The Canyon of Shrieks
Like a great wound in the feet of Azbahta, the Canyon of Shrieks, jagged, torn, and jumbled, wends it's way through the uplands of the Taurzehin, funneling the great River Pirz-em-Hloch southward through the black pine forests.
The Canyon is a vast and deep chasm, composed of shattered falls and slopes of broken rock, cascades of sharp-edged platforms of stone, and hanging stone fangs and horns, giving the Canyon the appearance of a horrible natural chamber of tortures.
And, of course, the Taurzehine do nothing to diminish this appearance. Embedded in the walls of the Canyon are vast steel hooks and pins; across the top of the Canyon and between it's sides are ramshackle arches of iron and wood; suspended from overhangs are spiked chains; and from all of these wail and scream the sacraficed, those whom the Taurzehine have given as offerings to their god, the Serpent, and to Azbahta itself. This is the provenance of the Canyon's frightful name- it is said that every moment in the Canyon of Shrieks is witness to a new and more hideous scream. The corpses which are hung there are allowed to rot- some drop and fall to the bottom of the canyon into the Pirz-em-Hloch to be born away into the south, while others remain hanging with their more animated (still-dying) compatriots. The Taurzehine take many of their sacrafices from the ranks of the faithful in Dimrond, but the vast majority are those who have committed any manner of crime- even petty street-thieves may be subject to this torture at the whim of one of their masters, the Tirhlon Sembloch, if they are unfortunate enough to be caught filching in the foul City of the Witches.
Those who wish to travel in the Canyon of Shrieks would be well-advised to remain on the cliffs above rather than to traverse in the midst of the Canyon itself- the slopes and paths of it's walls are almost supernaturally treacherous, and darker things than the screaming sacrafices dwell in the darkness at the bottom of the Canyon, where the River Pirz-em-Hloch steams and festers it's way down into the land below.
The River Pirz-em-Hloch
The River Pirz-em-Hloch is the primary river of the Taurzehin, and even outside of that land it's warm and murky waters are known and whispered of. Pirz-em-Hloch (who's name means "Warm-as-Blood") flows from it's source on the slopes of the Shattered Peak (a fabled location that the Taurzehine call "Bahndrul-dit-Hloch", the Font of Blood) downward through the hideous Canyon of Shrieks. When it breaks free of that terrible place, it's waters are steaming, a murky grey-red hue, and sometimes it's surface gutters with foul-smelling flame. It frequently bears with it the collapsing corpses of the victims of the Canyon of Shrieks, and the detritus of things which live in the deep gash of the Canyon, which are better not spoken of. Entering the black and primordial pine forests which cover most of the Taurzehin, it widens and it's color lightens to a muddy grey-brown. Weaving through those dark and fearful forests, it sheds trickling tributaries and small streams, which spread off like foul-smelling tentacles into the eternal twilight of the wood. As it passes onward, one of it's smaller arms flows into the center of the Taurzehin's evil, Sembloch Dair, the Pit, the unholy crowing place of the Tirhlon Sembloch.
Meanwhilst, the Pirz-em-Hloch flows southward out of the dark forests, and on the western side bleeds like a wounded serpent into the vast swamps and fens of the Pools of Nerzihach and the Naurhla Fens. Finally, leaving behind a snaky tributary in the Stone Hills on the east, it flows into the deep and foul Lake Pirz-em-Hloch, with black-swamped shores upon which rests the dark city of Dimrond, capitol of the Taurzehin.
The Pirz-em-Hloch's waters are murky-grey in color and are uniformly (as you may suspect) not quite as warm as blood. In times of cold, steam and vapour rise thickly from it's surface, polluting the area around it with the foul scent of it's waters. These waters are often used to brew terrible poisons and witch's brews.
Snakes are spawned from the river at all times of the year, born from the waters like mosquitoes from standing water. Serpents surround it, and fills it's waters. Many a Taurzehine has met it's death at the "blessing" of a serpent which crawled forth from the shore of the Pirz-em-Hloch.