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The North Downs was a location found in Eriador, north of Bree. The North Downs have a history of constant struggle, for in the time of the War of the Ring, this location experienced deep trouble from Orcs and other evil creatures, who were spurred on by the news of the cloud in the east. For Angmar, that most evil of realms in Eriador, was located just north of the North Downs, and many evil beings who were struggling to find a purpose in Angmar after the departure of the Witch-king finally resolved to invade the lands south of them. Thus, the North Downs became a frontier against this new evil arisen in Angmar, a remnant of the old power of the Witch King called the Shadow of Angmar.
There was still hope though, in that harsh war zone, for the Free Peoples of Eriador waged constant war on the new servants of Angmar and the Witch King. Several towns that had existed in that area for years, and that were now besieged by the servants of the Witch King, found themselves suddenly strengthened by a flow of warriors from all across Eriador.
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One important town was Trestlebridge, the southernmost settlement of the North Downs. It supervised passage over the Trestlespan, a bridge built over a deep canyon that connected Trestlebridge to the rest of the North Downs. This bridge became a strategic location for the defenders of the North Downs (lead by Hutchferth Greyhelm) to hold. It also was the final obstacle in the way of the Ongburz orcs, during the Battle of the Trestlespan.
Many other settlements existed in the North Downs, beyond the Trestlespan. Many farms dotted the landscape, but after the arrival of the orcs from Angmar, only one farm, called Gatson's farm, stood defiantly against them.
Northwest from Gatson's farm was a small Dwarven mining settlement, Othrikar, inhabited by a Dwarf clan called the Longbeards who constantly had to defend their precious mines from attacks by another Dwarf clan, the Dourhands. The Dourhands were another corrupted people loyal to the Shadow of Angmar, along with the hillmen of the North Downs, and some Earth-kin tribes.
Southeast of Othrikar was the longstanding settlement of Esteldin, which was the home of the Rangers of Esteldin, a hardy folk always waging war on the Shadow of Angmar. They were the warriors who showed up just before the last defence of Trestlebridge, and helped drive the Ongburz orcs back from the Trestlespan for the final time. They also organized a council of the North Downs, gathering together the Free Peoples that inhabited that area. With those people assembled, efforts to stop the Shadow of Angmar increased greatly.
The southernmost town of the North Downs, closest to Bree-land, was Trestlebridge, an ancient settlement that supervised the Trestlespan. The Trestlespan was a great bridge that was built over a huge canyon that separated Trestlebridge from the rest of the North Downs. This bridge became a strategic location for the defenders of the North Downs to hold, in their efforts to prevent the encroachment of Orcs from the north into Bree-land. Trestlebridge was the final barrier the Ongburz orcs had to pass in order to invade Bree. In the end, they did not succeed in capturing Trestlebridge, and the defenders of the town did not have to destroy the Trestlespan to block the Orcs' passage. For just before the final assault came upon the town, fresh warriors arrived from the north, the Rangers of Esteldin, to drive the Ongburz tribe back for the final time.
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