Khand was the name of a land which lay to the south-east of Mordor and to the east of Near Harad. Almost nothing is known about Khand or its people. "Variags" of Khand fought for Sauron's army, but nothing aside from their name was mentioned.
Khand was under the influence of Mordor and supplied it with horses, and twice came into the history of Gondor: first in the year TA 1944 when the Variags together with the Wainriders attacked Gondor, and later during the War of the Ring when they fought and died on the Pelennor Fields. While this is not directly said in the literature, it is probable that Khand gradually fell under the control of Gondor during the Fourth Age and was hostile to it no longer.
Based on the map of the region, and its proximity to Harad, Khand was most likely a dry and barren land covered in desert. Its geography is little-known, although it could either constitute dry grassland or sandy desert. The interpretation of the Khandians as similar to the Mongols was probably partly inspired by Khand's presumed climate. But once one factors in the close location to Western Middle-earth, and how the Khandians never built an Empire of any kind, one would have to see the Khandians (or Variags) as looking like a cross between Assyrians and Rajputs.
Behind the scenesEdit
Speculation on the geography and culture of Khand are based on the etymology of the names provided and the fact that horses were at least a significant part of its economy. The people of Khand are thought to be nomadic riders. Games Workshop interpreted Khandians as similar to Mongols. Another interpretation, based on the real-world Varangians, is that the Khandians had a Nordic culture, and the Variags were berserkers.
The name is possibly something in the language of the indigenous population. Also, Khand is a word that means "realm" in India according to The Thain's Book Website.
- The Atlas of Middle-earth pgs. 53 & 93