Friday, March 25, 2016

Numenor colonies

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The Númenóreans had tasted power in Middle-earth, and from that time forward they began to make permanent settlements on the western coasts [dated "c. 1800" in the Tale of Years], becoming too powerful for Sauron to attempt to move west out of Mordor for a long time.

Moreover, after Minastir the Kings became greedy of wealth and power. At first the Númenóreans had come to Middle-earth as teachers and friends of lesser Men afflicted by Sauron; but now their havens became fortresses, holding wide coastlands in subjection.

The few faithful Númenóreans were saved from the flood, and they founded the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor amongst the numerous Númenórean colonists and the natives of north-western Middle-earth.

They visited the "primitive" Men residing there, and had some impact, but did NOT make any permanent abodes of any kind. And the emphasis that their early visits were in effect unarmed had quite an impact when they ran into the dark foe's minions in their early exploration.

The time they spent with these tribes didn't really make them colonies, only places to stop and rest and resupply (at the generosity (or not) of the locals).

Resources, especially trees were definitely (and I believe clearly stated by Tolkien) and issue, and thus the stripping of the treelines along the costs of Middle-earth, to be shipped back to Numenor.

"But for long the crews of the great Númenórean ships came unarmed among the men of Middle-earth; and though they had axes and bows aboard for the felling of timber and the hunting for food upon wild shores owned by no man,..." 

UT. Description of the island of Númenor

A very good comparison is the real-world Age of Exploration. Here the ships also went into uncharted waters and made numerous landfalls in uninhabitated lands.

In essence, the quote does not speak of settlements (only long voyages) and the real-world explorations, it is highly unlikely that the Númenóreans set up harbors or settlements wherever they went. They simply explored the world - nothing more (at least at this time). The later colonies are highly unlikely to have been located in the Inner Seas or beyond. The western shores (from north to south) were the territory for Númenor's overseas possessions.

There is no support for havens in these regions, but there is no support against also.
Let's examine the case of all the conflictual colonies:

Hithlond: a little Haven in the North, probably built in an association with the locals (Ulshyans).
Balkuloni: the same than Hithlond, a small Haven shared with locals of the Sea of Ormal
Sakal an-Khâr: this is the most important colony of Numenor. I see no reason to entirely delete it. No reset button please.
Azrathani: a small outpost, still shared with locals of Shay.
Anarikê: an important colony of Numenor, also in the Inner Sea.

All of these colonies have to be mentioned in the Numenorean essay.

Seas or beyond. The western shores (from north to south) were the territory for Númenor's oversea possessions.

Again, this is an interpretation, not a direct affirmation from a quote of Tolkien.

It is only important to know *that* they are there. Of course we have to include wide wild and unpopulated areas where mankind is still far from being the "Master of Middle-earth"

And even until 2nd Age Endorian civilization should be lagging far behind Númenor. Not only in terms of "Tech level", but especially in form of organization, sophistication etc. 

Powerful or even moderately powerful Endorian realms should be the exception rather than the norm in this time.

The exploration of the Inner Seas occurs much sooner - SA 1004 with Soronto, in the lands of the Chyan Empire and Olyas Kriis.

-Fortunately, we have a quote for Tolkien that gives a hint:

-"The first sign of the shadow that was to fall upon them appeared in the days of Tar-Minastir, eleventh King. He it was that sent a great force to the aid of Gil-galad. He loved the Eldar but envied them. The Númenoreans had now become great mariners, exploring all the seas eastward,..." LotR.Appendix A

-Interestingly, it is the time of Tar-Minastir (or a bit before him) that is associated with the far- flung voyages into the east. This would limit former times to the exploration of the western coasts.

The quote is relative to "all the seas eastward". This is why I placed the "start" of the exploration (i.e. the entrance into the Inner Sea) in the period immediately before, so that, in Tar-Minastir's time, his son Ciryatan would bring his ships to the eastern seas, beyond the Inner Sea.

"Other protected havens may have survived along the coast, and greater colonies in more remote lands, such as the Inner Seas or the East, may even have suffered little or no damage. Those realms who survived were greatly modified though (when they accepted the mixing with natives). Others, like Umbar, maintained for long the legacy of the Black Numenoreans, and in some cases, of the Mulkherites. Some other colonies of the Far South did not survive the first millennium of the Third Age."

Note 3 to Of Aldarion and Erendis":
"It was six hundred years after the departure of the survivors of the Atani [Edain] over the sea to Númenor that a ship first came again out of the West to Middle-earth and passed up the Gulf of Lhûn. Its captain and mariners were welcomed by Gilgalad; and thus was begun the friendship and alliance of Númenor with the Eldar of Lindon."

"The interesting times" begin when the Númenóreans go really bad, from the coronation of Ar-Gimilzôr in 3102 to the Downfall in 3319. During these two centuries, the ruling elite of Númenor openly break with the traditions of past and cut all ties with the Eldar and the Valar. Númenor is wracked by political intrigue in which egotistical noblemen vie for influence and the King's ear. The King's Men are chauvinistic and suffer from overbearing pride in their perceived superior qualities.

The King's Men have established extensive colonies in Middle-earth, while shunning its northwestern parts due to the proximity of the Elves in Lindon and Lothlórien. The closest one is Umbar (others are located further south). However, the royal authorities in Umbar are very suspicious what "those Elf-lovers" in the Anduin vale are up to. Sauron, now openly the King of Mordor, dislikes his next-door Dúnadan and Quendi neighbors, and would gladly see them crushed or expelled from the region. However, he is not yet willing to challenge the power of Númenor by a military move. He still remembers the defeat he suffered when fighting the united armies of Lindon and Númenor in Eriador around SA 1700.

Sauron assumes a stout defense of Mordor with great numbers of troops at his disposal. As the "Lord of the World" in the Second Age and with the One upon his finger, he judges the likelihood of a last stand in Mordor, with only few forces available, to be low. Since only the Númenóreans are considered serious enemies, the architecture of the forts resembles this potential enemy: To withstand the Númenórean skill in de- signing and building war machines, powerful bulwarks are necessary, sometimes even similar to modern bunkers.

In later days, in the wars upon Middle-earth, it was the bows of the Númenóreans that were most greatly feared. "The Men of the Sea," it was said, "send before them a great cloud, as a rain turned to serpents, or a black hail tipped with steel;" and in those days the great cohorts of the King's Archers used bows made of hollow steel, with black- feathered arrows a full ell long from point to notch.

When Ar-Pharazôn came to Umbar to challenge the might of Sauron, he brought with him a globe of crystal upon which he purposed to constrain his opponent to swear an oath of fealty. "For seven days he journeyed with banner and trumpet, and he came to a hill, and he went up and set there his pavilion and his throne; and he sat him down in the midst of the land.... Then he sent forth heralds, and he commanded Sauron to come before him and swear to him fealty (Sil: 270)." Ar-Pharazôn caused the crystal globe to be set in the ground before his throne. 

Ar-Pharazôn's challenge to Sauron had been over the latter's claim to the title "King of Men," and in swearing fealty to the king of Númenor (however falsely), Sauron ceded to him that prerogative of rule.
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Numenorean contact with Middle Earth

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"It was six hundred years after the departure of the survivors of the Atani [Edain] over the sea to Númenor that a ship first came again out of the West to Middle-earth and passed up the Gulf of Lhûn. Its captain and mariners were welcomed by Gilgalad; and thus was begun the friendship and alliance of Númenor with the Eldar of Lindon."

Numenor colonies?
They visited the "primitive" Men residing there, and had some impact, but did NOT make any permanent abodes of any kind. And the emphasis that their early visits were in effect unarmed had quite an impact when they ran into the dark foe's minions in their early exploration.

The time they spent with these tribes didn't really make them colonies, only places to stop and rest and resupply (at the generosity (or not) of the locals).

Resources, especially trees were definitely (and I believe clearly stated by Tolkien) and issue, and thus the stripping of the treelines along the costs of Middle-earth, to be shipped back to Numenor.

In fact, not entirely. You have this another quote

 "They (the Númenóreans) ranged from Eressëa in the West to the shores of Middle-earth, and came even to the inner seas; and they sailed about the North and the South and glimpsed from their high prows the Gates of Morning in the East." (People of Middle Earth 149)

This is no support for havens in these remote regions. It only tells that the Númenóreans went there. IIRC the quote's context is the age of exploration when the Númenóreans began to explore the world as allowed by the Ban of the Valar. Note - they *sailed* there. They did not *settle* there - or made havens.

During such voyages, there is absolutely no need for own havens. Either they visit havens from men living there or they made landfall in a cozy little bay to re-provision themselves (e.g. by hunting) or repair their ships (by chopping wood). Both these are described in UT as well:
"But for long the crews of the great Númenórean ships came unarmed among the men of Middle-earth; and though they had axes and bows aboard for the felling of timber and the hunting for food upon wild shores owned by no man,..."  

UT. Description of the island of Númenor

In essence, the quote does not speak of settlements (only long voyages) and the real-world explorations, it is IMO highly unlikely that the Númenóreans set up harbors or settlements wherever they went. They simply explored the world - nothing more (at least at this time). The later colonies are highly unlikely to have been located in the Inner Seas or beyond. The western shores (from north to south) were the territory for Númenor's overseas possessions.

Let's examine the case of all the conflictual colonies:
Hithlond : a little Haven in the North, probably built in an association with the locals (Ulshyans).
Balkuloni : the same than Hithlond, a small Haven shared with locals of the Sea of Ormal
Sakal an-Khâr : this is the most important colony of Numenor.
Azrathani : a small outpost, still shared with locals of Shay.
Anarikê : an important colony of Numenor, also in the Inner Sea.
All of these colonies have to be mentioned in the Numenorean essay.

The later colonies are highly unlikely to have been located in the Inner Seas or beyond. The western shores (from north to south) were the territory for Númenor's oversea possessions.

Again, this is an interpretation, not a direct affirmation from a quote of Tolkien.

Since we begin with 2d Age 1000-1200, this essay should not burden itself with the way *how* these people got there. It is only important to know *that* they are there. Of course we have to include wide wild and unpopulated areas where mankind is still far from being the "Master of Middle-earth"

 For the level of civilisation, maybe a general note on plausible Technology  levels of Middle-earth Men before they are met by the Numenoreans would be sufficient. If necessary, maybe also pinpoint some civilisation centres on the map, to show areas where the Numenoreans might fight people with a higher degree of civilisation (find organised kingdom and cities).

Though these centres of civilization should be rare around 2d Age 1200.

One or two at the most. And even until 2dAge Endorian civilization should be lagging far behind Númenor. Not only in terms of "Tech level", but especially in form of organization, sophistication etc.
Powerful or even moderately powerful Endorian realms should be the exception rather than the norm in this time.

 The exploration of the Inner Seas occurs much sooner - SA 1004 with  Soronto, in the lands of the Chyan Empire and Olyas Kriis.

-Fortunately, we have a quote for Tolkien that gives a hint:
-"The first sign of the shadow that was to fall upon them appeared in the days of Tar-Minastir, eleventh King. He it was that sent a great force to the aid of Gil-galad. He loved the Eldar but envied them. The Númenoreans had now become great mariners, exploring all the seas eastward,..." LotR. Appendix A

-Interestingly, it is the time of Tar-Minastir (or a bit before him) that is associated with the far-flung voyages into the east. This would limit former times to the exploration of the western coasts.

The quote is relative to "all the seas eastward". This is why I placed the "start" of the exploration (i.e. the entrance into the Inner Sea) in the period immediately before, so that, in Tar-Minastir's time, his son Ciryatan would bring his ships to the eastern seas, beyond the Inner Sea.

 “Other protected havens may have survived along the coast, and greater colonies in more remote lands, such as the Inner Seas or the East, may even have suffered little or no damage. Those realms who survived were greatly modified though (when they accepted the mixing with natives). Others, like Umbar, maintained for long the legacy of the Black Numenoreans, and in some cases, of the Mulkherites. Some other colonies of the Far South did not survive the first millennium of the Third Age."
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Numenore – Technology Maxed - Non-Canon(sic)

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Numenor on the eve of the sailing of Ar-Pharazon the Golden to challenge Sauron?


And Ar-Pharazon instead sails and lands in Iberia with his force of around 250,000 men, who all stand over 6', indeed, the term "man high" represents 6'4", and Elendil the Tall, who lived then, was said to be over 7'6". Not to mention, all are armed and armoured with some of the greatest steel weapons, including 6'6" long bows made of hollow steel.



That was before the Great Armament.



It would happen about 100 years earlier, when Ar-Pharazon assembled a force so great that Sauron's minions feared the Dunedain more than they feared their own master.



So the Dunedain are not actually yet on the search for eternal life by seizing the Deathless Lands.



But also, I think that the population of Numenore is great enough that they would never need to breed with the Lesser Men, it is in the millions, possibly in the 10's of millions?!


I have seen in Tolkien's books some matter that seems to suggest that in the later part of Ar-Pharazon's reign Numenor had steam powered ships.


Other possible technology in Tolkien's world is:-

Internal combustion engines. Some of the machines that attacked Gondolin were clearly not flesh-and-blood dragons.

Powered aircraft (some exiled Numenoreans after the fall)

Numenorean rocket missiles ("Our darts are like thunder and fly over leagues unerringly", as a Numenorean writes in one of Tolkien's books says).


If all this and its necessary infrastructure landed in Bronze Age Europe and America, it might quickly develop into a modern technological system.


The Numenoreans began to get gadget-happy (and more militaristic) as they became dissatisfied with the Valar's gifts and began to desire immortality, which led to them being corrupted by Sauron.


Their more advanced tech is also associated with Sauron...in "Unfinished Tales," one of the Faithful comments that Sauron taught them how to build vessels that propel themselves.
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Numenor - DBM Version 4.8

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Numenor - DBM Version 4.8 (14 May 2006; superseding v4.7 of 22 November 2002) Numenor

Warm. Ag 4. WW, Rv, H(S), H(G), Wd, O, V, E, RGo, Rd, BUA.
1
C-in-C - Reg Sp (S) @ 27 or Reg Bd (O) @ 27
1-2
Sub-generals - as above
6-12
Guards - All Reg Sp (S) @ 7 or all Reg Bd (O) @ 7
1-2
Scouts - Reg LH (F) @ 4
8-32
Spearmen - Reg Sp (O) @ 5
10-24
Cohorts - all Reg Bw (O) @ 5 or all Reg Bw (S) @ 7
0-1
Light stone-throwers - Reg Art (I)
0-8
Auxiliaries - Irr LH (F) @ 4
0-6
Auxiliaries - Irr Ax (O) @ 3
0-8
Ships - Reg Gal (S) @ 4 or Irr Shp (S) @ 4 (Sp, Bd, Bw)
0-6
Transports - Irr Shp (I) @ 2 (Bg, Reg LH)
Only after 2A1700:
Eldar allies - List: Noldor
Only before 2A3319:
Easterling vassal allies - List: Easterlings
Southron vassal allies - List: Haradrim (may not include regulars)
Only after 2A3319:
0-1
Upgrade C-in-C to Reg Bd (S) @ 29
Hillmen allies: - List: Dunlendings 

Numenor was a large island far from the coasts of Middle-earth, inhabited by the descendents of the Men that had served the Noldor in the first age. This lists covers Numenorean armies from when the first permanent havens were set up in Endor around the year 1200 of the second age, until the start of the third age, including the Kingdoms in Exile, Gondor and Arnor, after the fall of Numenor proper in 2A3319. Numenoreans did not fight on horseback, leaving the job of scouting to bow-armed light horse generally of foreign origin. Guards wore black and silver. Archers were organized into cohorts and had steel bows. It is uncertain what secondary arms were carried. Numenorean ships were large, with towers and many masts. They might be equipped with auxiliary oars. Noldor allies cannot be used with other allies. Allied contingents drawn from this list need not contain any guards.
DBA: 1 x 2LH, 1 x 2Lh or 3Ax or 4Sp, 1 x 4Bd or 4Sp, 4 x 4Sp, 4 x 4Bw, 1 x 4Bw or 4Sp
HotT: 1 x Hero or 2 x Blades or 2 x Spears, 1 x Riders, 4 x Spears, 3 x Shooters, 2 x Shooters or Spears 

Enemies: Easterlings, Mordor, Haradrim, Dunlending


Army List Notes: Numenor
Numenor was a very large island peopled by the men, the Edain, allied to the Elves of Beleriand at start of 2A. The Numenoreans were slow in returning to Middle-Earth, at first content with their own island, but gradually taking lands for their own, until they became the most powerful empire Middle-Earth had ever seen. The island was drowned in the great cataclysm of 2A3319, but its culture survived in the two successor states of Arnor and Gondor. These are covered by their own lists in 3A, but use this list in 2A post 3319. 

Aggression is rated 4, as Numenor itself was never invaded, while the Nmenoreans conquered many other nations. Gondor and Arnor were likewise aggresive in overthrowing Sauron. The terrain list and climate reflects the island of Numenor itself, a land with a favourable climate (UT, p165ff) and resources. A road is compulsory, as the state was very well-organised, with many roads, for the most part unpaved however (UT, p169). 

Numenoreans fought almost exclusively on foot (UT, p278), the only exceptions being mounted scouts. They were well-organised, disciplined, and trained to a high standard. They formed up in shield-walls when on the defensive (UT, p272), and used longer weapons than the short Orcish spear (UT, p273), and are hence graded as Reg Sp (O). Guards units existed (UT, p271) - I assume that these would be equally capable with sword or spear. That they could form up in wedge formations (UT, p273) would certainly point to a Bd classification being permissible. In any case, Numenoreans used axes as weapons (UT, p170). The option for a Bd (S) C-in-C is to cover Elendil wielding Narsil (Sil, p354). 

As well as these close-fighting troops, archers were also employed. They were organised into cohorts and shot dense volleys, and are accordingly graded as Reg Bw (UT, p170). These were longbowmen using steel bows (UT, p273), and can accordingly be classified as Bw (S). 

Engines of war are mentioned (Sil, p330) which I have assumed to be similar to those of their Gondorian descendents (RotK, p158). 

Auxiliary light horse-archers were employed (UT, p278), hence the LH (F) listed, and the Ax (O) represent those tribesmen of the forests and hills that they at first befriended (Sil, p316). 

Numenoreans were excellent mariners, and used naval forces extensively, for instance in the defence of the Grey Havens (eg UT, p239) assisting the Noldor against Sauron. Such was the size of the Numenorean fleet on this occasion that it could scarcely find harbourage (hence the large number of naval elements allowed, and the rating of the Noldor as allies, rather than the Numenoreans being allied to the Noldor). 

Before Numenor fell, it had laid vast parts of Middle-Earth under vassalage (Sil, p319); such peoples were not very advanced, and so cannot contain regular troops. The Hillmen of the Ered Nimrais swore allegiance to Gondor; as they in fact refused to take the field against Sauron they are counted as allies (UT, p430). 

The banner of Elendil was black, with a white tree, surrounded by seven stars, surmounted by a gold and silver crown (RotK, p145).
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Numenorean Army and Armour

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What we can surmise…
When we return to the Arthadan army, the following prerequisites for the introduction of large archer-contingents are met:
• The Dúnadan realm often has to fight against the numerical odds. The need for an effective, massed, ranged weapon that weakens the enemy before the melee begins is therefore great.
• Large contingents of its enemies, such as Orcs and tribal Easterlings, tend to be not overly disciplined and only lightly armored on the battlefield (at least compared to 14th and 15th century European knights).
• It has sufficient numbers of skilled bowmen to form a powerful archery corps.

This last requisite is extrapolated from Tolkien’s statements about the Númenóreans. In Unfinished Tales, we read that “… shooting with bows on foot and on horseback was a chief sport and pastime of the Númenóreans. In later days…it was the bows of the Númenóreans that were most greatly feared (UT.170).” Considering the overall conservatism among the Dúnedain, it seems very likely that the Faithful preserved their old military traditions in Middle-earth, as long as these did not contradict their philosophy. Even if we allow for a decline in skill and lore and the slow disappearance of the powerful steel bows, the tradition of skillful archery should have been active even among the indigenous and mixed people of Arthedain who are heavily influenced by the culture of their lords.

During the Second Age, the Númenórean armies made extensive use of massive archer contingents: “…in those days the great cohorts of the King’s Archers used bows made of hollow steel… (ibid).” Even at the beginning of the Third Age, the archers of the Dúnedain were still feared and highly skilled, as we learn in the essay about the disaster at the Gladden Fields: “They [the Orcs]… kept at a distance out of the range of the dreaded steel-bows of Númenor… (UT.273).” Considering all these facts, it seems very likely that the widespread tradition of archery was preserved in Arthedain (the Dúnadan realm in Eriador with the purest Númenórean tradition).

In one respect, however, Dúnadan knights differed significantly from their medieval European counterparts: they were not inclined to true cavalry warfare:
The Númenóreans in their own land possessed horses, which they esteemed. But they did not use them in war…. In war they were used only by couriers, and by bodies of light-armed archers (often not of Númenórean race). (UT.278)
Therefore the typical Arthadan knight might use his horse(s) for transportation to the battlefield, but whenever possible would fight on foot.



Citadel Guards and Fountain Court Guard [film version]
Founded as an order of elite guards answerable only to the king of the southern realm. Only the best warriors that Gondor has to offer are picked to join the Guard, to be clad in their ancient armour and to carry blades of Westernesse and Númenorean steel composite bows, heavy with both age and honour. The guardsmen themselves are the very image of the first Men of Núménor to settle the shores of Middle-earth, tall and stern, proud and steady in battle. They protect the lords of Minas Anor and the sacred places of the Mound of Mindolluin with a resolute devotion. In the absence of a king, the guards take their orders from the Steward of Minas Anor, sworn to obey his every command until death claims them.

Steel Bows
The Númenórean steel bow should be an almost devastating weapon. I suggest using it sparsely because of its power and the loss of lore among the Dúnedain in Endor. In my opinion, it should possess ca. 150% the strength (damage) and range of a normal longbow. If you use Hârnmaster, treat a steel bow as if it were two categories higher than usual (e.g., a steel longbow is treated as a strongbow, a heavy steel longbow as a greatbow, etc.), but only one category higher in Strength requirements (e.g., a steel longbow uses the strength requirements of a heavy longbow).

Even in the case of the fabulously gifted Noldor and Naugrim, there are absolutely no indications in Tolkien’s writings that they ever possessed something similar to the elaborate plate armor of the 14th and 15th century.

Where Tolkien wants to describe advanced technology, he usually does not describe anything significantly more modern than the legends he draws from, from Beowulf to the Edda and the Chanson de Roland, but moves within the time frame set by these and their contemporary sources. Instead, he uses the levels within that time frame, and occasionally uses more advanced materials for items that were not, historically, used. For example, Tolkien sometimes describes blades as damascened steel to accentuate their superiority, while their real historical counterpart was of inferior material. Similarly, in The Hobbit, he describes how the Dwarves expanded the concept of mail armour to hose, another development which occurred much later than the introduction of coats of mail.

Thus, I believe that while Tolkien did not plant people 1:1 from our world to Middleearth, he mixed even the very Anglo-Saxonlike Rohirrim with Ostrogoths and consequentially put them on horseback. He used material from within the framework of his sources, and additionally described weapons and armour from a time frame that spans from the mythical time of Beowulf in the 5th or 6th century to the Bayeux tapestry and the first crusade in the late 11th or 12th century. This is the end of the historical scope of his sources though; barring any plate-equipped knights in a true-to- Tolkien scenario in Middle-earth. --- by Oliver Haussth.
 
The exception but a very unique singular one:
Now the traffic of the Dwarves down from the Blue Mountains followed two roads across East Beleriand, and the northern way, going towards the Fords of Aros, passed nigh to Nan Elmoth; and there Eöl would meet the Naugrim and hold converse with them. And as their friendship grew he would at times go and dwell as guest in the deep mansions of Nogrod or Belegost There he learned much of metalwork, and came to great skill therein; and he devised a metal as hard as the steel of the Dwarves, but so malleable that he could make it thin and supple; and yet it remained resistant to all blades and darts. He named it galvorn, for it was black and shining like jet, and he was clad in it whenever he went abroad. - Chapter 16 Of Maeglin - Silmarillion

#

Eöl loved the night and the stars, and among all the Firstborn of his time he was the one closest in friendship with Dwarves, who instructed him in smithcraft and who were in turn later taught by him in techniques of his own. His greatest creation as master smith was the so-called galvorn, a black metal harder than steel but light in weight and supple, whose most special component was iron from a meteorite. He forged two swords with this metal, Anglachel and Anguirel, and they were powerful weapons indeed. But when he had used all his stock of meteorite iron, he became obsessed with finding a way to make an alloy of earth-delved metals that could resemble the properties of his prized galvorn. He spent long years trying more and more complicated processes, and visiting the Dwarves to exchange knowledge and find a way to achieve his goal. Finally, he discovered the way to create an alloy better than steel for forging weapons and armor, which he called morglân, but this was still insignificant when compared with the mighty galvorn. However, he found it useful because he could produce it in much greater quantity than galvorn, despite the process needing several years to be completed. He shared his secret only with his younger brother, Dúhir.-addition by José Enrique Vacas de la Rosa - MERP
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Building of the Tower of Orthanc

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There was but one choice for the Master Builder of Angrenost, and that was Curugond of Lamedon. He had overseen the building of Minas Anor nearly thirty years earlier, and though old, was the most cunning builder that the Dúnedain had produced since the days of Númenor. Great friendship he had with the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm, who shared their arts with him, but Curugond gleaned even more from their teachings than they guessed, and as his knowledge grew, so did his pride. Curugond’s thought was fixed on the Barad-dûr, which had been the greatest tower of its age. Why, he thought, should Gondor not build a fortress of such stature, an answer to the darkness of the previous age?



When he travelled to the vale to survey it, he discovered Ciryanar’s vision of a tower within a ring was not mere fancy. Only half-buried beneath the soil deposited by the Isen, was a rough, natural ring of black stone, the lip of some ancient volcano laid low by time and nature. Curugond’s designs were greater than they ought to have been, a mark of pride. He made plans to carve four great slabs of black stone from the centre of the ring, forming the tower’s apartments and chambers from them, and then hoisting them together to fit into a virtually impregnable tower. To carve the sides, he enlisted the aid of the dwarves of Moria, while crews recruited from Dunland performed the task of hoisting the slabs. This latter labour was far more difficult than Curugond had promised, and when the Hill-men attempted to raise the third slab, the lines broke, and many Dunlendings were crushed. Curugond cared not for their misfortune, but fretted about the tower, which was undamaged. This slight was remembered in Dunland, whose people nurse grudges like a dragon’s horde, and the people of Gondor would later come to rue the callousness of their chief builder.



Ten years after the death of Ciryanar, the tower was finally completed. Upon its lofty roof, enchantments were set to protect it from harm, from fire and stone and the natural forces that weather stone to its roots. Prince Thinyarpher, Ciryanar’s son, took the keys of Orthanc and became its first steward, bringing with him a palantír of Elendil. He served Gondor faithfully, as did his descendents, the Angrenostim, for in those days there was trust among the royal houses of Gondor and love between its brethren, and kings did not fear that a rival would use Angrenost as a citadel to supplant them. But such days were not to last forever.



As for Curugond’s fate, one tale says that he promised the Dwarves of Moria a great jewel of Númenor in exchange for their service, but besotted by a pretty granddaughter, he gave her the jewel and substituted a lesser gift in its stead. It is further said that the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm, who had no love for deception, seized Curugond and slew him in the dark.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

Army of Numenor

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The Numenorean army is the mightiest that exists in Arda at this point of time, and one of the greatest in all the ages of the world. It is this military strength which has enabled the Sea-Kings to extend their sway over vast areas of Middle-Earth and protect their dominions from Sauron and others who would oppose them. The strength of this army lies not just in its size, but also in the rigid discipline of its soldiers and their stern loyalty and valour -- all of which combine to make it almost unstoppable.


The Numenorean army consists almost entirely of foot soldiers. The typical gear of the Numenorean 'Narad', or warrior, consists of chain, spear and sword. In addition, the Numenoreans are well provisioned for long campaigns in far places.


The main unit of the arms of Numenor can be found within what is called a Host consisting of some 6000 Men. These are further divided into ten Cohorts consisting of 600 Men apiece. The Host commander is a high position indeed and holds the Adunaic title of 'Attabar' or 'Father of Strength.' The ensignias and badges of the Hosts vary from place to place.


There are two kinds of Cohorts in the Numenorean Host. The most common kind is the Cohort of Men-of-Arms. These are foot soldiers that are armed with spear and sword. In addition, all Numenorean warriors carry with them on their belts a sealed wallet that contains a small phial of cordial and wafers that can sustain life for many days as may be needed. In the classical Host, eight of the ten cohorts consist of this kind of soldiery.


The other two employ perhaps the most effective of the weapons of the Numenoreans: Bowmen. The bows and arrows employed are wrought of steel, to be sent in hails against their foes. The bows themselves are a full ell long! The commander of a Cohort, holds the Adunaic title of 'Azgaran', which roughly translates to 'Man-making war.'



THE HOST:

The Hosts which make up the Numenorean army fall into 3 categories -- the Standing Hosts, the Reserve Hosts, and the War Hosts.


Standing Hosts These are the elite Hosts, containing the veteran soldiers who are the most highly trained. They are always fully manned and ready to march into battle at a moment's notice. In more peaceful times, there was but 1 Standing Host in Numenor proper, but due to internal strife, there are now 6 Standing Hosts upon the Isle -- a number unheard of in the days of old.


They are the 1st Host in Mittalmar, the 2nd Host in Andustar, the 78th Host in Hyarmenstar, the 4th Host in Hyarrostar, the 5th Host in Romenna, and the 6th Host in Forrostar. In addition, there are several Standing Hosts based in the colonies -- the 7th, 11th, 12th and 16th Hosts in Umbar, and the 8th Host in Tharbad.


Reserve Hosts There come times when the presence of Numenorean might is urgently needed in a troubled place. However, the Standing Hosts are often on duty in positions from which they cannot be spared -- thus, the Reserve Hosts. These Hosts are formed of those Hosts from the Standing Hosts which can be spared at any time(all 6 Hosts from Numenor, and the 7th Host from Umbar), and a number of other Hosts which can be assembled very swiftly.


These latter Hosts are not fully manned at all times, but rather, consist of the commanders and a small number of trained veterans. Those who wish to join them must serve in the Host for 2 years. After this term of service, they may leave, but will have to return every 3 months for battle training. In this manner, these Hosts are comprised of trained soldiers who can be rapidly assembled in times of need, and sent wherever they are needed. There are 22 Reserve Hosts in totality.


War Hosts The Standing Hosts and Reserve Hosts together number 32 -- a mighty force indeed, and one which is well able to deal with the forces of Sauron and petty rebellions of Middle-Earth. However, there may come a time when such a foe threatens Numenor that her entire might shall be needed -- the well nigh invincible Grand Army of 75 Hosts.


The Grand Army consists not just of the Standing and Reserve Hosts, but also of the War Hosts. The latter will be formed of the citizens of Numenor who will be conscripted into service should the need ever arise. The War Hosts are 43 in number. However, this massive force has never been needed in the course of Numenor's history -- and it is extremely doubtful that it ever will be.


Army Ranks:

Attabar Host Commander

Azgaran Cohort Commander

Narad Warrior
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