The lakeside village of Kauppa-kohta in Taur Orthon serves as a point of trade for newly arriving visitors from the South.
When travelers pass through the gates of Cirith Rhîw they enter the cold and forbidding land of Forochel ('northern wastes') where Winter never seems to end. There are many dangers in Forochel--wolves, bears, and sabre-tooth cats to name only a few--but perhaps the greatest danger of all is the howling wind that blows over the mountain sides and across the frozen waters.
Moose are but one of the many types of fauna encountered in Forochel.
The People of Forochel
The indigenous folk of Forochel are known to outsiders as the Lossoth, which is 'snow-people' in the Grey-elven tongue, but they call themselves the Lumi-väki. The Lossoth are wary if not outright suspicious of foreigners from the South, or etalävieras as they call us, but once they have warmed up to you most are kind and hospitable.
Yrjänä, a council elder, acts as a sort of executive officer for the week. His decisions must be approved at a bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs but by a two-thirds majority in the case of external affairs.
The Lossoth have many forms of entertainment. When not otherwise occupied finding enough to eat while avoiding freezing to death or being savagely slain by one of the many carniverous beasts or villainous enemies inhabiting the land, the Lossoth may be found
gliding across the ice with animal bones laced to their feet,
or ice-fishing. (Of course most of the best spots have been taken by the encroaching Angmarim.)
Dwarves also live in Forochel. In the western region of Forochel known as Länsi-mâ lies the small Longbeard fortress of Zigilgund. The treacherous Dourhands delve the nearby Icereave Mines for gems and precious metals. Between Zigilgund and Barad Gaurhoth ('Tower of the Wolf-folk') are hot springs where the Longbeards mined the rich salt deposits until they were recently driven off by voracious ice-worms. Enjoy the warmth of the steamy waters at your own peril!
Zigilgund--it's not just a model (Or is it?)
Enemies of the Lossoth
The chief enemy of the Lossoth are the savage and brutal Susi-väki ('wolf-people'), which we know in the Grey-elven tongue as Gauredain.
A polite phrase common among the Lossoth is, "My kotiis your koti." (Koti is the Lossoth word for 'home'.) Fëoc, a particularly notorious Gauradan shaman who keeps a fierce wolf as a companion, has apparently taken this phrase a bit too literally.
Fëoc enjoys a stroll around his newly acquired koti
The aptly named 'Grim'
It is written:
The Guaredain believe that the Grims are wandering souls of those among their people who were cast out for their cowardice, damned to eternally wander the frozen snow-fields after they froze to death in the ice. Those few among the wise who know these creatures, however, suspect that they are more likely fell spirits left wandering the northern wastes long after the fall of their ancient Dark Lord.
Whatever they may be, unless you enjoy being buffeted by icy blasts of wind and pierced by many shards of razor sharp ice I strongly suggest that you avoid them.
Tall, slender Ice-giants make their home among crevasses along the northwestern borders of Forochel. At first glance they appear to be frost-covered Onodrim, but Ents do not wield clubs hewn from wood. Needless to say, the ice-giants are not friendly to travellers.
Points of Interest
Sûri-kylä, the largest village in Forochel, may be found on the northeastern end of the cape. Here one may find class trainers, many merchants, as well as crafting facilities that include both a superior forge and workbench.
The Shipwreck of Arvedui
The pier at Hylje-leiri on the northwest end of the cape is the site of the shipwreck of Arvedui
Arvedui, the last king of Arthedain and the Northern Kingdom, perished in the waters of the Ice Bay of Forochel along with the two palantíri he carried, the stones of Annúminas and Amon Sûl, over one thousand years ago. It is widely believed that the unseasonably cold storm that wrecked the Elven ship in March of 1975 TA was the work of the Witch-king of Angmar.
Arvedui's spirit still haunts the land of Forochel
Music and Folk-lore of the Lossoth
As you might imagine a minstrel such as myself is particularly interested in the songs and folk-tales of the Lossoth. I have discovered that they have several types of music. There is the joik, a sort of spiritual chant that is very personal to the performer, the lavlu or laavloe --a song with lyrics--and a storytelling song known as a vuelie. The Lossoth also play upon musical instruments including drums, flutes, and a strange device known in the common tongue as a 'bullroarer':
(Source: http://boreale.konto.itv.se/samieng.htm)a specially shaped piece of horn or wood that was attached to a string. The sound was created swinging it around in circles over the head. By adjusting the speed and length of the string the player could create different pitch and sounds
Is it possible that the legend of Bullroarer Took has reached Forochel?!
Great among her people is Ulla, a minstrel that may be found outside the Great Lodge in Sûri-kylä. Ulla knows many songs, and was happy to share some of them with me. One of the vuelie she sang was the tale of Kullervo, a tragic figure who after many evil deeds ended his life by impaling himself on his own sword.
Kullervo, Kalervon poika,
sinsisukka äijön lapsi,
pään on peltohon sysäsi,
perän painoi kankahasen,
kären käänti rintahansa,
itse iskihe kärelle,
Siihen surmansa sukesi,
(Source: Kullervo, Op. 7, by Jean Sibelius)
This story seemed very familiar to me as it contained many elements of the tragic Narn i Chîn Húrin ('The Children of Húrin'), a story from Beleriand that I heard in my youth, that goes in part:
Lo! hear what Elves with ancient harps
lingering forlorn in lands untrodden
faiding faintly down forest pathways,
in shadowy isles on the Shadowy Seas,
sing still in sorrow of the son of Húrin
how his webs of doom were woven dark
with Niniel's sorrow: names most mournful.
(Source: 'The Lay of the Children of Húrin', ver. 2, The Lays of Beleriand, J.R.R. Tolkien)
Curulindë accompanies himself on harp as he sings the tragic lay Narn i Chîn Húrin