As their shallow valleys and fresh young streams ran west to meet the Great River Anduin, the low hills and ridges of the Emyn Arnen (S. ‘Hills Beside the Water’) defined the boundary dividing Harithilien from Forithilien. The Emyn Arnen were covered with grass and thorny bushes, where numerous goats and sheep grazed. They were also the home of several larger predatory birds, as well as a variety of the common hare. Additionally, packs of wild dogs roamed the hills in search of prey, threatening livestock and unwary travelers alike.

The soil of the Emyn Arnen was not as rich as that, in the south, nor as deep; the bedrock lay closer to the surface. Yet the valleys of the area were well-suited to the growing of grapes. In these valleys, one found vineyards of the nobility which had been cultivated by the folk of Ithilien for some millennia.Harithilien was well-known for the high quality of the wine it produced. The vailey areas not used for growing grapes were covered with low bushes and small trees.The uplands were also covered with rich grass, providing ample nutrition for the herds of goats wandering about the hills. In the Emyn Arnen were found the ruins of many forts and towers, all built between T.A. 1453 and T.A. 1437. They were erected by Eldacar of Gondor's army to block Castamir the Ursurper's advance up the Vale of Anduin. Most were destroyed in the fighting. After the Kin-strife, the forts located close to the thoroughfares were rebuilt for use by the nobles as hunting lodges and resorts. The forts in the heart of the Emyn Arnen were ignored, and had long since been forgotten by all but the locals. In the third millennium of the Third Age, the Emyn Arnen were scouted out by Orcs and other foul creatures from Mordor who made the ruined forts their lairs. Following the years of the Watchful Peace (T.A. 2063- 2460) skirmishes between the men of Harithilien and Saurons forces became more and more common, and the hills were abandoned by the goatherds and grape farmers. This proved a great blow to Harirhihen's already strained economy.


  • MERP:Southern Gondor - The Land
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