LOTRO - The Magic Of Forochel

The creatures of this land have always been hardy, as they must simply to survive

Ever since Forochel was introduced in LOTRO it has been one of my favorite places, and the reasons for that I can trace back to  my early life. When I was only a young child, my father did make a long road trip to Finland and Lapland coming back with some video-footage of  his journey. Sitting down and watching the beauty  of the land of ice and snow is one of the very first memories I have. My love for snow and winter and the color white probably come from this very  memory of  beautiful lands and forests covered in snow.   I do like to visit Forochel in game when I can because   there is always something new to discover, the light is ever-changing, the colors and atmosphere simply amazing. 

The 'Sea Monster'

“Do not mount on this sea-monster! If they have them, let the seamen bring us food and other things that we need, and you may stay here till the Witchking goes home. For in summer his power wanes; but now his breath is deadly, and his cold arm is long.”

 ‘Yet the counsel of the Lossoth was good, by chance or by foresight; for the ship had not reached the open sea when a great storm of wind arose, and came with blinding snow out of the North; and it drove the ship back upon the ice and piled ice up against it. Even the mariners of Círdan were helpless, and in the night the ice crushed the hull, and the ship foundered. So perished Arvedui Last-king…’

According to Frodo's poem "When evening in the Shire was grey", Gandalf had traveled to the Northern Waste. What his business was up there is unknown and remains to this day a bit of a mystery.  In the icy North in a place called Forochel , lives a tribe of nomadic men , more commonly known as the Lossoth. They are hardy folk,  fit to survive in the cold snowy regions of the north. The Lossoth never involve themselves with the world outside their frozen lands and played no known significant role in the wars in the history of Middle-earth  until King Arvedui, the last king of Arnor, came out of hiding from an abandoned Dwarf-mine in the far Northern Ered Luin and asked for aid from the Lossoth of Forochel. He was able to convince them to aid him, and as a reward gave them the Ring of Barahir. Eventually a ship was sent for him. On his departure day, the Lossoth warned Arvedui that a storm was coming and urged him not to go, but he paid little heed to their words. He did indeed perish in the storm, and sank to the bottom of the bay, along with the Palantír of Fornost and Amon Sûl.

A Very Important Ring

Ring of Barahir. This is an important ring, described as the likeness of two serpents intertwined with eyes made of green jewels. This  is the symbol of the elven House of Finarfin. The serpents met beneath a crown of golden flowers that one upheld and one devoured. The jewels ( and most likely the ring itself ) were crafted in Valinor.  

"...green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house.” (J.R.R. Tolkien -The Silmarillion) 

In the Third Age the ring was again passed in direct line from Elendil, to Isildur, to the Kings of Arnor, and then Kings of Arthedain. The last King of Arthedain, Arvedui, gave the ring to the Lossoth of Forochel; thankful for the help he received from them. It was later recovered from the Snowmen by the Dúnedain of the North, after which it was kept safe at Rivendell by Lord Elrond.  Eventually, it was given by Elrond to Aragorn, son of Arathorn, when he was told of his true name and lineage, together with the shards of Narsil. In the year 2980 of the Third Age, in Lórien Aragorn gave the ring to Arwen Undómiel, and thus they were betrothed. 

The Mysterious Lossoth

The Lossoth are also called the Snowmen of Forochel. They are survivors of the Forodwaith, the ancient people from whom the northern lands of Middle-earth took their name, although their origin is not completely clear and remains a bit of a mystery.  They live mainly on the Cape of Forochel that enclose the Icebay of Forochel, but they also camp around its southern rim. They had a culture well adapted to their icy existence, constructing houses 'in the snow and out of snow'  (possibly similar to igloos ?), this probably does not mean huts out of snow literally, but rather huts in the snow:  so  constructions from bones and furs as well as ice. 

The Lossoth have an igneous way of travel using sleds and bone skates pulled sometime by dogs. Despite this comfortable existence, the Lossoth have a very primitive culture, they are mainly hunters-gatherers and fishermen , with no evidence of agriculture, smithery, or advanced architecture, it’s clear that the Lossoth are barbarians. They are afraid of the weapons that Arvedui and his men have, and cannot understand sailing boats.

Tolkien is certainly acquainted with the people of the North, particularly  the Finns : he learned Finnish for the express purpose to read the Kalevala in its original language,  and Finnish mythology and language affected the creation of Arda. The Lossoth  share elements of the Sami, Nenets, Inuits, and other people of the far north, as evidenced by the snow-houses, ice-skates and sleighs - so  some of the most remote and mysterious people of Middle-earth are also among the most important. Next time  you go to Forochel and meet  the Lossoth  I hope you will see them   and their land in a different light.

This is a story from the land of ice and snow, where the great mammoths still roam. It's the story of my journey. My ada taught me  that the land of Forchel is full of magic. The source of this magic is the ever-changing lights that dance across the sky. The shamans of the Lossoth tell that these lights are the spirits of their ancestors, and that they had the power to make changes in our world. Small things become big. Winter turns to spring. One thing always changes into another 
( words of Miluy )

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