This guide is supposed to familiarize (or refamiliarize) the players
of the campaign with the World of Middle Earth. It contains information that has NOT actually taken
place within the campaign, as of yet. Too, players should not infer that their characters know the
information contained within.
The World of Arda is broken up into several continents, Endor (The Middle Lands)
being the most well known. It is more commonly referred to as Middle Earth and it is here that the stories of
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are set.
Rhovanion includes the land east of the Misty Mountains (Hithaeglir) and west of
the river Carnen (Redwater). The two primary rivers are, Celduin and the Anduin (Great River). The Celduin
flows from the Lonely Mountain in Erebor and joins with Carnen to flow into the sea of Rhun. The Anduin
(Great River) which flows south from the mountains and runs between the Misty Mountains and Greenwood the Great
(Mirkwood). The Anduin features in many tales regarding the history of Middle Earth. It is here that some
of the Teleri settled and were later joined by some Avari, Sindar and Noldor Elves to eventually become
the Silvan Elves. It is also here that Isildur was slain and lost the One Ring (that was cut from Sauron's
hand by Isildur himself), which was later found by Gollum.
Lothlorien is one of the woodland realms of the Silvan Elves and is home to Lady
Galadriel and Celeborn. The forest of Lothlorien is situated between the Misty Mountains and of the same
latitude as the south of Mirkwood.
It is the most ancient of Elven kingdoms to survive after Gil-Galad's fall in the Second Age
and the most beautiful of the all forests in Middle Earth. Lothlorien was able to survive the wrath of Sauron
through through the power of Galadriel (owner of one of the rings and power). It acted as a refuge for the
fellowship of the ring on their journeys. "There is in her and in this land no evil, unless a man bring it
hither himself." Three times during the war of the rings was Lorien assaulted from forces heading west out of
Dol Guldor. The times these dark fOrces were defeated. Celeborn led some of the Elves of Lorien into the south
of Mirkwood and took Dol Guldur, allowing Galadriel to put and end to its dark pits. For a time the southern
Mirkwood became east Lorien. It was later the resting place of Arwen.
Lothlorien is the last place left in Middle Earth where the mallorn trees grow, their
silver bark and golden leaves adding to the enchantment of the forest. It is the dwelling place of the Irmo
and Este of the Valor and its fountains provide refreshment for many of Valinor. Lothlorien's chief city is
Caras Galadon and is the site of the court of Celeborn and Galadriel. The city lasted until the end of the
Third Age when it was for the most part deserted with the passing of Elves into the west. Cerin Amroth, the
Hill upon which Amroth had his kinship may have been the center of another city of Lothlorien.
Mirkwood, originally called Greenwood the Great, is the largest of Middle Earth's forests
and home to the Wood Elves (Silvan Elves). When the Sindar Elves came to Middle Earth at the beginning of the
Second Age two realms were established Rhovanion. Admir settled in Lotholorien while Orophers realm was in
Greenwood the Great, specifically upon the hill of Amon Lanc in the south of the forest so that he was close
to Admir. Eventually, Oropher led his people north to the Mountains of Middle Earth, towards the center of
Early in the Third Age, Sauron, under the guise of the Necromancer, established a fortress
upon Amon Lanc (later called Dol Guldur - Hill of SOrcery) from whence the dark lord could spread his corruption.
Greenwood the Great became a dark and gloomy forest, plagued by Orcs, black squirrels and giant spiders
(believed to be descendants of Ungoliant) and the forests name was changed to Mirkwood. Thranduil, son of Oropher
led the Elves north and established his halls by the forest river, whence they stayed well into the
The Forest River was a dark and enchanted river that would induce a deep sleep upon anyone
who fell into it. The Old Forest Road runs through Mirkwood, made most likely by dwarves to carry their wares
on journeys of trade, but has become a dangerous and little used road. After the War of the Ring, Mirkwood was
cleansed and renamed Eryn Lasgalen or Taur e-Ndaedelos in the Sindarin tongue.
Fangorn is an ancient and mysterious forest at the southern end of the Misty Mountains.
It once was the eastern region of a forest that spread right throughout all of Eriador. It is named after Fangorn,
oldest of all Ents (an ancient tree like race) living there during the Third Age and protector of the forest. Some
regard the forest as dangerous and evil and indeed there are dark places that reek of Morgoth and seem apparently
untouched since his rule over Middle Earth. Fangorn is the last home of the Ents and it is in this forest that
Merry and Pipin meet Treebeard and where Gandalf is reunited with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli.
Dale is a city of men found on the southern slopes of Erebor. It was destroyed in the Third Age
2770 by Smaug and many of city's people found refuge in Esgaroth. With Smaug's death in 2941, Dale was rebuilt by
Bard who became their first King. During the War of the Ring, Dale was laid siege by Easterlings. Those that escaped
to Erebor later returned and combined their forces with the Dwarves to defeat Dales attackers.
Esgaroth is the city of men situated along the Long Lake and is also known as Lake Town.
It is involved in trading (in particular food and drink) to Erebor and the Woodelves of Mirkwood. Smaug destroyed
the city in the Third Age 2941, though was killed in the attack himself and the city was rebuilt with a portion of
his hoard. The Long Lake is an oval shaped body of water. The Forest River and the Running River (which flows from
the Lonely Mountains) empty into the Long Lake.
The Misty Mountains (Hithaeglir -- Peaks of Mist) are the huge range of mountains that run
north to south for 900 miles through the middle of Middle Earth. They were originally raised by Melkor in an effort
to slow the riding of Orome and the Eldar during the "Great Journey." The high pass and the Redhorn pass are the
two major passes through the mountain range. During the Third Age, it was infested with scores of Orcs. Deep within
the Misty Mountains lies the great Dwarf-palace of Khazad-dum as well as the sleeping place of a mighty Balrog.
The great eagles also lived in the central regions of the misty Mountains.
The Lonely Mountain (Erebor) is the mountain east of Mirkwood, west of the Iron Hills and
north of Esgaroth. It was ruled by Thrain until his kingdom was overrun by Smaug the mighty dragon. When Bilbo and a
group of dwarves led by Thorin awakened the great dragon, it flew south to Esgaroth laying waste to the city but was
killed in the process by Bard, an archer from Lake Town. Dain II re-established the Kingdom under the mountain.
Elves of Rhovanion: The first Elves to Settle in Rhovanion were known as the Nandor, a
portion of the Teleri that abandoned the "Great Journey" in the vales of Anduin. A tribe of Avari Elves known as
the Penni tribe, merged with the Nandor and became known as the Silvan Elves. Early in the Second Age, Noldor,
Sindar and perhaps some Laiquendi Elves merged with the Silvan people and are generally regarded as one race.
Men of Rhovanion: Men from the vales of Anduine established many tribes and kingdoms,
however only three main groups of men survived, the Woodmen, the Men of Dale (and Esgaroth) and the Beornings.
Woodmen of Western Mirkwood settled in the western regions of the center of Mirkwood.
They were constantly threatened by Orcs, spider and other foul creatures and evils that poured from Dol Guldur.
However, they were a resilient people and survived through the Third Age and enjoyed the peace of central Mirkwood
that came with the cleansing of the forest in the Fourth Age. The woodmen were good hunters, especially with the
long bow and courageous in battle when defending their homes.
The Men of Dale are descended from the Edain. When their city was destroyed by Smaug
the men of Dale were scattered, though many found home in Esgaroth. After the city of Dale was rebuilt the Men of
Dale became close friends of Dwarves once again. They fought valiantly in the retaking of their city during the
War of the Rings when it was laid siege by Easterlings.
Beornings are men from the Vales of the Anduin that live by the river near Carrock.
They are of Edainic descent. They were very distrustful of outsiders during the Third Age and were fierce enemies
of the Orcs. They were friends of the animals and choose not to eat meat. Perhaps the most famous of Beornings was
Beorn himself who had the remarkable ability to change form into a large bear (though most beornings did not have
Eriador is the land between the Misty Mountains (Hithaeglir) and Ered Luin, south of
the Forodwaith with the river Gwathlo (Greyflood) marking the southern border. The land is filled with clusters of
hills known as downs (rolling grassy lands often with exposed outcroppings of stone), the north, south, far and
Barrrow Downs being the most notable. The Barrow Downs are a dangerous place inhabited by Barrow-wights that came
from Angmar during the wars with Angmar in the Third Age 1409.
The primary rivers of Eriador are Mitheithel (Hoarwell) and Bruinen (Loudwater) which both
branch off northwards from Gwathlo and the Baranduin (Brandywine). Bruinen is where the Black Riders (Nazgul)
were swept away in their pursuit of Frodo and lies just west of Rivendell.
Eriador was generally unknown to the Eldar during the first age and was mostly populated by men
of whom some fell under the power of Morgoth. During the Second Age, three Elven realms were established, that of
Gil-Galad, which lasted until the end of the Second Age, Eregion (Second Age 700 - 1700), and Imladris. After the
demise of Eregion during the War of Elves and Sauron, Imladris was established and lasted well into the Fourth Age.
The Second Age was for the most part darkened under the shadow of Sauron. As the end of the age came near Arnor was
founded by the Dunedain.
The beginning of the Third Age saw Eriador flourish and the Kingdom of Arnor was divided into
three realms of Arthedain and Rhudaur. However, as the might of Gondor wained and after the Great Plague and wars
with Angmar, Eriador begun to decline. Towards the end of the Third Age the only well populated regions were
Rivendell, Bree and the Shire.
Rivendell (Imladris) is the home of Elrond, a land of magificent beauty whose green and
fertile valley lay a small distance west of the Misty Mountains and east of Bruinen. It is the last Elven refuge
between the mountains and the sea. It was founded in the Second Age 1697 by Elrond after the fall of Eregion. It
survived the War of the Elves and Sauron and the wars against Angmar thanks to strong Elven power, in particular
Vilya, greatest of the three rings of power, given to Elrong by Gil-Galad.
Bree is a town where men and hobbits live together, situated at the crossroads of the
Great East Road and the North Road it acts as a temporary home to many travelers. Its most famous inn, the Prancing
Pony is a good source of news from right across Middle Earth.
The Shire is a small green and very fertile area between the Baranduin and the Far Downs.
It is a land of natural beauty, but is known best as the home of a small people called Hobbits and pipeweed. It is
filled with rolling hills, woods, hedgerows, farms and fields and quite winding rivers. The Shire is divided into
four farthings, with Hobbiton (home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins) being the West Farthing.
As the Shire became over populated, the Oldbucks crossed the Brandywine in 2340 and established
a dwelling in Buckland. Buckland was officially addded to the Shire by King Elessar several years later.
The Old Forest is situated between Buckland and the Barrow Downs. Along with Fangorn, it
is the last remnant of the great forests that had once covered most of Eriador. The trees of the Old Forest were
mobile and at times most unwelcoming to strangers. It is also home to Tom Bombadil, lord and master of the Old
Gondor, the land of stone, is actually the name of a kingdom. But the encompassing region
is also known by the same name. During its glory years, Gondor spread north to Celebrant, east to the sea of Rhun,
south along the coast to the River Harnen and west to Gwathlo. It even ruled over the lands of Mordor for a time.
During the Third Age though, its easten borders shrunk to Ithilien and its northern came as far south as the rivers
Anduin and Entwash.
Gondor has forever suffered hardships and attacks from Sauron's forces or his allies in Harad,
Rhun or Umbar. Ithilien found itself being continuously invaded during the later parts of the Second Age and in the
Second Age 3429 Minas Ithil was taken. Gondor reclaimed it early in the Third Age, but it once again fell in the
Third Age 2000 to the Nazgul and became Minas Morgul. The palantir that was kept there was take back to Barad-dur,
where Sauron used it to bend the will of the Istari Sauraman amongst other things. For most of the Third Age,
Gondor was the only thing that stood between Sauron and domination of Middle Earth.
Elendil of the Dunedain originally founded Gondor in the Second Age 3320 and its rule was passed
down the line of Anarion (son of Elendil, brother to Isildur) until Third Age 2050. From thence onwards, the
Ruling Stewards governed the might kingdom until Elessar took the crown and began the restoration.
The chief cities of Gondor in the Sindarin tongue were Osgiliath, Dol Amroth, Pelargir, Minas
Arnor, and Minas Ithil.
Osgiliath (Citadel of the Stars) was the first capital of Gondor and stands upon either
side of the Anduin, between Minas Anor and Minas Ithil. It was burnt during the Kin-strife, many of its people died
during the Great Plague in the Third Age 1636 and those that escaped the plague to never returned. It was captured
by the Uruks of Mordor in 2475. Although Boromir was quick to lead the re-taking of Osgiliath, few choose to stay and
it turned into a outpost to guard against attacks from Mordor. It was again attacked during the War of the Ring and
the eastern half of the city was taken by Saurons forces in June 3018. Almost a year later, in March 3019, the
western half of the city was taken despite the valiant efforts of the Rangers of Ithilien.
Dol Amroth (Hill of Amroth) was the chief city of Belfalas. It was from Dol Amroth that
the Elves of Lorien used to sail west and it is believed that some of the Dunedain of that city had Elven blood in
them. Dol Amroth marched under blue banners with the emblem of the Ship and Silver Swan proudly displayed.
Pelargir is Gondor's chief port city, situated on the Anduin in the mouth of the Sirith.
It was first established in 2350 and, at the downfall of Numenor, Telendil landed there and was for a time the haven
for the Faithful of Middle Earth. Earnil I rebuilt the port city in the Third Age 920 and it was used as a base from
which attacks upon Umbar were launched. During the War of the Ring it was captured by the Corsair who were themselves
defeated later by the Dead.
Minas Anor (Tower of the Sun) was the fortress of Anarion, built in the Second Age 3320.
It became the chief city of Gondor during the Third Age, being reubuilt in 420 and in 1640 saw the King's house move
there from Osgiliath. The White Tower was built in 1900 and in 2002, shortly after the fall of Minis Ithil it was
renamed Minas Tirith (Tower of the Guard) and became the foremost defence against Sauron.
Minas Ithil (Tower of the Moon) is the fortress of Isildur, built upon the western peaks
of Ephel Duath (the mountain ranges that encloses Mordor) in the Second Age 3320. It was captured by Sauron in the
Second Age 3429 and, though reclaimed by Gondor early in the Third Age, never again held the same greatness as Minas
Anor. The Nazgul led an attack on it in the Third Age 2000, and it was eventually taken after a two year struggle. It
became known as Minas Morgul. The defeat of Sauron in the War of the Ring saw Minas Morgul return to its rightful
owners and was renamed Minas Ithil.
Ithilien (Land of the Moon) is the land just west of Mordor, snuggled between Epehl Duath
and Anduin. Its suprising beauty stands out in stark contrast to the neighbouring poisoned wastelands of Mordor.
It has for many ages born the brunt of the attacks from Sauron and his allies upon Gondor and it's beauty was ruined
somewhat during the War of the Ring. The Rangers of Ithilien are Dunedain descended from Ithilien's inhabitants of old.
They wore brown and green uniforms with green gloves and masks to help them blend in with their surroundings. They
carried with them great bows and spears and swords to aid them in defense of their treasured land in Ithilien.
After the War of the Ring, Legolas and many other Silvan Elves came to live in Ithilien where it
flourished and became once again one of the fairest realms of Middle Earth.
Rohan is the Kingdom of the Rohirrim or Eorlingas (so called as they are believed to
be decendants of Eorl), a race of men renowned for their great horses. It is bounded by the Misty Mountains, Fangorn,
Anduin, Mouths of Onedlò (Entwash), Mering Stream, Ered Nimrais, and Isen River. The Isen flows south from the Misty
Mountains and turns west through the Gap of Rohan to the Great Sea acting as a border for Enedwaith and Dunland.
Tthe Onedlò (Entwash) flows out of the Fangorn Forest and seperates West-Emnet and East-Emnet. From it the
Snowbourn River branches south dividing the Westfold and Eastfold.
Rohan was once a province of Gondor known as Calenardhon and was given to the Men of Eotheod by
Cirion of Gondor in the Third age 2510. From thence onwards it was known as Rohan and wsa ruled by King Eorl and his
descendants. The larger parts of Rohan are covered in green plains in which the horses the Rohirrim raised (the best
in Middle Earth) would gallop and graze. Many ancient fortesses were restored by the Rohirrim, most noteable were
Helm's Deep and Dunharrow. The chief city is Edoras with the Golden Hall of Meduseld and was built just south of
Dunharrow, though most of it's people prefer the small villages and farms.
In the Third Age 2758, Rohan was overun by Dunlendings who were inturn defeated by Frealaf,
tenth King of Rohan. Between 2799 and 2864, Orcs were an annoying threat to Rohan but were eventually driven out
of Ered Nimrais. From 2960 to the War of the Ring, Saruman's Orcs began to harass the Rohirrim until eventually
Rohan was invaded by a great host of Orcs and Dunlendings. Rohan was defeated in the two battles at the Fords of Isen
and both Legolas and Gimli fought valiantly as the only representatives of their race at the seige of Helm's Deep.
Rohan always had close ties with Gondor and did them their greatest service when the Riders of Rohan played a crucial
role in the success at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
Helm's Deep is a gorge cut by the Deepening Stream with a defensive fortress named the Hornburg.
It is said, "Never has any enemy taken the Hornburg." At the Battle of Helm's Deep, King Theoden will throw off the
burdens of his years to drive back the Orc hordes of Saruman. And, even though the Battle of Helm's Deep becomes
seemingly hopeless, the Riders of Rohan and the Huorns of the Ents prove the old saying true.
Isengard is a fortress built by Gondor and consists of a circular stone wall surrounding a
broad, green and beautiful plain. At its center stands the Tower of Orthanc. When Calenardhon was given to the Rohirrim
in the Third Age 2510, Gondor kept possession of Orthanc, though few people stayed within its walls. In 2759, Saruman
the White took home in it and by 2963 he claimed ownership, fortifying it and replacing the green fields with stone and
machinery. He fell to the will of Sauron and begun to breed an army of Orcs, men and wolves. Saruman was defeated by the
Ents with the aid of Ganalf. Watchwood was planted by the Ents in Isengard it became known as the Tree-garth of
The Riders of Rohan are legendary throughout the western lands and breed the fastest horses
in Middle Earth. From them Ganalf found his horse Shadowfax and it is to them that Gandalf seeks aid in the struggle
against Saruman. They are aids to the Kings and Stewards of Gondor and were influential in the Battle of Pelennor
Mordor is the realm east of Gondor and Ithilien enclosed by the arms of Ered Lithui
(Ash Mountains) and Ephel Duath (Mountains of Shadow), though its eastern borders lie open to Rhun. It was first
settled by Sauron at around the Second Age 1000 and has forever since been a dark place of evil.
The land itself is divided into three areas known as Udun, Gorgoroth and Nurn.
Udun is the large valley to the northwest of Mordor. Its a rocky bowl-like landscape is
an inhospitable place though not completely void of life.
Gorgoroth is broken in two. The northwest corner houses Amon Amrath (Mount Doom) which was
the name given to Orodruin by Gondor when it exploded before Saurons attack. From it Sauron launched a dark smoke
that filled the sky and blocked the sun on his attack on gondor. It is also from this mountain's fire that the One
Ring was forged and into it's fire was it destroyed. The land around Amon Amrath is completely lifeless. The second
part of Gorgoroth was a vast plateau that spread out across the northern third of Mordor.
Nurn is the region to the south of Mordor, of which the southern and eastern regions are dominated by the Sea
of Nurnen. Here the land is fertile and many slaves of Sauron are kept here to raise food for his armies.
Barad Dur is the stronghold of Sauron situated deep inside Mordor. It was built by him
through the power of the One Ring between the Second Age 1000 and 1600. Though it was besieged and captured at the
end of the Second Age, it could not destroyed as long as the One Ring remained. It came to its eventual demise when
the One Ring was cast into Mount Doom and unmade.
Ephel Duath (Mountains of Shadow) act as a very good natural defense for Mordor. They limit
access into the dark realm through a heavily guarded gate in the north, the Gates of Morannon. The mountains themselves
are impossible to pass save through a tunnel guarded by thing fouler than Orcs. When Sam and Frodo passed through this
tunnel, they were attacked by Shelob, a terrible, giant spider, of direct descent from Ungoliant, Greatest of Spiders
(who's power rivalled Melkor).
Cirith Ungol (Pass of the Spider) is a tower just north of Minas Morgul designed to keep
the forces of Sauron within Mordor. It is situated on the only path through the Ephel Duath (save the northern gates)
though few save the nazgul dare to travel it for fear of Shelob and other evils.
Minas Morgul (Tower of Sorcery) was once known as Minas Ithil (Tower of the Moon) the
beautiful tower of Gondor. (See Minas Ithil under Gondor)
Other Places of Interest
Arnor is the senior Dunadan Kingdom of Middle Earth. At one point all the lands between
Gwathlo-Bruinen and the Lhun were gather as one crown under Arnor. During the Third Age, the kingdom of Arnor
diminished and struggled to survive. It was not until after the War of the Ring that Arnor was re-established by
Elessar. See also Eriador.
Forodwaith (North-people) is an icy land to the far north of Middle Earth. The great
northern wastes in the First Age were known as the Plateau of Dor Daidelos. Therein stood the great mountain range of
Ered Engrin. However, at the end of the First Age, when Thangorodrim and Angband was defeated, much of Ered Engrin
was destroyed or drowned. Small parts were left standing relatively tall and these are known in the Third Age as the
Mountains of Angmar and Ered Mithrin. The huge plateau of Dor Daidelos was also destroyed. What remains is known as
Forodwaith. West of Forodwaith is the Icebay of Forchel.
Rhun was the birth place of the peoples of Middle Earth. The Elves awoke here by the
ancient land of Cuivienen, the lake of awakening, near the northeastern shore of the sea of Helcar. However, after
the War of Wrath, Helcar was drained leaving only the sea of Rhun to survive. A great chain of mountains known as the
Orocarni (Red Mountains) stretched along the eastern coasts of Middle Earth from the north to central regions.
Man awoke in Hildorien which is situated southeast of Cuivienen, just past the southern peaks of
Orocarni. The only other land of Rhun that is known reasonably well is Khand, which stretches east of Mordor.
Khand is the land East of Mordor and north of Harad. The lands in this general area are
sometimes called Haradwaith. A race of man known as Variags dwelt in Khand. Their culture is similar to that of the
Wainriders who lived to the north of them. The people of Khand often engaged in wars with Northmen and possibly Dwarves
living between the Carnen and Celduin Rivers. Often the men of these lands came under Saurons dominions and aid him in
his wars in the west.
Near Harad is the land south of the River Harnen, which marked Gondors southern boundary.
Although on most maps the lands are illustrated as desolate, it appears many people lived here and several kingdoms
or tribes were established. It is quite possible that the lands had several rivers, forests and hilly regions.
The Numenoreans used to control the Umbar, the City of Corsairs in the Cape of Umbar.
Far Harad is a land of which little is known save that it lay beyond Umbar and is quite hot.
A chain of mountains, known as the Grey Mountains, stretch across Far Harad's western regions. During the Second Age,
several fortresses were established in these lands by the Numenoreans, who also conquered many inhabitants of the
coastland and thus came into conflict with the allies of Sauron. On it's eastern coast, stand the Yellow Mountains.
The World of Middle Earth is filled with many dark, beautiful, and all together wondrous places.
There is much to explore and many adventures to be had.
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