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Middle-Earth 2950 Scenario

Northwestern Middle-earth in the 30th Century T.A. (Third Age) is a time of political and social upheaval. This area, known simply as the West, encompasses the lands north of Umbar, west of the Sea of Rhûn, and south and east of the Great Sea. Following the end of the Second Age, climaxed by the fall of Sauron and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, the West enters a brief period of growth and prosperity, followed by a long period of migration and expansion, strife and despair, war and recovery, brought about by the return of Sauron and his minions. This has a dramatic effect on the peoples of the West as the establishment of numerous strongholds by Sauron's chief servants, the Nazgûl ("Ringwraiths"), takes its toll on the neighboring realms: the sundering of realms of Arnor, conflict escalates between Gondor and Umbar, conflicts arise between factions within Gondor itself, and resurgent invasions by various Easterling peoples pressure the various realms of the Rhovanion. Then the Fell Winter strikes the Rhovanion, Gondor, and Eriador. The devastation following the cold and subsequent flooding forces all realms and powers to withdraw for a while and consolidate their forces. Finally, around T.A. 2950, Sauron declares himself openly and all must consider the new political landscape. New nations are on the rise: Strong Neutrals that have no current allegiance, isolated Free Peoples that were spared the Fell Winter, and bastions of the Servants of Darkness that always seem to have forces rallying to their cause. The time is ripe for a powerful leader to forge a strong alliance among the Free Peoples, or the forces of Darkness, and remove the threat of foreign domination, once and for all.

Significant events of the later Third Age are outlined below. The list is not intended to be complete but rather to highlight the political and social events of the near past/future. A more complete time-line can be found in Tolkien's The Return of the King™ (The Lord of the Rings™, Book III) Appendix B, and in numerous publications in the Middle-earth Role Playing Series, published by Iron Crown Enterprises.

The Third Age

1810 - Gondor drives the Corsairs from Umbar.

1856-99 - An Easterling confederation, the Wainriders, enters Rhovanion and drives the armies of Gondor westward across the Anduin. Gondor abandons its eastern holdings.

1974 - The armies of the Witch-king overrun Arthedain

1975 - Arvedui, the last King of Arthedain drowns in the Ice Bay. Two of the Palantíri (those of Annúminas and Amon Sûl) are lost when his ship sinks. An army composed of troops from Gondor and the Eriadoran allies defeats the Witch-king. Angmar falls.

1900-77 - The Éothraim migrate northward, eventually settling in the upper Anduin Valley, becoming the Éothéod.

1980 - The Witch-king reenters Mordor and gathers his fellow Ringwraiths. The Balrog of Moria comes forth and kills Durin VI.

1981 - The Dwarves abandon Khazad-dûm.

1999 - Refugees from Khazad-dûm found a settlement in Erebor (the Lonely Mountain).

2000 - The Nazgûl besiege the Gondorian mountain city of Minas Ithil.

ca. 2000-2200 - Dwarves of Durin's Kindred begin settling in the southern part of the Grey Mountains. They avoid contact with the Dragons breeding in the Withered Heath.

2002 - The Nazgûl take Minas Ithil and secure its Palantír (the Ithil-stone). The place is renamed Minas Morgul. Minas Anor is renamed Minas Tirith (S. "Tower of Guard").

2050 - The Witch-king slays King Eärnur of Gondor outside Minas Morgul, ending the line of the Kings of Gondor. Mardil, the first of the Ruling Stewards, begins ruling the South Kingdom. Orthanc is locked and the keys are taken to Minas Tirith.

2063-2460 - Sauron is in the East. The Watchful Peace settles upon northwest Endor.

ca. 2460-2510 - The Balchoth, another wave of the Easterling invaders, assail Gondor and crosses the Anduin at the Undeeps. Much of Gondor's northern territories are ravaged, but the Balchoth fail to crush the Dúnedain. The invaders are finally defeated at Parth Celebrant when they meet a Gondorian army supported (at a crucial moment) by the Éothéod of Eorl. The Éothéod are given the land of Calenardhon, although Gondor retains control of the valley around Orthanc. The Horse-lords claim Calenardhon as the Riddermark. Others call the area "Rohan".

2463 - A Stoor Hobbit named Dëagol finds the One Ring in the murky waters of the Gladden Fields. His cousin, Smëagol (Gollum), murders him and takes the Ring.

2475 - Orcs overrun Osgiliath. The population flees westward. Although liberated, it remains a deserted outpost until the end of the Third Age.

2758-59 - The Long Winter. There is terrible suffering throughout Eriador, Rohan, and certain parts of Rhovanion.

2759 - Helm, last of the first line of Kings of the Mark, dies. A second line of Kings begins. The Dunlendings are driven out of Rohan. Saruman the White is given access to Orthanc. The White Wizard continues his gradual study of, and immersion in, the ways of Darkness.

2770 - Smaug the Golden, a great winged Dragon, flies southward out of the Withered Heath. He destroys Dale and drives the Dwarves out of Erebor. The Naugrim flee to the Iron Hills. The Men of Dale take refuge to the south, at Esgaroth (Lake-town) upon the Long Lake (Annen).

2793-99 - The Great War between the Dwarves and Orcs take place along the eastern flank of the Misty Mountains.

2845 - King Thráin II, King of Durin's Folk, is captured by Sauron and imprisoned in Dol Guldur. The last of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves is lost with him.

2885-3019 - The Haradrim of Umbar and Harad proper launch a continuing series of attacks on Gondor's coasts.

2901 - Gondorian citizens begin to abandon Ithilien and move westwards across the

2911-12 - The Fell Winter strikes Eriador and Rhovanion. Waters from the melting snows flood the lowlands. Tharbad, the last remnant of old Cardolan, is finally abandoned. Trade between Eriador and Rohan/Gondor, already sporadic, all but disappears.

2941 - The White Council (composed of the Wizards, Elrond, Galadriel, and the other lords of the Eldar) drives Sauron from Dol Guldur. Smaug is killed while attacking Esgaroth. Dwarves reoccupy Erebor. The Battle of Five Armies.

2944 - The Northmen complete the rebuilding of Dale.

2951 - Sauron, now in Mordor, makes himself known and declares his intentions. Dol Guldur is reoccupied by the Nazgûl, and the Dark Lord begins to rebuild Barad-dûr.

2953 - The White Council meets for the last time. Saruman lies about the location of the One Ring. Orthanc is strengthened and refortified.

"The Hobbit"™, "The Lord of the Rings"™, "The Fellowship of the Ring"™, "The Two Towers"™, and "The Return of the King"™ and the names of the characters, events, items and places therein, are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises and are used, under license, by Game Systems International Ltd.

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