Harad, Rhûn, Khand, and The Darkness

Hello people of the internet.

I wish to fill everyone in on what there is to know about the Humans of Harad, Rhûn and Khand from the Lord of the Rings and other Middle earth novels. I will do geography first, then genetics & culture, then linguistics, and lastly the motives and back story for them being Forces of Darkness

Geography

The only nationally sovereign term of these three setting names is Khand. The other two, Harad and Rhûn, are not exact nation names but rather are just the Sindarin words, or Nandorin Elvish words, for South and East respectively. Likewise, the Quenya words (Noldorin Elf words) for these are Romen = east and Hyarmen = south. Let me do a bullet point for each land’s geography.

  • Harad is described in the novels to be a very hot land of both deserts and jungles. The deserts are mainly Near or “North” Harad and the jungles are mainly Far or “South” Harad. Something to take note of is Umbar takes up much of the northwestern coasts of Harad. There is speculation about a “Great Forest of the South” where the Elephant-like Mûmakil, or Oliphaunts, are from.
  • Khand is suspected to be much like Rohan in its geography, which according to the novels implies that both Rohan and Khand are lands of lush pasture and tall grass. To assume that this gives Khand green grass, even though Near Harad was desert, does not make sense, but also keep in mind that there are other geographically possible grasses besides the green grass of Rohan, like in a Steppe [land too lush to be called desert but too dry to be called pasture]
  • Rhûn has a geography that is more detailed in the Silmarillion novel than in the Lord of the Rings ones. From what we can gather sticking to just the Third Age, the Lord of the Rings tells us that the inland Sea of Rhûn has some mountains as southwestern neighbors and a forest as a northeastern neighbor. However, in the Hobbit novel, we are given some idea what Rhûn geography might be like – Bilbo talks in the first act of the book about “East of East” and “The Last Desert”, but perhaps this refers metaphorically to the Gobi Desert of the real world’s Far East. Which leads us right into what Rhûn and Harad are supposed to be: Middle-earth’s Far East and Middle-earth’s Deep South, respectively.

One can say the Flora and Fauna [plant life and non-sapient animal life] of these three lands is similar to the Flora and Fauna of Africa’s north half as well as the Flora and Fauna of Asia’s west half. However, JRR Tolkien never clarified what kind of flora and fauna we should be imagining in Rhûn, Harad and Khand. That makes the biological geography of these lands a zone of nothing but speculation.

Genetics And Culture

As much as I love the pseudo-Aztec armored Moors and 24-Karat Ming Dynasty armored Turks of the gorgeous Peter Jackson film trilogy, we must acknowledge that the Haradrim and Easterlings (and even Variags of Khand) as JRR Tolkien wrote them are strictly based on North African Knights and West Asian Knights as were until the intorduction of gun powder: Fatimid Egypt, Seljuk Turkey, Ayyubid Egypt, Almoravid Morocco, Timurid Persia, Mamluk Egypt, Abbasid Arabia, and even 13th to 17th Century AD Mali. The black hair, olive skin, and brown [or black] eyes of these humans indicate a notably Afro-Asiatic DNA. The deep voices of these people is reflective of deep voices predominant in the Saharan and Middle Eastern sultanates of the Medieval world. Chariots and Elephants have been regular parts of Afro-Asiatic warfare from the start of the bronze age all the way to the time when mounted archery began to supplant both of these, around the classical age, and then mounted archery was the deadliest soldiery until the making of gun powder. Abbasid Arabians and Seljuk Turks were and are renowned for having outstanding horseback archers and superb other horse warriors. The Timurid Persians were the only Medieval Army still using Elephants to get their way on battlefields. Almoravid Moorish armies sometimes brought camels into battle as mounts, but on the other hand JRR Tolkien gave no indication whether the Haradrim used camels for steeds or not. Like the Easterlings, the Seljuk Turks also possessed a legion composition that was mainly “swordsmen, spearmen, bowmen upon horses”, but did not have the war chariots of the Easterling military. Many Middle Eastern and North African individuals average 5’9″ for height and 160 pounds for weight, and are slim. This can be connected metaphorically to the Haradrim, Easterlings and Variags having a description as “shorter than Numenoreans” [the Humans of Numenor stand 7 feet tall]. However, the oldest human of any nationality at all nowadays lives to be 100. Middle earth humans, like the Haradrim & Easterlings & Variags, live to be 80 at oldest, shorter than the 350 years lived by Numenor humans.

Language

The very first thing we learn about these people and how they talk is that they speak nothing of common speech, but they do speak. And this is reading the novels in the order they were published. When you stumble upon the Silmarillion, you notice the language of Harad, Rhûn and Khand being described as “similar to Dwarf-speech”. Looking at Dwarf Speech, Dwarvish or Khuzdul as it is officially known, leads one to notice a literary structure that mirrors the basic traits shared by all Afro-Asiatic languages like Hebrew, Arabic, Maltese, Yiddish and so forth. One of these is the lack of English P sounds. Another is the frequency of “Kh” having a slightly larger emphasis on the H than on the K. The most similar Human language in Middle earth to Dwarvish is Adûnaic, the language of Second Age Numenor. This makes it debatable whether the Haradrim, Easterlings, and Variags spoke Adûnaic during and after the reign of the bigoted Numenor King Ar-Pharazon, but this is me getting ahead of myself.

In the Third Age, the Men of Darkness [humans of the three nations this post focuses on] seem to have been speaking in deep voices with a language entirely alien to the Free Peoples. Could this language have been Black Speech? Yes, no, maybe so. Perhaps it would not be recognized by the Orcs and Uruk-hai of Mordor as black speech, perhaps it was an odd mix of Black speech and Adûnaic, but again this is once again something we can only speculate over. Contrary to Middle Earth Role Playing’s PDF lists of Haradrim and Easterling names, Arabic and Turkish cannot just be randomly thrown in as the official languages of Harad and Rhûn, there is just plenty of Middle-earth exclusive languages one could realistically claim shares words with… well, we will call it Eastron. However, the genetics of these people could easily give them real world Afro-Asiatic accents, but not real world Afro Asiatic languages.

To me, Eastron seems to combine words of Adûnaic, Black Speech, and Dwarvish during the Third Age and the post Ar-Pharazon parts of the Second Age. Eastron seems, at least to me, to be a good name for the Harad-Rhûn-Khand speech as Westron is the premier name for British English, or as its known in Middle earth Common speech. Granted, Eastron has a few words of its own. The word Inka means north, Nus means spy, and Mûmak means elephant while the suffix “il” is added for the plural Eastron word for elephant. Other than this, I can only assume based on the bond they share with Sauron they may have been speaking nothing but Black Speech during the Third Age.

Motives and Origins

The Haradrim, Easterlings, and Variags all have the following things in common concerning story and concerning character development:

  • All three were far from Rivendell Elf level of moral perfection, but all three were not of Mordor Orc barbarity either
  • All three were fiscally permissive social moderates with a free trade focused foreign policy and a cultural centrism to them, before Ar-Pharazon entered their politics
  • All three share one of the darkest, most depressing back stories in the history of Fantasy Fiction countries.
  • These three nations were of human beings who were treated horrifically by other humans pretending to be benefactors.

The Men of the East [as Harad shares many longitudes with Khand and Rhûn] started their relations with the Men of the West with peace, trade, and non-alliance friendship. There was a mutual respect between The West and The East. The East taught the West horsemanship, shooting from horseback, how to cook with exotic spices and how to make gold as tough as steel. Simultaneously, the West taught the East how to make actual Steel, how to turn tribes of themselves into satraps of a nation, the Adûnaic language, and how to makes architectural drafts and designs.

Unfortunately, this is where everything the West and the East did with each other began to go to eternal venom: King Ar-Pharazon didn’t want his subjects treating the Eastern World humans like humans, and wanted Numenor to treat them as pets to deny national sovereignty to instead. Once he did this, it resulted in Harad and Rhûn and Khand losing resources and losing their military. But then he decided, again out of bigotry, that to repress these people was not enough for him. He wanted his people to use these people for sacrificial ceremonies, among other, some far worse, things, thereby treating the Men of the East like objects. This lead the Men of the East to become a severely depressed people.

The Men of the East then ended up going to a Fortress in the Far East, surrounded by fire. They went to this fortress and told its owner everything, and even asked him for their national sovereignties back. But of course, this individual was the Dark Lord Sauron in one of his fairest forms. And it did not take long at all for Sauron to strike a deal with them they vastly approved of.

Feeling a dire need to change strategy, Sauron sought the End of Numenor’s bloodline through the Men of the East, and the Men of the East’s severe depression over Numenor’s descendants became something remarkably ferocious; Sauron was a way for them to seize back their three national sovereignties and to punish Gondor for it’s Second Age crimes, and they were a way for Sauron to make his side the numerically superior side of his fight with Free Peoples.

There is meaning behind Dark Men [men of darkness], there is meaning behind the interdependency the Dark Lord and the Dark Men have on each other in order to be successful with their goals. Sauron had taken not one but three nations that had become depressed tributaries and turned them into three strong militaristic power houses; meanwhile the Dark Men have given the Dark Lord the ability to set himself up as the numerically superior side of his fight with the Free Peoples.

And the Dark Men call themselves Dark Men, because the Darkness is who they needed to ally with in order to get the tools needed by them to return to national sovereignty.

Conclusion

If you made it all the way here to the end, congratulations! I applaud you for your willingness to read a highly mysterious trio of fictional cultures. Thank you very much,

~TLD

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A Musician for 45th President!

[Sighs]. I am done voting for actual politicians. Or at least I would like to be.

So, I have a scientifically inquired question: If a movie star can be a limited-government president that ends up standing up to and destroying tyranny, then maybe a music star can be such a kind of president as well.

Here’s a catch though: I do agree it would be nice to have a first female president for president #45, but one’s political views are far more important for political power than one’s gender. In fact, I do not see gender as being relevant to one’s political potential… at all. So don’t be offended if there is a female musician whose politics are similar to mine and you do not see her name here. Let me know who it is and what the common ground is AND what the differences are, please and thank you.

Now, here are my picks for musicians I would rather have for president than yet another politician:

  • David Draiman, hard rock musician who believes in Free Trade, real capitalism [as opposed to crony capitalism and as opposed to corporatism], personal freedom, supporting Israel against its Saharan and West & Central Asian enemies, and [at least based on what I can learn about him from Facebook and YouTube and Wikipedia] a zero-tolerance policy toward genocide.
  • Gene Simmons, classic rock musician who believes in personal freedom and economic freedom, but has a sort of emphasis on global affairs, from letting us know he is alive because we saved his mother from Nazi Germany to letting us know that issuing a policy about Israel’s borders without having been there makes about as much sense as making policies against the moon without having actually been there
  • Lady Gaga, a pop musician whose music & other works I never even think about on a personal level, but in philosophical terms has very permissive views on domestic things like culture and economy, and has openly condemned Iran and North Korea, along with expressing other views supportive of us being productive in the world.
  • Trey Parker, best known for South Park and Team America, but he is very great a writing music and in addition gets almost everything right in the political field, his views can easily be pegged as libertarian-minded, with a proactive foreign policy beliefs list.
  • Matt Stone, Parker’s best friend and is very mentally similar to Parker, only difference I am aware of is that while Stone is an Atheist, Parker appears to be a Deist, based on that he believes in a god but does not follow an organized religion. Not to mention, Parker and Stone find religion entertaining even though they, like me, also regard it as purely fictional.

Now, of all the above, I will be honest: I would choose Parker and Stone for respectively President and Vice President in a heartbeat. Why? Because they have exactly the political views and the general philosophical attitudes America needs in order to recover. If you look into the research into their religious and political views that exists, you notice they have the most mental qualifications of anyone. Though I will admit – It was Draiman who observed that “Nine in every ten politicians forget why they were elected”.

The Democrats are already sold on Hillary without even so much as a primary, but I am going to attempt to push for a Parker administration to happen for 45th Presidential administration. How? Cannot say – those are trade secrets!

Thank you all for reading my honest thoughts on the 2016 elections once more though,

~TLD

Fiscal Responsibility

Hello all.

I have a now two day old budgeting tactic and even bought folders from work yesterday to accommodate. I have decided I have had enough of my spending for the sake of spending and I am going to take action against it.

I am keeping the tactics trade secrets for now, but I think tonight is a great time [it’s 8 pm on friday may 15 at the time this post began being typed] to talk about how any government in general can be Fiscally Responsible.

Let’s start with bullet points:

  • A proper government saves its tax payment [insert plural name for whatever currency you want here] for en-masse funding of astrophysicist, herpetologist, ornithologist, paleontologist, and other sorts of scientist – instead of wasting it on random citizens who quite abundantly refuse to help anyone but themselves
  • A legit government keeps its military and other security forces very strong and more importantly [to me] extremely brilliant without infringing upon any domestic civil rights or any property rights for that matter [where are any of you on this one, ALL TOP THREE U.S. POLITICAL PARTIES!!].
  • A respectable government only has enough of an entertainment regulation budget (i.e. here in America only a big enough FCC) to require Miller Test style obscenity testing of any and every entertainment industry contribution to one’s nation
  • A thoughtful government has a Congress that has the money printing power as well as the war waging power whilst the president utterly lacks these powers. Therefore the thoughtful government does not have a national reserve system separate from Congress and owned (in any sense at all) by one’s president [referencing you Federal Reserve!]
  • An empathic government has the right sized budget of Police and other domestic security to keep police fully committed to using [mainly] nothing but Forensic Science to figure out who committed a violent crime and who committed a property crime. A Policing budget that has the police able to figure out who the perp was and deliver the right sort of justice for the person or property victimized by the crime, be the crime a violent one or a property one. And all of this without even remotely being secretive and suspicious of law-abiding and other empathic citizenry.

And that is a short list of examples I can think of for fiscally responsible government traits. Thank you for reading this,

~TLD

Khand and the Variags

Hello. Tonight (this post is here as of somewhere near midnight between May 7 and May 8 over here in the northeast US) I want to talk about a civilization of humans from Middle earth that was only sparingly included in the novels and never even mentioned in the movies. The fictional humans of this sort are the Variags of Khand.

It is recorded in the novels and therefore also at Tolkien Gateway that they are tall, ferocious and mainly axe-armed. And their fighting style is merely summed up as “a great wrath”.

However, if one reads about Khand, including the Tolkien Gateway article of Khand, it can be gathered that the Variags are mostly a horse riding people and Khand was similar to Rohan.

Now, let us examine Rohan according to the novels.

It is a third of the size of Gondor, which was 716,426 square miles. This means Rohan and Khand were both 238,809 square miles each. However, a quick look at the recent interactive map of middle earth that only works with Google Chrome will reveal that Khand is mostly beige where Rohan is mostly green. This means lands in Khand can be called “Seas of Sand”

And that is this entire post. I am serious, not much out there about Khand is canonical information. Thank you all,

~TLD

Attempting to Alter S.E.E.

So, what is SEE? Special Extended Edition [SEE] is a modification for the Windows Game known as Battle for Middle earth II. I will review the game and the mod separately later, but in the mean time lets just focus on what I want to do with a second copy on my drive of SEE (second because I want one for the legit SEE beta 4.5 and one to turn into my version of the mod)

Okay, what am I trying to do with this thing? I am trying to replace the Goblins faction [known in the mod as “Moria”] with a genuine Men of Darkness faction, that combines Haradrim units & buildings with Easterling units & buildings, all from the Lord of the Rings books, into one faction. I will even try to re-work the walls and fortress to look like the Angmar Fortress and Wall system from the game’s expansion pack, Rise of the Witch King. The difference is, I want the colors to be the colors of Easterling civilian buildings in the Rhun map. Or should I just re-skin the Moria Goblin Fortress to Easterling civilian building colors? If the latter than I might need to re-skin a copy and paste of the Isengard walls to look like Easterling walls, or I may have to do that with Mordor walls (which in the SEE mod beta 4.5 are based on the walls from the Dol Guldur map)

I also want to bring in Haradrim Horseman lancers, Hill Troll Pikemen and Hill Troll Trebuchets from Angmar but instead of letting the horseman lancers be Haradrim, I want to re-skin them to be Variags of Khand, a third sect of Men of Darkness known only from the Lord of the Rings books without whom there would be no LotR movies, or at least no near-perfect ones. I already prepared the Moria Fissure to be a Pen that is for the Hill Troll characters and for Monstrous Scorpion versions of the Spider characters the Fissure can already build. Granted, I am going to have to start this mod-patching of mine again from scratch when I get Windows 7 onto this Macbook I am typing this article from, but still… I think I should share progress I made at some point in time.

I am not revealing more than I have about this patch but… expect a fascinating gallery of what I’ve done some time before my nation’s 2016 elections (the US federal elections in November 2016). Thank you,

~TLD