Army List Notes: Dunlendings

When the Numenoreans first returned to Middle-earth, they found various tribes of men inhabiting Eriador, some distantly related to themselves (UT, p216), others wholy alien (RotK, p517). Included among these later were those of the forests around the Gwathlo (Greyflood) river. These woodsmen resisted Numenorean incursions (UT, p262) until driven out, some seeking refuge in the hills of Dunland (UT, p263), and ceased to exist long before the end of 2A.

These either became the Dunlendings, or amalgamated with hillmen already living there, who are reported to be related to the hillmen that dwelt to the south in the Ered Nimrais (RotK, p517), such as The Dead Men of Dunharrow. The Dunlendings spread north in the first half of 3A, becoming in time amalgamated with the other people of Eriador, although those that remained in Dunland retained their old culture and language. (RotK, p517).

The inabitants of Dunland are described as 'wild hillmen and herd folk' (TT p162); it has ben suggested that this might imply two cultural groups, but there seems little to recommend this theory: indeed, historical societies living in mountainous areas are inevitably postoralists due to the lack of arable land.

Another group of woodsmen, not related to the Dunlending group, lived around the forest of Mirkwood, and enter history only in 3A. The Beornings were one such group, and may have had links with the Misty mountains (Hob, p117).

This list therefore represents four different groupings: the woodsmen of Eriador in 2A, the woodsmen of Mirkwood in 3A, the hillmen of the Ered Nimrais of 2A (who were therefter absorbed into Gondor), and the Dunlendings during 2A and 3A.

Climate is rated as cold, since they lived in northerly latitudes, and/or in mountainous regions. Hillmen are rated as aggression 2 since they expanded their territories into Rohan (RotK, p433; UT, p371) and Rhudaur (RotK, p390) during 3A, although they were often attacked too (RotK, p434). Woodsmen are rated as aggression 1, since they only ever expanded into lands that were partially vacant and only needed minor fighting to claim for their own (Hob, p104; 275-6).

A WW (the sea, or the lower Gwathlo river) is allowed only to the early Woodsmen; the Anduin being classified as a Rv near Mirkwood, and the Ered Nimrais and Dunland being far from the sea. Hillmen must of course live in hills, and woodsmen in woods, hence the compulsory terrain features; the earlier woodsmen lived in the flat plains around Gwathlo and so cannot have H(S); later woodsmen living in the vale of Anduin are allowed hills.

The woodsmen of 2A had no central leadership (UT, p262), and those of 3A are never described as having kings, only chiefs (Hob, p276), hence the compulsory ally-general. Likewise the Dunlendings are never referred to as having kings, and although the hillmen of the period of around the end of 2A are described as having a king (RotK, p59), I have assumed that their society was sufficiently clannish to merit ally generals like the others.

Most warriors are classified as Ax (O). Woodsmen are described as warlike (UT, p262) and Dunlendings as fierce (TT, p174), and so are graded as (O), rather than (I); there is no evidence for any behaviour that might justify Wb (F), especially since they could not break Rohan shield-walls (UT, 362), which Wb (F) can do in DBM quite easily. Dunlendings are described as being without body-armour, save for a few items gained as loot (UT, p366), so only a portion are allowed to be (S), and then only after the formation of Gondor, since before then, they would have been unable to procure many such items. Weapons are likely to have been javelins, or, especially for the better equipped, spears (RotK, p182), swords (RotK, p181) and axes (Hob, p117). I have allowed some Hillmen to be Ax (X), since the attested spears might well be long enough for two-handed use: Saruman used "pikemen" who could only have been recruited from Dunlendings or half-Dunlendings. The option is allowed only once horses become common amongst their enemies, and the deforestation of pats of Eriador.

Skirmishers are both allowed, such troops usually being provided by youths in historical peoples, and required, since it is hard to imagine an army of people dwelling in difficult terrain not having at least some scouts and the like, even if they are not directly attested. Ps (O) is an option, since the Dunlendings that had captured Isengard used at least some archers (UT, p372), but this was an atypical force, partly descended from the Gondorian garrison which would have included many archers.

Boats are not directly mentioned, but it seems likely that they were used given the several rivers in reach of these peoples' areas. I assume they would be small canoes or coracles and the like.

Hillmen possessed horsemen (UT, p357; RotK, p179), which I grade as LH rather than Cv partly because of the terrain they come from, which would be ill-suited for more densely formed bodies of horse, but mostly because the lack of armour attested to the Dunlendings. A few are allowed to be Cv (O) because they might have captured armour. Horsemen would be unlikely before the foundation of Pelargir in 2A2350 by the 'Faithful' Numenoreans due to a lack of available mounts.

Woodsmen are not attested as having horsemen, but I have allowed them the option to mount their generals, since some horses were owned (Hob, p118), and they lived next to the Eotheod for a long time.

The Dunlendings that moved into Rhudaur became allied with Angmar and took over the land (FotR, p269; RotK, p390) , the option for armour is partly because the 'secret alliance' with Angmar may have meant that Angmar helped them with equipment, but mostly because after conquering Rhudaur, they would have had a much richer haul of booty than would be acquired through mere raiding.

The option for Kn (F) covers Wulf's invasion of Rohan - as only his near kin fled with him, only two generals elements may be so upgraded (RotK, p430). After Wulf installed himself in Meduseld, his forces are covered by the Rohan list. They were joined by Southroners (RotK, p430) that landed at the mouth of the Isen, hence the Harad allies. As these came by boat, they would not have the giant Mumakil with them.

Woodsmen near Mirkwood are allowed more archers than others, and in greater concentration, because they routinely used bows of yew and are described as 'well-armed' (Hob, p111). Their chiefs could be shape-changers (Hob, p276). These are possibly best classified as a double-based Kn (I) rather than an El given Beorn's effect on goblins mostly classified as Ax (Hob, p271-2).

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This page last modified 14 May 2006.