|Khazad-dûm, also commonly known as Moria or the Dwarrowdelf, was an underground kingdom beneath the Misty Mountains. It was known for being the ancient realm of the Dwarves of Durin's Folk. It was the greatest kingdom ever built by the Dwarves.|
Throughout the beginning of the Third Age, the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm expanded its treasure, but its numbers began to dwindle. The majority of their wealth was based on their hoards of Mithril of which they mined in their deepest tunnels, and as the centuries went by the Dwarves delved ever deeper for the precious metal.
In TA 1980, they dug too deeply and greedily for Mithril and to their loss they unearthed a nameless terror in the depths beneath the city. This dreadful creature wrought destruction throughout the city wiping out most of the Dwarves and slaying King Durin VI. Thereafter the creature was named Durin's Bane. After the Dwarves had left, Khazad-dûm gathered dust and stood dark and empty, but for the sinister creature that lurked in the depths. This was when it was named Moria, the Black Pit.
|The monster, later revealed as a Balrog of Morgoth, remained alone in Moria for nearly five centuries until it was populated once again, but not by Dwarves. The Orcs, refugees from the north, began to raid the abandoned city of its treasures and made a decision to occupy it. They came upon the Balrog and began to worship it as their deity. Mordor started to send out troops of Orcs and Cave Trolls to populate Moria, making an evil place for them to multiply. During the Battle of Azanulbizar, many of these Orcs were felled in the valley beneath the eastern gate of Moria in TA 2799, and the numbers were reduced dramatically. But the Balrog still remained and many Orcs and Trolls with him, and so Khazad-dûm stayed evil for the time being.|
When the Hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin; the Men Aragorn and Boromir; the Dwarf Gimli; the Elf Legolas; and the Wizard Gandalf set out from Rivendell on the Quest of the Ring, they were forced to make their way through Moria after the failed attempt of climbing Caradhras (Redhorn) where they were pursued by Wargs. They entered through the western-gate near a lake with dark waters from which a tentacular monster emerged and attempted to kill Frodo. When inside, the Fellowship passed through many tunnels and great halls until finally reaching a chamber and a book, explaining the last accounts of the Longbeards.
They were then taken by surprise as Orcs and cave trolls pursued them through Moria to the Bridge of Khazad-dûm where the Balrog rose from the depths. Gandalf bravely confronted the creature and the two briefly dueled on the bridge before plunging together into the abyss below.