Rangers of the North
The term “Black Númenórean” is used to describe Men of Dúnadan stock who are descended from the “Unfaithful” Númenórean colonists and conquerors who came to Middle-earth during the middle and late Second Age. These Unfaithful had broken with the Valar and Elves who bequeathed them the island kingdom of Númenor at the beginning of the Second Age. Many worshipped their own idols or paid homage to the Dark Lord Sauron. Gradually, the Unfaithful came to control Númenor and her colonies, the greatest of which was centered around the Havens of Umbar. When Númenor was destroyed by Eru in S.A. 3319, many of the Unfaithful survived in their refuges in Middle-earth.
The Black Númenóreans were originally among the survivors from a mannish kingdom that had yet been, Númenor, which was destroyed by Eru in the late Second Age.
As their power and knowledge had grown throughout the course of the Second Age, the Númenóreans had become increasingly preoccupied with the limits placed on their happiness—and eventually their power—by mortality, the purpose of which they began to question. This growing wish to escape death, known as “the doom of Men”, made most of the Númenoreans envious of the immortal Eldar, who they had come to physically resemble. The Eldar sought ever to remind the men of Númenor however, that death was a gift of the One God, Ilúvatar, to all men, and the will of Ilúvatar could not be gainsaid.
The King’s Men ultimately became vulnerable to the corruption of Sauron, who, having arrived in Númenór very soon dominated the minds and wills of most of the Númenóreans.
Eventually, in Númenor’s last years, its powerful and elderly King Ar-Pharazôn, who had become “frightened of old age”, was persuaded by Sauron that Ilúvatar was a lie invented by the Valar, and seduced him.
Within Númenor, the majority quickly followed suit, and this worship quickly passed across the ocean to most of Númenor’s colonies in Middle-earth. The Men of Númenor were settled far and wide on the shores and seaward regions of the Great Lands, but for the most part they fell into evils and follies. Many became enamoured of the Darkness and the black arts. These “black arts” and “follies” were presumably the earliest culture traits of those who became known afterward as Black Númenóreans, for in the days of the sojourn of Sauron in that land the hearts of well nigh all its people had been turned towards darkness. Therefore many of those who sailed east in that time and made fortresses and dwellings upon the coasts were already bent to his will.
This worship of Melkor and the Dark marked the final, irrevocable division between its adherents and the “Faithful” Númenóreans, the Elendili, who kept to their old faith in Ilúvatar, but these were a small minority;
For many centuries after the Downfall, some descendants of the “King’s Men” held onto what became the most northerly and famous of their realms-in-exile, the Haven of Umbar, although because of the power of Gil-galad these renegades, lords both mighty and evil, for the most part took up their abodes in the southlands far away. Most of those few Númenóreans who had never envied the Eldar, and had always remained true to their belief in Ilúvatar, also survived the destruction of their homeland, and they established their own realms-in-exile north of Umbar, where previously had come only the Faithful of Númenor, and many therefore of the folk of the coastlands in that region were in whole or in part akin to the Elf-friends and the people of Elendil.
After founding Gondor and Arnor these self-styled “Faithful” Númenóreans saw their southern counterparts as renegades, calling them the Black Númenóreans; for they established their dwellings in Middle-earth during the years of Sauron’s domination, and they worshipped him, being enamoured of evil knowledge. The Black Númenóreans held a similiarly low opinion of ‘The Faithful’ and their descendants, as they inherited without lessening their hatred of Gondor.
Two early Black Númenórean lords are named from the time of the late Second Age: Herumor and Fuinur. Like all Black Númenóreans and ’King’s Men’ before them, Herumor and Fuinur desired power over men of other, lesser races, and they “rose to (great) power amongst the Haradrim”, the peoples neighbouring Umbar. Their fate is unknown, but they likely shared Sauron’s defeat at the hands of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
The Black Númenórean style of governing was no doubt tyrannical, but may also have involved a tradition of duumviracy, at least in Umbar, whose lords are usually paired when mentioned; Herumor/Fuinur for example, were probably rulers of Umbar, as much later Angamaite/Sangahyando were. Whatever political system was in place, however, the Black Númenóreans did not govern effectively; some were given over wholly to idleness and ease, and some fought amongst themselves, until they became conquered in their weakness by the wild men.
Nevertheless, a Black Númenórean elite survived at least in Umbar for over a thousand years after Númenor’s fall, maintaining much influence in Haradwaith. As late as Third Age 1015, for example, even after being exiled from their homeland for nearly a century the Men of Harad, led by the lords that had been driven from Umbar, came up with great power against that stronghold.
The Black Númenóreans did not use Westron, but probably retained their old tongue Adûnaic, speaking a dialect of it.
Queen Berúthiel, wife of Gondor’s King Tarannon Falastur, was a Black Númenórean. This was a loveless union, and was presumably a political accommodation: that such arrangements were possible implies the existence at that time of more Gondor-friendly Black Númenóreans than the later Mouth of Sauron.
The Black Númenóreans are absent from recorded history after their defeat by Ciryaher in 1050, but a population of sorts must have survived somewhere at least until the end of the Third Age, as The Mouth of Sauron, who mocked the army of King Elessar in front of the Morannon was described both as a Black Númenórean and “Renegade”, which is presumably the term used by the Free Peoples of that time to describe all folk of similiar ancestry.
Nevertheless, Black Númenóreans are considered more or less a myth, even by those who have heard of them. All the more surprising and horrifying is the recent evidence that has shown that there are Black Númenóreans affiliated with the Dark Forces behind the incursion into [[Battle of Harnalda, pt. 1 | the Angle]].
Black Númenóreans are actually very similar in physical and cultural character to the Dúnedain. Certain changes have occurred after their centuries of separate development, but both groups have actively sought to remain relatively pure and true to their origins.
Most of the warriors and seamen can trace their lineage back to Númenor in the days when she ruled the waves instead of lying beneath them.
The husband is the head of the family, but he does not have absolute control over his wife and grown children. He does have sole control over who will be head of the family after him. Usually this is the son most adept in war, but not always. It is unusual, but not unheard of, for a daughter to inherit. The mother decides on the disposal of her dower property, but it
generally goes to her daughters. Two or three children is average, and five considered a large family. Marriage with the other races of the coast is not forbidden, but because of their pride, is rare. However, marriages for love are more common than marriages for advantage or to consolidate holdings. They are strictly monogamous, and divorce is also rare. A man who cannot
hold his wi fe’s attention is considered a subject for jokes and taunting. Wives are expected to be faithful, but husbands are not. The husband is responsible for fighting, maintaining his battle equipment, and commanding his men if he is of a rank to have men to command.
The wife runs the home, raises the children until they are old enough to start being trained with weapons (both boys and girls are so trained), and handles the family finances. Women are permitted to be warriors, but only a few do. They do fight, however, when the city needs defending. The children normally belong to the father’s family, but if a woman’s family has few living members it is possible for the man to join her lineage group and raise the children as members of her family, so that it does not die out. This is considered to be a reasonable practice, but only a younger son of a large extended family would consider it.
Their diet consists of meat, bread, cheese, and wine. They believe red meat to be necessary for warriors and scorn fish unless starving. Green vegetables are considered to be food for peasants or rabbits. They speak Adûnaic as their official language, but most also speak Westron (Common Speech) as a second language even though they dislike its relationship to Elvenish. They are a strong and long lived people. A typical lifespan for one of pure Númerean blood is 300 years.
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