Anórien
Province of Gondor
Pictures from Anórien
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Old county of Cair Andros at the Anduin
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Typical Anórien delicacies
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Poplar trees near Erelas
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Valley of Calenhad
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Bell tower in Anórien
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Anórien


Known as the Land of the Sun, Anórien is wealthy and populous region in northern Gondor where Minas Anor is located. Anórien lies north and east of the White Mountains, between the Anduin, Erui, Glanhír (river Mering) and Mouths of Entwash. It was established in S.A. 3320 by Anárion to be settled with his kinsmen and refuges from Númenor. However, some of its inhabitants are not of Dúnadan stock: Foothills and forests of Ered Nimrais are home to a reclusive and primitive aboriginal people called Drúedain ("Woodwoses").

The Land


Anórien is divided into five distinct regoins: Doranórien along the Royal Road, Entyn-in-Onodlo (Mouths of Entwash), Cair Andros (island at Anduin), fields of Pelennor and the valleys and lowlands of Lossarnach bordering Lebennin. Lossarnach and Cair Andros are counties, other ares are managed by wardens appointed by royal writ.

Anórien is connected to Calenardhon by the Royal Road shaded with twin lines of magificent poplars. All roads are well maintained. The major ones have a broad cobbled path wide enough for carts to pass one another with ease. This trackway is cambered and provided with drains so that it never becomes boggy or rutted. Flanking the trackway is another broad strip, this time of turf, used by riders. Many avenues are hedged.

Along the ways are a number of shelters: simple stone huts with tiled roofs and a hearth, so that travellers can wait out violent wind or rain. Also provided for the traveller are wayside league-stones marking the mileage to various places inscribed with the Angerthas runes or angular Elvish lettering. A less common sight is the roadside gibbet where criminals are hung for all to see. The Royal Road is furnished with inns at regular intervals to service both merchants and King's dispatch riders.

Terrain in Anórien is flat drainage basin nurtured by rivers Anduin and Entwash, fertile and rich. Inviolate and pathless pine forests grow in the steep foothills of the White Mountains. These forests belong to the King. Other woods are small; mostly oak, ash, elm and poplar. All fertile land in Anórien is owned by a few big landowners, if not part of the Royal Ward tended by share-croppers.

Rural villas in Anórien are biggest of all Gondor, typically built around the four sides of a square courtyard. The buildings are part-timber, part-stone, usually whitewashed and with a red tiled roof, surrounded by orchards and gardens. They produce barley, oat, wine, apples, cherries, peaches and honey. Anórien is also known as the prime producer of pork, including dry-cured ham.

The White Mountains


The uplands of Anórien is moderately inaccessible. There are no cartways and only a few paths which horses and mules can traverse. There are, however, the tracks of humas passage and trails of the mountain goats and sheep to follow, should one wish to venture into the interior. The mountains itself are useful source of fine limestone and marble, but in this area there are no mines for gems or minerals; better deposits lie west in the dales of Lamedon. Gondorians also shun the many forests owing to the presence of the Drúedain. Men of the mountain are descendants of the pre-Númenorean population: They are dark, long-haired and keep beards, making their living herding long-haired and sure-footed goats and gathering the wild plants.

Tawar-in-Drúedain


Forests in the south-east corner of Anórien runs the Royal road from Minas Anor to the Fords of Isen in Calenardhon. Nearest Minas Anor is the Grey-Wood, a royal hunting ground. East of Stonewain-Valley it becomes the Drúadan Forest, where the Wild Men of the Woods still live their recluse life. Most men avoid the tangled wilderness, but Gondorian army maintains a lookout post at Eilenach and Nardol.

Culture


Pelennor's well-protected farmlands grow many cash crops and goods which do not travel well. There are multitude of pens of geese, ducks and hens, especially the small but productive Black-backed Hen which can lay up to 150 eggs a year when well kept. There are also many pig- and rabbit-farmers who rear animals on an intensive basis in scyppens, sties and artificial warrens. In larger fields the great white cattle are herded producing fine fattened beef and rich milk from the superb pastureland.

The people of Anórien appreciate the delicious fruits grown in their sunny orchards. Cherry, apple and some olive trees in sheltered areas are tended well in neat lines between which smaller stakes form the trellises for soft fruits: currants, gooseberries and cheselles, a small white fruit with a creamy texture. The orchards make excellent homes for beehives producing plain and scented honey.

Pigeons and small, plump game birds are raised and netted during the late autumn and winter to provide succulent seasonal fare. Along water courses (many which are conduits and canals built by the Dúnedain to improve the irrigation and fertility of the townlands) are pools with fisheries and ponds where a wide variety of water plants are cultivated. One of the staple green vegetables is a species of watercress with large, crinkly leaves called galasenin. There are also lilies with edible roots, watermelons and a few water meadows where flowers are grown supplying florists in the markets of Minas Anor.

Fish


The Great Anduin teems with many sorts of fish; it ceases being tidal between the Harlond and Osgiliath (although still broad and navigable) so there is a mixture of salt and freshwater fish. The largest fish are great salmon, trout and sturgeon, but there is a seemingly endless variety of other fish with a range of flavours and textures to enliven the most jaded palate.

Fish forms one of the staple elements in the diet of the Anórien populace. Everything from the most delicate roes to the strongest flesh is eaten in pies, soups, patés and broiling dishes. No household is without a kemunq: a clay pot, oval in shape, with a rough-fitting lid, in which a whole fish can be baked with tender herbs and a chopped bed of galasenin. A fierce heat is used, and partway through the cooking process, a goodly amount of sweet white wine from Ithilien is added.

Anórians catch fish with both net and line. The fishermen's small boats put out from their steep-sloped reaches at dawn and drop trail nets or cork-floatedf lines from which several hooks dangle. Those seeking large fish use barbed spears attached to coils of strong line, then bait the waters with chopped offal. Fine nets are used to catch eels; in the spring thousands upon thousands throng the waters heading upstream to Nindalf and the Mouths of Entwash where they breed, swimming back down to the sea later in the year. Salmon and trout migrate all the way up Anduin, or so it is claimed, to colder headwaters and tributaries in the Misty and Grey Mountains.

Cuisine


The people of Anórien like to eat heartily and well. They take three meals a day, the lightest of which is luncheon. Everyone enjoys a large and filling breakfast to set them up for the day's work (much to disdain the folk of Lebennin, who prefer light breakfasts). Ever since of Atanatar II Alcarin (who made a joke about it), the Anóriens have referred to breakfast as their "morsel". The basis is a platter of cold meats, including smoked fish and patés. These are accompanied by raw vegetables, grated or shredded, with a dressing made using honey and herbs; and also by unleavened bread, scones or oatcakes.

Pies are a way of life for the people of Anórien. They put all sorts of things under a pastry crust: eggs, fish, vegetables, cured ham, cheese, beef, venison and rabbit - richer families may use wild pig, deer, pheasant and grouse. Another standard Anórian fare is a thick, creamy soup or hotpot. When it comes to drinking, Anóriens have an odd habit to prefer milk, soured milk, watered beer or local red wine.

Mentality


Men of Anórien picture themselves as down-to-earth, assiduous, stalwart and honest, boots deep in clay. At least half of the dúnadan inhabitants boast or pretend a descent from Anárion himself and praise his simple virtues. Most Anóriens look upon men of Lebennin as haughty and obstinate, as Ithileans are head-in-clouds and inclined to mysticism. They love their King and his antics, and most think that all Southrons are untrustworthy.

TOWNSHIPS AND STRONGHOLDS OF ANÓRIEN (T.A. 1650-1660)

Name Type Location Allegiance Notes
Minas Anor City Pelennor Independent (The Conclave) Capital of Anórien and Gondor. Supervised by the City Prefect.
Harlond Township Pelennor Prefect of Minas Anor  
Osgiliath (west side) City Anduin Prefect of Osgiliath  
Cair Andros County Anduin Count Arodion of Cair Andros  
Imloth Melui County Lossarnach Count Norgalad of house Beleganor  
Bar Erui Township Lossarnach Condir Nengel of Haldarië  
Emlin Fishing village Lossarnach Hîr Pilimor of house Telumendil  
Amon Din Fort Drúadan Forest Warden of Anórien  
Eilenach Fort Drúadan Forest Warden of Anórien  
Nardol Fort Drúadan Forest Warden of Anórien  
Erelas Fort Doranórien Warden of Anórien  
Min-Rimmon Castle and village Doranórien Warden of Anórien  
Calenhad Township Doranórien Condir Nestor Harnastin  
Bar Sindbar Township Doranórien Condir Pelilas Sindbar  
Tir Elena Castle and village Doranórien Warden of Anórien  
Bar Astirian Township Doranórien Warden of Anórien  




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