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Mordor is the realm of Sauron, in the southeast of Middle-earth to the East of Gondor, Ithilien and the great river. The Fellowship of the Ring was tasked to take the One Ring there to be destroyed. Mordor was chosen to be Sauron’s fortress because of the mountain ranges surrounding it on three sides, creating a natural fortress against his enemies. Much of the land was a volcanic waste due to the activity of Mount Doom, but some could be cultivated and the Dark Lord’s slaves raised food for his armies here as well.
Mordor had vast armies at its disposal, all filled with a fierce hatred of the Men of the West. While the Orcs in the land may not have been the most powerful warriors, they were very fierce and could be quite overwhelming in numbers. Other units, like Trolls and allies like the Haradrim, were much more devastating. The vast orc armies numbered between 100,000 – 300,000 during the Second Age and the War of the Ring.
Mordor’s basic units were Orc warbands and archers. They often used poisoned or fiery arrows to attack their opponents. Though neither the soldiers themselves nor their weapons reached the quality of the “Free Peoples”, they were still quite deadly and could swarm over their enemies thanks to their large numbers. They also did not “fight fair” and used whatever strategy (or no strategy) to win. Many trolls, wargs and other fell beasts also aligned themselves with Mordor and combines with the numerous orcs the Mordor army could overcome most of their enemies. Men from Rhun, Harad and Khand were also part of the great Mordor army and their weapons could nearly match the quality of the weapons of the Men of Gondor at their very best.
Mordor’s elite units were stronger Orcs, Black Uruks, Attack trolls (at the gates of Minas Tirith), and corrupted Man allies. The Morannon Orcs were superior to normal orcs in almost every way. They were equipped with better armor, they were also significantly smarter and took part in major assaults throughout the War of the Ring. The weapons that the Morannon orcs used were the same as the normal orcs, but handled them much better for they were superior troops, but the Uruk-hai of Isengard were in fact more superior yet. The same was true for Black Uruks, which were rarer than Morannon Orcs; they were a stronger genetic breed of Orcs created originally by Sauron, before Saruman basically copied that idea, and Saruman used them more effectively. The Attack Troll was especially deadly, and little could withstand its rage for it could destroy entire companies of men, while not being affected much from arrows, spears, swords, or pike attacks due to its heavy armour . The other almost-invincible troll in the series is the Morannon sentry simply known as an “Olog-hai” troll, which Aragorn confronts at the last battle at Mordor.
Mordor had powerful allies to aid them in its quest for domination. The Easterlings were a highly cultured and more advanced race (than the Orcs) who used deadly swords and pikes to skewer their enemies into submission. They had finer quality weapons and armor, as well as better-trained soldiers. In a sense, they were more of the elite infantry of Mordor. The Haradrim used bows; far superior to Orc bows, they could deal some heavy damage to enemy units before being killed, even ones on horseback. They either shot their deadly bows on the ground or on top of a Mumakil . Mumakil were elephant-like creatures that could trample many in their path; little could contend against them.
The other allies were the Variags of Khand, and of course, the Corsairs of Umbar, who had the longest history of War with Gondor, out of all the Allies.
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