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How to find on server: /warp Isengard

avatar ArdaCraft
Level 58 : Grandmaster Network

"Beneath the mountain's arm within the Wizard's Vale through years uncounted had stood that ancient place that Men called Isengard. Partly it was shaped in the making of the mountains, but mighty works the Men of Westernesse had wrought there of old; and Saruman had dwelt there long and had not been idle... A strong place and wonderful was Isengard, and long it had been beautiful; and there great lords had dwelt, the wardens of Gondor upon the West, and wise men that watched the stars. …"

- The Lord of the Rings, Book III, Ch. 8, 'The Road to Isengard


Isengard ("Iron Fortress", Angrenost in Sindarin) was a great fortress located within a valley at the southern end of the Misty Mountains near the Gap of Rohan. In the centre of the Ring of Isengard stood the stone tower of Orthanc.

More lore


Our map is set 12 years before the War of the Ring, and so we decided to keep the green look of Isengard on the surface, whilst Saruman's preparations for war went on inside the walls and under the ground.

The project took over a year to complete.

For anyone who is interested in seeing a detailed timeline of the project's construction, the Isengard project thread on our forums provides a good overview.

Isengard forms part of a larger project which seeks to recreate Middle-earth in its entirety. Credit goes to Lindalher and daktubalan for leading this project, and to the entire community of builders for helping to construct it.

Isengard can be viewed from above on ArdaCraft's dynmap. There is no download available, but ArdaCraft is a non-whitelisted server which anyone is welcome to come and explore, provided they have installed our modpack first.

All information can be found on our website.
Progress100% complete

12/30/2019 9:47 pmhistory
Level 27 : Expert Dragon
I'm hearing the Isengard Theme right now.

Build you filthy maggots, the master wants the tower for Minecraft. Unspoiled.
12/30/2019 3:26 pm
Level 60 : High Grandmaster Blockhead
Mine Maus Craft
Amazing work!
12/30/2019 12:40 pm
Level 37 : Artisan Goblin
Very, very cool!
12/30/2019 6:14 am
Level 18 : Journeyman Skinner
12/29/2019 3:30 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
dummy thicc rocc
12/29/2019 2:53 pm
Level 47 : Master Lad
Isengard from the movies is much better imo. This just looks like a pile of stone. Great build tho, love what you do on the server.
12/29/2019 3:24 pmhistory
Level 58 : Grandmaster Network
Orthanc was meant to be a spire of rock, the films got it completely wrong. We're building Tolkien's world and not Peter Jackson's.
12/30/2019 11:56 amhistory
Level 25 : Expert Scribe
I do believe there is something of a point to be had here though. I don't think Tolkien's sketches should be taken as literal reference; while he may have been a decent artist, a lot of the these were rather quick work and I believe he was trying to capture a somewhat 'medieval' aesthetic to them, where the proportions and scale are not quite accurate. This is further reinforced by the fact that he had several other sketches quite different from the one that this build is based on, so there is quite a bit of uncertainty in the canon about the actual look of the tower.

Personally if recreating Orthanc, I would use the description in the books and the sketch as a rough reference but develop my own design that is a bit more aesthetically pleasing while still looking like a spire of rock.
12/30/2019 12:18 pm
Level 58 : Grandmaster Network
The image we have included in the post is Tolkien's final drawing of Orthanc. It's fairly detailed and represents his last recorded thoughts on the subject. We've always taken Tolkien's most recent thoughts on any given topic as canonical, and therefore used that drawing in particular as a reference, along with the descriptions in The Lord of the Rings.

Building our own 'interpretation' of a given location sort of defeats the point of re-creation when there are drawings by the author.
01/03/2020 8:21 am
Level 25 : Expert Scribe
That depends on your own reasons for doing the project, as well as thoughts on to what extent the author themselves considered their sketches to be legitimate representations of their world, or merely writing aides. I'm just sharing the way I would approach projects, and as I tend to dislike sticking to exact references I would rather go a slightly different way. The work of your team on the world of Middle Earth is extremely commendable however, and it has been a pleasure to explore it on several occasions.
12/29/2019 7:34 pm
Level 47 : Master Lad
Of course, I completely understand, I get how tolkien imagined the isengard and I know that you guys are building middle earth by the books, I just shared my opinion on which I like more :)
07/16/2020 1:26 pm
Level 34 : Artisan Loremaster
I, too, share your preference for Jackson's portrayal of Orthanc, which appears far more sheer and sinister, befitting the likes of Saruman.
12/29/2019 12:34 pm
Level 60 : High Grandmaster Network
12/29/2019 10:39 am
Level 69 : High Grandmaster Pig
Stunning as always
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