Ancient Harad Fortresses are abandoned structures made of Haradric Brick that can be found in the Great Desert and Half-deserts of Near Harad. These ruins have sunk into the sand and dirt of the desert over the millennia, and are almost always found partially buried. Usually, it is only the first floor of these structures that ends up buried, but occasionally fortresses will generate with only the tops of their turrets free of sand, in which case the lower level may be filled with stone or sandstone. As one might expect from a structure in such conditions, these fortresses are completely uninhabited.
Archaeologists looking to explore these fortresses might find excavating them to be a pain, but digging out these ruins can be an extremely profitable venture, as they contain hidden reed baskets full of valuable loot buried within them.
It is said that these ancient fortresses were built by Southron rebels in opposition to Númenórean rule during the Second Age, who hid out in the Great Desert to escape the Men of the West. They were abandoned near the end of the age, and were soon consumed by the shifting sands.
Ancient Harad Fortresses consist of a main structure, which features wooden flooring and wood beams in the roof for support, a staircase leading up into a tower, which features a door onto a rooftop balcony, and a small turret.
The interiors of Ancient Harad Fortresses are mostly unfurnished due to the age and condition of the structures. The balcony, turret, and tower on the upper floor usually feature nothing but sand and the occasional reed basket. The lower floor is little different, but does feature a simple wooden bench along the wall of the main room. Even though the lower floor is usually completely buried, it features windows and what was once the main entrance, a set of four doorways separated by pillars.
Reed baskets with loot can be found on both the upper and lower floors of the fortress, usually along walls. An average of five can be found per fortress.
The reed baskets of Ancient Harad Fortresses can include some extremely valuable loot, much like Harad Pyramids. Alongside the sad remains of former inhabitants, these baskets can contain precious metals, gems, lapis lazuli, rings, Haradric or Umbaric Equipment, and Coast Southron or Gulfing armour. Perhaps most importantly, uncraftable Black Númenórean Armour and equipment can be found in these baskets, as with similarly uncraftable Old-Haradric Sacrificial Daggers. Lucky players might even find mithril nuggets in these fortresses.
- Ancient Harad Fortresses are very similar to pre-Update 34 Southron Fortresses, albeit ruined and buried. In older versions of the mod, these fortresses would serve as remote Southron outposts in the desert, home to Southron Warlords and a garrison of warriors. These fortresses were removed with Update 34, but live on as these ruins.