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Saralainn

Saerlann

Saerlann was a Tribal Area in Minhiriath in the old Kingdom of Cardolan. It was inhabited by the Dynion, a confederation of mixed-blooded eriadorian Clansmen.The Dunmen had contributed to the populace of Saerlann as well as the Cardolanian Northmen and to a degree even the Dúnedain.

the Realm in TA 1650

  • Political Organization: Kingdom.
  • Ruler: King Laneig.
  • Administrative Organization: All offices appointed by King;land held by traditional tribal groups.
  • Population: 9,000 Dunmen.
  • Military: The King maintains a standing force of 150 Warriors and can raise units from several Dunnish and Eriadoran tribes of questionable quality and loyalty, each contributing about 100 troops.
  • Products: Salt, fish, mercenaries.
  • Symbol: Crossed Brown Spears on a Red Ground.

Founded after the downfall of Cardolan's royal family by a Dunnish fortune hunter named Gordaig, Saerlann's early years were marked by repeated attacks from the neighboring Dúnadan lords who attempted to dislodge this new power. The Dunmen proved tenacious, however, and today Saerlann rests on equal footing with her neighbors. The Kings have organized the land along a tribal model, with the King acting as a High Chief of his own and several lesser tribes. Kinship ties still form the strongest bonds in Saerlann society, and the kingdom, though loosely organized, is closely knit though a complex series of marriage alliances. Despite these bonds of kinship, feuding and revolts plague the kingdom regularly. Though Saerlann culture is violent and boisterous, the King and his chiefs desire nothing more from the outside world than peace. Saerlann rests in the marshy lowlands near the mouth of the Gwathló. Though the soil in the area is extremely rich, little effort is made to exploit it fully, for the Men of Saerlann are descendants of highland herders, and the annual floods of the Gwathló defy all attempts by farmers to hold back the water. Fishing, pitch, and salt form the basis of Saerlann's economy. Also vital are the tolls which the King exacts on river traffic heading up the Gwathló to Tharbad. The tribes of Saerlann take care not to levy too steep a toll on the river, for they depend upon the worked metal goods provided by Dúnadan craftsmen.

In Later Years

Saerlann survived the 17th century collapse and depopulation of Cardolan by virtue of its remoteness from the Witch-king's military centers and its chaotic, but very adaptable, political structure. The Beffraen and the Evilkind of Creb Durga were its primary problems during the ensuing centuries. In T.A. 2116, the capitol of Saerlann was moved from Súthure to Ironwharf, a new port at the mouth of the Isen River; much of its population shifted south of the Gwathló. Becoming increasingly submerged amidst the tribal Dunlendings and Beffraen who swelled the population of the kingdom, the culture of the clansmen declined even further. They became a petty-nobility in scattered villages that stretched from the middle of Saerlann to the Drúwaith Iaur (S. "Old Pukel Land"). Suduri, and later Ironwharf, dwindled, for fewer and fewer ships from the south brave the dangerous waters off Cape Andrast. The title of King of Saerlann was still upheld, though its power and authority were but a dim memory. Periodically overun by the Corsairs of Umbar, Saerlann survived in its traditional, haphazard fashion, to become the only Cardolandren successor state to survived into the Fourth Age.

Notes:

Original form in MERP: Saralainn. The Name Saralainn may be derived from scottish gaelic sara- (maybe derived from irish saoirse, "free" or Sorcha, "dark") and -lainn (plural of gaelic lann, "field, plain") or it may represent an untranslated local name of Enedhwaith.Another possibility would be to derive it from welsh "Saer", ' learned man" and "llann", "garth or enclosure".

References:

  • MERP:Arnor-the lands
  • MERP:Arnor-the people