After the division of Arnor in III 861, the portion of the land that lay between the rivers Baranduin and Gwathló became an independent country known as Cardolan. It seems that it was at first ruled by one of the younger sons of Eärendur of Arnor1, so the line of Isildur was continued among the Dúnedain who dwelt there, albeit through a minor branch.
The Dúnedain of Cardolan survived in their kingdom until III 1409, when the forces of Angmar ravaged the land and slew the last of its ruling house. With their rulers dead and their realm overthrown, a small party of the surviving Dúnedain escaped to the Barrow-downs and the Old Forest on the northern fringes of Cardolan. There they eked out an existence for a further two centuries, but the coming of the Dark Plague brought a final end to the Dúnedain of Cardolan.
The details of Cardolan's foundation are not given in detail. We know that the division of Arnor was due to dissension between the sons of Eärendur, and so presumably one of those sons took up the rule of the newly created kingdom, but that is nowhere stated as an incontrovertible fact.
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