Weathertop is an iconic location in Middle-earth. In The Lord of the Rings movies, it is a ruin; in the book, it is barely even that, little more than a ring of broken stone overgrown with grass. In this product, it is shown at its height as an important fortress and observation post for the northern Dunedain kingdom of Arnor, and later Arthedain. It became a bone of contention among the three kingdoms that resulted from the fragmentation of Arnor, as the fortress was located where the borders of Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur met.
|Map of Middle-earth showing the fractured northern kingdom of Arnor.|
Amon Sul was home to one of the palantir, or seeing-stones, until the evil kingdom of Angmar destroyed the fortress. The palantir was saved, though later lost, but the tower remained broken for nearly a millennium and a half. It would be rebuilt in the early Fourth Age by King Elessar, formerly known as Aragorn, as he reestablished the northern kingdom of Arnor.
|A closer look at the cover image.|
|The fortress at different stages of its history.|
It must have been a splendid place in its heyday, and this book tends to reinforce that idea. The cover is a complete extrapolation, but an attractive one. In some ways, this book's version of Amon Sul seems more humble than I imagined it would be. It's a fine place as presented, but given the impressive fortresses of Isengard and Minas Tirith, one would think Weathertop, home to a palantir and one of the most important strongholds in the region, would have been more imposing. Regardless, the Weathertop we have here is arresting.
As presented, the tower would require that the game be played either long before the time of the book and movies, or a bit after. However, there is nothing to prevent this fortress being renamed and placed elsewhere as an example of Gondorian martial construction. It would also work really well in a game set during the early Fourth Age, a base for adventurers to foray out to help tame the wilderness that will become part of the Reunited Kingdom. Weathertop and Calenhad, another in the "Fortresses of Middle-earth" series, are similar in all these regards. It (and Calenhad) could also be used in an entirely different setting, unrelated to Middle-earth. It could fit well in any setting with a high fantasy/vaguely medieval feel, and the game statistics can be used as a guideline for adapting the fortress to other games.
|Especially one that features knightly characters.|
This is a remarkably useful product that with a little thought can be used for a wide variety of games and settings. Need a strong tower or lookout point somewhere in your game world? This may well fit that need.