Mount Gondmaeglorn and Silverplunge


(Kh. Silverplunge)



In T.A. 1440 a small band of Úri's folk travelled north from Khazad-dûm and established a silver mine at Mount Gondmaeglom, the Ered Mithrin's tallest peak (10,720 Ft.). The mine was called Silver-plunge, for the mountain was rich in silver and the veins ran deep. For almost two hundred years this small group prospered, and Khazad-dûm's wealth increased. Then, suddenly, all contact with the outpost was lost. The Great Plague (T.A. I635 to I640) was first thought to have claimed the small colony, but many years later Durin's Folk learned that it was not so. It was no plague, or disease, that brought an end to Silver-plunge, but the wrath of a powerful Dragon. The diggings of the Dwarves (and Orcs) had stirred the Dragons from their long slumber; but they were also called forth by the malice of Sauron. The rise of the ancient drakes was an ominous warning to the peoples of the North. Dragons were once again seen stalking the bleak mountainsides and glacial valleys of the Ered Mithrin. And so it was that Scatha the Worm, newly awoke, greedy and aggressive, stormed the halls of Silver-plunge in T.A. I635. He routed the Dwarves, slaying each and every one and he plundered their riches for his own. Silver-plunge became Scatha's lair, its main hall was turned into his hoard chamber. But his pride grew with his greed. In T.A. I995, he turned his attention to the Éotheod and their lands about the upper Anduin vales. This ultimately proved his undoing. For Fram, son of Frumgar, Lord of the Éotheod, tracked Scatha back to his lair, and there slew him. As he died Scatha stared at Fram with his baleful eyes and laid upon him a terrible curse. But Fram did not heed his words, and he took Scatha's hoard back to his own lands. There they had peace from the long- worms for many years. Fram, using his treasure, built a town, Framsburg, for his people. But when the Dwarves of Thundercleft and Erebor leamed of the slaying of Scatha, they demanded that Fram yield the hoard. Fram refused and offered them only a necklace made from the Dragon's teeth. The Dwarves were incensed by Fram's petty gift and soon afterwards Fram was murdered. His death was shrouded in mystery: it is said (by some) that Scatha's curse was visited upon him. The Éotheod, however, blamed the Dwarves for his death, and there was ill feeling between the two races for many a year. The rotted carcass of Scatha lay in Silver-plunge, casting a pall of death over the ancient Dwarven halls. In later times it was again occupied: by lesser evil beasts -Orcs, Cave-drakes and other such fell creatures.

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