|“||The region of South Gondor became a debatable land between the Corsairs and the Kings.||”|
–The Return of the King, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers
Harondor, commonly known also as South Gondor, is a heavily contested semi-desert area located in the south of Ithilien, and north of Harnennor. It is bordered by the river Poros in the north, the river Harnen in the south, and the Bay of Belfalas to the west. To the east, Harondor is bordered by the Ephel Dúath, the imposing mountain fences of Mordor, as well as the Desert of Lostladen.
The environment of Harondor is mostly nondescript. It has many similarities with Ithilien, another contested land that borders it to the north, though it appears to have a more arid climate. Though the biome appears to be mostly fertile, patches of barren dirt are quite common, and some parts of Harondor are dominated by sandy patches of semi-desert. Though it isn't as forested as Ithilien and features broad wasteland regions, Harondor is nonetheless quite livable - or it would be, were it not an active warzone.
Harondor is a very dangerous place, as it is contested between Gondor and the Southrons of Near Harad. Rangers of Ithilien patrol the region, seeking to maintain a vain semblance of control over former South Gondor. But they come into constant conflict with the Southrons, who largely control Harondor and seek to drive Gondor north of the Poros. This effort is led by the warriors of Harnennor, though Coast Southrons and Nomads can also be found here. As conflict poses a continuous threat to any traveller, no Travelling Traders frequent this land, and not even Oddment Collectors drop by for a bargain; however, Bandits appear quite commonly here, taking advantage of the chaos.
Once upon a time, Harondor was the homeland of the Harnedhrim, divided between dozens of principalities. When Gondor began to expand in the early Third Age, however, they seized control of the region and drove the Harnedhrim out. Those Harnedhrim that survived resettled with their kinsmen in Harnennor, the lands due south of the Harnen; the charred ruins of their old homes were left abandoned, and can be found across Harondor to this day. For a time, Harondor was under Gondorian control, though the Harnedhrim constantly sought to drive the Northerners out and reclaim their ancestral lands. It was only in recent years that they have begun to have success, as the borders of Gondor have receded and the Dark Lord rose again in Mordor.
Players should be wary of entering this biome, as both good and evil aligned players will see battle here. However, many players brave the region anyway, as it is located along the easiest path to Harad. However, because of its border with the sea, it is possible to bypass this area by use of a boat or barrel, so as to reach Harad by another route.
Upon entering Harondor one gains the achievement "Southward Bound."
- Standard - Normal Harondor biome. Small clusters of trees and stone boulders dot the landscape.
- Forest - Forest covered lands.
- Light Forest - Lightly forested lands.
- Steppe - A flat landscape of grassy plains.
- Barren Steppe - These barren plains stretch over vast areas and have little vegetation.
- Hills - A hilly landscape with a higher average elevation.
- Forested Hills - A landscape with forest-covered hills.
- Oak Shrublands - Forest-covered lands with a lower tree density than regular forests, but with a very thick undergrowth of shrubs.
- Scrubland - Scrublands are typically areas with very poor, sandy and/or rocky soil. This results in very little tree growth. Here, the vegetation is dominated by low growing scrubs (stunted trees/shrubs) and bushes.
- Scrubland Hills - The scrubland hills are a hilly type of scrubland.
- Wasteland - Wasteland is a very barren variant and can feature vast stretches of barren rock. The soil is generally very poor and vegetation is sparse. The landscape can both consist of flat plains and rolling hills.
This biome is dotted with the ruins of past settlements, Harnedhrim and Gondorian alike. More recent structures can be found here as well, all temporary fortifications maintained by the resurgent Harnedhrim. Small stone ruins are also moderately common here, evidence of other prior inhabitants.
- Ruined Gondor Tower - Ruined three-floored towers with battlements at the top. Its lowest level contains a Gondorian crafting table, a Lebethron casket (which may be empty or could contain loot), and a ladder; its second level can feature a straw bed, a barrel, and an anvil, though any of these can be missing; the top level, which features battlements, is always featureless.
- Gondor Obelisk - Slim towers with a Beacon of Gondor on top.
- Harnennor Watchtower - Wooden towers hastily assembled by the Harnedhrim to assert their control over the land. Built of cedar wood and wool, these rickety towers consist of little more than wooden stilts, some mounted skulls, a small platform, and a few woolen shrouds. A rope ladder leads from the ground beneath these towers to a trapdoor inset into the platform, which features a hidden reed basket containing supplies. Anywhere from one to four Harnennor Warriors and Archers can spawn in these towers.
- Harnennor Desert Camp - Small camps for passing Harnedhrim patrols. These camps consist of one to two tents around a small well, with fence posts for tamed camels occasionally generating in the area. The tents are more elaborate than those commonly used by Orcs, containing carpets, many banners, a straw bed, a barrel of booze, a Haradric and a regular crafting table, and a pair of reed baskets containing supplies. A Harnennor Warrior spawns in each tent.
- Ruined Harnennor Village - Once thriving settlements of the Harnedhrim, these villages were razed by Gondor long ago. The paths in these villages are overgrown, the farms and outlying structures have long since disappeared, and the stockades lie in ruins, if the village had them to begin with. The weathered remains of the village's central tavern can be found at the center of these ruins, surrounded by ruined houses. The houses and taverns alike are completely empty and in a very dilapidated condition, consisting of nothing but wooden arches that once served as structural supports. Some structures in these ruined villages are made primarily of charred wood, indicating that they were burned by the Gondorians. No loot chests or other items of interest can be found in these sobering reminders of atrocities past.
- Mûmak Skeleton - The bleached skeletons of once-mighty Mûmakil, half-buried in the semidesert soil. These skeletons bear evidence to the passage of larger Southron war-bands.
Harondor is highly contested between the Rangers of Ithilien and the Southrons, though no civilians of any sort are present here. Common animals spawn here, but they appear at much lower rates than in most biomes.
- Rangers of Ithilien - Elite warriors of Gondor whose tactics bear a strong similarity to those of the Rangers of the North. The Ithilien Rangers are the descendants of the former inhabitants of Ithilien, and are highly trained in woodland combat. They wear Ithilien Ranger Armour and cloaks bearing the symbol of the White Tree, and have the ability to blend in with their surroundings, allowing them to all but vanish from sight. They use Gondorian Bows at range and Gondorian daggers or swords in close combat.
- Harnennor Warriors - Scarlet-clad warriors from the land of Harnennor, intent on reclaiming their ancestral homeland. These Harnedhrim wear Harnennor Armour, though they will occasionally swap out their helmets for Harad Turbans. They use Haradric weapons, including swords, daggers, pikes, and spears. They will occasionally spawn mounted on horses, and are the most common of the Southrons that can be found in Harondor.
- Harnennor Archers - Harnennor Warriors armed with Bows of Harad. They, too, can spawn mounted, and are also quite common in Harondor.
- Coast Southron Warriors - Bold and grim warriors from the coastal kingdoms, the Coastlings are among the fiercest warriors of Near Harad. They wear Coast Southron Armour, though they will occasionally swap out their helmets for Harad Turbans, and can spawn mounted on horseback. They use a mix of Haradric weapons (including swords, daggers, pikes, and spears) and Umbaric weapons (including scimitars, daggers, spears, poleaxes, maces, and pikes). In Harondor, they are somewhat uncommon.
- Coast Southron Archers - Deadly Coast Southron marksmen, armed with Bows of Harad. They are otherwise identical to Coastling Warriors, and can also spawn on horseback.
- Southron Champions - The strongest warriors of the Coastlings are selected to become Southron Champions. Equipped with Coast Southron Armour with elaborate Champion Helmets, these warriors use Umbaric equipment (they always spawn with spears, but will switch to different weapons once the spear is thrown), and ride armored horses into battle. They have more health than most men and are rather uncommon in Harondor.
- Nomad Guards - Warriors from the shifting sands of the Great Desert, Nomad Guards are a rarity in Harondor. They wear Nomad Armour, occasionally with turbans instead of helmets, and use Haradric equipment. They can be found mounted on camels.
- Nomad Archers - Nomad Guards that carry Bows of Harad, who can also be found mounted on camels. They are similarly rare.
All the standard ores can be found beneath Harondor, with the addition of Lapis Lazuli. Unlike in vanilla, lapis can only be found here and in Near Harad, though at the same rates and levels as in the overworld.
The dry grass, sandy soils and the presence of cacti and dead bushes show that Harondor is a relatively dry and warm land. Despite this, desert oaks are found very commonly here, and the landscape and vegetation density is quite variable. Both vast treeless steppes and forested hills can be found throughout the biome, and rivers carve out deep beds in the poor, barren soil. Majestic cedars dominate the forests, and various fruit trees (lemon, orange, lime, olive, almond and plum), can be found quit commonly.
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