The Waste is a vast, desolate territory on Ramar, formerly the greater part of Chuno, which was destroyed ages ago by a battle between two mages in Betrayal in Antara. It is mentioned many times over the course of the game but is first visited in Chapter Nine.
During the First Wave, a great mage named Byra Maden vanished without a trace during the Uprisings; the rich tomb his people made for him is said to be in the heart of the Waste, but is lost to the ages.
The Age of Magic ended when a vast maelstrom of raw magic annihilated a vast portion of the countryside surrounding its source, including most of Chuno and all witnesses to its cause, which historians believe to have been a power-mad duel between two mages. Legends suggest a love triangle was involved, but nothing about the event can be proved. Chuman survivors of the blast, including unborn babies, found themselves sickened, scarred, and changed, with genetically recurring deformities. The seat of Chuno's government was moved to Grandeur, and cultivation of trees and the healing powers of the Sisters of Senaedrin became central to Chunese life as the devastated people began to rebuild. Meanwhile, mages fell out of favor in human lands, and were hunted and persecuted until then-King Valorian I offered them amnesty and used them to build the Antaran Empire, annexing Chuno in the process.
Today, the Waste lies in Old Chuno, between Chuno and Ghan. Although Durst lies in Old Chuno and is near enough to the Waste that Fire Wolves roam the canyon system north of the town, the only proven route to the Waste itself lies through a tunnel under the mountains; its eastern mouth opens behind Lord Sheffield's estate in Havesly. Rope is required to pass through the cave and access the Waste.
The dead-blasted canyon system of the Waste lies under a heavy cover of clouds, necessitating Torches for illumination even in daylight. It is inhabited by hostile Chunese fighters and mages, as well as packs of Fire Wolves. Various locked or lever-chests and Buried Caches may be found in its nooks and gullies.
A dormant fracture to Etherea lies within a tunnel system most recently used as a workshop by Calvert Bryce, who preferred solitude for his magical experiments.
Few creatures live in the Waste; all are dangerous. Aside from Fire Wolves, the Waste is also a known as a source of other magical crossbreeds between Ethereal creatures and those of Ramar, such as griffins, which survive and range far from their places of origin; one attacked a man named Farrel near the Waste, was magically subdued by Brian Castere, and was the subject of a painting that hangs in the Knightridge Inn before later attacking the ship Fair Current.
A man in Ormede claims that the Cyrilyn, a ship commissioned only a hundred years ago by Emperor Benarren, set sail from a Chunese town called Riva which was destroyed when the Waste was created. The town's name is subsequently used in a Levosche joyman's song at the Festival in Ticoro.
The Mana of Love, a stage drama produced last season in which actress Maria Liana played the role of Siarrah the Mage, involves the mystique of the Waste and its connection to Etherea. A retelling by the actress's son to a young boy in Durst places the child in danger when he searches for adventure in the northern canyons too close to the Waste.
A children's counting-game song heard in Teal includes the line "Two is for the mages who in battle made the Waste."
A Grandeur shop called "Arcana" is said to have little difficulty keeping well stocked with "unusual items and curiosities" due to its proximity to the Waste.
During the Liar's Festival in Choth, Mage Gordostoni tells a whopper about traveling back in time to watch the great Carluda battle with the evil Morduse and create the Waste by blasting him into atoms, causing nothing to grow there because "pure evil makes a terrible fertilizer."