4. A History of the Haven of Lond Daer
The first foundations for Lond Daer were laid at
the mouth of the Gwathlo by Tar-Aldarion (r. 883-1075)
but remained unfinished, and were allowed to fall into
ruin by his daughter Tar-Ancalime.
It was her son, Tar-Anarion, (r. 1280-1394) who
completed the work begun by his his grandfather, and
Lond Daer became both a shipyard and a timber port
exporting wood from the vast forests of Minhiriath and
Enedwaith to Numenor.
But by S.A. 1700 those forests had all but
disappeared and the Haven was in decline until Admiral
Ciryatur used it to land a portion of the great
armament sent by Tar-Minastir (r. 1731-1869) to the
war against Sauron.
After the war Lond Daer was enlarged by
Tar-Minastir's successor, Tar-Ciryatan (r. 1869-2029),
and became rich as a center for trade with the Dwarves
of Moria. The city was magnificently rebuilt between
2155 and 2190, by Tar-Atanamir the Great
The harbor entrance was guarded by twin lighthouses,
six sided shafts of polished black basalt two hundred
feet high, topped by great lanterns of crystal and
steel that glittered like jewels by day and shed
silvery radiance on sea and harbor by night.
Tar-Atanmir's gleaming city of basalt and onyx
marble rose above the dark quays lining both shores of
the Gwathlo mouth. Warehouses and counting houses with
the names of the merchants who owned them inscribed in
gold above their doors gave way to tall houses with
many windows, domed roofs and sleander towers, all
decorated with flutings, scrolls and arabesques inlaid
with precious metals and stones. Grand avenues and
squares were lined with colonnades of massive black
pillars, delicately twined with carven flowers and vines,
fronting rich shops, guildhalls and market halls.
Walled gardens and parks were filled with exotic
plants, birds and beasts brought from distant Lands.
And both parks and squares were adorned with statues
of marble and bronze.
The grey waters of the Gwathlo divided the city in
two, linked by three long, many arched bridges. The
great black citadel of Lond Daer stood in the eastern
quarter with its massive walls, domed great hall and
lofty tower but the palace of the governor rose on a
hill above the western quarter with its cluster of
onyx domes and elaborate gardens terraced down to the
A low wall of gleaming basalt surrounded the city
pierced by seven gates of galvorn and gold set with
many jewels. Four of the gates were on the western
side of the river and three on the eastern, and each
had a keystone carved in the likeness of Tar-Atanamir
with stones of adamant for eyes and a golden crown.
The Governor of Lond Daer was a King's Man, as were
most of the merchants who dwelt there, but after the
Downfall the city accepted Tar-Vardamire as Queen and
was incorporated into the High Kingdom of Arnor as a
free city subject only to the High King, and later the
King of Cardolan.
The port continued to prosper and became known as
Bel Enedhlond, the Great Middle Port, as it stood
between Pelagir on the Anduin and Ost-en-Dunhirion on
the Gulf of Lune. But Daer Lond was hard hit by the
great plague of TA 1636-37.
For though the Dunedain of the North, (unlike their
kin in Gondor) proved resistant the Men of Minhiriath,
who farmed the land around the city and supplied it
with food, died in great numbers and many of the
survivors fled north where the infection was less
severe. Trade with the Southern Kingdom dwindled after
the plague and much of the traffic with Moria now
passed through Tharbad on the upper Gwathlo. Yet the
city struggled on, dispite a steady loss of Men to the
Witch Wars, until Aranarth took his people into hiding
in TA 1976.
Dunlending raiders looted the abandoned Haven,
prying the precious metal and jewels from its walls,
smashing or carrying off statues, defacing carved
reliefs, killing the strang beasts and birds and
uprooting and burning the exotic plants and flowers.
Then the remains were left to fall quietly into ruin
for the next thousand years.
Rebuilt by Elessar I Telcontar Lond Daer once again
became a great Haven and center of trade in the days
of the Reunited Kingdom, and the seat of the Lords of
Enedwaith and the Admirals of the Middle Seas.
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