Dale is a city state of Men in north-eastern Rhovanion to the south of the Lonely Mountain in Middle-earth, though it is also used as the name for the kingdom of Men between the rivers River Running and the Redwater during the Third Age.
Situated in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, it was deserted for many years while the mountain was under the control of Smaug the Dragon. The town was repopulated after the Battle of the Five Armies where Bilbo Baggins and his Dwarf companions broke into the dragon's stronghold to claim back the Lonely Mountain. At this point, Smaug in rage flew to Lake-town upon the Long Lake in an attempt to destroy it. This attempt failed however as Smaug was shot down by Bard, a man of Lake-town.
With Lake-town in ruins, the men sought a portion of Thorin's treasure in payment for their help in the overthrowing of the dragon and to rebuild their town, but in his pride Thorin refused. The squabble almost resulted in war between the men (and their wood-elf allies) and Thorin and his soon-to-arrive Dwarven kin in the Iron Hills. Just before they were about fight, Gandalf arrived with a warning that the goblins of the Misty Mountains and their Warg allies sought to destroy them to avenge the death of the Goblin King and claim the treasure. This then became the Battle of the Five Armies with the Dwarves, the elves and the Men joining forces against the Orcs. When the battle was over, the dwarves restored their kingdom under the Lonely Mountain and men began to settle once more in Dale, with Bard, the man who slew the dragon, becoming their first king.
Gandalf was indirectly responsible for the rebuilding of Dale, in that he set in motion the quest that would result in the slaying of Smaug and provided vital aid to it. Some argue that he saw the upcoming war, and did this in a successful attempt to create one more front for Sauron.
Dale in the Present TimeEdit
In TA 2941, when Smaug emerged from the Lonely Mountain and attacked Laketown, Bard fired his Black Arrow and struck the hollow by Smaug's left breast and the Dragon fell from the sky, landing on Laketown and destroying it.
After this, he joined the Battle of Five Armies, where Men, Elves and Dwarfs were victorious. Dain II Ironfoot, the Dwarven King, agreed to pay the one-fourteenth share of the treasure as promised by Thorin. Bard contributed gold for the aid of Laketown, and although the Master of Laketown absconded with much of it, Laketown was rebuilt and its people became prosperous.
Bard went to his ancestral home of Dale at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. He rebuilt the ruined town and in TA 2944, he became King of Dale. Bard maintains good relations with the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain and trade flows freely up and down the River Running. People came, and still are coming, to settle in Dale from miles around and the land that had been withered by Smaug became bountiful once more.
Dale's armies consist of forces and knights from the city as well as men from the surrounding lands. The weapons of Dale are made by the nearby Dwarves, ensuring only the best quality. The bowmen of Dale are known for their skill, and their volleys support the infantry of Dale as they fight to defend their kingdom from the various forces that oppose them mainly Rhûn .
The full force of Dale's army is around 10.000 Men of Dale soldiers.
The Kingdom of Dale includes: