The Amar Calad


amar calads

It was a time of peace in the land of Middle-Earth. The dark powers had been vanquished and the great men of Numenor were building great cities. The elves roamed the lands free and unabashed as there was not but harmony in those days. The dwarves were building great cities under the tallest of mountains; beautiful and majestic where they, filled with the craftsmanship only dwarves could fashion. One such city was the city of Kazad-Dum, chiefest and fairest of all the cities of the dwarves; first in greatness who’s only second was Erebor and was built joining the west of the Misty Mountains to the east. The dwarves so loved their fine city but what they loved more than their city was the hope of finding the one thing they mined tirelessly to find, Mithril.

Though it was a lasting hope to find Mithril in the depths of Kazad-Dum, it was within those mines, under ScreenShot01932 (1)ages of stone, deep in the depths of Kazad-Dum that they found something else. A light pure and beautiful. It came from stone buried deep within the deepest caverns of the mines. Much more brilliantly did they shine when compared to the shining stones in the upper halls. Found in the Foundations of Stone, it bore a light deep within in it that shined bright like the sun on a clear summer’s day. They called the stone Amorez Dolek, Gift of the Earth. Enamored by its beauty, the dwarves hewed off parts of three of the stones: one blue like glowing aquamarine on the deep blue seas; one red as brilliant as a ruby; one green like the an emerald colored leaf lit by the sun under a clear day.

When King Durin set his gazing eyes upon the stones, he knew it was a sign; a sign of great prosperity in the realm of Kazad-Dum, and thus it was for many centuries that Kazad-Dum thrived. Even the elves of Eregion, good friends of Durin, came to see the great city under the Misty Mountains and were astounded when they too laid eyes on Amorez Dolek. One such elf, most friendly to the dwarves was Celebrimbor, the ScreenShot01952 (4)craftsman of such wonders as the magical west gate of Durin and the gift of an elf stone that rivaled even the magnificent elf-stone given to Galadrial. King Durin knew Celebrimbor was such a master tinkerer that he challenged Celebrimbor to dazzle him with the three stones by crafting badges out of them. Celebrimbor, with delight, took the stones back to Eregion where he spent a year devising what exactly to craft out of such brilliant stones.

Over the year, the elf crafter read hundreds of books and poured over thousands inspirational drawings of necklaces, circlets, bracelets, badges, broches, and rings. Nothing caught his eye until he remembered his wanderings east of the Misty Mountains in the land of Lorien. Because he was so enamored with the land of Lothlorien and the beauty of the Mallorn trees, Celebrambor sculpted, using the gold found in Kazad Dum, golden leaves such that they almost had the liking of feathers. In fact, his impression was to create ScreenShot01933 (1)leaves that looked like they had just fallen off of the feathers of the great eagles. With the three badges of golden feather-like leaves finished, he made the fittings for each of the three stones, chipped away at the stones, and set them inside the circle of golden leaves. It had been a year since he first was given the stones when he finally finished fitting them into the circle of leaves. He raised them up high and announced he would then call them, Amar Calad, Earth Light.

Proud of his accomplishment of the splendor of the Amar Calad, he brought the three to King Durin himself. Amazed by the craftsmanship of the stones, the king knew they were too great for any one person to bare. Celebrimbor agreed and inside the library of Katub-zahar, within the Great Delving, they came to a plan as to who should bare such important gifts. After much debate and no small amount of ale and weed, they figured the alliance of elves, men, and dwarves, as important as it was, was not signified by anything but the decree of the council of all three races. It was decided, in that library, that King Durin and Elendil, the king of men, should bare two of the three. The third Amar Calad was a mystery as there was no proclaimed leader of elves. As a result of their impasse, Celebrimbor took the last Amar Calad back home to Eregion where he pondered the question himself.

It was there, that all his thought and hopes for the last remaining Amar Calad was diverted. A strange new elf came enquiring about the elf lord. He, himself, was a master too, a master in the arts of jewel making. Together, they collaborated on a task that would help define the future of not only Eregion but all of Middle Earth. The elf called himself Annatar, The Barer of Gifts, and together they forged great rings of power. Three rings for the elf-kings under the sky, seven for the dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, and nine for mortal men doomed to die.

In 1697 of the Second Age, after being deceived by Annatar, Celebrimbor learned the full extent of Annatar’s deception. Annatar revealed himself to be the dark lord Sauron and in that year, after Sauron learned the elves removed their rings for fear of being manipulated by evil, his forces devastated the once ScreenShot01948 (2)peaceful land of Eregion and took Celebrimbor as a prisoner. No help came from the dwarves for as soon as they caught wind of the attack on Eregion, King Durin demanded the west gates shut, and had since not opened them to any elves from Eregion. Before Sauron took the land of Eregion, though, Celebrimbor sent the Amar Calad north with a loyal elf friend by the name of Elrond. The elf took it and cared for it in the refuge of Imladres, where it stayed along with the many fleeing elves. The last Amar Calad went unclaimed until the last alliance between men and elves marched on the forces of Sauron at the siege of Barad-Dur.

In the battle in the desolate land of Mordor, the other barer of the Amar Calad, Elendil, fought to free Middle Earth from the dark lord. During battle, he was also slain. Elendil, king of Gondor, was killed. Isildor, Elendil’s son, took the shards of his father’s sword and slayed the dark lord. Though Isildor had long been enamored by the Amar Calad, he found a new jewel to adore and keep for his own. The one ring that Sauron had in his possession passed to Isildor. The Amar Calad went unclaimed by men. After the great battle, it was taken by the elf, Glorfindel. Glorfindel marveled at the creation as it reminded him of the leaves of Lorien. With the like of it so strikingly similar to the land of Lorian, he took it to Galadriel who already knew its sister had been stored away in the halls of the refuge of Imladres. Through the east gates of Kazad Dum Glorfindel traveled and searched for King Durin.

In his throne room King Durin sat, above him, glowing with splendor upon the wall, sat the Amar Calad. ScreenShot01951 (5)Glorfindel asked King Durin for the stone but King Durin denied him the stone stating it was his to do with as he pleased. The sickness he held was such that Glorfindel had not seen before. King Durin’s passion to horde all in his possession drove him and his folk mad. His sickness was further worsened by rumors of mithril deep within the caverns of Kazad Dum. Though he was warned to not pursue the true-silver by Glorfindel, he did so anyway, defying the wisdom of the elf.

After King Durin defied Glorfindel’s council with his lust for all things, Glorfindel traveled west, across the great depths of Kazad Dum and back out of Durin’s gate. He spent some time, mourning the loss of Eregion and the many elves that lost their lives there. He then traveled north to Imladres, where he placed the Amar Calad along with its sister. There it sat for many ages. While the world crept back to normalcy, the mines of Kazad Dum, though, were not so peaceful. Not heeding the wisdom of Glofindel, the mines of Kazad-Dum were being laid to ruin. A terrible creature, one of which came out of myth, attacked the halls of Durin. Glorfindel heard rumors of a ghastly creature terrorizing the dwarves in Kazad-Dum. He went to aid the dwarves and to combat the terrible creature, one they named, “Durin’s Bane.”

When Glorfindel arrived in Kazad Dum, his grim findings drove grief into his heart. Though he warned King Durin to not delve deeper, he did so anyway and unleashed such a terrible creature that all who were in the mines perished under its wrath while either fighting or fleeing. Not only did Durin’s Bane destroy theScreenShot01943 dwarves, but orcs, goblins, and trolls started to inhabit the darkness of the mines. Hoping to not confront the creature which caused the destruction of Kazad Dum, Glorfindel tirelessly fought through the ranks of orcs all the way to the throne room of King Durin. Not one dwarf was found in that empty place. The wrath of Durin’s Bane and all the other servants of evil in that place could not be stopped and destroyed all who lived there. But amongst the ruin of the hall, one shining light filled the end of the throne room. It was the Amar Calad. That last true light of Kazad Dum shined like a beacon in the ruin, undimmed by the horrors, giving light to the dark truth of the mines of Kazad Dum. Sadly, he renamed the terrible place Moria, The Black Pit, and did not return.

After reclaiming the Amar Calad and taking it to Rivendell, the last of the three Amar Calad jewels were finally recovered. Isildur, now the King of Gondor and Arnor, visited the elf refuge and held a wonder at the shining jewels, much like he did when it was possessed by his father. Elrond told him they were the Amar Calad, very special among the elves as they were the last embodiment of the love of beauty of the elves of Eregion, particularly of Celebrimbor. After much persuasion, Isildur convinced Lord Elrond to part with the jewels and to take them. He wanted to honor the sacrifice of men under his charge that held great standings in a city in the west. Elrond reluctantly allowed him to take them under one condition: that he was to seek the wizard Gandalf. A powerful spell was put onto the Amar Calad at its conception, one that even Elrond was afraid of.

With that warning, Isildur instructed his aids to search for the wizard while he took the jewels to the city anyway, under the protection of his men. He gave all three Amar Calad jewels to three men of high standing in a great city in the realm of Arnor. Annuminus was the city and the three men with the charge of overseeing the three parts of the city were called the Marshalls.

Over the centuries after the Marshalls were given the three Amar Calad, Isildur learned of the danger of the Amar Calad. He was the only one with knowledge of the danger of the three gems but when he was vanquished at the banks of the Anduin the truth of the tokens died with him. In the aftermath of Isildur’s death, the kingdom of Arnor was no more and descended from its greatness. It was renamed Arthadain. As the centuries progressed, Arthadain too fell into ruin, the great cities of the north became less inhabited and the white city of Annuminus was abandoned. The last people to leave the great city were the three Marshalls but they kept care over their new home, Fornost.

Fornost too was invaded many times over the years and in 1974 of the third age, Fornost was overrun. Glorfinel was among the aids of the defense of Fornost but even with his might, the fortress of Fornost fell ScreenShot01959 - Copyto the forces of the Witch King, and with it all of Arthadain. Though the fortress of Fornost was taken back by a great host of elves, including Glofindel, the marshals with the Dunedain and a host of men from a great fleet from the sea led by the confident and steadfast commander, Earnur, the city still remained a sore reminder of the collapse of Arthadain. It was again taken by the dark powers of the north but it was already mostly abandoned. The marshals were already led to a small cottage in the wilderness east of the fortress city where they lived out their days in exile as a dying people.

It had come again that evil was stirring in the north. Orcs were seen on the boarders of the land of men. Evil men were invading villages, and even the dead were stirring, starting to walk again. With the help of Gandalf, two brothers baring the Amar Calad were taken from the marshal house to evade the evil spreading from Angmar. One remained with his father, Athegdir. One was taken to Imladres, where he was to live out his early years and learn the ways of the elves and the Amar Calad’s true beginnings. The last was to be taken to the Kingdom of Gondor.

The group of Dunedain Rangers, elves, the boy and his mother traveled south with the last Amar Calad. They then turned east, traveling through the kingdom of Rohan. Upon leaving the city of Edoras on a cold grey winter’s morning, they were waylaid by marauding orcs. Their path then had to turn northward but continuing attacks forced them to fortify themselves in a Gondorian Tower in the fields of the Norcrofts of Eastern Rohan. One of the elves, an elf of high esteem, took the Amar Calad as he knew the significance of it to his people. He only made it a few leagues when he was cut down by orcs. Though the orcs had no idea of the Amar Calad, they looted his body and took all in his possession.

The Amar Calad then passed quickly through the ranks of the orcs. One after another, one day after the ScreenShot01958 - Copynext, they slit throats and engaged in combat with each other, vying for possession of the shiny jewel. At last a band of Rohirrim ran down the orc invaders and it finally it came to men of Rohan, who took the Amar Calad without thought of where it came from. A soldier of Rohan took it to the boarders of the Brown Lands where he kept it among his possessions for a time until the frontier fortress was attacked. With some of the men taken prisoner, the Amar Calad was found among the belongings of the Rohirrim and given to the leader of the men called the Easterlings.

It past from person to person in the lands in the east. Over time, it had the reputation of having an ill air about it. Foul things happened to men who took possession of it. Death followed it. Those who took it died natural and unnatural causes. Placed in a jeweler’s house, the house burned down. It was taken by a looter but was mauled by a bear. It then found its way to a captain of the Easterlings.

The captain, who had no knowledge of the history of the jewel and his people, took it and with his war ScreenShot01945party, brought it with him with a war party to the eastern boarders of Rohan. Not long after the Easterling war party set up camp on the edge of the Anduin, it was attacked by a few but strong and cunning forces of Rohan. There it was taken by a young farmer from the Wold of Rohan. After a time, it then traveled back through the Kingdom of Rohan, back to the Gondorian Tower, and eventually made its way back north again to the city of Annuminus, where the fate of its owner was yet to be decided.

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