The North Downs Exploration Deeds encourage you to travel throughout the region and meet different people groups and enemies. You’ll discover the ruins of the Fields of Fornost, friendly and hostile villages of the Earthkin and trek to the stronghold of Dol Dinen in the very South-East. And LOTRO have done a great job in the different environments of the North Downs too; you’ll find ghostly ruins, tribal tents, beautiful countryside and smokey war camps. In short, there’s a lot to enjoy! So let’s explore the North Downs in LOTRO, not only for ticking destinations off the list, but to take in the journey too.
Tap the link below to open up a menu of each of the locations needed to complete each of the deeds: Show MenuHide Menu
Most of the Eastern Ruins are found in Annundir and near Kingsfell in the North Downs. One, however is flung far to the East. So if you want to complete this exploration deed efficiently, run it alongside the Villages of the Earthkin.
1. Ost Lagaros (9.6S, 47.6W)
Ost Lagaros is a small, unassuming camp in Annundir. The Ranger Lagaros has a few quest-chains for you, some of which do not involve combat. So you may as well enjoy the break while you can!
Ost Galumar is a huge ruin mostly populated with Dourhand Dwarves. This old fortress is found West of the friendly Dwarf-hold of Othrikar. The Wiki has some interesting lore about Ost Galumar if you want to go deeper. You will need to free Dori the dwarf (not Dory of Finding Nemo fame!) as part of the North Downs Epic quest-line.
3. Dol Nendir (13.5S, 42.6W)
Dol Nendir really is just a small ruin, mostly buried in the hillside in Kingsfell. It can be found North of Meluinen and North-West of Taur Gon Waith.
Merenost is a small ruin near the small Elven settlement in Meluinen in the South of the North Downs. Along with aggressive wildlife, Merenost is currently home to Orcs. The Elves of Meluinen will recruit you to deal with this threat, which is handy as you can progress the Orc Slayer deed here!
5. Ost Crithlanc (7.6S, 35.0W)
Ost Crithlanc is the final item in the Eastern Ruins Exploration deed. You can find it in Nan Amlug East towards a huge gate that leads to Angmar. Depending on which quest-chains you choose to do, quests do bring you here. Ost Crithlanc, however, is no abandoned ruin as Angmarim and Hillmen forces have spewed out of Angmar. So if you’re not over-levelled, you can expect to meet some fierce opposition to your exploring!
The vast majority of the Western Ruins Exploration Deed locations are in the Fields of Fornost, the site of ancient battles. If you undertake the quest-chains at Mincham’s Camp, you discover that Fornost has once more been occupied by forces of the Enemy. The North Downs then, face a major threat from such a stronghold.
Amon Raith (12.3S, 52.5W)
Amon Raith sits high above the Fields of Fornost, able to stand watch on the long West-East road through the North Downs. Indeed, if you pursue the Shadows of Angmar Epic Questline, you will return here later to search for Amarthiel’s forces.
I’ve provided two screenshots here. The ‘extra’ one just shows the approach to Amon Raith when riding from the East of the North Downs.
Minas Vrun is one of the larger ruins you need for the North Downs exploration deeds. According to the Wiki, it used to be called Henneth Rhùn and is also tied into the Epic’s story around Amarthiel. Although it was once a city, it is now mostly inhabited by deer and hogs – which incidentally makes it a great place if you need to obtain Medium Hides! Quests from Amon Raith will bring you to Minas Vrùn.
Ost Nuaran is a little tricky to get to, if you don’t want to jump down a cliff-edge anyway! From the Map it seems to sit near Falconer’s Tower. In reality, you have to go South and a bit East from the Tower and decend the hill in a northern direction to reach Ost Nuaran. Or you can jump down the cliff if you don’t mind breaking your ankles – it’s your choice I guess!
You do not need to go to close to it to tick off this item in the Western Ruins Exploration deed, however.
Falconer’s Tower (8.7S, 53.4W)
Falconer’s Tower is the most obvious landmark within the eastern portion of the Fields of Fornost. According to the Wiki it was called this because in ages past, falcons were sent out to spy the land for the King, before the Witch-King laid waste to the land. There’s a lot of lore about Falconer’s Tower on the Wiki, so I recommend you check that out. Nearby Slayer Deeds
Norbury Gates stands as the entrance between the Fields of Fornost and Fornost City itself. It is one of the places you will investigate if you pick up quests at Minchem’s Camp. Though guarded by enemy forces, just inside the gates you can find the Treasure-Hunters’ Camp. Here you can find solo and fellowship quests, some of which take you into the scalable Fornost instances. Nearby Slayer Deeds
Glirost lies at the very West of the Fields of Fornost, right on the border with Evendim. The ruin can be found North of Tham Lorn. To reach it you will have to slash and hack your way through innumerable Oathbreaker Shades and a few Barghests. Glirost is the only place you’ll find Wights in the North Downs, a creation of the Witch-King himself who was denied passage into Evendim by opposition forces.
Tham Lorn is a truly evil place, haunted by Oathbreakers and a fell spirit called Olnathron. If you follow the quest-lines from Minchem’s Camp you’ll get a ‘fast horse’ transport directly to Tham Lorn, so you need not scope it out on your own. It also stands at the Evendim Gate, South of Glirost.
The Earthkin (or Jorthkin) rate as some of my favourite NPC people groups in LOTRO. The lanky giants are often found in small camps or villages, simply trying to survive against the odds. While some Earthkin have tried to remain peaceful and gentle, others in the North Downs have allied with Angmar in the belief that power means protection. Unfortunately only one of the Villages of the Earthkin in the North Downs is held by friendly folk. And Lehma-Koti is actually in Angmar, but it still part of the North Downs exploration deeds!
Rusfold (9.3S, 39.9W)
Rusfold barely classes as a village, sadly. I’ve given two screenshots here as it can be found up a rough path (the first screenshot above). However you can easily find it, as it has the blue Settlement icon that Esteldin and Michem’s Camp have. In fact, if you take the eastern exit from Esteldin then turn North along the mountains, you’ll find Rusfold.
This Jorthkin village is friendly territory and includes quests to help the villagers. From finding food and furs for clothing, to Warg-hunting to playing diplomat with other Earthkin settlements.
Fashat Laug is a huge Earthkin village, and home to a relative of one of the inhabitants of Rusfold. However, these Jorthkin are not friendly due to their alliance with the Angmarim invaders. Fashat Laug is the closest settlement to the huge gate to Angmar and is South-East of Ost Crithlanc.
Kar Lak is South of Fashat Laug in Nan Amlug East. It can be found up a long path that makes its way up a hill. Both the path and the village (at the top of the path) are lined with hostile Earthkin. Aside from the odd Warg here or there, there are no slayer-deed targets near Kar Lak.
Lehma-Koti, Ram Duath, Angmar (3.0S, 39.1W)
Lehma-Koti is actually in Angmar. Along the North East edge of the North Downs are two passes into Angmar. The left pass leads to the Worm Slayer Deed territory. The right-hand pass takes you to Lehma-Koti. This village of friendly Jorthkin also forms part of the Angmar Deed, Bastions of Hope. If you want to go ahead and progress Worm Slayer, you can do so just North of Lehma-Koti. So you don’t need to return through the pass and take the other one!
The final part of the North Downs Exploration Deeds is Strongholds Exploration. These are not for the faint-hearted! While most of Nan Wathren is solo-able, the higher reaches are designed for (at least small) fellowships. Or you can come back once you are at least 9 levels over the enemies if you like. And Dol Dinen is definitely a fellowship area, though I have managed much of it on a Lore-Master in the past. However that experience was rather painful, even though I wasn’t defeated! I usually leave Hisuk and Tumat until I am over-levelled. Whether you make that decision is your call.
Nan Wathren Western Pass (15.1S, 50.4W)
Nan Wathren Western Pass can be reached by leaving Trestlebridge at the North end and heading due East. If you pass by (and not through) the Tarkrip Assault Camp, you traverse two bridges which lead directly to Nan Wathren.
Where you first find the Nan Wathren Eastern Pass depends on where you start your questing in the North Downs. It can be found by passing through Nan Wathren from West to East. However it is also accessible from Meluinin, almost exactly South of the Elven settlement. My only warning is that some of the Goblins and Orcs are signature-strength around this area.
This is where it gets interesting! Higropor is situated higher up in Nan Wathren. From the Western Pass, pass through Nan Wathren until you see this slope on the right. This leads to a fenced area that, I think, technically ticks of the deed.
Then you can enter Higropor. However, you may encounter some very strong foes in here. If you are roughly on-level, I recommend you wait until you have the Epic quest Tending the Glade. This is because you are given an Elf Stone, which boosts your health, damage and healing to compensate for not having a group.
Dol Dinen, a smoke-filled war camp, is a fellowship area. And the further you travel into the stronghold the tougher the foes are too. Hisuk is the first gateway into the really challenging Orcs and Trolls. Unless you really are confident, don’t come here alone. However I have managed to finish off the Rangers of Esteldin reputation without other players:
With a fully-traited Skirmish Soldier (almost always as a Herbalist/healer)
As a Lore-Master: I used the Lynx to allow the stealth attacks and to try to aggro only one or two foes at once. You then play healer but also trying to damage/debuff the enemies. This is an intense way to do it, but it is doable.
I suppose, technically Captains could do it nearly on-level too, but I’m new to the class and haven’t reached the North Downs on that character yet.
Pro Tip: if you’re trying to rush through to complete Strongholds Exploration, make sure you have a milestone or Return To/Guide/Muster easily accessible to get out of there quickly once you’re done!
Tumat, Dol Dinen (16.8S, 36.0W)
Tumat is found in the very bottom, South-Eastern corner of Dol Dinen. You have to pass by a number of groups of Orcs and Trolls to get close. Tumat itself is guarded by normal-strength Hillmen and women and you need not breech the gate, but these enemies can hit you hard.
Here is my map showing all of the places you need to visit to complete the North Downs Exploration deeds. If you’re simply trying to complete the deeds, you may as well couple this with my North Downs Slayer Deed map.
Take time to enjoy the North Downs Exploration deeds. The scenery is varied, the foes likewise. And there’s a lot of Lord of the Rings Lore, along with some great LOTRO storytelling. I hope this guide and map have been useful to you. Keep journying in Middle-Earth, ever on and on.
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