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