The road goes north-west and meanders through pleasant vales and pastures.
The surface is diversified by vales, meadows, sand-dunes and tidal marshes.
The kingdom of Assyria, which was the outgrowth of the primitive settlement on the site of the city of Assur, was developed by a probably gradual process of colonization in the rich vales of the middle Tigris region, a district watered by the Tigris itself and also by several tributary streams, the chief of which was the lower Zab.'
Images came crowding on his mind faster than he could put them into words, quagmires and pits, steep hills, dark and horrible glens, soft vales, sunny pastures, a gloomy castle, of which the courtyard was strewn with the skulls and bones of murdered prisoners, a town all bustle and splendour, like London on the Lord Mayor's Day, and the narrow path, straight as a rule could make it, running on up hill and down hill, through city and through wilderness, to the Black River and the Shining Gate.
The legions of these Myrmidons covered all the hills and vales in my wood-yard, and the ground was already strewn with the dead and dying, both red and black.