The Lord of the Rings: Shadow of the East
The Sarn Ford is a reliable ford on the Baranduin south of the Shire. The King of Arthedain garrisons and maintains the ford, keeping an eye on affairs in Cardolan from this vantage point.
Where the Baranduin River leaves the sagging edge of the Eriadorian upland for the last time, it spreads its waters across a broad shelf of crumbling limestone. Whenever the rains upriver haven’t been too severe, anyone with grip-soled shoes and some nerve can wade the mighty stream. This is Iach Sarn, colloquially known as “Sarn Ford”. The Redway, the old royal road, crosses the Baranduin at the ford on its way from Tharbad to the Blue Mountains and Lindon.
The river here is wide and brown, its banks lined with willow, poplar, and birch. A few hundred feet north of the ford, a squat granite fortress sits on a low hill overlooking the red-paved road. Black-clad Arthadan soldiers walk the ramparts, and a prince’s pennant flies overhead. Around the base of the hill cluster the cottages of a small village, and in the distance small farmsteads and groves of hardwoods show among knobs of grass-covered limestone. On the south bank of the river, just downstream from the main road, the ruins of a larger village — its buildings and crude earth-and-stone walls half-abandoned and crumbling — rest on an obviously artificial mound. Steps lead down an embankment of ancient rubble to riverside docks lined with unpainted ferry boats and fishing smacks.