Ered Lithui
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The Ashen Mountains
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Mordor with the Ered Lithui (MERP)
Statistics
Other names Ash Mountains, Ashen Mountains, Mountains of Ash
Type Mountain chain
Location Northern border of Mordor
Realm Mordor
Ruler Sauron (except Gondor from S.A. 3441 - T.A. 1636)
Inhabitants Orcs
Language(s) Black Speech; Orcish
Summary The northern fence of Mordor

Ered Lithui (S. "Mountains of Ash", lit. "Ashen Mountains"): These mountains were so named because of the blanket of ash left by volcanic activity in the lower mountain valleys. They ran eastward from Cirith Gorgor and formed the northern border of Mordor, gradually dwindling to the east into foothills in the central plains of Rhûn.

Length: 455 miles, from Udûn in the west to Carndil (S. "Rednose") in the east.
Elevation: average peak elevation: 6,000-7,500 feet; lowest peak: Grop Kodar (Orc. "Hollow Mount") 4,186 feet; highest peak: Prosapat (B.S. "Axe-blade") 8,963 feet.
Climate: average annual precipitation: 10-30 inches; mean annual temperature: 54 - 65°F; average low: Girithron 25°F; average high: Ivanneth 105°F
Composition: The Ash Mountains were igneous in origin, made up mostly of basalt, with a few peaks of granite. They were formed at the same time as the Ephel Dúath. Any mineral wealth accessible from the northern slopes was barely worth mining. Nonetheless, some hardy souls from Gondor scratched small quantities of lead and copper ores from the solid basalt.
Notes: The fortress of Barad-dûr and the volcano Orodruin were part of a southern spur (Mithram Spur) of the Ered Lithui. None of the Mountains of Mordor received any accumulation of snow in the winter. The igneous rocks which formed their base were largely non-porous. As a result, rainfall washed directly off the slopes, leaving them bare of any soil or vegetation. The only birds which nested here were the foul black crebain.

The Ered Lithui were an integral part of the realm of Mordor and were controlled by Sauron from its founding (ca. S.A. 1000) through the end of the Third Age, except from S.A. 3441 through ca. T.A. 1636 when Gondor controlled Mordor during Sauron's absence.

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