Essays on the History of Arnor (Fanon and AU)): 3. Of Annuminas the Golden, City of Elendil

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3. Of Annuminas the Golden, City of Elendil

After the departure of Celeborn and Galadriel
Lorellin, their daughter, and Elured son of Dior were
King and Queen of the Lake. But the realm was much
diminished for the Noldor and many of the Sindar who
had dwelt there departed to other kingdoms leaving
mainly the Nandor who had been there since before the
Sun and the Moon.

The great city the Noldor had delved beneath the
hills was abandoned and fell into ruin, for the Lake
folk preferred to dwell among the trees in sight of
sky and water. But their King and Queen still held
court in the fair palace wrought for Celeborn and
Galadriel.

When Sauron destroyed Eregion and spread his power
over the western lands the Lake Elves did not answer
Gil-Galad's summons. Instead Elured and Lorellin wove
new protections of shadow and confusion about their
realm and their people stayed secure within these
defenses. But many dark things wandered into the woods
of Evendim and were unable to escape, and the hills
became the haunt of terrors.

Even after Sauron was driven back and the West was
at peace the Lake Elves did not fare forth nor remove
their shadowy walls and the Men of Arthedain feared
the haunted wood and told strange stories about the
Enchanted Lake and the King and Queen who ruled it.

Now after the Downfall of Numenor storms drove the
ships of Elendil northward to the Grey Havens. And his
wife, Tar-Vardamire, was taken as queen by the
Numenoreans in Exile for she was the last of the blood
royal. And the princes and lords of Arthedain also
accepted her suzereinity. For their people were close
kin to the Numenoreans, like them descended from
the Edain of Old.

Then Elendil fared forth seeking a place to build
the capital of the new realm and his eye fell upon the
Lake of Evendim, midway between the lands settled by
the Numenoreans and the lands of the Runedain (1).
And it seemed to him both a fair and fitting site for
the new city.

And so, though the Men of Arthedain warned against
it, he entered the enchanted forest. But such was the
strength of his will that the webs of shadow and
deception availed not against him. And his company
came even to the shores of Lake Evendim, the first Men
to look on it in many hundreds of years. And on the
southeastern side Elendil found a green and treeless
vale and chose it as the site for his city.

Then the Elves of the Lake fell upon them.
Recognizing their kind Elendil bade his Men to lay
down their weapons and suffered himself to be taken
and led as a prisoner before Elured and Lorellin.

Now Elured was the brother of Elwing, mother of
Elrond Half-Elven and Elros Tar-Minyatur, and he
recognized Elendil as his kin and made him welcome.
Nor did the Elven King begrudge the Mortal the land he
desired but made him a free gift of it, for the Elves
dwelt only on the northwestern side of the Lake.

Thus the city of Annuminas, (The Tower of Sunset)
rose on the shores of Lake Evendim at the behest of
Elendil, built by masons and artisans of Numenor and
embellished by the Elven craftsmen of Lindon and
Rivendell.

Her buildings were of fine white stone adorned with
pillared arcades, sculpted figures and fretted
carvings. And their wide casements were set with
devices of colored glass that glittered like jewels.
And the pinacles of her many towers and her many domes
were covered with fine gold that caught the light of
the sun and filled the vale with radiance, winning her
the name of Annuminas the Golden. And she was the
fairest city ever raised by the hands of Men,
surpassing even Armenelos of the Kings in Numenor, and
rivalling, (it was said) the glory of Elven Tirion
beyond the sea.

Broad tree lined avenues there were, and squares
paved with wonderful designs in colored marbles. And
there were gardens and parks filled with rare trees
and flowers saved from lost Numenor. And everywhere
the glitter of water in channels and pools and a
thousand singing fountains.

Defended by enchantments the city was unwalled,
filling the vale and extending on piles over the lake.
And the Great Lords built themselves fair villas on
the southeastern shore and hunting lodges under the
eaves of the forest. For the Dunedain found sport in
slaying the evil things laired in the wood and through
their efforts it became a cleaner place, though still
perilous.

Two ways there were into the city: By water up the
Baranduin and along the lake shore to the warves of
the merchants, (for most of the city's trade was by
water). Or by the road Elendil cut through the hills
behind his city. And this road was defended by five
gates, wrought by Elven smiths for the Kings of Men.

First came the Gate of Winter; an iron grill
wrought in the forms of leafless trees with
intricately interlacing boughs, set between high
towers of dark grey stone crowned with spikes of iron.
Beyond this gate was a wide, white paved road lined
with great trees, shapely and bare of leaves, wrought
of black iron.

Next was the Gate of Autumn guarded by towers of
reddish stone crowned by spikes of bronze. And between
them hung brazen gates decorated with autumn trees,
their limbs rich with red-golden leaves. And the road
beyond ran between great trees with boles and boughs
of bronze and leaves of beaten copper.

Third came the Gate of Summer, and its towers were
of honey colored stone with parapets of fine gold. The
gate was also of gold, the woven trees glittering with
leaves of beryl and fruits of garnet, topaz and
tourmaline. And beyond it the road was bordered with
golden trees laden with leaves and fruit of sparkling
gems.

Fourth was the Gate of Spring and it was of fair
silver set between towers of shining alabaster crowned
with silver parapets. And the trees which formed the
gate glistened with young leaves of pale peridot and
jeweled blossoms. And the road behind the gate was
lined with new budding trees wrought of silver and
jewels.

The fifth and final gate pierced a bank of green
sward. This was the Gate of the Two Trees and its
posts were towering images of Laurelin and Telperien
wrought in gold and topaz, and silver and pearl. And
between them hung gates of interlaced silver and gold
adorned with figures of the sun and moon.

Beyond this gate the road entered the city itself
and became a fair avenue lined with fragrant evergreen
trees of oiolaire, lairelosse, nessamelda, vardariana,
taniquelasse and yavannamire, Elven trees brought long
ago to Numenor from fair Eldamar. And the avenue ran
straight over low arched bridges above lily filled water
courses,through green and flowering parks and stately
squares to a terraced plaza in the heart of the city.

This was the Place of the Kings and it was filled
with the music of golden fountains and adorned with
images of heroes and Kings, carved of stone or cast in
metal, looking down from their high pedestals. And on
its topmost terrace stood the Palace of the Kings with
its high golden domes, and soaring over all the gold
tipped Tower of Elendil.

And under the largest of the domes, beneath stars
of Elven crystal, stood an image of the White Tree of
Numenor wrought of mithril and laiquin (2) and jewels by
Enerdhil, second only to Feanor among the Elven smiths
of old. Its flowers were of opal and pearl and the
delicate leaves, dark green above and silver below,
thin and veined like those of a living tree, moved,
chiming one against the other, as the air stirred
them, filling the great chamber with a soft music.

And the golden throne of Tar-Vardamire was set
beneath the shining tree with a simple silver chair
for her consort at its side. And here she held her
court in a round hall walled with frescoes of fair
Numenor before the Downfall, under a starry dome
upheld by golden pillars shaped like laurinque trees
with spreading boughs and a fretwork of golden
blossoms.

But Tar-Vardamire did not live long, her heart
broken by grief and horror she laid down her life
after a few short years, leaving the scepter of the
High Kingdom to Elendil her husband. And he put away
her golden throne prefering his silver chair. And for
a scepter he used the Silver Rod wielded by the Lords
of Andunie of Old.

To the west of the the city rose a tall hill, made
even taller by the arts of the Numenoreans, where
Elendil made a Hallow for the worship of Eru. Amon
Dinen, the Hill of Silence, rose in a smooth cone high
above the surrounding forested hills. And a wide stone
stair wound round it to a crown of shining, tapered
white stones encircling its summit. Within these was a
grassy hollow, large enough for thousands to gather to
hear the Three Prayers said. (3) And in its center were
three low blocks of black marble, marking the stations
of the King, the Queen, and the Heir.

By ancient tradition only the King, acting as
intermediary for his people, could speak aloud in the
Hallow and then only to offer the ancient prayers. (4)
But any Man or Woman might climb the Hill at any time
to sit in the silence and listen for the Voice of Eru
in their hearts.

As the realm expanded eastward Fornost, the White
Tower of the North, became more important because of
its closeness to the troubled northern and eastern
borders. And the King's Heir made his seat there and
had the title Prince of Fornost.

Earendur it was who divided the realm, creating the
sub-kingdoms of Rhudaur and Cardolan and giving their
scepters to his youngers sons. But the ancient heart
of the realm, Arthedain and Dunhirion, passed to
Amlaith his eldest son with the the Silver Scepter of
the High Kings.

But Amlaith chose to keep his court at Fornost, as
he had as Heir, for he loved the high downs. And it
became known as Fornost Erain, the Northern Fortress
of the Kings. But Annuminas remained the official seat
of the realm, and here both the High Kings and the
Lesser Kings would repair at times to take council
together and to hold the great ceremonies of state
when they recieved their scepters, took their Queens
or named their Heirs. And there the High Kings still
came to say the Three Prayers in the Hallow Elendil
made for Eru.

Then the Witch King arose in Angmar and the people
of the Dunedain moved eastward to confront their foe,
and the population of Annuminas was diminished as was
that of all the westlands. But the City of Elendil was
not utterly abandoned until the time of Aranarth, when
the King laid down his scepter and with his people
went into hiding, abandoning their cities and
fortresses to the ravages of time.

And so for a thousand years the Dunedain of the
North wandered the Wilds as Rangers, and fought in
secret the foes of Men. And the King of the Lake
watched over the City of Elendil so it did not fall
into ruin but rather slept, awaiting the promised
Return of the King.
********************************************

1. 'Men of the East' as opposed to the Dunedain, Men of
West.

2. Laiquin is a dark green metal created by Goldomir,
son of Enerdhil. (Fanon!)

3. The Three Prayers were: The Erukyermie, spoken on
the first day of spring, asking the blessings of the
Father on the year to come. The Erulaitale, said in
midsummer, offering Him praise. And the Eruhantale,
made at the end of autumn, giving Him thanks for his
goodness to Men. (Canon!)

The Three Prayers are not in Quenya but an ancient
Adunaic dialect, indicating the great age of these
observances and their purely Mortal origins. (Fanon)

4. The King is intermediary only in the sense he
represents his people by saying the Prayers on their
behalf. He does not pretend to speak for Eru, or to be
closer to Him than any other Man. (Assumed from Canon)

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Morwen Tindomerel

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/29/03

Original Post: 03/25/03

Go to Essays on the History of Arnor (Fanon and AU)) overview

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