Eriador can be a terrifying place for an unwary traveler who strays from home; the untamed and overgrown wilds offer a hint of death within every shadow and around every turn. The dangers of travel may be greatest, though, in those parts of Eriador where trolls linger and no decent folk remain for long.
These include the region north of the Great East Road in an area commonly referred to as the Trollshaws. Within the depths of those dark, wild thickets live evils that men dread: trolls, the very stuff of nightmare, gargantuan and forever hungry, who hunt by night, stalking their prey across the wild lands and even on the Great East Road. And far worse evils await man or beast who dares penetrate beyond the Trollshaws into the uncharted lands north of Imladris -- the perilous Ettendales, the dark Coldfells, and the grim Ettenmoors, lands even the Rangers have learned to avoid.
But trolls are not the only dangers in Eriador.
Men wander the wilderness, bandits and highwaymen, con men and thieves. Some of them are desperate outcasts from society, but others are predators who maintain a respectable front. They may be found haunting a ruined keep in the Trollshaws, traveling the Great East Road pretending to be merchants, or even deep in respectable lands setting up their next swindle. They may once have been solid Breefolk, dour Dunlendings, or fisherfolk from the coast near Lond Daer, but now they live by their wits, preying off the unwary.
And there is danger, too, from orcs, especially near the mountains. Westernmost of orc holds, the orcs of the Coldfells send raiders out throughout northeastern Eriador, and are held in check only by the vigilance of the Dunedain and the elves of Rivendell. Small groups of orcs occasionally reach the Great East Road, and larger groups raid caravans as they approach the High Pass. Orcs are seldom seen near Bree and have not ventured near the Shire in generations, but they are a grave danger from the Coldfells north of Imladris as far as Dunland in the south.