Calenardhon, summer, year 2510 of the
Third Age under the Sun
The slender figure darted through the trees, her bare feet carrying her on familiar paths. Save for an occasional knoll or depression, the ground was mostly flat, for the woods lay nigh to the plains. Less than a day's walking distance to the south, the foothills of the White Mountains began, rising up to the majestic snow-capped peaks which lay in the distance. Another mountain range soared skyward many leagues to the north - the Misty Mountains, at whose southern end was a semi-circular valley surrounded by the embracing arms of two tall ridges. The River Angren flowed out of the vale, the course of the water curving towards the west when it reached the foothills of the White Mountains and the Three Peaks. To the south, the river was fordable; near this shallow place, there lay a small village in these lands forsaken by Gondor.
The warm sun beat down upon the young maid's curly black tresses, the sweltering heat of summer sending droplets of perspiration rolling down her light brown face. Earlier that morning, she had plucked a beautiful flower and tucked it behind her ear, but the blossom had not fared well in the heavy warmth and now dangled limply from her hair. The day was a hot one, even in the shade of the great leafy boughs, and the girl thought of the stream just ahead and how delightful the cool waters would feel splashing about her calves.
Since morning, she had been gathering herbs for her grandmother, the old healing woman of the village, and the fruits of her labor a heavy bundle of plants, twigs and roots weighted down her tired arm. The old woman's apprentice, the girl often scoured the woods for herbs for her mistress. It was often pleasant work, for she could walk about in the forest or in the fields and daydream while she labored. There were occasions, though, when the task could be frustrating, for some plants were difficult to obtain, either because they were uncommon varieties or because they grew in unfavorable places.
At other times the job of gathering could be daunting for to gather some herbs, she had to venture out-of-doors at midnight, the hour at which it was said that the powers of these plants were the greatest. It was very frightening to wander around in the dark night when the spirits were awake and lurked in the pale mists or the deepest pools of shadow, and upon certain magical days when the worlds of the seen and unseen collided. She always hoped that the earth and weather gods and goddesses and the benevolent shades of her kindred would keep her safe from evil wights while she went about her tasks.
The maiden's grandmother had been the wife of the village healer, but the old man, long in beard and great of age, had passed on to the other realm many years before. Her grandmother was a practioner of magic herself but not the dreadful kind practiced by those who worshipped the Evil One and the impenetrable darkness and summoned evil demons do to do their bidding. No, she practiced earth magic, the art of divining secrets from the world around her, and knew more of the land and its workings than did many others. Even though her people revered the earth, for it gave them fruits, the old woman possessed the wisdom of age and senses grown keen over the years, and noticed subtle changes oft overlooked by others in the weather or in the growth of vegetation. In truth, this was not really magic at all merely an understanding of nature but her folk were a primitive one, and called it as such.
Because of the wisdom of the old woman, the people of the village often came to her hut seeking advice on important matters, or merely to talk and laugh. The elders had always been appreciative of the sound guidance of the magic-man, and later, the counsel of his wife. As they had done with her husband when he was alive, the villagers came to her with their sick children and their ailing animals, for she could heal both man and beast. The old woman could set bones and sew up gashes and knew what kind of plants could bring relief to headaches and toothaches; ease the monthly pains of women and aid them in their labor; or staunch blood from cuts and wounds.
Some plants had other uses they could make a sad man happy or a happy man sad, turn the thoughts of the simple into ones profoundly deep and reflective, and rouse the hot blood of warriors into a fighting fury. Both the old woman and her husband had known well the virtues of certain plants and mushrooms, and used their phantasmagoric powers to have visions of the past, present and future, or even to journey beyond the veil and commune with those on the other realm. Such herbs were only to be used sparingly and at the appropriate times, often with much ceremony and ritual, but there would always be those who wished to have such power whenever they wished it, whether for evil intent or mere selfishness. Oft would the lovelorn come to the old woman and desperately beg her to make philters for them to administer to the uninterested objects of their affections, but the old woman warned against such things, saying that if one person did not love another, no amount of potions in the world would change their hearts.
The young girl thought reverently of her grandmother and hoped that someday she would be wise like the old woman, or like her mother, who was the village mid-wife. Healing was in her blood, and of this she was intensely proud. "'Tis a wonderful feeling to know that you have helped someone," she mused as she strolled through the woods, "whether it is by tending to the hurts of man, beast or plant, or merely by offering kind speech and a listening ear."
Then she thought of those in her own village who caused just as much harm to people as did the rigors of life - mean-spirited men with hot, flaming tempers, quick to anger and ever willing to fight, even with their own kinsmen. Sullen, surly, and given to too much drink, they always wanted to quarrel and cause trouble. How different such men were from those who studied the art of healing! Did not man have enough troubles without strife against each other?
Though the maid's own clan was relatively peaceful, many of their people fought with one another in bloody feuds, often over the most petty of things... animals, women, property, or merely because they did not like each other. There had not been any rivalry lately, though, and for that, the girl was extremely grateful. Perhaps this was because their people were drifting ever westward, moving away from their hilly homeland to the wide fields to the south. Far removed from churlish neighbors, they could turn their attentions to grazing their herds in lush grasses of the fields, harvesting wheat and hay, and growing their gardens.
Others besides the swarthy folk lived in the flat land, however. Men with pale skin, black hair and gray eyes Gondorians, they called themselves - had dwelt there for many years, but over time, their numbers had begun to diminish. When their strength was at its greatest, though, the swarthy folk feared to pass beyond the Angren, for it was guarded to the north and to the south by two forts of stone Angrenost and Aglarond - which leered out from the mountains like great monsters. They kept to their hilly home west of the Misty Mountains, while the West-men took the wide green fields of Calenardhon for their own, building there villages and castles.
Yet there had been little to fear for many years from the West-men. There had been no King for years, only Stewards who dwelt someplace to the east, and the pale-faced people were occupied with their own concerns. Slowly their numbers began to dwindle, for the Stewards stopped sending men to guard the forts, and the local chieftains became friendly with the swarthy folk. Thus it was that the two races mingled, the tawny with the white, until they almost became one. As the Westerners married with the wild men, they left the safety of the cold stone forts behind for new lives among their new kindred, and the dreary castles were left in abandon. Those who refused to mix their blood with lesser men died childless and thus their families perished, forgotten by the ages.
Those were good years for the swarthy folk, and while the numbers of the West-men shrank, their numbers grew. Steadily they migrated eastward, and what pale-skins remained did not challenge their intrusions, but welcomed them as new subjects and friends. There had been neither feuding nor rivalry between clans, and what few enemies they had left let them alone. There had been peace for many years, and life went on as it should. Seasons came and seasons went, spring turned to summer and summer turned to autumn and autumn turned to winter and winter turned back into spring in a never-ending cycle of death and rebirth instituted by the gods before the beginning of time. Babies were born and old men died; young lovers wed and elders saw their grandchildren grow towards maturity.
Then, late that winter, a host of strange folk from the Northeast had come, both men and monsters. The "Balchoth" these Easterlings were called by the Gondorians, but naturally they called themselves more favorable names than the "horrible horde." The wild men had been frightened at first and hid themselves in the hills, for they were a very superstitious people and it was said that only evil winds and ill tidings came from the East. Yet those who ventured out of their hiding places found these new men friendly, even though they had allied themselves with foul orcs. A kinship, too, the wild men felt with these incomers, for the faces of some were swarthy like their own.
These Northeasterners said that they had claimed this land and came to wrest it away from the dying clutch of Gondor. They came bearing gifts, wishing to make alliances with the native people. If the wild men left them alone, they, in turn, would let them dwell in peace and not begrudge sharing the land. But if they joined the Easterlings in their conquest, there would be even more benefits... gifts and land and positions of power...
The Westerners had never offered them such things. Instead they imposed their rule upon them, calling them lesser men and savages. What reason or justification there was in this, the swarthy folk did not know, but they were, after all, only simple natives, and such things were beyond their thought. At least these new men would not bother them, and they would be given gifts for their cooperation, and allowed to live where they pleased.
Many, seduced by promises of rewards and
power and remembering old grievances, allied themselves with the
Easterlings and marched among their number. The northern fortress
of Angrenost was besieged, the invaders camping outside the great
earthen ring which surrounded the black tower. Some of the swarthy
men, though, joined their forces with the feeble hosts of Gondorian
chieftains, of whom they were kin.
The girl's people had not been among those who sought war against Gondor or sought to aid her, though some of the young men in the village had gone off to battle with the Easterlings. Her clan had grown accustomed to being peaceful herders in the fields and foothills near Athrad Angren, the river ford. It was one thing to fight against one's own kinfolk and settle old scores, and another thing to ally with complete strangers. Fighting with the Easterlings would mean disregarding old vows made to long-dead chieftains, and they had always been peaceful with the Gondorians. Still, though, they did not resist the invaders, for they were intimidated by them, and their silent cooperation had been bought by many gifts.
The girl did know what to think of the incomers, but if they left them alone... well, that was all her people could hope for, just to be left alone. A strange look had come into her grandmother's eye when the Eastern host rode through, and she had become deathly silent. When the girl had asked her grandmother what troubled her, she murmured that thunder rumbled in the wake of these invaders, and the storm was sure to follow. Confused, the girl had pressed the old woman as to what she meant, but her grandmother shook her head as though coming out of a trance and brushed aside her granddaughter's questions.
Time had passed and nothing had happened. Perhaps her grandmother had consumed too much of the magic mushrooms even the soothest of soothsayers could make mistakes if they drank too much of the enchanted mushroom draught. Though news of the siege of Angrenost was always of interest, working in the garden, tending to the herds and local gossip took precedence in the minds of the villagers. The Easterlings were there to stay, everyone assumed, for the rule of Gondor was no more and few of the pale-skinned folk still remained to defend the land.
The stream was just ahead! It curled its way down from the foothills north of the Three Peaks like a snake, and at almost every curve, there was a wonderful pool the shallow ones perfect for wading and splashing about, and the deep ones excellent for fishing and swimming. Coming to a stop at the bank's edge, the girl looked down a moment at her reflection in the clear waters she was a pretty maid with bright dark eyes and a round face. Her mother's dress hung loose around her slight body and delicate curves, so soon come to a woman's form.
Sometimes she felt awkward, for her mind
seemed much younger than her appearance, and in her eyes she was
still a child. Yet some girls in her village were already married,
and a few were with child. She was glad that she was her grandmother's
apprentice, for marriage would wait until her training was more
complete. Already, though, her parents talked of offers made by
one of the village elders for a marriage between their daughter
and his son.
Sweeping off her dress, the maiden reverently lifted her copper amulets from her neck good luck charms to bring health, happiness and to ward away the evil intents of others. Then, saying a prayer to all the good spirits to protect her from the bad ones, she climbed down the bank and landed with a splash into the unsuspecting waters. The pool was not very deep here, and so she waded to where the cool waters lapped about her thighs. Closing her eyes tightly and pinching off her nose, she bent her head down and plunged it into the stream, pulling back up to shake her drenched tresses from her face and rub the water from her eyes.
There she idled, splashing about until she grew tired of that activity. Milling back to the shallow area of the stream, she sat down upon a cool, damp rock. Leaning back against the earthen wall of the bank, she closed her eyes, letting the sun warm her body. The sun shining through the trees dappled the water with shadows and light, the soft breeze making the splotches shimmer and dance. Lost in daydreams, the time slipped away from her, and there she slumbered in peaceful repose. The sun inched slightly towards the west.
Slowly her sleeping mind became aware that something was not right, and the girl began to stir into wakefulness. Blinking at the onrush of light, she rubbed her eyes, yawning. "How long have I slept?" she wondered. "By the position of the sun, I would say not too horribly long... Grandmother will probably think I had difficulty finding some of the requested plants."
Then she heard it... the sound of screams and shouts filtered through the forest and mingled with the song of chirping birds. Her mind struggled for a moment to comprehend, and then full realization struck senses like lightning striking a great tree. Like a frightened animal, she sat up, her back erect, her muscles tense, her eyes wide and her ears open, ready to take flight at any moment. The dreadful commotion rang in her ears with its ominous dissonance, and she judged that the fearful uproar was coming from the village. It sounded like... it sounded like a battle! Oh no! Someone must be attacking the village!
Scrambling up the bank, the girl sprinted to her dress, flinging it haphazardly over her head and arms. Breaking out into a run, her feet pounded furiously over the hard, dry earth. To either side of the path, the trees flew by as though they were fleeing past her while she futilely ran in place. Low-lying brambles tugged at her ankles, their slender vines and sharp thorns grabbing for her like clawed hands but catching only her flesh. Almost falling over a jutting rock, she screamed as her body came perilously close to crashing into the dusty path, but she caught herself at the last moment and regained her footing. Her legs stung from scratches, her breath came hard and heavy, her heart drummed painfully in her chest, and stabbing pain assailed her side, but still she sped onward.
At the edge of the woods, the maid saw a scene of unparalleled horror spread out before her on the wide, green plain. The village was on fire, bright orange flames shooting out of the roofs of familiar huts. Her feet slowed and she froze in her tracks, overwhelmed with the carnage which her young eyes beheld. Many bodies lay on the ground, like crumpled bundles which someone had dropped carelessly. Wild men on rearing, snorting horses charged around the burning buildings, sending shrieking women and children fleeing in terrorized panic. Other raiders ran in and out of houses, their arms heaped with tall stacks of goods which did not belong to them. The few men and boys left alive tried to fend off the invaders with old battle swords, farm knives, and even pitchforks and shovels, but to little avail. This new host was greater in strength and numbers, and soon the swarthy men were quickly defeated, those who were not slain being driven away.
Who were these enemies who so cruelly had attacked her village? They had golden hair capped by silver helms, pale skin, round shields, sharp spears and swords, and rode upon the most magnificent horses she had ever seen. Were they Easterlings? Many of them also had fair skin and hair. But why would the Easterlings betray the swarthy folk after forming alliances and bonds of friendship? Watching the end of the battle, the girl's confused, disbelieving mind tried to make sense of it all.
"Forgoil! Forgoil!" a woman screamed as she ran by. "Run for your life, girl!" she cried as she looked to the distraught maid. Then, turning away from her, the frightened woman moaned, "O gods save us from the fury of the strawheads!"
The triumphant cries of the invaders echoed in the girl's ears like the screams of carrion-birds hungry for a taste of rotting corpse. "Eorlingas for Gondor!" the blonde men cried. Though the Common Speech was not her mother tongue, she could understand that much. But why did Gondor seek war against the wild men? Had not the Western chieftains allowed the swarthy folk to abide here, even marrying among their people? Had there not been years of peace and friendship?
Terror clenching her heart, her feet pounded forward, carrying her past a group of men on horses and into the midst of the sacked village. Senselessly she ran hither and thither, the aftermath of battle all around her. Grieving, sobbing women clung to the bodies of the fallen, weeping into chests which were still warm with life though their hearts would never beat again. The stench of burning wood and straw filled her nostrils, and she coughed and choked upon the foul smoke. Panicked women clutching wailing children ran past her, their hoarse voices desperately calling out the names of kinsfolk. Abandoned or lost, a little boy sat all by himself, softly crying as he clutched a bleeding knee.
Mother! Father! Grandmother! Utter dread chilled her heart. She must find them! Running this way and that, she found the place where her grandmother's hut had been, but all that now remained were the raging flames.
"No!" she screamed as she stared into the fire.
Someone grabbed her roughly from behind, pulling her away from the building just before the roof collapsed into a raging abyss of savage flames. Looking up into the face of her rescuer, the girl's heart almost stopped in fear, and she felt nigh onto the verge of swooning. One of the invaders had her! He was a tall, brawny giant of a man with hair and beard as yellow and matted as two nests of straw. His mighty left arm held her slight frame crushed against his foul-smelling body, and she despaired of ever escaping of that crushing grasp. In his right hand, there was a long, wicked sword stained crimson with another man's gore. "My father's?" she thought, and her blood ran cold.
The strong man's blue eyes glinted lustfully at her from the cold metal eyepiece of his visoréd helm, and then one of them winked as he leered suggestively at her. Though no man had ever touched her and her mind seldom wandered to sensual matters of the flesh, she knew instinctively what that coarse stare meant. She renewed her struggles to free herself from the clutch of her captor, but her efforts were futile, and his strong, brawny arm held her fast. Trembling, she cried out for help, but the battle was over and all of the swarthy men and their sons had either been killed or driven away. There would be no rescue.
Like those of an animal caught in a trammel, her terrified eyes darted about wildly. Noticing that a blood-soiled rag was tied about the man's right forearm, she balled her small hand into a fist and struck at her captor's wound. Bellowing in pain, he dropped her to the ground, and, quickly rising to her feet, she took off running. Howling and cursing, the brute pursued his escaping prey, his strident steps closing in on her. Then, springing forward, he tackled her. A scream wrenched itself unbidden from her throat as she fell to the earth, her body hitting the ground hard. Her chin scraped and bleeding, the wind knocked from her chest, she lay there, gasping for air, all her limbs on fire with pain.
A man on a horse rode by, and upon surveying the scene, the harsh scowl upon his face turned into an expression of amusement. Calling out to the girl's attacker, he exchanged jovial greetings with his comrade. After a few words, the horseman went back to his mount and pulled a section of rope from one of his saddlebags and tossed it down to his friend. Laughing and saying a word of gratitude to his fellow, the girl's attacker rolled off her aching body.
Taking her arms and pulling them behind
her, he crossed her wrists and bound them with the rope. Hauling
her to her feet, he tied the rope about her neck and then led
her off like an animal. Through eyes filled with tears, she watched
as other women were rounded up and bound in like fashion, sobbing
children clinging to their skirts. Then she lowered her head in
despair and shuffled on behind her captor, his stern tugs on the
rope guiding her where he wished her to go.
That night, he raped her. In terror she beat at his wounded arm, ripping away the bandage and clawing at the gash in his flesh, sending his blood spewing out over her naked body as her virgin blood drenched his manhood and stained his bedroll. But still he continued his assault upon her tortured body, his strong hands holding her small wrists down and his fiery lips smothering her screams.
A few months later, the rest of the yellow-haired horde arrived from out of the North. There was a host of women with faces cold and stern, their blonde tresses tied up in pale kerchiefs, the straps of their long aprons secured by round broaches which were sometimes adorned by dangling strings of beads. The wealthy among them were clad in shirts of mail with sharp swords at their sides, their appearance just as fierce as the male warriors. With them were their squalling children and even more horses. This new folk promptly began to build villages, cultivate the land and let their magnificent horse herds graze upon the fair fields of Calenardhon.
In time, the girl would realize what had happened: angered at the Balchoth invasion, Cirion the Steward of Gondor sought the assistance of these fell Northern barbarians. They called themselves the Éothéod and their lord was Eorl, and they were a great and numerous people. After defeating the main force of Easterlings at the Battle of Celebrant, the riders swept down to the south and west, slaying the remaining forces of the Balchoth and liberating the besieged forts. They also destroyed many villages of the swarthy folk which stood in their way, looting and plundering the simple huts before burning them. Those who did not flee were taken as captives to work as thralls for the proud conquerors.
For their help in defeating the Easterlings, the Steward Cirion gave the Northmen the plains of Calenardhon. Obviously, it made no difference whatsoever to Steward Cirion that people were already living in Calenardhon, nor did he care that in the veins of many of these lesser men there ran the blood of the West. Perhaps he feared these wild men, for they were great in number and many had joined forces with the Balchoth invaders. They needed to be kept under control, to be driven out of Calenardhon, isolated once again in the foothills of the Misty Mountains. Not only had they been belligerent at times to Gondor, but they had also tainted the sacred racial purity of the blood of Númenor.
Perhaps Cirion also feared the burgeoning population of the Northmen and their ever-growing need for more land, and sought to kill two birds with one stone. By making lasting bonds of friendship and vows sworn upon the holy name of Eru, perhaps he could destroy any seeds of aggression in the minds of the Northmen before they ever took root, and turn aside lustful glances towards the south and Minas Tirith. Thus he could keep possible enemies pacified and in check, bound by solemn oaths always to be loyal. The horse lords could deal with the wild men, and the greater part of Gondor's forces would remain in the East.
Not everyone in Gondor was pleased with
Calenardhon being given to a barbarian race, though, but grudgingly
the proud Westerners acknowledged that Eorl had saved the day
at Celebrant, and was deserving of great reward. To try to ease
their wounded pride, they called the Éothéod "Middle
Men," friends of the Númenóreans, and hailed
them as honorable for they were descended from the Folk of Hador
in the First Age.
Miserable was the girl's life, raped and beaten into submission by a brute of a man. Henegest was his name, as she later learned, and he took her as wife, holding her prisoner in his home. When his kinswomen came from out of the North, they were exceedingly glad to find that he had taken a wife of inferior stock, for never again would they have to cook and clean for the brawny lout. "Inthínan" they named her, which means "female servant" in the language of the Northmen. They made her labor and work as their slave, and they were harsh mistresses, demanding perfection always and punishing unjustly when their lofty standards were not met.
Many times their insulting taunts left her in tears, for they found fault in everything she did, and, most hurtfully, in the person that she was. She would never be as beautiful as they were with their full bosomed, statuesque bodies and hair which shone like waves of gold, for she was short and slender with a mane of black curls, and her skin would never be soft and pale like moonlight, for it was dark and swarthy. Of this fact, the two women reminded her often, calling her an ugly barbarian and other such names.
But no matter how much Hengest's mother and sister tormented Inthínan, they were, in truth, secretly intimidated by her. She knew the land of Calenardhon far better than they, for they were strangers to it, and she was skilled in healing and herbcraft. Never once did she put her knowledge to evil, for easily could she have poisoned the food of the boorish Hengest and his churlish kinswomen, and then fled west to find the remnant of her people. No, even though she was treated cruelly, the warmth of her kind heart never froze, and she willingly helped her enemies when they were sick or injured.
As the years passed, Inthínan grew in wisdom as had her grandmother. "Wicce" the villagers called her behind her back, for, being a superstitious people, they were convinced that she was a witch. But she was peaceful and pleasantly disposed, and no one could prove that she was a sorceress. She worshiped pagan earth and weather gods and goddesses - in truth mannish corruptions of the Valar - and feared the Shadow just as much as the Northmen. Still, no one wished to cross her in fear of her cursing them, and gradually even Hengest's mother and sister grew to respect her.
The many sons that Inthínan bore Hengest became well renowned for their victories in battle against the Easterlings in the Wold, and also against their own kindred, the Dunlendings. Through the generations, the dark hair and tawny skin of her descendants faded to pale flesh and golden manes, and they were as true-blooded men come straight from the distant North. All that remained of her memory was a mild taint upon the reputation of the family and the fireside tale of the brave warrior who took a captured Dunlending witch as his bride. Even that faded from the minds of the people, and the legend became a closely guarded family secret which no one really believed.
Angrenost would later be called Orthnac;
Aglarond would later be called Helm's Deep; Athrad Angren would
later be called the Fords of the Isen; and the River Angren would
later be called the River Isen. The alternate names for these
locations are taken from Unfinished Tales. The "Three
Peaks" refers to the mountain Thrihyrne. "Forgoil"
is the only known word in the Dunlending language, and it means
"strawhead," their term for the Rohirrim. (Appendix
F, The Return of the King, p. 408; "Helm's Deep,"
The Two Towers, p. 142)
There is a great gap of the account of the Balchoth invasion and the ride of Eorl in the Unfinished Tales chapter "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan." Part II ends with Eorl and his men pursuing the Easterlings through Calenardhon in April. Part III begins with Ciron and Eorl meeting upon the Hill of Halfirien in August. What happened in those four months, and what became of the besieged forts? What of the Dunlendings?
The middle of the story seems to be told in "The Battles of the Fords of Isen," page 370-371:
"But during the Watchful Peace (from 2063 to 2460) the people of Calenardhon dwindled: the more vigorous, year by year, went eastward to hold the line of the Anduin; those that remained became rustic and far removed from the concerns of Minas Tirith. The garrisons of the forts were not renewed, and were left to the care of local hereditary chieftains whose subjects were of more and more mixed blood. For the Dunlendings drifted steadily and unchecked over the Isen. Thus it was, when the attacks on Gondor from the East were renewed, and Orcs and Easterlings overran Calenardhon and besieged the forts, which would not have long held out. Then the Rohirrim came, and after the victory of Eorl on the Field of Celebrant in the year 2510 his numerous and warlike people with great wealth of horses swept into Calenardhon, driving out or destroying the eastern invaders. Cirion the Steward gave them possession of Calenardhon, which was thenceforth called the Riddermark, or in Gondor Rochand (later Rohan). The Rohirrim at once began the settlement of this region, though during the reign of Eorl their eastern bounds along the Emyn Muil and Anduin were still under attack. But under Brego and Aldor the Dunlendings were rooted out again and driven away beyond the Isen, and the Fords of Isen were guarded. Thus the Rohirrim earned the hatred of the Dunlendings, which was not appeased until the return of the King, then far off in the future. Whenever the Rohirrim were weak or in trouble the Dunlendings renewed their attacks." - "The Battles of the Fords of Isen," Unfinished Tales, 370-371
From the above quote, it is evident that the Gondorian chieftains at the forts allowed the Dunlendings to migrate into Calenardhon. Obviously, this was a willing act on their part, and relations between Angrenost and Aglarond and the Dunlendings were obviously friendly. The presence of the Dunlendings seems to be neglected during the Easterling and orc invasion. Did they join forces with the invaders? Did they fight against them? Did they just hide in the woods and peer out fearfully? Either the Easterlings made alliances with the Dunlendings who did not flee from them, buying either their cooperation or their assistance in the struggle, or conquered them.
In any event, Gondor's gift of Calenardhon to Eorl and the subsequent Rohirric invasion justly incurred the hatred and wrath of the Dunlendings.
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