is to unite Tolkien readers in an Elf (mostly Noldor) only kin, giving them the opportunity to roleplay and do end game content in a lore rich, active and friendly environment.
|Main area of operations||
Imladris, Trollshaws, Misty Mountains, Eregion
Active and recruiting
Then Tuor Spoke, "Hear the voice of Ulmo" he said, "That the time has now come indeed when all the works of the Noldor shall come to naught. Doom is at hand, and now the Mover of the Deeps bids thee rise up and leave Gondolin forever. Seek the West, and the pardon of the Valar. For in that alone may you be preserved."
"Do you think I have been idle during these long years?" Turgon replied, "Do you think that I do not yearn for Valinor? I sent messengers to Círdan of the Havens, bidding him build ships and seek the West. How many have returned? Only Voronwë Aranwion, who stands beside you. The West is closed."
"This I cannot do." said the king, "I would be placing the lives of all the Gondolindrim at risk. I am one of the last of my house, and the people of Gondolin are nearly the last remnant of the Noldor in Middle-earth. Why should I trust the Valar to save us now, when they have been deaf to the Elves these longs years? My father and all my brothers are dead. Where were they when Hithlum was sacked, or the Falas were destroyed? Where were they at the Nirnaeth, in our hour of need? Though it be the counsel of Ulmo himself, who guided me long ago to Gondolin, I will not do this thing."
Thus spoke the son of Fingolfin, High King of all Noldor and thus he sealed the doom of Gondolin, and that of its wise folk. Maeglin's treachery, the most infamous in all the histories of the elder days, brought down the most beautiful refuge of the Eldar. In the first day of summer, when the festival of Tarnin Austa was being held, Morgoth's host encircled the city. Elven blood ran in rivers. The laughter of the Lothgorian ladies vanished in darkness. The light of the Noldor failed that day and it could never be rekindled as it once was.
The price of defeat was extreme to the city's former inhabitants. All of the House Chiefs of Gondolin were killed. Seven leading houses together with the House of King and the Fountain Order all perished in the downfall. Some of the houses, however, were luckier than the others. Some several survivors of Bar-en-Aeg, Heavenly Arch and Bar-en Lothgor (House of the Golden Flower) saw the days after.
After their flight, survivors of Bar-en-Alphram (House of the Swan Wing) formed a mixed house of Survivors and named it Bar-En-Vanimar, "House of the Dear Home". Though much of the wisdom of the hidden city has now vanished, the traditions and memories of the elder days have risen on its White Swan and noble guards. The triumph of Morgoth was not complete: though the city was no more, he failed to destroy the virtues of Gondolin.
After the days of Beleriand, Vanimar served Gil-Galad, and presented its blue-silver banners in the War of the Ring.
Now the House is still in existence with various Eldar of different folks. Vanimar represents the Elves who are seeking shelter and protection. As many of them were homeless once, they all know the true meaning of home.
Vanimar once formed a combined house of the survivors of Gondolin, has preserved its status to this day as a predominantly Noldor house, and had ever been located close to the havens, first in Beleriand and then in Lindon. Throughout the second age the House remained loyal to the king and grew in numbers through those who sought shelter and protection. Since the beginning of its history, Vanimar revered and prized the traditions of the Exiles. The House have always preserved their High-Elven speech, the secrets of crafting, and many songs coming beyond the seas.
In the Third age of Middle-earth, following the significant events taking place involving the ringbearer and his companions heading south, the Elves of Vanimar abandoned their homesteads in the Falathlorn, and moved either openly or discreetly into Imladris. As the shadow growing in the east began to cover all free lands, Elves of former ages and glories were willing to take their share of the burden. They now ensure roads are kept open, provide safe passage for any travellers, send combat patrols to the nearby plains and bolster the valley's defences if need arises. Elves of the Noldor and the Sindar, under the Vanimar banner are preparing for a war long after their days of glory have passed.
About the Orders within the House
In the Age of the Noldor, there had been traditionally and culturally divided camps under the banners of the king as Elven Houses. Gondolin alone had hosted eleven houses of the Noldor at the peak of its glory. (House of the Mole and the folk of Maeglin was excluded from the other Houses, and never mentioned as if they were ever a part of the city).
Though they were ethnically divided at first, soon the Houses also differed from each other culturally too. From their ways to employ against adversity to the items they bore and crafted, the difference formed an elegant mosaic which contributed greatly to the rich Noldor tradition. Remnants of the Houses can be found still in the late third age: folk such as Gildor Inglorion who was from the House of Finrod, or Elrond himself, who could be counted traditionally in the House of the White Wing of Tuor.
As Vanimar sports minorities from all across Beleriand. The former house members have arranged Orders in an attempt to give life to their age old traditions and disciplines, and to honour the countless Eldar who died in defence of their city and people.
There are five major Houses in Vanimar, plus some auxiliaries. Here follows a little information about them, and about their leaders.
The Order of the Hammer
The Order of Hammer in Bar-en-Vanimar was founded by Veryacano to honour Rog the Valiant and the House of Hammer's Wrath of Gondolin. The House of Hammer's wrath was the largest and most valiant house. They comprised of those blacksmiths who were not under Maeglin, as well as escaped thralls of Morgoth. They perished to the last Elf during the Fall of Gondolin. The sign of this people was the Stricken Anvil, and a hammer that smiteth sparks about it was set on their shields.
In Vanimar, the Order of Hammer has a well earned reputation. Their picky selection of the fine warriors, painful training to enhance legendary endurance and stubborn fighting doctrines made them the finest heavy infantry company the house has seen for many years. Lord Veryacano, the Founder of the Order, and Lord Tindir have the honour of leading this unit.
Warriors of the Hammer train heavily in the art of war both bodily and mentally to reach a new level of expertise. They wear long black hauberks and usually carry massive war hammers to strike fear to the hearts of the enemy. As Rog and his fighters did six thousand years ago.
The Order of the Hammer has been deployed in numerous conflicts, suffered many casualties, lost many friends, but returned ever victorious from the field. Bringing honour and glory to their house.
Recruited classes: Champion, Guardian and Captain
The Order of the Fountain
The order of the Fountain is revived in remembrance of those who perished in the city of Gondolin. Though lord Ecthelion is no longer among us, we honour his sacrifice by gathering all new wardens under our roof. Through perseverance and strength, we fight against the shadow. We are the nimble deployment forces who quickly can be utilized when speed and dexterity is needed. The Fountaineers of Vanimar are lead under the watchful presence of captain Himwen.
Recruited class: Warden
The Order of the Pillar
"Small were they and slender and very lithe. They were swift of foot and surpassing fair; sweet and sad were their mouths, and their eyes had ever a joy within quivering to tears...
There too were the folk of the Pillar and of the Tower of Snow, and both these kindreds were marshalled by Penlod, tallest of Noldor."
Very little is known about the folk of the Pillar and the Tower of Snow, except that of all the Houses of Gondolin, it was unique in that it was two houses united as one under their leader Penlod. Unfortunately, very few of his folk survived the destruction of Gondolin, and Penlod himself was lost.
The present Order of the Pillar was established in memory of these fallen in Gondolin. It is primarily a support Order, in association with the Order of the Harp and the Houses of Healing. It is an association of diplomats, scholars, scribes and lore-masters; its function that of keeping alive the memory of the past and bringing the wisdom of experience to these dark times.
Members of the Order of the Pillar are not necessarily confined in Imladris. Some accompany other Order deployment offering insight on strategy or diplomatic initiatives. Some search for and study artifacts or lore of importance to the Noldor and Sindar. The Order of the Pillar is led by Lady Manadhlaer, while Lady Tingruviel is its Ambassador and foremost diplomat.
Recruited classes: Lore-master and Rune-keeper
The Houses of Healing
The Houses of Healing come under the auspices of Pillar, and are the base for all of Vanimar's healers and herbalists. Their main role is returning folk to wholeness after injury or misadventure, though they can also be found accompanying military Orders as battle-field healers. Many are learned in herbalism, working alongside scholars of the Pillar, and seek to further their knowledge particularly in counteracting poisons.
Their care is extended to those sick at heart or of spirit as they work with those of Harp to raise hope and joy again. Manadhlaer is the Lady of the Houses of Healing.
The Order of the Harp
"Behind them came the host of the Harp, and this was a battalion of very brave warriors … they were dight with tassels of silver and tassels of gold, and a harp of silver shone in their blazonry upon a field of black … carrying the first signs of dawn."
The Order of the Harp contains many musicians and visual artists, as well as artisans who provide supplies when the military Orders go on campaign. Its members care for the spirit of those of the House through the kindling of beauty, hope and joy with their art. To that end they are sometimes found working alongside the Healers.
They can sometimes be found playing in the Hall of Fire, or elsewhere in Imladris. Elvealin is the Lady of the Harp.
Recruited classes: Minstrel and Rune-keeper
The hall of the Harp is the practice venue for Vanimar's musical ensemble called Lindamar (Q. Singer Home) and it was formed for the 8th annual Grand Elven Ball. The ensemble has kept performing the melodies of the Elves with varying themes ever since. All classes are welcome to join the band for satisfying their musical cravings. Some of its members have also written original songs.
The Order of the Arrow
"Now the folk of the Swallow bore a fan of feathers on their helms, and they were arrayed in white and dark blue and in purple and black and showed an arrowhead on their shields. Their lord was Duilin, swiftest of all men to run and leap and surest of archers at a mark."
— Book of Lost Tales. The Fall of Gondolin.
The Order of the Arrow of Bar-en-Vanimar was founded by Earinlin and operated under the watchful eye of Lord Galendil until his long voyage West. Farasilion, Belegos and Dolthafaer were other notable lords to oversee this Order. Arrow is now under the lead of captain Saranasse.
In the field, the Order's way of battle closely resembles Duilin's House of the Swallow of Gondolin. The Order boasts the finest marksmen, scouts, hunters and trappers of Bar-en-Vanimar. The Order of the Arrow has adopted indigo-coloured uniforms, in remembrance of the Elves of the Swallow.
Arrow members serve the Tur with their knowledge of the lands by scouting ahead of a main force, picking important targets off enemy ranks in battle, covert operations, sabotage and gathering evidence. Members of the Order carry mighty longbows and offer flanking support to the main fighting force of Bar-en-Vanimar.
Due to the Order's nature and the obvious need for stealth their brightly coloured uniforms are rarely seen, apart from in Imladris. Indeed, seeing an Elf of the Arrow these days would be a rare sight for mortal eyes and the observer might wonder to what he owes the honour.
Recruited class: Hunter
((Many thanks to Sileril for the artwork))
Vanimar is one of the few 100% Elven kinships on the Laurelin server of Lord of the Rings Online. We are a lore-heavy kinship, in that we try to stay as faithful as possible to the work of Tolkien within the given game-world. That is also the reason why we accept only elven characters in our kinship.
Most of our members are very familiar with professor Tolkien's work, especially The Silmarillion which describes the history of the elven people and served as the inspiration for our kinship. We do not enforce our members to roleplay their characters, although it is encouraged and supported. Neither do we roleplay in kin chat, as we see it as the medium through which we socialize with one another and get to know each other a bit better.
If you are:
❃ A mature person (maturity not solely being dependent on age)
❃ A social person (you are a friendly person, not carrying silly prejudices towards other people, love chatting with others, are not afraid to ask for something if you need it, are willing to help other players of the kinship even if there's no loot to be had for you)
❃ A person that plays an elven character on the Laurelin server (with a name that fits in the lore: no Killerjohn666, and no, even "Bob" is not lore appropriate for your Elf)
❃ A person that shares our love of Tolkien's work in general and of the elven story in particular
Then our kinship might be what you are looking for.