Welcome back to everyone’s favorite www.isleyunruh.com Monday feature! Middle-earth being the place of enchantment and wonder that it is, each month I will use my love of fictional cartography to transport you to another time and place. So why not take a moment to fill your head full of knowledge that will have no bearing at all on the real world?
This month I’ll be discussing the ancient Numenorean port of Lond Daer.
Lond Daer (Sindarin for “great haven”) was another city that was little more than a crumbling ruin by the time of the Third Age of Middle Earth. It was founded at the mouth of the Greyflood (aka Gwathlo) River (which was the boundary between the regions of Minhiriath and Ededwaith) around the year 750 of the Second Age by Aldarion the mariner. It was originally named Vinyalondë (Quenya for “new haven”) and was the primary source of lumber for Numenor due to the great forest that extended on both sides of the Greyflood and reached far into the mainland.
As you can tell from the map of Middle Earth, at the end of the Third Age, the lands around the Greyflood were almost completely deforested. This was due to the lumber trade during the Second Age that destroyed the forests to build the ships and cities of Numenor. Thus, as the second millennium of the Second Age neared, the once great forest through which the Greyflood flowed had been reduced to the small woods about the mouth of the Brandywine which were known as the Eryn Vorn.
The forest folk who dwelt in Minhiriath tried to stop the Numenoreans several times during the Second Age through acts of sabotage and all out attacks upon the port of Lond Daer (so great was their wrath at the destruction of their home that they even sided with Sauron during the War of Elves and Sauron). But the Numenorean greed for shipbuilding timber would not be stopped. Though the port finally fell into disuse after Sauron was defeated by Admiral Ciryatur in the Battle of the Gwathlo in 1701, the damage had been done. The once great forest was gone, its people chose to retreat into the small dark woods of the Eryn Vorn to live a solitary life.
And yet, as the millennia passed and Lond Daer crumbled into ruin, the people of the Eryn Vorn lived on. Even in the time of the Third Age, the forest folk of the Eryn Vorn lived in a secretive forest society. And by that time, the woods they had known only from barely remembered stories were finally returning to the plains of Minhiriath.
It’s troubling. Deforestation has a huge impact on indigenous peoples, yet without it we can never defeat the ultimate evil. Choices…