Map of the whole Dark Lands.

The River Ruin is a great, polluted watercourse that crosses the eastern Dark Lands from Zorn Uzkul in the north to the Scalded Delta and the Sea of Dread in the south.


The River Ruin is born in the southeast of the Zorn Uzkul plateau, and shortly after it plunges down the Falls of Doom into the Plain of Zharrduk. At their feet the Chaos Dwarfs excavated in 1000 IC a long navigable tunnel that reaches the Sea of Chaos through Uzkulak, which today hosts a slave-port.[1b][1c]

Further south, in the centre of the Plains of Zharr, lies the black ziggurat of Zharr-Naggrund, capital of the Chaos Dwarf empire. Its eastern and western gates lead to their industrial domains, but the north and south gateways are river sluices through which the waters of River Ruin pour. The cold river enters the city from the north and is put to use cooling the huge forges of the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers, powering the steam-driven engines, and flushing the effluent of industry out to the south. Where it leaves the city the river is stained red and yellow with filth, laden with noxious sediments and its steaming water is thick and poisonous. A foul yellow cloud hangs about the river and its banks are choked with drifts of spectacularly coloured pollutants.[1a] The Chaos Dwarf fleet cruises the River Ruin and Sea of Dread, enslaving those unfortunate enough to cross its path.[1c]

From the Plain of Zharrduk the River Ruin goes on to the south, flowing to the east of the Daemon's Stump and the Howling Wastes. It receives water from no less than five tributaries that come down the Mountains of Mourn to the east before it reaches the ford that lies between the Black Fortress and the Flayed Rock, and right afterwards another tributary coming from the southern mountains reaches the River Ruin's basin.[1b][4b] This route has been guarded for more than a thousand years by the Black Fortress, which serves as the headquarters of the Legion of Azgorh - a mighty standing army which ranges across the desolation of the southern Dark Lands, escorts the far-flung slave caravans through the Howling Wastes and stands as a bulwark against frequent invasions of Ogres, Orcs and worse from across River Ruin in the east.[2a]

There is another crossing north of the Black Fortress and east of The Sentinels called the Giant's Rocks - a crude ford in the River Ruin made of colossal stones hurled into the raging current to form a rare, if dangerous, crossing. The Ivory Road is known to enter the Mountains of Mourn and the Ogre Kingdoms through it and the Valley of Horns.[4a][4b]

In the south, the River Ruin flows between the stinking sulphur pits of the Desolation of Azgorh to the west and the largely deserted hills of the Gnoblar Territory, crosses the Direbogs, and then pans out into the Scalded Delta until it reaches the Sea of Dread west of the Dragon Isles. On the left bank of the river live the Ogre tribes of the Boulderbellies and Skraggleguts. Near the mouth of the river stands Pigbarter, the southernmost trading settlement in the Ivory Road, from which the caravans can either go northeast into the Ogre Kingdoms or southeast to the Haunted Forest and the Kingdoms of Ind along the Spice Road. In the Scalded Delta lives the Ogre Swamp Eater tribe.[3a][4b]


  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Chaos Dwarfs (4th Edition)
  • 2 Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos
    • 2a pg. 167
  • 3 Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms (6th Edition)
    • 3a pg. 54
  • 4 Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms (8th Edition)
    • 4a pg. 13
    • 4b pg. 14-15

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