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!
With Mazog in chains Moria and Lórien are safe from the threat of orcs, but the powers of Dol Guldur are gathering to pose an even greater challenge.
Chapter 1: Escape from Rushdurinul
The story resumes at Haldir’s flet on the banks of Nimrodel. Celeborn plans to attack Mirkwood, not to lay claim to the land but to delay Dol Guldur’s inevitable attack. Celeborn and Galadriel are carefully selecting members of the Galadhrim to join the incursion. The scholar Issuriel is one of these candidates and wishes to hear the tale of Mazog’s capture. We discuss these events with her atop the flet at Cerin Amroth. Speaking with the Elf begins a level 60instance within our memory.
We begin at the throne of Durin where Bróin, Orvar, and Corunothiel debate over Mazog’s fate. We offer our opinion, but regardless of our words Bróin will not heed any counsel save his own. Mazog is to be handed over to the enemy in exchange for Bori, so we step up to shackle Mazog and fight off waves of orcs. At each stop make sure use a banner to gain a buff – adjust the buff if the orcs are too challenging. These waves can be hard to get through especially for slightly under-leveled players, but persistence pays off.
At the exit to the throne room Mazog reveals his true motivations before fighting us in an attempt to escape. The orc does not wish to rule over Moria any longer, but rather expects to command one of Gorothúl’s armies. Moria does not attract Mazog’s attention any more because of what is coming. Gorothúl has been ordered to draw forth the great terrors of the abyss to engulf the mines in fear and darkness.
Chapter 2: What Gorothúl Left Behind
Issuriel believes that Mazog’s words contain an element of warning. Because of the orc’s sudden change of heart the threat to Moria must be grave indeed. We are sent to the Foundations of Stone to see if the Elves stationed there have knowledge of what evil might be used to attack the mines.
Lenglammel and Forglinn are inside their cave base Gwathrendath just outside the Shadowed Refuge (12.9 S, 100.8 W). Unfortunately, it seems our earlier victories may have only temporarily stayed the horrors of Moria’s depths. We must next inform Bróin of the danger by speaking with him inside the Peaceful Path in Durin’s Way. Bróin has disturbing information about the Caerog we defeated in the previous chapter: it was not found in the garden crevice by chance – it was lead there by Gorothúl.
Chapter 3: A Relic in Lumul-nar
Gorothúl left a relic to draw forth the Caerog monster; though this relic was destroyed by Orvar there are likely others placed throughout the mines. Bróin has received reports of corrupted mirrors within Lumul-nar, disturbed by merrevail that have grown in strength. Sensing that this is a likely hiding spot for a corrupted relic, Bróin sends us to defeat the winged beasts and destroy any relics we find (speaking to him will send us straight to the Mirror Halls, beginning a solo or group instance depending on our chosen quest).
This instance contains puzzles involving aligning mirrors to shine light in such a way that new passages open. The puzzles are actually different for solo and group (I believe), so the directions given here are aimed towards soloers, though the concepts apply to both. Before beginning any of the puzzles make sure to find your “Select Nearest Item” hotkey to find the levers more easily. If you wish to solve the puzzles on your own, skip to the end of the chapter.
The first mirror we see is just for show, shining light down to another below. The first usable mirror is guarded by wargs. Defeat them and use the lever next to the mirror to direct the light towards the nearby door, opening the passage. Make sure to keep the mirror turned this way to use the light inside the Mirror-halls.
Inside the cave we encounter our first puzzle: one passage to open and several mirrors to turn. Turn the central mirror 3 times and the left mirror once (the correct mirrors are marked in the image). This opens the passage into the next room, where a mirror shines the light down into the levels below. Follow it by climbing the platforms down the hole.
The next room has merrevail and branching corridors. If you go through the tunnel on our immediate left upon entering this room and continue to the left you will walk up to a blocked passage that we need to open. Heading right while in this passage (the one left of the main merrevail room) takes us up to two more mirrors, one of which should be getting light. Turn them both once to light up a mirror across the room. Now we can make it through the blocked corridor, so head through the left passage and up to a lever at the top of a wooden slope. Use this lever three times (the mirror will turn to reflect light to another mirror that shines down to a third mirror below – you may need to return to adjust this if the light doesn’t travel down correctly) and then return to the main merrevail room.
Our path takes us down to the lower level where mirrors surround a pit. Make sure light is shining down on top of the left mirror; if there is no light return to the lever on the wooden platform. There are three levers total here: use the left and right levers once and the middle lever three times. The pit below opens, but be careful to walk down the corridors rather than jumping to prevent death or falling injuries. At the bottom of the shaft is a single mirror which, when turned twice, closes the passage we entered through (unless you fell) and opens a new passage.
Follow the light through the newly open corridor and onto a series of wooden platforms. This is the final (and hardest) puzzle of Lumul-nar. We must destroy the Gift of Gorothúl and defeat Ergoth the corrupted leader of the merrevail; the gift is the glowing orb easily found on the lower wooden platform, but Ergoth is blocked from our reach until the puzzle is complete.
The easiest way to approach this puzzle is by thinking of the room having corners. Mirrors in these corners have light shining down from above – these specific mirrors will be our starting points (as they can never lose the light hitting them regardless of turns) and will be the origin of several streams of light aimed towards the center circle (this circle requires multiple beams of light to open, instead of just one). Use the map provided to guide the light in the correct color-coded paths from the four corners (marked with “C”). If a morrovail is near a mirror then the light will not reflect off it, so clear away any enemies if the light is not appearing correctly. When all the mirrors are positioned correctly the middle platform will open, allowing us to fall below and fight Ergoth. Defeating her completes the instance and sends us back to Bróin.
Chapter 4: A Relic in Nalâ-dûm
Giving us the choice of a group or solo quest, Bróin sends us to Bósi (in the Chamber of the Crossroads in Durin’s Way), who may have located another relic at the Water-wheels of Nalâ-dûm. Bósi greets us cheerfully, hoping that Mazog will soon be exchanged for his son. There is a relic to destroy before any hostage negotiations can be done and so Bósi sends us directly into the Water-works. It’s time to solve more puzzles!
Inside Nalâ-dûm we manipulate sluiceways and grates to clear a path to the relic. Inside the initial room take the first right to find wooden platforms leading up to a stone wheel. Using the wheel will open the previously closed passage north. Travel down a winding staircase to the second puzzle room.
The next room is less simple. We will need to extend a bridge to the left side of the starting sluiceway, so head right and up some more wooden platforms to a lever (slightly off of and below the upper platform). Use the lever and head back down to move across the bridge. Head past a closed grate and down to a stone wheel and lever. Use the stone wheel and then the lever and run quickly back to the now-open grate (make it through before it closes!). Past a couple of lizards is a hole – drop down it and travel through the lower passageway to a lever at a fork in the sluiceway. The lever extends a bridge to a path leading back up to the wheel and lever we encountered just a minute ago. For now, head to the right down the branching sluiceway. A winding staircase leads up and down; head up to reach a lever that opens a grate – this also takes us back to the wheel and lever at the top of this room (these shortcuts help us return if we are defeated). Now travel down the winding staircase to the bottom and travel through the lower sluiceway.
There is a crossroads in the next room; the right path is closed at first and the top/south path has an un-extended bridge, so we take the left path a Lesser Caerog. This monster is easier to defeat than the Caerog from our previous chapter. After finishing it off we can leap down a hole it was guarding and to a lower passage where the Relic sits. Beyond this relic is a monstrous Caerlûg, similar to the Lesser Caerog, but not quite as easy to fight as the smaller monster. It will occasionally stop to heal, so use the lever to stop it and return the fight. Defeating the monster finishes the instance and returns us to Bósi.
Chapter 5: Shackles for Mazog
Bósi sends us to Stóthkell in the Heart of Fire to forge special shackles for Mazog so that he will not be able to break free during the trip to Mirkwood. The Heart of Fire is in the Way of Smiths, reached through the door in the pit in the Silvertine Lodes or through a door in the Redhorn Lodes at 10.4 S, 105.4 W.
Stóthkell has the shackels ready for us when we arrive, so we can take them to Bróin immediately for approval. Head to the Peaceful Path in Durin’s Way to find Bróin. The shackles are fine, but there is a different problem to deal with. Celeborn is refusing to allow the Dwarves to take Mazog through the Golden Wood into Mirkwood – instead they must take the long way around the forest. We are sent to Lenglammel in the Foundations of Stone to agree to the new plan and ask for the elves’ assistance during the journey. Lenglammel informs us that one more relic remains and must be destroyed before we will be able to leave.
Chapter 6: Return to Azanarukâr
A third relic has been taken into Azanarukâr and must be destroyed immediately. Speaking with Lenglammel begins a duo or inspired solo instance inside the shadowy abysswhere the Orcs summoned Gwathnor.
Inside the corrupted depths of Moria we fight a Caerog, giving us a taste of the battle to come. A short distance past the initial fight we find multiple caerog summoning Gwathnor together. Though we destroy the relic harnessing their power, the ancient evil is summoned once more. This time Gwathnor is aided by the lesser monsters; we must alternate between chipping away at Gwathnor’s morale and defeating caerog. Eventually all the monsters are defeated and we can leave the foul depths. Though we cannot fully destroy the creatures the corruption has been kept at bay for the time being.
It is time to begin our journey into Mirkwood. Our first step is to speak with Haldir in Lothlórien to tell him of the Dwarves’ acceptance of the plan as well as the need for haste. Haldir is not so quick to rush to Mirkwood however and reminds us to prepare well for the journey ahead. Our mission is dangerous and takes us far from the Mines of Moria, so we gather what strength we can before the final book of Volume II begins.
Turning the Pages
Though the Dwarves have captured the Orc leader Mazog a new threat emerged within Moria. Some of the most powerful dangers in Moria arose – and were vanquished – as we faced off with the Scourges of Khazad-dúm. These monsters were not dug up by the Dwarves’ expedition but were summoned here by forces to the east. The story in Moria nears its end as we venture into Mirkwood to face a new gathering of the enemy.
The specific challenges encountered in this book reflect the theme of danger we’ve encountered repeatedly throughout the Moria story. Every step of the way there has been a new threat or the reemergence of a danger we previously dealt with. In this book we faced new monsters but also an old foe we thought had been defeated. The quests leading up to these monsters also resonate with Moria as a whole, at least with the feelings many experience after spending a long time in the mines. Challenging, lengthy, and confusing quests and puzzles resemble the maze of corridors and monsters in Moria. While the story has been interesting and meaningful, it is still a relief to escape into new areas like Lothlórien and Mirkwood. I imagine the dwarves would not be too quick to disagree after the difficulty reclaiming Moria has posed them. As the Volume closes we look to the east and hope that these efforts will not have been completely in vain.