The Sultanate of Raj is a powerful nation located in the Cloud Forests of Far Harad, known as a center of trade between the north and the south and having a unique culture that remains unstudied by even the great explorers of Gondor..
The Rajians have had a long history, beginning with the rise of the Everlasting Sun Empire in the First Age. The Everlasting Sun Empire was founded by the Chyan, the Near Haradrim people who lived in the delta of the great river that runs through Near Harad. From there, they quickly founded a powerful empire, stretching over most of Near Harad and even into the Moredain lands. At its height, the Everlasting Sun Empire had even subjugated the Bozishnarod tribes of the Cloud Forest, and as many Chyan immigrants and Moredain slaves migrated there, the Rajian people began to form.
The Everlasting Sun Empire fell at the end of the First Age, and quickly collapsed into squabbling warlords and petty chieftains. In the Cloud Forest however, the Rajian people soon established a government and the great port city of Bozisha-Dar was built. Raj thrived throughout the Second Age, controlling the trade routes of the region to become a major power and expanding into the neighboring lands.
The coming of the Black Numenoreans disrupted this order, as southern Bellakar was lost and the trade monopoly collapsed. Raj soon became a mess of petty princes and vengeful chieftains, and it would not be until the coming of Rajankwed in the middle Third Age that Raj would be unified once more.
The Coming of Rajankwed Edit
Rajankwed Hubin Locke-uk was a great philosopher and teacher, native to the highlands of Isfahan on the border of Raj. He is said to have been born to the local ruler and his Moredain slave-girl Cat'n. Rajankwed was prophesied to be either a great leader or an enlightened being by a wandering sage and he was raised pampered, shielded from the struggles of life by his father. One night, Rajankwed discovered the suffering outside the castle walls, and he escaped at the break of midnight to become a wandering sage.
It is said that Rajankwed starved himself for 30 days, going with little food and water and owning nothing. When he grew emaciated by his starvation, it is said he saw clear visions that the path to enlightenment is a balanced one, leaning to neither hedonism or asceticism. The sage who prophesied his destiny nursed him back to health, and Rajankwed soon was said to have reached enlightenment through twenty-four hours of deep meditation under a Baobab tree.
Though these details of his life are heavily influenced by the religion he started, it is certain that Rajankwed fulfilled both parts of his destiny: After his enlightenment, he displayed his miraculous powers to the various scattered rulers of Raj, founding the religion of Darme Raskudria, and his disciple Peroosswahr would come to rule a reformed Sultanate of Raj into a golden age that continues even through the Fourth Age.