Men are referred to in relation to Elves as the "Second-born", for they arose much later in the history of Arda.
Little is known of the course of events the mannish folk experienced in their journey from far to the East of Beleriand, where they awoke as the Sunlight of Arien first dawned on Middle-Earth. In the East they had been befriended by Avari and Nandor Elves, from whom they learned some speech and music. The Edain had also dealt, not always in a friendly manner, with Dwarves in the East. But it was not until Men first crossed the Ered Luin mountain range where they would later be met and befriended by Finrod Felagund, that their lives became wound in with the events of Beleriand, where they would settle in various lands.
After arriving in Beleriand from the East, their fortunes would be closely bound with the fate and deeds of the First Age.
The Men known as Edain (or singularly Adan), who are in some places also known as 'Fathers of Men' or 'Elf-friends' were the first to enter Beleriand. They entered in three groups: First came the Bëorians, who would later settle in Dorthonion, then the Haladin (who brought with them the Drúedain), who after nearly being wiped out by Orcs would follow their leader Lady Haleth to settle in the Forest of Brethil. The Marachians entered Beleriand last. They were the most numerous, and would eventually settle in Dor-lómin. Many years later, another distinct group, the Easterlings, would find their way into Beleriand, and at first dwell amongst the folk of Fëanor's sons.
The first of the three groups of Men who comprise the Edain to enter Beleriand were those who followed their chieftain Balan, who later took the name of 'Bëor' (Quenya: 'Vassal') because of his devoted service to Finrod Felagund. It was Finrod who first befriended these people, and settled them first in the region named Estolad (Q: 'encampment'), and then in later years Dorthonion (Q: 'Land of Pines'), where other Noldorin Elves of the House of Finarfin dwelt.
Of their appearance and demeanor, J.R.R. Tolkien writes: "The People of the House of Bëor were dark or brown of hair; their eyes were grey and keen and their faces fair and shapely. Lithe and lean in body, they were long-enduring in hardship. Of all Men they were the most like the Noldor and most loved by them; for they were eager of mind, cunning-handed, swift in understanding, long in memory..."
Second of the Houses of the Edain to enter Beleriand were the Haladin. Like the Bëor who had entered before them, these people also were a loose-knit group of clans who apparently had few or no real leaders. Because the Green-Elves of Ossiriand were unfriendly, the Haladin passed north into Thargelion, the country of Caranthir son of Fëanor, where for some fifty or sixty years they had peace. But Morgoth, seeing that he could not with lies and deceit wholly estrange the Elves and Men, was filled with wrath and was determined to do Men what hurt he could. He sent an Orc force to assail their settlement, and the Haladin rallied together under the leadership of the brave and fearless Haldad. He had twin children: Haleth, his daughter, and Haldar, his son; and both were valiant in the defense. But Haldad would be slain in a sortie against the Orcs; and Haldar too as he came to his fathers defense.
It was left to Lady Haleth to gather the remnants of the Haladin, and make Westwards. Briefly they dwelt in Estolad, yet yearning to go forth again, did at last make it through hardship and loss to the Forest of Brethil. That land was on the western edge of the Kingdom of Doriath, ruled by Thingol, who grudgingly bequeathed the land to the People of Haleth by the grace of Finrod Felagund.
As a people, the Haladin were somewhat shorter and broader than the Bëor. Yet many of them, including the line of Haldad and the Wardens of Brethil, were as tall and strong as any of the Edain. In times of need, even their women, of great heart and strength, would take arms and fight alongside the men. Their excellence at forest warfare strikes fear into the Orcs, who dare come hither at great risk, and so the Kingdom of Nargothrond, where Finrod Felagund reigns, is further protected.
The Marachians were the last of the Houses of Edain to enter Beleriand. They were the most numerous and best organized, following their chieftain Marach. They too would settle first in Estolad where some folk of the Bëor and Haladin were. Eventually they would make their way to Hithlum, amidst the folk of Fingolfin. It was there that Hador Lórindol, great-grandson of Marach, entered into the household of Fingolfin, who loved him so that he gave to Hador the lordship of Dor-lómin, and into that land Hador gathered his folk and became the mightiest chieftain of the Edain.
Of their appearance and demeanor, J.R.R. Tolkien writes: "Many of [Hador's] people were like to him, golden-haired and blue-eyed; they were tall and strong, quick to wrath and laughter, fierce in battle, generous to friend and to foe, swift in resolve, fast in loyalty, joyous in heart, the children of Ilúvatar in the youth of Mankind."
These peoples were diverse in many ways from the Edain who entered Beleriand some hundred and more years before them. Tolkien describes them as "short and broad, long and strong in the arm, and grew much hair on the face and breast; their locks were dark as were their eyes, and their skins were sallow or swart. But they were not all of one kind, in looks or in temper, or in tongue. Some were not uncomely and were fair to deal with; some were grim and ill-favoured and of little trust."
It was the folk of Bór who were of those most honourable and trustworthy, and they dwelt in Himring and other areas under the rule of the sons of Fëanor. The tribes of Ulfang and Lorgan, however, would prove treacherous and serve Morgoth, though even he would betray them. In later years these people would be forcibly settled in Dor-lómin, after the fall of Hador.
These were a people of a wholly different kind than any of the Edain. They traveled into Beleriand along with the Haladin, and in the Forest of Brethil they lived, though they never intermarried with the Edain.
J.R.R. Tolkien writes of them, "To the eyes of Elves and other Men they were unlovely in looks: they were stumpy (some four foot high) but very broad, with heavy buttocks and short thick legs; their wide faces had deep-set eyes with heavy brows, and flat noses... Their features were usually impassive, the most mobile being their wide mouths; and the movement of their wary eyes could not be observed save from close at hand."
They were excellent trackers with keen senses, and learned in herb-lore and of all living things almost to the extent of the Elves, though untaught by them. Even more mysterious were their abilities to seemingly perform feats that easily could be perceived as 'magic'.
Currently (our game's setting) Dorthonion has been overrun by the forces of evil, and is now named Taur-nu-Fuin. The Bëorians have been all but wiped out, though there are small remnants living in Dor-lómin and in Brethil.
The Haladin, or the Folk of Haleth as they are often currently known, dwell in the Forest of Brethil which they defend steadfastly. The North-South road, which passes along their western border, remains controlled by them and for the most part denied to the forces of Morgoth. Their leader is Halmir, whose position is known as Warden of Brethil.
The Marachians, or the House of Hador as they are currently known, flourish in the land of Dor-lómin, in close friendship to the Elves of Mithrim. For now their land is less in peril and they have sent a large contingent in assistance of the defense of the central portions of Beleriand.
Easterlings, very few in number, dwell in the lands of Himring and Amon Ereb, in service to the sons of Fëanor. The Drúedain, numbering only in hundreds, dwell in secret somewhere in Brethil and come not into events outside the forest.
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