The wasted, unpeopled lands around Erebor and Dale, charred and blackened by the burning breath of Smaug the Dragon. The borders of the Desolation harboured a little clinging greenery and life, but its heart was scorched and utterly barren. The desolate lands extended southwards some miles along the banks of the River Running from Smaug's lair beneath the Lonely Mountain, but the lands to the north of the mountain seem to have suffered even more fiercely, if the map accompanying The Hobbit is a reliable record. After Smaug's death, it seems that the Desolation was slowly reclaimed, so that both Erebor and Dale were eventually to recover from their destruction and prosper once again.
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