Barad Harn
Barad Harn, an engraving

Barad Harn

The town of Barad Harn (S. "South Tower") is named after the ancient Númenórean tower that once dominated its central square. The town's population of 2,000 is guarded by a strong wall and a garrison of several hundred infantry and cavalry. The original tower was built in the closing years of the Second Age as the residence of a modest garrison responsible for collecting tribute from the surrounding area. A small town grew up around the tower, which remained after the Númenórean garrison was withdrawn by Ar-Pharazôn. Later, after the fall of Sauron, the tower became the residence of a minor Haruze despot and his followers, who seized control of the local coastlands and the Emyn Annûn. Their kin maintained control over the area until King Tarannon Falastur expanded Gondor's borders southward. The Haruze emir and his realm soon fell, and the town was abandoned.

It was not reestablished until 987 TA, when a land grant, which included the town site, was awarded to several army veterans by King Ciryandil. These veterans named their town Barad Harn, after the ruined Númenórean tower. Much of the old town was destroyed by a hurricane in 1256, but was quickly rebuilt. After the Kin-strife, the rebel confederates fortified Barad Harn with a strong wall and a central redoubt, reusing surviving Númenórean stonework in the massive basement. But the fortress of Barad Harn fell in 1540 to a surprise attack, after the Gondorian navy sailed a captured Umbarean raider into the harbour and the marines on board overwhelmed the defenders. After that, Barad Harn became a regular target of umbarean raids.

Prince Sangahyandion briefly laid siege to the town in 1637, but never seriously attempted to take it. Thereafter, Barad Harn became the southernmost coastal settlement of Gondorian-controlled Harondor. The minor anchorage of Barad Harn also became critical for the Gondorian defense of the coasts to the north during this period. Ships based at Gobel Tolfalas patrolled the strait between the island and Barad Harn, calling at the town for supplies and occasional reinforcements.

In 1655, when Sangahyandion was fighting in Southern Ithilien, Barad Harn surrendered without fight after being afflicted by chronical supply problems and an outbreak of smallpox. For many years, it stood as the northernmost coastal fortification of Sangahyandion's princedom in Harnendor. Royal navy tried in turn to retake it several times without success, most serious attempt being in 1663 before the Battle of Miraz and Gauntlet at Has Adri.

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