Bauglir, the Power of Terror and of Hate, sowed in the hearts of Elves and Men a seed that does not die and cannot be destroyed; and ever anon it sprouts anew, and will bear dark fruit unto the latest days." — S i l , p . 2 5 5
Beneath Moria's Seventh Deep lurked a maze of dark caverns forming a world unto themselves. Extending to the fiery bowels of the earth, this region was called the "Under-deeps" (Q."Undulúni"). Dwarves and Elves believed these tortured passages ran beneath most of the Misty Mountains and might reach as far as the ruins of the Iron Mountains in Endor's furthest North. Horrifying tales tell of unspeakably hideous creatures that haunt the Under-deeps, and it is from this black hell that the Balrog came. The abyss Durin's Bridge crossed when leaving the Second Hall of the First Deep knifed down to these depths, as did the well shaft in Hwain's Well-hall (in the Mines of the Seventh Deep). Yet unknown and unmapped, the Under-deeps were a story of their own.
THE BOWELS OF ENDOR
Unbeknownst to most folk, much of Middle-earth lay beneath the surface of the ground. This broad, subterranean frontier was largely unexplored. Even the greatest of the familiar caves—Moria included—were little more than foyers to these "bowels of Endor." The Deeps merely suggested the nature and breadth of the world below. Dwarves differentiated the Under-deeps from the Deeps for two reasons: depth and origin. First, the Under-deeps lay well below the lowest reaches of Khazad-dum. Second, the Under-deeps were exclusively volcanic in nature. Created by streams of molten rock and expanded by geothermal eruptions of super-hot gas, they were a combination of natural and supernatural forces. The hand of Melkor joined what was once a collection of countless, sundered cavern complexes. Dwarven chroniclers spoke of three distinct areas of the Under-deeps beneath Moria: the Under-gates, the [[Under- roads]], and the Under-tombs. Together, they occupied an area larger than any single level in Khazad-dum. Given the fact that they were but a small part of a much vaster— in fact, seemingly endless—underground world, they actually dwarfed the whole of Hadhodrond.
Morgoth had forged the Under-deeps during the "Spring of Arda," before the birth of the Sun and the Moon, when Endor was illuminated by the light of the Two Lamps. This maze of tunnels and chambers reached out of Utumno and extended (east-west) the length of the Iron Mountains (S. "Ered Engrin"). Principal north-south passages cut beneath the Hithaeglir in the West and the Orocarni(Q. "Red Mountains") in the East. Additional "roads" joined these passages at major junctions, the greatest of which lay beneath the caverns at sites like Thangorodrim, Gundabad, Moria, and Aglarond. Melkor's greater servants used these roads to travel surreptitiously throughout Endor. The maze permitted them to avoid enemies like Orome, who roamed the wilds in the Elder Days and challenged the Black Enemy's heinous plan to conquer and remold Middle-earth. It also served as a refuge. Although Endor changed during the Elder Days, especially after the War of Wrath, the core of the Under-deeps survived. Morgoth's subterranean legacy still served dark purposes. At various points it housed lairs for foul monsters, roads for evil armies, and timeless prisons for the lost denizens of a bygone time. Now, though, travel between the ancient underground sites was difficult, if not impossible, for all but the greatest (and luckiest) explorers. Blocked or twisting away from their original course, the Under-roads seemed broken. Junctions and strongholds seemed forever lost. Many appeared as simple caves or side passages, no longer resembling their past grandeur. Others lay hidden behind veils of rock. Nearly all were still there, though, awaiting rediscovery—as was their creator.
Bats Beetles Blind Fish Cave-Bats Cavebirds Cave-bears Cave-Claws Cave-crawlers Cave-demons Cave-Lizards Cave Serpents Cave Spiderlings Cave-Worms Cave wraiths Cavern wings Centipedes Chamber birds Cold Drakes Corpse-lights Deep-Claws Deep-crickets Deep-Salamanders Deep-Toads Deep-Turtles Earth-eaters Echo-hawks Fell bears fist-aphids Frogs Ghouls Ghost of the Underdeep giant cave bats Giant Cave-bears giant insects Giant Rats Giant Serpents Giant Sheep-killing Earth-Worm Great Cave-Snakes Great Leeches Great Lizards Great Vampire Bats hunting lizards Hurnkennec Iron Hill Beasts Kraken legless salamanders Lemsang living muds long-eared rats Mensharag Moldeswarps Nack spiders Nackers Mucklings Nameless Things Nasty slimy Things Norrogs Red Jaws rock-slugs Root-crawlers Sarnúmeni Skeletons Slign Slimes Specters Stone Crawlers Strangling Coils Subterranean Lizards Vault shrikes Vermin walking fronds Wargs Watchers in Stone Water drakes Wights World-eaters Worms
Places of Note
Aglarond Amber-deeps Ancient Deep-hold Ancient Maze Angband Ash Mountain Deeps Brass-deeps Deep-Mines Deeps of Fuinur Drowning-deeps Dwarven Galleries Eithel Morgoth Evefalin Cavern-systems Fatanyu Gem-deeps Ghost-Caves Glades of flowering Stone Gold Road Gollum's Cave Grots at the roots of the earth Iron-deeps Laurafelya Lava-deeps Limestone-Caverns Mines of Angûrath Mines of Fale-Dim Misty Mountain Deeps Moria Mountains of Shadow Deeps Olbamarl Pits of Angband Pûkel-deeps Quartz-Halls Remains of Thangorodrim Riddle Caves Root-tunnels Roots of the Earth Rusted-deeps Sambi Mornya Sammath Fhul Sammath Helcar Sammath Maeglom Spiderchambers Sulfur-deeps Uax-Deeps Under-Caves Under-courts Under-Forges Under-galleries Under-gates Under-grottos Under-leas Undermarshes Under-tombs Under-vaults Utumno Vaults of Utumno Veins of Arda White Mountain Cavern-ways Wind-deeps
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