|“||But go specially to my cousin Dain in the Iron Hills, for he has many people well-armed, and dwells nearest to this place.||”|
–The Hobbit, The Gathering of The Clouds
The Iron Hills (Ered Engrin) are one of the few remaining homes of the Dwarves of Durin's Folk, the Longbeards, after the fall of Khazad-Dûm (Moria), Mount Gundabad, Erebor and the Grey Mountains. The name comes from the high iron ore deposits lying in the earth. Dáin II Ironfoot enjoyed kingship of the Iron Hills until Erebor was reconquered.
This is a good place for Dwarven-aligned players, as it contains many types of Dwarves (including Dwarven traders), excellent mining opportunities, the rare Dwarfwort flower, and enemies to get alignment from.
As the name would suggest, the Iron Hills contain more quantities of iron and other ores than most other places. It is also the only other place, besides the Blue Mountains, Erebor, the Misty Mountains, and the Red Mountains, where glowstone ore generates, making it possible for players to get glowstone in survival without having to travel back to the Overworld, and from there to the Nether.
Upon entering the Iron Hills, the player earns the achievement "Durin's Folk"
The entire Iron Hills biome is a Mountains biome with the following variants:
- Standard - Normal Iron Hills mountaineous biome.
- Forest - Forests of evergreen trees that grow in these northerly hills.
- Light Forest - Lightly forested version of the Iron Hills.
The altitude differences can be very large over short distances, making the Iron Hills an area that may be difficult to transverse. High peaks with steep slopes and many lakes dominate the rugged landscape.
The Iron Hills contain four Dwarven structures.
- Dwarven House - Houses of the Dwarves. They are hard to find during the day, due to the invisible Dwarven doors, but at night they the markings on the door will light up. Inside is the main room, a Dwarf couple (sometimes with children), a fireplace, and two "basement" rooms. One room has two barrels of Dwarven ale or Dwarven tonic and a chest of food, while the other has two Dwarven beds.
- Dwarven Tower - Large towers of Dwarven brick. They contain Dwarf warriors, barrels of Dwarven ale, food, chests, Dwarven crafting tables, and a Dwarf commander.
- Dwarven Mine - Large and complex mineshafts. They contain Dwarven forges and normal crafting tables. The rambling mineshafts contain ores, as well as chests of items, and Dwarven Miners. This place is very hard for evil players to enter as the tunnels are patrolled by many miners and their heavily armoured escorts.
- Dwarven Smithy - These are the workshops of the dwarves, where their smiths forge their weapons and armour. It contains two chests, with normal and Dwarven loot, two dwarven forges were the player can smelt their ore, three anvils, and two unsmelteries.
- Dwarves - Male, female, adult, and child Dwarves may spawn in Dwarf houses. They can also be hired from Dwarf commanders.
- Dwarf Miners - Dwarves who have taken up work in the Dwarven mines. They carry Dwarf pickaxes, and you can buy ores and sell food and drink to them.
- Dwarf Warriors - Dwarves who are warriors and wear Dwarven armor. They spawn in Dwarf towers and Dwarven Mines and can be hired from Dwarf commanders. They carry Dwarven swords, battleaxes, and warhammers. Only when hired or in invasions they can be mounted on boars.
- Dwarf Axe-Thrower - Dwarf warriors who have throwing axes to take out enemies from afar. They can be hired from Dwarf commanders and can ride boars as well.
- Dwarf Commander - NPCs from whom you can hire Dwarves, Dwarf Warriors, Dwarf Axe-Throwers, and Warrior/Axe-thrower Boar Riders. They spawn in Dwarf towers.
- Dwarf Smith - Blacksmiths who will sell dwarven gear and buy materials. They spawn in Dwarven Smithies.
- Gundabad Orc - Orcs of Mount Gundabad in the north, where Durin the Deathless awoke. Despite the efforts of the dwarves, these orcs still raid the Iron Hills.
- Gundabad Orc Archer - Archer variant of Gundabad Orcs. They use iron crossbow, Orc Bow or Bow.
- Gundabad Warg - Wargs allied with Gundabad. Gundabad orcs and archers sometimes ride on them.
The Iron Hills are a great region for mining. This biome contains more iron, coal, copper, tin, sulfur, and nitre ores than anywhere else in Middle-Earth, with the exception being the Red Mountains. In addition, this biome is one of the only five (the Iron Hills, the Red Mountains, Erebor, the Misty Mountains, and the Blue Mountains) that contain glowstone ore.
The arboreal forests in Iron Hills are dominated by evergreen species. The most common is spruce, but fir and pine also flourish. While there is a lower snow line than most realms, it does not affect plant growth. The dominant presence of Wild Boar suggest the mossy soils hide very nourishing secrets from any untrained nose.
There are some flowers in the Iron Hills. The Iron Hills contain dandelions, roses, and blue orchids; flowers that grow in most Dwarvish regions. In addition, the Dwarfwort flower grows only in the Iron Hills, Erebor, and Blue Mountains. Dwarfwort is important for the brewing of Dwarven drinks, and is less common than other plants. There is average grass and flower growth here, with the exception of the previously mentioned Dwarfwort plant.
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The Iron Hills