|What life there is in Gorgoroth is twisted and evil.|
This is a vast adventure site, ranging from the surrounding hills to the tortured plateau. Layouts for a variety of evil strongholds are present, as well as detailed rundowns of the creatures that inhabit the evil land, natural and supernatural hazards, and weather patterns. The inhabitants detailed range from normal animals to the the greatest of all of Sauron's minions, the Ringwraiths. Besides these well-known servants of evil, a number of lieutenants are detailed, from the Mouth of Sauron to a fallen Elf to mighty troll warriors to orc sorcerers. Shelob and even Gollum make appearances as possible encounters. Sauron himself is detailed, but really, I don't think anyone expects to confront him directly. The place is teeming with evil, as one might expect.
|An eerie and horrific sight that Frodo and Sam witnessed as they journeyed through Mordor.|
|The highway to Mount Doom.|
|Wandering monsters are right at home here.|
Barad-dur may be absent from this book, but Mount Doom is presented in detail. As might be guessed, it's a foreboding place. It's also incredibly dangerous the further one delves into the mountain. The Crack of Doom itself, where Frodo took the One Ring, is the easiest place to access. This makes some sense, given the context; there is nothing here to protect, because the Crack itself is one of the most dangerous things in Middle-earth. Sauron may have other secrets he wishes to keep hidden from enemies and minions, but the Crack of Doom is, itself, a quintessentially existential threat.
Besides Mount Doom, there are several other points of interest given in the book. All of them are easily placed just about anywhere.
Barad-wath is a fortress built by the Men of Gondor in an earlier time as watch-post over Gorgoroth after Sauron's defeat at the end of the Second Age. Now occupied by the forces of the Dark Lord, it sits as a threat in a threatening land.
Ostigurth is an interesting and unique place. Unlike other cities and citadels given over to evil, such as Isengard, Umbar, and Minas Morgul, Ostigurth was never built or used by the Men of the West. It was wholly built and lived in by Sauron's forces.
|Just a portion of the Orc warrens in the mountains near Ostigurth.|
|That's Metal, as the metal-heads say.|
All in all, this is a challenging, interesting setting for a game, rife with evil and awaiting the arrival of heroes to spend their lives trying to stave off the coming darkness directly. That sentence understates it; this is a character-killer of a location. Frodo and Sam (and Gollum, lest we forget) managed to work their way through this evil land, right to its black, liquid-fire heart, but not by a headlong charge. They slipped through using stealth, narrowly avoiding death at several turns. Their small, unobtrusive natures kept them from ultimate disaster. More powerful, lordly beings could not pass unnoticed, and though they might give a good account of themselves, they would be quickly overwhelmed. Only during the times when Sauron lies defeated is there any chance of foraying into Gorgoroth with any chance of success. Regardless of when characters strike out into this evil place, it is a fascinating, dangerous realm.