Rivalling Erebor in its prime, the great Dwarf city of Dwarrowdelf was a celebration of the wealth and power of Durin’s folk. But, as it would come to be understood in aftertimes, the Longbeards delved too greedily and too deep…
Far beneath the ground, tunneling for Mithril in sunless black rock, the Dwarves disturbed something that had remained safely entombed since ages past, a being of unfathomable terror, relic of a time of gods and giants, a creature of which like should never walk again in Middle-earth and for whom there were few equals remaining in the world: a Balrog of Morgoth. A demon composed of shadow and flame, the Balrog could be harmed by no blade or device of Dwarf design. By the hundreds, Durin’s people and the Dwarf King himself fell before the beast, after named Durin’s Bane.
When the Fellowship of the Ring sought to pass beneath the Misty Mountains and thereby thwart the attentions of the fallen Wizard Saruman, it was against Gandalf’s grave misgivings, for the Grey Wizard suspected what haunted in the shadows of Moria. Secrecy alone might secure their safe passage, for if the Balrog were alerted, Gandalf knew their escape would only be bought at great price, and he would not again pass through the Dwarf realm’s doors.