The Southrons of Near Harad are the swarthy men of the great Southlands, mostly isolated from the West of Middle-earth. They do, however, have frequent disputes with their northern neighbors, the Gondorians, and as such they side with Mordor in the coming war. The Dark Lord (known to them as Mulkher the Excellent) they worship, and his enemies are theirs.
This faction is split into five distinct sub-factions, namely, the Harnedhrim of Harnedor to the north, the coastlings of the Southron Coasts, the inhabitants of Umbar to the west, the Gulfings of the Gulf of Harad to the east, and the nomads of the inland Half-deserts.
The ancestors of the Haradrim were Men who awoke in the First Age, but stayed to the East of Middle-earth, not joining the migration of the Edain to the West. They eventually settled in Harad, where the Sun is fierce and there are no clouds. Little is remembered of their deeds until, in the Second Age, the Dark Lord turned the Men of the East and South and dominated them. Under the authority of the Lord of the World, numerous towns and walls of stone were built, and those under his influence became numerous and armed with iron. To them, the Dark King was feared as a king and god.
During the Second Age the Men of Númenor built a great city in the firth of Umbar, a vast natural harbour on the southern shores of the Bay of Belfalas, eventually turning the port into a fortified citadel. The Men of the Sea initially helped the people in the lands they explored, teaching them of agriculture and craftsmanship. But after the reign of Tar-Ciryatan, the Númenóreans set themselves up as lords in Middle-earth, demanding tribute of goods and wealth. Under Ar-Pharazon, the Númenóreans made war on the Men of Middle-earth, enslaving them. When the Great King Mulkher challenged them for the freedom of the Men of the Desert, they took him to their evil land, and those that remained grew all the crueller, taking men for sacrifice and even to devour. But storms out of the West came with great ferocity, and in the distance smoke billowed. And on a black day of wind and water, a great wave came out of the deeps of the sea, and the coasts were sundered, to the ruination of the sea-men and costal peoples.
In the following century, the Southrons were led by the Dark Lord and Black Númenóreans, those Sea-Men who stayed in Harad and survived the rising of the Great Sea. The Haradrim were enemies of the heathen men of Gondor, as the Kingdom's southern borders were close to their lands, and the Dark King stirred them to strike while their foes were still weak. Shortly before the War of the Last Alliance, two Númenórean lords, Herumor and Fuinur, rose to great power amongst the Haradrim and led them to battle upon the Dagorlad, against the evil men and elves of the North who sought to battle the Lord of the Earth.
After the fall of the Lord, the Haradrim continued to wage war against the Realms in Exile for many centuries. The Dark Numenoreans at Umbar held great power, and Gondor could not yet contest them. There were dealings between the southlands and Gondor in these days, though it is said that there was never friendship between the two realms. But in the year T.A. 933 the black-sailed fleet of Gondor came out of the West and took Umbar, driving out its people. The city was then the site of many battles between the Haradrim and Umbar, and one of Gondor's kings was slain when Black Numenoreans besieged the city. However, these efforts but aroused the wrath of the Gondorians, and their great king, the South-slayer, laid ruin to the coastlands and forced into vassalage the independent kings of Haradwaith.The Gondorians lost Umbar when one of their lords rebelled against the King. Haradrim re-entered the city, and aided the rebels against Gondor. One of Gondor's kings was slain in battle, but his son once more defeated the Haradrim. Umbar was continuously owned by the rebels until T.A. 1810, when the navy of Gondor rose one last time and cracked the city. The rebels were finally ended, but Gondor's victory was short-lived, for the Haradrim, though engaged in wars among themselves, retook the city. Gondor has never again held the great ports of the South.Around that time, the Haradrim were allied with the Wainriders, a confederation of Easterlings, and the Men of Khand. During the simultaneous assaults from the north and the south, the South-kingdom came close to destruction. The campaigns ended with the Wainraiders' defeat in T.A. 1944. The Haradrim who attacked Gondor were defeated by the wrath of the kings.
In the third millenium since the fall of the Dark Tower, the Dark Lord rose again, and his servants heard his command. They threw down the monument to the capture of the Dark King, and swore fealty to the Dark Lord. The Haradrim were stirred up by emissaries of the Dark King to attack Gondor again, and in T.A. 2885, they did so at the Crossings of Poros. However, were defeated again, for Gondor had the aid of the horsemen of the north. The ferocity of the northern princes took the Corsair warriors at unawares, and though the princes were slain, their wraiths are said to inhabit the mounds at the river Poros. In even more recent history, a dastardly raiding party from Gondor sailed to Umbar, and there burnt the greater part of the fleet and slew the Captain of the Havens. For this insult they will pay with blood.
The Southrons move to war once more, to take vengeance upon the accursed rabble of Gondor. Harondor they have already taken, and Umbar is theirs. Soon, Gondor will fall, and the fertile lands and booty of the West will be owned by the Men of the South. The Dark Lord has promised them rich reward for their aid, and to battle they will go, in honor of their god-king. Their great hosts, scarlet-clad, with red blades and painted faces, and earrings of gold, march to war, with the bellowing of the mighty Mumakil sounding as a trumpet about them. The Black Serpent upon Scarlet will fly across all the West, and all will pay fealty to the Kings of the Southlands!
The Southrons' Sphere of Influence is centered around their homelands in Harnedor, the Southron Coasts, Umbar, the Gulf of Harad, and the realm of their enemies in Gondor.
|•Dúnedain of the North|
|The Southrons of Near Harad|
The Deeps of the Earth: