Once he was as great as his fame made him. His knowledge was deep, his thought was subtle, and his hands marvelously skilled; and he had a power over the minds of others. The wise he could persuade, and the smaller folk he could daunt.
The last leaders of the Faithful, Elendil and his sons, escaped from the Downfall [of Numenor] with nine ships, bearing a seedling of Nimloth, and the Seven Seeing-stones (gifts of the Eldar to their House); and they were borne on the wings of a great storm and cast up on the shores of Middle-earth. There they established in the North-west the Númenorean realms in exile, Arnor and Gondor. Elendil was the High King and dwelt in the North at Annúminas; and the rule in the South was committed to his sons, Isildur and Anárion. They founded there Osgiliath between Minas Ithil and Minas Anor,not far from the confines of Mordor.