Balan was the leader of the first Men to enter Beleriand, and the first to speak with the Eldar. Balan and his followers were discovered by Finrod Felagund, travelling in the eastern vales. When he set out again for his lands in the west, Balan entered his service, and remained his faithful vassal until his death. Thus he earned his much better known name, Bëor, which was the word for 'vassal' in his own language. After that time, the leadership of his people was taken up by his elder son Baran, through whom Balan was the ancestor of some of the greatest heroes of the Edain.