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.
The ancient Taurethrim were descendants of the third major tribe of the Haradrim, called the “Forest Peoples”. These people split from the “Plain Peoples” (the ancestors of the Morwaith and Cerinrim) 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 Chunha. 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.
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.
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. This animosity was greatly expanded by the fact that the father of Tlazopili had been slain by a raiding party of the fisherfolk. 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-Bele'u, 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 Tunich Kâh, 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.
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 Kozawik, the Golden One. Mere weeks after his coronation Sauron himself arrived at Tunich Kâh. There he offered his advice and protection to Kozawik, in exchange for an alliance and a share in the wealth of the Taurethrim Empire. Kozawik 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 Kozawik 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 Kozawik a Ring as a token of friendship.
Years past and 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 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.
Kozawik’s bloodlust evolved into outright brutality. Once he had killed thousands of the Limwaith, Morwaith and Cerinrim 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, 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 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 Kozawik 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 Kâh, 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 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.
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 Kâh, 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 Kâh. 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 Kâh 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 Kâh were killed, and the few which remained fled south to the Jungles. The river at which Kimen Kâh was built was since known as Seregduin, the Blood River, which turned red during the massacre.
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 Mûmakil, 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 Mûmakil, 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.
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.
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: