Battle of Fornost

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In 1974 of the Third Age, the city of Fornost, capital of Arthedain and last remnant of Arnor, was captured by the Witch-king of Angmar. Arvedui, then king, fled north to Forochel while other survivors went west to the Elven realm of Lindon. In 1975, an alliance of the Free Peoples marched on Fornost and drove out the Witch-king, shattering Angmar's power in the north for the next thousand years.

Major Figures

The forces of Angmar were led by the Witch-king and by Amarthiel, the Champion of Angmar, who had led the Witch-king's armies and was instrumental in the fall of Fornost the year before.

The alliance that rode against the Witch-king included a host of Elves of Lindon, including Círdan the Shipwright and Laerdan, the last survivors of Arnor willing to fight, a company of Hobbit-archers from the Shire, Gondorian soldiers and cavalry led by Prince Eärnur and his knights (among them Macilnis, Orolang, Calatúr, and Silmahtar), and a company of Elves of Rivendell led by Glorfindel.


The alliance crossed the river Lhûn and came to the Fields of Fornost, where the Witch-king met them in battle rather than waiting out a siege within the walls of Fornost. [North Downs] In the battle that followed, Laerdan of Lindon defeated Amarthiel and she vanished from the knowledge of the Enemy for at least a century. During the fighting, the strength of the Angmarim faltered, and they were driven back. The Witch-king then sent a large troll against the Gondorians, which shattered Eärnur's shield before being slain by a Bree-lander named Bardulf Gilmar. The battle was soon decided in the Free People's favor.

The Witch-king tried to flee back to Carn Dûm after a large part of the allies' cavalry fell upon his forces from the north. Eärnur pursued and was joined by Glorfindel's company out of Rivendell. The Witch-king's presence on the field drove most before him mad with fear, including Eärnur's horse, who bore him away from the Witch-king instead of forward to duel the Nazgûl. Glorfindel told Eärnur not to pursue the Witch-king, once he had remastered his horse, and that "not by the hand of man will he [the Witch-king] fall". Eärnur heeded Glorfindel's advice, but it remained a sore spot for him.

The army of Angmar was shattered, orcs and men scattering to the point that Angmar would not trouble the north again for centuries. It was too late to save Arthedain, however, and the Dúnedain that remained went into hiding as the Rangers of the North, led by Aranarth, son of Arvedui, who drowned in the Ice-bay of Forochel in his haste to join the alliance marching on Fornost.

Many were the reports of Men who abandoned or betrayed their duties and oaths during the Battle of Fornost and earlier, during the city's fall. Some, like the wraiths that now hold the towers of the city, fell under the sway of Amarthiel and Narchuil and are loyal to her still. Others cleaved to the Witch-king, like Captain Riamul. For oaths broken and forsworn, the Fields of Fornost and Ost Heryn in the Twilight Fields beyond the Evendim Gate are haunted by Oathbreaker shades, become more agitated in recent days.

See Also