Dunland

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Dunland is a region in the south-east of Eriador. With Enedwaith to the North, the Old North-South Road (also known as the Greenway in Breeland) to the West and the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains) to the east, Dunland is a hilly, brown land. Dunland means Hill Land in the language of neighbouring Rohan, whose people named it after arriving in nearby Calenardhon in the later Third Age.

The Great West Road and the North-South Road together formed the Royal Road which had been built to enable travel between Gondor and Arnor. The Great West Road from Gondor through Rohan ran to the eastern bank of the Fords of Isen, and from the western bank continued the North-South Road to Eriador. Dunland encompasses the rugged foothills that rise to the north of the Royal Road at the Isen, joining Tharbad in Cardolan to the markets further east. The highway skirts Dunland's southern border and runs eastward through the wide Isen Gap, separating the Misty Mountains to the north from the White Mountains to the south. Later called the Gap of Rohan, this portal from Eriador to Gondor served as the most important pass in western Middle-earth. It was once the dividing line between the lands dominated by the two Dúnadan Kingdoms in Exile - Arnor and Gondor - and it remains a vital link for the Free Peoples of the West. Thus, Dunland's importance remains significant, despite the reduction in traffic along the highway.

The northern border of Dunland was marked by the Glanduin (Border River), also known in its lower reaches as the Swanfleet. This river runs swiftly in its upper courses, before dropping over a set of falls down into the lowlands. Beyond this point the river flows sluggishly, creating a fenland, a network of pools and islets inhabited by swans and many other water birds.



History

Dunland is the home of the fierce and proud Dunlendings, xenophobic tribes of men. These Men are tall, somewhat swarthy and dark-haired. They are a remnant of an ancient people akin to the Third House of the Edain, the House of Haleth, making them distantly related to the Dúnedain. They withstood the forced rule of the Númenoreans and later the attacks of the Rohirrim, who drove them from the empty plains of Calenardhon to the barren uplands that became their only home. They were one of the few peoples in Middle-Earth who maintained their own cultural identity, rather than being ‘Númenorized’ as were so many others. They are the traditional enemies of the Rohirrim and are jealous of the wealth of Rohan, themselves living on marginal land. The distinct Dunlendings of this region formed an often loose collection of tribal territories, which became known as Dunland.

The Dunlendings’ historically poor treatment at the hands of Gondor made them an easy mark for Saruman, himself desperately in need of allies in his mad quest to make the The Ring his own. During the War of the Ring they were persuaded by Saruman to invade Rohan in conjunction with the forces of Isengard.

A turbulent people, the Dunlendings are for the most part herders and hunters who jealously guard their independence and often raid the lands of their kinsmen. Strife is the rule in Dunland, which is just as well, for the neighboring folk fear the unification of the warlike Dunmen. This is particularly true of the Men of Calenardhon (Rohan), the Dunlendings' oldest and most challenging enemies.

The ancient ancestors of the Dunlendings inhabited the forested regions of Middle-earth either side of the Gwathló (Greyflood) in the early Second Age, and so were called 'Gwaithuirim' by the early Númenoreans. They spoke a language related to that of the Second House of Men, the Haladin, rather than the vastly different Bëorian/Marachian tongue which stood at the base of Adûnaic, the vernacular tongue of the Númenóreans, as well as the languages of the Rohirrim and the Men of Dale, and this lack of mutual understanding led to outright hostility. The Númenoreans greedily harvested their forests for timber, and after much war and bloodshed, the Gwaithuirim from south of the Gwathló fled east to the Hithaeglir, while others scattered to the cape of Eryn Vorn and the White Mountains.

Although they lived at or above the treeline, they invariably focus their attentions to the west rather than the east, for they make their homes along the western side of the range. The Hithaeglir's eastern cliffs often drop sharply, like sheer fells, making eastward land travel exceedingly hazardous. Access to the upper mountain valleys is provided by trails that originate in Dunland, lending further credence to the old adage that says: "the Daen have no King, no wealth, no capital, and no roads - yet they hold a good claim to yours and mine."

During the late Second Age most migrated out of the traditional Dunnish homelands in the vales of the White Mountains . At the end of the Second Age, the land north of the Gwathlo and south of the Baranduin (Brandywine) was named Minhiriath, 'Land between the Rivers', although the land south of Minhiriath remained unnamed, later to be called Enedwaith.

Its inhabitants were ignored, although a city grew up on the Gwathlo, west of the Misty Mountain hill-folk who had been Gwaithuirim long before.

About Third Age 1150 some Stoors came to Dunland before migrating finally to the Shire in Third Age 1630

It was not until Gondor abandoned this city (Tharbad) in T.A 2050 that the people and their land were renamed: both became known as Enedwaith, 'The Middle-folk' and 'The Middle Region', because they no longer owed allegiance to either North or South Kingdom.

These Hill-folk of the Hithaeglir kept their hatred of the descendants of Númenor, unlike those of Eryn Vorn and the White Mountains, who nevertheless remained uncooperative. The Dead Men of Dunharrow, for example, who betrayed Isildur, were descended from Gwaithurim.

When Gondor decided to give the depopulated province of Calenardhon to the numerous people of Éothéod in 2510 T.A., the Hill-folk of the Hithaeglir felt threathened by these 'Forgoil', or Strawheads (referring to the blonde hair). The Hill-folk had slowly colonized Calenardhon during the dwindling of the Dúnedain, and had already reclaimed all the land between the rivers Adorn and Isen.

Still, open war was not waged until the reign of Helm Hammerhand (2741 T.A. - 2759 T.A.). Freca, the lord of the hill-men (whom the Rohirrim now called Dunlendings) tried to get the throne of Rohan for himself by petitioning for the marriage of his son Wulf to the daughter of Helm. Freca was killed, and Wulf led the Dunlendings into open war with Rohan. They unsuccessfully besieged the Hornburg during the Long Winter of 2758–2759. Wulf did take Edoras and killed Haleth, the son of Helm, in front of the golden hall of Meduseld. But in the refuge of Dunharrow Helm's nephew Fréaláf held out against the Dunlendings. He recaptured Edoras in the end of the long winter and killed Wulf personally. The Dunlendings were driven out of Rohan, and Fréalaf succeeded the deceased Helm Hammerhand.

Those of Durin's folk led by King Thráin II settled in Dunland for around twenty years, and then once the War of the Dwarves and Orcs ended they wandered in Eriador for three years till they settled in the North of the Ered Luin.

Guarding the Gap of Rohan was the fortress of Isengard, where a hereditary guard watched for Gondor. However, by the time of the Beren, Steward of Gondor, these guards had mixed with Dunlendings, and it had become hostile to Gondor. To remedy this situation, Beren gave Saruman the keys to Orthanc, to guard Isengard for Gondor.

Saruman used this old history to tempt the Dunlendings into supporting him during the War of the Ring.

After the battle at Helm's Deep, the Rohirrim allowed the surviving Dunlendings to return to their homes. The Rohirrim required that all hostilities cease, and that the Dunlendings retreat behind the Isen river again.

Geography

Areas

Not on this map, see Gap of Rohan or Nan Curunír

Settlements

  • Avardin (Starkmoor)
  • Barnavon - Upper and Lower (Carreglyn)
  • Echad Naeglanc (Bonevales)
  • Galtrev (Pren Gwyth) - A "full-service community" ... representatives of many Dunlending clans can be found here.
  • Lhan Rhos (Dunbog)
  • Lhan Tarren (Trum Dreng) - Village of the Stag Clan
  • Tâl Methedras - Snow-dusted village of the Falcon Clan - anti-Saruman, Friendly to the Grey Company.

Camps (Ranger and Rohirrim)

Not on this map.

Connected to

Locations


Maps

Dunland

Click for larger image Dunland Artifacts

Dunland Overview

Click for larger image


Related Topics


Settlements, Areas and Landmarks of Dunland
Settlements: AvardinBarnavonEchad NaeglancGaltrevLhan RhosLhan TarrenRohirrim Scout-campTûr Morva
Areas: BonevalesCarreglynDunbogGravenwoodPren GwydhStarkmoorTâl MethedrasTrum Dreng
Landmarks: Ak-ghruBarnavon MineBloodtusk's DenBone QuarryCartrev AndrasCulling PitCors AvancDire HollowDragon-clan SettlementDurgorsFanged LairFlam-cadlusGaltrev Lumber-campHen TurrauHerd-landsHound's RestHowling CavernsLhan BachLhan ColvarnLhan GogledhLhun AvancMunfaeril's ShrineNaur-maudhûlNorth PassOverlook of Wulf's CleftPlas-maruPrison-cavesPristine GladeRhuvel-cadlusRook's HutSlade of ShadowsTree of TributeWatch-towerWhite Hand OutpostWithered StonesUvel-cadlus
Regions of Eriador
AngmarBree-landDunland (Gap of RohanNan Curunír) • EnedwaithEred LuinEregionEttenmoorsEvendimForochelThe Lone-landsThe Misty MountainsThe North DownsThe ShireThe Trollshaws