail plan (High passes)
Features & detail discussion

  • Great East Road: Built by the dwarves and maintained by Arnor (especially Stonebow Bridge and Last Bridge). From around 2941 TA onwards the Beornings maintained and protected the High Pass (which is the GER's crossing of the Misty Mountains), as reported by Glóin in TA 3018. When Bilbo travels the road in 2941 he reports that the road gets worse and worse from Bree onwards (Quote "he splashed along behind the others in a very muddy track"). In TA 3001 the road may be in good condition thanks to the Beornings who had up to 60 years available to revamp it. There could also be small scenes of a road revamp being under construction.
  • The High Pass (GER): Not the road, Thorin's Company takes (cf. Lore Discussion above). The High Pass (GER) should be one of the easiest passes to cross the Misties on, especially easier than the pass of Caradhras and the high pass Thorins Company took. It was heavily used for trading, thus even usability for carts and similar should be granted (--> not too steep, no too tight curves, 3 blocks wide). Features main entrance to Goblin Town (as mentioned by Gandalf), new Beorning fortifications to guard the road and also a toll station (Glóin mentions high tolls), probably rather towards the eastern descent, where the Beornings live. No overground orc camps as the High Pass on the old map featured (It is mentioned that the Eagles guard the misties which requires the orcs to hide underground).
  • High Pass (Thorins Company): As discussed above, a different road than the GER High Pass. The road is "crooked" (--> serpentines), and at some point Bilbo can look back over Eriador, so such a viewpoint should exist as well. They see boulders falling down the mountains over the path, so could well be that some land on the road and damage or partially block it. When the thunderstorm hits, they are in a place high above the valley bottom, with a sheer drop next to the road. They shelter below an overhanging rock wall. Regarding snow: The Company takes the path in mid summer, so there may be more snow during the time of MCME than during the Hobbit. On the eastern side, the road follows an (unnamed) stream joining the Anduin, leading to a deep Ford at which the Anduin can be crossed with ponies.
  • Additional roads: On the ascent of the pass road Thorin's Company takes it is mentioned that "There were many paths that led up into those mountains, and many passes over them. But most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad ends; and most of the passes were infested by evil things and dreadful dangers". Some roads can lead to the mentioned orc strongholds, some may lead to abandoned huts (i.e. hunting lodges), again others may just be roads that became overgrown over time.
  • Front Porch: One of the entrances to Goblin Town. A cave located right on the road the Company takes, accessed through a small arch (pony's get through with a squeeze). The cave itself is fair in size, large enough for all ponies, dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf to sleep comfortably, and even many goblins fit in, once they ambush the Company. Hidden door at the back of the cave leading to Goblin Town (separate project).
  • Lower Door / Lower Gate / Back-Door: One of the entrances to Goblin Town. Said to be used for raids into the Vale of the Anduin. Large stone door. Outside, "there were a few steps running down into a narrow valley between tall mountains". There are trees in that valley. At a later point, Bilbo is "on a stony path winding downwards with a rocky wall. on the left hand; on the other side the ground sloped away and there were dells below the level of the path overhung with bushes and low trees." I suspect, Bilbo follows this path all the way from the gate. It's not clear what "lower" relates to, but most likely the gate is less high up than the Front Porch. Distance-wise: The company was inside Goblin town for 2-3 entire days during which they walked "miles and miles", so the distance can be significant.
  • Warg glade: Meeting place of the goblins and wargs. Glade in a forest, mentioned trees are larch, pine and fir. There is no mentioning of it being at a cliff as seen in the movie.
  • Great Shelf and eeries: Multiple eeries are mentioned, but only one by name. No access by foot, cliffs.
  • Carrock: Great rock within the Anduin, well worn path with many steps leading down. Fords to the east shore but not the west shore. This however stands in conflict with a statement of Glóin that mentions the "Ford of Carrock", implicating it is possible to cross the entire Anduin there.
  • Valley of Rivendell: Hidden, deep valley, with zig-zag path down into it, stream through it. Rivendell should be farther away from the actual misty mountains, but given we don't have the laterl nor the vertical space to achieve that easily, and it would be a massive amount of work, this is neglected for now. Only described path leads through the High Moors of Rivendell. However, it is implied that Thorins Company leaves Rivendell on a different path as they "ride off", while the path they came from was not suitable for riding. The Atlas of ME suggest a windy path out of Rivendell northwards.
Spatial relations:
  • Rivendell lies south of the Great East Road and both High Passes (assumption, based on that the Fellowship does not cross a road such as the GER after leaving Rivendell southwards. Also its barely possible to still put the GER south of Rivendell due to High Moors). The GER should not be too close to Rivendell though (secret!).
  • The Great East Road leads to the Ford of Bruinen (explicit), however, it is barely possible to make the GER cross the Bruinen, as it should continue north of the Bruinen as it should be north of Rivendell and Rivendell lies on the Bruinen which would mean the GER has to cross the Bruinen right after the ford again which I deem unlikely. The compromise I will go with is, that the GER will lead TO the Ford, but not over it. The ford's main use is the connection to the large road leading south into Hollin.
  • The High Pass (GER) lies south of the high pass (Thorin's Company) (assumption, personal preference and as implied by the Atlas of ME (p. 103, map of Goblin Town)) The High Pass (Thorin's Company) joins the High Pass (GER) during the eastern descent, and leads to the same ford.
  • The back-door is north of the high pass that Thorin's Company intended to use (explicit).
  • The path out of the back door leads constantly down (explicit)
  • the warg glade is lower and further east (implicit) and south (explicit) than the lower door.
  • The Great Shelf is closer to the mountains (implicit) and further north (assumption) than the warg glade, and not too far away (can't hold on with your hands to an eagle for very long).
  • The Great Shelf is at about the same latitude as the Carrock (assumption). Beornings live further south (explicit).
  • The Carrock lies north of both high passes (explicit).
 
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6. Glaciers

Link to swiss map of the area with the most glaciers in switzerland:
map.geo.admin.ch

0. The initial situation should be your glacier valley, all in stone, and your glacier being in stone already present.

1. Dig out the glacier so you get the empty valley. Start with /b e lift to dig down around 6-12 blocks (depends on glacier width) and then make a nice u-shaped valley using /b e melt and /b bb. You can use /b bb quite extensively to smooth here as the valley bottom mostly wont be visible anymore afterwards.

2. Fill in the glacier with sand, using the /b fd brush. The decline depends on the terrain, but make it regular. In the upper end section however the glacier should get steeper and blend with the mountains surrounding that area (called a "cirque").
botnbrae.jpg

3. Use /b bd to refine the contours of the glacier levels. At the upper start the levels are alwas shaped concave, this means that the sides are further down the valley than the middle. Wide glaciers though get more and more convex: the middle is flowing faster then the edges. Most glaciers are too narrow to get convex though, there the levels end mostly straight or slightly concave. Long story short: Check out existing glaciers!
Smooth out the levels to get homogenous curves (/b bd / by hand).
2hydisp.jpg

4. Replace the top layer of sand (depth 1!) with Snow Blocks (ID 80)

5. Replace the rest of the sand with packed Ice (ID 174)

6. Optional, but recommended: (Can also get done after adding the wool)
Add a few glacier ravines at the top, where the glacier starts to flow.
Glacier ravines shall be pretty narrow and as deep as possible; you can't see any stone inside the ravine!
28vue7m.png

5af2pl.png

7. Adventurers / Artist Job:
As placing the layered snow by hand takes ages, for every layered snow height one color of wool concrete is placed and after that replaced with the respective block using voxel.
Note:
- Use Eriador pack and use the concrete colors seen below as this is visually easiest to understand what color represents which height.
- (Make sure under every wool block is snow, not packed ice! Else the layered snow will just disappear.) <-- Not necessary anymore with no-physics, but still recommended.
- Use every concrete color in equal amounts, also if the levels are really narrow (cf. images below)
- Green concrete represents full block height layered snow. Their use is to prevent lightbugs that would occur when layered snow of any height is placed next to a solid block. Thus green concrete has to be used differently than other concrete colors and should always be placed before all the other concrete.
Green concrete is added along the contours of every level and the sides of them. Be sure to surround the solid blocks (snow/stone) completely, also on the corners! (cf images)
- Don't merge the glacier with the mountains on the sides, let the levels run straight into the mountains resp. green concrete lines.
- In narrow levels, any other concrete color can be placed onto green concrete; treat green concrete as if it were normal snow blocks. In contrary on very wide levels a few normal snow blocks at the bottom of each level should be left free. Together with the green wool they make up the "zero" height layered snow layer.
- If you have glacier ravines, make the snow along the edges descend a bit into the ravine. Add some layered snow into the ravines.
Narrow levels:
vhup9t.png

Flat levels:
be6gzl.png

674l7b.jpg

8. Replace the concrete with layered snow using Voxel. To make that quickly, build yourself this tool:
hu20b7.png
Now you can right-/left click with the arrow/gunpowder to quickly set place and replace IDs and data values. Just sneak+left-click the snow blocks and sneak+right-click the wool blocks. (After the first one you only have to set the data values again with the gunpowder)
Start with the green concrete!

Video of this job:


9. Artist Job:
Detail the tunnel under the glacier.
- (Staff) Use /b b mm with /vr 174 and /v 0 and decreasing brush size to dig the main tunnel. Dont dig in much further than half of the glacier length, use dynmap or minimap to check your location.
- (Artist) Refine tunnel shape, add and break some ice blocks to give it a natural and interesting shape.
- (Artist) Dig out a 1 deep riverbed into the (stone) tunnel floor. The width should be so that on each side of that trench is still one block between trench and tunnel wall.
- (Artist) Dig many 1x1 block crosssection tunnels into the sides of the main tunnels and fill them with water flowing out (from custom inventory)
- (Artist) Add some gravel to the riverbed
- (Artist) Add water to the streams.
- (Artist) Add some normal ice and layered snow in the tunnel, both with decreasing amount away from the glacier gate. Placing layered snow on ice is not possible, instead you can substitute the ice with another block, place the snow ontop, and then replace the ice.

2rcuyo3.png

10. Refine the glacier gate. Multiple designs are possible, some of which require voxel to make them efficiently.
Simple, just add some gravel, ice and layered snow:
1565104674310.png


Large:
1565104750478.png


Variant with "falling snow":
1565104788829.png

g1.png

g2.png

1565176960113.png
 
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