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In Middle-Earth, there are many factions that are familiar to the average player. Gondor, Mordor, and Isengard are all familiar names; yet little is known about many others. Have you ever wanted to know the origins of the Half-Trolls of Pertorogwaith? Are you interested in the rise and fall of the ancient Taurethrim Empire? And what about the Golden Easterlings of Rhúdel? If so, you have come to the right place. The history of those unfamiliar to most inhabitants of Middle-Earth are soon to be revealed.

The Lost Chronicles were started by a group of moderators and Wiki staff (including Mevans, Boyd, Karseius, Grievous, Noah, and Gruk) in an attempt to flesh out and bring more attention to the lesser-known and mod-created factions of Middle-Earth. They are currently a work in progress.

Please note that none of these are official Tolkien canon, but should be considered official backstory in the mod itself.

Harad

The Half-Trolls of Pertorogwaith

In SA 1701, Sauron lost the War of the Elves and Sauron, and was forced to retreat to Mordor. His defeat made it clear for him had he had to improve his armies of Morgul-Spawn. The Elves and Men knew about Orcs, Uruks and Trolls, so in 1702 he left Mordor in secret and went south until he reached the great volcanic island today known as Tol Torog. Sauron intended to create a new kind of Morgul-spawn, stronger than Uruks and as intelligent as men to fill his ranks and lead the armies of Mordor to victory.

It is unknown how Sauron bred these creatures, but the results were impressive: Monsters twice the size of men and four times as strong were created, ready to follow their master into battle. Yet, Sauron had not reached his goal. These “Half-trolls” turned out not to posses the intelligence Sauron had hoped for, and were less intelligent than Orcs and Uruks. The biggest setback for Sauron, however, was the slow breeding rate of these creatures. It would have taken Sauron centuries to assemble an army of Half-trolls and lead them northwards - time he did not have. So he abandoned his creation. 

After Sauron left Tol Torog, the Half­-trolls started slowly but steadily to breed and multiply  Although only few in numbers, the Half-trolls slowly took control of Tol Torog and even expanded south, into the lands called Pertorogwaith. Their massive strength and size allowed them to evict the native Far Haradrim from the lands, and all fled before them in terror. 

With no opposition, the Half-trolls were allowed to breed in their dark lands and flourished. During the next hundreds and even thousands of years, the Half-troll population grew, and they terrorized the neighbouring Far Haradrim tribes. The Half­-trolls organized themselves in simple chiefdoms, and conducted raids into the savannahs and forests of Far Harad. The eastern tribes of the Morwaith suffered most under the Half­-troll attacks. They were not only driven out of Pertorogwaith - whole villages neighbouring these lands were destroyed by the Half-trolls, and their inhabitants devoured. The Morwaith would continue to fear them, and called them the “Grey Demons”. Other tribes did suffer as well, although significantly less then the Morwaith. The Taurethrim city of Kimen Kaah was razed by an army of Half-trolls, the Limwaith lost many villages, and the Cerinrim in the Bushlands constantly fought the Grey Demons. Of them, only the Cerinrim put up a fight: they hated the Half-trolls more than anything, and to bring the head of one to a Cerinrim chieftain was considered a great feat within the tribes. 

The Half-­trolls terrorized eastern Far Harad until the late Third Age. Upon his return to Mordor, Sauron remembered his long-abandoned creations and send envoys from Near Harad to call his creatures to his aid. When they reached Pertorogwaith they found that finally, after so many years, the Half­-troll population had grown into an army ready to serve Sauron in his conquest of the west. The Half-trolls quickly made an alliance with Mordor and the Southrons, and made peace with the Morwaith. Now, they are ready for war, and soon will march on Gondor under the banner of the Red Eye... 

The Morwaith of the Great Plains

The Morwaith are descendants of the second tribe of Haradrim, which we now call the “Plains Peoples”. These tribes split from the “Forest Peoples” (the ancestors of the Taurethrim and Limwaith) and the “Desert Peoples” (the ancestors of the Southrons of Near Harad) in the First Age and settled the Great Plains of Far Harad. The Plains People settled the wide savannas and bushlands and diverged over the centuries, forming the two distinct groups of tribes: the Morwaith and Cernrinim.

The Morwaith are a remarkable tribe, since they kept many of the customs and traits of their ancestors. Having a small population, the Morwaith nevertheless settled a giant area covering all the savannas of Far Harad, which contributed to their relative isolated lifestyle. Typically, the Morwaith of yore (and also of the present) lived in small village communities ruled by chieftains, who often competed for power with neighboring tribes.

Traveling from one Morwaith village to another is a dangerous quest, due to the many predatory animals in the savannahs and the long distances between them. Therefore, contact among the Morwaith themselves was limited. The Morwaith never developed a centralized form of government, but instead remained in their tribal communities, which makes the tracking of their history a complicated matter. Morwaith History in the Second Age and onwards can best be observed from a geographical viewpoint.

The Northern Morwaith of the Arid Savannahs developed close ties to their Southron neighbors in Near Harad from very early on. Morwaith Hunters sold exotic goods like lion fur and rhino horns to the Southron merchants, while the merchants in return provided weapons. Besides being trading partners, the Northern Morwaith became famous over the centuries in Near Harad as reliable and brave mercenaries. It is said that, prior to her departure for Gondor, Queen Berúthiel of Harad maintained a personal guard of Morwaith Warriors from the Arid Savannah. It is rumored that these Warriors were a gift from a powerful Morwaith chieftain to the south, one of many of her lovers. Morwaith Warriors particularly earned their fame during the siege of Umbar in TA 1015, when a Morwaith mercenary slew the fourteenth King of Gondor, Ciryandil. Yet in the end neither Southron nor Morwaith forces were able to stop the Gondorian invasions of Near Harad, which was completed by King Hyarmendacil in TA 1050. After his victory Hyarmendacil send envoys to the northern Morwaith tribes to establish tributary relations with the warriors who bravely opposed him and his ancestors. These envoys were always violently rebuffed.

Still, Gondor’s hold on Near Harad weakened significantly over the following centuries, and the Southrons managed to drive the Gondorian forces further and further north. They often relied on Morwaith mercenaries in the early years of reconquest. During the late Third Age, the northern Morwaith were to some extend involved in the Southron advances north. After Sauron returned to Mordor, the northern Morwaith followed their Southron allies and joined his forces. Now, they rally for war on the Dark Lord’s part, and the coming war may see many more brave deeds of the Morwaith Merceneries.

The Morwaith of the east settled around the Great Lakes of Far Harad, as far as the lands today known as Pertorogwaith. The Eastern Morwaith lived in isolation from their kin and any other Haradrim tribes until around SA 1800, when monstrous creatures known as Half-Trolls started raiding the mainland from Tol Torog. During the next two hundred years, the Half-Trolls raged through the lands east of the Seregduin. The local Morwaith fell victim to the Half-Trolls, who were known to devour captives whole. The Morwaith named those creatures “Grey Demons” and fled in masses westwards, crossing the Seregduin. 

Around SA 2130, the Eastern Morwaith became subjects of the newly founded Taurethrim Empire of Kimen Kaah. The city-state was founded by Taurethrim refugees fleeing the chaos of the Jungles after the fall of their Empire centuries earlier. The rulers of Kimen Kaah promised the local Morwaith protection against the Half-Trolls in exchange for their service, which the Morwaith accepted. Yet in the end the Taurethrim did not follow their end of the promise, and in SA 2161 the city fell to the invading Half-Troll hordes. 

In complete desperation, the Eastern Morwaith united their small forces and through luck were able to drive back the Half-Trolls to the lands east of the Seregduin. Infighting between the Half-Trolls enabled the Morwaith to strike back. At around SA 2200 the eastern Morwaith allied with nearby Limwaith tribes to secure the Seregduin river and stifle Half-Troll attacks as much as possible, yet occasional but brutal Half-Troll raids could not be prevented. This situation continued deep into the Third Age. 

In the late Third Age, Half-Troll attacks intensified extremely for no known reason. The Half-Trolls seemed to have become more organized than ever before, and threatened the lands settled by the eastern Morwaith. But around the time of Sauron’s return to Mordor, the Dark Lord send out envoys to the chieftains of the Eastern Morwaith, with the promise to free them of their Half-Troll enemies in exchange for their service. The desperate Morwaith accepted, and suddenly all Half-Troll attacks stopped. The gracious Morwaith then prepared to join Sauron in his quest to conquer Gondor. Without the knowledge that their savior was responsible for their suffering all along, the Eastern Morwaith have joined their northern brethren, and will soon march north to war.

The Southern Morwaith settled the fertile lands along the mighty Haraduin and the Savannahs south of the great Jungle. They relied more on agriculture than their neighboring kin, yet sometimes went deep into the Jungles to hunt as well. With the rise of the Taurethrim Empire in the Second Age, the Morwaith fell under the influence of the jungle warriors, who conquered the lands along the Haraduin around SA 1200. The Taurethrim High King Matlal imposed his strict rule on the southern Morwaith, who were forced to grow corn and yams to feed to ever-expanding Empire. During the Taurethrim rule the Southern Morwaith suffered enormously. Taurethrim High Kings and nobles were known to treat them like slaves. Although a few Morwaith rose to prominence as warriors in the Taurethrim Empire, most Morwaith had to endure severe hardships, as the Taurethrim High Kings enforced high tribute payments and forced labor. Many Morwaith tribes rebelled against their Taurethrim overlords several times, yet with no success, as Taurethrim civilization proved to be too powerful. The last resisting southern Morwaith tribes were subjugated around SA 1600, thus securing Taurethrim hegemony for another 100 years.

But in SA 1700, a young boy became the High King of the Taurethrim Empire after the sudden death of his father. He quickly fell under the influence of Sauron, and he accepted one of the Nine Rings of Power. He was a sadistic ruler, who left the Empire in ruins. He bled his own people for his amusement, which at around SA 1850 led to the downfall of the Empire after his disappearance. The Southern Morwaith used this opportunity to regain their freedom, and even take revenge for hundreds of years of torment. As the once-mighty Taurethrim Empire collapsed into many petty chiefdoms and princedoms, the Morwaith flooded the northern Jungles with their warriors, establishing many Jungle chiefdoms of their own. Over the next hundred years, one by one the true Taurethrim realms fell victim to the Morwaith invaders, until almost all of the Jungle was ruled by Morwaith chieftains. Yet the influence of Taurethrim culture started to show. As invading Morwaith and Taurethrim merged more and more, so did their cultures. Many Morwaith rulers started slowly to adopt ancient Taurethrim traditions, seeking legitimacy in the history of the fallen Empire. Over time, all the peoples of the Jungle started to again call themselves Taurethrim, although the people inhabiting these lands were not anymore.

Those of the Southern Morwaith that remained in the plains hated the new Taurethrim, and many southern tribes have dedicated themselves to finishing what their ancestors started. Now Morwaith raids in the Jungle have begun once more, as the Taurethrim and Morwaith clash in a battle of ancient hatred.

Of the final Morwaith group little is said. These were the Western Morwaith, and dwelt in a narrow strip of savannah west of the Mountains of Harad. It is likely that these came under the dominion of the Númenoréans from early on, as the Men of the West formed colonies on the western coasts of Harad. However, these colonies quickly fell to evil, and the Black Númenoréans used the Western Morwaith as soldiers and slaves. Throughout the Third Age the various Black Númenoréan colonies collapsed, with the remaining Men of the West opting to move to Mordor and Umbar. However, dominion over the western Morwaith was retained by Umbar, who also enslaved the Western Morwaith. Few of those now remain.

The Taurethrim of the Jungles

Origins

The Taurethrim we know today are descendants of the third tribe of Haradrim, called the “Forest Peoples”. These people split from the “Plain Peoples” (the ancestors of the Morwaith and Cernrinim) and the “Desert Peoples” (the ancestors of the Southrons of Near Harad) in the First Age, and settled the many swamps and forests of Far Harad. It is thought that the Forest People settled at first around Lake Chuna. In the late First Age and early Second Age, the Forest People declined for unknown reasons, and wandered south and settled the Jungle and Mangroves of Harad. Generation after generation, the Forest People diverged, until they formed two distinct tribes: the Taurethrim of the Jungles and the Limwaith of the Mangroves.

Early History

In their early days the Taurethrim lived in small and isolated villages, not much different than their Far Haradrim kin. Living in the unusual Jungles of the South, the Taurethrim began to change and diverge from the path of their mangrove-dwelling kin. They slowly started to unite under the rule of one High King, who would ruler over all the Jungles. Centuries passed, and the Taurethrim had become a powerful Kingdom in the south.

The Taurethrim made their first contacts with the Númenóreans around SA 800. Not much is known about the nature of these contacts, but it is believed that Númenórean sailors engaged in trade with the Taurethrim and sought for exotic goods in exchange for knowledge. It is believed that the Taurethrim cities that emerged in the following centuries were only possible through this.

Taurethrim Empire

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, a Taurethrim High King called Tlazopili decided that it was time for his people to expand their realm.

His first target were the Limwaith inhabiting the Mangroves to the east. Although being close relatives, the Taurethrim looked down on the Limwaith, and considered them primitive, inferior and subjects by their very nature. The Taurethrim army had no great difficulties in subduing the poorly-organized Limwaith warriors, and claimed all the Mangroves as part of their empire, reducing the Limwaith to servants. The Limwaith, under Taurethrim rule, would experience centuries of oppression, several attempts to exterminate their culture and attempts to assimilate them into the Taurethrim way of life, until the Fall of the Empire.

The sons of Tlazopili continued his wars, and targeted the Morwaith tribes living along the mighty Haraduin river. In the past, small Morwaith raids against Taurethrim border villages had been not uncommon, but the Taurethrim High Kings had not bothered to intervene. This now changed, and Taurethrim forces attacked the Morwaith tribes surrounding the Jungles. Most of conquered tribes were forced into vassalhood, and were forced 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. 

In the year 1311, the warlike and greedy High King Necalli was assassinated, and a period of peace reigned in the empire. The new dynasty was kind to the poor and gave them services in return for their taxes. But over time, the descendants of Necalli grew in strength. They started a cult devoted to the worship of their creator god Uz-Belehu, and in SA 1522 retook the throne. Their reign was bloody but they grew in power, building great temples and reinvigorating the tradition of human sacrifice. 

The Taurethrim Empire reached its zenith in the middle of the Second Age, around SA 1700. The influence of the Taurethrim had then grown far outside the Jungle. With many Morwaith and Limwaith tribes paying annual tributes to the High Kings of Tuunich Kaah, their wealth and influence grew. During this time the Taurethrim built many great monuments for their gods and kings with the slave labour of their conquered neighbors. It is unknown how many Morwaith were killed in the construction of the once-great monuments of the Jungle Kings, but the number is sure to be frightening.

Downfall

But around 1750 of the Second Age, the High King died under a black sickness that none could treat him for - which some claim to have come out of Mordor, though nothing can be ascertained. In the wake of his father's death a young boy ascended the throne, by the name of Cozahuic, the Golden One. Mere weeks after his coronation Sauron himself arrived at Tuunich Kaah. There he offered his advice and protection to Cozahuic, in exchange for an alliance and a share in the wealth of the Taurethrim Empire. Cozahuic accepted, and from that day forth a madness took him, and 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 a sadistic ruler, and bled his own people for amusement, and in after-days was called Cozahuic the Despised. How this was done can never be confirmed as a certainty. Some say he was ensnared, as Ar-Pharazon of Númenor was. Other claim some fell magic of Mordor was to blame. Yet many say that at this first meeting Sauron gave Cozahuic a Ring as a token of friendship. 

Years past and the rule of Cozahuic was very promising. The Empire flourished, and the Taurethrim were without question the rulers of Far Harad. Whatever power Sauron had put over him quickly showed itself. He was able to lead his armies like none before, earning stunning victories against all that opposed him. Yet even so, it began to twist his mind.

Cozahuic’s bloodlust evolved into outright brutality. Once he had killed thousands of the Limwaith, Morwaith and Cerninrim around the Empire, he started bleeding his own people. Mighty Taurethrim families were killed when he felt they threatened his rule. People were executed 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, Cozahuic 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, Cozahuic disappeared without a trace.

Cozahuic the Despised left only a shadow of the former Taurethrim Empire, for which Sauron saw no use anymore. He had massacred his own people for entertainment, and with his disappearance the Taurethrim were left without a ruler, for Cozahuic left no children, as he had killed his only son in a blood-rage. The Taurethrim Empire descended into chaos. A long and bloody war broke out, in which petty Chieftains and self-declared Kings struggled for power while further massacring their own people and bringing their culture to near-death. Simultaneously, Far Haradrim tribes once under the rule of the Taurethrim took the opportunity to gain 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 Ya’ax Kaah, destroying the Taurethrim Empire forever.

The migration of great numbers of Morwaith into the jungles led to the loss of the Taurethrim language. 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 language died out, save for a few words of half-recalled origin, and the ruined cities lost their mighty titles and were called by their names in the vulgar speech. dialect, similar to to the Morwaith tongue with mere traces of their ancestors’ speech. The old names were forgotten. The only remaining hints at the Taurethrim language were the names of the great cities, which now lay in ruins. Yet the influence of Taurethrim culture was not totally destroyed. As the invading Morwaith and remaining Taurethrim merged more and more, so did their cultures. Many Morwaith rulers started slowly to adopt ancient Taurethrim traditions, seeking legitimacy in the history of the fallen Empire. Over time, all the peoples of the Jungle started to again call themselves Taurethrim, although the people inhabiting these lands were not anymore.

The Empire of Kimen Kaah

Seeing that the Jungle had not brought the Taurethrim any fortune in the past centuries of war, the Chieftain Acalan, 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, known back then as Kimen Kaah, in the Far Harad Forest. It was the first time since the fall of the Taurethrim Empire that they 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. Acalan's dream had come true, and after his death in SA 2153 his son Ixbalnake ascended the throne of Kimen Kaah. Only four years after the beginning of his reign, the city started to face a new threat. This was not Morwaith raiding parties or rival Taurethrim chieftains, but creatures inhuman and terrible. The Taurethrim called them the “Grey Demons”, but they were known elsewhere as Half-Trolls. These creatures had massacred any Morwaith tribes living in the lands that became Pertorgowaith, and were beginning to raid further and further westwards. The attacks of these Grey Demons intensified over the next years, until finally, in SA 2161, the mighty city of Kimen Kaah fell to the Half-Trolls. This marked the end of Taurethrim settlements in the Far Harad Forest, as well as the end of the pureblooded Taurethrim kingdoms. Most of the Taurethrim of Kimen Kaah were killed, and the few which remained fled south to the Jungles. The river at which Kimen Kaah was built was since known as Seregduin, the Blood River, which turned red during the massacre.

Aftermath to Today

The situation in the Jungles started to finally improve in the early Third Age. Centuries of war, migration and chaos had led to the irreversible change of the Jungle people, 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.

The Taurethrim began to live in much greater isolation than before. They rarely ventured outside the Jungles, and intruders in their forests were more often than not greeted by blowgun-darts and daggers. Living in relative peace, the Taurethrim were regularly disturbed by Southern Morwaith tribes, who send their warriors into the Jungles to capture Mumakil, creatures considered to be holy beings by the Taurethrim.

The tension between the Morwaith and the Taurethrim reached a new height when, around TA 2500, the Morwaith started to increase their hunts for Mumakil, and started chopping wood in the Jungle to send to Near Harad - and later Mordor - as tribute.

The Taurethrim see Sauron as the ultimate reason why their great Empire fell and as the root cause of all their suffering. For this reason, the Taurethrim oppose any Haradrim allied with him to this very day; however, it has also given them a strong distrust of outsiders, and trust none other than themselves.

Religion and Culture

Not much is known about the Taurethrim's religion and culture. Only few tales survived the Fall of their Empire, including the creation myth of the Jungle: they tell of a colossal pillar of fire, which one day shattered and blanketed the earth in ash. From this ash came life, and this life grew and spread across a large swath of land. Some suspect this to refer to the destruction of the Lamps of the Valar - yet how would they know about these events?

The Taurethrim worships mysterious gods, which demand regular blood sacrifices. The only Jungle god known to the early Númenórean sailors was the goddess Uza-Mumaathu, who appeared as a Mumak and guarded the Jungle against evil spirits.

The Taurethrim language today is related to those of the Morwaith and Cerinrim, with mixes of the Low Taurethrim language (which was spoken by the poorer classes, and said to have been the tongue of the very first inhabitants of the jungles). The ancient Taurethrim language, which was closer to the Limwaith language, was lost after the Fall of the Taurethrim Empire, with all that remains in the daily speech a few words of half-remembered origin. The last speakers of this language or at least fragments of it are the shamans said to live in the mysterious city of Mumakaah in the deepest part of the Jungle, which is avoided even by most Taurethrim. It is said in whispered rumor that alone of all the Taurethrim cities Mumakaah, the most remote, was never destroyed, though it was abandoned for centuries.

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