Good day everyone,
I've been a little late with this biome of the Week post, I know, but making these blogs is more time-consuming than you think. However, I have scrounged together a bit of time, and have decided to feature one of my favourite biomes in the mod, which is home to the faction that I play most often. That biome is Gondor.
Where is it?
Gondor is a large biome located between the White Mountains and the Bay of Belfalas. It was originally founded in SA3320 by Isildur and Anárion, exiles from Númenor, and was allied with the kingdom of Arnor to the north. Late in the Second Age, Isildur cut the Ring from Sauron's finger, and the power of both Gondor and Arnor began to increase, along with their wealth. While Arnor reached its peak strength around TA 800, Gondor's greatest era was yet to come. its power gradually grew, reaching a peak between TA 830 and TA 1149. At that time, its boundaries stretched from Harondor in the south-east to Rohan in the North, and it extended eastwards to include large parts of Rhovanion, though the latter was never fully controlled by Gondor. Enedwaith was also briefly held by Gondor, though it was never heavily populated.
Unfortunately, Gondor's power weakened in the Third Age. A great plague and a civil war weakened the nation, and the Kingdoms of Arnor to the North fell in TA 1974. The King vanished mysteriously in TA 2050, and was replaced by a Stewart. This marked the decline of Gondor, which shrank until it only included the regions seen in the mod. Nevertheless Gondor was still the strongest nation of the Free Peoples, and played a pivotal role in defending them against the threat of Mordor, and at distracting Sauron long enough in TA 3019 to allow Frodo to enter Mordor and destroy the One Ring. At that time, Aragorn took the throne of Gondor, Arnor and Gondor re-united, and Gondor began to return back to its former glory.
A detailed history of Gondor can be found on One Wiki to Rule Them All.
Why do you like this biome?
There are many reasons why I like Gondor. Firstly, it's one of the most varied biomes in the mod, featuring many sub-factions and biomes, along with variants. Secondly, the diversity of generated structures in this biome is simply amazing. From turrets to watchforts to towns, there's no other biome in the mod that features as many generated structures. As a result, there are lots of traders available for those who want to make money. Finally, each of the fiefdoms has unique units and building styles; one of them Dol Amroth, has the best cavalry in the entire mod.
Any advice for travellers?
When in Gondor, do as the Gondorians do! Don't try to travel long distances in these lands as an evil player. That will simply result in your being killed, unless you bring a very large army to back you up.
For players allied with Gondor, you really shouldn't need to do much preparation before entering this biome; assuming you managed to walk all the way here from the Shire, you've probably got all the stuff you need to live here quite safely. However, I would still recommend getting yourself some Gondorian Equipment and armour, as they are more durable than iron equipment, and will allow you to blend into the armies of Gondor. Do be aware that orcs can spawn here at night, and that there are occasional invasions, most often by Mordor. If you can survive the nights, the many villages and traders found therein will provide good looting and trading opportunities.