The founders of those whom would become the people of Dol Amroth were a family of the Faithful who had sailed from Númenor before the Downfall and had settled in the lands of Belfalas, between the mouths of Ringló and Gilrain, with a stronghold upon the promontory of Dol Amroth; yet it was not called so upon its founding. In the days of Ar-Pharazôn the Golden, last of the Kings of Númenor, the chief of these people was Edhelion. He had not yet deserted his service to Westernesse or its monarchy because of his kinship with the still loyal Amandil of Andúnië, and his great friendship with the Númenorean champion Fuinir. Edhelion was highly regarded as a great captain of the isle, and though only few knew of his true allegiance to the Faithful they did not care, for such was his might and skill.
In these days the Elves whom had manned the ports upon the coasts of Belfalas had become fearful of the growing power of the Númenoreans, and so hid themselves or fled from the growing strongholds erected upon the shores. Yet Edhelion offered them protection and secrecy from the tyranny of Pharazôn, and so they re-established their holdings; and in his honour and memory the chief of these near the confluence of the rivers Morthond and Ringló was named Edhellond by the Men of Westernesse forever after. During this time, the last of the Drúedan, or Woses, whom had dwelt upon Númenor became continually fearful of the shadow and persection of Sauron, and so again Edhelion proved his generosity by ferrying over the last of these people, and gave to them the highlands of the Drúwaith Iaur, which would be for their people’s keeping. However, the agents of Sauron’s Temple had caught much word of this, and, seduced by his ally Herumor, Edhelion’s friend Fuinir betrayed his friend to Pharazôn (who had imposed strict laws against consorting with the Drúedan or, especially, the Elves).
Fortune, however, seemed to be on Edhelion’s side. For this had transpired during the amassing of the great fleet designed to overrun Valinor, and Ar-Pharazôn would not as yet waste any resources on combating Edhelion, whom was not only a canny general but had the admiration of many of his own people and much power among the older tribes and clans whom dwelt further inland the Bay of Belfalas. Thus, as a known rogue, Edhelion did not join with the armada, and so remained in Belfalas when Númenor was cast down; but with great sorrow; for he deemed his few people the last of all those who had dwelt in Westernesse, and from his kinsman Amandil he heard no word.
Yet, as is told in the Akallabêth, the son of Amandil, Elendil, and his sons Isildur and Anárion survived the ruins of their homeland, and it was not long after their landing at Pelargir that communication and friendship with Edhelion was established. Thus, with the Kingdoms of the Dúnedain established in Arnor and Gondor, Elendil allowed Edhelion to keep the lands he had claimed, and gifted him the title of Ernil, or Prince, as a separate monarch (but an ally) of the Kingdoms. Thus all the land about his port was named Dor-en-Ernil, the Land of the Prince, and the tribes and clans whom had come under his rule abode their as the Men-at-arms of his service; but at the port he and the true-blooded Knights of his house abode, and it was named Lond Ernil.
There was, however, little time left to the Lords of the Dúnedain until Sauron made his next strike. As Mordor pressed the assault upon the north of Gondor, from the South came great strength from the Haradrim and the rogue Black Númenoreans of the fallen havens, spurred up the Nazgûl Adûnaphel, the Knight of Umbar. Such forces she possessed that Edhelion was cut-off from Anárion at Osgiliath, and by land and sea Dor-en-Ernil was assailed. But many warriors of the already established Southern Fiefs and native clans had united to push out these attackers, and so the standard of the Prince, the White Swan upon the Blue, had become their rallying point. For long the attack was held, until renewed strength from Elendil and Gil-galad came from the North and forced the minions of Sauron to cease. The southern hosts retreated to their own lands or swelled into Mordor, and Edhelion was dismayed, for he had not ended his old grudge with Fuinir, whom along with Herumor had been crucial in the attack and now mustered behind the Mountains of Mordor.
Thus Edhelion joined the Last Alliance, and marched onto the Dagorlad with his skilled troops. Many he left at Lond Ernil, including his son Edhelhad, as to guard any additional attack from that quarter, and his friends among the Woses were made ever vigilant in their territories, but it was believed that with the attack on Mordor all Sauron’s influence would be occupied in one place.
In the horrific Battle of Dagorlad, Edhelion and his men were influential. Well-ordered and elite even amongst the Dúnedain, they held and won much ground beside the attack of Elendil, and became a solid block of force in ejecting the hosts of Mordor from the Black Gates. As the Alliance spilled into the plateau of Gorgoroth to surround Barad-dur, Edhelion was ever at the vanguard, and it was during this time and the several battles during the siege that he befriended Amroth of Lothlórien, for both perceived that their fates were entwined with one another.
Yet though their friendship was great, it was far too brief. In the third year of the siege, a mighty sortie of Black Númenorean Knights came against the allies, and riding at their head was Fuinir upon a savage reptilian steed of tooth and claw. Thus the time to resolve his and Edhelion’s grudge had come, and the Knights of Lond Ernil took the assault head-on, though Amroth and his Elves quickly rushed to his aid.
Desperate was the struggle of Fuinir and Edhelion, but in the end the Prince was the victor, and smote his foe’s ruin upon the ashen ground. Yet, he saw that Amroth had been cut off from his forces, and battled alone in a sea of enemies like a failing sprout of white fire. Thus Edhelion charged into the fray, and beside the Elven King fought long with labour, until the dark sortie was crushed. But even as the Black Númenoreans scattered, Edhelion fell, and Amroth too late perceived that the Prince had received a mortal wound from his duel with Fuinir, though he had shown no sign of it throughout the combat.
‘Much I yet owe you, dear Amroth,’ Edhelion spoke in his last moments, ‘for coming to my aid. Alas, that my vengeance caused me to rush in so! Yet to you I swear now that the ports of your people in Belfalas shall ever be ready for you and your kin, whom shall never be barred by us; and so shall it be until you depart from them forever, though your name shall never be forgotten there!’
And so passed Edhelion, mighty among Men, and Amroth was in grief but astonishment for his friend’s generosity. Though Edhelion’s vengeance had been his death, it was not the last time that it afflicted the nobles of his bloodline. Word was soon brought to Edhelhad at Lond Ernil, whom had subdued the threat of Umbar, and he took the mantle of Princeship with sorrow, though neither he nor any of his descendants forgot the words of his father until the line of Princes was reborn. During his defence of the coastlands many of the Drúedan of the Drúwaith Iaur had fallen in battle, and such was their loss that they did not ally themselves in battle with Gondor again, and after the days of Edhelhad their friendship began to wane slowly into legend, then myth.
For the next two-thousand years the Princes of Belfalas ruled from Lond Ernil, becoming fast allies with the fiefs about them and aiding the Kings of Gondor in all their wars and struggles, being high in the counsels of the monarchy. It was in the rule of the Ship-Kings that Lond Ernil was recognised as a crucial military point, and so the recruitment of warriors and the building of their sturdy vessels increased. It was in this time that the military organisation of their army was addressed, and it was deduced that there should be one higher captain, the Lieutenant, to command the foot and cavalry soldiers in absence of the Prince, and one general of the ships, the Captain of the Belfalas Navy, to again commandeer the vessels if the Prince was not willing to command them himself. Under these were several ‘lesser’ captains and officers, and this tradition lasted for as long as the port-city stood, for rank was often passed by bloodline.
Yet it would not be until much later when the course of the Princes’ history would truly change. For, as is said elsewhere, the Elven King Amroth for love of Nimrodel journeyed to Belfalas, there to make sail into the uttermost west. But she came not, for she and her companions strayed in the wooded hills and were lost. Whilst Amroth still waited for her upon the last ship, a great wind blew them from the shore, and Amroth dove into the waves to find the shore, only to be lost as well.
But according to the tradition of the Princes, one of Nimrodel’s companions indeed found the way, yet when she came to Belfalas the Elven harbours were bare. The Prince at this time was named Imrazôr, brother of Adrahil; who had fallen in the battles against the Wainriders childless. Imrazôr had his own name spoken in Adûniac for he had a great love of the lore of Westernesse, and his title was ‘the Númenorean’, for even after such years the blood of Edhelion was still strong in him. And this Elven lady, Mithrellas, found Imrazôr, and he harboured her at Lond Ernil and took her to wife. But when she had borne him a son, Galador, and a daughter, Gilmith, she slipped away by night and he saw her no more, for the desire to pass to the west must have been too great in her. Imrazôr, however, was much aggrieved, and spent the rest of his days wandering the shores, ever searching for her.
Thus, Galador came to be Prince. But, learning of the perceived doom of Amroth and the final departure of the last of his people from Belfalas, he remembered the words that his long ancestor Edhelion had spoken to the Elven King: ‘Yet to you I swear now that the ports of your people in Belfalas shall ever be ready for you and your kin, whom shall never be barred by us; and so shall it be until you depart from them forever, though your name shall never be forgotten there’. Thus, Lond Ernil was born anew, and named in honour of the last King of Lothlórien so that he might never be forgotten; Dol Amroth. Craftsmen and decorators were busy in the port-city for long, until the old might and beauty of the Númenorean settlement was increased tenfold. As for the Prince’s sister, Gilmith, she married with Erneillon, a champion among the Men-at-arms of Dor-en-Ernil. In their honour, Galador decreed that a third post should be made amongst the military commanders – the Lord of Dor-en-Ernil, whom would lead the Men-at-arms in war and govern them in peace as a vassal of the Prince. Erneillon and his descendents would rule from the holdings of Endil, upon the shore between Dol Amroth and the southern tip of Belfalas. And so, the second line of the Princes of Lond Ernil was born anew as the Princes of Dol Amroth.