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Fuinur (S."Dark fire"), known as Stormheart, was the eldest son of Eldarion, the first Prince of Belfalas (S.A. 3400-T.A. 96). Fuinur did not succeed Eldarion as prince; instead, together with his younger brother Herumor Windsword, he rebelled against his father by defecting to Umbar, claiming his own lordship in lieu of submission to the authority of Elendil's sons in Gondor. Although Fuinur extended his power southwards over the Haradrim, he was nevertheless deemed a significant threat to Gondor, because in his rebellion he stole the Karma of Aldarion, the heirloom of Imrazor's line, and it was feared that Eldarion's son might draw upon the veneration of this artifact as a means of swaying those Dúnedain of the Pelargirean League dissatisfied with the royal claims of Elendil and his sons to ally themselves with him in war. This fear never materialized; yet both Fuinur and Herumor played an important role in the War of the Last Alliance, which they fought on behalf of Sauron against their own countrymen. Fuinur and Herumor first arrived in Umbar just in time to turn the tide of a major civil strife then raging in the haven between the adherents of the Cult of Melkor and the more moderate elements among the King's Men who survived Númenor's Downfall. After shattering the power of the cult, the brothers were enthusiastically received by the men of Umbar as harbingers of better days to come. Setting the Karma in place of Melkor's fiery altar, Fuinur drew upon the aura of that venerated artifact to reinstate the traditional political relations between the Dúnedain and the Haradwaith. While their victories secured the brothers a niche within the political structure of Umbar, neither Fuinur nor Herumor were satisfied with their lot. Deeming themselves exiles from the usurped authority of their father in Pelargir, it was not surprising that they were eventually swayed by the entreaties of Mordor to ally themselves with the Dark Lord in return for the promise of restoration to the leadership of the Faithful in Gondor. In S.A. 3429, Fuinur and Herumor mustered the hosts of Harad to join the forces of Mordor in Sauron's assault upon the sons of Elendil. For five years they unsuccessfully conducted the siege of Pelargir, until they were summoned north to the Battle of Dagorlad in S.A. 3434, where Herumor perished. Seeing no hope in Sauron, since he was defeated and driven back from the Dagorlad into Mordor, Fuinur recalled the Haradrim and withdrew from the war, returning to the safety of Umbar, and awaiting news of the tide of battle in the north. When at last Fuinur learned of the victory of the West and of Sauron's demise seven years later, he grew despondent, seeing all of his hopes utterly dashed. In spite of Fuinur's former adherence to the tenets of the Faithful, Sauron's survival from the Downfall of Numenor had at first deceived Fuinur into believing that escape from Death was attainable; but as his own years were now lengthened, the news of Sauron's demise drove Fuinur to the brink of madness. Clinging still to the vain hope that had unmanned the best of the Númenóreans, the desperate Fuinur turned towards any rumor that might lead him to immortality. The credibility of legends concerning Fuinur's end is in many cases doubtful; yet the legends are important nonetheless, for they constitute the last remaining evidence for the fate of the Karma of Aldarion—the single most powerful artifact in the history of southern Gondor—until its recovery by Edrahil II in T.A. 1944. The oldest tale tells that Fuinur heard a legend about "living waters" that ran beneath the surface of the Mirror of Fire in Far Harad, which purportedly preserved life indefinitely. Eager to find these fabled waters, Fuinur departed Umbar with all his followers and the Karma, and commanded the spirits that dwelt there to construct for him a dwelling place where he might not taste death. The tale goes on to say that Fuinur continued to rule Haradwaith from that place (known thereafter as Fuinur's Well) until T.A. 12, after which time all rumor of him and the Karma ceased.

References

  • MERP:The Mannish Races
  • MERP:Middle-Earth Adventure Guidebook II
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