Once a mighty empire that held all the Far Harad under its sway, the Taurethrim are but a shadow of their former selves. They dwell in the Far Harad Jungle, defending their homes from their sworn enemies, the Morwaith. In battle they wield deadly obsidian blades, and their hunters carry blowguns and poisoned darts.
In their early days, the Taurethrim lived in small and isolated villages, which differed little from those used by the other Far Haradrim. But after years of living in the unusual Jungles of the South, the Taurethrim began to develop a more unique way of life. They began building larger cities, the first of which was Ya'ash Kâh, which the ancient Taurethrim founded shortly after their flight from Chunha. The Taurethrim slowly started to unite under the rule of Namakush, a great chieftain who declared himself the first High King of the Taurethrim. He united the Taurethrim and made his people into an empire, which quickly branched out into the jungles, building more cities deep in the woods and an extensive network of roads.
Tûnich Kâh, a great city of stone, was built to the southeast of Ya'ash Kâh, while merchants founded Otoch Kâh in the west, and Shaman Påh was built to the northeast, a great outpost home to many great warriors, who honed themselves in raids against the plains-dwellers to the north. The great city of Nohoch Kâh was built deeper in the jungles than any of the other early homes of the Taurethrim, and it was there that the Men of the Jungles first encountered the Mûmakil. They were awed by these great beasts, who they viewed as children of one of their chief gods, and so Nohoch Kâh quickly became the new capital of the Empire and the seat of all future High Kings.
In SA 800, during the reign of High King Kozamalotl, the Taurethrim first encountered the Númenóreans. Trade opened up between the Men of the West and the Men of the Jungles, with the Númenóreans desiring exotic goods and the Taurethrim desiring knowledge. Númenórean teachings led to great technological advancements among the Taurethrim, which saw their cities transformed into wonders of the world. Otoch Kâh became a hub of trade activity, as it was close to Taurelondë, one of the earliest Númenórean havens.
The new power and wealth acquired by the High Kings of the Taurethrim made them eager to expand their influence outside their forest. Around the year SA 1200, High King Tekwetli II rose to power, and announced that it was gods-given destiny of his people to conquer all of Harad.
His first target were the Limwaith inhabiting the Mangroves to the east. Although they were close relatives, the Taurethrim looked down on the Limwaith and considered them primitive, inferior by their very nature, destined only to be Taurethrim subjects. The Taurethrim army had no great difficulties in subduing the poorly-organized warriors of the Limwaith, and claimed all the Mangroves as part of their empire, taking the Limwaith as slaves. The Limwaith, under Taurethrim rule, would experience centuries of oppression, including several attempts to exterminate their culture and to assimilate them into the Taurethrim way of life, attempts that only ended with the Fall of the Empire. The city of Lakin Påh was constructed to keep watch over the Mangroves, and in the immediate aftermath of the conquest of the Limwaith the Taurethrim also built outposts at the Ethir Haraduin.
The sons of Tekwetli II continued his wars, and they targeted the Morwaith tribes living along the mighty Haraduin river. In the past, small Morwaith raids against Taurethrim border villages had been not uncommon, and the warriors of Shaman Påh had long been obliged to respond likewise, but the Taurethrim High Kings had not bothered to intervene before. This quickly changed, and Taurethrim forces attacked the southern tribes if Morwaith, those that dwelt closest to the jungles. Most of conquered tribes were forced into vassalhood, and were made to pay a great tribute to the Taurethrim High Kings, chiefly consisting of exotic animal materials and slaves. Their lands were claimed for the Empire, and their people were enslaved. The attention of the High Kings turned to the Cerinrim of the Bushlands to the south, and they expanded their Empire southwards, building estates near the Emerald Lakes, the great military city of Pishan Kâh, and Aktun Kâh, the southernmost city of the Empire, built among caves in a break in the range of mountains that rose through the midst of the jungles.
In the year 1311, the warlike and greedy High King Nekali was assassinated, and a period of peace reigned in the empire. King Moyolewani I took his place, and he became the first of the Splendour-Kings, a line of generous and beloved regents that brought a period of stability to the Empire. The Splendour-Kings greatly improved the infrastructure of the Empire, and they began to hoard valuable materials, most notably gold, which they began to mine in great quantities from the mountains.
But over time, the descendants of Nekalli grew in strength. They started a cult devoted to the worship of their creator god Uz-Belehu, which spread quickly among the Taurethrim. In SA 1522, they retook the throne, with Tizok becoming the first of the line of Blood-Kings. His reign and those of his descendants were exceedingly bloody, but the Empire nonetheless grew stronger under them. It was Tizok who, after years of friendship, declared war on the Númenóreans, and began taking their goods and knowledge by force. The Númenóreans fought back, but they were never able to properly retaliate, as any army they sent into the jungles was quickly thwarted by the unfamiliar environment and the guerrilla tactics of the Taurethrim warriors.
During the reign of the Blood-Kings, the Taurethrim began building great temples, and their religious ceremonies once more began to involve human sacrifice, a practice they had abandoned under Númenórean influence. Among these many monuments were a series of massive pyramids built deep in the jungles, in which the High Kings began to hoard their greatest treasures, and which the shamans of the Taurethrim protected with ancient rites. These pyramids were built by slave labour, and frightening numbers of Morwaith and Limwaith died in the construction of the great monuments of the Men of the Jungles. MûmaKâh, the last of the great cities of the Empire, was built in the far south of the jungles during this time.
The Taurethrim Empire reached its zenith in the middle of the Second Age, around SA 1700. By this point, the influence of the High Kings extended far beyond the borders of the jungles, out into the savannahs, mangroves, and even some of the lands beyond. The Taurethrim grew rich off both the resources of the lands they ruled and off tribute from their vassals and neighbors, and aside from the Númenóreans, they were the mightiest force in all of Harad.
In the year 1750 of the Second Age, the ruling High King died of a black sickness that none could treat him for - a plague that, some claim, came out of Mordor, though the truth of that claim is unknown. In the wake of his father's death, a young boy became High King; his name was Kozawik, and even at that young age he had already become known as cruel. During his coronation, Sauron himself arrived from Mordor, greeting the new king and offering an alliance. Kozawik, seeing an opportunity to increase his power, agreed to ally and send tribute to Mordor, in exchange for guidance from Sauron and the destruction of his enemies. Among the Taurethrim, it is said that from that day forth a madness took him, a madness that turned him against his own people. He had been brutal before, in his own respect, and enjoyed the torment of living things, but now, through the power of Sauron, he had become an incredibly sadistic ruler. He slaughtered his own people for amusement, and in after-days was called Kozawik the Despised. How Sauron dominated him so is uncertain. Some say he was ensnared, as Ar-Pharazon of Númenor was. Other claim some fell magic of Mordor was to blame. Still more say that, at this first meeting, Sauron offered Kozawik a Ring to seal their alliance, a gift that Kozawik greedily claimed.
Years passed, and despite his brutality, the rule of Kozawik was very promising. The Empire flourished, and the Taurethrim were without question the rulers of Far Harad. Whatever power Sauron had over him was effective indeed, and it became apparent very quickly. Kozawik was able to lead his armies like none before, earning stunning victories against all that opposed him. Despite his brutality, revolts and attempted coups were few and far between, and always crushed in short order. But the power Sauron gave Kozawik, slowly at first, began to twist his mind.
Kozawik's bloodlust evolved into outright brutality. Once he had killed thousands of the Limwaith, Morwaith and Cerinrim around the Empire, he started killing his own people. Mighty Taurethrim families were killed when he felt they threatened his rule. People were executed purely for his amusement. The Taurethrim suffered greatly under the hands of their own High King, yet the power of the Dark Lord prevented any uprising. As if to add insult to injury, Kozawik lived an extraordinarily long life - which he mostly used to devastate his own realm. His terrible rule started to bother Sauron, who wanted to let the Taurethrim bleed in his wars and not for the amusement of his puppet. After more than a hundred years of his terrible reign, Kozawik disappeared without a trace.
Kozawik the Despised left the Taurethrim Empire as a shadow of its former self, for which Sauron had no use anymore. He had massacred his own people for entertainment, and with his disappearance the Taurethrim were left without a ruler, for Kozawik left no surviving children, as he had killed his only son in a blood-rage. The Taurethrim Empire descended into chaos. A long and bloody civil war broke out, in which petty Chieftains and self-declared Kings struggled for power while further destroying the Taurethrim people and bringing their culture to the brink of death. Simultaneously, the Far Haradrim tribes that the Taurethrim had enslaved seized at the chance to regain their lost freedom.
The Limwaith of the Mangroves expelled the weakened Taurethrim from their lands, and took their bloody revenge by slaughtering any Taurethrim they found. Even more impactful was the uprising of the Morwaith around the Haraduin, who had suffered much under the rule of the Taurethrim. No matter what the scattered Taurethrim armies did, the Morwaith constantly defeated them, until the plains were abandoned entirely.
The Morwaith flooded into the northern Jungle, and killed, raped, and pillaged their way through many Taurethrim villages. This state of chaos lasted for nearly two centuries and had great impact on the Taurethrim: Much of their knowledge, culture and language was lost, and most of their cities became ruins. The great internal war that the Taurethrim had fought with themselves had caused the burning, collapse, or abandonment of most major cities, but it was the Morwaith that dealt the final blow. The remaining cities were sacked, and in a great battle the invaders wiped out the inhabitants of Nohoch Kâh, destroying the Taurethrim Empire forever.
The migration of great numbers of Morwaith into the jungles led to a merging of the two peoples. The Taurethrim, as they were, ceased to exist, though the new peoples adopted their culture. Many Morwaith rulers started slowly to adopt ancient Taurethrim traditions, seeking legitimacy in the history of the fallen Empire. The original Taurethrim language was lost, and the new Taurethrim people spoke a new tongue, one which combined the languages of the Morwaith and the Low Taurethrim speech, a language which had been spoken by the unlearned during the days of the Empire. The old names were forgotten, and the only remaining traces of the Taurethrim language were the names of the great cities, which now lay in ruins. Over time, all the peoples of the Jungle started to again call themselves Taurethrim, although the people inhabiting their lands were not truly, not anymore.
Seeing that the Jungle had not brought the Taurethrim any fortune in the past centuries of war, the Chieftain Yashche, who was considered one of the few true Taurethrim left in existence, looked into finding a new home for his people, and commanded his kin to leave the jungle and cross the Haraduin. There they founded a new city in the Far Harad Forest, which eventually became known as Kimen Kâh. It was the first time since the fall of the Taurethrim Empire that the Taurethrim had built a new city for themselves.
During the next few centuries, the city flourished and became known as the new and last true Taurethrim Kingdom. Yashche's dream had come true, and after his death in SA 2153 his son Ishbalnake became king. Only four years after the beginning of his reign, however, this new civilization came under threat. Unlike in the past, this threat was not Morwaith raiding parties or rival Taurethrim chieftains, but new creatures that were inhuman and terrible. The Taurethrim called them the “Grey Demons”, but they were known elsewhere as Half-Trolls.
These creatures had wiped out any Morwaith tribes living in the lands that became known as Pertorogwaith, and by the time of Kimen Kâh they were beginning to raid further and further westwards. The attacks of these Grey Demons intensified over the next few years, until finally, in SA 2161, the mighty city fell to the Half-Trolls. The Half-Trolls completely burned all that remained of the original Taurethrim civilization, and slaughtered the entire population of the city. It is for this reason that the site became called Kimen Kâh - the City of the Dead.
The fall of Kimen Kâh marked the end of Taurethrim attempts to settle the Far Harad Forest, as well as the end of the pureblooded Taurethrim. The last branch of the original Taurethrim Empire was completely destroyed, and with the city was lost grievous amounts of artifacts and texts from the old Empire. The river at which Kimen Kâh was built turned red with blood during the massacre, and so forever after it became known as the River of Blood, the Seregduin.
The situation in the Jungles started to improve at last in the early Third Age. Centuries of war, migration and chaos had led to irreversible change among the Men of the Jungles, and although by now they had little in common with their ancestors from long ago, they still proudly called themselves Taurethrim, claiming to be the very people who were once the undisputed rulers of Far Harad. They adopted the culture, the trappings, and even the way of life of those that came before, but they were not the same, and the Taurethrim would never again rule an empire.
The Taurethrim began to live in much greater isolation than they had before. They built their villages only in great clearings deep in the forests, usually around old monuments built during the time of the Empire. They rarely ventured outside the Jungles, and anyone that ventured beyond the treeline was, more often than not, greeted by blowgun-darts and daggers. Though they lived in peace compared to the time of civil war, the Taurethrim tribes were regularly disturbed by Southern Morwaith tribes, who sent and still send their warriors into the Jungles to capture Mumakil. This infuriated the Taurethrim, who still saw the Mûmakil as holy creatures, and they did everything in their power to stop the thefts, with little success.
Around TA 2500, tensions between the two people increased, as Morwaith incursions became more frequent, as they had begun to sell their captured Mûmakil to the Southrons. Even worse, in the eyes of the Taurethrim, was the havoc the Morwaith wreaked on the edges of the jungles. Wide swaths of land were deforested, as the Morwaith needed the wood from the jungles to send as tribute to the Southrons, and later to Mordor. The Taurethrim have effectively been in a state of war against the Morwaith and their Southron allies ever since.
The Taurethrim see Sauron as the ultimate reason that their great Empire fell, and as the root cause of all their suffering. For this reason, the Taurethrim are aligned against Mordor, and oppose any Haradrim allied with him to this very day. However, the struggles that the Taurethrim have endured have also given them a strong distrust of outsiders, and trust none other than themselves.
The Taurethrim now are rallying once more, tribe by tribe, as incursions of Morwaith hunting parties are becoming evermore common and are forcing the Men of the Jungle to band together once more. Whether they will become a force to be reckoned with in the South remains to be seen, though it is doubtful that they have the strength all told to resist Sauron for long, and it is even more doubtful that they would ally with any against him, much less any descendants of the Númenoreans.
On the Names and Languages of the Haradrim is a document published by the mod team which contains more information on the history and language of the Taurethrim, and other Haradric peoples; also on the way they are presented in the mod, and the approach to creating such non-canonical expanded material.
Isolated far south as they are, the Taurethrim are neutral with most factions. They are however enemies with the Morwaith and their allies Mordor, the Southrons, and the Half-trolls. Curiously enough, the Taurethrim are considered allies with the Ents of Fangorn forest.
Although warriors and blowgunners may be found patrolling their jungle's borders, the majority of the Taurethrim prefer to live only in secluded Jungle clearings.
- Taurethrim - The civilians of the Taurethrim. Ethnically, they are related to the Morwaith, but have reclaimed the name of the ancient Empire..
- Taurethrim Warrior - Taurethrim clad in Taurethrim Armour and wielding Taurethrim Equipment. They attack any enemies of the Taurethrim faction.
- Taurethrim Blowgunner - Skilled hunters, who wield poison darts and a blowgun.
- Taurethrim Shaman - Renowned healers and spiritual leaders, who sell marvelous potions.
- Taurethrim Farmer - Farmers that will trade with travelers, and hire out farmhands if their trust is earned.
- Taurethrim Farmhand - A farm worker that may be hired from Taurethrim Farmers.
Although this once mighty empire is now in decline, small villages and the remnants of great monuments can be found throughout the jungle.
- Taurethrim Village - A square cluster of buildings comprised primarily of Taurethrim Bricks and Mahogany wood, found exclusively in Jungle clearings. Each includes thirteen houses, four farms, four watchtowers, two mansions, one stilt house, one park and one temple. A Taurethrim village is the only places Taurethrim crafting tables, Taurethrim traders and Taurethrim chieftains can be found.
- Taurethrim Pyramid - Massive monuments built by the ancient empire in it's former glory. Although their treasure is great, these already very rare structures are defended by multiple layers of labyrinths, dart traps, a lake of lava, wraiths, and a banner.
- Taurethrim crafting table - Crafting tables used to craft all of the following.
- Taurethrim Banner - The banner of Taurethrim, depicting a golden Mumak and pyramid on a field of green.
- Taurethrim Blowgun and (poison optional) Taurethrim darts - Blowguns used by the unique Taurethrim blowgunners.
- Taurethrim Equipment - Pickaxes, axes, shovels, hoes, swords, axes, maces, spears and daggers, used by the Taurethrim warriors.
- Taurethrim Armour - The armour of the Taurethrim warriors and their Taurethrim chieftains.
- Taurethrim Gates - Extravagant gates of wood and gold.
- Taurethrim Torch - Tall torches made with two sticks and one piece of coal.
- Taurethrim Bricks - The building blocks used in Taurethrim villages and the great Taurethrim Pyramids. They come in three variants which are stone, obsidian and gold. They may be crafted into stairs, slabs, and walls. The stone variant may be made cracked or mossy.
- Taurethrim Dart Trap - Dangerous dart launchers disguised as normal bricks. Come in stone and gold variants.
|The Taurethrim of Far Harad|
Taurethrim (Banner Bearer, Blowgunner, Farmhand, Warrior)
The Deeps of the Earth: