Building Middle Earth - Rohan

category image “In the late years of the untamed Third Age, men both good and evil fought to claim kingdoms, among them Eorl, Lord of the Eothéod. His time came in TIA. 2510, when he answered the call of Gondor and led his people south to slay the Balchoth hordes. A grateful Cirion, Steward of Gondor, granted the victorious Eotheod all of Calenardhon, a desolate and dangerous province of northern Gondor: But where others saw fearful, empty lands, Eorl saw a home like that of his ancestors. The Horse-lord swore his oath to Cirion and led his folk into the windswept pastures, where they planted their hearts and raised their herds. Sindarin Elves called the new kingdom Rohan, Land-of-Horses. Eorl’s people called it the Riddermark!’
— From the Broken Book of Galmod
Sweorsun, ca. T.A. 2900.

The history of the Horse-lords is a tale of a wandering people. Tied to their semi-nomadic ways and their herds of magnificent steeds, they needed a vast and open territory to make a home. In the early Third Age, they found one in the wide grasslands of southern Rhovanion. There they lived in harmony with their Northmen brethren and Gondorian allies until the late nineteenth century. Although they experienced pressure from fierce, nomadic Easterling tribes, the Horse-lords prospered in Rhovanion, developing a culture we now call Eothraim. Things changed in T.A. 1856. In that year the Wainrider confederacy, a great union of related Easterling tribes, invaded with an overwhelming force. During the following forty-three years they defeated Gondor’s eastern armies and drove them across the River Anduin. The Wainriders also vanquished the Horse-lords, savagely oppressing the Northmen of Rhovanion. Thus began the first migration (1856-99) of the Horse-clans and the second chapter in the saga of the Horse-lords. After their exodus out of southern Rhovanion, the Eothraim and many of their brethren fled across the Anduin and resettled in the vales near the Gladden Fields. In the ensuing years they rebuilt their society and became known as the Eothéod. Less than a century later (T.A. 1977) the Horse-lords migrated again, this time northward into the upper Anduin vales. They would live in their third homeland for over five
hundred years.
With the dawn of the twenty-sixth century a new threat rose in the East, and by 2510 the Balchoth tribes swept westward across Rhovanion and reached the central Anduin, then the northeastern border of Gondor. Assailed by the Corsairs of Umbar in the south and the huge Easterling alliance in the north, Gondor appealed to the Eothéod for help. The Gondorian Steward Cirion sent a dire summons to Eorl, the Althegn of the Horse-lords.
While the Balchoth crossed the Anduin between the Rivers Limlight and Siverlode, the Eothéod rode south. Led by Eorl, the Horse-lords met and defeated a combined force of Orcs and Balchoth on the Field of Celebrant. Gondor was saved. Cirion gave thanks by offering the Eothéod new land. The Horse-lords accepted what was then called Calenardhon. In return, they swore by the Oath of Eorl, to aid Gondor in time of need. So began the third Horse-lord migration. The Eothéod brought
their families south to Calenardhon, which they resettled and named the Riddermark. Here they made their fourth and final home. The Men of Gondor called it Rohan.

Rohan (S. “Rochand, Rochan,” or “R0han”) is a beautiful territory and was one of the jewels of the Gondorian crown. The wide rolling pastures are the richest in western Middle-earth; the green hills are dominated by the towering peaks of the White Mountains, which rise suddenly from the high plain. Looking into Rohan from Rhovanion to‘ the east, as the Eothéod did, the realm begins on the west shore of the wide Anduin, at the. Undeeps, and spreads out across the steeply folded, semi-arid downs known as the Wold. I-Iere the land, though green, is desolate, the shortness of the springy turf and the absence of trees indicating a lack of water. In the Wold the rain drains off all too easily through the porous, chalky rock beneath the hills. Still, these downs form a pasture of surpassing excellence for sheep.

The hills of the Wold lie in Rohan’s East Emnet, and grow less steep in the southeast, toward the Fords of the Entwash. Eventually, the ridges give way to fields of tall grass. These meadows separate the dry Wold from the bleak fells of the Drear Hills, the brown heights just north of the Entwash delta that stand vigil over the Anduin. Spreading and rising to the southwest, the fields of the East Emnet form a vast carpet of grass that ends by the banks of the Entwash (S. “0nodIo”).
On the far side of the Entwash, to the south of the East Emnet, is the Eastfold. Here the grass is long and rich, and the pastures are well-watered by the many streams running out of the White Mountains (S. “Emd Nimrais”). Further south — at first perhaps mistaken for low-hanging clouds — these snow- covered peaks loom like a shimmering fence. They form a great east-west wall, which suddenly juts up from pine forests in the southernmost Eastfold.
West of the Entwash and the East Emnet, is the West Emnet. This wide and high grassland is bordered by the dense Fangorn Forest to the north, the Misty Mountains to the west, and the Deeping Stream to the south. Its tall, dark green grass is among the finest in Rohan. So too, is the lush grass of the Westfold, just south of the West Emnet.Only the plains of the Westmarch offer richer pasturage.The Westfold stretches along the northern flanks of the White Mountains, west from the Eastfold. Its open land rolls right up to the steep cliffs, and forms deep, fingery coombes that reach up between the mountain’s ridges. Streams tumble down out of the high vales and cut through these coombes, before their winding, northward descent across the grasslands of the Westfold.
In the west of the Westfold, near the Gap of Rohan, stand the magnificent peaks of the Thrihyrne, a triple horn which forms the highest massif in the White Mountains. Jet-black where it is not shrouded by eternal snow, the Thrihyrne dwarfs its neighbours and anchors the southern side of the Gap. Beneath it, to the east, is the Deeping Coomb and the stalwart citadel of the I-lomburg. The easternmost boundary of the Westfold is formed by the river Snowbourne, a crisp, cool water that falls from the Harrowdale. Above its valley are the three greatest peaks in the east-central White Mountains: the sable Starkhorn, the saw-toothed Irensaga, and the coal-grey Dwimorberg. This triad surrounds the high, holy fields of Dunharrow, which overlook the narrow Harrowdale Rohan’s capital, Edoras, lies on a spur of the Irensaga, just north of Dunharrow. It is the Eastfold’s westmost town and serves to guard the mouth of Harrowdale.
The cobbled east-west road from Edoras skirts the White Mountains. To the east, it passes the ruins of the town of Calmirié. From there it meanders down through the pastures and foothills of the Eastfold and into the Woodlands of Anérien, and on to Minas Tirith. To the west, it crosses the Snowbourne and stretches through the Gap of Rohan and to the Westmarch beyond. The Westmarch is the westernmost area of Rohan, lying west and south of the Gap of Rohan. its borders are formed by the rivers Angren and Adorn. Lightly-settled and oft-times threatened by Dunlendings, it remains a special place. No land has better grass and no realm raises better horses, than those found in the Westmarch. Wild, windswept, and beautiful, this frontier lief epitomizes all the glory and grit that is Rohan.

cover image A palisade, sometimes called a stakewall or a paling, is typically a fence or wall made from wooden stakes or tree trunks and used as a defensive structure or enclosure. Rohan makes use of these to protect it's outlining villages from attacking Dunlending raids. They are relatively quick to build and make use of wood that is readily available.


cover image This is the first of a five part guide on building a modular Helm's Deep. This article covers the outer wall, cliff face and Deepening wall.


cover image This is the second part of the guide showing how to make the inner curved wall and courtyard area.


cover image The third part of the series concentrates on the hall at the back. This should be the simplest part of the series.


cover image The fourth part in the series looks at building the mountain side and the Hornberg tower.


cover image The final part of the series covers the painting of Helm's Deep.


cover image Orthanc was the black impenetrable tower of Isengard built by the Dúnedain. By the Great Years and the War of the Ring it was possessed by the wizard Saruman. It stood in the centre of the Ring of Isengard, great defensive walls fortified by the early Gondorians. This article shows how to make the interior of the Tower of Orthanc for the Wizards' Duel mini game.