Minas Morgul

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Post  Yrobryn on Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:56 pm

After the destruction of Númenor, Isildur and Anárion, the sons of Elendil, landed in Gondor. Isildur built Minas Ithil at the south end of a pleasant valley in Ithilien near the mountainous border of Mordor, while Anárion built Minas Anor further west across the Anduin. The brothers had their thrones side by side at Osgiliath. Isildur planted a sapling of the White Tree Nimloth outside his home in Minas Ithil, and one of the seven palantíri was kept in the tower. The city's white marble walls, buildings, and tower were designed to catch and reflect the moonlight, and shone with a soft silver luminescence.
When Sauron returned after escaping Númenor's destruction, he attacked the exiles of Númenor, and his forces took Minas Ithil by force in S.A. 3429. Though the White Tree was burned, Isildur and his family managed to escape down the Anduin with a seedling, seeking his father Elendil. The city was later retaken and while Isildur, Anárion, and Elendil assaulted Mordor, Isildur's younger sons Aratan and Ciryon were sent to garrison Minas Ithil in order to intercept Sauron if he attempted to escape from Mordor to the west.
When the Last Alliance defeated Sauron in S.A. 3441, Minas Ithil was restored as a city/fortress and prospered for many years, though it was now under the rule of Anárion's son Meneldil, as Isildur planned to take up rule of his father's kingdom of Arnor. Isildur planted the seedling of the White Tree at Minas Anor in memory of Anárion, who had been slain during the War.
Minas Ithil suffered greatly as a result of the Great Plague in the year T.A. 1636. Its population and garrison were diminished, and the watch on Mordor inevitably became lax. In the year 1980 of the Third Age, the Nazgûl returned to Mordor, after the defeat of the Witch-king of Angmar in the north of Middle-earth by a joint force of Elves, Dúnedain, and men of Gondor under the command of Prince Eärnur.
Minas Ithil was captured by the Nazgûl in TA 2002 and was transformed into a foul, evil place. As a result, it came to be called Minas Morgul, which in Elvish means "Tower of Dark Sorcery." Minas Morgul stood upon the Morgulduin, a branch of the Anduin river. It was east of Osgiliath, just before Cirith Ungol.

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