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The Wild Men of Enedwaith
The men of Enedwaith are related to the Haladin, forefathers of the Númenóreans, who in the First Age fought against Morgoth on the side of the Eldar.
Their kindred had moved northwest through Middle-earth, avoiding beasts and evil men during the First Age. When the Second Age dawned most of them were spread out from Bree in the north to Enedwaith and Dunland, and further southward they lived on both sides of the White Mountains, the land later known as Gondor. In these regions they still make up the bulk of the native population.
The Enedwaith tribes have remained primitive compared to their neighbours. Originally since they had always feared the Eldar, and later because of the conflict that arose with the men of Númenor. Early in the Second Age the Dúnedain, called Go-hilleg in the native tongue, arrived across the Sea. They came as friendly teachers at first, but that soon changed as Númenor ruthlessly started felling the woods to build ships, driving the forest peoples to despair. The Númenóreans did not care for the natives, which at end forced the tribes to armed resistance, rendering the pitiless Go-hilleg enemies of these "lesser Wild Men" ever since..
Now the Númenóreans have returned, and in their arrogance claim all land between Arnor and Gondor. But Enedwaith is a land of free and proud tribes, who do not bow to empty claims of lordship!
Sauron is a feared name, but the free men of the forests hold true that your enemy's enemy is a friend. Already during the 17th century when Sauron invaded Eriador, he enrolled Enedwaith men for fire raids against the Númenóreans, and now they align with Mordor once more.
The Halbar, who is the first among the Chieftains, has assembled the people of Enedwaith and Eryn Vorn, as well as called for aid from Dunland and Minhiriath. Looted enemy armouries will provide the means to outfit new and heavy warriors. It is finally time to liberate homelands and kinsmen!
Gameplay notes: the folks of Enedwaith are comparably uncultured and materially poor.
Therefore, they can not recruit any heavy or well-equipped units beside the Halbar Swordsmen - until they looted arsenals of the Númenóreans by capturing certain settlements. These includes Angrenost (Isengard), Tharbad and Lond Daer.
The units who thus are 'unlocked' through achivments will have this noted "(Unlockable)" after the unit name.
A hunter and gatherer society, each and every man are trained from childhood to throw a spear, an ability just as useful to bring down a deer as to harass and kill enemies of the tribe.
The woodsmen who once lived free in the realm from Bree in Eriador to the coasts beyond the White Mountains have either become subjugated by the Go-hilleg, otherwise known as the Dúnedain, or have seen their homelands devastated, driven to a life in hiding by the same invaders.
In great numbers these tough men from the wilderland gather at the summons of their chieftains. When agility is combined with a strong throwing arm, death will hamper the enemy, preferably trough ambush but a javelin in the back has always proven potent, whether expected or not.
Every man is from childhood trained to use the spear, an ability just as useful to bring down beasts coming for the precious herds of the tribes, as to kill human enemies of the tribe.
The folks of Enedwaith have not forgotten the time before the Go-hilleg, the Númenóreans, destroyed the vast forest and claimed the lands for themselves. Others might bow to the oppressors, but no free man who can still grab his weapon will dishonour himself in such a way. It is time for blood, it is time for revenge.
These woodsmen gather when great clan chieftains send out the summons, and while they are lightly armoured, and should not be expected to hold long against civilised forces man to man, their numbers should never be underestimated.
The folks from the highlands of Dunland, who like the Enedwaith tribes belong to the kindred of the Folk of Haleth of old, have proven themselves loyal and fierce.
For the past two thousand years of the Second Age the Dunlendings have thrust out of the mountains into Enedwaith to support the peoples there against the hated Númenórean occupants, burning settlements like Vinyalondë, to the horror of the lords from across the sea.
Now once more the highland warriors heed their kinsfolk's call for aid, to liberate the land from the Dúnedain usurpers, and to plunder and earn renown on the battle fields. Armed with iron axes, and dedication to prove themselves in front of their fellow clansmen, Dunland's Hillmen are an invaluable contribution to the confederacy of tribes.
A unique feature among the so called wild men are the Warchanters, who follow their warriors into battle and do not, like a dainty minstrel, stay safe at home. In the field they sing old songs with deep voices, stirring inspiring memories of great heroes in the hearts of the warriors of Enedwaith, Dunland and Minhiriath. The dark chant also unsettles the enemy, who either fear it is curses cast upon them, or, if they know better, fear it as a sign of the savage nature of their foes.
The Warchanters are highly respected, no less since they go to battle with little protection while they wear fine dresses they have been granted, and should for that end be kept out of the fray.
The Haldar, the nobles, of the peoples of forests and hills are not to be compared to the nobility of so called civilized societies, yet their influence over their subjects is no lesser and their pride is as deep as anywhere else.
Since the chieftains have the right to pick the first share from any plunder, can profit from what meagre income their tribe sustains and can arrange trade for foreign goods, often through the Men of the Mountains or the Dwarves, the nobles over the recent years acquired proper mail, helmets and swords of quality. This allows them and their sons to stand up against heavy opposition, creating respect for the name of Enedwaith.
Chieftain's Haladin (Bodyguard unit; same model as above)
Proud are the Wardens, the Haladin, of the chieftains of Enedwaith. They guarded their leaders through the dark days of two Ages, threatened by beast and Men alike.
In such a harsh environment, only those who truly excel in combat and warfare survive for any length of time, to be revered and elevated to high standings within the society. As such, Haladin are battle tested and are a formidable foe even to some of the elite units of Middle-earth.
Their experience in combat and social standing has allowed them access to the finest equipment their folks can acquire. Whether bought from foreign merchants or looted from the corpses of more civilised peoples, the Chieftain's Haladin don mail under their dresses and also wield swords.
In every hut and homestead there is a bow with arrows, as it is the tool that will most often put meat on the table. However, while younglings and seasoned men can be trusted to hit rabbit and poultry in the glades close to the village, they are not to be taken for marksmen in the heat of battle.
The stress, fear and the unfamiliar sounds of mortal combat results in many arrows flying without aim. This shortcoming they however make up for with great numbers, so while they may not hit the side of a barn individually, together they can cover an area and make it perilous for any enemy to cross.
Having no armour to speak of, the Archers should avoid melee, yet if cornered, they have axes at hand and can make a respectable last stand.
In the land between the river Gwathló, the Greyflood, and the river Baranduinn, later known as Brandywine, lie the fields of Minhiriath. Once they were covered in forest, until the dreaded Dúnedain devastated the land to build their accursed ships, so that now it consists mostly of open fields.
The native peoples had to adapt their way of life, and one effect of this was that they started to hold themselves with horses. It is an irony that not a few of the cavalry deployed in and around Arnor are made up of riders recruited from Minhiriath.
Some of them however ride off to provide their services to their free kinsmen of Enedwaith. Their bands consist of freedom fighters hostile to the Númenóreans or petty outlaws, but most often deserters from Arnor's drafted army.
Acting as scouts, this light cavalry armed with javelins prefer to harass enemies at a distance. If possible they only engage in melee when hunting down routing enemies, or when cutting in on undefended enemy archers with their swords.
Gwathló Bushwackers (Mercs)
Along the Gwathló, the Greyflood, the Dúnedain for two thousand years made a contested claim, and they never properly controlled its banks. On the northern side Arnor claimed Minhiriath for a century and subjegated its population, but not all kneel to the arrogance of the Westerness.
In the untamed lands along the Gwathló dissidents from Minhiriath gather, a hodgepodge of freedom fighters who want to see their homelands liberated, criminals on the run, and deserters from Arnor's militia, who together make a living as brigands, praying on travelling Dúnedain and those who side with them.
Acting as fast-moving skirmishers they prefer to ambush their foes, hence their name, and they offer their services to the chieftains of Enedwaith, since they share a common foe.
Enedwaith Invaders (Mercs)
The men of the tribes are always eager to prove themselves as mighty warriors and worthy in the eye of the folk. Heeding the Dark Lord, whom they aligned to out of fear and his strength, they sally forth to conflict and battle. Their undying hatred for the Go-hilleg, the Dúnedain, whom they consider to have stolen their homelands, ever encourage them to engage in open war on the Númenórean Kingdoms and their allies.
In battle the average warrior uses a spear and carries limited armour. They rely on numbers and savage guile to defeat their enemies, for a chance to redeem their people and promote themselves through battle.
Dunland Invaders (Mercs)
For the Dunlending tribes, battle prowess elevates a warrior to high standing, and there are many among them who are willing to give service to Sauron's war, the great King who shall help slay the enemies of their kindred.
The Dunlending Volunteers are battle tested and formidable foes. even to some of the elite units of Middle-earth. Their experience in combat has allowed them access to the finest equipment the Dunlendings can offer, looted from the corpses of noble Go-hilleg.
To this they carry a powerful axe, a Dunlending favorite.
Enedwaith Longspearmen (Unlockable)
The most basic weapon of all is the spear, and while they never have established a relationship with the feared Elves, the men of Enedwaith have taken to heart one good lesson the Elves displayed: What is better than a spear? A larger spear, of course!
Courageous men are chosen to carry especially long spears into battle, with quality spearheads plundered, or imitated from the Dúnedain. In this manner they can create a living bulwark against and prove a troublesome threat to even well-armoured enemies, especially hostile cavalry.
Enedwaith Axemen (Unlockable)
The world is a wicked place, where hostile alien peoples have the skills to craft incomparable armours, gleaming like silver or brazened like gold. But where there is life there one may pursuit happiness, and, as the great Halbar of all the tribes says, looting is the great equalizer.
Dressed in repaired mail armour, taken from the bodies of slain foes or plundered halls, or imitated by local blacksmiths who are trained by the enslaved artisans from Angrenost, the Halbar field respectable axemen. The quality of their armour is perhaps not the highest, but their shields are broad and morale is good.
When wielded by a strong arm an axe can cleave through flesh, leather and steel rings alike, and while a sturdy helmet may hold against a blow, the blunt damage will knock the enemy clean out of the fight.
Enedwaith Marksmen (Unlockable)
The professional hunters of tribes and villages, who provide the pelts and furs for the people, have trained since childhood in the dark forests and their aim with the bow is true. They are now equipped by their chieftains with longer, narrow arrowheads fitting for warfare, looted from the arsenals of the accursed old anchorage of Lond Daer, or get them recreated by the local blacksmiths.
Gathered into companies of peers their courage is bolstered and nerves hardened, as they compete to make themselves a name. The bow is not a weapon that usually grants personal glory, but nonetheless, if the enemy commander falls with an arrow in his eye, songs may be sung about that deed for ages to come!
Disciplined but clad only in simple armour, the Marksmen should be kept safe from hostile aggression, especially from cavalry.
Halbar Cavalry (Unlockable)
Enedwaith's forests and hills are not suited for horses, still often chieftains of repute and prowess keep themselves with a pair taken in raids, for their sons entertainment.
The Númenoreans in Exile, who do not ride to war themselves either, have equipped their native subjects, creating an armoured cavalry known as Ennor Rochbin. Across the fields of Eriador these traitors have spread death, but now their stables and arsenals have been looted for equipment, creating new opportunities.
Turncoat men from Tharbad, Bree and Minhiriath, who served the Go-hilleg but who sympathize with their kinsmen's righteous cause, now train chieftain sons and reliable Minhiriath Riders to fight in armour from horseback. This arrangement is by decree of the great Halbar, thus giving them their name.
They trained with the lance and are given quality armour, and if quartered they draw their swords with confidence.
Enedwaith Slingers (AoR)
While the Eldar and Go-hilleg may have perfected archery, they overlooked the sling. An ancient and seemingly primitive weapon, it requires many years of training to master, but combines the range of the longbow with the force of the steelbow.
In the right hands, a slinger's stone bullet can crack skulls or incapacitate armoured foes with a hit against the helmet. In the face of the Western invaders and their Elven allies, this strength has made the rare slingers highly sought after.
The slingers value agility to launch their bullets and to this end carry no armour, granting them greater range than the slingers of the East. It does however make them more vulnerable to hostile missiles, and having no more than daggers at hand they should stay away from melee completely.
Skjaldmaer, shieldmaidens in the Common Speech, are women who have chosen the way of the warrior.
This custom is evidently ancient as in the First Age the renowned chieftain Haleth of the Haladin was a warrior with a picked bodyguard of women. Though few of these went abroad to fight in the great battles, they are a respected part of the martial tradition of these proud peoples.
The soldiers of Enedwaith, Minhiriath and Dunland are well aware of it when they have the brave Skjaldmaer by their side in battle, inspiring prowess and courage. The greatest disgrace is to run as a craven from the enemy, and it would be a blacker shame still if one was caught doing so beheld by a shieldmaiden.
Drilled archers, the Skjaldmaer are at their best at range, even more so because they are skilled ambushers. They wear light armour but if the enemy comes up close the women honour their epithet, and wield sword and shield.
Unarmoured, yet undaunted and quick as wild beasts, the Ulfhethnar are rooted in traditions long lost in the mist of time, and they are renowned and feared in equal measure.
Few in numbers, they live on the edge of society, their fierce temper, and tendency to take whatever they desire from homesteads they wander by, makes them unpopular in times of peace. In times of war, however, chieftains call on them to lead the charge in battle. Indeed, Ulfhethnars mere presence put fear into the hearts of enemy footsoldiers, as savages without any apperent care for their own lives, but with big axes, tends to do.
As sung in the old poem of the warchanters:
"I'll ask of the hethnar, you tasters of blood,
Those intrepid heroes, how are they treated,
Those who wade out into battle?
Wolf-skinned they are called. In battle
They bear bloody skins.
Red with blood are their axes when they come to fight.
They form a closed group.
The chieftain in his wisdom puts trust in such men
Who hack through enemy shields."
Units crafted by Earl of Memory
Thanks to Rusichi:Total War for bodies and shoes, and the EB II team for the slinger animations.
Thanks to Makehuman project for the arms, legs, and faces.
Concepts by Ngugi and Earl of Memory
Screen shots and unit info cards by xHolyCrusader
Unit cards by misteed
Faction Leader portrait by Araval
Texts by Ngugi. Edited by Veteraan
Unit unlocking script by Withwnar