Ethir Anduin was one of Gondor's coastal provinces, consisting largely of the Anduin Delta, the surrounding marshes and a small back country on both sides of the river mouths.It's first settlers had been Nandor who had moved southwards in the Elder Days, later Men akin to the Drúedain and Sakalai followed.
The landscape of the Ethir was severely changed by the large floods folowing the Drowning of Númenór and most elder settlements drowned or fell to ruin. The only greater settlements were Gaersûl, Fanuilond and Ethir, the latter serving as the province-capital.
The Anduin Delta
The Anduin delta (S."Ethir Anduin") consisted of numerous islands, the largest being some thirty miles long and two to three miles wide; Smaller islets and sandbanks were numerous; many only appeared for a season, and then vanished in the next spring-flood. The swamps area resulted of water seeping from Anduin into the surrounding countryside, causing a seasonal difference in their extent and wetness. In late spring, when the Anduin was fed by the melting snows of the north, the swamps were at their largest: and then they diminished, before the autumn rains in late Hithui extended them once again. They consist of numerous small hills and mounds of firm ground divided by marshy ground, shallow lakes, and streams.
The swamps abounded with life—from small singing birds lo large waders, like herons and storks; numerous toads and frogs; water-dwelling lizards and snakes; and insects, from the beautiful dragonfly to clouds of blood- thirsty mosquitos. Mammals were comparatively rare; there were voles and other rodents, as well as foxes and [[wild pigs}}, but larger species could not live here. In the spring, the swamps were most beautiful, with fresh greenery, singing birds, and flowers of ail kinds, from simple marsh marigolds to exquisite orchids. In the late summer, the pressing heat and the stench of stagnant water and totting plants made the swamps a singularly unattractive place. In the winters, the swamps were quiet; no birds were singing and the wind in the browning rushes hummed sadly.
It was possible to travel on the lakes and streams of the swamps by canoe or raft—craft which had an extremely shallow draft. Navigation was another matter, since the reeds and rushes rose to more than twelve feet; it was easy to get lost among the winding waterways of the swamps, the only landmarks being the sun and the stars. In the less water-logged parts of the Ethir, fishermen lived in villages of the same design as those of their kindred on the coastlands. Deeper into the swamps there were tribes known to outsiders as Ethir-folk. These small tribes did not mind damp ground, being skilled in building their houses on poles. When the poles had started to rot and the local game is hunted out, the villagers moved on Since it was impossible to thoroughly patrol the swamps, they were a hiding place for brigands and outlaws. While most tried to get to Umbar and join the Corsairs many never came further than the swamps.The brigands subsisted on hunting and fishing, and by attacks on the local villages. Larger bands preyed on travelers at the nearby roads. Life in the swamps was hard, and most brigands only lasted one or two seasons before dying from a swamp disease or departing south. The brigands had learned to leave the Ethir-folk alone; though not skilled warriors, they were experts with hidden traps and poisoned arrows.
Settlements and Places of Interest
- MERP:Southern Gondor - The Land