Gilrain
County in Southern Gondor
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County of Gilrain
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Gilrain


Gilrain ('star-wanderer') is a county and river in southern Gondor. The river Gilrain flows from the White Mountains before joining with the river Serni to create the estuary of Linhir ('fair stream'). The river came swiftly down from the mountains, but once past the outlier separating it from the River Celos to the east, the Gilrain's course wandered in a wide, shallow depression and then formed a small mere. The Gilrain then cut through a ridge, forming a series of waterfalls. The river flowed swiftly once more until it joined the River Serni, which then emptied into the Bay of Belfalas. The name of the river is derived from ran meaning "wander, stray, go on uncertain course", in reference to the meandering portion of the Gilrain. Later it was connected in Gondorian folklore with the demise of elf-maiden Nimrodel. The town of Linhir was located near the juncture of the Gilrain and the Serni.

County of Gilrain


Originally part of the personal domain of the Prince of Belfalas, the land encompassing the western bank of Gilrain confluence was granted as a special fief to Eärnil, third and youngest son of Prince Lothirion in III 748. Then comprising of little more than a water mill and a small manor house, Linhir's upgrade became Eärnil's first priority, building a series of fortified quays along the river bank in order to haven the newly-formed western wing of King Siriondil's fledgling war-fleet.

Linhir grew larger and became more populous as the era of the Ship-kings progressed. The use of the haven for the royal fleet became institutionalized in III 913 and Linhir became a Royal Ward. Finally, in III 1226, the year of his ascension, King Narmacil I granted Linhir township status. This royal decree was enacted in part to recognize the de facto autonomy of Linhir's economy. The commercialization of the district distanced the entire Gilrain valley from the rest of the Dor-en-Ernil, and in III 1432, descendats of Eärnil joined in the uprising against the ascension of King Eldacar, against the prince's command not to participate in the Kin-strife.

Eldacar did not restore Gilrain to Dor-en-Ernil upon his return to the throne in III 1447. The new seaborne threat of the rebels in Umbar necessitated a strong royal involvement in the government and defence of the Gilrain valley. Instead, he elevated it to a marche (a margravate) enfeoffed to one of his loyal followers from Dor Rhúnen. New Rheinhîrs have been appointed for life. Officially the County of Gilrain is still part of Dor-en-Ernil and only temporary detached from it by a Royal Decree. Lords of Gilrain participate in the provincial assemblies of Lebennin.

Current master of Gilrain is hîratar Argirion, styled Lord Gilrain and lord of Dudhrandir, who spends most of his time in his ancestrals domains in the mountains of Dor-en-Ernil. His appointment was a nod to the Prince, as Lord Argirion is one of Prince's vassals.

Recently there has been talk of detaching the southernmost parts of the regoin to form an independent marche of Imlad Tathren, to fund King's wars against Umbar.

Geography


Gilrain is surrounded on three sides by the White Mountains and Hills of Tarnost. It borders Lamedon, Belfalas and Lebenninian regions of Lebennivet and Celosien. The overall terrain is mountainous, along with extensive areas of hills, valleys and fertile plains. It is broadly contiguous with the drainage basin of the river Gilrain.

Cuisine


The hilly region is ideal for dry farming most grapes, which are deep-rooted enough to withstand periods of dry weather. Local delicacies involve white truffls, an enormous arrays of cheese and cured meats as well as a vast assortment of herbs. The Gilrainese are by nature sober, but also lovers of good food, and therefore gourmets but not gluttons. In other words, they have simple tastes which have allowed them to preserve a cuisine which is honest, tasty and decisive in its flavours. The distinctive characteristics of this cuisine are fundamentally the use of butter and lard, the use of raw vegetables, the use of garlic, and the use of a meat of a calf of only a few months of age and fed only milk.

Particular dishes




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