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Annuminas

The Ruins of Annúminas (Central)

Annúminas was the home of Arthedain's Kings before the city was sacked in 1409. When the hordes of the Witch-king overran all the former lands of Arnor. Annúminas once held the position of the fairest of Dúnadan cities in the North, with broad, tree-lined avenues and graceful buildings of white marble. No wall surrounded the city, which was deemed a place of peace and learning. Scavengers have picked most of the ruins clean ,but tales abound of scaled vaults underneath the library and the palace.

-Drogil

The contrast between the former and current capitals of the kingdom of Arthedain was stark and foreboding— one was dead and the other vibrant with uncharacteristic militarism. Set like a jewel upon the southern shore of Nenuial (Lake Evendim), Annuminas—the first and only capital of Arnor—once shimmered against the nighttime sky, its many festive torches a glowing marker for all traveling the North Kingdom. Little remained now but chipped, stone blocks and collapsed pillars; the faint outline of a great city stretched across the windy hills on Nenuial's shores. At night, Annuminas was a haunting, desolate, dark place offering haven and direction to none

Annúminas in T.A. 1409

Annuminas (2)

Annûminas Docks

Annuminasstreet

Street in Annúminas

Annuminas3

Annúminas in 1650 TA

Annuminas changed little through the first centuries of the Third Age. Its expansive design is never compromised by the overcrowding that normally occurs in a capital city; strict regulations prevent slums from developing, and most of the city's laborers live in respectable apartments built with royal funds. Vice and unsavory behavior remains private or is taken to outlying villages to escape the eyes of the city watch. Dol Caras (S. "City Hill") upon which Annuminas stands is solid limestone; an excellent sewer system carries waste southeastward into drain-fields just above bedrock and well below the actual surface of the surrounding pastures and croplands. Only the city's lake shore has direct storm drain oudets. A system of cisterns provides most of the water supply for the upper city , while the lower portion taps wells fed by Lake Evendim.

Elendil's capital was designed without walls; their absence was a matter of great pride to him and later monarchs. The defense and policing of Annuminas stems from five guard towers, the Beraitirion, situated at the primary approaches to the city. The towers and the palace are garrisoned by the Beraid Tirrim, a professional military force. It is similar in organization to the Citadel Guard (Rembar Tirrim) in Fornost; the rest of the city government is similarly duplicated in the eastern capital. While Annuminas and its hinterland have never taken on the bustling, busy atmosphere of great trading and governmental centers like Tharbad in Cardolan or Osgiliath in Gondor, the land around it is prosperous. Farms and estates—both large and small—cluster all around the city. Villas belonging to great lords dot the surrounding hills, providing nobles an idyllic place to rest when visiting the capital on business. The Esgarnen (S. "Bay of Reeds") adjacent to Annuminas, from which the River Baranduin exits Lake Evendim, is too shallow for docking anything but small boats and batges, so small artificial harbors are maintained in lesser bays west and north of the city proper. Boating remains a favorite pastime of the Annúnili throughout the city's history, and most festivals are highlighted by colorful sailing and rowing races, many of them with royal participants. The vast majority of the Annúnili carry no weapons, and martial displays are frowned upon. jousts and military contests are considered to be in bad taste, something more suitable for the bleak, depressing citadel city of Fotnost. Dueling and brawling are considered the province of drunken laborers, and anyone wandering the streets in armor can expect to be accosted by the watch or guard and questioned. Seers, healers, alchemists, and magicians can always be found in Annuminas, the lesser sort operating small shops, the better ones dwelling in fine houses and taking business only by referral. Scribes and scholars are also common, and students from all over western Endor come to Annuminas to learn from renowned mannish and Elvish loremasters. The Great Common (#4) on Dol Caras is the center of intellectual activity, but political and cerebral ferment can be found in any garden, tea shop, or gallery. Artisans live largely in the lake shore community, and religious mystics dwell on the north bank of the Baranduin, preferring houses and towers in the woods called Taur Edain, beyond the ancient barrows overlooking the lake.

  • I. Royal Halls (Q. "Elerrínarondo" or "Star-crowned
Dome"). The Palantir of Annuminas rests here. The
palace is no fortification, but simply a great house built of
grey granite among green lawns. Most of the structure is
roofed by a single large dome clad with black marble
facing. The surface is strewn with silver, gold, and red laen
stars that catch and store the light from their heavenly
namesakes during certain seasons of the year. The dome
glitters at night (using the stored light), providing an easy
reference to local star-gazers and overawing even the most
jaded visitor. Once the royal family and most of their
advisors dwelt within these walls. With the passage of
years, the Kings of Arthedain have spent more and more
of their time in Fornost, dealing with military matters.
The Guardians of the Palantir do, of course, reside here as
long as the Seeing-stone rests in its special chamber high
up under the dome; regardless, the Elerinarond is now
more of a museum and scholarly retreat than anything
else.
  • 2. King's Star-tower. Almost two hundred feet tall, with
a magnificent view of Nenuial. The topmost room boasts
three of the largest telescopes in Endor.
  • 3. Royal Library. The finest available to Men, excepting
possibly that of Osgiliath. Three stories high, but its
largest rooms are underground, where the dry limestone
of Dol Caras insulates the most fragile volumes against the
vicissitudes of northern climate. Only the most privileged
of scholars have routine access to its rooms. Others need
a royal or noble patron.
  • 4. Great Common. A center for gossip, sports, and
politics. The open ground is interspersed with stone
benches and forums for group meetings and theater. The
buildings along the northern side hold the administration
of the monarchy, while those along the southern side are
the town-houses of the most important nobles and officials,
including the Royal Mayor. The eastern and southeastern edges are
reserved for commerce, although wandering sellers of food,
wine, and beer can be found anywhere.
  • 5. Street of Terraces. The residences along the middle
and lower reaches of this street are traditionally owned by
the most elite of the city's seers and spellcasters. The Istari
Saruman and Gandalf rented quarters here for a time after
they first came to Middle-earth.
  • 6. Old Quarter. Literally the oldest section of the city,
and the only one with buildings designed by other than the
Royal Architects. An Eriadoran village stood on this spot
in the late Second Age, trading in the bounty of the lake
and providing servants for the Dunadan astronomers
living on the Dol Caras.
Rubormyrax, the peculiar fellow who runs the Augury,
an alchemy and herbalist's shop along the river, is the
oldest resident of Annuminas. A Peredhel of Silvan and
common descent, he believes himself to be a bloodwraith.
Rubormyrax sleeps in a homemade crypt in his
cellar, avoids running water and fire, and eats his meals
cold. Once a month, he walks out under the full moon,
convinces himself that he is too guilt-ridden to take a
mannish victim, and drinks the blood of a sheep instead.
This would be a harmless enough bit of insanity, save that
a Dark Priest, Mercaver, is now one of the only three
people in Annuminas who know Rubormyrax' secret.
Mercaver, an Angmarean spy, has murdered three others
who possessed the knowledge, and when he is the Peredhel's
only remaining "friend," intends to use him and his
considerable knowledge ofthe city to penetrate the Royal
Library and the Elerinarond. If anyone can trick
Rubormyrax into eating an apple spiked with cloves or
bathing in a stream or river, the curse that caused his
condition will be dispelled. Then Mercaver will stand in
peril; Rubormyrax is more ancient than he knows, and he
has powers and skills that even true Undead could not
match.
  • 7. Upper Quarter. Dwelling place of the city's gentry and
merchants. The more prestige they have, the closer to the
Royal Common they live. The wood just beyond the last
row of houses on the edge ofthe hill is the favorite trysting
place for young swains and maidens.
  • 8. New Quarter. Home of the city's shopkeepers, artisans,
lesser civil servants, and workers. Most of the
buildings in this neighborhood house several families, the
result of the strict building codes and limitations enforced
by the Royal Mayor.
  • 9. Caras Edain. A first stopping point for travelers from
the east, and site of the city's only two cheap inns. An
Adan village stood here in the First Age; barrows dot the
ridge to the east. The road up the hill leads to the Taur
Edain, a forest that serves as the chief source of firewood
and timber for the city. It also provides secluded locations
for religious retreats.
  • 10. Lawn of Heroes. Burial sites for those who have died
in the service of the kingdom

Ruins of Annúminas after T.A. 1643

Annuminas2

Ruins of Annúminas


The city and all the constructions around it are utterly destroyed by the Witch-king's forces in 1409. Only a few locations are of note in the years after.

  • I. Royal Halls. The Elerinarond has fallen, and the
Palantir was removed to Fornost. Scavengers have secured
most ofthe precious objects, metals, and jewels from the
dome, but a few remain if anyone has the organizational
skills to set up a crane under cover of darkness and quietly
clear out a few really large boulders before the local lord
gets wind of the operation.
Under one boulder lies the body of Urgregim, an Olog
who was crushed by the falling walls of the palace. In
exchange for a giant ebony skull-medallion that gave
Urgregim the strength to crush a building with a single
blow of his club, the Witch-king put a geas on the Troll
that does not allow him to die until Arthedain falls.
Urgregim has been in considerable pain these past 234
years. If he is released, he exact vengeance from anyone in
the immediate area; his second priority will be staying
alive long enough to achieve his goal of slaying the rulers
of both Arthedain and Angmar.
Another boulder covers the revenant of Emerithil the Dark. He was commander of the Tirrim Aran under
Arveleg, the King of Arthedain who was slain in the
defense of Amon Sul in T.A. 1408. Guilt-ridden, he
swore never to rest until the last of the Witch-king's
minions were slain or driven out of Arthedain. Urgregim
dropped an enormous slab on Emerithil while he was
trying to cover the escape of some of his soldiers' families
from the burning royal palace. Emerithil's will held his
spirit to his body and has kept it there through the years.
If the Troll is released, Emerithil might be freed as well,
since he is nearby. If not, his mind will reach until it locates
someone who can free him. Emerithil's half-decayed body
is hideous, and he scrapes off little bits of himself off as
he brushes against rough objects. Aside from a fierce
temper and abrupt manner, Emerithil is not a bad fellow.
He will find local allies with enough courage to abide his
presence; then he will hunt down and slay Urgregim.
  • 2. King's Star-tower. The royal observatory was mostly
destroyed, but it remains the only sheltered camping site
on Dol Caras.
  • 3. Royal Library. The ruins of the libtary sprawl above its
still-intact underground chambers.
  • 4. Great Common. The common is overgrown. The local
lord, Belvor o Calembar, dwells in a small keep about
three miles south of the mined city. He does not allow the
grazing of sheep on Dol Caras, including the bramblechoked common in his ban. Anyone who stays overnight
on the common has a chance (20%) of experiencing
dreams about the fall of the city, some of which might
contain useful information, and some of which might just
be nightmares.
  • 5. Street of Terraces. The street still provides a way to get
carts up Dol Caras from the lake side, unseen by Belvor
and his soldiers.
  • 6. Old Quarter. A small fishing village, called Lakehead
and inhabited mainly by Rivermen, has transformed the
Old Quarter of Annuminas. Rechorca, a Logathig
Easterling, has stayed among the fisher folk for months,
drinking up his life savings. He felt compelled to come to
Annuminas, and is using hard liquor to control his urge to
visit the Lawn of Heroes. He is certain
a dreadful fate will overtake him if he does so. Sooner or
later, he knows, he is going to run out of drinking money.
Since he is, in fact, a retired Angmarean soldier, he is
unsure of where to turn for help.
  • 7. Upper Quarter. Nothing remains save a pair of
lovelorn ghosts. The spirits are two young people who
lost their lives in the war before they could be married;
they are relatively harmless and bashful and will fade with
time. There is a chance (50%)that anyone spotting them
among the woods catches the pair unclothed.
  • 8. New Quarter. Ruins gradually erode into the lake. The
crumbling walls are a favorite hiding place for local
thieves.
  • 9. Caras Edain. The road is still intact, and the great stone
bridge has been replaced by a wooden one. The inns have
been rebuilt; one of the innkeepers occasionally fires
cheap wooden crossbow quarrels across the river at a rival
on the other side, just to annoy him. The forest has
regrown since it was burned down in the war, but some of
the trees bear images ofthe martyrs nailed to their trunks
before the wood was fired. Most of the religious houses
have moved elsewhere. One of the barrows is now inhabited by a lesser wight. If no one discovers what has been
killing sheep on this side of the river, the wight may be able
to taint other barrows and summon other evil spirits.
  • 10. Lawn of Heroes. The tombs were pillaged in T.A.
1408 and resealed two years later. Curiously, they periodically show signs of disturbance, although no one has
ever caught a grave robber. In fact, the Angmareans
holding the pillaged weapons and gear from long ago
develop a deep need to visit Annuminas. Few realize that
their weapons are the source of their compulsion. Once
arrived at the Lawn of Heroes—without losing or selling
the tainted object, or without slaying themselves along the
way, or simply dropping dead from fear and depression—
they feel a final need: to dig open the appropriate grave
and bury both the cursed weapon and themselves in it.
Their animated corpses still protect several of the tombs
on the hill from grave-robbers. The locals who possess
this information are not currently sharing it with anyone,
but might if pressed or bribed. Rechorca, the Easterling in
Lakehead has not yet asked the correct
questions on the topic. The Arthadan dagger he is carrying has been through so many owners that he does not
know its origins.
  • 11.Ranger's Ward

Places of Note

Annuminaslibrary

Annúminas Library

  • Caras Edain
  • Dol Caras
  • Eastern Barrows
  • Esgarnen
  • Great Stone Bridge
  • Great Common
  • Hill of Kings
  • Hill of the Palantir
  • Hill of Westernesse
  • King's Star-tower
  • Lake Evendim
  • Lakehead
  • Lawn of Heroes
  • New Quarter
  • Old Quarter
  • Royal Halls (S. "Elerinarond" or "Star-crowned Dome")
  • Royal Library
  • Street of Terraces
  • Upper Quarter

Names

  • Dunhirion
  • Tarkilmar
  • Torfirion
  • Tower of the West
  • Westermanton

References

  • MERP:Arnor
  • MERP:Arthedain -Rangers of the North

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