Easterlings, commonly known as the Men of Darkness, were a race of Humans who lived in the vast and uncharted lands of Rhûn, east of Mordor and the Sea of Rhun. Easterlings were enemies of the Free Peoples and were allies of Sauron. There were many different nations and kingdoms of Easterlings living in the vast lands of Rhûn. These ranged from civilized empires to barbaric horse nomads of the open steppes.
First Age Edit
In the First Age, the Easterlings was firstly known as Rhodians of the Kingdom of Rhodan. Which was a succesful and peaceful kingdom and ally of the great Nalfgar Empire. Rhodians was one of three great civlizations commonly referred to as the World of Men, which at first was one great realm known as Nordhaeon. Nordhaeon is the same area known as the Northern Waste and was inhabited by the secondborn of Eru Iluvatar. Nordhaeon was splitted into three factions; Kingdom of Forod, Empire of Nalfgar and Kingdom of Rhodan. The Rhodians was at first a noble and peaceful people, but their evolution changed drastically when the Empire began their massive expansion and mission of conquest led by the mad Emperor Vestmar. The Rhodanian King was influenced by this war and so was his family that escaped into exile, in a region later known as the Province of Obivar. The royal-family of Rhodan was thereafter lost amongst other nobles as the rhodanians lost the war and the kingdom was forced to expand further east and south. The Kingdom was splitted into several minor factions lead by lords and other corrupt warlords. Sometime later in the Second Age, a young prince known as Zedekiah descending from the lost line of rhodanian kings proved himself as a significant military-commander and fought every single corrupt lord that didn't accept him as ruler. Thereafter Zedekiah fought succesfully, united the clans and restored order and formed a new Kingdom known as Azedale. Zedekiah is known to have lead the armies of Azedale and Rhûn forth for war againt the Empire which was under in a weak condition because of the Bright Winter that had cursed the land and brougth a stormy wrath upon it.
In the Third Age, the Easterlings were a significant threat to Gondor; they were a more regimented force than the Orcs or even the Haradrim. It is likely that Sauron drew much of his inspiration for his Orc armies from these wicked men. Sauron suffered a harsh and heavy defeat from the Last Alliance, who vanquished his numerically superior Orcs with a ranked and ordered army. The Easterlings were all this and more, so Sauron greatly valued his alliance with the men of Rhûn.
The weapons that the Easterlings used were primarily jagged spears, making them especially effective against cavalry, as well as a shorter, odd, glaive-like version used for close combat. They also were known to run their foes down in great Wains, or wagons.