Category Archives: Källmaterial

The Gondorian Helm of the Guards of the Citadel

Corsair vs. Gondorian

In one of the rare instances when J.R.R. Tolkien is actually giving a precise reference to the shape and form of the Gondorian armory is when, in describing the Crown of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings, he in passing is also making a reference to the helmet worn by the Guards of the Citadel at Minas Tirith. Tolkien says thus regarding the Crown of Gondor, that:

It was shaped like the helms of the Guards of the Citadel, save that it was loftier, and it was all white, and the wings at either side were wrought of pearl and silver in the likeness of the wings of a sea-bird, for it was the emblem of kings who came over the Sea; and seven gems of adamant were set in the circlet, and upon its summit was set a single jewel the light of which went up like a flame.

In a letter he also describes the crown as ”very tall, like that of Egypt, but with wings attached, not set straight back but at an angle.” This is obviously a reference to the royal Egyptian crown of the Southern or Upper Kingdom, called the Hedjet (seeHedjet attached image to the right). This interesting information makes it clear that Tolkien envisionend the Nûmenórians as closely related to the ancient or classical cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean, i.e. the Greek and Egyptian, perhaps even the Hellenistic which was a blend of them both. Tolkien also made a sketch of the helmet which looked like this:

Crown of Gondor by Tolkien

Now to recreate the helmet of the Guards of the Citadel we must use this information, making a version of the Crown of Gondor but with non of the embellishments and without the cone shaped enlongation. Iron Crown Enterprises have given us one illustration of how such a helmet would look like with this following drawing by Stephen Peregrine, taken from the 1984 campaign module entitled ‘Hillmen of the Trollshaws’ (Stock #8040), which looks somewhat more medieval:

Gondorian Warrior by Stephan Peregrine

Yet we could also look for the inspiration of the design of the helmet in our own history, in other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, i.e. in the Greek culture during the classical and Hellenistic eras. I personally envision the Nûmenórean culture being heavily drawn on the ancient Minoan and classical Greek civilizations, which in turn came from the Elvish culture in Valinor. (If you are trying to visualize Valinor, think of ancient Crete.) As an inspiration for the Gamemaster and as a visualization aid for the players I have attached a series of Greek winged bronze helmets, all deriving from the 4th Century B.C. and most of them being of the Chalcidian type which was a natural progression from the more well known Corinthian type helmet. If was used well into the Hellenistic era by the Hoplites. The same can be said about the Phrygian type helmet (characteristic with the the high and forward inclined apex resembling the leather Phrygian cap) which starts the series at the top row, as well as the Attic helmet pictured last, a type of helmet most popular in Italy during the classical and Hellenistic Greek era. (Klick on each picture to enlarge it.)

Phrygian-Chalcidian Type 4th Century BCChalcidian type 4th Century BCChalcidian type 4th Century BC #2Chalcidian type 4th Century BC #3Chalcidian type 4th Century BC #4Attic Type 4th Century BC

I in particular fancy the Phrygian type helmet which somewhat resembles the Nûmenorean Karma (S: ”Helmet”) or fish crest Helmet as pictured to the left on the following pair of illustrations, although the apex inclines backwards in the Nûmenórean example which seems to be the general classical look of Nûmenorean design as seen on the right hand painting (which actually is a blowout of a detail of the cover of the ‘Hillmen of the Trollshaws’ module by Gail McIntosh) picturing a Arnorian warrior on the watch (notice the overly Greek style of his helmet and dress):

Numenorean helmetsFinally Angus McBride has presented his own beautiful view of how to picture both the Karma and the Guards of the Citadel types of helmets on his cover of the ICE ‘Sea-Lords of Gondor’ campaign module (Stock #3400) from 1987, making it even more medievalesqe and substituting actual wings for twin plumes. (His painting depicting the fierce battle between a Gondorian guard and a Corsair is seen at the head of the post.) McBride has also pictured a mounted Black Nûmenórean wearing a Kama and making an attack against a Haradaic warrior, attached to the cover of module ‘Far Harad’ (Stock #3800) from 1988, as seen below. Now I do like the design of the Kama, both in its seafarer fish crest version as seen above and the more simple and more common model as pictured below. It has a wery Greek feeling to it, quite similar to the Corinthian type helmet (and in perticular the late Italo-Corinthian type pictured to the right). It should be used extensively by the Gamemaster as a early form of the Dúnedain Kama, much like the Corithian was later in the Greek culture. However, the GM should allow for a progression of helmet types as well in T.A. 1640, leaving the original Kama to the more conservative of the Dúnedain, such as the few remaining Arnorian warriors, as well as the Corsairs and Black Nûmenóreans. Gondorian warriors should have progressed beyond the early models and developed models of later Greek, Roman and Byzantian types.

Black Nûmenórean

How much I like the Phrygian helmet of the later models I still believe the most optimal Greek type helmet to be the Chalcidian one as an aid to picture the Gondorian model, if we are to follow Professor Tolkien’s own guidlines, the Crown of Gondor being a tall ”hedjet” conical and ornate version of that same helmet. It might perhaps be a somewhat more conical shaped version of theBlack Nûmenórean Karma Chalcidian type. But the cone of the Crown of Gondor simply doesn’t seem to be a natural progression of neither the inclined apex of the Phrygian or the Karma types of helmets, but rather a normally and sligthly cone-shaped helmet. (Another richly detailed example of a Black Nûmenórean Kama for comparison is seen attached to the immediate right, a detail from the cover of ICE’s ‘Shadow in the South’ (Stock #3900) painted by Gail McIntosh.) The use of a older model helmet in a relatively progressive culture such as the Gondorian, as exemplified by the Greek Chalcidian type, may be motivated by the fact that the Guards of the Citadel serves as a form of ”pretorian guard” (which usually are quite conservative), following old Gondorian and Nûmenorian traditions often used in a ceremonial context. Other Gondorian warriors, not attatched to the Citadel Guard of Minas Tirith, probably use the more Byzantian type of cone shaped and simplified helmet as pictured by Angus McBride.


Sinkadus och SRR


En av anledningarna till varför jag har startat denna blogg är för att jag på sikt skall kunna publicera mina egna husregler, vilket jag är i färd med att utveckla i takt med spelets gång och ju längre kampanjen fortskrider. Dessa husregler kommer att vara skrivna på engelska med anledning av deras utgångspunkt från de engelskspråkiga spelsystemen MERP och Rolemaster från Iron Crown Enterprises. Dock kommer jag även att ta upp viktiga astpekter av Sagan om Ringen: Rollspelet (SRR), den svenska översättningen av MERP utförd av Äventyrsspel (Target Games), i synnerhet när översättningen direkt motsäger det engelska originalet. I dessa husregler gör jag en detaljerad uppställning av alla primära och sekundära källor som jag har baserat reglerna på. Bl.a. gjorde jag nyligen en sammanställning på alla nummer av Äventyrsspels tidning Sinkadus, vilket gavs ut under åren 1983-1995. De flesta nummer under åren 1987-1991 innehöll information om SRR eller om ICE:s produkter, vilket jag nu presenterar här (som en ”preview” av vad som komma skall i form av husregler) i tabellerad form och med den ursprungliga engelskan bevarad:

  • Sinkadus Nr. 6 (Feb 1987): Brevspalten – Rättelser (errata for SRR – Midgårdshäfte and Tabeller), and Saurons språkrör – Sagan om vadå? Eller hur man startar en kampanj i Tolkiens sagovärld, a translation of an article by Graham Staplehurst (originally published in White Dwarf) commissioned to Wilhelm Korp.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 7 (Apr 1987): Brevspalten – Rättningar: Sagan om Ringen (errata for SRR – Regler and Tabeller).
  • Sinkadus Nr. 8 (Jun 1987): Saurons språkrör – Nya yrken by Ulf Zindermann, Fler andrahands färdigheter by Anders Blixt and Monster i Midgård by Henrik Strandberg.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 9 (Aug 1987): Radagasts hopp by Thomas Friberg, Toralf Hällen and Måns Åkerlund, Transporter by Anders Blixt, and Saurons språkrör – Magiska saker i Midgård by Henrik Strandberg and Hurins yxa by Ola Häggström.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 10 (Nov 1987): Regelfunderingar – Andrahandsfärdigheter i SRR by Anders Blixt.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 11 (Jan 1988): Regelfunderingar – Metriska fötter i SRR (errata for SRR – Regler) by Anders Blixt.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 12 (Mar 1988): Kampen om Cardolan by Henrik Strandberg and Andreas Gabriel, and Regelfunderingar – Jag ler och försvinner (clarification and alternative rule for SRR – Regler) by Anders Blixt.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 13 (Jun 1988): Saurons språkrör – Noldors varghundar, a translation of an article by Jorge Quinonez commissioned to Olle Sahlin, and SRR & GDD (conversion rules) by Anders Blixt, and Brevspalten (Q&A) – Språkbrukare med abstinensbesvär by Fredrik Ström and Red.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 14 (Aug 1988): Regelfunderingar – Rättningar: SRR-magi and Begränsningar av RM-bonusar i SRR, as well as Upphittat (omitted table from Sinkadus Nr. 13: SRR & GDD), by Anders Blixt, and Brevspalten (Q&A) – Snålskjuts by Peter Lönnberg and Red, and Smyg vackert by Patrik Eliasson.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 15 (Oct 1988): Brevspalten (Q&A) – Obs! Kritiskt brev (concerning arm grieves), Saurons språkrör – Midgårda ideal and Magi i Midgård by Ulf Zindermann.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 16 (Dec 1988): Hur SL överlever rollspelsäventyren by Fredrik Ström, and Sinkadus tar en titt på Rolemaster by Henrik Strandberg.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 17 (Feb 1989): Saurons språkrör – Stridstabell till SRR by Henrik Strandberg, Erfarenhetspoäng i SRR by Rikard Klasson, Regelfunderingar (Q&A) – Sagan om ringen: Armskenor, Anfall bakifrån and Språkfråga by Fredrik Ström, Anders Blixt and Henrik Strandberg, and Arkitektur by Olle Sahlin.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 18 (Apr 1989): Par i svart by Anders Blixt, Saurons språkrör – Skräcktabell för SRR by Anders Blixt, Regelfunderingar (Q&A) – Sagan om ringen: Iakttagelseförmåga and förflyttning by Melker Eriksson and Anders Blixt, and Rättningar: Södra Mörkmården by Anders Blixt.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 19 (Jun 1989): Regelfunderingar – Armskydd än en gång by Anders Blixt, in part a translation of an alternative table by Don Cargille.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 21 (Oct 1989): Försvunnen i Tharbad by Jakob Ryngen.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 22 (Dec 1989): Brevspalten (Q&A) – Att vara eller inte vara… by Magnus Bergström.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 23 (Feb 1990): Aiwelindirs dagbok by Fredrik Ström, Äventyr i midgård by Fredrik Ström and En kommentar by Olle Sahlin.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 24 (Apr 1990): Framslagningsmodell för SRR (including Kompletterande rollformulär) by Fredrik Ström, and Belägring! by Anders Blixt.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 27 (Oct 1990): I Angbands skugga: Rollspel i Silmarillions värld by Anders Blixt.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 28 (Dec 1990): Cabed Angren: En äventyrsplats till Sagan om Ringen by Fredrik Ström.
  • Sinkadus Nr. 29 (Feb 1991): Yôzâyan über alles: Rollspel i Midgårds Andra Ålder by Anders Blixt.

De uppräknade Sinkadus-numren (och alla andra nummer som inte innehåller någon information om SRR) finns att ladda ner från Internet Archive prydligt uppställda, dock inte i nummerordning.