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30/Nov/2009, 07:45 AM
Dol Amroth Roleplaying Guide

Dol Amroth, the princely City of the White Ships, hugs the steep cliffs of the dramatic peninsula that forms the westernmost point in Belfalas. Its name dates from about T.A. 2004 and derives from the awesome monolith that shelters its deep harbour, a commanding height discovered by the Elf-lord Amroth. Locals call this mighty rock the "Hill," out of deference to its unique character and noble heritage.

Dol Amroth is the chief city of the provice of Dor-en-Ernil and great penninsula of Belfalas and is the largest Gondorian settlement west of Lebennin. Virtually all trade along the central coasts of the Stone-land reaches its quays. With a westward-facing harbor inlet, this fortified town serves as a haven for ships sailing south or eastward into Gondor, for its rock-lined anchorage is guarded from the rugged seas of the neighbouring bays. Sailors on vessels hailing from Eriador and Lindon, as well as places in the far West, have long sought Dol Amroth's varied comforts, and the city's famous Sea-ward Tower stands as a beacon of safety and civilisation for all who brave the stormy waves off this strategic promontory.

Chapter I. "Towns" of Dol Amroth (http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?16158-Dol-Amroth-Roleplaying-Guide&p=149204#post149204)

Chapter II. Military of Dol Amroth (http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?16158-Dol-Amroth-Roleplaying-Guide&p=149205#post149205)

Chapter III. People of Dol Amroth (http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?16158-Dol-Amroth-Roleplaying-Guide&p=149207#post149207)

Chapter IV. The Bay of Belfalas (http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?16158-Dol-Amroth-Roleplaying-Guide&p=149208#post149208)

Chapter V. Noble Houses of Belfalas (http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?16158-Dol-Amroth-Roleplaying-Guide&p=154147#post154147)

Chapter VI. Isle of Tolfalas(coming soon)

30/Nov/2009, 07:46 AM
Chapter I."Towns" of Dol Amroth
(Finding your way around Dol Amroth)

Dol Amroth is divided into seven districts or, as the locals say, “Towns.” Each of these quarters has some distinct quality, although the dividing parts were chosen as a matter of convenience and not because of social factors. Only the White Town surrounding the Cove of the White Ships shows any signs of being a truly unique settlement.

The stone culverts which carry water from the Hill's springs form demarcation lines between Dol Amroth's districts. Normally, modest streams flow through these white rock channels, but after a hard rain the calm rivulets become torrents. Neither the drains in the center of the city's cobbled streets nor sewers cutting through the bedrock can handle the swells, so these waterways insure safety in the face of the area's frequent storms. Akin to moats, they also cordon the neibourhoods in times of war.

A description of the seven Towns follows.

The White Town

Surrounding the hallowed Cove of the White Sips, which serves as Dol Amroth's war-harbour, the White Town is the home of the city's naval warriors and their families. Many of the neighbourhood businesses reflect the Town's particularized purpose, and most of the merchants involved in the consumer trade maintain very modest enterprises which cater to the nearby residents. The White Town is also the center of the local woodcraft, sailmaking, and armourer industries, as well as being the only place in town where a sea captain can find specialists such as cartographers and makers of precise navigational instruments.

The Middle Port

Dol Amroth's Middle Port is renowned for its ship-building and fishing industries. Here, wrights trained in the ancient Elven ship-making skills produce the finest sea-going vessels in all of Gondor. The art of constructing the famous White Ships (which are similar to the Elven Swan-ships_ is still practiced in this quarter, and the secrets of the craft are jealously guarded by the Ship-Wrights Guild.

Aside from fishermen and shipwrights, the Middle Port houses a host of related artisans. Sailmakers, coopers, smiths, carpenters, ropemakers, tanners and pitchlayers are reside here and labour in the well ventilated shops that line the streets near the quays. Unfortunately, these craftsmen produce a stunning array of harsh odours, and a still wind in the Middle Port inevitably results in a disarmingly pungent air.

The New Port

The New Port is Dol Amroth's only open harbour. Larbour than either the White Town of the Middle Port, it accommodates wards serving visitng vessels and its warehouses and markets are capable of handling the city's tremendous and varied volumes of commerce. Inns and taverns stand alongside the district's many storehouses and trading halls, serving those who wish to avoid the rambunctiousness of the Gate Town or the high prices found in the Castle Quarter.
RP Note: Currently, The White Town, Middle Town and New Port are available to explore in the Harbours of Dol Amroth thread. Other locations will become playable as the Dol Amroth forum grows.

The Gate Town

The Gate Town is the easternmost and outermost quarter, lying on the low ridge saddle just inside the main landward entry through the city walls. It is the dirtiest and rowdiest neigbourhood in Dol Amroth, although it is still better kept than the finer quarters found in most other cities. Inn,s taverns, theatres and markets line the Gate Town's busy streets. Whilst boisterous and colourful, traffic in the Gate Town is rarely threatening. There is little street crime, and that which persists is generally rather petty. Criminal groups often operate in this quarter, but they rarely act openly within the city itself. Instead, they prefer to carry their plans outside Dol Amroth.

The Old Town

The Old Town lays between the Gate Town and the Cliffs and overlooks the New Port. It is the oldest (save the White Town) and most varied of the city's districts, and it is here that the Squire (mayor) of Dol Amroth works.

The Cliffs

Above the Old Town and below the Castle Quarter is a large series of terraces buildings and winding streets. This area is known as the Cliffs, for here the steepness of the Hill provides little room for construction. While it is a generally residential neighbourhood, the upper reaches cater to the castle garrison and contain numerous taverns and game halls.

The Castle Quarter (High Town)

The Castle Quarter or High Town is located on the upper flanks of the Hill, just under shadow of the Prince's fortress (Ost-En-Ernil). A short causeway and a pair of drawbridges join the district to Ost-En-Ernil's outer defences, while four sets of stairs and an avenue unite the neighbourhood with the Cliffs below. Most of Dol Amroth's wealthy residents and merchants make their homes here, alongside the fine inns and taverns that serve the visitors seeking audiences with the Prince.
RP Note: The Prince's Castle; Ost-en-Ernil, is available to visit in the Ost-en-Ernil thread. There you may roleplay your business within the Prince's court.

30/Nov/2009, 07:47 AM
Chapter II.Military of Dol Amroth
(Playing Knights, Esquires and Men-at-Arms)

"And last and proudest , Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the Lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses; and behind them seven hundreds of men at arms, tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came."¹
* * * * *

The Swan Knights of Dol Amroth are the finest horsemen in Gondor, an elite body of heavy cavalry. They serve under the Prince's command and are distinguished by the curving silver Swan crest on their helms. These noblemen wear chain hauberks, carry shields, and are frequently armed with long spears, and carry Dúnadain long swords (S. "anket;" pl. "enkit"). Less common are axes and war-hammers. They are trained to charge in close order on their huge grey warhorses, overwhelming all but the best-trained of enemy formations. Their horses, many of which are imported from Calenardhon (Rohan), are strong, dependable, and quite capable of performing exceptionally complex manoeuvers.Each Knight is of noble bearing, and is a member or Lord of the most noble families of Dor-en-Ernil. It is almost impossible for a commoner or foreigner to attain to the title of Swan Knight. Each Knight belongs either to the Prince's household, or is a Lord or notable member of one of the other noble houses of Belfalas; old families who hold great estates and castles found throughout Dor-en-Ernil. Often these Arequain will display the Coat-of-Arms of their household on their shield and surcoat; though they remain loyal to Imrahil.
RP Note: Any player may roleplay a Swan Knight of Dol Amroth, as long as their character is a southern Dúnedain nobleman from Belfalas and has no ties to other military orders. Knights either belong to Imrahil's order of Household knights, and thus live within Ost-en-Ernil, or are lords or notable members of other noble families of Belfalas, and travel to Dol Amroth from their estates and castles along the coast.

Esquires(S. "Ohtar") serve as Dor-en-Ernil's medium cavalry. Each Esquire serves a particular Knight and often aspires to be a Knight himself. They wear chain shirts and greaves, carry shields and are armed with long spears and short swords. Esquires often follow the Knights they serve into the second rank of a charge.
RP Note: Any player may roleplay as an Esquire of Dol Amroth, as long as their character is Gondorian and has no ties to other military orders. An Esquire is often a lesser noble who has pledged his service to a Swan Knight.

The Knights and Esquires of Dor-en-Ernil are the most notable body of heavy cavalry in Gondor. The armies of Gondor depend on Northmen auxiliaries for most of their cavalry arm, maintaining only a small force of heavy Dúnadan cavalry - the Roechbin Turma (Horsemen Company) of the Dagarim Arandur at the Tirith Garrison - for sorties against enemy forces.

Men-at-arms are veteran heavy infantry, They wear chain shirts and greaves and are equipped with a variety of weapons. In Belfalas, spears and short swords are favoured, while further north warriors preffer longswords and bows. Officers wear chain mail hauberks and are frequently mounted.
RP Note: Any player may roleplay a Man-at-arms of Dol Amroth. These soldiers can be found in Ost-en-Ernil and also throughout Belfalas, in various towns, settlements and as memebers of the household guard of the noble families.

All three of these forces have members based within Dol Amroth; within the garrison at Ost-en-Ernil; the Prince's Castle. Many more are stationed within outposts throughout Belfalas.

1. Tolkien, J.R.R., The Return of the King; Minas Tirith, p.754

30/Nov/2009, 07:48 AM
Chapter III.People of Dol Amroth
(Creating characters)


RP Note: Players who wish to "live" in Dol Amroth should create characters who are southern Dúnedain if they wish to take advantage of all the city has to offer. Please consult the text below for ideas concerning character creation.

Dúnedain of Dor-en-Ernil are descendants of the Faithful of Númenor, who fled to Middle-earth to escape the growing corruption of their homeland in the Second Age. The Dúnedain are now scattered throughout the lands of Eriador and Gondor. Many of their corrupted kinfolk - those called Black Númenoreans - live elsewhere in Moddle-earth, in ancient colonies like Umbar.

Nowhere else in Endor is the island culture of old Númenor so well maintained as in the Prince's Land. Since the region had few inhabitants apart from Elves when Dúnadan settlers arrived in the late Second and early Third Ages, little intermingling of peoples occured. This left the local bloodlines relatively pure.

In appearance, the Dúnedain of Dor-en-Ernil are remarkable tall, the largest people among either Men or Elves. As a rule, both males and females have black hair, shining grey eyes, and fair skin. Men are generally clean-shaven. They retain the features of their forefathers. Dúnedain of pure descent still live twice as long as Common Men.

All the Dúnedain of Dor-en-Ernil are fluent in at least two languages. They speak the Common Speech and also Sindarin. Most people are literate and can write in the flowing characters of the English Tengwar script. Learned persons may know Quenya and/or classical Andunaic, both of which are tongues of ceremony and lore rather than everyday speech.

In the Land of the Prince there are three pinciple social classes. The nobility include the Prince's family and the households of his Knights. These families tend to be insular, reluctant to marry outside the pure Dúnedain bloodline for fear of imparing their logevity. Most of the nobility own castles or large estates within Dor-en-Ernil; though none rival the splendour of Ost-en-Ernil.Townsmen include merchants, artisans and labourers, a wide range of wealth united only by common habitation.Pesants, the most numerous class, live in the coastal villages, fishing, farming and tending livestock. There is no dishonour in working the land; in Dor-en-Ernil there is no serfdom or slavery, and though a peasant pays rent to the local lord (often a Knight), he is in all respects a free man, entitled to move to another village or town if he desires. Knowinf this, the nobles keep their rents fair and are careful to give peasants little desire to leave.

The clothing of men of Dol Amroth consists of long tunics belted at the waist, made of linen or lightweight wool, and sandals or soft boots. In cooler weather they don hose and wool or fur mantles. Leather breeches and high boots are used when riding and hunting. Women wear long dresses of linen or wool, and sandals or slippers. Nobles and commoners are distinguished by embroidery and the cut and quality of material. Ceremonial court attire of the nobility is quite distinctive, reflecting Elvish style. Men wear long embroidered robes of silk or cotton with hanging sleeves, while women are adorned in gowns of diaphanous silk; both complete their costumes with flowing capes dyed and fur-trimmed appropriately by rank.

The Dúnadan diet is tasteful and varied, drawing from a host of sources; sweet breads, cheeses, many frusts and vegetables, butter or olive oil, dozens of different fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, and meats. Common drinks include wine, ale and mead. Nobles enjoy a higher proportion of meat to fish, and better grades of drink, like the imported vintages of Dorwinion. All classes use salt and herbal seasonings as flavour enchancements and preservatives.

In architecture, stone is the preferred building material of the Dúnedain, their stoneworking ability is surpassed only by the Dwarves; not only the Princes Castle and the houses of Dol Amroth, but many cottages reflect the mason's art. Tiled roofts and mosiac floors embellish wealthier homes, while thatch roofs and wooden floors are all that commoners can afford. A nobleman's home may even have running water. Dúnadan architecture is remarkably advanced, the often-elaborate floorplans show links to their past and to the influence of Elves. Dúnadan manors, for instance, often have colonnaded courtyards and fountains, even in the cool highlands.

For leisure, Dúnadan noblemen turn to hunting, hawking and riding. Commoners enjoy swimming along the shore and diving from the cliffs of Belfalas. Sailing is a pleasure shared by all, from the Prince on his royal galley to the fisherman on his modest dory. Indoors, all folk play the traditional riddling games.

30/Nov/2009, 07:48 AM
Chapter IV. The Bay of Belfalas
(Exploring Beflalas)

Along the northeastern coasts of the Bay of Belfalas, land and seas continually interact. Powerful forces gave this region of Middle-Earth remarkably diverse terrain, and the reshaping process is never ending. To the west, the constant onslaught of crashing waves etches away at the multi-hued cliffs, while in the eas the region's rivers carry the silt that forms an ever-expanding host of new islets and beaches.

Befalas has a long, rounded, hilly and somewhat irregular coastline, stretching between the mouth of the Morthond and the Gilrain estuary. Steep cliffs and rocky coves dominate the western and southern coasts, where dozens of waterfalls tumble into the bay. Hundreds of sea-caves and scattered shoals punctuate these wild, windswept shores.

The eastern side of Belfalas is less precipitous. Sea-rocks are less common, and beaches are interspersed between the occasional marshes and the smaller coastal cliffs Gentle breezes cool th rich manorlands that lie along its edge.

The promontory of Dol Amroth is undoubtedly the most notable feature of Belfalas. Connected to the mainland by a very narrow neck of land, it juts westward into the bay, rising the form a natural fortress. Its long ridge culminates in a spit of land the marks the westernmost point in all of Belfalas. Galadriel chose this hallowed pillar of rock as the site for the bell-tower that became the Tirith Aear (S. "Sea-ward Tower").

The Hill of Amroth is actually the last peak in a line of coastal mountains that forms the main transverse ridge in the range locals call the Ered Tarthonion. Anyone approaching the Hill from the north or the south will see that it appears tilted so that its spine runs downward towards the east (and Belfalas proper). Its rather sheer southern and western faces are virtually unclimbable, except along the main ridges. The northern side of the peninsula is less forbidding, but even there the cliffs reach considerable heights. Sedimentary deposits from the nearby streams and the Morthond to the north formed beaches along the north shroe which gradually augmented that narrow shelf of ock on the bay shore. Fingers of rock reach northward from this side of the promontory, creating three excellent natural harbours.
Away from the coast, Belfalas is an undulating lowland which steadily rises into the foothills of the Ered Tharonion (Mountains of the Lofty Pines). Further inland, the hills give way to the jagged peaks which run the length of the peninsula and divide Belfalas into two roughly equal halves. These mountains are an extended spur of the Ered Nimrais to the north. Although they reach a maximum height of only 6500', they present a considerable barrier to travel. Those heading across Dor-en-Ernil can only avoid these heights by going the long way to the south along the coast or to the north through the 20-mile wide Lamendon Gap, or by the using the Cirith Durandir, the steep pass through the narrow centre of the range.

RP Note: Hopefully these broad guidelines might help when writing adventures in the lands of Belfalas. To write such stories, please visit the Dor-en-Ernil thread in the Dol Amroth forum. As new locations of note are created by players, they will be added to this guide.

10/Dec/2009, 11:56 AM
Chapter V. Noble Houses of Belfalas
(Princes, Lords and Knights)

Noble Houses of Belfalas
House Imrazôr: Prince Imrahil: Castle Ost-en-Ernil, Dol Amroth
HouseMorthoron: Lord Orodreth: Castle Amrúnaur
House Arvaldon: Lord Arvaldon (deceased)
House Maladros: Lord Marrick
House Tavor: Lord Thurindir : Castle Cirith Dunrandir
House Hisende: Lord Aran: Castle Misthold
House Astaldo: Lord Maenhir Astaldo: CastleGîlsarn

Swan Knights of Dol Amroth
Sir Orodreth Morthoron (Arohir)
Sir Arohir Morthoron
Sir Dale Orin (Aramir)
Sir Arvaldon (deceased)
Sir Marrick Maladros (Naith Liathant)
Sir Tavor (Pellaadarion)

Esquires of Dol Amroth
Umbak Maldathar, esquire of the late Lord Arvaldon