We conclude this series with another double-length binge spent roaming the tunnels of the world’s largest dungeon.
I have been to the north, where the cave opens to the snow-blown mountaintop. I have been to the south, where the fiery depths begin and where the spiders lie in their holes. (As the map shows, north is up and south is down.)
I have been to a garden, kept alive underground with light reflected from the surface. I have been to a grand cavern of fungus, where one might live out shadowy years on mushrooms and brackish water.
I have seen rooms and tunnels carved with great care, wrought stone columns supporting an unnecessarily high ceiling. (Compensating for something?) I have seen natural caverns that twist and lurch, where flowing water slowly carved a path and where dripping water is gradually rebuilding walls of stalactites and stalagmites. I have seen a cavern so huge that one might forget there were walls, were it not for the lack of a sky; and the tramp of a million orcs’ feet has made the uneven floor smooth, like a sand-blasted desert.
I have banished wights in the Forgotten Treasury, down and down a winding ramp following a borehole that continues to unseen depths. I have fought goblins in the Cooling Chamber, which collects water for the dwarves to drink, and I have fought worse in the deeper Waterworks where wheels still turn in the endless flow. I have saved books in the burning Library of Steel and dwarves nearly everywhere. I have followed incomplete maps to a hidden forge, still lying pristine, and I have chased riddles all across Moria to a simple chest at the end.
(I have slain my first level 60 enemy. I have found my first Second Age relic and given it away.)
I have seen the 21st Hall, and the 16th Hall, and the Second Hall, and the First Hall. I have found the eastern doors and looked upon the forests of Lothlorien.
I have not nearly seen it all.