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The three peaks of Gundabad (MERP)
Location of Mount Gundabad in the northern Misty Mountains (MERP)
Other names N/A
Type Mountain
Location northern Misty Mountains
Realm Gundabad, Angmar
Ruler T.A. 1640: Zalg, The Ashdurbuk, High Chief of Gundabad
Inhabitants T.A. 1640: Orcs
Language(s) various Orcish dialects, Black Speech
Summary “Capital” of the Orcs of the North

Properly: Mount Gundabad (Kh."High home" - Gunduzbad) faced the peak Ugûlai across the Den Loke, the gap between the Hithaeglir and the Ered Mithrin. It was the place of the awakening of the Longbeards, until Skorg the dread conquered the city and founded the Orc-realm under the mountain, having approached the Dragon Gap from the north and having driven his band through howling blizzards in the Forodwaith.

Mount Gundabad in TA 1640-1650

  • Political Organization: Subject state (of Angmar), Autocracy (Dictatorship).
  • Rulers: Zalg, The Ashdurbuk, High Chief of Gundabad; Hurog, Warlord of the Cloven Spire; Bralg, Warlord of the Twisted Spire.
  • Administrative Organization: Brutal repression keeps the Orcs (and their slaves) in line. The High Chieftaincy usually goes to the strongest of the descendants of the Seed of Skorg. Raw favoritism determines the recipients of the most lucrative offices. The High Chief claims all property as his own, but hoarding is very common among the Orcs.
  • Population: 10.000 Orcs; 39 Trolls; 2.400 Slaves.
  • Military: 1.200 Snagas; 300 Uruks; 20 Trolls; 500 Wargs.
  • Products: Iron, nickel, slaves.
  • Symbol: The Triple Peaks of Gundabad on a Red Field.

Where the chain of the Misty Mountains abuts the heights of the Grey Mountains, the Goblin race makes its capital. In the First Age, Orcish refugees from the destruction of Angband made the triple-peaked mountain their base from which they would carry out the legacy of Morgoth's hatred of the Free Peoples, and it has been a gruesome model of Orcish society ever since. Orcish politics are as primitive as the rest of their society. Few tribal chieftains outside of the Mountain acknowledge the Ashdurbuk as their overlord without a blade at their throat. Any tribute collected by the Lord of Gundabad comes to him through the brute force of his collectors and not through his authority as the lord of all Orcs. However, no Orc-lord is greater than he, and he maintains order within his realm better than any lesser chieftain, so it is understandable that Gundabad be considered the center of Orcish power. In fact, while Mount Gundabad is the focus for Orcish authority, it in turn is but a fief of Angmar's empire. Though the Witch-king allows the Lord of Gundabad freedom during peacetime, he expects the Orcs of the Mountain to follow his every command when he makes his final assault on Arthedain. Though the Ashdurbuk understands his role, relations between Carn Dûm and Gundabad are nonetheless strained, and many an unfortunate messenger between the two realms lies dead. To add to the current Ashdurbuk's worries, both of his sons, warlords in their own rights, hope to claim their father's throne. The Ashdurbuk is careful to show no signs of weakness, lest his sons usurp the right to rule. Life within the Mountain is nasty, brutish, and short, factions among the Orcs fight with one another, vying for power in Gundabad's violent hierarchy. By Orcish standards, weak individuals deserve death, and victors deserve authority. The system is crude, but it works well enough for the Ashdurbuk to organize mining and smithing efforts into viable industries. Slave labor forms the basis for the Orcs' economy, which requires the constant supervision of Orcish overseers. Gundabad exports enough ores and finished metal products to Angmar to exchange for food that cannot be grown in the depths. However, the Orcs simply take most of the items they desire, either from other Orc tribes or from the Northmen foolhardy or unfortunate enough to live in Gundabad's shadow.

Places of Note

Cross section of Gundabad (MERP)

The Deeps:

Dúrin's Womb:

Dwarven City Ruins:

  • Central Residences
  • Dagnir's Hoard
  • Entrance Hall
  • First Forge
  • Northwestern Forge
  • Main Gate
  • Marketplace
  • Northern Residences
  • Southeastern Residences
  • Southern Residences
  • Southwestern Residences

Slopes of Gundabad:

Mines of Gundabad:

  • the side door

Throat of the Mountain:

Rulers of Gundabad

Dwarven Kings

  • Dúrin I - Awoke at Gundabad after Y.T. 1050, later moved his tribe to Khazad-dûm
  • Thulur - King of Gundabad in 1.A. 529, defeated by Mukarg
  • Dúrin V - reconquered Gundabad at the end of the Second and beginning of the Third Age
  • Rugi - Dwarven King who ruled Gundabad until T.A. 1267, he and the Dragon Ichashu killing each other.

Goblin Kings


Dragons: Dagnir

Orcs: Akargin Akargun Azog the Defiler Balcog Baltog Bolg the Strong Bolg the Younger Bralg the insane Fimbul Ghardak Gorduf Gorkil Gorzul Grachuk Grashukh Hurog Karagat Lagbug Lughorn Lunul Mauthak Mukarg Obad Saviga Skorg Uglag Urzog Yazneg Zalg Zarbag

Dwarves: Dirn

Men: Barlof Fylaric Voisiol

Trolls: Thob



Organisations and Groups of note

Blackshields Burzath Burzsnutu Dark Worship Frost-horde Ghrazîm Huvorgha Iak-thrakal Ilguz Krakh-Ûl Lamoshgongi Mukhardar Nazgi-artha


  • Other Minds Magazine, issue 21, August 2019, article: The history of Mount Gundabad - revision for MERP: Mount Gundabad
  • MERP: Mount Gundabad