"Upon its outer marges under the westward mountains Mordor was a dying land, but it was not yet dead.
And here things still grew, harsh, twisted, bitter, struggling for life. In the glens of the Morgai on
the other side of the valley low scrubby trees lurked and clung, coarse grey grass-tussocks fought with
the stones, and withered mosses crawled on them; and everywhere great writhing, tangled brambles sprawled."
Later as they advance further into Mordor:
"Below them, at the bottom of a fall of some fifteen hundred feet, lay the inner plain stretching away
into a formless gloomÉ.still only a grey light came to the dreary fields of Gorgoroth. There smokes
trailed on the ground and lurked in hollows, and fumes leaked from fissures in the earth."
"Indeed the whole surface of the plains of Gorgoroth was pocked with great holes, as ifüwhile it was
still a waste of soft mud, it had been smitten with a shower of bolts and huge slingstones. The largest
of these holes were rimmed with ridges of broken rock, and broad fissures ran out in all directions."
"Yet still before [them] stretched a wide region of fuming, barren, ash-ridden land".
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