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It was to Umbar that the sons of Castamir fled after their father was slain by Eldacar at the head of an army out of the wild North. And after the Kin-strife, it was to Umbar that the enemies of the King of Gondor would flock – Corsairs, Southrons, and those of Dunedanic blood who would not bow to the descendants of Eldacar. And now Gondor is weak. Now may be the moment to seize the haven, rebuild the fleets, and make Umbar the pride of Men once more.

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For half a century, the Lords of Umbar have been exiles – exiled even from their place of exile, the great haven of Umbar. It was to Umbar that the sons of Castamir fled after their father was slain by Eldacar at the head of an army out of the wild North. And after the Kin-strife, it was to Umbar that the enemies of the King of Gondor would flock – Corsairs, Southrons, and those of Dunedanic blood who would not bow to the descendants of Eldacar.

Here the Lordship of Umbar grew, independent of Gondor’s crown: mighty in ships, ruler of the coasts, challenging the strength of the Kings. Here men remember with pride the coming of the great fleet of Ar-Pharazon the Golden, the humiliation of Sauron, and the mastery of the Numenoreans. If any place can call itself seat of the power of Men in Middle-earth, it is Umbar.

The Lordship has been bereft of its stronghold and refuge for fifty years, ever since the assault of King Telumehtar, who stormed Umbar and destroyed the last descendants of Castamir. Ever since, the remnants of the Lordship have clung to the coasts and hinterlands, nursing their strength, biding their time.

And now Gondor is weak. Now come rumours of a power rising in the East, strong enough to destroy the Northmen and throw back the hosts of Gondor – strong enough even to slay its king in battle, as has not been done for centuries. Now may be the moment to seize the haven, rebuild the fleets, and make Umbar the pride of Men once more.

Tier 1

Footmen of the Harad
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Many of the soldiers of Umbar are drawn from the hinterlands and the inland provinces that surround the great haven, Southrons by descent who have taken up with the tall masters of the Sea for a chance at pay and travel. These young men go to war with a tall shield and a spear, typically lacking other armour. While they may serve well to keep the peace as garrison troops, they are unlikely to provide more than numbers on a battlefield, and if not supported by stronger troops they will be among the first to turn and flee.

Plainsmen Skirmishers
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Fleet of foot and agile, these skirmishers are well able to close to javelin range and then retreat before a counterattack can be mustered. They form an important part of an army of Umbar, whose strongest forces are often heavily armed but slow. The skirmishers wear no armour and carry no shield, choosing instead only loose garments of thin cloth - the better to resist the brutal heat of the southlands. They are thus eager to avoid melee combat, being unarmoured and carrying only a small knife, and will only enter combat when it seems unavoidable.

Tier 2

Mariner Archers
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These archers provide the ships and hosts of the Corsairs and the Lords of Umbar with a respectable ranged capability. Though they are most effective when onboard their Dromunds and Marauders, they can be – and often are – used on the field of battle. Armed with a short bow and sword, they are lightly armoured apart from their brimmed helmets. They can serve as swift flanking troops at need, but should be kept away from fierce fighting.

Plainsmen Mounted Skirmishers
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Tournament riders are highly respected in the South, even among the Lords of Umbar, and it is of such riders that mounted skirmisher units are made. The skills for which they are revered are of great use on the battlefield: accuracy, speed, and control are of the utmost importance to these horseback javelinmen. They are highly skilled in closing to a little within the range of a well-thrown spear and bringing their mounts speedily away before they are placed in danger. The added pace of their horses makes them far more effective at this than their unmounted counterparts, and gives them a small advantage in melee. However, they are best at ranged attacks and should be preserved for them wherever possible.

Tier 3

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The Númenóreans have a long and proud history of sea-faring, none more so than the people of the coasts of the South, where the most famed haven of the Men of Westernesse was founded. These Mariners are a sea-borne infantry unit, carrying a pair of heavy javelins for boarding actions or to prepare the way for a charge. For closer work they bear reliable swords and stout shields, and are protected by scale armour and reinforced helmets. While their gear is specially suited to fighting at sea, these hardy men will give a good account of themselves wherever they are called to battle, whether on the inland plains of the Harad or on the coasts of Gondor itself.

Spearmen of the Harad
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Obliged to draw upon the native Southron population for much of its soldiery, the Lords of Umbar will find few Haradrian foot troops more reliable than these heavily-armed spearmen. Spearmen of the Harad are highly disciplined and proud, formed originally from guards who protected the tents of noble chieftains. Now serving loyally in the armies of Umbar, these men will prove a stubborn force for cavalry and infantry alike, holding a line of battle while swordsmen or cavalry cut through the enemy ranks.

Tier 4

Guards of the Haven
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The great Haven of Umbar was one of the most powerful and prominent strongholds of the Númenóreans in the Second Age. Its defensible location made it mighty; its position as a trade port brought it wealth. Far enough from Gondor to house exiles from that kingdom, and yet near enough to threaten its coasts, Umbar has ever been irresistible to Dúnedanic kings or lords wishing to bring it under their power. But once captured, such a prize needs strong wardens. The Guards of the Haven stand watch over the walls and palaces of the city and fortress, wielding spear and bow in its defense. Some of the finest soldiers in the realm, they know they are entrusted with securing a vital stronghold. Any captain will be thankful for the vigilance of these tireless men, whether they are securing the city walls or supporting a host in the field.

Scarlet Shields
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These skilled riders combine the horsemanship of the people of the South with the discipline and resilience of well-armed Dunedanic soldiers. They are renowned among Umbar's forces, their sudden appearance on the flanks of a battle line itself often enough to send foes into a rout. In melee, once the impetus of their spear-armed charge is spent, they can sweep out fine long sabers and deal death to those who remain. While highly trained spearmen may give these riders pause, they are more likely to sweep the enemies of Umbar before them, the thundering of their passage signaling the climax of the battle.

City Ballistas
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There are few peoples in Middle-earth with technology advanced enough to create such a devastating war machine as the ballistas of Umbar. These weapons utilise the elasticity of animal sinew, cured over a period of many months, to shoot a huge bolt over hundreds of feet on the battlefield. They are crewed by a team of some of the strongest men in the Lordship, and it requires all of their power to operate the machine; two men are needed to pull each of the pair of cranks, as well as one for loading the bolts into the ballista itself. Therein lies the weakness of the magnificent machine, however. For all its ingenuity, it needs men to work it.

Tier 5

Palace Guard
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These elite soldiers, drawn from the most loyal and capable servants of the Lords of Umbar, are equipped with finely wrought scale armour and helmets with flaring crests that signal their pride in guarding their great haven and stronghold. They wield long polearms, trusting to the length of their weapons and the strength of their armour for defense. Whether guarding the high citadel of Umbar or the person of their captain on a battlefield far from home, these dedicated men will hold their ground to the utter end of hope.

Black Númenóreans
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Ensnared by the seductive gifts of Sauron, these dangerous warriors possess great influence in Umbar. There are still those across the South who recall tales of the days when fair Men from the Sea ruled these lands and strove against the terrible armies of Gondor. Fighting for now under the banner of the Lords of Umbar, the Black Númenóreans are clad in black mail and wield two-handed long swords more in the tradition of Gondor than Harad. They serve as heavily armed elite troops, fearsome on the attack - yet a wise commander will hold them back for a killing blow, lest their enthusiasm drive them deep into the enemy ranks where they may be surrounded.

Umbar Knights
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While the direct descendants of Castamir, who sat upon Gondor’s throne for a decade, are no more, there are many in the south who claim blood-ties to the lords of Gondor. Umbar Knights defend the Lords of Umbar and their many relations, armoured in fine scale and proudly displaying their Dunedanic heritage. Not the swiftest of Umbar’s troops, these heavily armed knights can scatter enemy ranks upon their lances or hew down foes with their long swords. They fight upon imposing steeds bred and trained upon the plains of the Harad, inured to the hardships of travel and war and as devastating in the charge as they are resilient in battle.

Special Units

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The Corsairs wield their paired cutlasses with an enthusiasm that comes from their love of battle, their skill at close quarters honed by many years of fighting upon decks - both their own and those they plunder. They are hardy men, a sea-borne storm of steel, laughing cruelly as they meet their enemies whether upon land or upon the waters. Their abandon can leave them vulnerable, however, if they find themselves fighting against a disciplined opponent able to withstand a charge and counter attack. Their light maritime hauberks of brazen scale may not provide sufficient protection from a determined sword or spear thrust. Despite this, a love of plunder and glory will keep the Corsairs on the battlefield when more sensible men might flee.

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These beasts are unrivalled in their size as well as their strength, serving as a mighty tower of strength for the hosts of Umbar. Riding atop the backs of the Mûmakil, javelin throwers hurl their near-limitless supply of shafts into an enemy often already filled with terror. The Mûmakil utterly ruin an enemy's morale though they themselves are hard to control as a means of attack. These beasts fear too much arrow fire, and are especially susceptible to thrown spears at closer range; they are given to running amok if panicked and should they do so then the most skilled commander will not be able to bring them back under his control. Due to their weight and girth Mûmakil are not able to board sea-going vessels although they may cross shallow rivers during battle.

Nobles of Gondor
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For some of these men, exile in the South was a choice; for others, necessity. The Kings who sit and plot upon the throne of Minas Tirith are often jealous and watchful of those near akin, and since the days of the Kin-strife many of noble blood have rankled under their suspicious gaze. Finding freedom across the Sea, or a lord to whom their allegiance seems deserved, companies of these men may lend their considerable skill to a worthy leader. Their proud helms and well-made armour speak to their lineage, and in battle they comport themselves as swordsmen of high bearing, doughty and unflinching. They fight fiercely to regain a position of honour in the service of their new lord.

Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list! All rosters are a work in progress and unit list may not be complete or finalised; appearance and description may change in the final release.

It is quite doubtful that very much Dunedanic heritage remained in the 'Lordship of Umbar' even prior to the 1810 destruction of the Haven by Gondor, nonetheless there are hints that something of a unique cultural and political entity survived in the region even until the War of the Ring and the end of the Third Age, albeit one that was inextricably aligned with the Haradrim. However, the concept of a largely Dunedanic Umbar as established by the sons of Castamir is a fascinating one, therefore we have taken some small artistic license in portraying the faction more along these lines, though at the start of the campaign it will certainly be at the nadir of its power. The task of retaking the city of Umbar from Gondor, and then maintaining independence from an ascendent Harad will not be an easy one. And of course there's always the matter of an old feud to deal with...

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