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Fardowns

The Far Downs (Fox Downs)

Far in the west of Arthedain lay the aptly-named Far Downs (S. "Tyrn Haern") or "Fox Downs" , a chalk ridge which marked the westernmost boundary of the

Hobbit-lands for most of the Third Age. Beyond them stretched Silvan country, the Taur Siremyn. Beyond this mix of exquisite green woods and scrubby grey ridges rose the Emyn Beraid, the noble "Tower Hills" of Lindon.

Description

The most impressive line of downs in Sîrgala , standing , at some points , fifty fathoms above the adjoining valleys were an impressive westward-facing crest of orange and white limestone.The Fox Downs trapped the rainfall of a great slice of the Silvan country of Siragale and drained most of it away underground , more or less southward , to the lower Brandywine . The Fox Downs erupted , towards their southern end , in the Cracking Fells , a mildly upthrust hill mass distinguished by twisted , shattered ridges of barren rock . Hobbit immigration by TA 1640 had only reached the Fox Downs at Gamwich , at their northern end , though Hobbit huntsmen from the West-and Southfarthings had already come to think of it as the western bound of the new settlements . The Fox Downs , as a reasonably large area of uninhabited grassland , were home to one of the few free-roaming herds of Elvish horses left in Lindon .This Rechrim Gaerwyth (S . "Herd of Gaerweth, " also referred to as Rokkor Airedaio or Rechrim Gaerdae) was visited periodically by local Sîrrandrai Elves and occasionally by Sindar from Mithlond . Mostly , the herd took care of itself , losing few of its members to falls or wolves in spite of the broken nature of its pasture . The Fox Downs herd numbered up too two-hundred individual animals. Except for rare ceremonial or migrational gatherings, they moved in groups: 70% of the smaller herds were made up of 13-40 mares accompanied by 1-2 older stallions; 30% consisted of 2-10 young stallions, driven from the herd by stronger males. 20% of either type of herd were ararech; the remainder were nimrech in various colors and hair patterns. The number of feaerech accompanying a herd varied according to its size:if 2-5 animals were in the herd, there was 50% chance that a feataroch was with or near it.If 6-15, there was a 90% that a single fearoch was present and if 16 or more, one fearoch always accompanied the herd and there was a 60% chance that 1-2 more were nearby.

The western boundary of the Shire throughout the later Third Age, the boundary was not marked, save by stone posts at some key lowland passes. The locals, however, knew when and where the border could be safely crossed. They hunted , trapped , and gathered herbs, nuts, and berries west of the Far Downs at their own risk. Most were careful to get back up onto the barren crags of the downs by sundown. Elvish horses were still seen here on foggy nights.

References

  • MERP:the Shire
  • MERP:Arnor
  • Jeff J. Erwin:A Traveler's Guide to Lindon
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