Dol Guldur is an evil-infested region at the southwest corner of Mirkwood where Sauron lived before moving to Mordor. The forces of Dol Guldur represent the source of all corruption in the forests of Mirkwood, and their sinister urge to conquer directly contrasts the tranquil seclusion of their counterpart faction: the Wood-elves.
Dol Guldur was originally known as Amon Lanc ("Bald Hill") in Greenwood the Great. It had been the capital of Oropher's Silvan Elves. However, these fled in the Second Age, when Easterlings and Orcs began to assail and invade the woods. These bands were responsible for breaking the League of Rhovanion and, later, the slaying of Isildur and his men.
Sometime after T.A. 1000, an evil presence took over Amon Lanc. It was in 1050 that a shadow fell upon Greenwood, and it began to be known as Mirkwood. A hostile entity was said to have taken refuge there, known as the "Necromancer" by the men of the Vale. Thranduil of the Elves led his people from the Emyn Duir the Forest River, where they remained. The forest became infected with Orcs, spirits, and the spawn of Ungoliant.
The White Council had long feared the Necromancer in Dol Guldur might be a Nazgûl. In T.A. 2063, Gandalf went to Dol Guldur as a spy, and the Necromancer, not yet powerful enough to face him, fled to the East. After four centuries in T.A. 2460 the Necromancer returned there. Dol Guldur became a base for the Balchoth, who continued to invade the Vale of Anduin, slaying kin of the Northmen and ambushing the scouts of Cirion. In T.A. 2510, when Eorl the Young was leading his riders to the Battle of the Field of Celebrant, he steered his force westward to avoid the shadow of Dol Guldur, and they were hidden by the mists of Lorien.
In T.A. 2845 Thráin II, King of Durin's Folk-in-exile and holder of the last of the Seven Rings, was captured near the eaves of Mirkwood, then imprisoned and tortured in Dol Guldur's dungeons. His Ring was taken from him and brought to the Dark Lord. In 2850 the wizard Gandalf confirmed that the Necromancer, the master of Dol Guldur, was the Dark Lord returned.
Gandalf returned to the White Council and urged an attack on Dol Guldur, but was overruled by Saruman, who secretly had begun searching for the One Ring in the area by then. In T.A. 2941 Saruman finally agreed to an attack. During the battle, the Dark Lord withdrew to Mordor, as he had already planned to do. However, the White Council successfully disrupted the Dark Lord's plans for an assault on Lorien, Rivendell, and Eriador. In 2951, Dol Guldur was reoccupied by Khamûl, the second chief of the Nine, and two other Nazgûl, and prepared for war once again.
Dol Guldur, the Hill of Sorcery, remains shrouded in mirk and shadow, clad in black fir that let in no light of day. None go near it, not even the Elves, for it is still a very evil place, returned from destruction with power sevenfold. The Orcs thither await the orders of Khamûl, who will burn all the woods to the ground and drive all the Men and Elves of Rhovanion before him. To him also come cruel Balchoth out of the East, and under his command lie great spiders of the Wood and spirits of Elder Days. There will be night in Rivendell, and savage swords in Eriador!
Dol Guldur's Spheres of Influence are centered around their stronghold atop Amon Lanc, as well as the home of their enemies, the Wood-elves.
|The Regiments of Dol Guldur|
Orc (Archer, Banner Bearer) •
The Deeps of the Earth: