HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Guild of Venturers

Type: Miscellaneous

Other Names: Uinendili 'Lovers of Uinen'

Description:

The association of Númenórean seafarers founded by Aldarion:
When six hundred years had passed from the beginning of the Second Age Vëantur,... first achieved the voyage to Middle-earth.... Thereafter seafaring became the chief enterprise for daring and hardihood among the men of Númenor; and Aldarion son of Meneldur, whose wife was Vëantur's daughter, formed the Guild of Venturers, in which were joined all the tried mariners of Númenor....

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 1, Description of the Island of Númenor

[Aldarion] formed the Guild of Venturers, that afterwards was renowned; to that brotherhood were joined all the hardiest and most eager mariners, and young men sought admission to it even from the inland regions of Númenor, and Aldarion they called the Great Captain. At that time he, having no mind to live upon land in Armenelos, had a ship built that should serve as his dwelling-place; he named it therefore Eämbar, and at times he would sail in it from haven to haven of Númenor, but for the most part it lay at anchor off Tol Uinen: and that was a little isle in the bay of Rómenna that was set there by Uinen the Lady of the Seas.1 Upon Eämbar was the Guildhouse of the Venturers, and there were kept the records of their great voyages; for Tar-Meneldur looked coldly on the enterprises of his son, and cared not to hear the tale of his journeys, believing that he sowed the seeds of restlessness and the desire of other lands to hold.

In that time Aldarion became estranged from his father, and ceased to speak openly of his designs and his desires; but... Meneldur perforce let matters go as they must. For the Venturers grew in numbers and in the esteem of men, and they called them Uinendili, the lovers of Uinen; and their Captain became the less easy to rebuke or restrain. The ships of the Númenóreans became ever larger and of greater draught in those days, until they could make far voyages, carrying many men and great cargoes....

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

Life on land was irksome to [Aldarion], for aboard his ship he was subject to no other will, and the Venturers who accompanied him knew only love and admiration for the Great Captain. But now Meneldur forbade his going; and Aldarion, before the winter was fully gone, set sail with a fleet of seven ships and the greater part of the Venturers in defiance of the King....

At the open rebellion of Aldarion the King rescinded his authority as Lord of the Ships and Havens of Númenor; and he caused the Guildhouse of the Venturers on Eämbar to be shut, and the shipyards of Rómenna to be closed, and forbade the felling of all trees for shipbuilding.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

It is stated that the Guildhouse of the Venturers "was confiscated by the Kings, and removed to the western haven of Andúnië; all its records perished" (i.e. in the Downfall), including all the accurate charts of Númenor. But it is not said when this confiscation of Eämbar took place.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis: Notes, Note 8

But Aldarion wooed Erendis in earnest,... [He] neglected the havens and the shipyards and all the concerns of the Guild of Venturers, felling no trees but setting himself to their planting only.... At length he sought to persuade Erendis to sail with him on a voyage about the Island in the ship Eämbar; for one hundred years had now passed since Aldarion founded the Guild of Venturers, and feasts were to be held in all the havens of Númenor....

Thereafter... Aldarion turned his thoughts again to the works at Rómenna, and busied himself with the building of great sea-walls, and the raising of a tall tower upon Tol Uinen: Calmindon, the Light-tower, was its name.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis


Notes
1The Númenóreans lived long in [Uinen's] protection, and held her in reverence equal to the Valar.

The Silmarillion, Valaquenta: Of the Maiar

Contributors: Tanaqui 6Nov05

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