The Great tunnel was an ancient dwarf tunnel running down the Ered Luin. In Forlindon it remained an active trade route, leading to a road to Mithlond (the Grey Havens). Travellers could take the ferry across there, and then a path to the White Towers. At that point the route connected to the East road. In Harlindon, the tunnel was largely ruined.
The Great Tunnel was masterpiece of dwarf engineering & magic. Dwarf-Light provided a dim light for the whole route. The main tunnel was normally safe, but side passages could lead many places you shouldn't go. The dwarves patrolled the Great Tunnel.
Dwarf cities typically were built around a single long hallway, going from the great tunnel to a surface entrance.
The entrance to the tunnel at the north end was marked by 7 pillars of a shiny metal, arranged in a circle. Inside the circle the temperature was about 50 degrees Faremheit, despite the fierce winds that blew off the nearby ice bay of Forochel. The Lossoth considered it to be sacred, and come frequently but Dwarves, even Svartar would not venture inside the circle. (Some claim that no creature except humans could enter).
The next section of tunnel was inhabited by Svartar, Goblins and Kobolds. Dwarves had no reason to go there.
During nights of the full moon, a faint tunnel could be seen crossing the Gulf of Lhun.
The northern entrance to the tunnel in southern part of the Blue Mountains contained an empty, cursed city. Adventurers, would hear hammering and wordless voices. They were in no danger as long as they didn't touch anything. The dwarves of this city supported Sauron during the dark years.
The next section was blocked by rubble. There was a way around the blockage, according to some.
In the central portion of the southern section of the Blue Mountains, was a city called New Mine. It contained dwarves of all 7 houses, as well as humans, hobbits, talking animals and even elves. A variety of metals were found here. New Mine is run by a council with 1 member of each dwarf house, 1 human and 1 hobbit. Conflict is common here, but killing your foes was frowned upon.
Belegost or Gabilgathol, the ancient city of the Broadbeams.
At the southern entrance to the Great Tunnel, the Averni had setup a temple to Melkor.
A trail ran south to the sea, unobstructed by vegetation despite the lack of maintenance. On nights of the full moon, the trail seemed to be a tunnel.
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