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  • Updated 13 August 2018
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Roots of the Pillar

Five ridges at the base of the Pillar of Heaven

The island of Númenor consisted of a wide central plain from which five wide promontories extended out into the Sea. Near the centre of the island was a tall, steep-sided mountain that, to the Númenóreans, was the holiest place on the isle. This was the Meneltarma, the 'Pillar of Heaven' that rose alone out of the plains, and had a Hallow of Eru on its summit.

Running out from the base of the Pillar of Heaven were five long, low ridges, each extending outwards towards one of the five promontories of the island. These ridges pointed north, west, east, southwest and southeast, so that they formed an approximate five-pointed star when viewed from above. The ridges were collectively known as the Roots of the Pillar, or Tarmasundar in Elvish.

From the heights of the Pillar of Heaven a roadway spiralled downward until it met the southwestern ridge. From there it ran down along the crest of that Root of the Pillar until it descended into the surrounding plain, where it joined the ancient road that ran between Armenelos and Andúnië.

Between each neighbouring pair of Roots a wide valley formed, but the valley between the southwestern ridge and the southeastern was particularly important. This was Noirinan, the Valley of the Tombs, so named because the Kings and Queens of Númenor were entombed in chambers cut into its rock. From this valley sprang a river that ran southwards from the Meneltarma. This was the river Siril, the most important river of Númenor, that flowed on for some hundred and fifty miles until it reached its mouths on the island's southern shore.

At the time of the Downfall of Númenor, the isle was drowned by the Great Sea, but according to legend the summit of the Pillar of Heaven survived, emerging from the waves as the Isle of Meneltarma. If this legend is true, then the Roots of the Pillar also survived, at least in a sense. From this time onward they lay far beneath the Sea, supporting a tiny island lost in the immensity of the ocean.


See also...

Noirinan, Tarmasundar

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About this entry:

  • Updated 13 August 2018
  • Updates planned: 2

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