Goblin-gate cross-section view

Area overview

  • Type: Subterranean Orcish City.
  • Inhabitants: 70% Orcs, 5% Trolls, 10% Mixed Mannish Slaves.
  • Population: ~3,100.
  • Origin: Natural caverns linked by mined tunnels and occupied by Orcs since at least the Second Age.
  • Purpose: A base for raiding and dominating the Misty Mountain passes; a breeding ground of Orcs.
  • Symbol: Tribal Banner: Cleft Red Mountain on a Black Field; Tribal Totem: Scimitar named Elf-hewer (Or:"Golug-proz").

Goblin-gate (S.Annerchin Or.Gongi-Dôraz), or the Wolf-gate, was a large carven gateway on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains that led to the vast subterranean hive of Goblin-town (Or."Gong-Goi"). Goblin-town was built in the mid-Second Age by Orcs from Barad-dûr to fortify and take control of the High-Pass. The Orcs of Goblin-town preyed on adventurers and those foolish enough to make the dangerous trek across the Misty Mountains, as well as launching occasional tragic raids on the Northmen of the Anduin Vales. Their warrens provided them with no small amount of security and plentitude, and the Great Goblin and his cohorts grew fatter and more arrogant with each passing day. The foul and dark tunnels stretched for leagues beneath the mountains, extended daily by force of slaves of Orcish and Mannish blood alike.

Goblin-town in T.A. 1640-1650

The Goblin-gate (Wolf-gate)

  • Political Organization: Chiefdom, Subject State (of Gundabad).
  • Rulers: Male cruel assisted by two captains and a priest: Urgubal, the Great Goblin; Balkhmog, Captain of the Wolf Gate; Luzog, Captain of the Back Door; Yazhgar, Chief Priest of Darkness.
  • Administrative Organization: Rule by strength: chief appoints officers; some elements of hereditary accession present, but secondary to brute force; all resources held directly by chief.
  • Population: ~8,000 Orcs.
  • Military: 900 Orcs; 150 Wolves; 14 Trolls.
  • Products: Iron, copper, tin, fungus.
  • Symbol: Cleft Red Mountain on a Black Field.

The easiest pass across the Misty Mountains is home to a large and violent tribe of Orcs. Travellers who use the pass must move with exceptional stealth or in a large and well-guarded caravan to avoid the nighttime raids of the Orcs. A higher and more treacherous pass exists, but even this route is not entirely safe. The Orcs who dwell in the Mountains are indirect minions of the Witch-king of Angmar through the Ashdurbuk of Gundabad, although the vast distances to the city of Carn Dûm and the caverns of Gundabad ensure a free hand for the Great Goblin. The Orcs pay an annual tribute to the Ashdurbuk and send troops to Angmar when a large war breaks out, but on the whole, the Goblins of the Misty Mountains enjoy no small amount of autonomy from their overlords. Deep within the mountains, the Orcs have burrowed out an impressive Goblin-town. Though somewhat roughly hewn and reeking of centuries of squalor, the dimensions of the stronghold are sufficiently immense to awe nearly any Dwarf. The tunnels extend for dozens of miles in many directions, and the central caverns are each hundreds of yards long. Two main gates, each well guarded, provide access to the town. Only an adventurer possessing great cunning can obtain entry to Goblin-town without permission from the Orcs. Assuming a rash explorer could find his way inside, the Orcs would take great pleasure in hunting down the intruder, using trackers (Snaga) and Wargs to find the fugitive. When they are not preparing for combat, the Orcs mine their tunnels for iron, copper, and tin ores, which they send to Gundabad and Carn Dûm for refining. They manufacture a few items of metal for themselves, for they do not like to rely upon other Orcs for their welfare. Most of their heavy labor is done by Trolls, but precise work is done by small groups of slaves, who are gathered in rare raids on both sides of the Anduin. Currently, Goblin-town is on the verge of a brutal struggle for power. In a realm where the strongest warrior wields supreme power, any fighter bold and mighty enough can claim the title of Great Goblin. Ordinarily, Urgubal, the current Great Goblin, would crush any Orc powerful enough to threaten his rule, but the guile and swift rise to power of Balkhmog, the Captain of the Wolf Gate, was too fast to permit him to react. Now, a few brave spies report that an internal struggle is about to shatter the already unstable system of Goblin-town. The Free Peoples in the region have considered attempts to exploit this friction, but they rightly fear that hostile action from outside would unite the Orcs against a common foe, and so leave them to commit their own suicide.

Places of note

Maps of Goblin-town

Goblin-town Level 1

Goblin-town Level 2

Goblin-town Level 3

Gollum’s Lair

  • The Back Door
  • Black Crack
  • The Caverns
  • Chamber of Eglanúr
  • The Deep-fires
  • Den of the Northern Army
  • The Front Porch
  • Fungi-Caves
  • Goblin-gate (Wolf-gate)
  • Goblin-town
    • The Goblin's Caves
    • The Great Cavern Room
      • Goblin-town Throne Room
  • The Ice-Caves
  • The Mines
  • Secret Exit
  • Slave Pens
  • Thundergrot
  • The War Steadings


Orcs: Ashûrz Balcog Balkhmog Crugbit Dagog Doof Dork Farmak Galkur Grath Grinnah Lagdush Log Luzog Matuga Narag Oghûk Ogrod Rakothúrz Rulgor Ugslap Urgubal Volog Yazhgar Zurga

Trolls: Horm

Lords of Goblin-town

See also


  • ICE MERP #8070: Goblin-gate and Eagle’s Eyrie
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