In the First Age of Middle-earth, three tribes of Men entered Beleriand from the east. These were the Edain, or Fathers of Men, and they fled a grim darkness in their past. The second tribe of the Edain to enter Beleriand was called the Haladin, and they settled in the lands of the Elf-lord Caranthir, though they did not swear fealty to him. The Haladin came under heavy assault from Morgoth’s Orcs, and their chieftain, Haldad, was slain along with his son and heir, Haldar. Haldad’s daughter, Haleth, twin sister to Haldar, survived the battle and assumed leadership of her people. She kept them alive through seven days of brutal seige by the Orcs until Caranthir came to their aid. Caranthir was impressed with Haleth’s valour and offered her a fiefdom in his realm, but she proudly refused and led her people to the Forest of Brethil, where they settled near the Crossings of Teiglin. Haleth continued to successfully lead her folk, and never married or had children. When she died, she was buried in a mound called Tûr Haretha, the Ladybarrow, and the Haladin came to be known as the House of Haleth in honour of this valiant woman.
Here Haleth is shown arrayed for battle as she leads her folk during the terrible seven-day seige. Her clothing is that of a woodland hunter, with green and brown leather, but she has added a heavy breastplate made from the very face of a mighty aurochs, its eyes and mouth stitched shut. Heavy pauldons and an elborately decorated conical helm complete her protection. She wears a quiver of arrows for, as her epithet suggests, she is a skilled hunter and adept with the bow. For close combat she wields an axe, decorated with the motif of a serpent — which may be a reminder of the mysterious dark events in the distant history of the Edain.
There are not many warrior women in Tolkien, so I was really excited to a portrait of Haleth. Little to nothing is given of Haleth’s appearance, so the outfit is strictly of my own imagining. I wanted to try to create a hybrid of scout and warrior styles by using woodland colours and both medium and heavy armour pieces, as though she was wearing her usual hunter’s attire when the orcs attacked and simply added whatever pieces of armour were available at short notice. I chose the serpent-axe to represent the dark event in the Edain’s past alluded to by Tolkien which surely involved the Fall of Men but remains untold in the tales of Middle-earth — a subtle touch, because the Elves knew nothing of it, and also because we in the Primary World already know stories of Man’s Fall.
[Edit: As pointed out by Fionnuala in the comments, an account of the Fall of Men entitled the “Tale of Adanel” is given in “Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth”, found in Morgoth’s Ring (Volume 10 of the History of Middle-earth). Tolkien apparently worried that it approached “Christian parody”. It was not included in the published Silmarillion, but the story nevertheless gives some fascinating insights.]
- Head: Helm of Vigour (looted — world drop/general), rust
- Shoulders: Shoulders of the Quick-claw (quest reward — Angmar  Fûshath the Beast), rust
- Back: Sturdy Dwarf-make Quiver (purchased — Othrikar cosmetics vendor), yellow
- Chest: Ceremonial Breastplate of the Aurochs (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Helegrod cosmetic clothing – medium), default
- Hands: Barrow-scout’s Gauntlets (bartered — skirmish camp classic vendor/Great Barrow – armour sets), sienna
- Legs: Ceremonial Nenuial’s Leggings (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Annúminas cosmetic clothing), rust
- Feet: Barrow-scout’s Boots (bartered — skirmish camp classic vendor/Great Barrow – armour sets), rust
Tips: The gauntlets and boots used in this outfit have the same appearance as the ones from the Arthdúr Armour (bartered — Gath Forthnír medium armour trader).