"But still she was there, who was there before Sauron, and before the first stone of Barad-dûr; and she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, bloated and grown fat with endless brooding on her feasts, weaving webs of shadow; for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness. Far and wide her lesser broods, bastards of the miserable mates, her own offspring, that she slew, spread from glen to glen, from the Ephel Dúath to the eastern hills, to Dol Guldur and the fastnesses of Mirkwood. But none could rival her, Shelob the Great, last child of Ungoliant to trouble the unhappy world."
The reference to the Ephel Duath and "eastern hills" is interesting--definitely suggests there could be more spider populations around...
Yeah it's said they all learned it from the Hobbits, but it seems at least that many of the peoples in Eriador did use it.
Snagae were actually a collection of smaller breeds, not just smaller generic orcs. The Uruk-hai looked down on them, therefore the nickname "slave".
Rather than making a new Uruk unit, why not just weaken Uruks, in line with how they were in the book? Combine that with adding some powerful Half-orcs and that could make up for the loss while making sure Rohan doesn't get owned.
Looks pretty good! here's some quotes that might be helpful.
"They wondered how the Lord of this realm maintained and fed his slaves and his armies. Yet armies he had. As far as their eyes could reach, along the skirts of the Morgai and away southward, there were camps, some of tents, some ordered like small towns. One of the largest of these was right below them. Barely a mile out into the plain it clustered like some huge nest of insects, with straight dreary streets of huts and long low drab buildings."
"Neither he nor Frodo knew anything of the great slave-worked fields away south in this wide realm, beyond the fumes of the Mountain by the dark sad waters of Lake Núrnen; nor of the great roads that ran away east and south to tributary lands, from which the soldiers of the Tower brought long waggon-trains of goods and booty and fresh slaves. Here in the northward regions were the mines and forges, and the musterings of long-planned war..."
[....] Many different biomes have specific grass colors--some even incorrect according to the lore, such as Rohan [....]
Yes--the bright green of the Rohirric grass is mentioned at least once, and also referenced in the old name for Rohan of Calenardhon, or Green Region.
The Wainriders actually lived a good bit further West, between roughly furthest east Dagorlad and a line south from the east end of Rhudel. They also lived around the Sea of Rhun but apparently they've been forced out in the mod.
Additionally, they will be their own faction when they are introduced.
I envisioned them as more like celtic helmets; and i think if the helms were made in the way you described there would be references to that instead of just saying the helmets were tall.
Also my points was not that mail was hard to make just that there were cultures who worked metal but had no mail; and it could be that the Dunlendings were stuck in the bronze age.
The reference to the tall helms is so vague I don't think we can draw any conclusions about them. Heck, we can't even tell if it refers specifically to Dunlendings--and it honestly might not.
"For a staring moment the watchers on the walls saw all the space between them and the Dike lit with white light: it was boiling and crawling with black shapes. some squat and broad, some tall and grim, with high helms and sable shields. "
That could be, but in general we don't hear much at all about bronze among Northern factions--only with the Southrons--and anyway, those would still be decently strong weapons, enough to give the Rohirrim more pause than they did.
Overall, I'd be cautious about giving too much benefit of the doubt to them--especially when we hear in the tale of Tal-elmar that a group of pre-Numenorean people (related to the Dunlendings), had nothing more than clubs and slings. Admittedly they did have knives, but the reference isn't very specific, and those could have been gained from looting invading Northerners, since there's reference to that happening in the story with swords.
3. It is a normal axe, not a battle-axe.
Would not their distinctively tall helms imply some degree of metalworking ? If they just stole things i imagine their helmets would look like just everyone else's.
Swords were invented a lot earlier than mail and can be made of copper/bronze while mail is usually steel or iron; so i think it could be possible for them to make swords (Although it would be mostly for leaders and a lot less common than metal axes and spears).
Potentially, but they could have been made out of leather and metal scavenged from Rohirric helmets.
Swords were invented before mail, but that wasn't necessarily because mail is that hard to make: mail just hadn't been developed at the time. One of its strengths, in fact, was its simplicity--most blacksmiths could make a bunch of rings and put them together. This suggests Dunland simply didn't have the tools or skills to create much of any metal gear.
Looks awesome man, could work for sure. That said I do like the book-inspired tall helm and more ragged look of the texture I made--yours, while definitely good, is ofc pretty similar to the Rohirrim armor, so it might feel less unique if it were put in the mod.
@IronJaw we really don't know anything about Dunlending relations with Durin's Folk, so I chose not to include dwarf-related stuff.
This needs way more detail. Talk about the units of the subfactions, their armor and banners, structures, etc.
That being said, I don't think as much diversity is needed between the shires of Rohan as between the Gondorian provinces. Gondor was depicted as much less uniform with its auxillary troops, while we hear nothing of provincial Rohirrim beyond the Helmingas.
If he had them I'm sure he would have brought them along to fight in the Hornburg, it would have been a piece of cake.
Also, what the heck are the 'Guardians of Orthanc'? Unless you mean normal Uruk's ofc
Actually, Tolkien Gateway mentions 'Trolls in Isengard' but it appears as if a Rohirrim askes him about said trolls, but I'm sure that as a random warrior/citizen of Rohan, that hasn't ever ventured beyond perhaps Gondor or the Wold, wouldn't know what a troll looked like, and as the Uruk's were of great stature, they would have thought of them as giants, or the 'trolls' he had hard stories of from lands east and north
There were no trolls in Isengard. The piece on Tolkien Gateway is under the In Video Games section, and is non-canon.
Guardians of Orthanc, while I guess OP is basing them on the Total War mods, are in fact canon in some respect. There were men who guarded the gates of Isengard (Saruman did not trust his Orcs), but we aren't told if they were a special unit. It's possible they were.
However, several Isengard units that should probably be added first due to higher relevance include the longbowmen, the half-orc warriors, dunlending horsemen, half-orc spies, and orc-men axemen.
Your claim wasn't about comparison between Gondor and the Eastern Roman Empire. It was saying that Umbar is the Levant, which it simply isn't.
With regards to Rome and Gondor: yes, there is inspiration there. Tolkien himself called Gondor "an increasingly impotent Byzantium". However, it's some inspiration. Nothing more. Tolkien in fact talks far more about how Gondor is culturally similar to Ancient Egypt!
It is an ancient city
It has been contested between Gondor (Rome) and Harad (Muslim Empires) for centuries
It is a holy site to all who wish to possess it.
Sound familiar yet?
I know you may not like comparisons but the fact is that Umbar perfectly fits the description of Jerusalem. So I don't see how it would have Asian style armour.
There is no such allegory in Tolkien's work. Inspiration does exist, but there is no greater meaning or relationship to the histories of Middle-earth. The author expressly hated such things.
Think about it. Umbar was founded by seafaring colonists from an island nation. They built it as a port city for their ships. Over the years the people turned to evil, and the mother nation was literally wiped from the map. The surviving Numenoreans in Umbar continued their evil ways, until it was conquered again and again by Gondor, before being taken by Gondorian rebels, then finally by the Haradrim, when it became a pirate haven.
Compare that to Rome--a land empire, who did not have colonies nor a particularly famed navy. They conquered Jerusalem--they did not found it themselves, and, as opposed to the amicable relationship of the Adunaic and Haradric peoples, there was strife between Rome and the Jews. There was no comparable survival of an evil faction and good faction to fight over the land, as with the Faithful and Black Numenoreans--just the Eastern Roman Empire. Finally, there are no Crusades or any equivalents. While there are invasions, they are no more than that, and are designed to expand Gondorian power and influence rather than defend a holy land.
Overall, while I can see why you might devise that idea, I encourage you to think of Middle-earth as a unique place with its own diverse cultures and relationships, rather than as a repackaged real world history. Tolkien did potentially draw influences from Judaea and Rome when he wrote of Umbar and Gondor, but they are not the same thing by any means.
Yep. Feanor is a genius and a charismatic, highly skilled craftsman. But he's not a warrior like Fingolfin.
I just want to clarify for the group: Sauron is explicitly at his strongest during the Second Age, and at that point he was of equal or higher strength to Morgoth at the end of the First.
High King Ithilion wrote: Hot take: Fingolfin. More or less every time we see Sauron enter physical battle, he loses. It's clear that he's not a fighter. He fell to Huan, fled before Eonwe, and only fought Gil-galad and Elendil when there was no other way out--and even then they slew him, though they died in the process. The greatest Noldorin warrior of all time could very likely take Sauron in a straight duel. It's in treachery, manipulation, and deception where Sauron truly excels.
When Fingolfin fought and wounded Morgoth, Morgoth had already lost so much of his power that his might was but a shadow of what it had been before. I don't think Fingolfin would have found victory against Sauron at his prime as easily as you presume. Even in the third age, without his Ring, crippled Sauron was more powerful than Gandalf, who was a maia in possession of the most powerful of the elven rings.
That's true (though afaik Sauron wasn't super limited by his drowning in the fall of Numenor). But it's still telling how much he seems to lose in fights. The only time we see him win is when he dueled Finrod, and even then it was a battle of spellcraft and not a physical duel.
Morgoth had lost a lot of his latent power, and Sauron was greatest at the end of the Second Age. But let us not forget that at that same time he was defeated by Gil-galad and Elendil. So while Sauron would surely be a strong foe and it would be a hard-fought battle, there's a strong chance Fingolfin would triumph, almost certainly against Third Age Sauron and potentially against Second Age as well.
Hot take: Fingolfin. More or less every time we see Sauron enter physical battle, he loses. It's clear that he's not a fighter. He fell to Huan, fled before Eonwe, and only fought Gil-galad and Elendil when there was no other way out--and even then they slew him, though they died in the process. The greatest Noldorin warrior of all time could very likely take Sauron in a straight duel. It's in treachery, manipulation, and deception where Sauron truly excels.