Autumn of the Northern Kingdoms
Middle Earth in T.A.1400
The Kingdoms of Men
Men fall into a few categories, Númenóreons, those men who are descended from the men who fought alongside the elves in the first age and took the offer to travel west to the Kingdom of Númenór; they are blessed with long life, the Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor are their dominions, there are also Black Númenóreons colonies of Númenór established during the second age, but were corrupted by Sauron. Then there are those men who fought with the elves in the first Age, but chose not to cross the sea, they were also blessed with long life, but interbred with men who had not been involved in the wars of the first age, diluting the blood meaning by the third age their lifespans were again that of normal men. Finally there are those men descended from those who thought alongside Morgoth in the First Age.
The Kingdom of arnor ceased to exist as a unified entity in t.a.861 due to civil war between the three sons of Eärendur, in the aftermath the kingdom was split into three, the successor kingdoms of Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur.
King – Arveleg I
Capital – Fornost Erain
The kings of Arthedain decend from the eldest son of Eärendur, and is the kingdom where the blood of Númenór runs strongest. Fornost is the capital, the other major settlement is Annuminas, the former capital of Arnor, which while still inhabited by a small population, but is rapidly falling into ruin. There are smaller settlements around Lake Evendim, the fertile lands of what will become the shire, and on the northern bank of the Baranduin (Brandywine River). Arthedain also holds Amon Sul and the Palantiri, along with the second Palantiri housed in the towers of Elostirion (Tower Hills) on the western border.
King – Carevui II
Capital – Tyrn Gorthad
The Kings of Cardolan were descended from the second son of Eärendur, it is the most populous of the kingdoms with Tyrn Gorthad, Metraith, Tharbad, Swanfleet, Bree and ports at the mouths of the Baranduin (Eryn Vorn) and Greyflood (Lond Daer). The Blood of Númenór is much weaker in the population of Cardolan, with much of the common folk having lifespans similar to those of the Edain who did not travel to Númenór. Cardolan is a very fragile realm, the peoples do not share the same sense of identity, and the kingdom is liable to collapse into a series of city states and wilderness without a strong king.
King – Drostan
Capital – Rynd Morva Tanth
The Kings of Rhudaur were descended from the third son of Eärendur, hostile to the other kingdoms, it was greatly weakened during conflict with the other two over Amon Sul. This Led to invasion by the Hill-men tribes, who were allied with Angmar and usurped the throne in T.A.1350. Futher conquest by Angmar was only halted by an alliance of Arthedain and Cardolan with a decicive battle in the weather hills. Those of Númenór blood fled Rhudaur, and the Hill tribes now inhabit the kingdom paying homage to Angmar.
King – The Witch King
Capital – Carn Dum
Angmar is a mix of peoples, in the Capital and Urugath are the men of Angmar proper, Black Numenorions, and descended from the people who followed the Witch-king when he was a mortal man before receiving a ring of power. Then there are the hill-men of South West Angmar who have been annexed as the Kingdom has grown in power, Fasach-falroid, Fasach-larranarran and Himbar are the primary Hillmen settlments. To the east are the Orcs of Mount Gundabad.
Kingdom of Rhovanion
King – Vidhumahr
Capital – Esgaroth
The Kingdom of Rhovanion is the vast Kingdom of the Northmen stretching from the Anduin in the west to Rhun in the East, the Grey Mountains and Angmar in the North to the Limlight and Gondor in the south. Much of the land is dominated by Greenwood the Great, although the darkening of the forest since the turn of the millennia has led to the name Mirkwood being used to describe the vast forest. In T.A1248 Gondor and Rhovanion smashed the Easterlings of Rhun allowing Rhovanion to eneter a period of peace. The Prince of Gondor Valacar would act as ambassador to Rhovanion after the war, and subsequently fall in love with and marry the princess of Rhovanion. Valacar is now King of Gondor, and his heir Vinitharya(Northman tounge)/Eldacar(Gondorion), is of mixed lineage. Although a number of generations have passed in the North due to their shorter lifespan, the alliance with Gondor is still strong. Most of the Kingdom is quite populated, but with few highly urbanised areas, the Northmen prizing horses, mean most of the land is farmsteads and ranches
King – Valacar I
Capital – Osgiliath
In the South Gondor stands strong. In T.A 933 Gondor destroyed the last of the Black Numenoreons in the south conquering Umbar. Osgiliath is a huge bustling city flanked by the Fortress Cities of Minas Ithil and Minas Anor. Other Great cities such as Dol Amroth, Pelargir and Calembel make Gondor the centre of the civilized world. The Gondorion Empire is at its height coming to the end of its Golden Age. Gondor maintains a strong grip on Ithilien, Harondor (South Gondor/Near Harad) and Calenardhon (Rohan), which are all heavily populated by Gondorians. The prosperity of Gondor seems to be coming to an end, Valacar has never been able to assert the same authority over his lords, by taking a wife not of Numenoreon Blood he created division in the court, and many view Eldacar with open hostility with his Northman blood seen as a threat to the lasting influence of the Blood of Numenor, despite the fact Eldacar has shown all the signs of long life associated with the Blood of Numeneor.
The Dunlanding tribes inhabit the land south of Cardolan and North of Gondor, there is large no centralised nation, rather a large number of tribes. In the second age they inhabit a much larger area, everything west of the Anduin, however they were forced out of the land with the coming of the Men of Numenor. They are most closely related to the Northmen of Rhovanion.
Of Rhun and Harad
Rhun(Easterlings) and Harad(Southrons) are the two Kingdoms of Men in the East, and decendents of the men who fought for Morgoth and Sauron. In the west they are characterised as “Evil Men”, at this stage I will say no more than that they have both suffered defeat by the hands of Gondor.
The Lands of the Elves
The distinctions between the Elven Kindreds are complex. I’ll go as far to draw the distinction between High Elves, Sindar Elves (Grey Elves) and Silvan Elves (Green Elves), the first being those who travelled to Valinor and returned to middle Earth, the second those who stayed in Beleriand never crossing the sea, the third being those who chose not to cross the misty Mountains or did not begin the journey at all.
Lord – Elrond
Capital – Imaldris
Rivendell is the elven realm most concerned by the rise of Angmar. It has maintained strong links to the Kingdom of Arnor and the successor states. After the fall of Rhudaur there have been skirmishes between the elves and the forces of Angmar trying to project their influence into the trollshaws.
Elrond is Lord of Rivendell, who established the refuge after the destruction of Eregion, the last great High Elven Kingdom of Middle Earth, destroyed by Sauron in the second age in an attempt to claim the 3 elven rings.
The Woodland Realm
King – Thranduil
Capital – Elven-Kings Halls
The Woodland – Realm refers to the large Kingdom of Silvan Elves in Mirkwood, however the royal family were Sindar elves who were accepted as Kings at the start of the second age. Thranduil became king after the death of his father Oropher during the War of the Last Alliance. The Kingdom used to encompass the entire Greenwood, but with the population greatly diminished by the war the elves were unable to combat the blight spreading through the wood. In circa T.A 1000 Thranduil abandons the Amon Lanc concentrating the elven population in northern Mirkwood. The Necromancer has moved in building the fortress of Dol Guldur. The Woodland Realm maintains good diplomatic ties with the Kingdom of Rhovanion.
King – Amroth
Capital – Minassë Aldaron
Lórinand is the Sindar and Silvan elven kingdom located to the south west of Mirkwood. Originally a Kingdom of Silvan Elves, after the destruction of Beleriand, a large number of Sindar elves joined to the Kingdom located West of the Anduin the Elves moved to the Eastern Bank due to expanding needs of the Dwarves of Khazad-dum for lumber, with the fall of Eregion during the second age a large number of High Elves integrated themselves with the Silvan population, including Celeborn and Galadriel. While Lórinand remained the official name of the kingdom, Lothlorien, the high elven form of the name would frequently be used by the population, who adopted the high elven toungue.
(It is not until T.A 1981 when Amroth decides to travel to the undying lands and Celeborn and Galadriel become Lord and Lady; that Galadriel relocates the settlement to the west of the Anduin creating the forest of Lorien using Mallorn nuts and the power of her ring, and Lothlorien becomes the official name.)
Lord – Círdan
Capital – Mithlond
Lindon is the Elven land beyond the Blue Mountains and is a realm dominated by High Elves, it is dominated by the harbour of Mithlond, but at this point there are still a good number living in Forlond and Harlond, in the two provinces of Lindon; Forlindon and Harlindon. Lindon is all that remains of Beleriand, the area of Middle Earth where the Elven Kingdoms of the First Age were located and which were submerged at the end of the first age. Gil-Galad was King of Lindon, until he was killed by Sauron during the War of the Last Alliance. Círdan has ruled since then, styling himself Lord rather than King. Círdan was the bearer of the Elven ring Narya before he passed it to Gandalf upon his arrival in middle Earth circa T.A 1000. The Elves have good relations with Arthedain, and many elves will go on Pilgrimage to Elostirion glimpse the distant Undying lands. They also maintain very close with their high Elven kindred at Rivendell.
Edhellond is the elven enclave in Gondor, and the most southernly Elven settlement, it is dominated by the harbour, although there are a few remaining small settlments. Only a few hundred elves still remain and will be the next settlement to be abandoned as the elves sail to the undying lands.
The Halls of the Dwarves
King – Durin V
Capital – Khazad-Dum
Khazad-Dum, or Moria as it would be known after the release of Durin’s Bane, is the greatest Kingdom of the dwarves. It has endured since the first age when it was founded by Durin the Deathless, the first Dwarf to awaken, and father of the Longbeards, also known as Durin’s folk, the most populous of Durin’s Kindreds. The riches of Khazad-Dum still flow with many rich Mithril seems still active, but there are some indications that the supply may be beginning to wane, with each new seem being found much Deeper than the last.
Since the destruction of Eregion trade with the elves has become more strained, the Silvan elves of Lórinand being much more distrustful than the High elves of Eregion, however the is still a feeling of goodwill, as Durin V and the dwarves fought valiantly with the men and elves during the war of the last alliance
The Iron Hills
King – Durin V
Capital – Khazad-Dum
The Iron Hills are not an independent realm, rather an autonomous outpost of Khazad-dum, the dwarves who mine the hills are of Durin’s folk, and as such look upon the King of Khazad-Dum as their leader. While the Iron Hills don’t have the wealth of Khazad-dum, as the name suggests they have abundant reserves of Iron Ore and is the most important sorce of Iron in Middle Earth.
The Blue Mountains
The blue mointains are the ancestral home of the Firebeard and Broadbeam dwarves. The great mines of Belegost and Nodgrod were destroyed during the First Age, and most dwarves left to join the longbeards of Khazad-dum. However during the third age many have move back to join those dwarves who established mines in the southern part of the range during the second age, and the population is once again growing exploiting the untapped wealth of the mountains. There is no King of the Blue Mountains as the area is made up of a number of independent halls, as the royal lines of the Firebeards and Broadbeams where extinguished when Sauron reclaimed their rings.
The lore on the other four kindreds of the dwarves is very inconsistent, they crop up a few times, it is undisputed that they awoke in the East, and that the seven Dwarven Kings referred to in the ring rhyme, are the kings of each of the seven houses. I will be assuming that the other four houses are flourishing under the influence of the four dwarven rings unaccounted, to the east of middle earth and are out of contact with the Dwarves of middle Earth. This would be convenient except for the fact they are also known to participate in the dwarven wars against the Dragons and Orcs in the 3rd Millennia of the Third age.
Hobbits originate in the Vale of The Anduin, and are driven west when Greenwood the Great Darkens. Hobbits are closely related to men, although the exact reasons for their divergence are unknown. They were known as Holbytan to the Northmen, but between themselves the distinguish between the three different Kindreds of the Harfoots, Fallohides and Stoors.
Harfoots and Fallohides
The Harfoots where the first to cross the Misty Mountains, and the Kings of Cardolan permitted them to establish villages in their realm, the towns of Bree and Stadle are hobbit towns. The Fallohides followed around 100 years later, and joined their brethren in Cardolan.
Since then the two kindreds have inter-married and the distinctions between the taller slimmer Fallohides and the smaller shyer Harfoots are becoming rapidly blurred. (By the time the Shire is settled the distinction is lost, but the Tooks and Brandybucks are known to have a larger amount of Fallohide blood.)
Unlike the other kindreds the Stoors crossed the misty mountains through the Redhorn rather than the high pass, they settled in the land between the Bruinen and Hoarwell rivers. In response to the rise of Angmar the Stoors have fled, some have travelled along the rivers settling in Tharbad and Dunland, while others returned across the mountains to settle on the Gladden Fields.