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Gaurwaith

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This article is about the Outlaws of Brethil. For the the Outlaws of Dorthonion, see Barahir's Outlaw Band.
Gaurwaith
Organisation
Alan Lee - Túrin Among the Outlaws.jpg
"Túrin Among the Outlaws" by Alan Lee
Pronunciationgour-weyeth
Other namesthe Outlaws
Notable membersForweg, Túrin, Beleg Cúthalion, Algund, Andróg, and Andvír
LocationForest of Brethil, Amon Rûdh, Dor-Cúarthol
DisbandedF.A. 489
Amon Rûdh
GalleryImages of Gaurwaith

Gaurwaith ("Wolf-Men" in Sindarin) was the name given to the outlaws which plagued the woodmen of Brethil during the First Age. They were lead by Forweg, and later by Túrin.[1] The Gaurwaith was destroyed during the battle on Amon Rûdh.[2]

[edit] History

It is not known when the group of outlaws was formed but it was some time after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. The group comprised of outcasts, those that have fled from battle or have left their ruined homes. They numbered about sixty men and were led by Forweg a man from Dor-lómin.

The group found Túrin entering their haunts south of Teiglin and soon encircled and questioned him. One of the outlaws fired his bow at Túrin but quickly dodged the incoming arrow and threw a stone back killing him. Túrin offered his service to the band and Forweg accepted. The outlaws asked for his name and Túrin answered Neithan, the wronged and he was thenceforth called by that.

In the spring of the following year the Gaurwaith were camped in the woods of Teiglin near the homesteads of the woodmen that still lived there. Túrin spotted a woman fleeing through the woods and slew her pursuer realising it was too late that it was Forweg. Andróg soon followed afterwards and was shocked to see Forweg dead and challenged Túrin but he was enraged with the actions of the outlaws amongst their own people. Túrin returned to the camp announcing that Forweg is dead by his hands and that they should choose a new captain. Andróg returned to the camp with Forweg’s weapons and told the others what had happened to Forweg and the woman. Túrin declared himself captain of the Gaurwaith and with the insistence of Andróg the others accepted noting that Túrin’s skill is highest among all of them. Túrin led the Gaurwaith west away from Doriath and the woodmen.

The Gaurwaith were aware of an Orc-host near them as they were resting in a cave and have noticed that the Orcs have captives and plunder from the homesteads of the woodmen. Túrin and Orleg went to spy on them but were discovered and pursued. Orleg was shot down by many arrows while Túrin led the orcs away from the outlaw’s cavern. Three days past and the outlaws wished to depart from the cavern but Andróg who was left in charge by Túrin advised against it. Beleg, who had been tracking the outlaws, stood before the outlaws and they lept in fear. Andróg came behind him and cast a noose about him. The outlaws tied him onto a tree beside the cave and questioned him but Beleg only answered that he wished to speak to his friend Neithan. Andróg believed him to be a spy of the King of Doriath and wished to slay him there but Algund spoke against him counseled him that the captain may return. They left Beleg tied to the tree without food and water for two days until Túrin returned and Beleg was cut loose. Túrin was glad to see his old friend again and Beleg gave news of the king’s pardon over the death of Saeros and begged him to return with him to Doriath. But Túrin refused as he was proud and the next day Beleg departed for Menegroth.

The Orcs were in greater number than before and there was little safety for the Gaurwaith who was often hunted by them. Túrin decided to find a secure stronghold in which the group can take shelter and store provisions against winter and hunger and he led his men south away from the Teiglin. Then the group captured Mîm one of the last Petty-dwarves and he begged for mercy at the captain Túrin. Túrin released Mîm for a ransom and so Mîm offered to share his dwelling to the outlaws and Mîm brought them to Amon Rûdh, the Bald Hill. Once entering the home of Mîm they found his son Khîm lay dead from an arrow let loose by Andróg the night before. He was made to break his bow and swore never to use it by Mîm though Andróg was displeased to do so.

The Gaurwaith dwelt for some time peacefully in Mîm’s house which was named Bar-en-Danwedh, the House of Ransom and learned of its many halls and passageways. Andróg discovered the hidden stair that led to the summit of the hill but he told no one. Beleg returned to Túrin and the Gaurwaith bearing a great pack to help them, among them the Helm of Hador and Lembas bread.

The following year more Orcs came down out of the North passing through the Crossings of Teiglin and into the land that was watched by the red hill. Túrin now put on again the Helm of Hador and with Beleg in their company they harassed the Orcs, the Gaurwaith now only had less than fifty men but the valour of Túrin made it seem like they were a host to their enemies. The Gaurwaith were joined by many men and their power grew and many forts and camps were established around Amon Rûdh. The land between Teiglin and the west march of Doriath was named Dor-Cúarthol and Túrin now named himself Gorthol, the Dread Helm and took lordship of the land. Andróg wielded the bow again but he was poisoned by an orc arrow and thus fulfilled the curse of Mîm. However Beleg healed Andróg of his wound and the hatred of Mîm grew.

In the winter of the same year Mîm betrayed the Gaurwaith and led the Orcs to Bar-en-Danwedh. Many of the Gaurwaith were slain by arrows and in this moment Andróg revealed to Túrin and Beleg the hidden stair that led to the summit. Andróg was mortally wounded by an arrow in the head. Túrin and Beleg reached to the summit with only ten men left they made a last stand against the Orcs until they all were slain save Túrin and Beleg.

[edit] Members

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Túrin among the Outlaws"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Land of Bow and Helm"