Ruins of Moria

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The Ruins of Moria is a dungeon branch in UnNetHack, modeled after the Mines of Moria from The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien. It has six levels. In contrast to the book, player explores Moria from the bottom up, eventually reaching the West-gate of Moria (also known as Doors of Durin). During the journey, the player will find both masses of orcs, many of them equipped with enchanted gear, and vast riches. Raiding Moria is therefore quite lucrative, especially when done early, but also dangerous for the unprepared and inexperienced. On the other hand Gehennom-ready post-quest character should have little problem here.

Levels

There are six levels in the Ruins of Moria. In the following text they will be numbered from the lowest, bottom level. Every level (except the level 3) contains one or two cursed scrolls of teleportation named "Word of Recall"; this is Angband reference.

Level 1: Shrine to the Ruins of the Endless Stair

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You arrive to the Ruins of Moria in an enclosed region with grates allowing sight of what lies outside. There is a secret door on the lower left side of the walled area. Outside there are random pools of lava and the floor is littered with good amount of gems. The level has undiggable floor. There is burned inscription near the secret doors. Buried throughout the level there are 2d8 small pieces of unrefined mithril. There are 7 deep orcs and 3 other o on the level.

Level 2: The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

This level is the place of the final desperate battle of the Fellowship of the Ring. The player appears on the left side of the level, which consists of a narrow bridge flanked by huge lava lakes that leads to the right side. The player will soon notice that in the parallel universe of UnNetHack the Fellowship failed, because in the middle of the bridge you will find remains of a wizard and on the left side in the distance there is the victor: the towering fiery figure of Durin's Bane, a unique balrog. Throughout the level there are few dwarf corpses, few buried dwarvish mithril-coats and some random objects.

Level 3: Moria Tribute Level

When you arrive on this level, you will be greeted with message that says: The dungeon here seems less persistent. As the message hints, the level is regenerated every time you enter it. Anything that you leave on the ground here will be irretrievably lost (engraving that has chance of appearing on this level saying "Why, oh why didn't I leave my items in the town?" alludes to this peculiar property). The non-persistence of the level can be blocked by leaving one or more unique items on it. This is because the unique items are required to be indestructible. The level is otherwise normal rooms and corridors level (though it used to employ Moria-style fixed-layout in previous UnNetHack versions). Because of the impermanency, the level contains no items whatsoever, even the cursed scrolls of teleport will not appear here. There are 7 deep orcs and 3 other o on the level.

Level 4: The Halls of Moria

This level has four possible fixed layouts, most of them in the style of cavernous hall of stone pillars. The place is completely overrun by orcs, there are huge swarms of them here along with some other monsters. There are several blessed and enchanted (up to +5) dwarvish mithril-coats scattered about, very likely picked up and worn by some of the orcs. Stairs are randomly placed.

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Level 5: The Forest

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The level is mostly open, with many trees with some chance of swampy area being incorporated. There is peaceful iron golem roaming about that has 50% chance of a tin opener, 20% chance of a can of grease and 15% chance of a tinning kit in its inventory. One the right side, there are two groups of imprisoned peaceful dwarves and orcish barracks.

Level 6: Doors of Durin

The uppermost level of Moria, it can appear in two versions. Entry message is You hear the sound of restless waters. One of the variants has crossaligned altar. Otherwise, there are hosts of monsters, graveyard, many chests with loot and some objects referring to the original story: hobbit corpses, elf corpse, human corpse, grave of Balin. There is also secret engraving only visible at night (the Ithildin). Also, a melon will appear on the level, a pun on the elven word "mellon" which means "friend" and was the pass word to the Doors of Durin. Finally, in the waters in front of the gate there lurks unique monster, Watcher in the Water, that guards a magic lamp.

Once you've cleared it out, the first version of the map serves as an excellent temporary base because it has an altar. You can easily haul loot from lower levels to b/u/c test and sort. If you successfully convert the altar and have a means of flying or water walking, the lake is safe for diluting potions once the Watcher in the Water has been killed. If you have the patience, this is also a relatively secure environment for polypiling -- the corridor outside of the altar room is exactly 8 tiles in length and has a lockable door.

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