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Westgate

The western Gate- Settlements

Moria was normally closed to Men. To ease the conduct

of trade, the Kings of Khazad-dum had founded three hamlets, populated by Men, but ruled by Dwarves. Geann-a-Sruth (W. "Gatebridge"; S. "Iant Annon") lay near the West Gate.It was constructed entirely of wood, as a defensive precaution and a reminder to the populace of their vulnerability. Although the hamlets bustled with towdy teamsters and cynical mercenaries year round, life in the Gate-towns followed suprisingly peaceful and lawful rhythms. Herds of cattle, sheep, and ponies abound, provided meat, hides, and transport for the Dwarves and extra draft animals for the caravans making the long haul over the Redhorn Pass. Wains loaded with logs arrived regularly from the slopes to the north and west, supplying lumber and firewood. Carefully terraced fields defied the general stoney barren-ness of Eregion and produced crops of grain and vegetables to supplement the basic Dwarvish diet of white-eyed fish and mushrooms. Virtually none of the Eriadorans and Northmen working in the Gate-towns had ever entered Khazad-dum itself. Instead, clans of Dwarven porters hauled goods in and out of the city. Entry by a Man was by permission, granted only with good reason. The visitor was limited to certain areas where he might be trusted not to steal Dwarven secrets or violate Dwarven privacy; exploration elsewhere required the compnay of a guard.

In Later Years

The destruction of the ancient Dwarven state by Durin's Bane in T.A. 1980-81 was as shocking a blow to Eriador as the fall of Arthedain some six years earlier. A flood of Dwarven refugees wandered the country for a few years loaded with portable treasure, then there was nothing; trade collapsed, the Gate-towns burned and crumbled, and half the economy of southern Eriador vanished forever. The recurring nightmare of nearby leaders, for centuries to come, was that Durin's Bane, believed—but, not actually known— to be a Balrog, might emerge with its army of Orcs and Trolls to attack Lorien or invade the lands of lost Arnor. Expeditions of investigation proved little; it was soon realized that Durin's Bane was trapped in its lair—either by the spells it laid to hide itself in the First Age; or by enchantments of Dwarvish origin, created to keep such horrors from entering the city; or due to its lack of a fana, or physical body, that might withstand the light of the sun. In the end, the threat of Durin's Bane never passed beyond the Gates of Moria; its evil minions attempted raids to the surface lands, but were slain and cowed by the Elves of Lorien and Dunadan Rangers hunting southward from Rivendell. The Redhorn Pass remained in use through most of the Age.

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