|Attention, Scribe of the Lexicanum!
The Chaos Wastes are the great Chaos-suffused wastelands which surround both the North and South poles of the Warhammer world. Correspondingly, they are called the Northern and the Southern Wastes. Their creation stemmed from the collapse of the Polar Warp Gates, when Chaos first flooded into the world. The regions surrounding the poles were the most severely affected, and remain places of seething Chaos.
It is a land of desolation shrouded in unnatural darkness, irredeemably corrupted and distorted by the suffusive Chaos. Here, every law of the universe has been scattered to the wind, and the energies of Chaos visit their anarchy on the forms of every living and unliving thing. Here the Champions of Chaos and their armies fight endlessly to gain the attentions of their patron gods.
The Chaos Wastes are also known as the Shadowlands, for they lie in the shadow of Chaos itself. At the very centre of the Wastes reality gives way to the Realm of Chaos.
The Northern Wastes surround the North Pole. This is a frozen land covered with ice in the far north which gradually gives way to tundra and large plains. The land is peopled by the Northmen, warlike and barbaric tribes who are born into the worship of the Chaos gods. During the Chaos incursions, the tribes descend as a great horde upon the civilised nations to the south. The threat from the Chaos Wastes remains constant, for when not invading as part of a great Chaos incursion, small bands pillage the civilised lands to brutally take what ever they need or desire.