Gobel Mírlond
Capital of the Princedom of Harnen
 (image: http://wiki.lindefirion.net/images/GobelMirlond.jpg)
Gobel Mírlond, an engraving
 (image: http://wiki.lindefirion.net/images/GobelMirlondBasilika.jpg)
Court hall of prince Sangahyandion
Sunset at Gobel Mírlond
Sunset at Gobel Mírlond]
800 T.A. 7 000
1200 T.A. 15 000
1450 T.A. 21 000
1600 T.A. 9 000
1650 T.A. 14 500
1810 T.A. 9 000
1944 T.A. 1 000
 (image: http://wiki.lindefirion.net/images/GobelMirlondMap.jpg)
Places in Gobel Mírlond


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Gobel Mírlond

Gobel Mírlond ("Jewel-haven Town", Ad. "Zimralôni") is capital of of the province of Harondor, competing with its sister-haven Ramlond as the largest coastal settlement between Pelargir and Umbar. It is one of the most important trade arteries along the River Harnen and also one of the most ancient Númenórean colonies along the Bay of Belfalas, having been founded by Tar-Ciryatan during the noontide of Númenórean expansion in Middle-Earth. During the reign of prince Sangahyandion, Mírlond was capital of the independent Harnen Principality. It was enfeoffed in 1663 to princess Aranel.


Population of Gobel Mírlond has recently recovered to about 14,500. Though it is a modest number comparad to the heyday of the haven, it is still the most populous city in Harondor. The ethnic character of the city is exceptionally varied, having underwent many radical changes. About half of the population is native sakalai or haruze. The rest is a curious melting pot of northmen, gondorians, mixed dúnedain-haradrim and narakshi beduins. Average income is very poor compared to Ramlond or Umbar, but the fortunes of Mírlond are steadily improving.

Politics and History

Like its sister colony of Ramlond across the Harnen estuary, Mírlond had originally fallen under Umbarean jurisdiction, but later asserted its autonomy following the Downfall of Númenor. The favored jewel in the crown of Tarannon Falastur, Mírlond was captured by the legendary Captain of the Hosts during the Gondorian expansion in 754 T.A., and became the nucleus for his imperial vision of a new political order.

Tarannon granted township status to Mírlond upon his ascension in the year 830, renaming it Gobel Mírlond, and established it as the seat of royal government for the newly-constituted province. With the north bank of Ethir Harnen now secured, Gobel Mírlond became the front battle-line for Prince Eärnil's slow but irresistible advance into the Umbarean held coastlands beyond. The haven remained an essential military stronghold for the kings in their subjection of Umbar and the Harad all the way up to Ciryaher's final victory in 1050, after which time a significant portion of Gobel Mírlond's garrison was relocated to the new frontiers. Throughout the era of the Ship-Kings, the military strength of the haven brought it great prosperity as a center of landward and seaborne trade alike.

Golden age of Mírlond (1437-1540)

The fortunes of Gobel Mírlond continued to rise under the coastal supremacy of the Calimehtars in Pelargir, culminating in Castamir's ascension and brief reign (1437-1447). During this zenith of its prosperity, Harondor was governed by Castamir's powerful uncle, Elendin, through whose patronage Gobel Mírlond was lavished with royal gifts, public buildings and amenities of all kinds. Since the town had achieved untold wealth and power under Castamir and his family, it was not surprising that the Usurper's defeat and death at the hands of Eldacar in 1447 made little or no headway in shaking the confederate allegiance of Gobel Mírlond - and therefore, of Harondor itself - for the next century.

In spite of the rebel withdrawal to Umbar in 1448, the citizens of Gobel Mírlond had little to fear, since Eldacar had no ships to attack them and because the principal zone of landward contention between Gondor and the newly-formed confederate lordship of Umbar would lie far to the north their town. So long as their Umbarean allies controlled the sea and the Harnen corridor, their political power and economic prosperity would remain intact. Even the sudden and unexpected dethronement of Castamaitë by the Regency Council of confederate captains did little to threaten their preeminence; on the contrary, it meant that the power of Castamir's ousted descendants and supporters would now shift to Gobel Mírlond itself.

Having established himself with his followers at Gobel Mírlond in 1475, Castamaitë commenced his piratical career, filling his own coffers and those of Gobel Mírlond with the plunder and spoil of southern Gondor. Many of the haven's adventurous captains joined in this lucrative profession under Castamaitë's banner, eventually achieving the distinction for Gobel Mírlond as being the very first "Corsair" stronghold, though Castamaitë's actions were not recognized bu the Council of Captains in Umbar until after Gobel Mírlond had been lost to Gondor. Nostalgically remembered by its exiled citizenry as a golden age of swashbuckling adventure, Gobel Mírlond's era of independence from Gondor was abruptly brought to an end in 1540.

Enraged by the insolent (and highly successful) depredations of Castamaitë, and having made significant headway in rebuilding the royal fleet over the ninety-three years since his father's seizure of Pelargir from rebel control, King Aldamir launched all of his might against the confederate strongholds of Harondor, wresting Gobel Mírlond from Castamaitë's control in 1540. Although Aldamir himself was slain in the battle, the rebels were eventually forced to abandon the town in the face of vastly superior land and sea forces.

Mírlond as a Gondorian border town (1540-1636)

The sudden and violent reassertion of Gondorian rule over Gobel Mírlond was traumatic event for the town and its inhabitants. Most of its prominent citizens, all of whom had fervently supported Castamaitë, were either slain in the capture of the haven or had abandoned it, beating the hasty retreat with Castamaitë to confederate-hold Ramlond. The remaining inhabitants of the once-great haven, bereft of the power and wealth of their exiled leaders, now lost their political rights as well. Aldamir's successor Vinyarion Hyarmendacil II stripped Mírlond of its township status, subjecting its inhabitants (along with the rest of Harondor) to the direct rule of a military governor.

Although Mírlond remained the largest settlement in Harondor for the next four centuries, its economic supremacy was eclipsed by the growing instability of its political situation. The confederate retreat had severed the haven's all-important commercial link to Near Harad, which now passed through Ramlond instead. The political vacuum left in the wake of the defection of the town's elite in 1540 was filled by the new military hierarchy, which included both land and naval elements. As the frontiers of war solidified along the line of the Harnen, the garrison of the haven grew to equal the civilian population in numbers, necessitating an elargement of the settlement and its fortifications. As new veterans, loyal to the kings, were settled on the land surrounding Mírlond, the ethnic character of the haven's inhabitants changed, especially with the advent of the many Northmen who had fought on behalf of Gondor since the reign of Eldacar.

Principality of Harnen

Gobel Mírlond fell to rebels in late 1637, having been seized by Castamaitë's grandson Sangahyandion, who established a principality of his own along the north bank of Ethir Harnen. While the military governor of Harondor withdrew his seat to Methir, Gobel Mírlond became the capital of the Princedom of Harnen. Fortunes of the town experienced a modest recovery, but economic activity remained centered upon Ramlond. Upon prince Sangahyandion's marriage, the city was formally enfeoffed to her bride, princess Miranda Arnel of Caldûr, as a morning gift.

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