Warp, Flux, and all things bad is an inherently unlocked research under the Basic Information tab. It details Warp and Flux, two of the dangers of Thaumaturgy, explaining what they are and causes of which.
"Many believe man was not meant to meddle with magic, and nothing gives more credence to this than the existence of Warp." - Beginning of the Thaumonomicon entry for Warp
Warp is the effect of the research of Forbidden Knowledge on a Thaumaturge's mind and the creation of items listed as Forbidden Knowledge. Forbidden Knowledge quite literally warps a Thaumaturge's mind, hence the name of Warp itself. Warp can manifest itself not only mentally, but can also affect a Thaumaturge and the world around them. For this reason, it is believed that Warp is more than simply insanity taking root in one's mind. There are 3 different types of Warp: Temporary, Normal, and Permanent. Temporary Warp will fade with time, or can be removed instantly by using, once one has researched it, Sanitizing Soap. Using the aforementioned soap also has a chance of clearing away one's Normal Warp. There is no way, however, to remove Permanent Warp, hence the name. Warp can manifest in many different ways, usually with simple headaches and hallucinations, which is the screen darkening and a sound similar to that of a creeper before it explodes, with the explosion sound following shortly. This can easily startle new Thaumaturges. However, effects range from these simple headaches, to dangerous diseases and even the appearance of hostile creatures from thin air around the Thaumaturge. The severity and persistence of these events will decrease over time, however, so long as one does not continue to accumulate Warp. As soon as one acquires more Warp, the severity and occurrence of these events is reset and must be waited out once again. A Warp Ward, which can be acquired through soaking oneself in a bath of water saturated with Purifying Bath Salts can help protect against Warp temporarily and relieve one of the occurrence of Warp based events.
"A sudden and unnatural hunger consumes you." - Gives the player the "unnatural hunger II" potion effect for ~4 minutes, which drains the hunger bar and tints the sky slightly red. The effect can be reduced by one minute for every piece of rotten flesh or Zombie Brain eaten. Note that eating Zombie Brains will still increase one's Warp, leading to further events.
"A thick fog appears from nowhere. Something stirs in its depths." - Spawns one or more Eldritch Guardians around the player, fog included.
"Something is following you." - No effect, this is simply to scare or alarm the player.
"Something is watching you. Maybe it is time to stop." - Also has no effect.
"Strange whispers reveal secrets to you." - Gives you one of the 6 Primal Aspects randomly for research.
"Surely there must be a way to stop these headaches?" - Unlocks the Purifying Bath Salts research topic. You can only get this effect once.
"The faint sound of chanting can be heard nearby." - Spawns a portal nearby that spawns Crimson Cultists and Crimson Knights.
"The light suddenly becomes overwhelmingly bright and burns your skin." - Gives light blindness, view gets half washed out by brightness and player may burn if standing under sunlight.
"They're everywhere! Run!" - Spawns a swarm of tiny spectral spiders around the player that do little to no damage, but can be an annoyance.
"What was that noise? Something is behind you." - No effect, it is one of the few meant to alarm the player.
"You feel oddly drained." - Grants the Flux Flu effect, unknown if of a random level, but up to level III. Be careful not to do vis-consuming activities while the effect is present.
"You have a moment of clarity." - Removes a small amount of Temporary Warp.
"Your perception suddenly expands." - Grants Night Vision for a short duration.
"Your stomach suddenly gurgles very strangely." - Causes puddles of Flux Goo to randomly spawn where the player is standing, whether they move or stand still. It is important that one cover these puddles quickly, before they have a chance to dissipate into the Aura as Flux or taint the block with Taint Tendrils, which can quickly convert the area to a Tainted Biome, if not handled carefully.
"Your vision becomes strange and grim." - View gets slightly tinted to black, and anything the player sees will be inflicted with Wither effect.
"You suddenly feel reluctant to break things." - Grants Mining Fatigue.
"If Warp is the mental manifestation of magic gone wrong, then Flux is its physical manifestation." - Beginning of Thaumonomicon entry for Flux
Flux is a form of magic, but can be looked at as "magic gone wrong". Just as magic can manifest itself both in the Aura in an intangible form and a tangible form in items as Aspects, Flux can manifest in the Aura, polluting it, or manifest itself in a tangible form. It manifests as a puddle of goo, which can either spread Fibrous Taint or dissolve into the next item on the list, a gas, or even certain creatures in its tangible forms, but this can also lead to Taint, a form of Flux. When this happens, Taint can easily be created and spread, so great caution is advised. It should be noted that Flux in the Aura is no less dangerous in the long run than tangible Flux, as if too much Flux gathers and concentrates itself in the Aura, it can lead to events that create tangible Flux as the Aura almost attempts to purify itself. Flux can be created in many ways, but is usually the result of an uncontrolled release of Essentia into the Aura, such as aspects in a Crucible decaying, or that given off during Essentia Distillation. Flux can not only affect the land by creating Taint, but can also manifest itself in sicknesses such as those caused by Warp. The only way to defend against Flux is to guard against the wasting of Essentia, as if it does not escape into the Aura, it cannot be converted into Flux. The best way to do this is to avoid dumping Essentia into the Aura, to make sure Alchemy is performed as efficiently as possible, and to use the highest tier Essentia Smeltery available, as successive tiers are more efficient, if even just slightly. One can also reduce the Flux generated when producing Essentia with research found in the Improved Essentia Distillation page. Although, one should be careful to monitor the Aura itself as well, as if Vis levels drop too low, Flux can be generated as well, which stands to reason as it being a form of pollution, almost, to the Aura. A difficult, but feasible, way to protect against Flux or to help remove it is through the use of Silverwood Trees. When grown, Silverwood Trees can occasionally generate a Pure Node at their core. Pure Nodes replenish the Aura with their respective aspect like a normal Node, but can also, at cost of their size, absorb and destroy Flux from the Aura. Over time, the Node will dwindle and die, but, as Silverwood is a plant, it is renewable, as are Pure Nodes, therefore. It can be difficult to grow and maintain many Silverwood Trees at once, though, and the Nodes themselves have the annoying tendency to be attracted to one another and merge, forming a slightly larger Node of a single aspect. In the end, it is easiest to simply avoid Flux as much as possible, as one needs not clean what isn't there.
Taint is a form of Flux as a physical manifestation. As opposed to the liquid form of Flux, Taint is more permanent and much more damaging. Discharge of flux from the aura is the main cause of Taint, caused by the player using certain devices and Tainted Nodes, as it can also be creating willingly, and possibly maliciously, with Bottled Taint. There is some benefit to Taint, such as venues of research and tainted objects being used to generate Vitium essentia and as crafting components for more complex items. However, as a whole, unless monitored very closely and well contained, Taint will quickly cover larger areas. It is a blight upon the land, twisting it into a corrupted, purple hell, complete with malicious creatures, damaging sicknesses, and a general lack of usable material from the land. Taint usually begins with Fibrous Taint, a vine-like plant that can grow on most solid blocks
Taint growth and spread depends on the Vitium (Flux) levels of the aura in its chunk. If the Vitium level reaches a certain upper value, Taint blocks may spread in the given chunk. Noticeably, Fibrous Taint will produce sound effects when it is capable of spreading. If less Vitium is present in the chunk, Taint spread will stay idle. If the Vitium in the aura is completely depleted, such as through Pure Nodes destroying Vitium or it being pushed or pulled towards other chunks with aura manipulating totems, all Taint related blocks will die. Additionally, it restores the biome and creates some leftover blocks such as Taint Dust and Porous Stone.
Additionally, Ethereal Blooms can be used to force nearby Taint to die, although this proces will not affect the entire Z axis, but rather a small area surrounding the Ethereal Bloom.
Each time tainted blocks spread, there is a 5% chance Vitium levels are lowered. This can be changed in the configuration files. Because of this, if the source of Flux does not indefinitely produce Vitium, Taint spread is finite, and will eventually halt.