Dor Bendor (S. "Landless Land;" La. Maatta Maa) comprised the unmelting ice that crowned the arctic pole of Ambar's globe. Its expanse was vast and unexplored. Of all the Free Peoples, the Snow-elves alone were said to have trodden its pathless wastes. There, indeed, at the summit of the world stood their fabled ice-city of Helloth, though to mortal knowledge it Was little more than a rumor and a legend.


In spite of the unfathomable mystery that shrouded it, Dor Bendor was, in reality, the youngest of all Ambar's regions—younger even than Forodwaith itself; for that land had been shaped while the world was still flat, but it was the Downfall of Númenor (more than three thousand years after the War of Wrath) that led to the creation of the Landless Land. In the drowning of Númenor, Eru Ilúvatar changed the very shape of the world, bending the seas so that Ambar became globed amid the stars. This cataclysm transformed the uttermost climes of Ekkaia, the Encircling Sea, hardening the Helcaraxë, the Grinding Ice of the Ancient World, into an immovable mass. For much of the year, the southern boundary of Dor Bendor lax from two to fifty miles off the northern coasts of Forochel, affording a narrow channel for seaborne vessels; during winter, the Landless Land extended its icy fingers southward, forming a seamless bridge with the extremities of Forodwaith.

Frigid, barren and dry, Dor Bendor was a region of violent gales but little precipitation. In winter, the howling spirits of wind blew ice-crystals across the wastes as the sands of a great desert, raising mounds of ice and snow and sculpting them into fantastic shapes and designs. Storms born amid these tempests immediately wheeled away south ward to unleash their fury upon Forodwaith and lands further south. Only in high summer, when opposing winds from the South were strong enough to contest the north wind's dominion, did storms linger here, exhuming their snow across the endless winterscape; but such events were as ephemeral as they were infrequent, and swiftly dissipated in the face of Dor Bendor's might.


Travel in this icy wasteland was dangerous in the extreme. The often changeless terrain, coupled with repeated blights of or rain, could easily rob a traveler of all sense of direction, leaving the hapless wanderer lost in an unending white nightmare. Fissures of cracked and split ice frequently interposed themselves in the line of travel. Some of these were but shallow ditches causing the wanderer to stumble; others were vast, deep crevasses wherein sleds, sled-dogs and an entire party could disappear without a trace. Many such deep ravines were the lairs of ice-drakes, creatures that reveled in the cold and treaded fearlessly upon the ice.


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