High atop the great ziggurat that is Mingol Zharr-Naggrund, on the sixtieth level sits the Temple of Hashut. One level below it is the fifty-ninth and it is here that the Sorcerer-Prophets of the city spend most of their time when not at the Temple or in their private residences or at war, and it is where the Sorcerer-Prophets of the other cities stay when visiting the capital. Such is the vastness of Zharr-Naggrund that this level is a third of a cubic mile in size and it contains many mansions within, but the most notable feature it possesses sits on the top of the level itself, the place known as the Hanging Garden.
The name is indicative of the twisted humour of the Dawi Zharr, for it is not a garden in the sense understood by men or elves; its groves comprise not of trees, but of vast gibbets and cross from which hang countless slaves and its lakes are of beer, spirits and wine seasoned with blood. All the hanging slaves are still alive, for the Sorcerer-Prophets take delight in their suffering, their piteous moans music to their ears. Many of the slaves are earmarked for sacrifice in the Temple, which looms above the garden menacingly and from whose shadow it is impossible to escape, no matter where in the garden you stand, but some have other destinies.
Some are lashed and flayed so that their blood will slowly drain into the lakes. Others are taken down and dragged into one of the fora or rotundras, where the Sorcerer-Prophets recline and debate theology, philosophy and other academia, so that they can be tortured or mutilated for their perverse amusement. Others still are let down and released into the garden so that the Sorcerer-Prophetsmay hunt them down; some send other slaves after them, some their bodyguard, some hunt themselves, often using the newest invention they or their apprentices have forged, and some summon daemonic beasts to do the work, although the latter practice has fallen out of usage in latter times due to a few instances where it lard to small scale daemonic incursions. There is a rumour among slaves that any chosen for the hunt who make it to the next level will be set free, a rumour encouraged by the Dawi Zharr to give them false hope, for it is far sweeter to crush hope than bolster despair. And besides, there are still miles for the slave to go before they reach the foot of Mingol Zharr-Naggrund and many more to the edge of the city and there is nothing saying that a slave cannot be recaptured between release and there.
The only slaves in the garden to know a modicum of joy are those chosen to attend to the Sorcerer-Prophets, but even that is small comfort, for while they are not bound by chains and are well fed, they live with the constant reminder of what could befall them if they falter or speak out of turn, and to mark them out as being privileged, they are shaved, annoyed with oils and the a blank iron mask, still hot from the forge, is welded onto their face akin to those worn by the Infernal Guard.
Ironically in a way the vast number of slaves that serve as the fruit for the Garden’s trees are more privalaged than most Dawi Zharr, for it is a great honour to be allowed into the garden and most do not even dream of ever being allowed to set foot in it and thus over time for them the Hanging Gardens of Zharr-Naggrund is something to be spoken of with awe.