Gulfing settlements are the primary structures in the Gulf of Harad, the furthest of the realms of Near Harad. They can occasionally be found throughout the biome, and generate in a similar fashion to vanilla villages, consisting of varying sorts of smaller structures. Small, rural villages are the most common, with fortifications being rarer, and towns being the largest and rarest.
Near Harad players will definitely want to visit settlements, as there's lots of loot to be found in them, and they offer plenty of questing opportunities. All settlements have a name and a date that they were founded, which was sometime in the Third Age.
Types of settlements
Fortifications are squarish, medium-sized settlements, built for military use. These settlements are built around warcamps, large fortresses maintained by Gulfing warriors. These warcamps are surrounded by a quartet of watchtowers, between which are rows of farms or pastures to keep the troops in the camp fed. Fortifications serve as hubs for bands of Gulfing Warriors, who can be found in large numbers here.
Ordinary, rural villages are the smallest kind of Gulfing settlement. Much like Gondorian and Rohirric villages, these small settlements are ring-shaped and feature no outer walls. Villages are built around central totems and a pair of signposts, which are surrounded by a circular road. A tavern and a mix of up to six houses and smithies generate in a ring around this road. Twelve farms, pastures and hay bales form an outer ring around them.
Towns are by far the largest Gulfing settlements. They are far more structured and fortified than villages, though not nearly as much as Umbarian or Coast Southron towns. Gulfing towns are entirely surrounded by a low, circular wall or brick and sandstone, and are largely laid out in a cross-shaped pattern. Directly behind this wall is a ring of smaller structures, including a quartet of watchtowers and sixteen agricultural structures, a mix of farms, pastures and hay bales.
Roads of red sand and red Haradric brick run from the entrance to the town (where a pair of signposts are present) to a central plaza, from which three more roads run out in each of the cardinal directions. Rows of houses line three of these roads, with six houses per road to a total of eighteen houses for the whole town. The fourth road features a tavern, a smithy, and no houses. At the end of each road is one of the town's major structures - the altar, the totem, and the bazaar. In the center of each town there is an impressive ziggurat at the heart of the central plaza, illuminated by lamp-posts.
As with all the Mod's settlements, Gulfing settlements need flat land to spawn. That means that the first rule of thumb when searching for settlements is to look for a large area of flat land. Then, keep on looking, as settlements don't spawn very frequently. Note that they no longer spawn in scrubland (since Update 34.3). They're well worth finding, however, owing to their plentiful loot and questing opportunities.
The following structures can be found in Gulfing settlements:
- Hay Bales
- Sacrificial Altar
- Village Signpost
- War Camp
Gulfing ziggurats are impressive-looking terraced buildings, made of Haradric brick and sandstone. One spawns at the heart of each town's central plaza, surrounded by lamp-posts. Ziggurats are very ceremonial in design, with elaborate-looking exteriors that rightfully arouse awe in the viewer. Stairs built on the exterior allow players to climb up to the top of these formidable monuments, where an entrance to the ziggurat can be found. The top level has battlements and a reed roof supported by Haradric pillars, as well as many skulls piled on and around a set of benches.
A spiral staircase at the structure's top leads down into the interior of the ziggurat. The interior of the ziggurat is just as ornate as the exterior. The first level down from the top contains several reed baskets filled with offerings to Mulkhêr, which contain some minor loot, like equipment, bones or obsidian shards. The second floor down features great numbers of skulls, piled both on the floor and on some tables. The floor features a ring of Mordor rock, giving the lowest level a sinister feel, as befitting a shrine to the Lord of Darkness. The ziggurat is made of solid sandstone beneath this level, despite the outward appearance of the ziggurat.
If you are visiting a town for the opportunity to trade goods, the bazaar is the right place to go. Gulfing bazaars are fenced off from the rest of the town by a stockade. A gate, guarded by two warriors in stalls beneath two small towers, grants entrance. Despite their distinctive appearance, these towers are completely solid and purely decorative, serving to draw attention to the bazaar rather than protect it.
Inside, five random market stalls are located, in which different traders sell their goods and are willing to buy some of your stuff. These market stalls are similar to those in Southron bazaars. Besides the stalls, the interior of the bazaar contains melons, logs, an empty barrel, a cauldron, some hay bales, two suspended cages with birds in them and two huge rib bones, probably from a Mûmak skeleton.
Gulfing villages and towns both contain Gulfing totems. These structures are built around standing columns of dragonblood or palm wood, and primarily consist of Mûmak bones and red woolstrips. Around the central columns are four large bones, decorated with banners of the Gulf of Harad. Atop the column is a great Mûmak skull, though based on more complete specimens it appears to have had its tusks clipped.
Gulfing Sacrificial Altar
Gulfing sacrificial altars are simple structures of palm wood, bone blocks and red wool. Every Gulfing town contains one of these to the left of the gate. Supported by Mûmak bone spikes and palm logs, these structures consist of three wooden ramps leading up to a central platform, lined with decorative wool tassels on fence poles. The central platform features an altar made of Mordor rock, upon which lies a skull. A single Gulfing, presumably the town priest, always spawns at the altar, which is where the Gulfings gruesomely sacrifice their old, their sick, and sometimes even their prisoners to Mulkhêr. Behind the altar is a small pit filled with skulls and waste blocks, where the bodies of past live human sacrifices have been dumped.
Watchtowers are made of bricks, dragonblood wood, reed and red wool, with spikes made of bone blocks protruding from the walls. The three floors are interconnected by a climbable rope. Only the ground floor contains a reed basket with some loot, a barrel with some alcoholic drink, and a table with a skull, a plate and a drinking vessel. Four each can be found in the corners of towns and fortifications, keeping guard over the settlements.
Gulfing towns are completely surrounded by circular walls made of Haradric brick, sandstone, dragonblood and palm fences. These walls aren't battlemented and are only one block thick, meaning that they aren't the most defensible. Town walls have a single entrance, a small gap featuring bone spikes decorated with banners of the Gulf of Harad. A pair of signposts always generates on either side of the gap in these walls.
Gulfing War Camp
War camps are the central structures of Gulfing fortifications, serving the same role fortresses serve for other Southron peoples. War camps fence off large courtyards with spikes of Mûmak bone, fences of palm wood, reed blocks and red wool tassels, which form a sort of wall around the camp. Banners of the Gulf of Harad cover the walls of these camps. The only entrance to the war camp, a Haradric gate, is heavily guarded by Gulfing warriors and archers.
Inside, plenty of Gulfen armour can be found on armour stands to either side of the gate, together with Haradric equipment mounted on pillars close by. Training dummies can be found to the left of the gate, while bone spikes used for target practice can be found to the right. At the far end of the war camp, two horses can be found tethered to fence posts, near piles of hay bales and a filled cauldron to keep them fed. In the corners of the courtyard, two barracks provide three straw beds and two reed baskets each, plus one barrel with alcoholic drinks.
At the center of the war camp is a large, open tower. The ground floor of this structure features a vanilla crafting table, a Gulfen crafting table, an anvil, an ordinary furnace, and a reed basket with loot. A ladder leads up to the higher floors of the structure. The middle floor of this tower is empty, while the top floor features a table of command and is home to the war camp's resident warlord, who allows you to hire Gulfing troops, if you've got enough alignment with the Near Harad faction. From the top of the central tower rises a wooden beam topped with a Mûmak skull, resembling a Gulfing totem.
Gulfing houses are the main structures in Gulfing villages and towns. They are squat, round structures with plenty of room inside, the largest of the various Southron house types. They are primarily built of either dragonblood or palm wood, with date palm wood floors. Their roofs are thatched with reeds, and feature holes in the center. Gulfing houses have windows made of reed bars.
The interiors of these houses are torch-lit and open. The centers of these one-room houses are dominated by the skylights in the roof, which are ringed with poles made out of fences. Beneath the skylight is a pit in the floor, made of red sandstone. The floor will occasionally be strewn with thatch. The far wall of the house features a straw bed, while the left side features tables with drinks, an oven and a filled cauldron, which offer some comfort for the everyday life. A vanilla crafting table, a Gulfen crafting table and a reed basket with some loot can be found on the right side of the house.
The houses are each inhabited by a pair of Gulfings.
Gulfing smithies sometimes replace ordinary houses in villages and towns. The main structures of smithies are slightly smaller than ordinary houses, but look much alike from the outside. They are also made of dragonblood or palm wood and feature reed roofs with skylights. This main structure also has a blacksmith's workyard attached, however, a smaller structure made of bone spikes, wool, and fences.
The interior of the house itself features a wooden flooring with a central patch of red sandstone beneath the skylight. A straw bed, tables with drinks, food and flowerpots, an oven and a vanilla crafting table are featured in the main room, including a potted cactus. A reed basket here holds the smith's personal belongings.
The workyard is paved with red sandstone and holds an alloy forge built into a large Haradric brick structure, Gulfen armour mounted on an armour stand, an anvil, a filled cauldron, a Gulfen crafting table and a second, emptyreed basket. It features its own secondary gate, which can be opened from outside the smithy.
A single Gulfing tavern will generate in each town or village. Taverns are considerably bigger than ordinary Gulfing houses, but at first glance the two look much alike from the outside. They are also built out of dragonblood or palm wood and feature reed roofs with large skylights in the center. Taverns have two entrances opposite each other; above each, a sign with the name of the tavern greets the weary wanderer. The sides of the tavern that do not feature entrances feature large wooden grates made of fences, which serve as windows.
The inside of the tavern has a red sandstone floor strewn with thatch. The place is full of benches and tables laden with drinks, food and flowerpots, and the tavern interior is decorated with banners of the Gulf of Harad. No reed baskets are found in these taverns, nor is there anywhere to sleep for the night, save perhaps under a table.
In the center of the tavern, beneath the skylight, is the bar. The bar area features two furnaces with Kebab stands, a cauldron, two barrels with alcoholic drinks, a vanilla crafting table and a Gulfen crafting table. Here works the resident bartender, who might be willing to trade with you, if you've got at least neutral Near Harad alignment and enough coins to spend.
Normally, several farms are found around the perimeter of each type of Gulfing settlement. They are surrounded by palm fences and decorated with red wool and pillars of Mûmak bone, just like Gulfingpastures. In the center of the farm, a scarecrow keeps watch and scares off thieving birds.
Two slaves of Harad tend the vegetables to sustain the settlement. Sometimes, they are joined by a farmer, who might be willing to sell you some crops, or buy a few tools, if you've got at least neutral Near Harad alignment and enough coins to spend.
Normally, several pastures are found around the perimeter of each type of Gulfing settlement. They are surrounded by palm fences and decorated with red wool and bone pillars, just like the farms. A variety of farm animals can be found here, along with some hay bales.
Gulfing Village Signpost
Each village contains two signposts near the totem in the center. Towns feature two signposts near the wall at the entrance. The signposts appear to have been carved out of Mûmak bones, and have skulls mounted on them.