5. A History of Ost-en-Dunhirion
West) was begun by Tar-Ciryatan while he was still but
the King's Heir and completed after he took the
Scepter. Intended both as a port for trade with the
Elves of Lindon and the Men of Arthedain, and as a
seat for the Kings of Men in Middle Earth.
The city stood on the green plain beneath the Tower
Hills linked to the Gulf of Lune by a massive canal,
eight leagues long, deep enough for the great seagoing
galleys of Numenor, and wide enough for two to pass
each other with room to spare. And lined for its
entire length with fair white villas and their gardens
The entrance to the canal was guarded by twin statues of Tar-Ciryatan, one hundred and fifty feet high, of white marble their helms, breastplates and swords overlaid with mithril and gold. And just within it was
a Hallow dedicated to the Lords of the Sea; a deep blue pool of seawater with three tall pillars set
in its midst. The tallest of these, of grey stone,
represented Ulmo and the other two, shorter and of
blue-green stone, Osse and Uinen. Here mariners would
stop when setting out to ask the blessing of the Lords
upon their ship. And on returning to give thanks for a
The walls of Ost-en-Dunhirion were high and built
of shining white stone pierced by ten great steel
gates each flanked by a pair of tall towers. The canal
entered the city under a gigantic arch carved with two
White Trees and the Seven and One Stars of the Kings
of the West.
Inside the canal formed a great ring of water lined on
both banks with warfs and warehouses, counting houses,
inns, shipyards, and shipwrights' shops. Ten great bridges arched high over the ring of water, high enough for a ship in full sail to pass beneath.
Behind the warfs and counting houses of the first ring were the guild halls of the merchants and artisans of the city, and their homes, all built of white stone on either side of the broad, tree lined main avenue or on side streets and lanes, interspersed with small gardens, public parks and market squares.
Water flowed through a tunnel beneath the first circle
of the city to form a moat, somewhat less broad and deep than the harbor, spanned by six many arched bridges, with houses built upon them, leading to the second ring of the city. Here were the tall white mansions of the nobles, with their sleander towers and silver domes, set admidst wide gardens with galleries and pavillions and theaters for music and story.
A third moat ringed the the citadel at the heart of the city, joined to the second ring by two bridges, each with a gatehouse at either end. Its walls were white and its gates of gold, and terraces of gardens and groves, halls and guest houses, armories and treasuries, rose above the walls to the great gold domed palace with its soaring golden spired towers.
Because of its nearness to Lindon Ost-en-Dunhirion
became a favorite refuge for 'Faithful' fleeing
persecution in Numenor. They settled the lands between
the Blue Mountains and the Brandywine, which became
known as Dor-en-Dunhirion, (Land of the Lords of the
West) and on the eastern bank of the river Lune.
The colonists traded and intermarried with the
people of Arthedain, descended like themselves from
the Edain of Old, and were ruled by a governor of
their own choosing. At the time of the Downfall this
was Vorondil, a kinsman of Elendil of Andunie and
husband of his only daughter Elemmire.
Vorondil and his heirs were named Princes of
Dunhirion by Tar-Vardamire. And, after Elendil and
Isildur fell, Elemmire ruled the the High Kingdom as
regent during the minority of her nephew Valandil.
Her descendants, the Elemmirioni, held the offices
of Steward of the Realm and Constable of Annuminas
through all the centuries the Kings ruled the North.
They were also Lord Admirals of the Northern Seas and
from their Haven of Ost-en-Dunhirion ships sailed to
explore the Bent Seas after the Downfall.
They found wide, unpeopled lands in the new West
full of strange fruits and plants which they brought
back to Middle Earth, (including Galenas, the pipeweed
of the Hobbits, potatoes, tomatoes, corn and other
crops from the Lands of the Sun).
The mariners of Arnor found also the last remnant
of Numenor, the mountaintop of Meneltarma and its
Hallow to Eru still above the sea. And here at times
Dunedain of the North would come to mourn and ask the
mercy of Eru for the Downfallen. Yet it was a curious
thing that ships from Gondor, though they searched the
southern seas, never found the Holy Isle or landed
And it was said in the North that this was because
the Exiles of Gondor still yearned for life eternal
within Arda and longed to gaze upon the Deathless
Lands of the West, and only those whose hearts were
bent wholly on Eru and desired to join him beyond the
Circles of the World could come to the greatest of his
When Aranarth commanded the Dunedain to 'disappear'
the Princes abandoned their city and moved northward
to become Wardens of the Evendim Hills. The last of
the Elemmirioni was Ellemir, grandmother of Aragorn
Elessar, in whom was joined the the three lines of
descent from Elendil.
The city itself, tended by the Elves of the Havens,
did not fall into ruin but waited patiently for the
Return of the King. After the restoration of the the
Reunited Kingdom it was repeopled and became again an
important Haven and the seat of the Admiral of the
North. And the ancient domains of Dunhirion and the
Evendim Hills became holdings of the Crown, and Prince
of Dunhirion was the title of the King's Heir in the
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