The DCI team proudly presents
The Men of the Mountains
The Men of the Mountains belong to the same kindred as the native population of Enedwaith, Calenardhon and Gondor. They steadily had moved Northwest through Middle-earth in the First Age, trying to avoid beasts and evil Men, seeking the light in the West.
The best known group among their kindred were the Haladin, who became one of the Edain peoples when they entered Beleriand. The Edain bravely fought against Morgoth, for which they ultimately were awarded the island of Númenor and a long lifespan. Through the Haladin, the Men of the Mountains are distant relatives of the Dúnedain, but both sides are sadly ignorant of this ancient bond.
Back in the White Mountains the inhabitants upheld their ancient traditions. They defended their scattered settlements by holding inaccessible refuges, such as Dunharrow, but fell under the Shadow when Sauron rose to power during the Second Age. In hidden temples in forests and under the mountains they worshipped Sauron as their god.
During the third millennium, the Dúnedain came to challenge the Black Master, and settled in what became known as Gondor. Then the dominance of Mordor was broken, and while the relationship to the new foreigners was not always peaceful, ties were established.
These different influences throughout the Second Age have created a fairly advanced, but deviant culture. So while they are rough men from the highlands, now they are, given time, capable of providing their armies with better gear than ever before.
Númenor sank in 3319, now over a hundred years ago, and the refugee Isildur became king of the increasingly mighty realm of Gondor; that enveloped the White Mountains on both sides and built mighty fortresses guarded by strong warriors.
This development led to the King of the Mountain swearing a sacred Oath to Isildur, at the Black Stone of Erech. He promised fealty, to aid the Dúnedain against Mordor in case of war, but the mountain men remember Sauron in their hearts, putting their true allegiance in question.
Both the Númenórean kingdoms and Mordor desire their support in the struggle for Middle-earth. Will the Men of the Mountains prove to be Oathbreakers or Oathkeepers, or decide to walk their own path?
A thanks to Weta Workshop for visual inspiration: Imgur.com
Keeping, Breaking or Ignoring the Oath
The Men of the Mountains [MotM] is a uniqe faction to play and an unpredictable AI faction to interact with. Why? Because in their hands resides the balance of powers of Middle-Earth!
Will you turn and worship Sauron, your old god? Or uphold allegiance with the Men of the West? Or will you follow your own path and remind all else that you are tired of their rule - and become the sovereign King of Middle-earth?
MotM can switch culture from the starting culture "Middle Men" to "Followers of Sauron" or "Hosts of the West", in the course of a campaign. Switching can be done any number of times (but never back to "Middle Men").
The player MotM can construct three kinds of different culture conversion buildings, to sway the public opinion in its settlements;
If the player desires to be an Oathkeeper and fight for a good cause with the [Last] Alliance, the way to achieve that is to construct "Education" buildings in all settlements. Then, when the time is ripe, change the culture to "Hosts of the West", using the "Change Culture" feature.
If the player desires to become an evil Oathbreaker, and cover the world in shadow as an ally of the Dark Lord, he has to construct "Temples of Sauron" buildings in all settlements. Then, when the time is right, change the culture to "Followers of Sauron", through the "Change Culture" feature.
Finally, if the player desires to remain a sovereign people, investments in erecting "Stones" throughout the realm must be made. It will remind the people of their ancient heritage and give them something to take pride in.
The process of changing culture offers a challenge in itself, such as a sharp increase in cultural unrest. Also, each choice will have diplomatic consequences and ramafications.
But there are also benefits; switching, MotM can join either Tôl Acharns or Invasions, and the possibility of recruiting a unit that otherwise will not be available.
If the player dares to choose any other faction for a campaign, then beware the unpredictable warriors of Dunharrow!
If the player is Mordor choices can be made to influence whether the MotM faction will be Oathkeepers or Oathbreakers.
So can the player who is Númenórean Kingdoms; but if still betrayed, Isildur's vengeance may prove terrible...
In the vales of the White Mountains the people live in small hamlets and villages. Life is hard and leaves much to desire, yet in the houses the fire is hot and the songs are merry, and if raiders or other foes threaten it the peasants grasp their crude spears and battered shields, to defend their lot and hands work.
It is their custom to occupy high ridges that bar the way to their homes, if those are not situated on one already, and in everyday speech they are thus known as the Ridge Militia. There they can enjoy hight advantage, that hopefully can compensate for their poor equipment and inexperience.
Even among the Men of the Mountains there are none as hardy and independent as the rugged Mountaineers, foresters in the old tradition of Haladins kindred. They live apart from the rest of the society for most of the year, up in the harshest highlands where they hunt beasts, and make their living by trading pelts with their kinsmen. Nobles pay well for the fur of a bear.
Mountaineers are often recruited by chieftains to act as swift-footed scouts, who can flank and harass enemies with their hunting spears, before they attack in the rear with their wood choppers.
With little to none armour to protect them, they should not be deployed to hold a line, however.
(Mountain AoR unit)
Hunting on the moors and slopes of the White Mountains is a common undertaking to put meat on the table, and the skill to bring down beasts of prey can just as well be deployed to kill enemies from afar at a battlefield. These peasants and foresters often accompany the Ridge Militia, to harass enemies approaching, or are sent ahead of the spearmen to intiate battle when out on raids.
Having no armour the Highland Bowmen should avoid melee unless at dire need.
Since their forefathers settled the White Mountains in the First Age, life has been one of constant struggle to hold on to what you own, but that the people of the King of the Mountain are still here is in itself an evidence of their unyielding nature.
The heads of the households, militia veterans and hired brigands make up the Ridgekeepers, medium infantry armed with a spear and a large shield. They usually take on the role to hold a line, or guard the flanks of a force against enemy cavalry.
Swords were made known to the men south of the Misty Mountains by raiding Northmen in the first millennia of the Second Age, and for long it was a priceless armament and great status symbol. In the time of Sauron's dominion when he drafted forces to fight for him, and in the last century when relations with the Númenóreans made the kingdom richer in lore and steel, the sword has become an affordable weapon of choice to those who made war their profession.
Hardy and reliable swordsmen they are still not heavily armoured, and prefer not to be caught in prolonged melee fighting, or becoming exposed to cavalry attacks.
In the wooded vales of the mountains skilled hunters help secure the survival of their folk. Such marksmen are highly valued by their chieftains, and when the horns of war are sounded, they are given equipment that ensures they will live through battles, and be of use to the King in future campaigns.
The Vale Archers in their armour have some capacity to fend off attackers, but do best to stay within aids reach from friendly forces.
The native folks of Calenardhon are close relatives of the men of the White Mountains, and were on friendly terms with them almost as often as being their enemies throughout history. Neither have managed to get an edge over the other, since the highlanders muster no cavalry to counter the lowland riders, who in turn never managed to seriously threaten the steep vales.
Gondor's claim, in practice or nominally, over Calenardhon has driven their divided tribes to look to the King of the Mountains for direction: return to the Dark Lord, ally with the Númenóreans or walk their own path?
Calenardhon Skirmishers are light cavalry, armed with javelins and axes, who delight in harassing enemies and hunting down fleeing foes.
The Men of the Mountains counsel to not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but to let “yes” be yes and “no” be no, so that they cannot be condemned for breaking a sacred promise. Perhaps for just that reason the King of the Mountains demands of his professional champions that they swear loyalty to their liege, so that they may enter battle without hesitation.
The Sworn Fighters are heavy infantry, wielding powerful axes and broad shields, who excel against enemies who in folly think their armour shall protect them from walking down the dark path of those who die.
Proud are the warring chieftains among the people of the White Mountains, and only the strongest and most callous of Kings can bend the knees of them all, and pry a sacred oath of loyalty from them. A word given is solemn, because if ever broken, the man loses his honour and who knows what fate may befall him because of that?
Once sworn though, the ornate noble warriors gladly march out to war against whomever their liege may desire, for glory and spoils of war.
Well armed and equipped swordsmen they excel in battle against other infantry.
Across the green fields between the White Mountains and the Limlight River the chieftains of the folk of Calenardhon patrol upon great steeds. Proud and forceful their divided tribes have turned to their powerful neighbour and confederate, the King of the Mountains, to see what way to the future he chooses.
They have not sworn fealty, but offered their swords to be directed against a common foe, rather than start fighting amongst themselves. Be it against Mordor, or Gondor or indeed against all the folks of Middle-earth, as long as glory and plunder awaits, Calenardhon will follow.
Calenardhon Nobles are heavy cavalry equipped with mail, spears, and metal shields, and can deliver a devastating charge.
Danhaerg Wardens (Middle Men-culture unit)
These disciplined wardens are devoted to protect the traditions of the kindred of the Haladin and the people of Danhaerg, or Dunharrow in the Common Tongue, and the King's court within the mountains behind. Upon standing stones they carve their names, so that their death runes can be finished beneath to be remembered for eternity, would they fall in battle, and thus with no second thought they march out to war.
They arm themselves with long spears that provide a deadly wall, which is inspired by both the Dome Wardens of Gondor and the Enedwaith Longspearmen, who in turn took their inspiration from the Elves of Lindon.
Tarkil Archers (Hosts of the West-culture unit)
The most skilled Vale Archers are handpicked to don armour and receive weapons, provided by the Númenóreans as gifts of gratitude for the Oath being honoured and the alliance upheld. The hollow steelbows have deadly armour piercing capacity, but in exchange lack the range that normal longbows and composite bows offer. The Tarkil Archers also are able to endure close combat thanks to the armour they wear, but do better in avoiding melee.
Tarkil is a Westron word for "person of Númenórean descent", and while that is not actually true, that is how these proud Men of the White Mountains appear to their kinsmen, when they march out fitted with gear of war crafted by the Dúnedain.
Renegades of the Eye (Followers of Sauron-culture unit)
For most of the Age the men of the White Mountains worshiped the Dark Lord in Mordor, and they were devoted to his service, fierce enemies of his foes. Then came the accursed Go-hilleg, the Dúnedain from Númenor, and Sauron went away, so that many in folly and ignorance lost their way. No more!
Most remember Sauron in their hearts, and the god of Men has returned to retake the world. The Go-hilleg will be driven into the Sea, the Elves ousted from Middle-earth and the Eye will see all.
Renegades of the Eye are zealous devotees from all levels of scoiety, clad in heavy armours acquired from Mordor, wielding spears and broad shields.
Sworn Hirdmen (Bodyguard)
The best swordsmen and warriors in the realm are handpicked to form the hird of royals or commanders, and live as much as a band of companions in their lord's halls, as they are his bodyguard. The kingdom or liege provides them with the best of gear, and many songs have been crafted about named swords brought into the fray that have given glory to the wielder, whether he lived to sing along or not.
Proud and cocky the Sworn Hirdmen have made an oath of death before dishonour and they are true to their word.
Halbar (faction heir) Zaragamba
King of the Mountains Zarazir
For unit info cards and more preview images, visit our official page: Twcenter.net
Units created by Earl of Memory
MotM culture change scripts by Withwnar
Preview images by xHolyCrusader
Unit cards by misteed
Texts by Ngugi; edited by Veteraan
New faction portraits made and finished by Araval
Roster design by Ngugi and Earl of Memory
MotM main units: Rusichi for bodies and some helmets.
MotM special units (mordor & numenor): DisgruntledGoat and KK for bodies and some textures.
Makehuman project for heads.