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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

History of the Lands of Arador


There is a hill in the Blessed Land called Corollaire, the Green Mound. This hill is also called Coron Oiolairë, the Mound of Eversummer. It is upon this mound that the Two Trees of Valinor stand. To the west of this mound lie lush lands that magically never know the touch of winter. These lands are called Oiolairë, the land of Eversummer.

For long years during the troubles no one lived in Oiolairë. There are signs of ancient occupants but their fate is long lost in the mists of time.  No one knows who used to own the lands and they have grown wild and lush, slowly eradicating most signs that any had ever lived there.

It is no surprise then that these fair lands caught the eyes of Ithilia as she and Morchaint returned to Arda from their long years of exile. Seeking a sanctuary from the Dark Lord Morgoth, Ithilia landed and claimed the lands as her own, as is the way of such a large and ancient black dragoness. She could sense the magic in the land that kept it ever green, never experiencing the cold. She knew that the magic she sensed would likewise protect all who lived there from the gaze of Morgoth, finally offering a safe haven from fear of being recaptured by him.

Upon recovering from their long journey, it was realised that two things were urgently needed. The first was to make an alliance of peace with the High King Manwe, so that all in his lands would know that the dragons among them came in peace, as allies. The second was to send out word to the lost dragons who had fled Morgoth's command that at last there was a safe haven.

In time all this occured. Ithilia and Morchaint invited the High King to their lands and declared a peace between his lands and theirs, gifting to him the Dragon Star of Peace, a unique gem wrought by Ithilia with dragon magic, which incorporated some of her own dragon essence. So long as  High King of Arda holds the Dragon Star of Peace the dragons of Oiolairë are honour bound by their spirit to live in peace with his people. In return, the people of the HIgh King accept and respect the dragons who now live among them, opening their hearts and their lands to welcome us.

Since that day no small few of the ancient dragons and their companions have found their way to Oiolairë. They come from many distant lands, and have lived through many adventures. Some are wear and now only seek a life of peace in the sun of their land of Eversummer. Others are determined to protect the life they have now found at Oiolairë under the gentle hand of Ithilia the Peace Seeker. Others still are determined to actively fight against the Dark One now they are out of his clutches, determined to avenge the abuse and misuse of our kind through the ages.


Thunder rumbled across the winter skies. Lightning flashed and cracked throughout the long dark night. When morning came, Ithilia was nowhere to be found in Oiolairë. No one knew where the great black dragon had gone. For long weeks the dragons of Oiolairë waited with no sight or word from her.

At last, the wind brought word. She was returning. But, there was more.  The winds of change were blowing. What mysteries had kept her away from her beloved lands for so long? What changes were now bringing her home?

But Oiolairë was home no longer.  Driven by a mysterious call on that dark and stormy night, Ithilia had winged her way westward, ever westward towards the sunset, until at last reaching a strange land set in a jewel bright sea - Arador.  Exhausted from her long journey, she sought refreshment and rest on that fair Isle. Furling her aching wings she drank long and deep from the crystal clear waters that sprang from the hidden spring in the high cliffs and contemplated what had drawn her here. For here was where she had been meant to come.  She knew that in the very marrow of her bones.  At last, her mind whirling with questions, she slept.

And while she slept, she dreamed.

'You are no longer safe at Oiolairë, daughter' the voice said.
Raising her head she looked about her, squinting her eyes against the brightness of the golden light that seemed to surround her.
'Who are you?' she called, her voice rumbling sleepily as she fought to wake from sleep. 'What do you mean, i am not safe?'
'Who I am is not important,' the voice said, not unkindly. What IS important is that I bring you warning'.  Ithilia rose to her feet, shaking herself to clear her head, her wings flapping heavily against her bright obsidian-coloured scales as she did so. 
'What warning?' she asked, tilting her head as she tried to peer past the bright light and see the speaker.
'The spirit that guards Oiolairë is weakening, daughter.' the voice continued. 'The sanctuary it has given you until now, hiding you from Morgoth's gaze, is past. Soon he shall know you are living right beneath his nose and send forth to capture you and Morchaint.  You are no longer safe in Oiolairë. Nor is any dragon who lives there.'

Ithilia's tail swished angrily at the thought of her beloved Morchaint falling into Morgoth's hands again after all this time. 'But we have fought so hard to stay free. Shall we never be safe from his shadow?' she asked in frustration.
'It is why i called you here, daughter.' the voice went on. 'To lead you and the dragons who come to you, to safety.  Your fight against all that Morgoth wanted you to be has been seen and noted, daughter.  Such courage shown by you, and by those who come to you shall not be in vain. These lands hae been blessed by the hand of Eru himself. They are my gift to you.'

Ithilia blinked, taken aback completely by the great gift that was to be hers and then shook her head sadly.
'I cannot accept your gift, Great One, for Great One you must be to have power of such a gift.' she said. 'I cannot leave the lands of Arda to fight alone against the shadow of Morgoth.  No matter what the cost, I have pledged my allegiance to the High King. I cannot break my word.'
'I never thought you would, daughter.' the voice spoke with a hint of amusement and pride. 'I do not mean you to abandon those who rely on you. I simply give to you a safe place from which to continue your fight.  But you can fight better when your own homeland is safe, when you have somewhere to come to that Morgoth cannot touch, as he can now touch you at Oiolairë. Take this gift, daughter. Bring Morchaint and your dragons here. And continue to fight the fight against the shadow and evil in Arda knowing those you love are safe. It is my last gift to you, my beloved daughter.'

It was only then that Ithilia realised what it was about the voice that had tickled at the back of her mind throughout the conversation.
'Mother?' she whispered, but already the golden light was dissipating to be replaced by the darkness of night.
'Mother? ' she said, louder this time.
'Mother!'  this time almost a shout, a shout that brought her full out of sleep, fully out of the dream. She looked around at the silent dark night. No glowing golden light. Just the strange stars glowing in this western sky, stars so different to those that shone over Oiolairë.
A dream, she thought. Just a dream. It was then that a soft breeze sprang up, swirling around her gently, almost in a caress. 'My last gift.. High Tari of Arador' it whispered before disappearing again, leaving the night as still and silent as before.

A dream. But a dream with a purpose, she realised.

And so it was the next morning found her high above the cliffs of Arador, her nose turned toward the sunrise. On and on she flew until at last Oiolairë loomed on the horizon.

'Come!' she called to the dragons. 'Come! Make haste!' and swiftly she gathered them and led them to Arador, carrying Morchaint with her as they travelled. To Arador, the Royal Dragon Lands, safe haven of all who would flee evil and resist the shadow of Morgoth, all who would escape his grasp and would fight his rule. And it is from Arador the dragons wing forth and return to Arda, to honour their allegiance to that realm, to stand side by side, in battle and in peace as together they fight for what they believe in - for Ithilia the Peace Seeker well knows that sometimes, in order to have peace, first one must fight.

So come all those who would seek peace, come those who would seek sanctuary and come those who would seek honour - Arador welcomes you.

And the dragons come. Still, they come.

Now, now their story continues...