In the eastern part of their length, the Grey Mountains forked into two thin ranges, with a narrow valley between. On the floor of this long east-west valley between the mountains was a heath, but a heath burned and blackened by its inhabitants. This Withered Heath was famed and feared in the north of Middle-earth as the breeding-ground of the dragons. At one time they had infested the Grey Mountains and the lands beyond, and even in the closing decades of the Third Age, the dragon Smaug still terrorised the inhabitants of the north. Smaug was the last of the great dragons, but we know that other lesser members of his kind remained, so perhaps these still returned to the Withered Heath to continue their race.
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