The ominous shadow of Cromm Bráighe (Hi. "Twisted Hill", Kh." Narukgindín", Du."Camith Brin", S."Amon Raen") loomed above the oaks and elms of the Trollshaws in central Rhudaur. Until the Third Age, few men dared to come near this dreadful place; many would-be explorers feared the presence of evil spirits, while others were scared off by the unnatural appearance of the hill itself. Cromm Bráighe rose 830 feet above the only vale in the Trollshaws that might otherwise have been called fair. Its base was a steep yet natural hill, but from this foundation erupted a tortured outcropping of naked black granite that leaned impossibly far over the southern face. It looked as if a errant breeze would send the craggy top tumbling down upon the town and the valley below. However, the great overhang of rock had endured earthquake and glacier and many changes in the world.
Even after the Dúnedain cleansed it of its ancient evil, few Hillmen would visit the area unless they had pressing need. At its height, the population was composed of Dúnadan lords, their servants of Eriadoran blood, and unfortunate Dunnish serfs who were little more than slaves. The relatively large proportion of High Men was the result of Cromm Bráighe's status as the political center of Rhudaur. Even after the power of the Dúnedain waned, and corrupt Hillmen became the masters, the government and garrison at the Twisted Hill retained some standards of Dúnadan culture. Elsewhere in central Rhudaur, the heritage of the High men was forgotten or discredited.
Cromm Bráighe served as the seat of the Hillman King Broccach. The citadel included a tower and system of tunnels built by the Dúnedain of Arnor in the side of the Twisted Hill and was an almost impregnable stronghold. It was one of the few permanent settlements of the semi-migratory Hillmen and served as a base for attacks against Arthedain and Cardolan.
Dwarves in Narukgindín (Cromm Bráighe)
Narukgindín (Cromm Bráighe) had dwarvish origins.
It was occupied by the last remnants of this people until S.A. 1700 when it was sacked during Sauron’s invasion of Eriador and its last inhabitants were either killed or driven away.
Cromm Bráighe about T.A.1640
Cromm Bráighe lies on the north side of the modest vale called the Glenn Crec (Hi.: "Valley of the Rock"), a grassy trough watered by the Sruth Bócain (Hi. "Ghosts' Stream"). Due to the valley's good soil and proximity to the Mitheithel, it has long been one of the choicest living sites in the Trollshaws. It was only natural for the Dúnedain to perpetuate the tradition. Within the Gleann na Creige, there are two spots where settlements were erected after Eldacar's victory over Mongán Finn in the second century of the Third Age. On one, the Dúnedain established the village of Talamh Dairireach, typical of the rest of Rhudaur's fortified towns. The other site lies under the grim shadows of Cromm Bráighe itself. There Eldacar commissioned the construction of the barrack-settlement of Uireas Bráighe (Hi. "Beneath the Hill") , a protected home for the garrison of the Twisted Hill and the Maethyr-en-Rhudaur, the King's small professional army. Overrun and all but wiped out in the Cardolandren invasion of T.A. 1217, it has been badly rebuilt and never completely reoccupied.
Places of Note:
I. The Twisted Hill. Visitors new to Rhudaur may not immediately realize that most of the fortress lies inside the outcropping. Anyone climbing the back side of the hill without the King's permission is subject to immediate execution.
- Type: Citadel
- Inhabitants: 60% Hillman, 37% Dunman, 3% Other
- Population: 630
- Origin: Captured and enhanced by Dúnedain, TA 162
- Purpose: A stable center of administration for Rhudaur; domination of local Hillman-tribes
- Symbol: Mangan Bras (or "Great Bear" in the Hillman tongue Blarm).
Original form in MERP:Cameth Brin
- MERP:Hillmen of the Trollshaws
- Other Minds, issue 4, 2008: A Brief History of the Dwarven Mansions