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The Man With No Name
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Joined: 09 Dec 2011
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re: The House of Orendir

~The House of Orendir~

Of old there was Númenor, then Arnor and later Arthedain... Ever have the sons of Orendir defended their Kings. Such was the motto of House Orendir, and its first head- Orendir I. This tome is to hold the compiled history of his exploits, and those of his descendants. As was decreed by Orenchal, eldest son of Orendir I, who succeeded his father as the head of House Orendir.

Orendir was not at first but the name of a single man. Of his childhood in Númenor little is known, save that his father was a widely respected advisor to the Kings in the court at Armenelos in its final years and that his mother was a woman of great beauty, so much so that she was often compared to the Ruling Queens of Númenor, and also to the vaunted and much-loved Erendis Tar-Elestirnë, wife of Tar-Aldarion the sixth King. The marriage between Orendir’s parents was a widely celebrated affair, for those were days of less evil, when Ar-Pharazôn had soon become the King. It was said that both he and his cousin Amandil attended the celebrations, as well as the Lord of Rómenna at the time, a proud and honourable man called Azruzîr, but whom the Elendíli named Eärnil. What is known for certain is that ten years into their marriage the couple had a son, and after much debate they chose to name him Orendir.

The boy most certainly spent his childhood in and out of Armenelos, the seat of power to the Kings of Númenor, though records tell of a home in Forostar to the north. The work of Orendir’s father kept his parents close to Armenelos almost year round. This was a blessing, for living in the most populated region of Númenor gave Orendir access to the best schooling and training, and allowed him from an early age to witness the politics of the King’s court and hear the opinions and thoughts of some of Númenor’s most prominent figures. As the years waned on, Orendir’s father remained an avid supporter of direct contact with the lands to the east, the Middle-earth from whence came the fathers of the Númenóreans after the defeat of the Great Darkness, and the elves who dwelt there. He also remained in close contact with Amandil, Lord of Andúnië (who by decree of the King could no longer dwell in the bay of Eldanna), and his supporters throughout the years, often acting as a constant counsellor to their exploits. So it was that he was counted high amongst the Elendíli.

Though his trainers are unknown to us, and no records remain of his schooling, on his twenty eighth birthday Orendir became an assistant to his aging father (for he was over one hundred and twelve years of age, having married late as was the custom amongst the men of Númenor). Due to his young age, Orendir was most likely a messenger between different factions and houses for which his father spoke. Aside from his duties he was recorded to have been a talented duelist, winning many events and contests in his younger years, and receiving many offers to join those who sailed to Middle-earth. But he turned them down for many years in an effort to be near to his father and mother, who had no other children and adored their only son greatly.

In the year 3261 of the Second Age, the twenty-fifth King of Númenor, Ar-Pharazôn, took notice of Sauron’s assault on the Númenórean settlements in the south of Middle-earth and word reached him of Sauron’s vow to drive the Númenóreans into the Sea, and, if possible, attain the destruction of the Isle of Kings. Thus the King gathered to himself a great host and sailed to Middle-earth, landing in the haven of Umbar. From there the King and his army marched northwards to Mordor. Their splendour and might was so great that Sauron's own servants deserted him. And the Dark Lord, perceiving that the Númenóreans could not be conquered through strength of arms, changed into the fairest form he could conceive, and humbled himself before Ar-Pharazôn. The King stripped Sauron of his titles and decreed that he would be taken as a hostage to Númenor, so as to prevent his servants from harassing the Númenóreans in Middle-earth.

During this period, Orendir and his family remained in Númenor and anxiously awaited the return of the King and his men. When they finally did come home there was great celebration in Númenor, throughout its five provinces, and especially in Arandor. It was in the following three years that Sauron corrupted the minds of the King and his followers to such an extent that he became the chief advisor in Ar-Pharazôn’s council. All other councillors sought to fall into his good graces, but Orendir and his father were so disgusted by this act that they abandoned their stations within the king’s court and moved north to their estate in Forostar. Being of a wealthy family they simply retired from any open duties and watched as the people of Númenor became divided once more, and Sauron's influence increased swiftly. It was during these years that Orendir met Lendglir. She was the only daughter of a wealthy widow, who had long since lived in Eriador, across the eastern seas. Lendglir was beautiful and often described as fierce spirited and outspoken, sometimes to a fault. Her presence in Númenor was assumed to be brief for her mother had heard tell of the goings on there and, being one of the Elendíli, wished to break all ties with the King and his Men. So she sent her daughter to see that their few affairs on the Island were handled, and that the grave of her father would be tended to even in their absence. Lendglir accepted the task grudgingly, for she had no desire to leave the lands she loved even for a short while. It was on a midsummer's night that they met one another, and this meeting was one recorded in great detail by Orendir himself, in one of his few writings that were preserved from the Downfall.

3261, A midsummer's night
It was a fine night, as I recall. I had decided earlier in the month that I would take to the northern coasts of Forostar for a time and look upon the sea for some days. It was in truth a trivial task, as had been many tasks I had set for myself since leaving Armenelos. Nonetheless I made good time upon leaving the estate and arrived at the shores not long after my departure. Most of the beaches of Forostar lied beyond cliffs with few possible trails leading to the shores. It was one such cliff that I came upon early that afternoon. Having brought strong rope of good craft, and being then a brash man I thought it would be good sport to climb down the cliff and camp on the beach for a time. I found a strong tree, of the kind that was ever scarce in Forostar, and tied the rope to it. Slowly I began my descent down the cliff and was faring well until I stumbled upon several gull nests filled with eggs. Foolishly I thought these would make for a good meal when I settled below and began gathering them as a I continued down. Not long after my discovery several great gulls came flying from the northern seas, they circled above for a time and then began swooping down, pecking at me fiercely. I was in such a position that I could not drive them off, nor could I so quickly leave their nests. One such gull came and assaulted my face to the point I feared he would blind me. Running out of options and unable to stop the onslaught I decided to face the fall rather than the gulls and let go of the rope. I fell some twenty feet before I landed on the sands below. And the long drop threw me into unconsciousness for a time. I woke in the dead of night, though the moonlight shone brightly over the sea and beach. Then a sound came to my ears. At first I thought it was the sea or perhaps the gulls above. But as it grew louder it became clear that was a voice, a singing voice carried by the winds. I stood then, injured though I was, and made my way down the beach towards the voice. As I came closer its beauty became clearer, and I was quite taken with it. Pushing onwards a figure took form in the distance, as did her words, and I could see it was a woman, singing to the moon and the stars.

“Come to the valley where hearts may find peace
Come to the valley for sorrow's release
Your body is weary, you long for road's end
Come to the vale where life sings on the wind.

Follow the white stones to our hidden halls
Follow the bright star to Bruinen's falls
Time doesn't pass here; your cares melt away
Come to the valley, and taste Elder Days.”

I stopped for a time and listened to her song, the beauty of her voice and of her figure had stricken me at my heart, and I could do naught but listen. And, as her song died out, I approached. She turned upon me in an instant, taking me for some thief in the night. Dagger in hand she lunged at me, but swiftly I grabbed her wrist and lifted it aloft, the blade fell and our figures touched. She looked upon me then, covered in sand and wounds. Maybe she took pity on me, or maybe she too was stricken by the same feeling that drove me now, for she lead me to her fire and asked me many questions. I answered her as directly as I could though with some difficulty. For this woman had taken me aback with her beauty and words, I was truly at a loss of words for the first time in my life. But as she looked to some of my hurts, I began to find myself and we talked long that night of many things. She spoke of her home in Endor, and of the Eldar, her friends and teachers in the valley of Imladris. She told me of the death of her father and her purpose in Númenor, and how she intended to return home soon. And when she said so I recall my disappointment, to lose so soon that which I just had found. Nevertheless, I offered her to remain in my estate in Forostar, for so long as she remained in Númenor. And, to my surprise, and rekindling the hope in my heart, she accepted. So it was that she remained there for the next few months. But by then, my heart had become clear to her, and at last she decided to postpone her return to Endor. It was in the winter of 3318 that I asked her in betrothal, and to my deepest joy she accepted, for her heart too had turned towards me. We married at the first thaw of spring, and it was a private ceremony, to which only the closest kin attended.

This was one of the greatest joys for Orendir, but it would be followed by a time of great pain. The following year Orendir’s parents were taken from their estate while he and Lendglir were away, conferring with the son to the Ruling Lord of Rómenna, Arakhôr. His parents were offered as sacrifice to the Void by the King’s Men under Sauron's guidance. And after such horrible deed, Orendir cursed Sauron, and swore to exact vengeance upon him and his followers. And he would have gone to Armenelos itself, to kill the wicked King and his counsellor. But his wife was heavy with child, and she convinced him to forsake his vengeance, knowing it to be a foolhardy task, and one that no living man of Númenor could hope to accomplish.

It wasn’t long until Ar-Pharazôn, having completed the building of his Great Armada under Sauron’s advice, sailed west, breaking the Interdiction of the Valar and vying to take the Undying Lands for himself. And great storm clouds hanged above Númenor, and they had the shape of eagles, and lightning was upon their wings. So it was that the bewildered King set forth, never to be seen again by any mortal man.

But the Valar had not completely forsaken those who remained true in their hearts. For though the betrayal of Númenor could not be easily forgiven, still the Elendíli played no part in the follies of the Kings of the Isle of the Star. And Elendil, with his sons Isildur and Anárion, began gathering many treasures, and they prepared nine ships, upon which Elendil said he would journey to Middle-earth, never to return to Westernesse. And all was made ready, and they waited. They departed just as the Meneltarma burst into flames, in the year 3319 of the Second Age, and Elenna-nórë, Andor, Númenórë, The Star-wards Land, the Land of Gift, Westernesse of old song, perished forever from the world. But Elendil was spared, for his ships were thrown into the shores of Middle-earth, and there they would dwell until the end of days...

It was before this, however, that Orendir became gravely worried for the fate of Númenor and heard rumours that the Faithful had gathered under Elendil, son of Amandil, and were preparing to sail for the eastern shores of Middle-earth forever, fearing retribution from the Valar. Orendir resolved that this would be the best choice for him and his wife, he took what belongings he could from his estate and made swiftly for what he saw as their only hope. So, before Elendil and his ships departed, Orendir and Lendglir came upon the havens of Rómenna. But their journey was not unknown to all, and as they came upon the city walls, a man was there to greet them. He was stern of face, and his deep grey eyes revealed nothing about him. He was Arakhôr, son of Azruzîr and Ruling Lord of Rómenna like his father before him. But word was it that Azruzîr had gone with the King, alongside Arakhôr’s younger brothers, while the eldest of Azruzîr’s sons remained behind, not willing to take part in the follies of the King. And Arakhôr greeted Orendir and his wife, and welcomed them to Rómenna.

There would have been some concern on whether or not the Lord of Rómenna was Faithful at heart, but he proved a stalwart supporter of Elendil. And hearing of Orendir and his intentions of departing from Númenor forever, Arakhôr introduced Orendir to the Lord of Andúnië. Thus it was that Orendir met Elendil the Tall, son of Amandil. Almost by chance, Elendil recognized Orendir as a man once often seen about the court halls of Armenelos, until the coming of Sauron. Moreover, his father was marked a Faithful, honoured among them, and Elendil saw that Orendir was not of unlike mind. So, in the end Elendil granted Orendir leave to depart the forsaken land aboard his own ship. But still, the Lord of Andúnië tarried. And though Arakhôr, the lord of Rómenna, pleaded with him that he should depart, for Sauron had learned of their rebellion, still they remained. It was only when the banners of the King of Númenor were unfurled before the walls of Rómenna that Elendil committed to the Sea at last, and boarded his ship with those who would follow him. And into their flagship came Orendir and his wife.

But still they tarried. Sauron had no ships to board Elendil’s vessels, and so they were safe for the time being, but it seemed the Lord of Andúnië waited still for a sign. A sign that never came. Or perhaps there was no sign to be sent, but the doom that befell. For several days the ships remained, near to the ports of Rómenna, when disaster struck the Isle of Kings. Fire burst from the Meneltarma, and the seas were opened, and fair Númenórë was swallowed by the waters. There is no telling the sorrow of the men and women aboard the ships, for they had lost the greatest gift that their forebears were granted, for their valiant defiance of the Great Enemy in times long past. But soon their grief was turned to despair, for from the sinking of Númenor a great wave was formed, and it swept the nine ships of the Elendíli.

Many days of toil the Númenórean Exiles spent at sea, fighting the wrath of Ossë, deeming their imminent deaths to be the lesser of evils, for no pain could be greater than the loss of their beloved homeland. But still, the Powers had other fates reserved for the Faithful, other than the deep dark of the seas. So it was that, despite the violent winds and storms, that tore and broke the masts and sails of the ships, at last the nine ships saw land again...

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