Post news RSS The Cultures of Haradwaith

An article introducing the various cultures that are represented in Age of the Ring’s upcoming Haradwaith faction.

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The southern lands collectively known as Haradwaith were vast. Seemingly endless dry plains, scorching deserts, and dark jungles surrounded the many settlements, city-states, tribal territories and forgotten ruins that dotted its landscape.

The Men that inhabited this unforgiving landscape differed greatly from one place to the next, though all have been conquered to become part of the Golden King's army in service of Sauron, known in Haradwaith as Zigûr. This article explores the variety of Haradrim the player will encounter in Haradwaith, starting north and moving down southward.

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Harondor: A Land in Turmoil


Centuries of war and conflict between Gondorians and Haradrim have long left the lands of Harondor, bordering Gondor in the north and Near Harad in the south, deserted. In recent years, however, whispers have reached the Tower of Ecthelion of the rise of a fearsome warlord. Sûladan, they call him; the Serpent Lord. Sûladan has worked hard at brokering peace between the many warring Haradrim city-states of Near Harad, uniting them in common purpose: to resettle the lands of Harondor and exact vengeance upon the northern oppressor for the many transgressions committed against their ancestors - even at the cost of subjugating lesser tribes into his service, and pledging his sword to Zigûr...

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Umbar: Glory Unforgotten


When Thorongil sailed into the bay of Umbar and slew the Captain of the Havens and burned the Corsair fleet, he also dealt a grievous blow to the pride of the wavering Black Númenóreans of this once-great port city. Few true Black Númenóreans still remain in Umbar, but their race has not withered entirely: Câssimir, Lord of Umbar, and his brother, Corsair-lord Bûrodâpan, heirs to Herumor himself, still exert great power over the Haradrim living in Umbar and the lands beyond. Honoring the ways of their ancestors, both brothers renewed their dark allegiance to Zigûr upon learning of his return.

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Near Harad: Tribal Subjugation


A multitude of tribes dot the arid desert landscapes of Near Harad. For centuries, these people have been at war: either led by chieftains seeking to expand their power, or by greater forces pressing them into their service to field armies of conquest. The time of the War of the Ring is no different: warlords from Harondor, empowered by Zigûr himself, come bearing the Threat of Mordor to subjugate tribal Men and send them marching north - to a war they did not start, fighting an enemy they do not know.

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Mahûddin: Warriors of the Savanna


The Mahûddin tribes of Far Harad live north of the Nâfarat river, upon the endless savanna. For millennia they have honed their connection to the land, in particular to the greatest creature that roams it: the Mûmak. Their connection to this majestic animal runs deep: they rely upon them for sustenance, building materials, and ensuring dominance - those that can raise the greatest Mûmak host reign supreme without dispute. Recognizing their usefulness in the war to come, the Golden King sent forth Syar-Rhûl, the Black Vizier, to win influence over the greatest Mahûd warchiefs, poisoning their ancient culture into Zigûr’s service.

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Nafârati: Conquered Greatness


The lands traditionally known as Far Harad are bordered in the south by the course of the Nâfarat River, a long, deep river running from mysterious Eastern mountain ranges to the white beaches of the Western coast. Deep jungles crowd its shores on sides, amongst which has flourished the Nafârati culture. Caran-Lambar, the young warrior-chief of a prominent Nâfarati tribe, heard rumors of the return of an ancient menace amongst the ruins of Abrakhân, a haunted place in the Southern Reaches, far to the south of the Nâfarat. Brave and willing, he set out with a group of loyal companions... and would have been heralded as a great hero upon his glorious return, had he managed to best his dark foe.

However, the evil he went to investigate was that of the Golden King, and no amount of warrior-prowess could avail him when he walked into the whispering ruins of Abrakhân. His quest cut short, he and his brave companions were ensnared, tortured, and mutilated into great Troll-like brutes that had forgotten themselves and only served their dark lord. Then they were unleashed upon the Nâfarati and soon brought the former greatness of their people low, paving the way for the Golden King’s slow march north, subjugating all in the name of Zigûr, reminding them of whom they truly served.

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Southern Reaches: Ruins of Evil


Sauron began rebuilding his fortress of Barad-dûr in T.A. 2951. It was at this time that he first sent forth Hoarmurath, Third of the Nine, to the lands south of Mordor. The Haradrim owed him allegiance, Sauron felt, but he feared that his influence had lessened over the years. The Men of Harad needed to be reminded of their master and his dark will, and of the consequences of denying him his due tribute and veneration.

Hoarmurath had long ago been known as the Golden King - a monarch that had managed to attain great power over the many tribes and free-cities that lay scattered over the vast lands of Haradwaith, and whose cruelty had become a thing of ancient legend, amplified by his receiving of a Ring of Power. The center of Hoarmurath's kingdom had been the Golden City of Abrakhân: a vast metropolis of golden splendor, built on foundations of blood and suffering, located in the southernmost regions of Haradwaith - the Southern Reaches.

It is to Abrakhân that Hoarmurath first went. The city was a ruin: abandoned and forgotten, its precious stones and golden seams stripped from their bearings, then left alone for many centuries, slowly succumbing to the harsh winds and sands of the desert, which had grown fell and inhospitable over time. It was around this time that a mysterious Black Númenorean sorcerer known as Syâr-Rhul began to rise through Hoarmurath's dark ranks to become his chief personal advisor.

It is true that the Witch-king was the greatest of the Nine, the most capable in the dark arts, but Hoarmurath had spent long years studying in Sauron's scholomance, and had become fascinated with the art of corruption. To this end, he gathered about him both Men and beasts and set them captive in his dark pavilion. There he used fell Morgul magics to twist their natures, growing them into fell creatures that would serve him well in the wars to come.

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That’s it for this article. We will be going into further detail in later articles, exploring heroes, spells, and gameplay concepts. For now, we go back to work!

Yours,
The Age of the Ring Team

Comments
LookingFor
LookingFor

Middle-earth may now seem like a stereotypical fantasy world, with elves, dwarves and dragons, but it's amazing how vast and rich it actually is - once you delve deeper into the lore. Seems like the next version of AotR will really give us all of Middle-earth to play in.

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Rothnaric
Rothnaric

yes with those armored orangutans next we will get harpies and fairies from the yellow mountains as well as the goblins from gondor. Dol guldur was a step to far... but this seems like a leap to far, some things I like but some things make me wonder.

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MathijsRevora Author
MathijsRevora

Tolkien mentioned:
- Apes living in the dark forests of the South (ie. Far Harad)
- Sauron employing beasts in his armies
- Orcs knowing about apes
- Haradrim being expert beast-tamers (ie. Mûmakil)

Tolkien didn't literally mention Sauron employing great apes in his armies, but the groundwork is there. That's what we work within, filling in blanks with new, interesting things that don't contradict any text. Same goes for Dol Guldur. There's precious little in Dol Guldur that isn't inferred and extrapolated from Tolkien's text.

So wonder no more. This isn't about harpies and fairies.

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LoRdNazgu1
LoRdNazgu1

That's what people constantly misunderstand about Tolkien's Middle-Earth: there's only a blink of this world that has been shown in the books, because all of this has been made by just two individuals (J.R.R. and Christopher). They didn't have time to make atlases, bestiaries and many things that modern popular fantasy-worlds like Warhammer and TES have due to the fact that these worlds were made by a big group of people. So J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien used their time to create a very unique story and fill their world with depth that we are able to investigate. And that depth means that even if Tolkien only mentioned mumakil, wargs, ents. trolls, giant eagles and some more beasts that doesn't mean that no other creatures despite 10-20 mentioned by professor are living in Middle-Earth. So as long as your additions to Middle-Earth lore remain true to the spirit of professor Tolkien's idea, they have a right to exist, IMAO. And that's what AotR team have in their mod: they're always true to the spirit of Middle-Earth, in every addition (I'm not sure about Ragnar of Dunland though, but that's my personal taste.)

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MathijsRevora Author
MathijsRevora

I think of it like this: there are many strange, mysterious creatures and forces that occupy the north of Middle-earth which we know about because the story takes place there. Giant spiders, Tom Bombadil, Barrow-wights, the Watcher in the Water, Nameless Things, etc. But they exist because the nature of Middle-earth allows them to exist - there is no reason to assume this doesn't apply to other regions in Middle-earth, that there can be no strange and mysterious things elsewhere.

Tolkien himself alludes to the mysteries of Harad and Rhûn.

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Morannon
Morannon

Imagine if everything Tolkien wrote was complete, maybe there would be more about the Southern cultures what happened there etc etc. Anyway, who don't wanna assault Erebor with those big scorpions and Mumuks, with a whole army of Haradrims? And **** those don't like the monkey (In my case I didn't konw about its existance , in wich book or writing it is?)
In any case, it is a ******* monkey with an armour! Who the **** don't wanna use it??

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Rothnaric
Rothnaric

this is the first time, you spoke to my bad comments with no bad intention other than to educate me.... respect

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Watman92
Watman92

As far as I'm concerned anything mentioned by Tolkien in his works and Letters is Fair game.

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Emperor-of-the-East
Emperor-of-the-East

This awesome article made me into a better person! Well played!

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Easy96Man
Easy96Man

I don’t want to sound like a hater, but ... don’t you think this is too much? in terms of flight fantasy? You do a great job, campaign, architecture, units look better than any other mod. But I do not see UNIQUENESS, each faction (not in terms of visuals) but in terms of mechanics and abilities. Why make 3-5 types of shooters for dwarfs (conditionally) if they differ only in cost / damage / hp and appearance. I have not played for this faction yet, but I can already see the troll-monkey, bat-griffin.

If you criticize - suggest. Good. I see that you were inspired by Games Workshop in some aspects, why not make the far harad camel cavalry, which would be slower than normal, but the onslaught would be stronger and the fear debuff passive ability on all enemy cavalry units.
The second unit, arrows with blowpipes, which would inflict poisonous damage that would be removed only at the "fountain / oasis, etc." thereby forcing the wounded units to retreat.

That is, the concept of the uniqueness of each unit and faction, so that for each faction there is a unique experience and strategy. In your mod, I see the approach of Total War: Rise of Mordor, where there is tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, (for example, you can take gondor), but this concept is not suitable for bfme where matches take 10-15 minutes (on average).

Your work is forever on the pages of bfme history, but I would like to see not just textures / models, but mechanics and game design that would open the way to multiplayer. As an example, you can look at StarCraft / Warcraft / AoE, which have remained in the top strategies for decades, and it’s not about the number of factions and textures.

Regards, Ignar.

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MathijsRevora Author
MathijsRevora

I don't think it is too much and we will not change our plan/direction. If you don't see uniqueness and originality in our factions, our definitions of these terms are simply too far apart to have a conversation. That's all I have to say to this.

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Mr_Nygren
Mr_Nygren

Your factions sure do seem unique to me. I've never seen some of these units for Harad before.

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NewErr
NewErr

I think you overestimate what this engine can do. All your examples are related to other games which are rather irrelevant.

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DúnedainRanger
DúnedainRanger

There's unique mechanics in every faction that we've made and while there is overlap and some minor repetition, I do not feel that it detracts from the mod in the ways that you claim. This game is a buggy laggy mess filled with pathing issues, hard coded bugs, and mechanics that we are not able to fix with the modding tools we are provided (Definitely not in the ways more modern games are able to.) Also, trying to go further beyond what is already established in the game's gameplay loop immediately starts to show the game's limitations and makes the likelihood of crashing even higher. We all know already how plagued mods are with this problem. I do not see the need to add over-the-top mechanics to a game that is already bursting at its seams when it's not necessary to do so. And here's the other thing, we have mechanics exactly like what you speak of in the mod already. The spiders in Dol Guldur already have the function you explain in your comment about camel riders. Following that design, would that not immediately make camel riders repetitive by your own words? Anyways, there's plenty of people who enjoy playing multiplayer in AotR as it is and we try as best as we can to offer them not only a balanced experience but one that is actually enjoyable, nice to look at, and one that strives to live in the spirit of Tolkien. I think it is completely fair to say that we have succeeded in doing that and continue to do so. You can disagree and that's fine, but this is our project and while we strive to make a mod that others will like, we want to enjoy it too. We are happy with what Age of the Ring has come to be and see no need to change it now especially seeing how close we finally are to the end.

Also want to make extra special sad note that camels will not be happening. We want them as much if not more than ya'll do, but we do not have animations that are to our standard nor do we want to try and make them when we already have suitable cavalry in Harad that we are happy with. Please stop asking for camels pls and thnx, we already have enough to do.

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rbmaia05
rbmaia05

Why would they take camels for their war in the north, sweetie?

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WillTheFirst
WillTheFirst

Awesome as always, lads - really looking forward to the release!

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rohirim07
rohirim07

Out of curiosity, a fascination of mine when it came to harad and the lands that encompass it reference a city of the dead called Karna (at least when playing the games workshop tabletop), was there any interest in Karna regarding the faction? As said Im just curious, I love your guys work and I've been holding off on redownloading AotR until harads release, im really looking forward to it!

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CaptainCorrigan
CaptainCorrigan

Kârna will be represented in Haradwaith by the Warriors of Kârna, which aren't shown in this article.

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ugurcan0123
ugurcan0123

This is sad post.Last race to add in to the mod.

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vikingman369
vikingman369

i'm guessing those giant Rocs are what the fell beasts were corrupted from?

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MathijsRevora Author
MathijsRevora

Those are vultures - they're giant, but not so giant as Rocs! There is the Aicanaroc, though...

As to the origin of Fellbeasts - maybe!

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Athentar
Athentar

You guys are making it real hard for me to pick a favorite faction. First you made Rivendell into Eriador, then Dol Guldur came out, then Isengard had a rework and now Haradwaith. this is all too good!

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treefoz
treefoz

As a fan/player of the GW game and its lore, I'm really impressed with how you took some of it and flipped it right on its head. Nafarat for example, appears in GW stuff as a desert. You turned it into a river and made a jungle-esque culture out of it. Well done. I've been looking forward to this faction for a long time. I've been needing a good Gondor v Harad battle or several.

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Guest
Guest

cant wait to play with this faction at glorious 15 fps! Thank you guys ! =)

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rbmaia05
rbmaia05

This is another masterpiece from the AOTR team, I really love how it's all piecing together and I'm sure it's gonna feel great along Dol Guldur, new Isengard and still my fave (but maybe until 8.0) Mirkwood. Can't wait to see more of the heroes.

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felipebriones
felipebriones

creo que la versión 7.1 es muy buena...pero viendo lo q piensan los creadores de los mod (5,4,6 y7) llevándolo al mismo juego, creo q tiene un poco de todo, como de los libros ,películas e imaginación, pero una cosa q creo q seria interesante agregar... seria; la casa de los elfos del reino del bosque, así como se hizo con tanto detalle dol guldor o gundabad..creo q se merece la casa de los elfos del reino del bosque, seria bueno q siguiera apareciendo azog, ya que en la versión 7.1 ya no esta, el otro q extraño es a bolg(el personaje de la película), seria bueno q hicieran aparte a los trasgos, como una facción diferente , bajar un poco los putos de mando de las unidades para así tener mas, ya que en comparación a los orcos ellos pueden tener mas tropas en comparación a los elfos o hombre(me refiero a las unidades elite, igual seria divertido hacer mas 2 de unidades de soldados especiales de cada facción, como por ejemplo, los Veteranos de la Última Alianza) y por ultimo con esto la romperíanagregando a fingolfin, gil galad,isyldur, eres antiguos... elfos de lindon(como faccion), elfos de noldor(como facción), angmar, arnor,enanos de moria(como facción)..entre otros, por ultimo hacer un menú que diga, jugar con facción antiguas, de la segunda edad, algo así, ahí seria mas q bueno el juego, saludos y felicidades por su trabajo, vean a kay47(como para datos).

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felipebriones
felipebriones

continuanodo, creo q no se lee... seria bueno q hicieran aparte a los trasgos, como una facción diferente , bajar un poco los putos de mando de las unidades para así tener mas, ya que en comparación a los orcos ellos pueden tener mas tropas en comparación a los elfos o hombre(me refiero a las unidades elite, igual seria divertido hacer mas 2 de unidades de soldados especiales de cada facción, como por ejemplo, los Veteranos de la Última Alianza) y por ultimo con esto la romperían agregando a fingolfin, gil galad,isyldur, héroes antiguos... elfos de lindon(como faccion), elfos de noldor(como facción), angmar, arnor,enanos de moria(como facción)..entre otros, por ultimo hacer un menú que diga, jugar con facción antiguas, de la segunda edad, algo así, ahí seria mas q bueno el juego, saludos y felicidades por su trabajo, vean a kay47(como para datos).

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MathijsRevora Author
MathijsRevora

Friend, can you try again in English?

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felipebriones
felipebriones

lo traduciré
ojala lo realicen porque si tiene eso el juego...seria mucho mejor q ahora, además piensen q saldrá la serie de amazon

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felipebriones
felipebriones

listo amigo, ahí lo traduje

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felipebriones
felipebriones

I think version 7.1 is very good ... but seeing what the creators of the mods think (5,4,6 and 7) taking it to the same game, I think it has a bit of everything, such as books, movies and imagination , but one thing that I think would be interesting to add ... would be; the house of the elves of the forest kingdom, as well as dol guldor or gundabad was made with so much detail .. I think the house of the elves of the forest kingdom deserves, it would be good if azog would continue to appear, since in version 7.1 He is gone, the other strange thing is Bolg (the character in the movie), it would be good if they made the goblins apart, as a different faction, lower the ******* command of the units a bit in order to have more, since Compared to orcs they can have more troops compared to elves or men (I mean elite units, it would still be fun to make more than 2 units of special soldiers from each faction, such as the Veterans of the Last Alliance ) and finally with this I would break it, adding fingolfin, gil galad, isyldur, you are ancient ... lindon elves (as a faction), noldor elves (as a faction), angmar, arnor, moria dwarves (as a faction) .. among others, finally make a menu that says, play with old factions, according to It gives age, something like that, there would be more than good the game, greetings and congratulations for your work, see kay47 (as for data).

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CaptainCorrigan
CaptainCorrigan

Glad to hear you're enjoying AotR 7.1! We have no plans on adding Azog or movie Bolg back to the mod. Fingolfin, Gil-galad and Isildur all appear in some form in the mod already; they won't be added as recruitable heroes though because of the mod is set in the late Third Age. Haradwaith will be the final faction added to AotR - we can't add any more factions, even if we wanted to (which we do not!)

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felipebriones
felipebriones

What a shame because it would be fun..Now I would like to know why not adding more factions or another age, does the game limit them? or do you need other things? ... now what I mentioned was because a new series will be released, to be made by amazon ... then I thought you had some idea something like that, it could have helped you, but after the denial of not adding things Regarding the movie or the same book, it left me a little sad because the game looks good, it is very good ... now my proposal perhaps was not to apply everything in the same mod, but to do another one with the second age, and there add the factions of lindon, angmar, noldor, arnor .. the heroes gil-galad, fingolfin, gildor, oropher, Arathorn, Gilraen and even King Finrod Felagund of Nargothrond characters of the first age, I hope he takes a chance on this ..but well it's your decision, thank you very much for your good work, a hug!
anything I can help you.

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MathijsRevora Author
MathijsRevora

Because we are people with other goals in life beyond modding this game for another 10 years. We started this project with a finish line in mind, and we're not going to keep extending it. We want to be done and move onto other things in life.

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Symonius
Symonius

This REALLY honor you.
All of you made a wonderful work and even though life must have struck upon your head many times you kept it up till the end.
Not only for the great skill (both in arts and code), not only for the creativity used to create amazing concepts between the "few" words of Tolkien, but also for the steadiness which brought you till here non stop.
My friends, you bow to no one.

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felipebriones
felipebriones

What a shame because it would be fun..Now I would like to know why not adding more factions or another age, does the game limit them? or do you need other things? ... now what I mentioned was because a new series will be released, to be made by amazon ... then I thought you had some idea something like that, it could have helped you, but after the denial of not adding things Regarding the movie or the same book, it left me a little sad because the game looks good, it is very good ... now my proposal perhaps was not to apply everything in the same mod, but to do another one with the second age, and there add the factions of lindon, angmar, noldor, arnor .. the heroes gil-galad, fingolfin, gildor, oropher, Arathorn, Gilraen and even King Finrod Felagund of Nargothrond characters of the first age, I hope he takes a chance on this ..but well it's your decision, thank you very much for your good work, a hug!
anything I can help you.

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Guest
Guest

Just out of curiosity do you guys have any kind of release date? Super looking forward to this one, the mumakil have always been super cool to me and the play style of these guys seems right up my ally

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apollojack
apollojack

I don't care if some units are not in the books, the developers are great fans of Tolkien's work, I trust them. After all, the campaign already proved that this mod is lore accurate. Big Monke vs Troll is coming to BFME and it will be epic. Love the Black Numenoreans btw

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