Free March in Calenardhon
  • Cities: 3
  • Parishes: 6
  • Castles: 2
March of Adorn


Fortified monastery of Celuil (Holy Springs) in Upper Isen valley.

Free March of Adorn is a historical territory of Gondor and former kingdom. It takes its name from river Adorn which flows from the White Mountains and joins with the Isen about 150 Númenorean miles west of Gap of Calenardhon at the border of Enedwaith. The name Adorn is said to be a of pre-Númenorean origin, adapted in form to suit the Sindarin language.


The first recorded inhabitants of the area were Drúedain, who settled in the northern vales and wooden lands of the White Mountains in both sides; this people carved crude figures of stone, and would later be known as Púkel-men. Ancestors of contemporary Adornishmen ("Men of Darkness" in some sources) arrived early during the Second Age. They founded the Kingdom of Adorn which remained unaffected and independent until gradually absorbed in the expansionist South-Kingdom of Gondor during the first centuries of Third Age.

The region was divided into County of Adorn (to the west) and County of Aglarond (to the east). Areas north of Isen became unincorporated territory of Ethraid Engrin, ruled directly from Isengard, the ersatz capital of Calenardhon. Those who resisted Númenorean occupation fled north and found refuge from the foothills of the Misty Mountains, becoming the Dunlendings. Very few Númenoreans ever settled in Adorn valley, so it remained largely self-governed, with a strong local aristocracy. Self-government was further reinforced by the fact that Adorn was the only part of Gondor with a codified pre-Númenorean law code.

Adornishmen suffered from the Great Plague less than other peoples owing to their relative isolation. While the rest of Calenardhon was suffering from failing harvests, cold winters and general depopulation, Adorn flourished. In post-Plague reorganisation Calenardhon and Enedwaith became feudal domains of lord Belatar Araglas, second cousin of King Telemnar and Captain of the Hosts (1654-1663). Belatar ruled North and West as Canotar, a viceroy in all but name. Adorn was elevated into the status of Free March and it regained some of its historical regions north of Isen.

By now Adorn had became the most populated region in all of Calenardhon. As a Free March it was independent from the authority of any local lord or governor in Calenardhon and placed under direct authority of the King, its suzerain. Two competing dynastied rose to fight for the margraveship; it was finally vested in the hands of house Na Elenarda.


Most of the population lives between rivers Adorn and Isen. The landscape consists of rolling cultivated fields, dense pine forest, and rampart-like mountains. Not so majestic as the Hithaeglir, the Western White Mountains are more accessible to hunting and fishing. The Arar and Lhyg valleys, with their timbered houses perched on stilts in the river, and the high valley of Ain, are popular summer destinations of the local aristocracy. Lakes Region is a land of gorges and waterfalls dotted with tiny villages, each with a domed belfry decorated with mosaic of tiles. The lakes are perfect for swimming in the warmer months.

A chain of hills runs from west to east through the valley and joins the Thrihyrne escarpment, which is known from its many vineyards. To the west of the Adorn Valley towards Drúwaith Iaur lies the densely wooded district of Arar.


Adorn is Calenardhon's main wine producing area. It is known for both its high quality red and white wines, which are produced in relatively small quantities. Adornish wines are transported down the Isen river and sold to markets in Tharbad and Sudúri. Wine from Aglarond is pale, pinkish wine, lighter bodied and thinner than others. Prematurely halted fermentation in cold winter temperatures has caused it to contain bubbles, a unique fault which has led to its unexpected popularity and high prices among the novelty-seeking degenerate cultural élite in Minas Anor.

With regard to cuisine, the region is famous for the Adornish dish of rooster braised with wine, lardons, mushrooms and garlic; the richer version is called the 'dornish beef. It is a thick beef stew braised with red wine, bacon, pearl onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Other Adornish peculiarities are 'dornish eggs (poached eggs in meurette sauce); Spicebread (cinnamon, honey and ginger bread); Possis (a pungent soft-paste cows-milk cheese washed in brine and local pomace brandy) and Guser (baked savory pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese, similar to profitteroles).



Bar-en-Adorn (also known as Charin-en-Adorn), biggest city in region and ancient historical capital of the kingdom is located at the confluence of Adorn and Isen. The city already served as a river port and hub of road communications during the Númenorean conquests. According to extant stone inscription on display at the Council Hall, Númenorean admiral "Ciryatur" stationed his "7th Celestial Army" in Charin-en-Adorn ("Kharun") for an invasion against the "Brother Kings of the Mountains". However, not having received supplies, the Númenorean troops revolted and had to be pacified by money. Bar-en-Adorn is a bustling river port with many warehouses, markets and cramped living quarters.


Derwath is the capital of the Free March of Adorn and seat of the Margrave. The etymology of Derwath is uncertain. The most common explanation is that the name is of mixed origin, derived from sindarin gwath, meaning 'shadow'. Prefix der- is indigenous compound found in many local names, such as Derufin and Dervorin. The city sits within an oxbow of the Adorn River; a forest and mountain closes the fourth side. It is vibrant, colorful town, with long history of both Elvish and Drúadan ruins. Derwath is divided into three districts, only one being walled.


Dol (also known as Dol Gruir) was the capital of the County until 1422, when King Valacar shifted the local appeal court to Derwath. Townsip received notoriety when local hermit Gaspar na Dernaf was put to death in 1573 after being found guilty of lycanthropy and witchcraft. He had confessed of murdering and cannibalizing four young children. Dol is the local centre of mustard making. Faramund son of Carloman and his company was granted exclusive rights by King Tarondor to produce mustard to the Royal Table. The main ingredients of this condiment are brown mustard seeds, white wine and verjuice.


Aubad is the northernmost community in the Free March of Adorn, a former tribal capital of the Lugiu tribe. The town boasts two ancient Númenorean gates and remains of a chapel. Aubad Halls of the Faitful (completed in 1204) are famous for their architectural sculpture, particularly the Second Judgement of Mandos over the west portal. These are traditionally considered the work Giselbert, a local sculptor whose name is preserved in the structure.

Notable Persons

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