"It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume."
- – Boromir
Between the Worlds Edge Mountains in the west, the Mountains of Mourn in the east and the Sea of Dread in the south lie the Dark Lands, a barren wasteland of ash and dust, devoid of plants or sunlight, the air thick with volcanic smoke.
The Dark Lands are a large and inhospitable region in the Warhammer world, tainted by the influence of Chaos. It is composed of far reaching plains and wastelands, separated from the realms of man in the west by the World's Edge Mountains and spanning to the Mountains of Mourn in the east, which are populated by the many Greenskin tribes that roam the plains, along with a few Ogre tribes. The land in the south of the Dark Lands gives way to the Sea of Dread, whereas to the north the flat wastes become a sheer cliff and plateau. Just south of this plateau, on the north-eastern border of the lands, is where the Dawi-Zharr have made their domain, in the Plain of Zharr.
Zorn-Uzkul, the Great Skull Land
In the north, the High Pass from Kislev leads through the Worlds Edge Mountains into the Zorn-Uzkul, the Great Skull Land, where the ancestors of the Dawi-Zharr first settled. Here, the Road of Skulls to the Chaos Wastes leads through a great plateau littered with bones, many of them skulls of mighty beasts long perished, giving the forbidding area its name. The Dwarfs discovered rich deposits of ore in the ground, but most of them ultimately abandoned the obviously tainted region and returned west. Those who stayed and founded Uzkulak in the north or went on eastwards to the Mountains of Mourn were eventually corrupted by the increasing influence of Chaos and became the ancestors of the Dawi-Zharr. Today, Zorn-Uzkul is the northernmost part of the Chaos Dwarf empire, and to follow the Road of Skulls in the shadows of haunted Uzkulak is a very dangerous endeavor.
Zharrduk, the Plain of Zharr
When the waters of the River Ruin roar down the Falls of Doom from Zorn-Uzkul, they first enter the Plain of Zharr, a vast meteoric crater in the north-east of the Dark Lands and the heartland of the Dawi-Zharr empire. The earth is rich in minerals and precious resources, and the Chaos Dwarfs have turned the whole of Zharrduk into one gigantic industrial complex. The ground is riddled with pools of boiling oil and molten metal, rivers of steaming lava crisscross its broken crust, the sun is hidden behind a thick layer of smoke and ash; no living thing is to be found as far as the eye can see. At its center the Dawi-Zharr have erected Zharr-Naggrund, their great capital, and the plain of Zharr is littered with smaller outposts, workshops, foundries and forges. Unabating is the sound of mighty steam-driven forgehammers and the anguished cries of the tortured slaves throughout Zharrduk as the Dawi-Zharr mold their atrocious empire day and night.
The Blasted Wastes
The Blasted Wastes in the west of the Dark Lands, between the Worlds Edge Mountains and the Gates of Zharr, are a vast desert and sustain very little life. They are mostly home to nomadic Goblin tribes and other ravaging hordes, but they also house a great number of Black Orc tribes, most notably Grimgor Ironhide and his elite clan, Da Immortulz.
The Howling Wastes
East of the road from Zharr-Naggrund to the Tower of Gorgoth lie the Howling Wastes. Where the Blasted Wastes are a sparse desert, the Howling Wastes are covered by an eternal mist, carrying thin voices and a wailing clamour of an forgotten age. The ground is mostly marshes and swamplands, and traversing it is almost guaranteed to get the unwary swallowed by the land, if not accompanied by an experienced guide. On a more positive note, it contains one of the few human settlements in the Dark Lands, the Sentinels, which is generally a good place for those seeking to enter the Mountains of Mourn to hire some Ogre bodyguards.
The Desolation of Azgorh
Before the age of Chaos Dwarfs, the mighty volcano of Azgorh erupted with such a mighty crescendo that it split the mountain and rent the ground around it asunder. The ash cloud could be seen in distant Khemri and the elves in their Old World colonies registered the resulting earthquakes. The great upheaval reformed the landscape into an almost impenetrable labyrinth of razor sharp rocks and vents of toxic fumes, but it also unearthed a most precious mineral wealth, which a near infinite number of the Chaos Dwarfs' slaves now dig out of the rock in the mines around the Tower of Gorgoth.
The River Ruin
The River Ruin is the largest river in the Dark Lands. Originating in the Zorn-Uzkul plateau, it travels southwards towards Zharr-Naggrund, where the Chaos Dwarfs use it to cool their machinery. The rest of the river from that point is heavily polluted by the byproducts of Chaos Dwarf industry. It proceeds south until it hits the coast, where it forms the Scalded Delta, upon which the settlement of Pigbarter is located.
Gnoblar Country is located at the south-eastern coast, and the spice road to the Kingdoms of Ind passes through it. Unlike the rest of the Dark Lands, instead of being a wasteland its a relatively pleasant lush and green Region. Although named for the Gnoblars, most have since fled to the Mountains of Mourn due to predation from neighbouring humans and Chaos Dwarfs.
The only human trading outpost in this forsaken wasteland (and a rather lucrative one at that). A town built on top of stilts and the partially collapsed remains of earlier buildings that lies just to the south of Gnoblar country and borders the toxic River Ruin and the Scalding Delta. They make their money off the trade with travelers passing through on their way to the Kingdoms of Ind and off the Ogres coming off the nearby Ivory Road. When they're not doing that the humans amuse themselves either by having pig jousting contests or by having their hound-sized eagle-owls go and hunt the annoying Gnoblars and Goblins that infest the lower part of the city.
|Regions and Areas of the Warhammer World|
|Areas of The Old World:||The Empire of Man - Bretonnia - Albion - Estalia - Tilea - Kislev - Norsca - Border Princes - Worlds Edge Mountains - Karak Eight-Peaks|
|Areas of The New World:||Naggaroth - Lustria|
|Areas of The Eastern Lands:||Cathay - Nippon - Ogre Kingdoms - Dark Lands - Kingdoms of Ind - Khuresh - Eastern Steppes|
|Areas of The Southlands:||Nehekhara - Araby - Badlands - Marshes of Madness|
|Other Areas of the world:||Ulthuan - Athel Loren - Chaos Wastes - Skavenblight - Lost Isles of Elithis|
|Main bodies of Water:||The Great Ocean - The Far Sea - The Sea of Dread - Inner Sea of Ulthuan|