AMON SÛL, WEATHERTOP
The land before them began steadily to rise again. Away in the distance eastward they could now see a line of hills. The highest of them was at the right of the line and a little separated from the others. It had a conical top, slightly flattened at the summit. 'That is Weathertop,' said Strider. 'The Old Road, which we have left far away on our right, runs to the south of it and passes not far from its foot. We might reach it by noon tomorrow, if we go straight towards it. I suppose we had better do so.'The hill, known commonly as Weathertop, has a long history, spanning the three recorded ages of the children of Ilúvatar. Weathertop is the southern- most of the line of low hills known as the Weather hills. These separate the empty Oiolad (known as the `Lone lands') from the Nan Turnath (which includes the vale of the Baraduin and Bree-land). Weathertop, by dint of fact that it was the tallest and most southern became the most important of the peaks.
Though revered by the Edain in the First Age, it is only at the end of the Second Age that Weathertop gained prominence. Its height and position made it an excellent vantage point when Elendil landed in Eriador and established the Northern Kingdom of Arnor. To secure the newly established Great East Road he erected a mighty watch-tower upon the summit of the hill. Using the Sindarin name for the hill, this structure was known as the Tower of Amon Sûl ("Hill of the Wind").
The tower was also renowned to the scholarly, because it held one of the great treaures of the Northen Kingdom: a palantir of immense size. In later times with the sundering of Arnor into three kingdoms in the 9th century of the Third Age, the tower gained added importance, being the meeting-point of the borders of all three states. Though ostensibly held by Arthedain, Weathertop, its fortification and its seeing-stone was coveted by both Rhudaur and Cardolan.
In the mid-fourteenth century with the fall of Rhudaur to Angmar, the Weather Hills and Weathertop became a bastion against the Witch-king's might. Though the tower was fortified further, in the end it was destroyed when the Witch-king's army overran the area, the Nazgûl personally breaking the mighty gates to the tower. However, the great orb was smuggled away before the final battle to Fornost (though five hundred years later it was lost in a further flight northwards, in the Bay of Forochel). The Witch-king erased the memory of the Tower, by ordering his orcs to completely destroy the tower. Now all that remains of the great fort on the crown of the hill, is a wide ring of ancient stone-work and a central pile of broken stone. Tales do tell of underground fortifications which still survive, but if so the entrance to them has long been forgotten.
Generated on Tue Nov 10 15:16:44 2020