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 Wars and battles

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PostSubject: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:36 pm



Battle of Bywater


Battle between Hobbits and Men in the Shire. The Battle of Bywater was the last battle of the War of the Ring. The battle was fought on November 3, 3019, in the village of Bywater. The Hobbits defeated the Men and freed their land from the rule of the invaders.
Men had started coming to the Shire in late 3018. Many of them were ruffians from the South and some even seemed to have Orc blood. At first they worked for Lotho Sackville-Baggins, who was expanding his business interests and selling goods from the Shire to outsiders including the Wizard Saruman. Lotho had Mayor Will Whitfoot arrested and set himself up as Chief, and the Men came to be called the Chief's Men. The Chief's Men intimidated the Hobbits and arrested anyone who tried to stand up to them. In September of 3019, Saruman came to the Shire and took over as Chief.

When Frodo Baggins and his companions returned to the Shire and came to Bywater on November 2, they began to rally the Hobbits to expel the invaders. Merry Brandybuck blew the Horn of the Mark and over 200 Hobbits from the Bywater area answered the call. They drove off a group of twenty Men, but the Men sent scouts to bring reinforcements from Waymeet. Pippin Took rode off to Tookland to rally the Tooks.

Merry was in charge of organizing the Hobbitry and he used his war experience to prepare them for the upcoming battle. He had barriers set up on the roads and posted look-outs for the night. He rode towards Waymeet and returned at 10 o'clock on the morning of November 3 with the news that around 100 Men were heading toward Bywater. Pippin arrived before the Men, leading 100 Hobbits from Tookland.

Under Merry's direction, the Hobbits had set up a barricade of carts about a furlong up Bywater Road at a point where there were high banks and hedges on either side of the road. When the Men came up the road the Hobbits pushed more carts in behind them, and the Men found that they were trapped in a confined space with armed Hobbits looking down on them from the banks above.

The Men were leaderless and inexperienced in battle; they were used to ruling by intimidation and had not expected such an organized resistance. Some of the Men fled, but others fought fiercely and several Hobbits were killed. Merry and Pippin then charged the ruffians from the east side and Merry slew the leader, who appeared to be part Orc. The rest of the Men were surrounded by Hobbit archers. Those who had escaped were pursued and the Men were driven out of the Shire.

In the end, nearly 70 Men were killed and 12 were taken prisoner, while 19 Hobbits died and about 30 were wounded. The dead Men were buried in a nearby sand-pit that came to be called the Battle Pit. The Hobbits were buried separately, and a stone was placed on their grave with a garden around it. A Roll was made of the names of all the Hobbits who fought in the Battle of Bywater, with Captains Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took listed at the top.

The Battle of Bywater was the last battle fought in the Shire. The only other battle that had been fought in the Shire was the Battle of Greenfields.

Battle of Dagorlad

Battle of Dale
Battle in the north during the War of the Ring. The Battle of Dale began on March 15, 3019*. An army of Easterlings allied to Sauron crossed the Redwater and King Brand of Dale was forced to retreat to the foot of the Lonely Mountain. The Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain led by King Dain came to the aid of the Men of Dale. The battle lasted three days.

On March 17, King Brand was slain, and Dain stood over Brand's body wielding his axe until he too was killed. The Easterlings were victorious, but they could not take the Lonely Mountain and many Dwarves and Men took refuge there. They were besieged by the Easterlings until March 27, when news of the downfall of Sauron reached the north. Then Brand's son Bard II and Dain's son Thorin Stonehelm led their forces out of the mountain and drove the Easterlings away into the East.

*Note:
The only date given for the Battle of Dale is March 17, the day Brand and Dain were killed. Their deaths appear to have been at the end of the battle. Also, it is said that the Battle of Dale began while Minas Tirith was besieged. Therefore the starting date of the three-day battle appears to be March 15.

Battle of Fornost



Battle between the forces of the Witch-king of Angmar and the combined forces of the Dunedain of the North, Elves of Lindon and Rivendell, and Men of Gondor. The Battle of Fornost was fought in 1975 on the plain west of Fornost between the North Downs and Lake Evendim. The battle resulted in the Witch-king's defeat, but it also marked the end of the North-kingdom of Arnor.

The Witch-king was the Lord of the Nazgul, and he had been troubling the Dunedain of the North since he established the realm of Angmar in 1300. In the winter of 1974, a great force from Angmar captured Fornost, which was the capital of what remained of the North-kingdom. The Witch-king himself took command of the city.

Most of the Dunedain fled west across the River Lune to Lindon, but some led by King Arvedui held out for a time in the North Downs. They were soon forced to retreat northward to the Icebay of Forochel. A ship was sent from the Grey Havens to rescue them, but it was lost at Sea in March of 1975 and Arvedui and all aboard perished.

A fleet finally arrived from Gondor in repsonse to a request for aid that Arvedui had sent before the invasion. There were so many ships that they filled all the harborage in the Gulf of Lune. The fleet brought a great army led by Earnur, the son of King Earnil II of Gondor, as well as cavalry that included horsemen from Rhovanion. They joined forces with the remaining Dunedain of the North and the Elves of Lindon led by Cirdan to form the Host of the West. Some archers from the Shire accompanied them.

The Host of the West crossed the Lune and headed for the Hills of Evendim. The Witch-king was over-confident, and rather than waiting for the Host to try to retake Fornost, he sent his army out to meet them. The Host of the West came down out of the hills onto the plain and engaged the forces of Angmar in battle.

The forces of Angmar started to retreat toward Fornost. Then their flank was attacked by the cavalry of the Host of the West, who had circled around the Hills of Evendim to come down from the north. The forces of Angmar were routed. The Witch-king tried to retreat to his stronghold of Carn Dum with the remnants of his troops, but he was pursued by cavalry led by Earnur. Earnur was joined by Glorfindel and an army of Elves from Rivendell, and together they finished off the Witch-king's forces.

The Witch-king turned on Earnur, who tried to stand his ground but was unable to control his terrified horse. Then Glorfindel approached, and the Witch-king fled into the night. Earnur wanted to pursue him, but Glorfindel said, "Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall." (LotR, App. A, p. 332)

The Orcs and Men in the service of Angmar had all been slain or driven away, and the Witch-king returned to Mordor. Over 1,000 years later, Glorfindel's prediction came to pass when the Witch-king was vanquished at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields by a woman and a Hobbit.

Despite the victory over Angmar, the Dunedain of the North were greatly diminished and weakened, and the North-kingdom of Arnor could no longer be sustained. Fornost remained abandoned, and the Dunedain became a wandering people called Rangers by the people of Eriador. It was not until the end of the Third Age that the North-kingdom was reestablished by Aragorn, King Elessar.

Names & Etymology:
The Battle of Fornost took its name from the nearby capital city of Fornost, meaning "northern fortress."

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PostSubject: Re: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:39 pm

Battle of Greenfields

Battle between Orcs and Hobbits in the Shire. In the year 2747, an army of Orcs from Mount Gram led by Golfimbul invaded Greenfields in the Northfarthing. The Orcs were defeated by a group of Hobbits led by Bandobras Took, who charged at Golfimbul and knocked the Orc leader's head off with a club. It is said that this is how the game of golf was invented.

The Battle of Greenfields was the first battle fought in the Shire. After the Battle of Greenfields, the Shire was at peace for many years until the War of the Ring in 3018-19. The Battle of Bywater was the second and final battle to be fought in the Shire.

Names & Etymology:
Also written as the Battle of the Green Fields.

Battle of Helm's Deep

Battle between the Men of Rohan and the forces of Saruman during the War of the Ring. The Battle of Helm's Deep was fought during the rainy night of March 3-4, 3019. The stronghold of Helm's Deep in Rohan was defended by about 2,000 Rohirrim against an attacking army of over 10,000 Orcs and Men. At dawn, help arrived unexpectedly, and Saruman's forces were utterly defeated.

Saruman's intention was to conquer Rohan. He unleashed the full force of Isengard on the night of March 2, 3019. His army consisted of 10,000 Uruk-hai and Orcs, including troops of wolf-riders, as well as battalions of Men from Dunland who hated the Rohirrim and strange Men who appeared have been crossbred with Orcs.

Saruman's army defeated the Rohirrim at the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen in the early hours of March 3 and proceeded to invade the Westfold, burning and killing as they went. They advanced on Helm's Deep, a stronghold in the Westfold across the Gap of Rohan from Isengard. Their plan was to take Helm's Deep while the forces of the Rohirrim were in disarray before continuing on to attack Edoras, the capital of Rohan.

Saruman believed that King Theoden of Rohan would be unable to resist because the King had become feeble and dependent on his counsellor Grima, who was secretly in the service of Saruman. But Gandalf the White came to Edoras on March 2 and freed Theoden from Saruman's influence. Theoden decided to ride to war against Saruman and he set forth toward Isengard with over 1,000 Rohirrim. When they learned of the defeat at the Fords of Isen, Gandalf parted from Theoden and advised the King to go to Helm's Deep, where it was thought that Erkenbrand, the lord of the Westfold, was leading his forces.

Theoden arrived at Helm's Deep on the evening of March 3, but Erkenbrand was not there yet. About 1,000 Rohirrim had been left to defend Helm's Deep while Erkenbrand gathered the rest of his forces. Most of the defenders were either very young or very old, like Gamling who was manning the outer wall of Helm's Dike. There were also many women, children, and elderly people of the Westfold who had taken refuge in the Glittering Caves behind Helm's Deep.

The combined forces of the Westfold and Edoras at Helm's Deep totaled about 2,000. In addition to the Rohirrim were Aragorn of the Dunedain, Gimli the Dwarf, and Legolas the Elf of Mirkwood. Theoden's nephew Eomer took charge of organizing the defenses on the Deeping-wall while Theoden entered the fortress of the Hornburg.

Saruman's army marched into the valley of the Deeping-coomb and overran the outer defensive wall of Helm's Dike. The rear-guard of the Rohirrim retreated into Helm's Deep and Saruman's forces massed before the Deeping-wall. After midnight on March 4, a storm began and the assault was launched on Helm's Deep.

A group of huge Orcs and Dunlendings advanced up the causeway leading to the gates of the Hornburg. They held their shields over their heads to deflect arrows and rocks from above, and they battered the gates with two great tree trunks. Eomer and Aragorn led a sortie from a side door and drove the attackers off the causeway. Gimli saved Eomer's life when two Orcs grabbed him from behind.

The gates had been damaged, but they were barricaded with stones and timber. Saruman's forces renewed their attack on the gates and tried to scale the Deeping-wall with ladders and grappling hooks. The Rohirrim fended them off from the top of the wall but they began to grow weary.

Then Orcs crept into Helm's Deep through the culvert where the Deeping-stream passed under the Deeping-wall. Gimli sounded the alarm and Gamling led a group of Westfold-men to drive the Orcs out. Gimli slew a number of Orcs with his axe and helped block up the opening of the culvert. Up on the Deeping-wall, Legolas had been hard at work with his bow and his long knife. The Dwarf and Elf engaged in a contest, and by the end of the battle Gimli had slain 42 Orcs, beating Legolas's count of 41.

Not long before dawn, an explosive device created by Saruman was set off in the culvert and the Deeping-wall was breached. At the same time, 100 ladders were raised against the wall. Saruman's forces poured into Helm's Deep through the breach and over the wall. Some of the Rohirrim retreated far back into the Narrows in front of the entrance to the Glittering Caves where the refugees hid. Among them were Eomer and Gamling, along with Gimli. Many other Rohirrim entered the fastness of the Hornburg, and Aragorn and Legolas covered their retreat. Aragorn barely made it into the Hornburg as the Orcs pursued him up the stairs.

The Hornburg had never been captured by an enemy, but Saruman's forces were overwhelming. Theoden did not want to be caught in a trap, and he decided that at dawn he would lead a charge from the Hornburg-gates. Aragorn went out onto the walls to help with the defense of the Hornburg, and just before dawn he stood above the gates and offered the enemy a chance to surrender. The Men of Dunland were awed and afraid, but the Orcs laughed at him. They set off an explosion that destroyed the barricaded gate and prepared to enter the Hornburg.

Then dawn came, and Saruman's forces hesitated. They heard strange noises from the valley behind them, and then the horn of Helm Hammerhand sounded from the Hornburg. The horn blasts echoed throughout Helm's Deep, and it seemed as if other horns were answering. Theoden led the charge of the Rohirrim accompanied by Aragorn, and they were joined by the defenders from the Glittering Caves. Saruman's forces were driven back all the way to Helm's Dike a quarter mile down the valley.

In the valley of the Deeping-coomb, the land had changed. A forest had seemingly sprung up overnight. In fact, the trees were Huorns sent by Treebeard from Fangorn Forest at Gandalf's request. Gandalf himself arrived with Erkenbrand and 1,000 Rohirrim, and they charged down the western ridge of the valley at the enemy forces. At the sight of the White Rider, the Men of Dunland fell on their faces and surrendered and the Orcs fled into the forest of Huorns and never emerged again. Saruman's great army was vanquished.

A number of the Rohirrim had fallen in battle, including Hama, the Captain of the King's Guard, who died defending the Gate. Hama was buried in a solitary grave in the shadow of the Hornburg. Two burial mounds were made in the field before the Hornburg - one for the Men of the Westfold and the other for those of the East. The bodies of the Orcs were buried by the Huorns the next night under a pile of stones that became known as the Death Down, where no one dared to walk.

With the victory at the Battle of Helm's Deep, Rohan was saved from conquest and Gondor was also spared from having to fight a war on two fronts against the forces of Saruman and Sauron. After the battle, the Rohirrim rode to the aid of Gondor at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Movie Note:
In Peter Jackson's film of The Two Towers, a few changes were made to increase the dramatic tension of the Battle of Helm's Deep: The number of Rohirrim defending Helm's Deep was reduced to 300; Eomer arrived at dawn with Gandalf; and Haldir led a company of Elves to Helm's Deep, where he and many others were killed. In the book, the only Elf at Helm's Deep was Legolas.

Names & Etymology:
Also called the Battle of the Hornburg.

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PostSubject: Re: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:41 pm

Battle of the Camp

Battle resulting in the final defeat of the Wainriders. The Battle of the Camp was fought in Ithilien on the night of July 13, 1944, between the Wainriders and the Southern Army of Gondor led by Earnil.

The Wainriders were a group of Easterlings from Rhun who were known for using chariots and wains - or wagons - in battle. They were in league with Sauron. The Wainriders first attacked Gondor in 1851 and they continued to trouble Gondor over the course of the next century.

In 1944, the Wainriders planned an assault on two fronts with their allies the Men of Khand and Harad. The Haradrim prepared to invade Ithilien from the south, while the Wainriders and the Men of Khand were set to attack from the northeast.

Gondor's forces were divided into the Northern Army and the Southern Army. The Southern Army was led by Earnil and was based at Pelargir. When news of the approaching Haradrim reached Pelargir on July 9, Earnil had already taken up a position about 40 miles north of the Poros in Ithilien. The Crossings of Poros were left intentionally unguarded so the Haradrim would march into their trap.

The Northern Army was led by King Ondoher. He was accompanied by his son and heir Artamir. His younger son Faramir was supposed to remain behind as Regent but he disguised himself and joined Gondor's allies the Eotheod. Ondoher expected to meet the Wainriders on Dagorlad, but the Northern Army was taken by surprise as they approached the Black Gate by enemy forces lying in wait in the shadow of the Ash Mountains. The Northern Army was routed and Ondoher and both his sons were killed.

The Wainriders believed that they had vanquished Gondor's entire army. They made camp in Ithilien on the night of July 13 and they had a feast to celebrate before continuing on to conquer Gondor.

But then Earnil and the Southern Army arrived. They had defeated the Haradrim in southern Ithilien and had hurried north gathering the survivors of the Northern Army as they came. They took the Wainriders unawares in their camp and set fire to their wagons. The Wainriders were driven out of Ithilien, and many fled into the Dead Marshes and perished.

Earnil afterwards became King of Gondor in the absence of a direct heir to the throne. Although Men from the East continued to pose a threat to Gondor in the years that followed, the Wainriders never returned.

Battle of the Field of Celebrant



Battle where the ancestors of the Rohirrim first came to the aid of Gondor. The Battle of the Field of Celebrant was fought on April 15, 2510, against the Balchoth - a group of Men from Rhun who were under the influence of Sauron.

The Balchoth made frequent raids on settlements on the east side of the Anduin until most of the inhabitants fled. Then Cirion, the Steward of Gondor, learned from his spies that the Balchoth were amassing a great army to invade the province of Calenardhon on the west side of the river. The defenses there were too weak to withstand an attack.

Cirion prepared to lead an army to Calenardhon, and he sent six errand-riders north to ask for help from the Eotheod, who were old allies of Gondor. The errand-riders had to pass through hostile territory patrolled by the Balchoth. Five of them were lost, and the sixth - a man named Borondir - was pursued by the Balchoth during his 15-day journey. He finally made it to the land of the Eotheod at the source of the Anduin on March 25, 2510, and delivered his message.

Eorl the Young was the leader of the Eotheod. He realized that if Gondor fell, his people would soon be in danger as well. Eorl amassed an eohere - or army - of 7,000 armed Riders and several hundred mounted archers. On April 6, the Eotheod began their southward journey of over 500 miles.

The Balchoth had built boats and rafts on the east side of the Anduin. They crossed the river en masse into Calenardhon and overcame the defenses on the west bank. The Balchoth were poorly equipped but had superior numbers. Cirion arrived with an army of reinforcements, but the Balchoth cut them off and drove them north over the Limlight into the Field of Celebrant. Then a great host of Orcs came down from the Misty Mountains and attacked Cirion's forces from the west, driving them toward the Anduin.

All seemed lost for Gondor, but then the Eotheod arrived. They had crossed the Anduin at the Undeeps into Calenardhon and then came over the Limlight to attack the Balchoth from the rear. Borondir charged ahead through the enemy forces to reach Cirion's side, and he died defending his lord.

The combined forces of Gondor and the Eotheod were victorious. Eorl drove the Balchoth back across the Limlight and he and his Riders hunted them down and slew them until Calenardhon was free of invaders. After the battle Cirion gave Calenardhon to Eorl and his people, and it became the land of Rohan. Eorl swore an oath to remain Gondor's ally and come to their aid in time of need.

The Oath of Eorl remained in effect for generations and was fulfilled most notably at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields during the War of the Ring. After that war, Aragorn, King Elessar, renewed the Gift of Cirion and King Eomer of Rohan renewed the Oath of Eorl.

Names & Etymology:
The Field of Celebrant was so called because it was south of the river called Celebrant in Sindarin, which was the Silverlode in the Common Speech.

Battle of the Five Armies



Battle involving Dwarves, Elves, and Men against Orcs and Wargs at the Lonely Mountain. The Battle of the Five Armies was fought late in the year of 2941 in the valley between two great spurs on the southern side of the mountain.

The Men of Lake-town led by Bard and the Elves of Mirkwood led by Thranduil had come to the Lonely Mountain seeking a share of the treasure recovered from Smaug the Dragon by Thorin Oakenshield and his company. Thorin barricaded his company inside the mountain and sent for help from his kinsman Dain of the Iron Hills. When Dain arrived at the Lonely Mountain with 500 Dwarves, a battle was imminent with the Dwarves on one side and the Elves and Men on the other.

But then Gandalf alerted them to the approach of an army of Orcs and Wargs. The Orcs came from the Misty Mountains led by Bolg. They were angry with Thorin and Company because the Dwarves had earlier escaped the Orcs in a struggle that resulted in the death of the Great Goblin. Bolg also had a grudge against Dwarves because his father Azog had been killed by Dain at the Battle of Azanulbizar.

The Orcs assembled at Mount Gundabad and then marched eastward. Some of the Orcs were mounted on wolves. The Orc army was accompanied by packs of Wargs, and a cloud of bats flew overhead.

The Dwarves, Elves, and Men agreed to unite against their common enemy. They arranged their forces on the spurs of the mountain hoping to trap the Orcs in the valley between them. The Elves arrayed themselves on the southern spur, while the Men and Dwarves took up positions on the eastern spur.

A vanguard of wolf-riders entered the ruined town of Dale in the valley and swiftly overcame the small force of Men positioned there. The Orcs and Wargs then poured into the valley. The Elves attacked first with a volley of arrows, and 1,000 of their spearmen charged into the valley below. The Orcs fell back, but were immediately attacked from the other side by Dwarves and Men.

The Orcs panicked and began to retreat. Some of the Wargs turned on their allies and began tearing apart dead and wounded Orcs. But then a group of Orcs who had climbed the mountain attacked the defenders on the spurs from above. The Orcs in the valley regrouped and rejoined the battle.

As the day wore on, the sky became dark with stormclouds. The sky was also darkened by the bats that harried the defenders and attacked the wounded.

Bolg came onto the battlefield surrounded by a bodyguard of Orcs with scimitars and a pack of Wargs. The Men and Elves were driven back to defend the spurs. Thorin Oakenshield then came out of the mountain and rallied the Dwarves of the Iron Hills to him. Many Elves and Men joined the Dwarves, and they drove forward into the valley. But their numbers were too few and their flanks were unguarded and they were soon surrounded. Thorin himself was mortally wounded.

At that moment, Bilbo Baggins - who was on Ravenhill with the Elves - noticed the approach of the Great Eagles from the Misty Mountains. The Eagles swooped down and attacked the Orcs on the mountainside, throwing many to their deaths. The Elves, Dwarves, and Men rallied one last time in the valley below. Then Beorn the shapeshifter arrived in the form of a bear, and he slew many Orcs including Bolg.

The Orcs and Wargs were defeated. Those that fled were driven into the River Running and the marshes around the Forest River, or were pursued to the borders of Mirkwood where the Elves dealt with them. It is said that three quarters of the Orcs of the northern Misty Mountains died that day.

Many Elves, Men, and Dwarves were also killed in the Battle of the Five Armies. Thorin Oakenshield died of his wounds, and his nephews Fili and Kili had died defending him.

After the battle, a Dwarf realm was reestablished in the Lonely Mountain and Dain became King under the Mountain. Dale was also rebuilt under the leadership of Bard, the new King of Dale. Both realms prospered and had peace for many years until the Battle of Dale during the War of the Ring.

Names & Etymology:
Called the Battle of the Five Armies because the five main forces were the Dwarves, Elves, and Men on one side and the Orcs and Wargs on the other. It was also referred to as the First Battle of Dale, since much of the fighting took place in the ruined town of Dale in the valley between the spurs of the Lonely Mountain. The battle commonly called the Battle of Dale was fought during the War of the Ring.

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PostSubject: Re: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:45 pm

Battle of the Morannon



Battle between the Host of the West and the forces of Sauron during the War of the Ring. The Battle of the Morannon took place on March 25, 3019, in front of the Black Gate of Mordor. The purpose of the battle was to give Frodo Baggins time to fulfill the quest to destroy the One Ring, and in that it was successful.

On March 16, there was a meeting of the Captains of the West attended by Aragorn, Gandalf, King Eomer of Rohan, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, and Elladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond. Following Gandalf's counsel, they decided to lead their forces to the Black Gate in order to draw Sauron's attention to themselves as Frodo approached Mount Doom. It was thought that Sauron would suspect that one of them was wielding the One Ring and that he would concentrate all his power at the Black Gate. The Host of the West had no hope of victory in battle over Sauron's superior strength, but they felt it was their duty.

The Host of the West was comprised of 7,000 Men, mainly on foot. Of these, Aragorn gathered 2,000 Men from Southern Gondor; Prince Imrahil gathered 3,500; Eomer gathered 1,000 Rohirrim - half on foot and half mounted; and the remaining 500 were horsemen including the Knights of Dol Amroth and the Dunedain of the North. With this final company rode Elladan and Elrohir, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, and Peregrin Took. Aragorn was the Captain of the Host of the West.

On March 18, the Host of the West left Minas Tirith and began the march through Ithilien. A guard comprised mainly of archers was left at the Cross-roads to defend against the possibility of attack from Minas Morgul. Scouts discovered a force of Orcs and Easterlings lying in ambush on March 21, but the Host easily overcame them. As they approached the Desolation of the Morannon, some of the young men of Rohan and farmers of Lossarnach were too afraid to continue. Aragorn took pity on them and sent them to defend the crossing at Cair Andros.

The remaining 6,000 troops came before the Black Gate on March 25. Aragorn organized the army on two great hills of piled dirt and stone in front of which lay a mire of mud and pools of water. He then approached the Black Gate with Gandalf and representatives of the free peoples of Middle-earth: Eomer and Imrahil for the Men; Legolas, Elladan, and Elrohir for the Elves; Gimli for the Dwarves; and Pippin Took for the Hobbits.

They were met by the Mouth of Sauron, who showed them Frodo's mithril shirt and Elven cloak and Sam's sword. He claimed that the one who had borne these tokens would endure years of torment in Barad-dur unless the Host of the West surrendered. The Mouth of Sauron then presented Sauron's terms: That all lands east of the Anduin would be Sauron's realm and that Gondor and Rohan would be subject to the rule of Mordor. Despite his anguish, Gandalf utterly rejected Sauron's terms and the battle began.

A great army of over 60,000 emerged from the Black Gate. Orcs came down from the hills on either side of the gate and an army of Easterlings marched from the shadow of the Ash Mountains. There was also a company of Hill-trolls from Gorgoroth, and the Nazgul flew overhead mounted on Fell Beasts. The Host of the West was surrounded.

Aragorn and Gandalf stood on one hill under the banner of the King of Gondor while on the other hill flew the banners of Rohan and Dol Amroth. In the front rank stood the Dunedain, Prince Imrahil and his knights, Elladan and Elrohir, and members of the Tower Guard including Beregond and Pippin.

The first assault of the Enemy forces was hindered by the mire that lay like a moat in front of the hills. The Orcs shot a volley of arrows at the Host of the West, but the Hill-Trolls were able to wade through the mud and attack the front rank. Beregond was struck by a great Troll-chief and Pippin saved his life by stabbing the creature with his sword, which he later called Troll's Bane. The Hobbit was crushed under the weight of the Troll's carcass and was found alive after the battle by Gimli.

The battle was going ill for the Host of the West when the Great Eagles arrived led by Gwaihir the Windlord. But as the Eagles bore down on the Winged Nazgul, there was a sudden terrible cry from Barad-dur and the Nazgul turned and sped toward Mount Doom. The forces of Sauron wavered and the Host of the West began to advance against them, but Gandalf told them to stand firm and wait.

At that moment, Frodo stood at the edge of the Cracks of Doom. Unable to resist the will of the Ring any longer, Frodo claimed the Ring for himself, but then Gollum - whose life Frodo had spared - bit the Ring from Frodo's hand. In his exuberance at regaining his Precious, Gollum fell into the Cracks of Doom and the Ring was destroyed.

The realm of Mordor fell into ruin: the Towers of the Teeth collapsed, the Black Gate was hurled down, Barad-dur was destroyed, and Sauron himself was vanquished.

And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and then a hush fell.
The Return of the King: "The Field of Cormallen," p. 227

After the fall of Sauron's realm, most of his forces scattered and went into hiding or killed themselves in despair. Some of the Easterlings and Southrons made a final desperate stand, but many others fled or begged for mercy. Aragorn later pardoned and freed the Easterlings who had surrendered and made peace with the Southrons.

Names & Etymology:
The word Morannon means "Black Gate" from mor meaning "black" and annon meaning "great door or gate."

Battle of the Peak



Battle between Gandalf and the Balrog on the Silvertine during the War of the Ring. After Gandalf and the Balrog fell into the abyss in Moria on January 15, 3019, they fought long underground and then climbed the Endless Stair to the peak of the Silvertine where Durin's Tower stood. There on a narrow eyrie they fought the Battle of the Peak from January 23 to January 25. The Balrog, whose fire had been quenched in a subterranean lake, burst into renewed flame. The sun shone at first, but as the combatants struggled thunder boomed and lightning flashed, vapor and steam rose, and ice fell. From a distance it appeared that a storm was raging over the Silvertine.

At last, Gandalf vanquished the Balrog and threw him down from the peak, and the mountainside cracked where the Balrog landed. Gandalf passed into darkness out of thought and time, but Eru sent him back to Middle-earth as Gandalf the White to complete his task. When Gandalf awoke on February 14, he was lying naked on the peak of the Silvertine. Durin's Tower had crumbled and the entrance to the Endless Stair was blocked, and Gandalf was trapped high on the mountaintop until Gwaihir the Windlord came on February 17 and bore him to Lothlorien.

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PostSubject: Re: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:48 pm

Battle of the Pelennor Fields


Greatest battle of the War of the Ring. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was fought on March 15, 3019, between the forces of Sauron and the combined forces of Gondor and Rohan. At the end of the grueling day-long battle, the West was victorious and the Lord of the Nazgul was vanquished, but Sauron remained undefeated.

Sauron launched his assault on Gondor on March 10, the Dawnless Day. He sent forth a darkness from Mordor that sunlight could not penetrate in order to spread fear and uncertainty among his opponents. An army from the Black Gate comprised of battalions of Orcs and many companies of Easterlings captured the island of Cair Andros in the Anduin and entered Anorien in northern Gondor. Their mission was to guard the Great West Road against the coming of the Rohirrim.

In response to a red signal from Mordor, the Lord of the Nazgul led a great army including both cavalry and infantry from Minas Morgul. The Morgul-host was joined by regiments of Men from the South called Haradrim. They came to Osgiliath on March 12 and crossed the Anduin on barges. The defenders on the western bank, led by Faramir, were outnumbered ten to one. They were forced to retreat to the Causeway Forts on the Rammas Echor - the great wall surrounding the Pelennor Fields outside Minas Tirith.

The next day on March 13, the Morgul-host breached the Rammas Echor and overran the Pelennor Fields. Faramir and his men were pursued by Orcs, Haradrim, and the dreadful Winged Nazgul. A third of Faramir's company had been lost, and Faramir himself was gravely wounded. Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth and his Knights rode to their rescue accompanied by Gandalf and allowed the survivors to reach the Gate of Minas Tirith.

Thus began the Siege of Gondor, which lasted from March 13 until dawn on March 15. Enemy forces filled the Pelennor Fields. They burned homesteads and dug trenches filled with fire. Catapults hurled fiery missiles over the walls, and the first circle of the City was soon in flames. The severed heads of slain Men of Gondor were also launched into the City, spreading dread and despair among the besieged inhabitants. The Nazgul on their Fell Beasts circled constantly overhead, striking terror in the hearts of the bravest defenders.

The defenders of Minas Tirith included at least three companies of the Tower Guard, as well as the survivors of the garrison of Osgiliath. Their numbers were strengthened by nearly 3,000 soldiers from the southern fiefdoms of Gondor, who had arrived on March 9. Among these were 200 Men of Lossarnach led by Forlong, 300 Men of the Ringlo Vale led by Dervorin, 500 archers from the Blackroot Vale led by Duinhir and his sons Duilin and Derufin, a company of ill-equipped Men from Anfalas led by Golasgil, a few hillmen from Lamedon, a hundred or so fishermen from the Mouths of the Anduin, 300 Men from the Green Hills led by Hirluin, and a company of Knights of Dol Amroth along with 700 men-at-arms led by Prince Imrahil.

Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, gave in to despair when Sauron showed him visions of Gondor's doom in the palantir. It fell to Gandalf to take charge of the City's defenses, assisted by Prince Imrahil. They tried to encourage men to remain at their posts, but many fled from the first circle. The Knights of Dol Amroth remained to guard the Great Gate.

At midnight on March 15, the Lord of the Nazgul began his assault on Minas Tirith. Companies marched forward, heedless of arrows from the few remaining archers on the City walls, and Oliphaunts pulled forth great siege-towers. The Lord of the Nazgul's strategy was to distract the City's defenders while he prepared to attack the Great Gate.

Just before dawn on March 15, the great battering ram Grond was brought before the Great Gate. The Gate was shattered, and the Lord of the Nazgul entered Minas Tirith. He was confronted by Gandalf, who denied him entry to the City. But then, at dawn, the Rohirrim arrived, and the Lord of the Nazgul went to meet them in battle.

King Theoden of Rohan had mustered an army of 6,000 Riders to come to Gondor's aid. They had avoided Sauron's forces on the Great West Road by travelling through the Stonewain Valley guided by Ghan-buri-Ghan of the Druadan Forest. Eomer led the first eored - or company - in the center, while Grimbold led the left flank and Elfhelm led the right flank and Theoden rode before them all. They easily overcame the Orcs at the north-gate of the Rammas Echor, who were not expecting an attack from that side.

At dawn on March 15, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields began. The Rohirrim sounded their horns and King Theoden led them into battle.

Arise, arise, Riders of Theoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
The Return of the King: "The Ride of the Rohirrim," p. 112

At that moment, the Darkness sent by Sauron lifted and the Sun shone in the sky. A fresh wind from the Sea came up the Anduin. The wind filled the sails of the Corsairs' ships which - unknown to both Sauron's forces and the City's defenders - had been captured by Aragorn and were sailing upriver toward Minas Tirith.

But for now, the battle was engaged between the Riders of Rohan and the enemy forces, of which there were at least 18,000 Men of Harad - three times the number of the Rohirrim - as well as countless thousands of Orcs. In their initial charge, the Rohirrim overran the northern half of the Pelennor Fields, and many foes fled or were slain. The southern half of the field was filled with enemy forces, and Minas Tirith remained besieged.

The chieftain of the Haradrim attacked King Theoden, but Theoden slew him. But then the Lord of the Nazgul descended onto the battlefield mounted on a Fell Beast. A dart pierced Theoden's steed Snowmane, and the King was crushed beneath his horse and later died.

Eowyn - the King's niece, who had ridden to battle disguised as a man - came to Theoden's defense and killed the Fell Beast. The Lord of the Nazgul struck her down with his mace, but the Hobbit Merry Brandybuck stabbed the Nazgul behind the knee with his sword of Westernesse. Eowyn then delivered the final blow, and the Lord of the Nazgul was vanquished.

Eomer found his sister lying unconscious on the battlefield, and he mistakenly believed she was dead. Distraught and furious, Eomer led his Riders recklessly into the thick of battle, crying "Death!" They drove far into the ranks of the enemy. The Haradrim rallied around their great Oliphaunts with war-towers on their backs, which the horses of the Rohirrim feared to approach. The Rohirrim soon found themselves assailed on all sides.

The Men of Gondor came forth from Minas Tirith and joined in the battle. They drove the enemy forces away from the Gate and fought beneath the walls of the City. Prince Imrahil - accompanied by Forlong, Hurin, and Hirluin - rode eastward in an attempt to reach Eomer, but they were hindered by the arrival of more foes.

Command of the enemy forces had been assumed by Gothmog, the Lieutenant of Minas Morgul. He summoned reserves from Osgiliath, including Easterlings, Haradrim, Variags of Khand, and Men of Far Harad. The tide of the battle began to turn in favor of the enemy.

At midmorning, about three hours after dawn, ships with black sails were sighted approaching Minas Tirith. At first it was feared that the Corsairs had come and that doom was at hand for Gondor. But then a banner bearing the White Tree of Gondor and the Seven Stars and Crown of Elendil was unfurled on the foremost ship and the Men of Gondor and Rohan rejoiced.

The ships docked at Harlond and Aragorn came ashore, leading many Men from Lebennin and Lamedon and other southern fiefdoms. With them came Legolas and Gimli, along with 30 Dunedain of the North led by Halbarad, and also Elladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond. They drove northward onto the battlefield, while the Rohirrim rode southward to meet them and the Knights of Dol Amroth came eastward.

The enemy forces were hard pressed on three sides, and many were slain or driven into the river to drown. The longest to hold out were the Haradrim and the Easterlings, who took shelter behind walls and ruins of homesteads and had to be driven out.

The Oliphaunts also proved difficult to overcome. Derufin and Duilin of the Blackroot Vale and their archers shot many of the beasts in the eyes, but the brothers were trampled to death.

In addition to Derufin and Duilin, many other Men of Gondor also fell that day, including Forlong of Lossarnach and Hirluin of the Green Hills. Rohan lost its beloved King Theoden, as well as Grimbold, Harding, Guthlaf, Dunhere, Deorwine, Herefara, Herubrand, Horn, and Fastred, among many others. About 2,000 Rohirrim were either killed or wounded. Halbarad of the North was also slain in battle that day.

Finally at sunset on March 15, the forces of the West were victorious. Nearly all of their enemies had been killed; there were very few survivors who returned to Minas Morgul or Mordor. And yet Sauron still had an army of many thousands waiting in Mordor. Although the triumph at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields spared Gondor from certain ruin, Sauron remained undefeated until March 25, when the One Ring was destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom.

Movie Note:
In Peter Jackson's film version of The Return of the King, the King of the Dead and his followers accompanied Aragorn to Minas Tirith. In the book, the Dead only went as far as Pelargir, where they helped capture the Corsairs' fleet and were then released by Aragorn.

Names & Etymology:
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was fought outside Minas Tirith on a great field surrounded by a defensive outer wall. The name Pelennor means "fenced land" from pel meaning "go round, encircle" and ndor meaning "land."

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PostSubject: Re: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:51 pm

Battle of the Plains

First major battle between Gondor and the Wainriders. The Battle of the Plains was fought in 1856 on the great plains between Mirkwood and Mordor. The Wainriders defeated the combined forces of Gondor and the Northmen.

The Wainriders were a group of Men from the lands of Rhun in the East. They were strong and well-armed, and they rode wains - or wagons - and their leaders fought in chariots. Sauron sent emissaries to incite the Wainriders to attack Gondor.

The attacks of the Wainriders began in 1851. In order to reach Gondor, the Wainriders passed through the lands of the Northmen in Rhovanion, and many Northmen were slain.

In 1856, King Narmacil II of Gondor led a great army to the plains south of Mirkwood to confront the Wainriders. Narmacil joined forces with Marhari, the leader of the Northmen. But the Wainriders defeated them and Narmacil was killed. Marhari fought in the rearguard as Gondor's army retreated across Dagorlad to Ithilien. Marhari was killed, but his actions allowed many Men of Gondor to escape.

After the Battle of the Plains, Gondor relinquished its territory east of the Anduin except Ithilien. The Wainriders continued to trouble Gondor for many years. Narmacil's son Calimehtar won a temporary victory against them in 1899, and they were finally defeated by Earnil in 1944.

Most of the surviving Northmen were enslaved by the Wainriders and their lands were occupied. However some Northmen escaped to Dale or Gondor, and one group led by Marhari's son Marhwini moved to the Vales of the Anduin. This latter group became known as the Eotheod and they were the ancestors of the Rohirrim.

Battles of the Fords of Isen


Two battles between the Rohirrim and the forces of Saruman at the Fords of the River Isen in the Gap of Rohan during the War of the Ring.

The First Battle of the Fords of Isen:
The First Battle was fought on February 25, 3019. Saruman's intention in this battle was to kill Theodred, the son and heir of King Theoden of Rohan, and his plan was successful.

Scouts reported that Saruman's troops were amassing mainly on the west bank of the River Isen. Theodred left three companies of Riders on the east bank and set infantry from the Westfold to guard both sides of the Fords of Isen. He then proceeded toward Isengard along the west bank with eight companies of cavalry and a company of archers.

About 20 miles north of the Fords, the Rohirrim encountered the vanguard of Saruman's forces and defeated them. But then the Rohirrim came upon a much larger force of Isengarders dug into trenches defended by pikes. More troops from Isengard flanked the Rohirrim from the west. Theodred then noticed that yet another force from Isengard was on the east side of the river heading toward the Fords of Isen.

Theodred ordered a retreat back to the Fords of Isen. Grimbold brought up the rear, fending off the pursuing enemy forces. The Rohirrim reached the Fords in the late afternoon.

Theodred organized his troops to defend the Fords. Grimbold took command of infantry on the west bank, strengthened by 50 dismounted Riders. Theodred and his company manned the small island in the middle of the Fords. The rest of the companies were sent to join the three companies already on the east bank of the river.

Before the Rohirrim on the east bank had time to arrange their defenses, Saruman's eastern force attacked. They included horsemen from Dunland, many Orcs mounted on wolves, and two battalions of Uruk-hai. The Rohirrim fought hard but were driven away downriver by a battalion of Uruk-hai and the enemy forces captured the eastern side of the Fords.

A company of axe-wielding Men who appeared to be part Orc crossed to the island in the middle of the Fords and attacked Theodred's position from both sides. Grimbold's position on the west bank was attacked at the same time by Saruman's western force. But Grimbold saw Theodred's desperate situation and ran to his aid. Grimbold arrived too late. Theodred was struck down by an axe, and though Grimbold killed his attacker, Theodred died of his wounds.

At sunset, Elfhelm arrived from Edoras with four companies, answering a call for aid sent earlier by Theodred. Elfhelm's men drove most of Saruman's forces on the east bank away northward back to Isengard. Elfhelm sent two companies in pursuit and then led his own company to the island. Together the forces of Elfhelm and Grimbold killed all of the Isengarders on the island.

The Isengarders on the west side of the river broke off their attack and retreated. The battalion of Uruk-hai who had driven some of the Rohirrim downriver also withdrew in response to a horn signal. The goal of killing Theodred had been accomplished. Partly for this reason, and partly because of the strength of the resistance by Grimbold and Elfhelm, Saruman did not proceed immediately with his plan to invade Rohan. Because of this delay, Gandalf was able to reach Edoras and convince King Theoden to fight, which ultimately led to the defeat of Saruman's forces at Helm's Deep.


The Second Battle of the Fords of Isen:
The Second Battle was fought on March 2, 3019. Saruman launched his invasion of Rohan with his entire army of 10,000. Unaware of the vast size of the enemy forces, Grimbold and Elfhelm tried to defend the Fords, but they were overwhelmed.

Grimbold was in charge of the defenders from the Westfold, while Elfhelm commanded the companies he had brought from Edoras. The two commanders differed on their strategy. Elfhelm thought they should abandon the Fords, since Saruman's forces could come down either side of the River Isen. He wanted to take up a defensive position on the east bank just north of the Fords. Grimbold wanted to defend the Fords, fearing that if they positioned themselves as Elfhelm suggested, Saruman's forces would cross the Isen behind them and cut them off.

In the end, they compromised. Elfhelm arranged his companies north of the Fords on the east side of the Isen, while Grimbold defended the Fords. Grimbold sent most of his infantry to defend the two earth-forts guarding the approach to the western side of the Fords. Grimbold and the rest of his men guarded the eastern side of the Fords.

The vanguard of Saruman's army, including many of the best fighters, attacked the western side of the Fords before noon. Grimbold's men put up a fierce resistance from the forts. A troop of Uruk-hai started across the river, but Grimbold brought his men across from the eastern side and drove them back. But then another battalion of enemy forces entered the fray, and Grimbold was forced to retreat with his men back to the east side of the Fords at sunset.

The Rohirrim had suffered many casualties. The enemy forces had heavier losses, but they were only a small part of Saruman's army. Around midnight, the full force of Saruman's army came forth from Isengard. More than half came down the eastern side of the river. Elfhelm and his men were surprised by a vanguard of silent wolf-riders, who scattered the Rohirrim and forced them to retreat eastward.

The rest of Saruman's army came down the western side of the river and crossed the Fords of Isen. Grimbold's men formed a shield wall. They were surrounded and attacked, first with firebrands and then by hillmen from Dunland, but the shield wall held.

Grimbold realized that he must abandon the Fords so that his men could survive to continue the defense of the Westfold. He sent Dunhere and half a company of Riders out through the eastern side of the shield wall. The Riders divided and doubled back to attack Saruman's forces from the north and south, deceiving the enemy into thinking that reinforcements had arrived. In the confusion, Grimbold and most of his men were able to retreat.

Saruman's forces did not pursue them. Instead they proceeded southward to Helm's Deep, where King Theoden had taken refuge with many of his people. The Battle of Helm's Deep began on March 3 and lasted through the night.

Many Rohirrim had died in the Battles of the Fords of Isen, and they were buried with Theodred on the island in the Isen. But most of the Rohirrim had survived, though they were scattered. Gandalf arrived and gathered as many of the Rohirrim as he could. Elfhelm was sent to defend Edoras. Grimbold joined forces with Erkenbrand, and they brought a force of 1,000 Rohirrim to Helm's Deep where they helped defeat the forces of Saruman at dawn on March 4.

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PostSubject: Re: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:53 pm

Kin-strife

Civil war in Gondor. The Kin-strife began in 1432 and lasted until 1448. On one side were the loyal supporters of King Eldacar, and on the other side were the rebels led by Castamir. The rebels opposed King Eldacar because he was not of pure Numenorean descent.

Eldacar's father was Valacar of Gondor and his mother was Vidumavi, the daughter of King Vidugavia of Rhovanion. Valacar had been sent to Rhovanion by his father Romendacil II as an ambassador to strengthen relations between their peoples. Eldacar was born in Rhovanion and spent his early childhood there.

The people of Rhovanion were Northmen, while the people of Gondor were Dunedain descended from the survivors of Numenor. Some of the Dunedain of Gondor disapproved of their future King being of mixed blood because they believed the Northmen to be inferior. In addition, the Northmen had shorter lifespans which they feared Eldacar's descendants would inherit. They also resented the favor shown to the Northmen who were in the service of Gondor.

During the last years of King Valacar's reign, dissension began to grow, especially in the southern provinces of Gondor. When Eldacar became King in 1432, open war broke out. Eldacar and his supporters fought hard but eventually they were besieged in Osgiliath. As the siege dragged on, supplies ran out and the people of Osgiliath were starving.

In 1437, the rebels overwhelmed Osgiliath and set fire to the city. The Dome of Osgiliath was destroyed and the palantir was lost in the Anduin. Eldacar and some of his people fled to Rhovanion, but Eldacar's son Ornendil was captured and was slain on the orders of the rebel leader Castamir, and many others were slaughtered as well.

Castamir usurped the throne of Gondor. He was the grandson of the younger brother of King Romendacil II. He had a large following among the rebels, particularly those from the coasts because he was a Captain of Ships. He moved his capital to Pelargir and had little interest in the land. He was cruel and merciless to those who opposed him, and because of this more people from the regions around Osgiliath began to turn against him.

Eldacar gathered his strength in Rhovanion. In 1447, after ten years of exile, he returned to Gondor with a great army including a number of Northmen. Men from Anorien, Calenardhon, and Ithilien joined him. In the Battle of the Crossings of Erui, Eldacar slew Castamir and reclaimed the kingship of Gondor. Many Men of Gondor were killed. Afterwards, some of the Northmen remained in Gondor and intermarried with the Dunedain.

Castamir's sons and a number of other rebels escaped to Pelargir. The rebels were besieged until 1448, when they escaped and sailed to the Havens of Umbar on the coast of Harad. They and their descendants became known as the Corsairs and they threatened Gondor's coasts and ships for centuries to come.

War of the Dwarves and the Orcs

War fought in the Misty Mountains between 2793 and 2799. The Dwarves led by Thrain II declared war on the Orcs of the Misty Mountains in 2790 after the Orc-leader Azog killed Thrain's father Thror at the gates of Moria. For three years, Dwarves from different houses and different parts of Middle-earth gathered to form a great army. In 2793, they launched an attack against the Orcs.

Many battles were fought in the caves and tunnels beneath the Misty Mountains. The Dwarves sacked the Orc stronghold under Mount Gundabad as well as a number of others. The Dwarves had superior weapons and strength, and they were driven by their desire to find and punish Azog. After six years of fighting, the Orcs of the Misty Mountains had retreated to Moria.

The Battle of Azanulbizar:
In 2799, the final battle of the war was fought outside the East-gate of Moria in the valley the Dwarves called Azanulbizar, also known as the Dimrill Dale. The Dwarves came into the valley on a dark winter day and found that they were outnumbered by an army of Orcs positioned on the mountain slopes, with more coming from the East-gate.

Thrain led the first assault, but his troops were driven into the woods around Mirrormere. Many Dwarves were killed including Fundin and Thrain's youngest son Frerin. Thrain was wounded, as was his eldest son Thorin, who lost his shield and used an oak branch in its place, earning him the nickname Oakenshield.

Later in the day, a troop of fresh warriors arrived from the Iron Hills led by Nain. They advanced all the way to the East-gate, where Nain challenged Azog to come out. Azog responded, and he fought with Nain on the doorstep. Nain was tired and angry, and as he struck out at Azog, the Orc kicked him in the leg, causing him to stumble, and then broke his neck. Nain's son Dain Ironfoot avenged his father by beheading Azog.

The tide of battle had turned in favor of the Dwarves. Many Orcs were slain, and the rest fled southward. The Dwarves were victorious, but they too had lost many. Half their army had been gravely wounded or killed. They could not build stone tombs as was their custom for so many dead, so they were forced to burn the bodies. Afterwards the fallen of the Battle of Azanulbizar were proudly referred to as "burned Dwarves."

Most of the trees in the valley were cut down to make the pyres and they did not grow back. The weapons of the dead were taken away to prevent Orcs from finding them.

After the battle, Thrain wanted to reclaim Moria, but the other Dwarves refused. They were too weak to hold Moria against the return of the Orcs, and Dain warned Thrain that the Balrog still lurked within. The Dwarves returned to their homes, and Thrain's people - who had been driven from the Lonely Mountain years before - relocated to the Blue Mountains.

Some Orcs fled to the White Mountains, where they troubled Rohan, but others returned to their tunnels beneath the Misty Mountains and rebuilt their strength. The Orcs were later led to another defeat in the Battle of the Five Armies by Azog's son Bolg, but the Misty Mountains and Moria remained infested with Orcs until after Sauron's defeat at the end of the Third Age.

Names & Etymology:
The Battle of Azanulbizar was named for the valley where it was fought. Azanulbizar was the name of the Dimrill Dale in the language of the Dwarves. It probably means "Vale of Dim Streams" from zn meaning "dark, dim," űl meaning "streams," and bizar meaning "dale, valley."

War of the Elves and Sauron

Battle over the Rings of Power in the Second Age. The War of the Elves and Sauron was fought in Eriador. It lasted from 1693 to 1701 of the Second Age. Sauron suffered a temporary defeat but gained possession of the Nine Rings and six of the Seven Rings.

The Rings of Power were forged by the Elven-smiths of Eregion starting around 1500. They had gained the skills to make the Rings from Sauron, who had deceived them about his identity. The Elves made the Nine Rings and the Seven Rings with Sauron's help. Celebrimbormade the Three Rings alone, but he used the skills he had learned from Sauron. Around 1600, Sauron forged the One Ring to control all the others. The Elves realized they had been tricked and they hid the other Rings of Power from him.

Sauron was enraged, and he declared war on the Elves in 1693. His forces invaded Eriador in 1695 and he proceeded to Eregion to capture the Rings. Celeborn led a sortie from Eregion to meet the vanguard of Sauron's army. He was joined by reinforcements from Lindon led by Elrond. But the Elves were outnumbered by Sauron's forces and they were cut off from Eregion.

Eregion was conquered by Sauron's forces in 1697. Sauron went to the House of the Mirdain in Ost-in-Edhil where the treasures of the Elven-smiths were kept. Celebrimbor tried to stop him but he was captured. Sauron found the Nine Rings and he had Celebrimbor tortured until he revealed the location of the Seven Rings. One of the Seven had already been given to Durin III of Khazad-dum but Sauron claimed the others.

Celebrimbor refused to reveal the whereabouts of the Three Rings. Narya and Vilya had been sent to Gil-galad in Lindon, while Nenya had been given to Galadriel. Sauron had Celebrimbor put to death and mounted his body on a pole like a banner before his army.

Elrond's forces tried to stop Sauron but they were nearly overwhelmed. Then Durin III led an assault on the rear of Sauron's army, allowing Elrond to escape northward, where he established the refuge of Rivendell. The Dwarves retreated into Khazad-dum and shut the gate so that Sauron was unable to pursue them.

Sauron guessed the location of the Three Rings, and he intended to attack Lindon. He overran Eriador in 1699, ravaging the land and slaying Elves and Men as he went. He sent a force to guard Rivendell where many Elves had gathered to prevent Elrond from attacking from the rear. His forces were therefore diminished when he reached Lindon.

At the River Lune on the border of Lindon, Sauron's army was met by the forces of Gil-galad. Gil-galad had sent a message to Tar-Minastir, the King of Numenor, but help had not yet come. The Elves defended the line of the river until at last in 1700 a fleet arrived from Numenor led by the admiral Ciryatur.

Sauron's forces were defeated by the combined forces of the Elves and Men of Numenor, and the remainder of his army retreated southeastward. At Sarn Ford on the Brandywine, Sauron's forces were further reduced in a bloody battle. At Tharbad, Sauron was joined by reinforcements, but at the same time additional forces from Numenor came ashore at Lond Daer at the mouth of the Greyflood, or Gwathlo, and attacked from the rear.

At the Battle of the Gwathlo in 1701, Sauron's forces were completely defeated. At the same time, his forces guarding Rivendell were crushed by Gil-galad and Elrond. Eriador was freed of enemy forces, but the land was in ruins.

Sauron escaped with a small force through the Gap at the southern end of the Misty Mountains. He was again attacked in eastern Calenardhon until only he and his bodyguards remained. Sauron returned to Mordor and vowed to take revenge against the Men of Numenor.

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PostSubject: Re: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:57 pm

War of the Last Alliance



War between Sauron and an alliance of Elves and Men at the end of the Second Age. The war was fought in and around Mordor between 3434 and 3441 of the Second Age. In the end Sauron was defeated and the One Ring was taken from him, but since the Ring was not destroyed Sauron was able to rise to power again in the Third Age.

The Last Alliance of Elves and Men:
The Last Alliance of Elves and Men was formed in 3430 by Gil-galad, the High King of the Noldor, and Elendil, the High King of Gondor and Arnor. They united to oppose Sauron, who had attacked and captured Minas Ithil - a stronghold of Gondor on the borders of Mordor - the year before in 3429. Sauron was angry that the survivors of Numenor had founded the Kingdom of Gondor near his realm, and he sought to destroy them.

Elendil's son Isildur escaped from Minas Ithil and fled to Arnor in the north where his father lived. Elendil's other son Anarion remained to defend Gondor. Anarion managed to hold Osgiliath and drive Sauron's forces back to Mordor for the time being, but he did not have sufficient strength to defeat Sauron.

Elendil took counsel with his friend and ally Gil-galad, and they realized that their races needed to unite against Sauron or all of Middle-earth would be in danger. Gil-galad set out with an army of Elves from Lindon, along with Cirdan from the Grey Havens. Elendil gathered an army of Men of Arnor and awaited Gil-galad in the Tower of Amon Sul on Weathertop. Together they traveled to Rivendell, the home of Elrond, who was to act as Gil-galad's herald and commander on the battlefield.

In 3431, a great host of Elves and Men was assembled at Rivendell, the likes of which was never seen again in Middle-earth. The army of the Last Alliance set out for Mordor, crossing the Misty Mountains in 3434 and marching down the Anduin. They were joined by Elves of Lothlorien led by Amdir and Elves of Greenwood the Great led by Oropher and his son Thranduil. Some Dwarves of Durin's line from Khazad-dum as well as a small number of Dwarves from other houses also joined them.

South of Greenwood the Great, the army of the Last Alliance found that the gardens that the Entwives had tended there had been destroyed. Sauron had burned the gardens in a scorched earth policy in order to prevent the Last Alliance from replenishing their supplies with the Entwives' crops. The army continued south through the desolate Brown Lands to Mordor.


The Battle of Dagorlad:
In 3434, the armies of the Last Alliance and Sauron met in battle outside the Black Gate of Mordor on the great plain that became known as Dagorlad, the Battle Plain. The army of the Last Alliance consisted of the forces that had marched from the north and the Men of Gondor who had been defending their borders.

Last Alliance - MenHowever, the Men who lived in the White Mountains did not heed the call to battle despite an oath they had sworn to Isildur to oppose Sauron. These Men of the Mountains were cursed as Oathbreakers by Isildur and were condemned to haunt the Paths of the Dead.

Sauron's forces consisted mainly of Orcs and Men. Many of the Men who fought for Sauron came from the lands of Rhun in the East and Harad in the South. There were also some Men of Numenor who had been corrupted by Sauron and were called Black Numenoreans. Two of these Black Numenoreans named Herumor and Fuinur had become lords among the Haradrim and led their people into battle against Elendil and Gil-galad.

A small number of Dwarves fought on Sauron's side, though none from Durin's line. Sauron also had at his command Trolls and other creatures as well as his deadliest servants, the Nazgul.

When the battle began, Oropher of Greenwood the Great did not wait for Gil-galad's signal and charged heedlessly forward to his death. The Elves of Lorien led by Amdir also fared poorly. They were cut off from their allies and were driven into the the marshland to the south, where Amdir and more than half his troops were killed. This marshland became known as the Dead Marshes because of the corpses of Elves, Men, and Orcs that lay there after the War of the Last Alliance.

But the main forces led by Elendil and Gil-galad were victorious against Sauron in the Battle of Dagorlad. The enemy forces feared Aeglos, the spear of Gil-galad, and Narsil, the sword of Elendil, and they could not withstand the united front of the Elves and Men of the Last Alliance. Sauron retreated to Mordor and barricaded himself in Barad-dur, the Dark Tower.

The Siege of Barad-dur:
The Siege of Barad-dur lasted for seven years, from 3434 to 3441. The army of the Last Alliance entered Mordor and surrounded the Dark Tower, but they could not break its defenses. Isildur sent his sons Aratan and Ciryon to Minas Ithil to guard against any attempt by Sauron to escape by way of Cirith Ungol. Isildur's eldest son Elendur remained at his side throughout the war.

Sauron sent out many sorties from the tower and he also attacked the siege army from above with fire and with arrows and other projectiles. Many Elves and Men were killed. Anarion died in 3440, his helmet crushed by a stone thrown from Barad-dur.

Finally in 3441, Sauron came down from his tower in an attempt to break the siege. He made his way to Mount Doom, where he was confronted by Gil-galad and Elendil. The three fought on the slopes of Mount Doom until all of them fell. Gil-galad was burned to death by the heat of Sauron's hand, and as Elendil died his sword Narsil broke beneath him.

Sauron's physical body was also cast down. Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand with the hilt-shard of Narsil. Elrond and Cirdan advised him to destroy it immediately in the fires of Mount Doom, but Isildur refused and kept the Ring for himself. Because the Ring which contained much of his power remained, Sauron's spirit survived.

After the War:
Although the war ended in victory for the Last Alliance, the defeat of Sauron was not complete. He fled to the East where he rebuilt his strength over the centuries. The Nazgul also went into hiding, awaiting their master's return to power. Many of the Men who had been allied with Sauron returned to their homelands and remained enemies of Gondor and Arnor. Barad-dur was destroyed but its foundations, which had been strengthened with the power of the One Ring, stood intact.

The Elves and Men of the Last Alliance suffered great losses in the war. More than half of the forces from Lothlorien and two-thirds of the forces from Greenwood had perished. A remnant of the Elves of Lindon returned with Cirdan to dwell at the Grey Havens.

Isildur was killed just two years after the war by a band of Orcs in the Gladden Fields, and the One Ring was lost in the waters. The population of Arnor had been greatly diminished, and the North-kingdom declined and eventually ended after a war with the Lord of the Nazgul. Gondor's losses were less grievous, but it was not long before they too were under attack by Sauron's minions.

By the end of the Third Age, Sauron had regained much of his power and returned to Mordor. It was not until the One Ring was finally destroyed on March 25, 3019, that Sauron was utterly defeated.

Names & Etymology:
The Last Alliance was so called because it was the last time Elves and Men came together in great force for a common purpose. The two races became estranged during the Third Age, and although a number of Elves aided the Fellowship and fought to defend their own realms during the War of the Ring they did not form a united front with Men against Sauron as they had during the Last Alliance.

The Battle of Dagorlad was fought on the plain in front of the Black Gate which came to be called Dagorlad, or the Battle Plain, from dagor meaning "b

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PostSubject: Re: Wars and battles   Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:00 pm

War of the Ring



War between the forces of Sauron and the free peoples of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age. The War of the Ring began on June 20, 3018, and ended on November 3, 3019. In the end, Sauron was defeated not by military means but by the destruction of the One Ring.

Sauron's forces consisted of Orcs, Trolls, and other creatures along with Men from Rhun and Harad. The Nazgul were Sauron's deadliest servants and the Lord of the Nazgul was his military commander. Sauron's opponents included the Men of Gondor and Rohan, the Elves of Lothlorien and Mirkwood, the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain, the Men of Dale and Bree, and the Hobbits of the Shire. Saruman was a traitor to both sides to further his own quest for power.

Sauron had long been preparing to launch an all-out war to defeat his enemies. Key to his plans was finding the One Ring which contained much of his power. In 3017, he learned from Gollum that the Ring was in the possession of a Hobbit named Baggins in the Shire.

Battle in OsgiliathSauron attacked Osgiliath on June 20, 3018. This was the first action of the War of the Ring. The purpose was twofold: to test Gondor's defenses and, primarily, to provide cover for the Nazgul to begin searching for the One Ring.

At the same time, Orcs attacked Mirkwood where Gollum was imprisoned by the Elves, but though Gollum was freed he eluded the Orcs.

The attack on Osgiliath was led by the Lord of the Nazgul, and his forces included Easterlings and Haradrim. Boromir and Faramir - the sons of Denethor II, Steward of Gondor - defended the city. Osgiliath was on both sides of the Anduin connected by a great bridge.

Sauron's forces captured the eastern half of the city. The Men of Gondor destroyed the bridge and held the western half of the city. Sauron broke off the attack and sent the Nazgul in search of the Ring on July 1.

On September 22, the Nazgul reached Sarn Ford on the Brandywine on the southern border of the Shire. The ford was guarded by Rangers, but their leader Aragorn was not with them. The Rangers held the ford until nightfall but they were overcome by the Nazgul and they were slain or driven away. The Nazgul entered the Shire on September 23. Frodo Baggins, the Ring-bearer, departed that same day.

The Nazgul pursued Frodo to Weathertop where the Lord of the Nazgul stabbed the Hobbit with his Morgul-blade on October 6. Frodo eluded capture and fled to the Fords of Bruinen with the Nazgul in pursuit. At the Ford, the Nazgul were swept away in a flood created by Elrond and Gandalf. They lost their horses and the robes that gave them forms, but they were not destroyed and they returned to Mordor where they acquired winged mounts called Fell Beasts.

On December 25, Frodo set out from Rivendell on a quest to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. He was accompanied by a Fellowship of eight companions: Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, Sam Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck, and Pippin Took.

Meanwhile, Saruman initiated his own plans to expand his power. Saruman was the head of the Order of Wizards who had been sent to Middle-earth to help the free peoples resist Sauron. But Saruman had become corrupted by desire for the One Ring and he was also ensnared by Sauron whom he came in contact with via the palantir.

In the fall of 3018, Saruman claimed lordship over Rohan and sent companies of Uruk-hai to trouble the Rohirrim. Saruman also had agents in Bree and around the Shire. Early in the New Year of 3019, there was fighting in Bree and some Bree-landers were killed. The troublemakers were expelled, but they continued to roam the area. Some moved into the Shire at the invitation of Lotho Sackville-Baggins, a Hobbit who had business dealings with Saruman. Lotho set himself up as Chief Shirriff and strict Rules were imposed and Hobbits were bullied by the Chief's Men.



On January 15, 3019, the Fellowship passed through Moria where they battled Orcs in the Chamber of Mazarbul. On the Bridge of Khazad-dum, Gandalf confronted the Balrog - a demon of fire that had served Morgoth in ancient times.

Gandalf and the Balrog fell into the abyss and then climbed to the peak of the Silvertine where they fought the Battle of the Peak from January 23 to January 25. Gandalf vanquished the Balrog but the Wizard died and returned to life as Gandalf the White.

Journeying down the Anduin on February 23, the Fellowship was ambushed by Orcs led by Grishnakh - an Orc from Mordor - and one of the Nazgul. Legolas shot the Nazgul's Fell Beast and the Fellowship escaped.

In Rohan, the First Battle of the Fords of Isen was fought on February 25. Saruman's forces attacked the Rohirrim with the purpose of killing Theodred, the heir of King Theoden of Rohan, and they succeeded. Elfhelm and Grimbold put up a strong resistance and Saruman did not immediately proceed with his plan to invade Rohan.

Saruman sent out a troop of Uruk-hai led by Ugluk to intercept the Ring-bearer. The Uruk-hai of Isengard were joined by Orcs of Mordor led by Grishnakh. At Amon Hen on February 26, they captured Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took. Boromir was killed defending the Hobbits. The Uruk-hai tried to take the Hobbits to Isengard but they were attacked by the Rohirrim led by Eomer at the edge of Fangorn Forest on the night of February 28-29. Merry and Pippin escaped into the forest.

Saruman launched a full invasion of Rohan starting on March 2. The Rohirrim led by Grimbold and Elfhelm tried to stop them in the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen but they were overwhelmed. Saruman's army proceeded to Helm's Deep.

The Battle of Helm's Deep was fought on the night of March 3-4. King Theoden had led his forces to Helm's Deep accompanied by Eomer, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. The Rohirrim numbered about 2,000 while Saruman's army consisted of 10,000 Orcs and Uruk-hai as well as Men from Dunland.

The Rohirrim defended the stronghold through the night and at dawn Theoden led a charge from the Hornburg. At the same time Gandalf and Erkenbrand arrived with 1,000 more troops. The Men of Dunland surrendered and the Orcs fled, but Helm's Deep had been surrounded during the night by a forest of Huorns from Fangorn and the Orcs were all slain.



The Huorns had been sent to Helm's Deep by Treebeard, the eldest of the Ents of Fangorn. Treebeard wanted to stop Saruman because the Wizard had cut down many trees in Fangorn.

The Ents marched to Isengard, and on March 3 and 4 they destroyed the walls of the stronghold and flooded the grounds. Saruman was imprisoned in the Tower of Orthanc.

Aragorn revealed himself to Sauron using the palantir of Orthanc on March 6. Sauron realized that Aragorn was the descendant of Elendil, who had defeated Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance, and of Isildur who had taken the Ring from him. He feared that Aragorn might challenge him wielding the One Ring, so he accelerated his plan to attack Gondor.

Sauron's forces continued to amass. Faramir and the Rangers of Ithilien skirmished with an army of Haradrim marching to the Black Gate on March 7. On March 8, a fleet of Corsairs was reported to be approaching the Mouths of the Anduin. That day, Aragorn took the Paths of the Dead and summoned the Dead to fulfill their oath to fight Sauron.

The Beacons of Gondor were lit on March 9 to summon the Rohirrim and a messenger from Gondor bearing the Red Arrow arrived in Rohan that evening. Troops from Gondor's provinces arrived in Minas Tirith on March 9.

March 10 was the Dawnless Day. Sauron sent a vast cloud of darkness from Mordor to cause fear among his opponents and to help his Orcs and Nazgul who were stronger in the dark. An army of Orcs and Easterlings captured the island of Cair Andros in the Anduin and entered the province of Anorien north of Minas Tirith. They blocked the Great West Road in order to stop the Rohirrim, who set out from Rohan that day. That night, a great army led by the Lord of the Nazgul left Minas Morgul.

On March 11, Faramir was sent to hold the river crossing against the army from Minas Morgul. In southern Gondor, the Men of Lamedon battled troops from Umbar and Harad. The enemy forces fled when Aragorn approached with the Army of the Dead.

Also on March 11, Lothlorien was attacked by Orcs from Dol Guldur. The Orcs were stopped by the Elves and by the power of Galadriel, bearer of Nenya. They were driven into the Wold of Rohan where they encountered Treebeard and the Ents who slew many of the Orcs and drove the rest into the Anduin on March 12. That same day, the Morgul-host captured the crossing at Osgiliath and Faramir retreated to the Causeway Forts.

On March 13, the Morgul-host breached the outer wall of Minas Tirith and overran the Pelennor Fields. Minas Tirith was besieged. Aragorn and the Army of the Dead captured the Corsairs' fleet at Pelargir.

The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was fought on March 15. The Rohirrim arrived on the battlefield at dawn. King Theoden was killed, and the Lord of the Nazgul was vanquished by Eowyn and Merry Brandybuck. Denethor slew himself in part because he had seen the Corsairs' ships approaching Minas Tirith via the palantir. But the ships had been commandeered by Aragorn who brought reinforcements to help turn the tide of the battle. Sauron's army was defeated, though he still had many more troops in Mordor.

The Elves of Lothlorien and Mirkwood were also attacked on March 15 by Orcs from Dol Guldur. The Battle of Dale began that day as well between the combined forces of the Men of Dale and the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain against an army of Easterlings. The battle lasted three days. On March 17, King Brand and King Dain Ironfoot were killed and the Men and Dwarves were besieged in the Lonely Mountain.

Elfhelm and 3,000 Rohirrim defeated the enemy forces that had invaded Anorien on March 17. On March 18, Aragorn set out to the Black Gate with the Host of the West comprised of Men of Gondor and Rohan. His intention was to draw Sauron's attention from the Ring-bearer who was crossing Mordor to Mount Doom. Lothlorien was attacked for a third time on March 23.



On March 25, the Battle of the Morannon was fought at the Black Gate. The 6,000 Men of the Host of the West were surrounded by over 60,000 enemy forces.

Sauron was focused on the battle and did not realize that Frodo had brought the One Ring to the edge of the Crack of Doom until it was too late. Frodo struggled with Gollum who took the Ring and fell with it into the Fires of Mount Doom where it was destroyed.

When the Ring was destroyed, Sauron was vanquished and the eight remaining Nazgul were consumed by the eruption of Mount Doom. Sauron's forces fell into disarray and either fled, surrendered or were slain.

News of Sauron's defeat reached the Lonely Mountain on March 27. Bard II and Thorin Stonehelm led their people to drive the Easterlings away. On March 28, Celeborn and Galadriel destroyed Dol Guldur.

But the War of the Ring did not end with Sauron's defeat. Saruman had escaped from Isengard and he came to the Shire on September 22 and took over as Chief. Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin returned to the Shire on October 30. They rallied the Hobbits to defeat the Chief's Men in the Battle of Bywater on November 3. Saruman was killed by his lackey Grima Wormtongue, who in turn was slain by Hobbit archers.

After the War, peace and prosperity returned to Middle-earth. Aragorn became King of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor. Rohan, Dale, and the Lonely Mountain were allies of the Reunited Kingdom and the Shire became a Free Land under the King's protection. Many of the Haradrim and Easterlings were at peace with the Reunited Kingdom, and Aragorn and King Eomer subdued those who remained a threat. Although evil had not been eradicated entirely, Sauron never arose again.

Partial list of casualties in the War of the Ring:
Boromir, Denethor, Theoden, Theodred, Hama, Derufin and Duilin, Forlong, Hirluin, Hirgon, Grimbold, Harding, Guthlaf, Dunhere, Deorwine, Herefara, Herubrand, Horn, Fastred, Halbarad, Beechbone, Brand, Dain Ironfoot, Mat Heathertoes, Rowlie Appledore, Tom Pickthorn, Willie Banks, and an Underhill of Staddle.

Sauron, Saruman, Grima, Lord of the Nazgul, the other eight Nazgul, Gollum, Gorbag, Grishnakh, Lagduf, Lugdush, Mauhur, Muzgash, Radbug, Shagrat, Snaga, Snaga, Ugluk, Lotho Sackville-Baggins, the Balrog, and possibly Shelob.

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