Led by Marhwini son of Marhari, former prince of Rhovanion, the Eotheod make their homes now in the Vales of Anduin. A remnant of the Northmen who once dwelt in the broad lands east of Mirkwood and served as a bulwark of Gondor, they have been driven from their country by Easterlings they call the Wainriders – a powerful new folk, well-armed and numerous, swarming over the land and slaying or enslaving all who do not flee.
Those who survived the westward flight have lost none of their valour, or their desire for vengeance. Though distant now from beleaguered Gondor, the Eotheod are still allied to those men of the stony lands and white towers, and will gladly fight at their side once more. But with or without allies, the Northmen plan to strike against the Wainriders as soon as they have the strength to do so.
Meanwhile, they must settle their herds and families in their new homes. For the most part clinging to the lands about the Great River, they look not to southern Mirkwood, which has grown dark and evil of late, nor to the Elves of nearby Lorien or the Woodland Realm, who have withdrawn into their fastnesses, as have the Dwarves of Khazad-dum.
Other folk dwell in the mountains: Orcs and wicked Men, some of whom have pushed into the lands about the sources of the Anduin. These rivals will no doubt challenge the Eotheod as they seek to establish themselves. Somewhat straitened in their new homes, the Eotheod will certainly come to blows with these and other peoples. A proud and warlike folk, the Northmen must fight for their very survival before they can fight to reclaim that which was lost.
Armed with simple spears and shields and used to rough lives in the wilderness, these men are among those who have made homes in the eaves of Mirkwood. Some have escaped from the invading Easterlings, while others have long dwelt along the Great River, coming together to protect their farms and small villages from raids. Since the coming of the Eotheod, spear-armed Woodmen have been ready enough to join their hosts, capable defenders against lightly armed foes or cavalry, but without the training or gear to allow them to stand for long against a determined attacker.
Although not as heavily armoured or as well equipped as many other cavalry, the Eotheod Outriders have honed their skills with the spear and shield. Most effective in the charge, they are deadly and willing soldiers from horseback who rely upon bursts of speed to crash into their foe or keep out of reach of stronger enemies. They are often found on the flanks of battle formations, where they can rush unexpectedly into the rear of an enemy's lines and cut down archers, or strike at infantry who are already engaged.
These bowmen are lightly armed but hardy folk of the vales of the Anduin and the fringes of Mirkwood. Their numbers of have swelled in the face of the Wainrider assault on Rhovanion, and now bands of these grim men are a common sight among the Eotheod, gladly lending their skill for a chance to fight those who threaten their homes. While they are most feared for their volleys of deadly arrows, they can hold their own in melee against light troops, especially in forested terrain.
Golden-haired, bright-eyed, and strong, the riders of the Eotheod are a formidable foe on the battlefield. These warriors are known from Rhovanion to Gondor as bold and proud men, and are rightly feared by their enemies. They are armed with a pair of throwing spears as well as a long spear and are quite well protected for lighter cavalry. Powerful in the charge and capable in melee, the riders love their land and their lord, and are not shy of combat, so will not be fast to retreat. However, if they come into combat against spearmen or superior infantry, they will not be able to stand for long.
Dwelling in the vales of the Misty Mountains prior to the coming of the Eotheod, these strong men have since joined with the new-come Northmen, seeing in them a true ally against the wild-folk and Orcs that range on either side of the high peaks. They wield great axes with both hands, trusting to the ferocity of their charge – and their strong mail armour – rather than a shield. Poorly suited to holding a fixed position in a defensive line, Mountain Axemen are the most aggressive infantry available to the Eotheod.
The March-wardens are some of the most heavily-armed riders of the Eotheod, clad in mail and armed with long spears for a thunderous charge. They are superb horsemen and warriors, able to sweep the enemy before them or to hew down with swords those who stand and fight. Their cavalry traditions began on the plains of Rhovanion, but since the Wainrider invasions they survive now in the land of their exile along the Anduin, where the March-wardens and their people yearn to strike back against their foes.
Hunting is a common and respected pastime for the Northmen. It is also excellent training for war. The hunters shoot from horseback running at great speeds, controlling their mounts impeccably without the use of their hands. The skills used in hunting are easily transferred to warfare, and these horse archers are the finest of their ilk. They use finely crafted shortbows, able to deliver a good deal of damage, and also have swords at their belts and heavy mail armour, so they can fight in melee at need. These skilled men are an example to other soldiers of the Eotheod and will not flee a battle readily.
Though they suffered the humiliations of defeat and exile by the Wainriders, the Eotheod retain their titles and pride - indeed, the memory of injustices, as well as the sagas of older kings and heroes, spurs them to great deeds. Accordingly, Eotheod Nobles are equipped with the finest weapons and armour – and choicest steeds – to be found in their realm. Clad in mail hauberks and bearing spears either to throw or to thrust in melee, these men are renowned among their people for their skill in war, and able to turn the tide of battle with a well-timed charge.
Lord's Household (bodyguard unit)
The household companions of the chieftains of the Eotheod, these riders command respect from both friend and foe. Even after the defeat of the Northmen of Rhovanion at the hands of the Wainriders, the survivors have retained their reputation as excellent horsemen, passing on the secrets of raising and training their mounts until both horse and man are battle-ready. Now few in number, the Eotheod are nevertheless eager for open war with their hated foe, and these well-armed guardians of their lords stand ready as superior shock cavalry.
Shields of Rhovanion
When the people of Rhovanion were enslaved and subjugated by the Wainriders, their beloved horse-herds were taken by the invaders, leaving most Northmen who remained to resist them bereft of mounts. Those who did not take to the woods and live a live of skulking outlawry would seek the company of any lords who would provide them arms and armour, and take the fight to the enemy directly. Drawing on this recent tradition of stubborn infantry, the Shields of Rhovanion are well-armed spearmen, unwilling to yield a foot of territory to their foes. Serving under the banners of the Eotheod, they form a wall of shields and spearpoints, a strong battle-line from which the riders can range out and strike their foes.
These well-equipped and disciplined warriors guard the northwestern borders of the Eotheod from their fortified settlement at the meeting of the Langwell and the Greylin, near the sources of the Anduin. Heavily armed and armoured in traditional fashion, with sword and round shield, they are hardy and capable men trained since youth for a life of the sword and fine companions to the lords whom they serve. Whether defending the marches of their realm against mountain-Orcs or wicked Men who serve the Witch-king, these redoubtable swordsmen provide a solid core of infantry for the battle-lines of the Eotheod.
Though most of the Northmen of Rhovanion were slain or enslaved by the invading Wainriders, some remained to carry on the fight, lurking in the forests and scrubland of their former territories, emerging in small bands to ambush Easterling patrols or raid their camps. These outlaws are woodcrafty, swift and hardy, but their gear is rough and they will not fare well in an open fight against disciplined troops. They will gladly join a commander who will aid them in attacking their sworn foe, and serve well as skirmishers or flankers, where they can cut down the approaching enemy and then retreat behind the safety of a stronger battle-line.
Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list! All rosters are a work in progress and unit list may not be complete or finalized; appearance and description may change in the final release.