The Arvandor were a people of eastern Eriador in the second Age, likely an eastern branch or subgroup of the Forodrim.They were tall, dark haired and grey-eyed and possibly related to the Edain of the house of Bëor the Old.
When Annatar came to Eriador he visited the Arvandor and started to lure some of them to form a dark cult.The Priest-Queen Blogath made herself Ruler of the Arvandor and delved a deep temple as her main seat of power within the Trollshaws.When the Númenóreans started to visit Middle-Earth and made contacts with the Eriadorians they fought these Dark Priests.The Arvandor rose up against their rulers and buried Blogath and some of her followers within her own halls in the Yfelwood, doomed to become accursed Bloodwights.
The Arvandor lived in a loosely knit series of kingdoms and chiefdoms until the end of the Second Age, when they were brought under the sway of the Dúnadan rulers. However, throughout the first two millennia of the Third Age they were given a great deal of privileged and rights under a series of special charters know as the foros. These included exemption from ordeal by fire or military conscription, and the right to continue living in the Downs and preserving their indigenous customs.
Their society was not one of villages and towns, like their Daen and Adunaic neighbors, but was rather largely a series of individual farmsteads, called hèrí in the native Arvandoric language. The hérí were inherited by the eldest child, regardless of gender, while other children were compelled to either remain celibate at home, marry an heir or heiress, or (for the more adventurous) travel elsewhere in search of wealth and renown.
Arvandor people are known to outsiders as being simultaneously a very secretive, taciturn and introverted people but also for producing some of the boldest adventurers the world has ever known. Many of the gallant ship's crews of Old Númenor were said to have included Eriadorians among them, and indeed Atandil's pilot was of partial Forodrim extraction.
The native language of the Arvandor is strikingly different from any other in Arda, although the Arvandor themselves are usually counted among the Edain. It is apparently a true language isolate, and it's strange and unique vocabulary (and almost total absence of elvish influence) has spawned a huge number of conflicting theories as to it's origin.
By the Third Age, authentic Arvandoric culture and language was extinct everywhere except in the Red Hundred, known to it's inhabitants as evskaliska, where a large number of Forodrim people continued to preserve the ancient foros of their ancestors.
- MERP:The Dark Mage of Rhudaur