- Type: Ruined Town
- Inhabitants: N/A
- Population: 0
- Origin: Established as "Vinyalondë" or later "Lond Daer Enedh", a colony of Númenor by Tar-Aldarion in the ninth century of the Second Age.
- Purpose: A Númenórean haven on the shores of Middle-earth.
Lond Daer was mined by a cataclysmic tidal wave in S.A. 3319 during the Change of the World.
The first construction at Lond Daer was begun by Anardil Aldarion, then the Crown Prince of Númenor, in S.A. 777. Aldarion was a great friend of the Elves of Lindon, but their harbor in the Grey Havens was hard pressed to hold his mighty vessels. Aldarion also feared, correctly, that some new evil was arising in Middle-earth. He wished to have an impregnable base nigh to the Elflands in case the Númenoreans must one day take up the struggle of the Edain, their forefathers of old. A port at the mouth of the Gwathló was an obvious choice for his bastion.
Aldarion picked a small bay, sheltered from the full force of the sea by a mudbank, as the site for the port he named Vinyalondë (S. "New Haven"). He erected lighthouses on a small rocky islet near the mudbank and on the eastern promontory that formed the bay, then raised an earthen rampart to seal off the western promontory. His men built docks, but their greatest efforts went into the construction of the Bar-en-Uinendil (S. "House of the Venturers' Guild"). Aldarion knew that the greatest need of a Númenorean expedition to Eriador would be provisions, naval stores, food, and arms, so his primary concern was to build a unassailable fortress where these could be pre-positioned. The result was the Bar-en-Uinendil, the largest fortress that had yet been built by Men in Middle-earth. Aldarion respected the strength of the ocean, and he built this casde with great sloping basalt walls on the seaward sides to resist storms. An elaborate drainage system was provided so that the twin towers on the landward side would not be overwhelmed by the flood-tides that periodically surrounded the citadel. A busy little city gradually grew up around Aldarion's defenses. A palisade was eventually erected to protect the new settlement on the eastern promontory. Sadly, Aldarion had poor relations with his daughter Tar-Ancalimë, who became the first Ruling Queen of Numenor when he retired. In S.A. 1078, a hurricane razed all of Vinyalondë save the Bar-en-Uinendil. Ancalimë— long opposed to the entanglements with Middle-Earth that her father had created—used the storm as an excuse to abandon the fortress. Without repairs and maintenance, the proud towers gradually were swept away
Almost 600 hundred years after Vinyalondë was abandoned, another Crown Prince of Númenor, the future Tar-Minastir, saw the wisdom of his forefather's policies. The coastline had changed, and Minastir centered his new city, Lond Daer, around the site of Aldarion's Villa. Lond Daer was scarcely completed when, 56 years later, it proved vital to the success of the Númenorean expedition that crushed Sauron's invasion of Eriador in S.A. 1700. Minastir had to create an artificial harbor for his new city, which he accomplished by the construction of two huge breakwaters. Expecting that Lond Daer might be subject to a formal siege, he provided it with mighty walls. The most arresting feature of the city was the hulking fortress of Minas Mellon (S. "Tower of Friendship"), placed atop a mighty two-stepped pyramid. However, Lond Daer was most renowned for its so-called Floating Avenue, where the business of the city was conducted. Minastir had decided that the docks of the city should all be floating in order to better resist the power of storms. The greatest of these piers, the Floating Avenue, became the location of numerous homes and businesses and gained fame as a wonder of Númenorean engineering. Lond Daer became the primary Nűmenorean haven in Eriador, prospering until it was devastated in S.A. 2511 by the incredible hurricane known as the Wrath of Ossë. The Kings of Númenor repaired some of the damage and continued to maintain troops at the port. This was an expensive undertaking, but the Men of Westernesse who were falling into evil ways saw the necessity of the bastion to keep watch over the Elves of Lindon and the Faithful of northern Eriador. Tar-Palantir withdrew the garrison in T.A. 3178 during his ultimately futile attempt to bring his people back to the paths of righteousness. His successor, Ar-Pharazôn the Golden, did not deign to restore the battalions. The city was overwhelmed in the tidal waves stemming from the Downfall of Nűmenor. Earthquakes shifted the coastline, carrying the ruins beneath the waters.
Vinyalondë in S.A. 1076
I Bar-en-Uinendil. An earth and rock-fill foundation is faced with a seawall of basalt blocks; this supports ramparts ofthe same black stone. Twin red-hued lighthouses warn off ships approaching from the seaward side. The fort of Tol Uinendil will be built on the ruins of this mighty structure later in the Second Age.
2. Main Gate. Defended by two silver bastions.
3. Westerly Tower. Seven stories of gleaming alabaster with two basements. The basements are later incorporated into Tol Uinendil
4. Easterly Tower. Twin to the Westerly, but made of black marble.
5. Garrison Houses and Apartments. Accommodations for the Venturers.
6. Long Quay. Built of stone.
7. Wooden Piers.
10. Market District.
12. Warehouse District.
13. Lighthouse on the Rocks. Yellow-hued.
14. Dune Lighthouse. Yellow-hued like the Rocks lighthouse. These two lights define the upstream channel into the port.
15. Wooden Palisade. Defends the New Town; it was founded by local squatters attracted by Númenorean wealth in the ninth century of the Second Age.
16. Dunes of the Outer Shore.
17. Commoners' Residential District. A mix of Eriadoran, Beffraen, and exotic foreign folk dwell here.
18. Dockyards of the New Town.
19. Wharfs of the New Town.
20. Aldarion's Villa. Overlooks the shore ofthe estuary a mile west of the city. When Lond Daer is built later in the Second Age, the governor's house is erected on the foundation of this villa.
Lond Daer S.A. 2500
I. Tol Uinendil. A small island fort built on the ruins of the Bar-en-Uinendil.
2. Tiras Formen. Also called Tiras Maegthil (S. "SharpLight Fort"). A squat tower overlooking the harbor. Its lantern has a glittering, silvery glow.
3. Royal Harbor. The main port for ocean-going vessels.
4. The Floating Avenue.
5. Minas Iaur (S. "Old Tower"). An outlying fort raised on Tol Uinendil.
6. Western Breakwater.
7. Númenorean Quarter. Here the lords of the city get the best of the sea air and relative isolation from the untrustworthy natives. There is a promenade along the seawall on the point, where the finest houses were built well above the storm tides. Standing amongst and high over them is the eastern lighthouse; its lantern has a hard, golden glow.
8. Merchants' Quarter. The commercial quarter of the city.
9. Warehouse District.
10. Quarter of the Lesser Men.
11. Central Market.
12. Mard Aldarion (S. "Aldarion's Hall"). Restored and now the residence of the city's governor.
13. Soldiers' Quarter. Home of the garrison.
14. Private Harbor. Serves riparian and coastal shipping.
15. The Battery. The heart of the city's defenses. At the top of this six-story tower, there are seven very heavy ballistae, cast from the same material as the famed Númenorean steel bow, along with a huge catapult capable of hurling half-ton blocks of stone. The weapons are thought to have been removed by Ar-Pharazôn during his Great Armament.
16. Eastern Breakwater.
17. City Wall. Four stories of thick granite.
18. The Angannon (S. "Iron Gate"). The only landward entrance to Lond Daer. Actually the entry is not directly barred, as the twin iron towers on either side are felt to provide more than adequate defense. The siege Tar Minastir feared never occurred, and permanent gates were never erected.
19. Inns, Lodges and Stables.
20. The Malannon (S. "Gold Gate"). The sole passage between the Upper (landward) and Lower (docks and breakwaters) City, and also the main gate to the Minas Mellon.
21 . Minas Mellon. The citadel of Lond Daer. A steelreinforced wall stands atop an immense two-stepped pyramid.
22. Government Quarter. The administrative center for Nűmenorean Eriador.
23. Bailey of Minas Mellon.
The Ruins of Lond Daer and Vinyalonde
The stupendous outflow ofthe Gwathló carries a great quantity of silt—the suspended mud has accumulated over the long centuries into a series of underwater hills ringing the mouth of the river. They form a porous but effective dam that holds back the river water and traps some of the higher tidal wash. The barrier can be disrupted by a hurricane of unusual fury that strikes at just the right angle, so that low tide in the estuary is a fathom less than the norm for afew months. During any ensuing neap tides, the ruins of Lond Daer and Vinyalondë will be accessible by land. This sort of hurricane occurs about once a century; the Great Storm of T.A 1643 is one example.
Terrain surrounding the Ruins
Since there are no good harbors along this stretch of the Gwathló estuary, it is heavily wooded. Explorers wishing to bring horses and equipment down to the ruins should be prepared to hunt out the best fords, avoid the swamps, and cut trails through the brush.
I. Ruined Wall. The most easily visible part of the ruins: a granite and steel wall rises three feet above the tidal flats. This section of the wall of Minas Mellon broke off long ago. It extends 7' down into the sand.
2. Dune. A low sand and mud dune; some iron wall fittings may be found, if the dune is excavated.
3. Dune. Another sand and mud dune that traces the outline of the old bailey of Minas Mellon. The Beffraen have dug out the end of the dune nearest to the wall and then resealed their work. It will be Absurd to detect their handiwork, but this may well be easier than finding another way in.
4. Wall Ruins. Just below the sand, perhaps emerging in places, is a section ofthe wall of Minas Mellon in its original alignment.
5. Islets. Four rocky islets show the line of the eastern breakwater of Lond Daer.
6. Slab. In waist deep water, off the south end ofthe fourth islet, is a 2-ton stone slab that covers an entrance into the basements of Tiras Maegthil. It attracts poisonous sea urchins. If a cofferdam is not built around the slab, the air-filled chambers below will flood.
7. Wall Fragment Just above the sands is a fragment of the outer wall of Lond Daer. Sadly, the peculiar rock formation at its east end is solely a creation of the currents and waves.
8. Ruined Breakwater. Scattered pieces of the breakwater side of the city's western wall.
9. Stream. The underground stream that once assured Lond Daer's supply of freshwater is now above ground. There is a large boggy area at its mouth in which the incautious explorer can sink three feet into the stinking muck. Most will probably assume that they are in quicksand until they touch bottom, though this may be a little to late for a particularly short Hobbit. Other muddy areas with similar effects are also noted on the map.
10. Normal Shoreline. It now functions as the high tide line. The tide will come in just after nightfall and go out an hour after full daylight.
11. Sand and Mudbanks. Underwater most of the time, but always gathering places for driftwood and debris.
12. Sandbank. A popular fishing and basking spot for 3- 4 crocodiles. The accumulated weed and driftwood makes them Hard to detect from shore.
13. Sandbank. A search of the sandbank reveals an odd stone formation that provides entry to Aldarion's house. These stones are encrusted with sea urchins .
14. Seawall Ruin. A large section of the outer seawall of Bar-en-Uinendil, lying at the low water mark.
I5. Foundation Stones. Part ofthe basalt foundation of the easterly tower of Bar-en-Uinendil, just above the normal high water mark. The ruins of this tower served as the foundation of Minas Iaur
16. Dip. At the southwesterly end of this set of ruins, the raging waters of the hurricane created a Very Hard to find depression where some of the water drained away downward. If this is explored, some fragments of alabaster will be found . It is a deep (5') and difficult dig to find the source of the drainage, the still intact basement of Minas Iaur.
17. Water Passage. This passage between the shore and a small, tree-covered island is swept by the current and consequently a good anchorage for a small ship.
18. Gully. A line of low hills lies about a half-mile inland from the ruins. This location features a blind, steepwalled gully surrounded by trees and watered by several springs; it acts as a natural corral for any mounted party camping in the adjacent valley.
19. Hollow. A small hollow between three brush-covered sand dunes acts as a good small, hidden camp close to the ruins. Fresh water, however, must be carried a quartermile from the stream in the swamp.
20. HilL This hill is easily accessible from the coast road, which is a half-mile farther inland. It has springs and grassy meadows, plus a clear view of the low-lying areas nearer the shore. This makes it an excellent camping spot for Daoine of Saerlann wishing to fish along the coast. They have built several stone fireplaces, log corrals, and cleared tent sites.
21 . Rise. A slight rise in the ground protected by a surrounding swamp makes this an excellent camping spot for the Beffraen whenever they are in the area. It is Sheer Folly to detect their "island" and then a searcher must be capable of noticing the different mix of trees on the dry ground.
22. Passageway. Secret 4' x 8' passage connecting the dungeon of Minas Mellon with the wine cellar of Tiras Maegthil It was built into the eastern breakwater of Lond Daer alongside the sewer system. The air in here is bad, causing twice the ill effects described in Minas Iaur,
- 3. If it is allowed to vent, the air in the passage will be
fresh in 3 hours. The passage has ten I' x I' patches of bright blue mold set at regular intervals in its floor. If touched, the patches will stain clothing and eventually rot it away; magical clothing or leather armor must resist an acid attack to avoid destruction. The actual function of the patches is to draw moisture and organic material out ofthe air of the tunnel and transfer it along crushed rock passages to the sewers. If the tunnel is flooded, it will be emptied by the patches in about a week.
The walls of the tunnel are mildly damp and mildewed in spite ofthe patches. Residue from the magic used to create and maintain the city's foundations has had two peculiar effects here. The first is one of claustrophobia: any non-Dwarf who passes more that 100' down the tunnel must resist a Fear attack to go any further. The second effect is re-animation: there is a trail worn in the rocky floor ofthe passage, created by a sentry who has been walking the passage ever since the destruction of the city, hundreds of years ago. The sentry was once a Númenorean colonial soldier, part of the remnant garrison left behind at the time of the great armament. Now, the warped soldier will attack anyone he meets in the passage—he requires 30 minutes to shuffle back and forth. The flesh of the sentry's body has been replaced by blue mold; anyone who faces him must resist a Fear attack. The sentry's metal armor and weapons are shiny and new, kept clean by the mold, but retrieving it as treasure without loosing clothing to the mold will take a little effort. The reward is a chain shirt, short sword and dagger, and a high steel spearhead. A locket with an engraved malachite portrait of the soldier" wife is worth 20 gp to a collector.
23. Remnants of the City Sewer System. These 8' x 8' tunnels, hidden in the bedrock 40' to 80' below the harbor of Lond Daer, are the real reason the basements of Minas Mellon and Tiras Maegthil stay dry. Some of the city's drains are still intact and the sewers have magical mechanisms designed to pump water out into the harbor. The steady seepage of nutrient-rich water through the system supports a strange collection of plants and animals. There is tainted air here similar to that in the passage in the breakwater, but even after ventilation, there will be a moldy stench that nauseates any non-Dwarf. The dark, dank tunnels constantly rustle and flutter with life. Claustrophobia, similar to that caused by secret passage will make a IOth level attack on all who enter. Intricate molds and damp fungi found nowhere else in Eriador decorate the dripping walls and floors; there is a chance every 100' of passage that someone will touch one that causes a mild stain, burn, or sting . 1-3 such incidents teach the traveler what not to touch. Odd-looking insects and crawling vermin are apparent, but almost none are dangerous. Any dog or similar animal will have a chance in the sewers of snapping up something that will cause him to hallucinate: the animal must resist poison; failure means a random panic or paralysis at stressful situations and odd intervals for the rest of the day. Characters who insist on nibbling things in the tunnels will have similar symptoms. Explorers will encounter Giant Slugs,White Wisps,Glitters,Walking Fronds,frogs, mice, and ferrets. The myriad of small life forms described above are generated in part by bloom-gems, exquisite mother-of pearl blossoms imbedded in the walls every 500' (a total of 12 survive in this complex).
24. Passage-web. The passage-web closest to Tiras Maegthil is inert and has not grown to block the passage, appearing to be merely a brown growth along the walls. The others correspond to all or part of the description below.
An intact passage-web consists of three shiny brown, leathery translucent membranes blocking or obstructing the passage. The same material lines the walls and floors in the gaps between the membranes to a depth of 3-4', indicating that each set is actually a single large, plant-like creature. The passage-webs are intended to block sewer leaks and are quite benign. They extrude gossamer balloons if prodded carefully from a water-filled side: these I' diameter mucous bubbles, each hold 3 minutes worth of smelly but breathable air. Anyone wishing to pass through an intact passage-web need only cut a slit and push through before the web re-seals itself.
25. Passage-web. This passage-web blocks the end of a collapsed sewer tunnel, covering the debris like a dense spider web dotted with bubbles of sea water. Only a close inspection reveals the three-layer structure.
26. Passage-web. A close inspection reveals the skeletal remains of a worker trapped in the sewer when it collapsed; there is no treasure or curse upon the body.
27. Passage-web. This tunnel is blocked .
28. Passage-web. The passage-web at the entrance to Aldarion's house is the only one here at its full growth, with 4' gaps between the passages; adventurers able to deduce its purpose will be able to pass freely between the tunnel and the house's drain shaft. Because of the water pressure in the shaft, breaking through the web will result in an "A" Unbalancing critical.
29. Sump. A 30' diameter chamber that drops down four feet below the level of the converging tunnels and then drains southward. This one does not drain because of debris piled up at its outlet. Under the water at the pool's center is a living rat-trap. If strange creatures approach within 30' of the pool, a sickly green light appears over it and 10 diaphanous tentacles spring up, each with a glassy, fanged, snake-head at its tip. 1-5 heads attack each intruder, beginning with the closest, and they will attack all intruders within 100'. Their nerve poison causes paralysis, halving hits and all motile bonuses each round until a successful resistance roll is made. Recovery from each stage of "halving" takes 10-100 minutes, but anyone whose hits drop below I from a poison effect has suffered heart stoppage.
30. Sump. Anyone approaching will hear a regular hissing and whispering that vaguely resembles speech. Sitting at the bottom ofthe sump are four blue-mold zombies and a Faer Nuin (lesser wight). All are wearing Eriadoran garb; they once were revolutionaries, trapped in Lond Daer's sewers when the city was destroyed. The wight spends most of his time giving political lectures to his mindless followers. He will lead them to attack intruders, concentrating on any available Dúnedain. These undead carry 60 gp worth of coins, small gems, and stolen silverware and tools. The wight wields a battle-axe with mithril engraving and a charm against fumbling. His leather breast-plate is intact, as is a scroll written with the spells Invisibility and Mirage. The weapon and armor need to be soaked in pure water for a week to prevent the new owner from being plagued with nightmares of drowning in dark places.
31. Tunnel. This tunnel turns sharply downward before being blocked by flooding 100' below the surface of the estuary. Plant and animal life can be seen floating on the surface ofthe murky, opaque, 8' x 40' pool obstructing the passage—just a foot below its surface is a semi-fluid mass of brown sludge. The sludge consists mainly of powerful organic solvents. Anyone plunging or falling into the pool takes two "E " burn criticals as the sludge dissolves his flesh. Anyone stepping into the water may resist a 5th level attack to reduce the damage to a "B" critical ("A" if using a covered limb), but will take an additional "A" crit each round until the sludge is cleaned or scraped off
Spots within Lond Daer
- Aldarion's House
- Beffraen's Isle
- Fishing Camp
- Minas Iaur
- Minas Mellon
- The Mithril Room
- Tiras Maegthil
Characters of Note