"Sheep were bleating in flocks. Green walls and white walls rose. There were fortresses on the heights. Kings of little kingdoms fought together, and the young Sun shone like fire on the red metal of their new and greedy swords. There was victory and defeat; and lowers fell, fortresses were burned, and flames went up into the sky."
- Tom Bombadil's Tales from The Red Book of Westmarch
Cradled between the mighty Misty Mountains and the blue Ered Luin, bounded and protected by, to the north, barren tundra plains, and to the south, the mighty River Gwathló, Arnor appeared to be the perfect home for the Exiles of downfallen Númenor. Like ancient Númenor, the northern heartland of the kingdom was a cool, rocky, rugged land, little lent to farming on a grand scale, but ideal for contemplation, study, and worship. Free of Dragons, bitter winter weather, and the threat of invasion from any direction but the East, this Dúnadan kingdom seemed to be a realm destined to survive and dominate the Third Age, Settled by the wisest and highest of Men, it stood supported by the Elves of Lindon and Rivendell and by powerful kinsmen in Gondor to the south. Palantíri and fleet messengers on horseback effectively linked the Dúnadan kingdoms.
Human folly and the plots of a deathless evil have undone this dream. Arnor is no more; divided into the three kingdoms of Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur, the Dúnedain of the North spent their strength in foolish, petty wars, and while corruption and ambition sapped their strength, enemies gathered on their frontiers.
The Barrow-downs, or Tyrn Gorthad, was an area of low hills to the east of the Shire and the Old Forest, and west of the village of Bree. An article that shows how to make Barrows, Standing Stones and Cairns for use in setting up Barrow downs boards.
Bree is a small settled area in central Eriador. This article shows how to construct the half timbred Bree houses. The techniques contained within could also be applied to other buildings in other areas of Middle Earth.
Before the encounter with the three trolls in the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the party comes across a ruined farmhouse, to which Gandalf explains, “a farmer and his family used to live here,”. This scene takes place in the Trollshaws, a dangerous borderland between Bree and Rivendell. This article shows how to make this farmhouse for games set in the Trollshaws.