Battle of the Plains
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|Battle of the Plains|
|Conflict: Wainrider/Balchoth War|
|Date: T.A. 1856|
|Place: Plains south of Mirkwood|
|Outcome: Victory for the Wainriders|
Gondor, Northmen, Éothéod
Prior to the Battle
Twenty one years prior to the battle, the Great Plague had killed thousands of people from the east to the west of Middle-earth. The heaviest plague impact afflicted the kingdoms of Rhovanion, which lost half of its people, and Gondor, who lost many thousands of its people as well. They were slow to recover; but fortunately, their weaknesses were not tested for decades. The Easterlings had been equally afflicted, so that the enemies of Gondor struck mainly from the south, or were maritime raiders. But when the Wainriders invasions began, it involved Gondor in wars that lasted for nearly a hundred years. In these conflicts, the Northmen bore the brunt of the first assaults.
Though we know few details, it appears that that King Narmacil II took a great army north to the plains south of Mirkwood, and gathered together all he could of the scattered remnants of the Northmen; but he was defeated, and he himself was slain in the battle as well as Marhari leader of the Northmen, who died fighting in the rearguard. The remnant of his army retreated over Dagorlad into Ithilien.
Aftermath and Repercussions
As for the Northmen, a few fled over the river Celduin and merged with the People of Dale (with whom they were akin), some took refuge in Gondor, and others were gathering under the leadership of Marhwini son of Marhari. They headed north and eventually settled east of Anduin in the Vales of Anduin. They were joined by many fugitives who came through Mirkwood. This was the birth of the Éothéod, though no news of this reached Gondor for many years. Most of the Northmen were reduced to servitude, and all their former lands were occupied by the Wainriders.