The area known as “The Eternal Wasteland” has existed since before the Great Cataclysm. It is a massively inhospitable mix of desert, jagged mountains, and strange monsters. There are said to be gangs of dragons that fight for territory in this area, but few can survive the trek to observe them.
The few arcane scholars who have studied the area tend to believe that while the area was likely always a desert, the strange magical effects and their warping effects on creatures of the area are probably due to backlash from the Great Cataclysm. A thousand years ago, it was the Sahara. Now, the rocks appear to be honed razor-sharp, and 100-foot-long giant centipedes fight with psionically-enhanced packs of jackals, while a dragon that eats sunshine and breaths confusion watches on. If Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” was based on an actual place, this would be it.
There are also historians who tell of a long-lost empire known as Netheril that may have once stood somewhere in what is now the Eternal Wasteland. Little is known about them, though if you’re the sort to study old empires, you can find more about Netheril on the History page.
It is also known that magic reacts differently in this area, and zones of wild magic or dead magic or spellplague energies are all known to move around in this region.
Monster attacks from this area are frequent, which is part of what prompted the southern nations of Borovia, Coventry, and Dambrath to join forces with the rest of the Eastern Alliance, so that they could share resources and gain support against those attacks.
The Alliance to the North does its best to keep the border between them and the Wasteland impenetrable.
To the west, the Razorglass Wastes are not exactly “less hospitable” than the rest of the Wasteland… but maybe “differently inhospitable”. Intense sun & wind have turned much of the sand into razor sharp sheets of glass. While this does keep sand worms and other subterranean creatures at a minimum, but increases the number of smaller critters that are attracted to bleeding wounds. Many diseases run rampant here, spread by insects and other small nasty beasties. The tiny nation-state of Embria is also not pleasant ground, and its denizens are mostly thieves and criminals, though they’d have to be tough to hold back attacks from the Wasteland.
Little is known of the cities to the southeast, beyond the volcanoes and mountains that border the southern edge of the Wasteland. They are mostly separatist, self-sufficient communities whose only connection to the rest of the world is sea trade (or piracy). The Wailing Peninsula has something to do with wind patterns and noises made in hollow rock formations… or maybe the souls of the damned… or something. Cape Death is likely a place for just that. And Starkness is only known for its complete lack of anything resembling ornamentation.