Muster of the Balchoth for the Invasion of Calenardhon
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
An event leading up to the Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs; see that entry for a description of the enemy and the overall timeline:
Cirion became Steward of Gondor in the year 2489. The menace from the North was ever in his mind, and he gave much thought to ways that might be devised against the threat of invasion from that quarter, as the strength of Gondor diminished. He put a few men into the old forts to keep watch on the Undeeps, and sent scouts and spies into the lands between Mirkwood and Dagorlad. He was thus soon aware that new and dangerous enemies coming out of the east were steadily drifting in from beyond the Sea of Rhûn. They were slaying or driving north up the River Running and into the Forest the remnant of the Northmen, friends of Gondor that still dwelt east of Mirkwood. But he could do nothing to aid them, and it became more and more dangerous to gather news; too many of his scouts never returned.
It was thus not until the winter of the year 2509 was past that Cirion became aware that a great movement against Gondor was being prepared: hosts of men were mustering all along the southern eaves of Mirkwood. They were only rudely armed, and had no great number of horses for riding, using horses mainly for draught, since they had many large wains, as had the Wainriders (to whom they were no doubt akin) that assailed Gondor in the last days of the Kings. But what they lacked in gear of war they made up in numbers, so far as could be guessed.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Ride of Eorl
Elena Tiriel 25Jul04