A branch of the Northmen who travelled up the river Running and established a township in the southern valley of Erebor, the Lonely Mountain. Because of its situation in a valley, the new town became known simply as 'Dale', and its people flourished in friendship with the Dwarves under the Mountain to the north. When Smaug descended on Erebor he also destroyed Dale, though among the survivors who escaped down the river were the wife and child of Girion, the Lord of Dale. It was his descendant Bard who finally slew the Dragon of Erebor. Bard returned to the site of Dale and refounded it as a town filled with waterways and fountains, becoming the first of a new line of lords to rule the Dale-men. After the time of Bard the Men of Dale became commonly known as the Bardings.
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