Mordor Resource Pack

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Finrod_Amandil

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#21
Alright, today I will start working on putting together the Mordor pack. Please direct all suggestions, requests and textures for the Mordor RP to this thread.

I can not create new textures, so I need to rely on the help of those who have made, or have some additional time to get started with texturing!

I will be modelling the RP according to the structure that was established for the Gondor 2 pack which is the structure all RP's should have at some point. In case MC 1.13 brings major disturbance to the used exploits we have the tools to move to a different structure easily (Eriols replace plugin). For the sake of a unified RP structure I will not respect how the blocks are being used in Mordor right now, these will be switched when the RP gets introduced.

Additional ideas by Tyran: Swamplands Terrain

First off I would like to request some help from anyone out there: I want a complete list of all quotes from the books regarding the looks of Mordor, that includes:
  • Colors / descriptions of the landscape
  • Vegetation
  • Colors / descriptions / features / textures of any structure
Please message me on Discord if you would like to help, I can then give you an electronic copy of the books to easily copy/paste passages and assign you a chapter to work on to avoid two people doing the same one.
 

RubenPieterMark

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#22
Is this for the Dead Marshes? If not, would marshes be a thing in Mordor? There's a hiigh absence of water in the books. You could argue that that would only be on the Plateau of Gorgoroth which would be kind of true. But I think Sauron would have drained any wetland in Mordor, military disadvantage and too much 'life'. Also it doesn't feel Mordorian..
 

ryttyr

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Apr 22, 2014
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#23
Alright, today I will start working on putting together the Mordor pack. Please direct all suggestions, requests and textures for the Mordor RP to this thread.

I can not create new textures, so I need to rely on the help of those who have made, or have some additional time to get started with texturing!

I will be modelling the RP according to the structure that was established for the Gondor 2 pack which is the structure all RP's should have at some point. In case MC 1.13 brings major disturbance to the used exploits we have the tools to move to a different structure easily (Eriols replace plugin). For the sake of a unified RP structure I will not respect how the blocks are being used in Mordor right now, these will be switched when the RP gets introduced.

Additional ideas by Tyran: Swamplands Terrain

First off I would like to request some help from anyone out there: I want a complete list of all quotes from the books regarding the looks of Mordor, that includes:
  • Colors / descriptions of the landscape
  • Vegetation
  • Colors / descriptions / features / textures of any structure
Please message me on Discord if you would like to help, I can then give you an electronic copy of the books to easily copy/paste passages and assign you a chapter to work on to avoid two people doing the same one.
I am currently reading RotK myself and I'm right in the middle of the latter chapters (I just finished the chapter "The siege of Gondor") so I think I'll come to read the Mordor chapters pretty soon and could note down any descriptions I find in the process without sacrificing my free time to do so as reading is already part of my free time.
Although... I can't guarantee that I'll be done with this anytime soon as my reading speed is slow and my reading sessions sporadically dispersed.
 

Finrod_Amandil

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#24
I am currently reading RotK myself and I'm right in the middle of the latter chapters (I just finished the chapter "The siege of Gondor") so I think I'll come to read the Mordor chapters pretty soon and could note down any descriptions I find in the process without sacrificing my free time to do so as reading is already part of my free time.
Although... I can't guarantee that I'll be done with this anytime soon as my reading speed is slow and my reading sessions sporadically dispersed.
I want to do this in an organized fashion, so anyone who helps can pick / is assigned a chapter to do, I can gladly give you one of those that you'll get to the next. However I want the literal quotes here, not just a summary, so either you type it all in or you paste it from the electronical version I have.
 

ryttyr

Dirt Conaisseur
Apr 22, 2014
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#25
I want to do this in an organized fashion, so anyone who helps can pick / is assigned a chapter to do, I can gladly give you one of those that you'll get to the next. However I want the literal quotes here, not just a summary, so either you type it all in or you paste it from the electronical version I have.
Well after checking I realised that I have quite a few chapters still until I reach the Mordor chapters so I'll return to you when I've gotten that far to see what or if you have something for me then.

Or actually... I'd gladly take one or more of the chapters from "book four" (the second half of TTT) as then I'll have something to do during the morning commute.
 

BWOT

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#27
Alright, today I will start working on putting together the Mordor pack. Please direct all suggestions, requests and textures for the Mordor RP to this thread.

I can not create new textures, so I need to rely on the help of those who have made, or have some additional time to get started with texturing!

I will be modelling the RP according to the structure that was established for the Gondor 2 pack which is the structure all RP's should have at some point. In case MC 1.13 brings major disturbance to the used exploits we have the tools to move to a different structure easily (Eriols replace plugin). For the sake of a unified RP structure I will not respect how the blocks are being used in Mordor right now, these will be switched when the RP gets introduced.

Additional ideas by Tyran: Swamplands Terrain

First off I would like to request some help from anyone out there: I want a complete list of all quotes from the books regarding the looks of Mordor, that includes:
  • Colors / descriptions of the landscape
  • Vegetation
  • Colors / descriptions / features / textures of any structure
Please message me on Discord if you would like to help, I can then give you an electronic copy of the books to easily copy/paste passages and assign you a chapter to work on to avoid two people doing the same one.
I can put together a list (like tyran did) of all the textures that me and @mattlego want for the Barren Lands and also Eastern Mordor. I will list all the ones we would like due for a better visual appearance (possibly supported by lore) and the ones strictly supported by lore.
 

Finrod_Amandil

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#29
Okay here's the list of all the chapters / books there are. Those marked in bold and red are most likely having a lot of relevant info in them, those in bold have a high chance to have some side notes in them as the story revolves closely around Mordor.

Green: Have been checked for info
All in red: Need a complete and close read.
All in bold: Need a complete read.
All others: Will check those myself with keyword search.
  • LotR - Book I, II, III
  • LotR - Book IV:
    • Chapter 1: The Taming of Sméagol - @ryttyr
    • Chapter 2: The Passage of the Marshes
    • Chapter 3: The Black Gate is Closed
    • Chapter 4: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit - @DarthRagnar
    • Chapter 5: The Window on the West - @DarthRagnar
    • Chapter 6: The Forbidden Pool - @DarthRagnar
    • Chapter 7: Journey to the Cross-roads - @DarthRagnar
    • Chapter 8: The stairs of Cirith Ungol
    • Chapter 9: Shelob's Lair
    • Chapter 10: The Choices of Master Samwise
  • LotR - Book V:
    • Chapter 1: Minas Tirith
    • Chapter 2: The Passing of the Grey Company
    • Chapter 3: The Muster of Rohan
    • Chapter 4: The Siege of Gondor
    • Chapter 5: The Ride of the Rohirrim
    • Chapter 6: The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
    • Chapter 7: The Pyre of Denethor
    • Chapter 8: The Houses of Healing
    • Chapter 9: The Last Debate
  • LotR - Book VI:
    • Chapter 1: The Tower of Cirith Ungol
    • Chapter 2: The Land of Shadow
    • Chapter 3: Mount Doom
    • Chapter 4: The Field of Cormallen
    • Chapter 5: The Steward and the king
    • Chapter 6: Many Partings
    • Chapter 7: Homeward Bound
    • Chapter 8: The Scouring of the Shire
    • Chapter 9: The Grey Havens
  • LotR - Appendixes
  • Hobbit
  • Silmarillion
  • History of Middle-earth
  • Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth
Instructions for readers:
  • It may be a tricky to figure what is relevant for textures; story is not important, but descriptions of the area, but also things like when they need to scramble up a rockslide or similar (--> means we need some sort of loose rock texture).
  • Put the original quotes here, with enough sentences around the interesting part to understand the context.
  • Paste the findings directly here.
 
Last edited:

DarthRagnar

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#30
Here is my report. Descriptions in these chapters mostly concern the geography between Ithilien and Mordor. (They might actually just be describing the outer parts of Ithilien, but I included them anyway.) The bracketed numbers at the end indicate the page number of the quote from the 50th Anniversary One-Volume Edition that I own. I went over the chapters fairly quick, so if someone wants to put a second pair of eyes to them for things I missed be my guest.

LotR, Book IV - Chapter 4: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit


"The mountains still loomed up ominously on their left, but near at hand they could see the southward road, now bearing away from the black roots of the hills and slanting westward. Beyond it were sloped covered with sombre trees like dark clouds, but all about them lay a tumbled heathland, grown with ling and broom and cornel, and other shrubs that they did not know. Here and there they saw knots of tall pine-trees." [649]

LotR, Book IV - Chapter 5: The Window on the West

Lots of reference to Ithilien, but no notable descriptions of Mordor.

LotR, Book IV - Chapter 6: The Forbidden Pool

"'I will answer for him,' said Frodo. 'He brought me to the Black Gate, as I asked; but it was impassible.'
'There is no open gate into the Nameless Land,' said Faramir.
'Seeing this, we turned aside and came by the Southward road,' Frodo continued; 'for he said that there is, or there may be, a path near Minas Ithil.'
'Minas Morgul,' said Faramir.
'I do not know clearly,' said Frodo; 'but the path climbs, I think, up into the mountains on the northern side of that vale where the old city stands. It goes up to a high cleft and so down to - that which is beyond.'" [691]

LotR, Book IV - Chapter 7: Journey to the Cross-roads

"A deep dim valley lay before them. On its further side the woods gathered again, blue and grey under the sullen evening, and marched on southward. To the right the Mountains of Gondor glowed, remote in the West, under a fire-flecked sky. To the left lay darkness: the towering walls of Mordor; and out of that darkness the long valley came, falling steeply in and ever-widening trough towards the Anduin. At its bottom ran a hurrying stream: Frodo could hear its stony voice coming up through the silence; and beside it on the hither side a road went winding down like a pale ribbon, down into chill grey mists that no gleam of sunset touched." [697]

"Frodo looked down on to the road. At any rate nothing was moving on it now. It appeared lonely and forsaken, running down to empty ruins in the mist." [697]

"As soon as they were down they went on again with Gollum leading, eastwards, up the dark sloping land. They could see little, for the night was now so deep that they were hardly aware of the stems of trees before they stumbled against them. The ground became more broken and walking was more difficult, but Gollum seemed in no way troubled. He led them through thickets and wastes of brambles; sometimes round the lip of a deep clef or dark pit, sometimes down into black bush-shrouded hollows and out again; but if ever they went a little downward, always the further slope was longer and steeper." [698]

"Soon they began to climb up on to a great hog-back of land. For the most part it was covered with a thick growth of gorse and whortleberry, and low tough thorns, though here and there clearings opened, the scars of recent fires. The gorse-bushes became more frequent as they got nearer the top; very old and tall they were, gaunt and leggy below but thick above, and already putting out yellow flowers that glimmered in the gloom and gave a faint sweet scent. So tall were the spiny thickets that the hobbits could talk upright under them, passing through long dry aisles carpeted with a deep prickly mould." [698]
 

BWOT

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#32
Definitely still a WIP but here is a view only link so you all can get an idea of where me and matt are going. Brown Lands and Eastern Mordor Textures

If you want I can also make a map of where I plan to use these textures and post it in another thread with a link to that here.
 

Merluin

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#33
Definitely still a WIP but here is a view only link so you all can get an idea of where me and matt are going. Brown Lands and Eastern Mordor Textures

If you want I can also make a map of where I plan to use these textures and post it in another thread with a link to that here.
I could try the cracked dirt and the clays... Tho I don't rlly know what exactly u want the mudstone to look like

Edit: I looked at the pictures u included but I'm still not sure what u want... Do u want the stone to have like different layers that were pressed together over time or..?
 

RubenPieterMark

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#34
I could try the cracked dirt and the clays... Tho I don't rlly know what exactly u want the mudstone to look like

Edit: I looked at the pictures u included but I'm still not sure what u want... Do u want the stone to have like different layers that were pressed together over time or..?
There's a small difference between mudstone and shale. Both 'mudstone' and shale are mudstones; both are rocks made out of clay under pressure (usually pressure from water). Shale however, has very clearly divided sediment layers, whereas normal mudstone is not layered. The layers are formed if the pressure was very equal, so very still water. Mudstone is formed under more random pressures. So it would probably make most sense -with my limited geologic understandings- that there could be some shale in lower areas but mostly mudstone. Side note: shale is very slope unstable, this means that there wouldn't be any shale cliffs, they would collapse in landslides. I don't think anyone was expecting any cliffs in the Brown Lands anyways, so ye good choice of rocks.
Note that the mudstone really doesn't have a colour similar to brown mud...
 

Merluin

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#35
There's a small difference between mudstone and shale. Both 'mudstone' and shale are mudstones; both are rocks made out of clay under pressure (usually pressure from water). Shale however, has very clearly divided sediment layers, whereas normal mudstone is not layered. The layers are formed if the pressure was very equal, so very still water. Mudstone is formed under more random pressures. So it would probably make most sense -with my limited geologic understandings- that there could be some shale in lower areas but mostly mudstone. Side note: shale is very slope unstable, this means that there wouldn't be any shale cliffs, they would collapse in landslides. I don't think anyone was expecting any cliffs in the Brown Lands anyways, so ye good choice of rocks.
Note that the mudstone really doesn't have a colour similar to brown mud...
Thx
 

Eriol_Eandur

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#36
I've made a detailled collection of all quotes about Mordor relevant terrain and builds. All documents at the staff google Designer drive (Lore Encyclopedia > Mordor).
Dagorlad, Morannon and the Towers of the Teeth


The Two Towers – The Passage of the Marshes

They had come to the desolation that lay before Mordor: The gasping pits and poisonous mounds grew hideously clear. … they came to an almost circular pit, high-banked upon the west. It was cold and dead, and a foul sump of oily many-coloured ooze lay at its bottom …


The Two Towers – The Black Gate is Closed

Upon the west of Mordor marched the gloomy range of Ephel Dúath, the Mountains of Shadow, and upon the north and the broken peaks and barren ridges of Ered Lithui, grey as ash. But these ranges approached on another, being indeed but parts of one great wall about the mournful plains of Lithlad and Gorgoroth, and the bitter inland sea of Núrnen amid most, they swung out long arms northward; and between these arms there was a deep defile. This was Cirith Gorgor, the Haunted Pass, the entrance to the land of the Enemy. High cliffs lowered upon either side, and thrust forward from its mouth were two sheer hills, black-boned and bare. Upon them stood the Teeth of Mordor, two towers strong and tall. In days long past they were built by the Men of Gondor in their pride and power after the overthrow of Sauron and his flight, lest he should seek to return to his old realm. But the strength of Gondor failed, and men slept, and for long years the towers stood empty. Then Sauron returned. Now the watch-towers, which had fallen into decay, were repaired, and filled with arms, and garrisoned with ceaseless vigilance. Stony-faced they were, with dark window-holes staring north and east and west, and each window was full of sleepless eyes. Across the mouth of the pass, from cliff to cliff, the Dark Lord had built a rampart of stone. In it there was a single gate of iron and upon its battlement sentinels paced unceasingly. Beneath the hills on either side the rock was bored into a hundred caves and maggot-holes: there a host of orcs lurked, ready at a signal to issue forth like black ants going to war. None could pass the Teeth of Mordor and not fell their bite, unless they were summoned by Sauron, or knew the secret passwords that would open the Morannon, the black gate of his land.



They (Frodo, Sam and Gollum) lay now peering over the edge of a rocky hollow beneath the outstretched shadow of the northmost buttress of Ephel Dúath. Winging in the heavy air in a straight flight a crow, maybe, would have flown but a furlong (200m ?) from their hiding-place to the black summit of the nearer tower.



The hollow in which they had taken refuge was delved in the side of a low hill, at some little height above a long trench-like valley that lay between it and the outer buttresses of the mountains. In the midst of the valley stood the black foundations of the western watch-tower. By morning-light the roads that converged upon the Gate of Mordor could now be clearly seen, pale and dusty; one winding back north
The Land Between the Morannon and Ithilien


The Two Towers – Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

The growing light revealed to them a land (8 leagues, 32km? south of the Morannon) already less barren and ruinous. … near at hand they could see the southward road, now bearing away from the black roots of the hills and slanting westwards. Beyond it were slopes covered with sombre trees like dark clouds, but all about them lay a tumbled heathland, grown with ling and broom and cornel, and other shrubs that they did not know. Here and there they saw knots of tall pine-trees.



The road had been made in a long lost time, and for perhaps thirty miles below the Morannon it hat been newly repaired, but as it went south the wild encroached upon it. The handiwork of Men of old could still be seen in its straight sure flight and level course: now and again it cut its way through hillsides slopes, or leaped over a stream upon a wide shapely arch of enduring masonry; but at last all sign of stonework faded, save for a broken pillar here and there, peering out of bushes at the side, or old paving-stones still lurking amid weeds and moss. Heather and trees band bracken scrambled down and overhung the banks, or sprawled out over the surface. It dwindled at last to a country cart-road little used, but it did not wind: ...
Minas and Imlad Morgul


The Two Towers – The Black Gate is Closed

That is the road to the left. At once it begins to climb up, up, windling and climbing back towards the tall shadows. When it turns round the black rock, you'll see it, suddenly you'll see it above you , and you'll want to hide. … The old fortress, very old, very horrible now. … and one (tower) they raised was silver-white, and in it there was a stone like the Moon, and round it were great white walls. … it was and there it is: the tall tower and the white houses and the wall; but not nice now, not beautiful. He conquered it long ago: it is a very terrible place now. … That is the only other way. For there the mountains are lower there, and the old road goes up and up until it reaches a dark pass at the top, and it goes down, down, again – to Gorgoroth. ….It seems empty, but is isn't, O no! Very dreadful things live there. Orcs, yes always Orcs; but worse things, worse things live there too.… The road climbs right under the shadow of the walls (of Minas Ithil) and passes the gate. ... Nothing moves on the road that they don't know about. The things inside know: the Silent Watchers.



The Two Towers – The Forbidden Pool

… that city was once a strong place, proud and fair, Minas Ithil, the twin sister of our own city (Minas Tirith).


The Two Towers – Journey to the Cross-road

… the towering walls of Mordor; and out of that darkness, the long valley came, falling steeply in an ever-widening though towards the Anduin.



Across the tumbled lands between, the mountains of the Ephel Dúath frowned at them, black and shapeless below where night lay thick and did not pass away, above with jagged tops and edges outlined hard and menacing against the fiery glow. Away to their right a great shoulder of the mountains stood out, dark and black amid the shadows, thrusting westward.


The Two Towers – The stairs of Cirith Ungol

They left the ring of trees and crept along the road towards the mountains. This road, too, ran straight for a while, but soon it began to bend away southwards, until it came right under the great shoulder of rock that they had seen from the distance. Black and forbidding it loomed above them, darker than the dark sky behind. Crawling under its shadow the road went on, and rounding it sprang east again and began to climb steeply. … and then he (Frodo) saw it … the city of the Ringwraiths. … A long-tilted valley, a deep gulf of shadow, ran back far into the mountains. Upon the further side, some way within the valley's arms, high on a rocky seat upon the black knees of the Ephel Dúath, stood the walls and tower of Minas Morgul. All was dark about it, earth and sky, but it was lit with light. ...

Paler indeed than the moon ailing in some slow eclipse was the light of it now, wavering and blowing like a noisome exhalation of decay, a corpse-light, a light that illuminated nothing. In the walls and tower windows showed, like countless black holes looking inward into emptiness; but the topmost course of the tower revolved slowly, first one way and then another, a huge ghostly head leering into the night.



So they came slowly to the white bridge. Here the road, gleaming faintly, passed over the stream in the midst of the valley, and went on, winding deviously up towards the city's gate: a black mouth opening in the outer circle of the northwards walls. Wide flats lay on either bank, shadowy meads filled with pale white flowers. Luminous theses were too, beautiful and yet horrible of shape, like the demented forms in an uneasy dream; and they gave forth a faint sickening charnel-smell; and odour of rottenness filled the air. From mead to mead the bridge sprang. Figures stood there at its head, carven with cunning in forms human and bestial, but all corrupt and loathsome. The water flowing beneath was silent, and it steamed, but the vapour that rose from it, curling and twisting about the bridge, was deadly cold.
Cirith Ungol


The Two Towers – The Black Gate is Closed

A little path leading up into the mountains; and then a stair, a narrow stair, O yes, very long and narrow. And then more stairs. And then … a tunnel, a dark tunnel; and at last a little cleft, and a path high above the main pass.


The stairs of Cirith Ungol

Not far from the the near bank of the stream there was a gap in the stone-wall beside the road. Through this they passed, and Sam saw that they were on a narrow path that gleamed faintly at first, as the main road did, until climbing above the meads of deadly flowers it faded and went dark, winding its crooked way up into the northern sides of the valley.



Frodo stopped and sat down on a stone. They had now climbed up to the top of a great hump of bare rock. Ahead of them there was a bay in the valley-side, and round the head of this the path went on, no more than a wide ledge with a chasm on the right; across the sheer southward face of the mountain it crawled upwards, until it disappeared into the blackness above.



Across the narrow valley, now almost on level with his eyes, the walls of the evil city stood, and its cavernous gate, shaped like an open mouth with gleaming teeth, was gaping wide.

… but they followed him on to the climbing ledge. … but it did not last long. Soon the path reached a rounded angle where the mountain-side swelled out again, and there it suddenly entered a narrow opening in the rock. They had come to the first stair that Gollum had spoken of. … Frodo and Sam felt easier, having now a wall on either side, but the stairway was almost as steep as a ladder, and as they climbed up and up, they became more and more aware of the long black fall behind them. And the steps were narrow spaced unevenly, and often treacherous: they were worn and smooth at the edges, and some were broken and some cracked as foot was set upon them. … and ever as the stair cut its way deeper into the sheer mountain the rocky walls rose higher and higher above their heads. … (At the end of the stair) They were in a deep dark passage that seemed still to go up before them, though at a gentler slope and without steps. 'There is another stair still,' he (Gollum) said. 'Much longer stair. … But not so difficult. Hobbits have climbed the Straight Stair. Next comes the Winding Stair.' … The passage seemed to go on for miles … They only knew that they had come to the end, when suddenly they felt no wall at their right hand. They could see very little. Great black shapeless masses and deep grey shadows loomed above them and about them, but now and again a dull red light flickered up under the lowering clouds, and for a moment they were aware of tall peaks, in front and on either side, like pillars holding up a vast sagging roof. They seemed to have climbed up many hundreds of feet, onto a wide shelf. A cliff was on their left and a chasm on their right.

Gollum led the way close under the cliff. For the present they were no longer climbing, but the ground was now more broken and dangerous in the dark, and there were blocks and lumps of fallen stone in the way. … At length they were one more aware of a wall looming up, and once more a stairway opened before them. Again they halted, and again they began to climb. It was a long and weary ascent; but this stairway did not delve into the mountain-side. Here the huge cliff-face sloped backwards, and the path like a snake wound to and fro across it. At one point it crawled sideways right to the edge of the dark chasm, and Frodo glancing down saw below him as a vast deep pit the great ravine at the head of the Morgul Valley. Down in its depths glimmered like a glow-worm thread the wraith-road from the dead city to the Nameless Pass. …

Still on and up the stairway bent and crawled, until at last with a final flight, short and straight, it climbed out again onto another level. The path had veered away from the main pass in the great ravine, and it now followed its own perilous course at the bottom of a lesser cleft among the higher regions of the Ephel Dúath. Dimly the hobbits could discern tall piers and jagged pinnacles of stone on either side, between which were great crevices and fissures blacker than the night, where forgotten winters had gnawed and carved the sunless stone. … Still far ahead, and still high above, Frodo, looking up, saw, as he guessed the very crown of this bitter road. Against the sullen redness of the eastern sky a cleft was outlined in the topmost ridge, narrow, deep-cloven between two black shoulders; and on either shoulder was a horn of stone. … The horn upon the left was tall and slender; and and in it burned a red light … it was a black tower poised above the outer pass.



In a dark crevice between two great piers of rock they sat down:


Shelob's Lair

They passed on, … up the long ravine between the piers and columns of torn and weathered rock, standing like huge unshapen statues on either hand. … Some way ahead, a mile or so, perhaps, was a great grey wall, a last huge upthrusting mass of mountain-stone. Darker it loomed, and steadily it rose as they approached, until it towered up high above them shutting out the view of all that lay beyond. … and in the midst of it they saw the opening of a cave.



The walls (in the Tunnel) felt, to their surprise, smooth, and the floor, save for a step now and again, was straight and even, going ever up at the same stiff slope. The tunnel was high and wide, so wide that, though the hobbits walked abreast, only touching the side-walls with their outstretched hands.



Before they had gone very far, … Sam on the right, feeling the wall, was aware that there was an opening at the side: … After that, first he on the right, and then Frodo on the left, passed three or four such openings, some wider some smaller; but there was as yet no doubt of the main way, for it was straight, and did not turn, and still went steadily up. … As they thrust forward they felt things brush against their heads, or against their heads, long tentacles or hanging growths perhaps: they could not tell what they were. … At length Frodo, groping along the left-hand wall, came suddenly to a void. … Here some opening in the rock far wider than any they had yet passed; … 'Up!' he (Frodo) said … ' It all comes from here, the stench and the peril. …' … Sam stumbled beside him. One step, two steps, tree steps – at last six steps. … But almost at once they came to a new difficulty. The tunnel forked, or so it seemed, and in the dark they could not tell which was the wider way, or which kept nearer to the straight.



Presently, groping and fumbling in the dark, hey found that the opening on the left was blocked; either it was a blind, or else some great stone had fallen in the passage.



They had not gone more than a few yards when from behind them came a sound (Shelob)...



They so back they turned once more, first walking and then running; for as they went the floor of the tunnel rose steeply, and with every stride they climbed higher above the stenches of the unseen lair … The opening, the tunnel's end, at last was before them. … The outlet was blocked with some barrier, but not of stone: soft and a little yielding it seemed. … 'Cobwebs' he (Sam) said.



He sprang out, shouting as he came. … Almost he had reached the summit of the wall. Only a little higher now. The Cleft, Cirith Ungol, was before him, a dim notch in the black ridge, and the horns of rock darkling in the sky on either side. … Too little he or his master know the craft of Shelob. She had many exits from her lair. …

… he (Sam) saw that though the sky behind was now dark, still the window in the tower was glowing red. … Hardly had Sam hidden the star-glass, when she came. A little way ahead and to his left he saw suddenly, issuing from a black hole of shadow under the cliff, the most loathly shape that he ever beheld, …



He (Sam) had not far to go. The tunnel was some way behind, the Cleft a couple of hundred yards ahead, or less. The path was visible in the dusk., a deep run worn in ages of passage, running now gently up the a long trough with cliffs on either side. The trough narrowed rapidly. Soon Sam came to a long flight of broad shallow steps. Now the orc-tower was right above him, frowning black, and in it the red eye glowed. Now he was hidden in the dark shadow under it. He was coming to the top of the steps and was in the Cleft at last.



Orcs go fast in tunnels, and this tunnel they knew well, for in spite of Shelob they were forced to use it often as the swiftest way from the dead City over the mountains. In what far-off time the main tunnel and the great round pit had been made, where Shelob had taken up here abode in ages past, they did not know; but many byways they had themselves delved about in on either side, so as to escape the lair in their goings to and fro on the business of their masters. Today they did not intent to go far down, but were hastening to find a side-passage that led back to their watch-tower on the cliff.



There was a rumbling noise, and just as he (Sam) hurried up, a bump. As far as he could guess the Orcs had turned and gone into the very opening which Frodo and he had tried and found blocked. It was still blocked.

It seemed to be a great stone in the way, but the Orcs had got trough somehow,



To his surprise he noticed that the great block was shaped like a heavy door, and was less than twice his own height. Above it was a dark blank space between the top and the low arch of the opening. … With his remaining strength Sam leaped and caught the top, scrambled up, and dropped; and then he ran madly, sword blazing in hand, round a bend an up a winding tunnel. … The passage ran straight at last, up an incline; and at the end, wide open, were great double doors, leading probably to deep chambers far below the high horn of the tower. … The great doors slammed to. Boom. The bars of iron fell into place inside.


The Return of The King – The Towers of Cirith Ungol

(noon March 14th)

He (Sam) ran forward to the climbing path and over it. At once the road turned left and plunged steeply down.



Hard and cruel and bitter was the land that met his gaze. Before his feet the highest ridge of the Ephel Dúath fell steeply in great cliffs down into a dark trough, on the further side of which there rose another ridge, much lower, its edge notched and jagged with crags like fangs that stood black against the red light behind them: it was the grim Morgai, the inner ring of the fences of the land.

… looking to his left he could see the Tower of Cirith Ungol in all its strength. The horn that he had seen from the other side was only its topmost turret. Its eastern face stood up in three great tiers from a shelf in the mountain-wall far below, its black was to a great cliff behind, from which it jutted out in pointed bastions, one above the other, diminishing as they rose, with sheer sides of cunning masonry that looked north-east and south-east. About the lowest tier, two hundred feet below where Sam now stood, there was a battlemented wall enclosing a narrow court. Its gate upon the near south-eastern side, opened on a broad road, the outer parapet of which ran upon the brink of a precipice, until it turned southward and went winding down into the darkness to join the road that came over the Morgul Pass. Then on it went through a jagged rift in the Morgai out into the valley of Gorgoroth and away to Barad-dûr. The narrow upper way on which Sam stood leapt swiftly down by stair and steep path to meet the main road under the frowning walls close to the Tower-gate.

At he gazed at it suddenly Sam understood, almost with a shock, that this stronghold had been built not to keep enemies out of Mordor, but to keep them in. It was indeed one of the works of Gondor long ago, an eastern outpost of the defences of Ithilien



He went on, hugging the wall on his left. One look upward had shown him that there was no hope of climbing it. The stone-work rose thirty feet, without a crack or ledge, to overhanging courses like inverted steps.



He drew Sting and ran towards the open gate. … He looked about, and then within the shadow of the gate he saw the Two Watchers.

They were like great figures seated upon thrones. Each had three joined bodies, and three heads facing outward, and inward, and and across the gateway. The heads had vulture-faces, and on their great knees were laid clawlike hands. They seemed to be carved out of huge blocks of stone.



Across the court a great door at the foot of the Tower stood half open, … A wide and echoing passage led back from the door towards the mountain-side. It was dimly lit with torches flaring in brackets on the walls, but its distant end was lost in gloom. Many doors and openings could be seen on this side and that; … 'It'll be near the back, I guess' Sam muttered. 'The whole Tower climbs backwards-like. And anyway I'd better follow these lights.' … He had passed beyond the torchlight, almost to a great arched door at the end of the passage, the inner side of the under-gate,



Up, up he went. It was dark save for an occasional torch flaring at a turn, or beside some opening that led into the higher levels of the Tower. Sam tried to count the steps but after two hundred he lost his reckoning. …. He had climbed right to the flat roof of the third and highest tier of the Tower: an open space about twenty yards across, with a low parapet. There the stair was covered by a small domed chamber in the midst of the roof, with low doors facing east and west. … Westward the view was blocked by the base of the great turret that stood at the back of this upper court and reared its horn high above the crest of the encircling hills. Light gleamed in a window-slit. Its door was not ten yards from where Sam stood (at the top of the stairs).



He came cautiously to the turret-door and stepped inside. It opened into darkness. But soon his staring eyes were aware of a dim light at his right hand. It came from an opening that led to another stairway, dark and narrow: it appeared to go winding up the turret along the inside of its round outer wall. A torch was glimmering from somewhere up above.

Softly he began to climb. He came to the guttering torch, fixed above a door on his left that faced a window slit looking out westward: on of the red eyes that he and Frodo had seen from down below by the tunnels's mouth. Quickly Sam passed the door and hurried on to the second story, …. He came next to a window looking east and another torch above the door to a passage through the middle of the turret. The door was open, …. But there the stair stopped and climbed no further. Sam crept into the passage. On either side there was a low door; both were closed and locked.



the topmost chamber was reached by a trap-door in the roof of the passage. … He sprang up, ran and went up the ladder like a cat. His head came out in the middle of the floor of a large round chamber. A red lamp hung from its roof; the westward window-slit was high and dark. Something was lying on the floor by the wall under the window,

….

Then they ran. Through the gate and past the great seated figures with their glittering eyes. There was a crack. The keystone of the arch crashed almost on their heels, and the wall above crumbled, and fell in ruin.




The Return of The King – The Land of Shadow

Down the road from the gate they fled. in fifty paces, with a swift bend round a jutting bastion of the cliff, it took them out of sight from the Tower. … In terror they stumbled on. Soon the road bend sharply eastward again and exposed them for a dreadful moment to view from the Tower. … then they plunged down between high rock-walls in a cutting that fell steeply to join the Morgul-road. They came to the way-meeting.
 

Eriol_Eandur

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#37
The Morgai


The Return of The King – The Land of Shadow

The eastern faces of the Ephel Dúath were sheer, falling in cliff and precipice to the black trough that lay between them and the inner ridge. A short way beyond the way-meeting after another steep incline, a flying bridge of stone leapt over the chasm and bore the road across into the tumbled slopes and glens of the Morgai. … Behind them, now high above on the mountain-side, loomed the Tower of Cirith Ungol, its stones glowing dully. … They scrambled on to the low parapet of the bridge. Fortunately there was no longer any dreadful drop into the gulf, for the slopes of the Morgai had already risen almost to the level of the road; but it was too dark for them to guess the depth of the fall. … the hobbits landed … with a thud and a crunch into the last thing that he had expected: a tangle of thorny bushes. … they broke free at last. 'Now we go, Sam' Frodo whispered. 'Down into the valley quick and then turn northward …'

Slowly and painful they clambered down, groping, stumbling, scrambling among rock and briar and dead wood in the blind shadows, down …

Frodo now led the way, northward as near as he could guess, among the stones and boulders lying thick at the bottom of the great ravine.



The light, though no more than a grey dusk, was now enough for them to see that they were deep in the valley between the mountains. It sloped up gently northward, and at its bottom when the bed of a now dry and withered stream. Beyond its stony course they saw a beaten path that wound its way under the feet of the westward cliffs. Had they known, they could have reached it quicker, for it was a track that left the main Morgul-road at the western bridge-end and went down by a long stair cut in the rock to the valley's bottom. It was used by patrols or by messengers going swiftly to lesser posts and strong-holds north-away, between Cirith Ungol and the narrows of Isen-mouth, the iron jaws of Carach Angren. … So now they crossed the stony bed and took to the orc-path, and for some time they marched along it. The cliffs at their left were overhung, and they could not be seen from above; but the path made many bends, … Water trickling. Out of a gully on the left, so sharp and narrow that it looked as if the black cliff had been cloven by some huge axe, water came dripping down; … Here it came out of the rock in a little falling streamlet, and flowed across the path, and turning south ran away swiftly to be lost among the dead stones.



After that Frodo felt easier, and they went on for several miles, until the broadening of the road and the beginnings of a rough wall along its edge warned them that they were drawing near to another orc-hold.

'This is where we turn aside, Sam' said Frodo. 'And we must turn east.' He sighed as he looked at the gloomy ridges across the valley. …

The river-bed was now some way below the path. They scrambled down to it, and began to cross it. To their surprise they came upon dark pools fed by threads of water trickling down from some source higher up the valley. Upon its outer marges under the westward mountains Mordor was a dying land, but it was not yet dead. And here things still grew, harsh, twisted, bitter, struggling for life. In the glens of the Morgai, on the other side of the valley low scrubby trees lurked and clung, coarse grey grass-tussocks fought with the stones and withered mosses crawled on them; and everywhere great writhing, tangled brambles sprawled. Some had long stabbing thorns, some hooked barbs that rent like knives. The sullen shrivelled leaves of a past year hung on them, grating and rattling in the sad airs, but their maggot-ridden buds were only just opening. … They had climbed up a narrow shelving ravine, …

They went on up the ravine, until it ended in a sharp slope of screes and sliding stones. The last living things gave up their struggle; the tops of the Morgai were grassless, bare, jagged, barren as a slate.

After much wandering and search they found a way that they could climb, and with a last hundred feet of clawing scramble they were up. They came to a cleft between two dark crags, and passing through found themselves on the very edge of the last fence of Mordor. Below them, at the bottom of a fall of some fifteen hundred feet, lay the inner plain stretching away …

Sam went on. '… There is no way down that I can see...'



They soon found it impossible to make their way along the crest of the Morgai, or anywhere along its higher levels, pathless as they were and scored with deep ghylls. In the end they were forced to go back down the ravine that they had climbed and seek for a way along the valley. It was rough doing, for they dared not cross over to the path on the westward side. After a mile or more they saw, huddled in a hollow at the cliff's foot, the orc-hold that hey had guessed was near at hand: a wall and a cluster of stone huts set about the dark mouth of a cave. There was no movement to be see, but the hobbits crept by cautiously, keeping as much as they could to the thorn-brakes that grew thickly at this point along both sides of the old water-course.



The trough between the mountains and the Morgai had steadily dwindled as it climbed upwards, and the inner ridge was now no more than a shelf in the steep faces of the Ephel Dúath; but to the east it fell as sheerly as ever down into Gorgoroth. Ahead the water-course came to an end in broken steps of rock; for out from the main range there sprang a high barren spur, thrusting eastward like a wall.
Udûn and Carach Angren


The Return of The King – The Land of Shadow

… for out from the main range there sprang a high barren spur, thrusting eastward like a wall. To meet it there stretched out from the grey and misty northern range of Ered Lithui a long jutting arm; and between the ends there was a narrow gap: Carach Angren, the Isenmouthe, beyond which lay the deep dale of Udûn In that dale behind the Morannon were the tunnels and deep armouries that the servants of Mordor had made for the defence of the Black Gate of their land; Upon the out-thrust spurs forts and towers were built and watch-fires burned; and all across the gap an earth-wall had been raised, and a deep trench delved that could be crossed only by a single bridge.

A few miles north, high up in the angle where the western spur branched away from the main range, stood the old castle of Durthang, now one of the many orc-holds that clustered about the dale of Udûn. A road visible in the growing light, came winding down from it, until only a mile or two from where the hobbits lay it turned east and ran along a shelf cut in the side of the spur, and so went down into the plain, and on to the Isenmouthe.

'We have come to a dead end, Sam' said Frodo. 'If we go on, we shall only come up to that orc-tower, but the only road to take is that road that comes down from it – unless we go back. We can't climb up westward, or climb down eastward.'



Sam crept out, and flitting from stone to stone with more than hobbit-care, he went down to the water-course, and then followed it for some way as it climbed north, until he came to the rock-steps where long ago, no doubt, its spring had come gushing down in a little waterfall. … Clambering a few steps up he found a tiny stream of dark water that came out from the hillside and filled a little bare pool, from which it spilled, and vanished then under the barren stones.



Mordor-dark had returned, and the watch-fires on the heights burned fierce and red, … They went first to the little spring, and then climbing warily up they came to the road at the point where it swung east towards the Isenmouthe twenty miles away. It was not a broad road, and it hat no wall or parapet along the edge and as it ran on the sheer drop from its brink became deeper and deeper. After doing some twelve miles they halted. A short way back the road had bent a little northward and the stretch that they had passed over was now screened from sight. …

'We are trapped.' He (Frodo) looked wildly up at the frowning wall, where the road-builders of old hat cut the rock sheer for many fathoms above their heads. He ran to the other side and looked over the brink into a dark pit of gloom.



They had gone some miles, and the road was at last running down a long slope into the plain, …

They were out on the plain now and drawing near the entrance to Udûn. Some way in front of it, before the gate at the bridge-end, the road from the west converged with others coming from the south, and from Barad-dûr.

… until at last they dropped over the further edge of the road. It had a high kerb by which troop-leaders could guide themselves in black night or fog, and it was banked up some feet above the level of the open land. … and struggled on for maybe twenty yards. Then he pitched down into a shallow pit that opened unexpectedly before them.
Gorgoroth


The Return of The King – The Land of Shadow

There smokes trailed on the ground and lurked in hollows, and fumes leaked from fissures in the earth.

...

between them (Frodo and Sam looking down from the Morgai) and the smoking mountain, and about it north and south, all seemed ruinous and dead, a desert burned and choked. … As far as their eyes could reach, along the skirts of the Morgai and away southward, there were camps, some of tents, some ordered like small towns. One of the largest of these was right below them. Barely a mile out into the plain it clustered like some huge nest of insects, with straight dreary streets of huts and long low drab buildings. About it the ground was busy with folk going to and fro; a wide road ran from it south-east to join the Morgul-way, and a long it many lines of small black shapes were hurrying. … 'These are men not Orcs, …'



Here in the northward regions were the mines and forges, and the musterings of long-planned war; and here the Dark Power, moving its armies like pieces on the board, was gathering them together.


The Return of The King – Mount Doom

Sam looked up out of the hollow. The land all about was dreary, flat and drab-hued. On the roads nearby nothing was moving now; but Sam feared the watchful eyes on the wall of the Isenmouth, no more than a furlong away northward. South-eastward, far off like a dark standing shadow, loomed the Mountain. … A few miles to the north-east the foothills of the Ashen Mountains stood like sombre grey ghosts, behind which the misty northern heights rose like a line of distant cloud hardly darker than the lowering sky.



As the light grew a little he saw to his surprise that what from a distance had seemed wide and featureless flats were in fact all broken and tumbled. Indeed the whole surface of the plains of Gorgoroth was pocked with great holes, as if, while it was still a waste of soft mud, it had been smitten with a shower of bolts and huge slingstones. The largest of these holes were rimmed with ridges of broken rock, and broad fissures ran out from them in all directions. It was a land in which it would be possible to creep from hiding to hiding, …

They climbed on to the cause-way and trudged along, down the hard cruel road that led to the Dark Tower itself.



They could not follow this road any longer, for it went on eastward into the great Shadow, but the mountain now loomed upon their right, almost due south, … Yet still before it there stretched a wide region of fuming, barren, ash-ridden land. …

All (water) would long ago have been spent, if they had not dared to follow the orc-road. For at long intervals on that highway cisterns had been built,
Barad-Dûr


The Return of The King – The Land of Shadow

Behind hung a vast shadow, ominous as a thunder-cloud, the veils of Barad-dûr that was reared far way upon a long spur of the Ashen Mountains thrust down from the North.


The Return of The King – Mount Doom

Out from the Dark Tower's huge western gate it (the road to Sammath Naur) came over a deep abyss by a vast bridge of iron, ...


… the Window of the Eye in Sauron's shadow-mantled fortress.



Far of the shadows of Sauron hung; but torn by some gust of wind out of the world, or else by some great disquiet within, the mantling clouds swirled, and for a moment drew aside; and then he saw, rising black, blacker and darker than the vast shades amid which it stood, the cruel pinnacles and iron crown of the topmost tower of Barad-dûr. One moment only it stared out, but as from some great window immeasurably high there stabbed northward a flame of red, the flicker of a piercing Eye;



towers and battlements, tall as hills, founded upon a mighty mountain-throne above immeasurable pits; great courts and dungeons, eyeless prisons sheer as cliffs, and gaping gates of steel and adamant: …
Orodruin


The Return of The King – The Towers of Cirith Ungol

Far beyond but almost straight ahead (of Sam standing at the pass of Cirith Ungol), across a wide lake of darkness dotted with tiny fires, there was a great burning glow, and from it rose in huge columns a swirling smoke, dusty red at the roots, black above where it merged into the billowing canopy that roofed in all the accursed land.

Sam was looking at Oroduin, the Mountain of Fire. Ever and anon the furnaces far below its ashen cone would grow hot and with a great surging and throbbing pour forth rivers of molten rock from chasms in its sides. Some would flow blazing towards Barad-dûr down great channels; some would wind their way into the stony plain, until they cooled and la like twisted dragon-shapes vomited from the tormented earth.


The Return of The King – The Land of Shadow

… they (Frodo and Sam looking down from the Morgai) saw Mount Doom, its feet founded in ashen ruin, its huge cone rising to a great height, where its reeking head was swathed in cloud.




The Return of The King – Mount Doom

The land was rough and hostile, and yet they made much progress, and ever the Mountain drew nearer. … until, if they lifted their heavy heads, it filled all their sight, looming vast before them: a huge mass of ash and slag and burned stone, out of which a sheer-sided cone was raised into the clouds.



They had reached the Mountains's foot on its northern side, and a little to the westward; there its long grey slopes, though broken were not sheer. …

He looked back and then he looked up … The Mountain standing ominous and a lone had looked taller than it was. Sam saw now that it was less lofty than the high passes of the EphelDúath which he and Frodo had scaled. The confused and tumbled shoulders of its great base rose for maybe three thousand feet above the plain, and above them was reared half as high again its tall central cone, like a fast oast or chimney capped with a jagged crater. But already Sam was more than half way up the base, … As he looked up he would have given a shout, … for amid the rugged humps and shoulders above him he saw plainly a path or road. It climbed like a rising girdle from the west and wound snakelike about the Mountain, until before it went round out of view it reached the foot of the cone upon its eastern side. …

The path was not put there for the purposes of Sam. He did not know it, but he was looking at Sauron's Road from Barad-dûr to the Sammath Naur, the Chambers of Fire. Out from the Dark Tower's huge western gate it came over a deep abyss by a vast bridge of iron, and then passing into the plain it ran for a league between two smoking chasms, and so reached a long sloping causeway that led up on to the Mountain's eastern side. Thence, turning and encircling all its wide girth from south to north, it climbed at last, high in the upper cone, but still far from the reeking summit, to a dark entrance that gazed black straight to the Window of the Eye in Sauron's shadow-mantled fortress. Often blocked and destroyed by the tumults of the Mountain's furnaces, always that road was repaired and cleaned again by the labour of countless orcs. …

They came to the path and found that it was broad, paved with broken rubble and beaten ash. … Yet in many places it had crumbled away or was crossed by gaping rents. After climbing eastward for some time it bent back upon itself at a sharp angle and went westward for a space. There at the bend it was cut deep through a crag of old weathered stone once long ago vomited from the Mountain's furnaces.



The path climbed on. Soon it bent again and with a last eastward course passed in a cutting along the face of the cone and came to the dark door in the Mountain's side, the door of the Sammath Naur. ….

Sam … plunged in. … Fearfully he took a few uncertain steps in the dark, and then all at once there came a flash of red that leaped upward, and smote the high black roof. Then Sam saw that he was in a long cave or tunnel that bored into the Mountain's smoking cone. But only a short way ahead its floor and the walls on either side were cloven by a great fissure. out of which the red glare came, now leaping up, now dying down into darkness, … and there on the brink of the chasm, at the very Crack of Doom, stood Frodo, black against the glare, …
Nurnen


The Return of The King – The Land of Shadow

Neither he nor Frodo knew anything of the great slave-worked fields away south in this wide realm, beyond the fumes of the Mountain by the dark sad waters of Lake Núrnen; nor of the great roads that ran away east and south to tributary lands, from which the soldiers of the Tower brought long waggon-trains of goods and booty and fresh slaves.
 

ryttyr

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#38
So. I've had some few ideas for the Mordor RP:

Firstly, I think it would be cool if we had vines textured like handholds in a cliff face in places where they climb in the story (like at the edge of Emyn Muil, the hidden stairs etc.). So I was wondering if vines can use different textures for their growth stages like cacti do. And if not then wether you'd be willing to sacrifice the vine texture of this RP for this idea. Personally I think there's more climbing surfaces mentioned in the book than there's vine growths in all of Mordor, the Dead Marshes and the other regions this RP will cover combined.

The second idea focuses on armors and maybe you @Eriol_Eandur could answer this as I recall you have experimented with armor textures before. I was wondering if armors can be made to use random textures like random mobs or random blocks do.
My idea behind this is that if we are gonna use two of our five available armor variants for the Dead Marshes (as discussed in another thread) then how could we include all the different armors the orcs wear? Well my idea is that the orcs of Mordor doesn't seem to be very uniform in their apparel so it wouldn't really matter if their armor textures were randomly applied. If this works and we can cram all different orc armors into one armor type then we'd have two armor types free to use for for example the Haradrim, Sauron or the witch king which would be great.

And finally just some notes for when we're building the Dead Marshes that has nothing with the RP itself to do but I feel should be mentioned lest we forget.
There's explicitly stated several times in the book that no birds live in the Dead Marshes so don't use any bird cheads to decorate there.
Also, if I find the time I'll try to make some dead faces to place in the waters and since Gollum explains that you can't touch the faces as they aren't physically there I was thinking that we could put them on invisible armorstands (along with fitting armor) so that they have no collision properties.
 

Eriol_Eandur

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#39
Vines don't have growth stages. There is only one texture. I don't think it's worth to spent it for handholds. There will be very few of them. Seems like a perfect usage for item blocks.

Armors can be retextured but not randomizes. I tried some time ago to find a way to get more armor variants but failed. Only variation is the colorisation of leather armor.
 

ryttyr

Dirt Conaisseur
Apr 22, 2014
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#40
Vines don't have growth stages. There is only one texture. I don't think it's worth to spent it for handholds. There will be very few of them. Seems like a perfect usage for item blocks.
But you can't climb on an itemblock as if it was a ladder however you can climb on vines. Unless... well... There's one more block in the game (aside from ladders) that is climbable. An open trapdoor placed in the block space directly above a ladder can be climbed as well. But could we transfer that property into an itemblock do you think?
Otherwise we could just make itemblock vines as I don't think there will be many vines either.