• Founding of the Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor and the War of the Last Alliance

    Founding of the Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor and the War of the Last Alliance

    In the destruction of Nύmenor, only the Faithful who sailed with Elendil the Tall and his sons Isildur and Anárion survived as a great wind arose and blew them eastward into the West of Middle-earth, though in separate locations. While Elendil landed near Lindon in the northwest, Isildur and Anárion landed more southerly through the mouth of the Anduin. Thus Elendil founded the kingdom of Annύminas in the north of Middle-earth and Isildur and Anárion the kingdom of Gondor in the south.

    In the northern kingdom of Arnor, Elendil founded the city of Annύminas as Isildur and Anárion founded the cities of Minas Ithil in Ithilien and Minas Anor in Anόrien in Gondor. The City of Osgiliath was built across the Anduin, all of which contained a Palantír each, which with the Lords kept contact. Isildur planted the White Tree in Minas Ithil and the two brothers jointly ruled the kingdom, having thrones side-by-side in the Great Hall of Osgiliath. Elendil ruled both kingdoms as High King of the Two Kingdoms from Annύminas.

    Sauron, who had survived the drowning of Nύmenor returned to Mordor shapeless and without the ability ever again to take a fair shape. In S.A. 3429 Sauron attacked Minas Ithil and seized it for himself and burned the White Tree. Isildur fled north to Arnor, leaving Anárion in charge of Gondor. In S.A. 3434, High King Elendil and Isildur along with the Elven-King Gil-galad and their combined armies fought the War of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Also present were the Faladrium led by Cirdan, the Grey Elves led by Oropher and the dwarves of Khazad-dûm. Oropher and many of the Grey Elves were slain northwest of the Dagorlad in the place later called the Dead Marshes. The host of the Last Alliance marched up to the Black Gates of Barad-dύr and laid siege to the gates for 7 years. During this time Anárion was killed by a projectile thrown from a tower. Isildur's sons Aratan and Cryon were sent to Minas Ithil to guard against attack from the South.

    Eventually Sauron himself came forth to the battlefield. His onslaught was terrible and the siege was almost broken as Sauron and his forces advanced upon the slopes of Mount Doom. There Gil-galad and Elendil, and also Elrond, Cirdan and Isildur stood. Sauron fought both Elendil and Gil-galad and as they threw him down he slew them both, causing Elendil to shatter his sword Narsil as he fell upon it. Isildur seized the hilt-shard of Narsil and cut the ring-finger from Sauron. Sauron, absent from the One Ring was no longer able to maintain a physical form and seemed to perished.

    The Orcs were all hunted down and slain. Barad-dύr was leveled to its foundations, which remained because they had been built with the power of the One Ring. Elrond and Cirdan pleaded with Isildur to destroy the Ring in the Crack of Doom and destroy it, but Isildur refused, claiming the ring as a wergild for his father and brother's deaths. Thus Sauron's spirit was defeated and cast down but not utterly destroyed. He retreated to the east of Mordor and slowly rebuilt his power and the Nazgûl hid as well.

    At the end of the battle, Elendil, Gil-galad, Oropher, Anárion were slain. Arnor took grievous losses and its armies never fully recovered. Isildur returned to Gondor, assuming the Elendilmir and proclaiming his Kingship over Arnor and Gondor, and his lordship over the Dύnedain in both the North and South. He planted a seedling from the destroyed White Tree anew in Minas Anor and built a hidden tomb for his father in the summit of Halifirien.

    After two years, he had defined the boundaries of Gondor and instructed his brother's son Meneldil on the ruling of Gondor. He set out with his three eldest sons and a small garrison for Imladris to reunite with his wife and other children and gain council from Elrond before departing for Arnor (T.A. 2). Journeying northward along the Anduin and reaching the Gladden Fields they were ambushed by a host of Orcs at least ten times their numbers. Isildur gave the shards of Narsil to his esquire Ohtar and bid him and one companion to flee. As the Orcs closed in, Isildur's sons die one by one around him until only Elendur remained. Elendur insisted that Isildur leave with the ring, and placing the ring upon his finger, he vanished from the battle. Running toward the river, he attempted to swim across, but the current was strong. As he attempted to swim across the ring fell from his finger and the Elendilmir shone with a white light and he was pierced in the back and in the throat with poisoned arrows. The ring was lost and of Isildur no trace had been found by elves or men.

    Valandil, Isildur's youngest and only surviving son became King of Arnor, though he waited until he was twenty-one before ascending the throne. His cousin Meneldil ruled Gondor and the two realms were no longer joined, though Valandil’s line kept the title of High King until its end.

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