Globe of Arda

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A spoiler alert

This article describes in great detail an artifact located in Moria. This item sits openly exposed in the Great Delving and doesn't play any significant role in the story (i.e. no quests or deeds are associated with it), but if you'd rather search for it on your own, you'll want to avoid reading this until you have discovered and examined it. I will warn you, however, that it is very easy to pass by this item without realizing what it really is.


Points of Interest-icon.png
Globe of Arda
Type: Artifact
Region: Moria
Area: Great Delving
Location: [8.4S, 112.9W]
The giant geode as seen from Lamâb-dûm near the Vault of Durin


Location

Description

The loose passages leading out of Durin's Threshold eventually connect to a triangular tunnel beaten down by ancient use and now choked with dust and webs. Called Lamâb-dûm by the Dwarves of Moria, this thoroughfare bisects the Great Delving. It runs from the Palace of Náin in the north to the Vault of Durin in the south, with breaks along its length leading out to the caverns of the Goblin camp to the west and the plazas of the Dolven-view to the east.
Near the southern end of this passageway, as you approach the Vault of Durin, a path leading east towards a wing of the Palace of Náin passes through an elegant, stately but now abandoned plaza, dominated by a huge, hollow, geode lit by crystals. Its surface is cut like a globe and etched with runes. Its exposed inside glitters with uncut crystals. This quiet place seems purposeless now, haunted by the memories of livelier times.
a closer look from the side


The front of the Geode


The writing is difficult to read, but Reddhawk of Landroval did a great job of translating it and uncovering its hidden significance.
  • This is actually a globe (map) of Arda.
Reddhawk's original post here may not survive Forum's update 29 July 2013)

The discovery

First and foremost, this discovery belongs to [URL="http://forums.lotro.com/member.php?u=327159"]Hitorichan[/URL] of Landroval. Redhawk was merely asked to help translate the runes as described in Hitorichan's story, "[URL="http://library.randirim.org/wiki/Sharliana%27s_Geode"]Sharliana's Geode[/URL]". (Note: the story is no longer on mentioned wiki.) You've likely seen this amazing find in The Great Delving (at 8.4S, 112.9W), but may never have realized what it was. Well, after examining it for quite sometime, both Sharliana (Hitorichan) and I concluded that it was, in fact, a globe of Arda.
This began to become apparent after translating the following runes:
Moriaglobe3.jpg
Realizing that these cirth spelled out the name of the ocean Belegaer, we realized that we were looking at something quite incredible. Soon, we found several other runes as we examined the geode from other angles. All in all, we uncovered the names of several lands and kingdoms. There was even a large blue symbol that Sharliana realized was a marker indicating the location of Moria.
Moriaglobe1.jpg
We also realized that the backside of the geode contained a compass rose. Additionally, the base contained a similar compass that was aligned with the minimap.
Moriaglobe2.jpg
Translating the globe proved to be both difficult and time consuming. Many of the runes were poorly written and hard to make out with any certainty. As a result, I produced cleaner versions of each of the runes so that others could clearly see and understand the markings on the globe. As you might expect from a discovery in Moria, these runes are written in Angerthas Moria.
We first translated the name of the ocean:
Belegaer.jpg

In addition, we found the name of a mountain range well known to the dwarves:
Eredluin.jpg

Then, we began uncovering the names of several well known kingdoms:
Arnor.jpg


Gondor.jpg

Nearly all the major realms and kingdoms were represented:
Rhovanion.jpg

Rhun.jpg

Interestingly enough, Rohan was represented by its original name (Calenardhon), before it was inhabited by Eorl and his people:
Calenardhon.jpg

Curiously, the Dark Lands of Mordor were spelled out with an extra letter, likely for the sake of pronunciation:
Mordor.jpg

In small, jumbled runes beneath the name of "Mordorh", very hard to read, we found the name of "Khand":
Khand.jpg

And finally, at the very top and bottom of the globe, we identified the names of the far northern and southern lands:
Forodwaith.jpg

Haradwaith.jpg