Welcome to LOTRO Epic A Day, where I guide you on an epic journey through Middle-Earth, one day at a time. Each Book of the Epic quest is separated into its own Day, with Side-Days for leveling up to the next book. Any plot spoilers are contained within the story overview in “Turning the Pages”. Gather up your belongings and hit the road, a new Day awaits!
Having made it inside the Mines of Moria, we are welcomed into Durin’s Threshold by the newly arrived Dwarves. They have already set up camp and have begun the effort to regain their lost kingdom. Hopefully this expedition will not prove as costly as earlier adventures into these mines.
I recommend beginning Moria after reaching level 52 or 53. The quests here can be accomplished sooner, but you will find it a bit easier at that level (and it is fairly simple to level up in Eregion before going inside). It is also advisable to raise your reputation with Thorin’s Hall to Kindred and purchase a goat from the dwarves so that you can travel much more quickly inside the Mines, where you can’t use horses.
Foreword: Echoes in the Dark
Just inside the entryway of the mines is Tulk, a dwarf who greets us and sends us to assist two dwarves in separate regions of the mine. We first travel to the gathering of dwarves at Dolven-View. Make sure that you speak with the Stable-Master in Durin’s Threshold before leaving as well as the Stable-Masters in each hub you visit; while quick travel is limited in Moria to certain paths and locked behind deeds, it is still useful to have routes open to make navigation easier.
To reach Dolven-View follow the curving blue path on the map (it won’t appear blue in-game, just on the map itself) out of Durin’s Threshold and around to the camp. There is a goblin-held camp along the way that can be avoided by heading to the right around it and then traveling north back up to the map’s blue path. From there it’s fairly straightforward along the path into Dolven-View, but be careful to mind your step because there are occasionally broken parts of the road that will drop you down into the depths. Moria can be confusing to navigate, especially before you’ve gotten the hang of looking carefully in the dark for correct passage, but stick with it and try to remain aware of where you are in relation to your destination and you will find your way. Moria is, after all, a very unique setting filled with beautiful caves, enormous Dwarven structures and deep, booming music and should be appreciated for the way it captures and expands upon the imagery from the books.
The first dwarf we seek is Bennt Sharp-Eye, who is standing next to the Dolven-View milestone. Travel through the southern exit of Dolven-view (leading behind the camp) to pass into the Deep Descent camp in the Silvertine Lodes region. Stíling is in the bottom area of Deep Descent (simply head down the slope in the camp). Once you have spoken to both characters we need to speak to Bósi in the Chamber of the Crossroads, located north and above the Great Delving. Return to Dolven-View and head north by traveling down the stairs at the northeast section of the camp and then across the paths north to Durin’s Way. Once in the northern region, head down the stairs to your right and then directly to the left into the small chamber where the dwarves have started settling in.
Chapter 1: New Residents
We are tasked with removing some of the gredbyg threat from the Great Delving. These bugs are common throughout the early areas of Moria – if you head back into the Great Delving you should come across quite a few between the Chamber of the Crossroads and Dolven-view. After defeating enough bugs return to Bósi in the Chamber.
Chapter 2: Store-Houses of the Western Halls
Bósi has asked us to find any surviving records of earlier expeditions into Moria. Search the Chambers of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Deep Thought. Knowledge is directly south as you travel through the Great Delving. Wisdom is north of Dolven-View; narrow paths just outside the camp lead around to the chamber. Deep Thought is found a short distance from Durin’s Threshold, just to the left before reaching the threshold (or to the right if you are coming from Moria’s entrance). After searching each strongbox we need to bring the records back to Bósi in the Chamber of the Crossroads; it’s probably easiest to visit a Stable-Master to return, depending on which chamber you visited last. At first they seem to be simple inventory records, however Bósi notices something interesting.
Chapter 3: Zigilburk the Unrivaled
The records include mention of a special axe forged in Durin’s time, made entirely of mithril and capable of defeating a foe with a single blow. Zigilburk piques Bósi’s interest and he sends us to his son Bori, hoping it will distract Bori from his grief over the death of Bróin. Bori is in the Chamber of Command – go through the doors on the east side of the Chamber of the Crossroads to reach him. Bori reads the pages we recovered and tells us that the axe was forged in secret, within forges both hidden and locked. They method to get inside should be found at Katûb-zahar, a room somewhere in the east of the Great Delving. Finding this location is simple – we return south to the Great Delving and then go directly east to the small room. Examine the plaque outside before returning to Bori. Bori is glad to hear our progress and says the axe was forged at the Heart of Fire, with more information to be found back at Katûb-zahar.
Chapter 4: Enemies in the Ever Dark
Now that we have found Katûb-zahar, we can return to Katûb-zahar… isn’t that fun. This time, however, we are sent to clear out the deep-claws to keep them from destroying the archives while also searching for the secret to open Nâr-khelab, the Heart of Fire. After diving into the deep-claw nests we return the records to Bori, who reads what little he can make out. While we now know how to enter the hidden forges, the punishment for doing so in Durin’s Time was apparently death or imprisonment. Durin wanted the forge kept as secure as he could it seems, but what was the reason?
Chapter 5: Half a Riddle
Although we know how to get inside we still need to locate the doors before we can search the Heart of Fire. Brogur might know the legend of Zigilburk and the location of the forges, so bring the pages to his corner of the room and ask him (he is found in the same room as Bori). Unfortunately, as knowledgeable as he is Zigilburk remains a mystery to him. He even finds the idea of an axe made of mithril ridiculous, saying that its existence would have been a famous part of their stories if it were real.
Chapter 6: Goblins in the Western Halls
Brogur believes we are wasting our time searching for the lost mithril axe, but says we might at least help with another task while we conduct our search. There is a large quantity of goblins in the Silvertine Lodes, south of Durin’s Way and the Great Delving, and their disposal would help the dwarves’ progress into the mines. We might even find evidence of the forges on their maps if we are lucky enough.
This is a level 54 quest; on-level the goblins should be relatively easy to defeat, just be careful to only take on one or two goblins at a time. The goblins are found easily enough; a short distance southeast of Deep Descent is a large encampment of the enemies. Although the map indicates a large area to hunt in, it is easiest to stick to the eastern-most portion where the goblin camp (Gamil Filik) is located, rather than exploring the maze-like layers of the Silvertine Lodes quite yet. The crude maps can be found throughout the area, though there are enough to complete the quest found within the area I have marked. Return to Brogur in the Chamber of the Crossroads after defeating enough goblins and obtaining enough maps. Brogur finds nothing of interest in the maps but does tell us to show them to Bósi (back in the main room in the Chamber of the Crossroads), who has the patience required to pursue this wild goose chase. Bósi is more confident in our findings, claiming to have finally discovered the location of the Heart of Fire from the maps.
Chapter 7: The Empty Passage
While the entrance to the forges can be discerned from the crude maps Bósi is sure that the goblins never found the way in because we found the secret to open the door hidden among the deep-claw nests. He is anxious to visit the forges and acquire mighty Zigilburk, so join him on the instance to enter the Heart of Fire. After passing by some more gredbyg bugs we come to the hidden entrance; use /hail, /congratulate, or /salute to open the door.
We do not find Zigilburk inside the forges but we do encounter several enemies. Defeat them and speak with Bósi to finish the quest. Bósi is not too disappointed however, assuming now that the axe would have been taken to battle and will be found elsewhere. He thanks us for helping to discover the Heart of Fire forges at least and says the day’s events are a great victory for the expedition.
Chapter 8: The Twenty-First Hall
Brogur has lead a large number of dwarves eastward into the Twenty-First Hall to inhabit the royal houses of Durin. Bósi worries that Brogur may be reaching too far too fast and asks us to warn him against his rapid advancement. This is coming from a dwarf who just sent us on a series of quests to search for a mythical axe of immense power that ended up with goblins discovering the hidden room, but his words still contain wisdom that he himself may lack. Travel along the path going east to the Twenty-First Hall in Zelem-Melek to find Brogur (the Stable-master Bósi mentions will only take you if you have already spoken to the Twenty-First Hall’s Stable-master). Find Brogur inside a room in along the south wall of the Hall and speak with him to finish the book. Our journey continues next week as we head deeper into the Mines of Moria.
Turning the Pages
The Mines of Moria represent the pinnacle of Dwarven accomplishment in Middle-Earth. We have seen massive fortifications and beautiful structures carved out of the stone, giant gems set to provide light to the tunnels, and paths hewn deep into the depths. However, the Mines hide a sinister side to the story; with pride comes folly, and Moria has borne witness to more than enough of both. Within the very first book inside the Mines we have already encountered the obliviousness of Brogur and Bósi as they lead their expedition deeper into Moria while searching to regain the power the earlier Dwarven kingdom lost. This concern may be due in part to knowledge of future events, but the main theme seems to reflect similar elements of the first volume. During the epic story we have encountered various characters who sought to utilize artifacts of power or thought too highly of their own strength because they were blinded to any path other than their own. At present even these dwarves have seemed wary at times, warning of reliance on myth or ambition. Hopefully they take heed of the past more than they look to its glory, or we may all soon bear its fate.