In First Age 400, Finrod Felagund came upon Balan and his people and enchanted them with his music. Finrod quickly befriended the Men and advised them to settle in Estolad in the realm of Amrod. In 402, Orcs attempted to break through the Pass of Aglon, but the people of Bëor helped Maedhros and Maglor throw back the invaders. This was the first time Men fought on behalf of the Eldar.
Sometime between 415 and 420, Balan left with Finrod for his kingdom of Nargothrond, where he served as his vassal until his death. Bëor's eldest son, Baran, ruled the people of Bëor in his absence. The friendship of Bëor and Baran with the Eldar led to the creation of the First House of the Edain, which produced some of the greatest heroes of the First Age.
Balan was called Bëor by the Nargothrondrim, which meant "vassal" in Taliska, the language of the the people of Bëor. When Bëor finally died at the age of 80, a very old age for men at that time, he was given the surname Bëor the Old.