Assault on Dolni Keep

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Assault on Dolni Keep
Eamon adventure #124
Author Tom Zuchowski
Released January 1987
Revised 8 November 1989 (DOS)
21 May 1991 (ProDOS)
EAG number 124
EDX number 05-02
EDX set The Thomas Zuchowski Adventures
Native format Apple DOS 3.3
Files Eamon 124 - Assault on Dolni Keep.dsk
Eamon 124 - Assault on Dolni Keep (ProDOS).dsk

Assault on Dolni Keep is an Eamon adventure written by Tom Zuchowski that features the return of characters from his previous adventure Thror's Ring. The adventure holds an Eamon Adventurer's Guild rating of 9.2 based on six reviews and is the second-highest rated adventure of all time (after Redemption). The story is set in the lands of Middle-earth from the Tolkien legendarium.


The is the second of Zuchowski's stories of Middle-earth and reintroduces the characters of Gorim the Dwarf and Galehir the Elf who were key allies in his earlier adventure Thror's Ring, released in late 1985.


While relaxing at the Main Hall you're met by two emissaries from Middle-earth who tell you that your friends Gorim the Dwarf and Galehir the Wood Elf (with whom you traveled once before) now seek your help with a new quest.

Fromir, a High-Elf whose wisdom will be vital in the coming war, has been captured by Orcs and is being held at Dolni Keep, once a Dwarven fortress now overrun by the Dark Powers. You agree to join your friends on the mission to penetrate the fortress by stealth and free Fromir.

Magically transported to the Elven realm of Lothlórien, you receive your final instructions from the Lady Galadriel, who gives you Fromir's magic ring, a small bottle of healing liquid, and her blessing. You join Gorim and Galehir and make your way to an Elven watch-post near the keep.

Full introduction

One fine day, while lounging about the Main Hall, you noticed two newcomers who were exceptional, even compared to the extraordinary types who hung about with the Irishman.

One was uncommonly fair to look upon, a High-Elf by the look of him.

But the other— a small, nondescript man in dingy robes, but with eyes to pierce steel; the look of one not to be trifled with.

Looking about the hall, he spied you. "This one," he said. They approached.

"Good sir," he said, "I carry a call from ones who know you. Your companions of old, Gorim the Dwarf and Galehir the Wood Elf would have your aid on a quest, would you give it.

"A wise High-Elf hight Fromir has been taken by Orcs. He is being held in torment in Dolni Keep, a Dwarf stronghold of old that fell long ago to the Dark Powers that now run rampant in Middle Earth.

"The Elves are aroused, but are not at ease in the ways of Dwarvish tunnels. Nor may the keep be easily taken; were a host of arms to storm the walls, the prisoner would surely be slain ere the walls were carried.

"Nay. The High-Elf's only hope lies in stealth. It has been put forward that mayhap a small band of worthies would find it possible to steal within the walls and affect the rescue.

"Campaigns beneath the ground in Dwarvish works would do well to include a Dwarf to guide and advise the expedition. And so Gorim will serve.

"Galehir will go as well; he has much experience in Dwarvish tunnels, and a master bowman such as he may find worthy employment in a mission of stealth. And it is fitting that the elves partake in a rescue attempt of one of their own.

"It would be well if the band did also include a salted man of arms such as yourself, who has proven himself time and again in his very survival of varied dangers."

You quickly agree to the task. It would indeed be well to be again questing, shoulder to shoulder, and back to back, with your old comrades.

"Excellent! Now then, we must ascertain if you have hidden qualities that would aid you in the quest.

"We must determine: dost thou have the wider vision that some call '80-column capability'?"


"This is good, for the use of such will enhance, I think, your ability to see all that is around you.

"Wouldst thou use this wider vision? I must warn you, if thou hast lied about its possession, and it be invoked, thou will indeed go blind, and nought but the invocation of a reset spell can return you to this world.

"Wouldst thou use the wider vision?"



(While you were speaking to the wizard, his Elf companion had posted a handbill on the hall's common-board: "For notes, hints, and comments, run the disk file by the same name.")

The wizard stands stiff and tall, and invokes— "Peiah!... Arrah!... Three!!!"

You suddenly find yourself in a lovely forest, surrounded by Elves. Before you is a High-Elf lady of great power. Thus did she speak:

"Fromir will be sorely needed in the coming wars. I can offer you little in the way of reward beyond mundane gold. But know this: should we lose Fromir's wisdom, the Dark Powers will have struck a mighty blow against us all, and the end of all we treasure will be closer than ever before.

"Here is Fromir's magic ring. I charge you to deliver it to his possession, should you affect his rescue. It is his weapon: so armed, he will be able to assist you in battle during the escape."

She hands you a small crystal bottle. "This contains a magical substance called miruvor. It will heal injuries that you take in battle.

"The quest is not a simple one; you may make false starts. Prudent use of the 'save' command will abate the many tedious journeys from the Main Hall.

"Go now, and have my blessing."

Soon you join Gorim and Galehir, and preparations are made for the coming expedition.

Gorim will carry his trusty war-axe, and a smaller hand axe in case of need. Also, he will carry tinderbox and torch, "for the tunnels are dark," he says, "and we may not find light when we need it." He carries a rope and grapnel: "I do not think it likely that we will find the front door ajar," he jests.

Galehir, as always, will carry his bow. Also will he carry spare bowstrings, and a dagger, "in case there is no time to restring in the heat of melee," he says.

The company quickly makes its way to a hidden Elvish watch-post maintained near the keep...


Map by Huw Williams, August 2021

You begin in a platform in a tall tree that stands on the western bank of the river, with a long branch reaching across to a tree on the other side. Gorim and Galehir will accompany you; the elven scout Lahalos will wait here for your return.

  1. Climb east across the branch; Gorim will lose his footing and fall into the river, but once you cross and climb down on the far side he'll catch up to you, soaked and with a ruined torch and wet tinderbox but otherwise unharmed.
  2. Go north. The keep lies to the north but its stone wall is too tall and smooth to scale, and the river to the west is blocked by an impassable grate.
  3. Go east to the main gate, then east again to a secluded area of higher ground where the keep wall is low enough for you to climb. (When you go UP, Gorim will skillfully deploy his grapnel and rope for the party to ascend.)
  4. At the top immediately dispatch the sentry. You'll see a large group of orcs waiting in the courtyard below, but fortunately they haven't spotted you.
  5. Follow the wall west, over the gate and across the western portion until you're above the river.
  6. Climb down onto the dark grate, then step east onto the river bank.
  7. Go east into the end of the courtyard where you can stay concealed from view behind an old wagon. The entrance to the inner portions of the keep lies just to the north.
  8. Go north, kill the two orc guards, and continue along the tunnel leading into the keep.
  9. When you reach a doorway opening east, step in, kill the guard, then go east again into a guardroom and kill the six orcs defending it. Note the crack in the ceiling; you can't climb up to it but it will be important later.
  10. Return to the tunnel and go north again. Grab the unlit torch from the sconce on the wall.
  11. The tunnel bends east and leads to the inner keep where a great number of orcs wait, so instead go west onto the arched bridge. If you take take keystone from the arch the bridge will collapse but you'll make it safely to the far side, and the orcs will be blocked from pursuing you.
  12. Go west through a couple of large chambers until you find the captive Fromir, weak, chained, and being tortured by an evil orc. Kill the orc, free Fromir, and give him his magic ring. Collect the rack and the pile of dry straw.
  13. Return to the large oval room and light your torch from the fire in the brazier. There's an opening in the ceiling that's too high to reach, but if you drop the rack you'll be able to climb up onto it and get high enough to exit. Before you go, drop the straw and light it with your torch; the fire will engulf the rack and prevent any guards from pursuing you.
  14. Climb up into the crack and follow it north then east to where it meets a second vertical crack.
  15. Climb down, then south through a fissure and you'll be above the guard post you cleared out earlier. Drop down into the empty chamber.
  16. Return to the tunnel and follow it south, returning to the western end of the courtyard.
  17. Gorim warns that you might be spotted if you climb the stairs to the top of the wall, so instead go west to the riverbank, and west again into the river. The current will push you into the grate.
  18. Climb up into the grate, then up again to reach the top of the wall.
  19. Jump south into the water, then swim south to where the river becomes calmer and shallow enough to wade.
  20. Walk east into the forest, search for the tree you descended earlier, and climb it.
  21. Return west across the tree branch where Lahalos will be overjoyed to see Fromir.
  22. Climb down the tree and the mission is complete!

Upon your return to Lothlórien you'll be met by the Lady Galadriel who will award you 5000 gold pieces for your successful completion of the mission.

Another walkthrough for this adventure was written by Jared Davis.


Pat Hurst, reviewing the adventure in the October 1987 issue of the club newsletter, called Dolni Keep an "excellent adventure" that was "a real treat to play" and praised its consistent and well-developed theme. Hurst also pointed to the artful descriptions, the useful interactive companions, and the realistic and flexible play as reasons for his high rating: a rare 10, with a difficulty of 6.

The Eamon Adventurer's Guild gives the adventure's average rating as 9.2 based on six reviews, a score surpassed only by Sam Ruby's Redemption.


Dolni Keep doesn't appear in any works by Tolkien, but Zuchowski's description of it as being east of the woodland realm of Lothlórien and on the opposite side of a river suggests it likely stands near the southwestern edge of Mirkwood, on the borders of the realm of the Necromancer. An article at the New Notion Club Archives, an encyclopedia for non-canonical and extended-universe Tolkien subjects, states that the hold "served as a stopover for caravans and prisoners who traveled to Dol Guldur." Dol Guldur is the setting of the earlier adventure The Forest of Fear by Sam Ruby.


  • Miruvor is a reviving cordial used by the Elves. In The Lord of the Rings Elrond gives a flask of miruvor to Gandalf who later uses it to revitalize the fellowship during their attempt to cross Caradhras.
  • A dwarf named Gorim is a merchant in the fantasy video game Dragon Age.
  • An unusual aspect of the adventure is that it includes only one kind of monster: orcs.

See also

External links