|Boromir: "Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing? So small a thing!"|
- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring II:10
The Caverns of Akhuzdah (Wm. "Ahule" Kh. Mahalabad) were the largest cavern system within the Wind Mountains, sprawling for many miles beneath its northern arm. Vast and glorious, they were dolven the weight the great river of Falindukum, and were laden with many formations; stalagmites like great towers, stalactites like great teeth, wings and ropes of many-colored stone draped like curtains over the walls, and columns so dense that chambers could be hewn within. They were more vaster and more splendid than any natural cave of the Westlands, and some chambers reached hights of two-hundred feet or more. Its walls were lined with glittering caches of Gems, which remained unmolested despite long habitation; for the Dwarves of Drúin's Folk hollowed their capital of Tumunamahal within the caves, and established a great city within as well as before the mountains, building towers and citadels in its shadow, for the vale of Rûrîk was elevated and safeguarded from nigh-on all foes, and Drúin's Folk, secretive and reclusive as they were, had little real need to hide from their enemies. Other mines and mansions they also delved within the surrounding mountains, but Tumunamahal remained their chief citadel. It was as vast as the caverns themselves, yet its halls were largely natural; for the Dwarves did not tremendously alter or damage the form of the caves, leaving the fairest ores and structures untouched and merely adapting the tended stone to their own purposes.