|Level 1 - 60, 68 - 90|
|Location||Great Dark Beyond|
Azeroth is the name of the world in which the majority of the Warcraft series is set. The world of Azeroth is the birthplace of many races, most notable being elves (night elves, high elves, and blood elves), humans, dwarves, tauren, goblins, trolls, gnomes, and dragons.
At its birth, Azeroth was blessed by the titans. One day, the demonic armies of the Burning Legion came and shattered the peace and led the night elves to sunder their world. Gradually, races were dragged to Azeroth (such as the orcs, draenei, and ogres), others evolved, and others were brought up from the dust itself. The peoples of Azeroth have fought brutally against the demons and their servants, and much blood was and is still being shed.
After the Third War, three major powers emerged: the Scourge, Horde, and Alliance. Other major powers include the naga, qiraji, and Argent Crusade. Although ravaged by conflict, somehow through trickery, betrayal, and sheer blood, Azeroth has survived the Burning Legion four times. However, Azeroth is still torn by conflict, hate, and war.
The world of Azeroth is comprised of four major continents, with a number of smaller islands scattered about them. Northrend is located in the north, Kalimdor in the west, the Eastern Kingdoms (a.k.a. eastern continents) in the east, and Pandaria in the south. The Eastern Kingdoms are made up out of two large landmasses - the southern one includes Azeroth and Khaz Modan, and the northern land of Lordaeron.
At one time, all of the four major continents were part of one large continent known as Kalimdor, with a large magic lake known as the Well of Eternity in the center. When the well exploded at the conclusion of the War of the Ancients, this continent was shattered, leaving behind the continents and islands that exist today.
The Forbidding Sea is the expanse of water to the east of the Eastern Kingdoms and the Veiled Sea sits west of Kalimdor. South of Pandaria lies the Uncharted Sea. Between the continents lies the Great Sea, while at its center lies the Maelstrom — a massive chaotic whirlpool over the area where the Well of Eternity once stood. It's believed that a part of the Well still exists in the Rift at the bottom of the vortex. It has been active since the Great Sundering ten thousand years ago and still there is no foreseeable natural end to its existence.
The world of Azeroth may have lands located at the other side, beyond the Veiled Sea to the west of Kalimdor, and beyond the Forbidding Sea to the east of the Eastern Kingdoms. No one is sure or has knowledge of what (if anything) lie on the other side of Azeroth. "A handful of ships have ventured from Kalimdor away from the Maelstrom — to the north, west, and south. None have yet returned."
- Main article: Timeline
For much of Azeroth's prehistory, the Old Gods ruled Azeroth along with their Elemental Lieutenants. Azeroth attracted the attention of the wandering titans, who fought the Old Gods in a war of ordering. Though the elementals were powerful beyond mortal comprehension, their combined forces could not stop the mighty Titans. One by one, the elemental lords fell, and their forces dispersed. The Pantheon shattered the Old Gods' citadels and casted the remaining ones down into eternal imprisonment deep beneath the earth, the place of their confinement hidden from all and their powers bound until the end of time. With the elementals' departure, nature calmed, and the world settled into a peaceful harmony. With the help of their constructs (the ancestors of dwarves, gnomes, vrykul, and giants), the titans allowed life to flourish on Azeroth. Satisfied, the Makers built hidden cities for their construct creations and created the Great Aspects to guard the planet before leaving on their cosmic journey.
The trolls are presumed to be Azeroth's first sentient race, not including the titan constructs who would later suffer the Curse of Flesh. From Zandalar, they spread across Kalimdor and formed great empires, most notably the Gurubashi and Amani. Later, the insectoid empire of Azj'Aqir rose in the west, forcing the trolls to better defend their major holdings. With pressure from their trollish enemies, the empire of the aqir collapsed and split into the qiraji and the nerubian kingdoms.
Around this time, the Elves appeared in Kalimdor. Using the potent magics of the Well of Eternity (a legacy of the titans), the elves broke troll influence in many regions and established a magocratic empire. At the height of kaldorei power, however, their reckless use of magic attracted the demonic armies of the Burning Legion. Corrupting the Elves' leader, Queen Azshara, the Highborne summoned the Burning Legion into the world. Declaring war upon the creatures of Azeroth, the War of the Ancients began. The night elves, along with their Dragon and Ancient Guardian allies, were forced to destroy the Well, which caused a Great Sundering that split the ancient supercontinent of Kalimdor apart — creating several continents: Northrend, Pandaria, the Eastern Kingdoms (including Azeroth, Khaz Modan, and Lordaeron), and "Kalimdor".
Following the war there was a schism among the elves. The Elves started to practice druidism with Malfurion Stormrage as the first of it's kind. The Elves, with the help of the Great Aspects, planted the World Tree on top of the last remaining waters of the Well of Eternity, in order to protect and heal Azeroth. However, the Highborne refused to give up arcane magic. Fearing their use of magic would cause another demonic invasion, these Highborne were banished from Kalimdor. Renaming themselves High Elves, they sailed across the Great Sea. They settled in the north of Lordaeron, establishing the mighty kingdom of Quel'Thalas. There, they rediscovered the Amani Empire, who still had a strong force over the land. Soon the two cultures clashed in what became known as the Troll Wars. With support from the young race of humanity, the high elves broke and scattered what remained of the Amani empire.
Meanwhile, on Kalimdor, the night elves were forced to fight with the reawakened silithid and their qiraji masters, in what would be called the War of the Shifting Sands. Bent on exterminating all non-insectoid life, the two forces clashed on the sands of Tanaris. With the help of their ancient Dragon allies, the Kaldorei were able to defeat the insectoid empire, and closed the Scarab Wall in order to seal the insectoid race inside Ahn'Qiraj, thus ending the war.
The Dwarves lived as one, single clan known as the Ironforge clan. Living in peace within their mountain homes, they prospered. However, when their king passed, a struggle for power over the city began. The War of the Three Hammers ensued, forcing dwarf against dwarf and split the clan into three; the Bronzebeard clan, the Wildhammer clan and the Dark Iron clan. Eventually, the Bronzebeard defeated the other two and banished them from the city. The Wildhammer went north and founded the city of Grim Batol. The Dark Iron went south and founded the city of Thaurissan. Angered by their defeat, the Dark Irons prepared two armies to destroy their cousins. However, both of these armies were defeated. Combining their forces, the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer marched to Thaurissan to end the Dark Irons once and for all. Sensing impending defeat, Sorcerer-thane Thaurissan accidentally summoned Ragnaros the Firelord into Azeroth. The cataclysm formed Blackrock Spire and halted the advance of the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer armies.
First, Second and Third Wars
Though the Legion constantly sought to re-enter Azeroth, the Order of Tirisfal, through its agent, the Guardian, ensured that the demons were kept at bay. However, thousands of years after the War of the Ancients, the Burning Legion attempted to destroy Azeroth once more, this time indirectly. Kil'jaeden forced the once peaceful orcs and ogres of Draenor into Azeroth. Manipulating the orc Gul'dan and possessing the human Medivh, the last Guardian of Tirisfal, the Legion was able to open a Dark Portal between both worlds, and the orcs poured through into Azeroth. The extended conflict with these alien invaders became known as the First and Second Wars, during which time the Horde established strongholds in Blackrock, Alterac Valley, Zul'Dare, and the Swamp of Sorrows. However, the mighty Horde was eventually broken and scattered by an Alliance of high elves, dwarves, and humans. Feeling the effects of their demonic bloodrage dissipate as they languished in internment camps, the orcs were able to remember their peaceful, shamanic roots. Sensing this change, Thrall of the Frostwolf clan set about establishing a new Horde.
Angered by the Horde's failure, the Burning Legion prepared for yet another invasion, the culmination of their efforts, on both continents. The Legion sent its pawn, the Lich King to undermine the Azerothian defenses. After establishing his base in Northrend and defeating the nerubians in the War of the Spider, the Lich King set loose in the East a plague of undeath on the Alliance that the Legion so despised. This undead Scourge quickly broke the northern powers, demoralizing the people of the Eastern Kingdoms in preparation for a Legion offensive. Lured to north by the Lich King, Prince Arthas of Lordaeron became his death knight pawn and the instrument of his liberation from the Legion's grasp. The Scourge under Arthas scattered the Knights of the Silver Hand, obliterated Lordaeron and broke the power of the Sunwell in Quel'Thalas.
In the West, the demons and their satyr allies made a more direct assault on their old kaldorei enemies. In desperation, the elves turned to Illidan, a demon hunter from the War of the Ancients who had violated druidic law and had been imprisoned for ten thousand years. During the course of the conflict, Illidan was persuaded by the insidious Arthas to attack the demon known as Tichondrius and drink from the Skull of Gul'dan (a small part in the Lich King's greater scheme to emancipate himself from his Legion jailers).
Through the machinations of the then cleansed Medivh, leaders of the New Horde and the Alliance were drawn to Kalimdor. There they joined with the night elves to thwart the Legion advance into Hyjal, where the World Tree was vulnerable to demonic attack. Archimonde, the leader of the daemonic invasion, as well as most of his followers, were defeated in the Battle of Mount Hyjal. While in Kalimdor, Thrall's people forged powerful alliances with the native tauren and the Darkspear exiles.
Concerned with the separatist Scourge, Kil'jaeden solicited the half-demonic Illidan into destroying the source of the Lich King's power. With the aid of his naga allies, who he had recalled from the Maelstrom, he succeeded in breaking at least some of the Lich King's power. Hounded by his night elf jailers and the seething blood elves, Illidan was unable to complete his task. Suffering under the effects of magical withdrawal, the blood elves were persuaded to enter into the ranks of the Illidari. Fearing Kil'Jaeden's wrath, Illidan and his allies fled to the decimated world of Outland. There, Illidan toppled the regime of Magtheridon to become the new ruler of Outland.
The weakening of the Frozen Throne allowed some of the Scourge to regain their free will. Under the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner, these Forsaken managed to force the Legion-controlled undead from the ruins of Lordaeron and establish a stronghold beneath its streets. Arthas, meanwhile, fought a desperate battle in Northrend to save his master from the newly empowered lord of Outland, who under increasing threats from Kil'jaeden had taken up his quest to destroy the Lich King once more. Illidan was defeated by Arthas and retreated to Outland, while Arthas merged with the malicious spirit of the Lich King.
Following the Third War, the political landscape of Azeroth changed greatly. The night elves joined the Alliance, and the Forsaken joined the New Horde. The remaining citizens of Lordaeron, broken by the Scourge, formed new regimes: the xenophobic and zealous Scarlet Crusade and the compassionate Argent Dawn, citizens that stay in Lordaeron along with the refugees that fled to the remaining Alliance strongholds such as Stormwind. The orcish nation of Durotar was established in Kalimdor, as was the human colony of Theramore. With the armies of the Horde and the Alliance decimated by the Third War, the defense of their borders became the responsibility of small bands of heroes and adventurers.
After a thousand years of waiting, the Silithid stirred within the confines of their city. Unleashing it's armies once more, the Old God C'thun wished to destroy all life on the world and leave nothing but chaos in it's wake. Silithid began attacking the areas all around their fortress, attracting the attention of both the Alliance and Horde. With no other choice, the two were forced to work together and created the Might of Kalimdor. With the help of the dragonflights, they recreated the . With it, they used it's power to unlock the Scarab Wall and entered the ruined city. There, they defeated the Silithid and their Qiraji masters. Adventurers fought their way through the city and finally reached the Chamber of C'Thun. After long battle with the great best, C'Thun was defeated and his remnants were brought to Caelestrasz. And so, the Second War of the Shifting Sands came to an end.
After major threats in Silithus were neutralized by Horde and Alliance forces in the Qiraji War-Effort, the power-blocks once more formed a tentative alliance in response to the opening of the Dark Portal. The Horde formed an alliance of necessity with the blood elves, while the Alliance warily welcomed the draenei exiles into their ranks. The War in Outland was fought on multiple fronts and against numerous factions. The greatest threat was the Burning Legion, who, after their defeat on Hyjal, were mobilizing their forces for yet another invasion of Azeroth, this time via Draenor. Finally, Illidan's hegemony in Outland proved to be short-lived. After losing the support of Kael'thas Sunstrider, whose addiction to fel energy led him to side with the Legion, the scattered coalition of nagas, fel orcs, and demons called the Illidari were defeated by Sha'tari and Azerothian forces. After the destruction of the Illidari and his own defeat, Kael'thas returned to Azeroth, where he planned to restore his beloved Sunwell as a means of summoning his new master, Legionlord Kil'jaeden, into the material world. To counter this, the opposing factions in Shattrath, the Aldor and Scryers, joined with the Blood Knights of Quel'Thalas. This Shattered Sun Offensive marched upon the Sunwell, slaying Kael'Thas and forcing Kil'Jaeden back to the Twisting Nether. Using the power of the fallen Naaru M'uru, the Prophet Velen ignited the Sunwell, thus returning the Blood Elves' power.
For thousands of years, the great dragon Malygos hid away from the world, lost in his own madness. However, after regaining his sanity, the Spell-weaver saw that magic had run amok throughout the world of Azeroth, and blamed this on the reckless use of magic by the mortal races that had arisen in his ten millennia of isolation. Using the powerful Arcanomicon, he began to siphon magic from the world. Realizing that Malygos had become a very real threat, the Kirin Tor used what remaining powers they had to magically transfer the rebuilt city of Dalaran to the skies of Northrend to combat their new foe in what would be called the Nexus War. Malygos' genocidal campaign has also incurred the ire of the Red dragonflight, led by the Dragonqueen Alexstrasza. Forming an alliance with the other dragonflights, the Wyrmrest Accord sought to end Malygos' war. The final blow against Malygos was struck thanks to the efforts of mortal heroes where they were joined by drakes of the red dragonflight. With the combined strength of the heroes and the drakes, Malygos was defeated.
After years of sitting dormant, the Lich King awoke and began his invasion of Azeroth. Defending their major holdings from a Scourge incursion in Kalimdor and Azeroth, the Horde-Alliance blocks, emboldened by their conquest of Outland, launched a final joint offensive on the Scourge forces in Northrend, starting the War against the Lich King. Their efforts were bolstered thanks to an internal rebellion against the Scourge by the Knights of the Ebon Blade and the newly created Argent Crusade, led by the paladin Tirion Fordring. The Horde-Alliance entente ended with the crisis at the Wrathgate. Their joint forces were routed at the gates to Icecrown when a separatist faction of Forsaken bombarded the living and dead alike with their new strain of blight. The fragile truce was shattered by this event, and both sides almost entered into an open war once again. With the help of the Ashen Verdict, their separate efforts were enough to finally breach the walls of Icecrown. In a final battle, Tirion and the combined forces of the Horde and Alliance shattered Frostmourne and ended the Lich King. Highlord Bolvar Fordragon took the responsability to became the new undead king, in order to keep the Scourge forces at bay.
Soon after, the Nightmare Lord launched his attack against Azeroth from the Emerald Nightmare. Forcing people to lay trapped within their own nightmares, he used these victims to attack those unaffected by the nightmare. And so, the War against the Nightmare began. However, led by Malfurion Stormrage, the people from Azeroth were able to fight back. Using their dreamforms, they took the battle to the Emerald Nightmare where they freed Ysera and confronted the Nightmare Lord and his army. With the help of druids on the waking world, Malfurion was eventually able to destroy the Nightmare Lord's power source, both in the Emerald Dream and on Azeroth. People awoke from their nightmares and things returned to normal. The Horde and the Alliance tried once again to make a treaty, mostly because both groups needed to recover from the recent wars. But this treaty was not meant to last.
Deep within Deepholm, the domain of earth in the Elemental Plane, the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing had been waiting, recovering from the wounds of his last battle against Azeroth and biding his time until he could reforge the world in molten fire. Some time after the end of the War against the Lich King, Deathwing returned to Azeroth, and his eruption from Deepholm massively damaged the world. The kingdoms of Azeroth witnessed seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and a return to open war between the Horde and the Alliance. With the help of the Twilight's Hammer led by Cho'gall and the powerful twilight dragons, Deathwing sought out to destroy the world in molten flame. Coming to the conclusion that the only way to defeat the great dragon, the Aspects and Thrall agreed they would need the Demon Soul to end him. While Thrall retrieved it from the past, the Wyrmrest Accord and their mortal allies battled the forces of Deathwing at Wyrmrest Temple. On his way to hand over the Demon Soul, Thrall was attacked by the new leader of the nearly extinct Twilight's Hammer, the Twilight Father. After defeating him, Thrall returned the Demon Soul to the Aspects who empowered it. After unleashing it's wrath upon Deathwing, the great dragon was finally destroyed at the Maelstrom. With the powers of the Aspects gone, the Age of Mortals began.
After the world was finally free from the grip of Deathwing's destructive rampage, the conflict between the Alliance and Horde began to intensify to an unprecedented scale, especially after the Battle for Theramore which led to massive uproar in the other Alliance nations and a full retaliation. The discovery of the Wandering Isle, the pandaren clans of Tushui and Huojin, and their newly found allegiance have brought the tales of their mystical homeland of Pandaria to the attention of the warring factions, which hope to gain the favor of its inhabitants and gain their natural resources, as the land is undamaged by the Shattering's effects.
Native sapient races
- Various Titanic creations have been seeded on Azeroth by the titans some which would later evolve into Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes, Tol'vir, Giants, and Mogu.
- Draenei refugees from Outland have formed an enclave in the Azuremyst Isles. A group of Broken draenei lives in the Swamp of Sorrows (Broken Exiles), along with some Lost Ones (a faction simply called Lost Ones). Both of them are mutated draenei.
- A large ogre population is present as a result of the Second War.
- The orcs have established their own nation, Durotar, in Central Kalimdor.
- Demons are also a prominent non-native species. Most have either been summoned by warlocks or came here during the Third War, and stayed.
- A few ethereals have ventured to Azeroth from Outland. Most of them can be found in the Magisters' Terrance and Karazhan. Two are also present in Northrend. A few have also set up shop in the Horde and Alliance capitals of Orgrimmar and Stormwind.
- Although they were among the first denizens in Azeroth, the Old Gods seems to have appeared from elsewhere. Where they came from, however, is unknown.
Origin of the name
It is said that when the Arathi brought the scattered human tribes together as the empire of Arathor, they named the land as a whole in homage to their ancient ancestors: Azeroth. It is unclear whether they named the world or named the continent.
Strangely, the term was in use during the War of the Ancients by the night elves, which raises further questions about its etymology and origins. As confirmed, it apparently was from a dialect of Common (adapted from the term Azotha), but why the night elves would use it is unclear.
- It is possible that the Night Elves did not use the term Azeroth. Rather, the Darnassian word was translated in the novel for the benefit of the reader. Alternately, the use of the word in the War of the Ancients trilogy could be considered a continuity error, although other sources imply that the world was called Azeroth at the time as well.
- It is also a possibility that Azeroth being named after the Azotha and possibly the Azotha themselves are simply not considered canon lore by Chris Metzen like Finall Goldensword as they are not referenced outside of the RPG.
In World of Warcraft, globes scattered around the game show what looks to be a sea with only a few islands dotting the surface opposite of the main continents. In the latest model of Azeroth, you are able to see a north polar ice cap. This may suggest that there is a south polar ice cap. In the model, the western edge of Kalimdor looks to be near enough to the eastern edge of the Eastern Kingdoms to suggest that there is not enough room for a big landmass in between them; although there could be islands of various sizes. Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms may actually be opposite of each other on Azeroth. The Forbidding Sea may blend into the Veiled Sea and vice versa. Spinning images of the world also appear in the introduction cinematics in the game's title. It should be noted however, that as with real world history these globes may only represent the known world, and the fact that Azeroth's inhabitants know the world to be a sphere, not necessarily the entire world.
Maps of Azeroth
Azeroth as seen in Warcraft III.
Warcraft RPG map
Kalimdor on a projected globe in the Halls of Lightning.
In-game world map before patch 4.0.3a.
In-game world map after patch 4.0.3a.
|Map Overview by Jesse Cox (advised to watch on youtube, as it is interactive)|
Throughout the Warcraft games, the world of Azeroth has usually been shown with the area surrounding the Maelstrom (Great Sea), placing Kalimdor in the west and the Eastern Kingdoms in the east (which the latter's name itself is a reference to). This has caused Azeroth's "backside" - that is, the area between western Kalimdor and eastern Eastern Kingdoms - to rarely been shown. It includes the Forbidding Sea and Veiled Sea, but is otherwise hardly (if ever) mentioned in the lore. It holds no travel routes.
Azeroth's backside did not make any appearances prior to World of Warcraft, in which it is rarely seen as well. Known appearances are:
- Note: This list may be incomplete.
- On some locations, everyday Azeroth globes can be found. These were implemented in the original version of World of Warcraft, and does as such not include zones introduced in expansions.
- Within Ulduar, a few titan-made Azeroth globes exist. Implemented in Wrath of the Lich King, they are more detailed, realistic and up-to-date than the earlier globes.
- In the quest  (implemented in Cataclysm), the player is shown a slowly spinning Azeroth, briefly showing the backside.
- Azeroth's backside is also seen in some World of Warcraft-logos (see above).
On all these depictions it is shown that Azeroth's backside is sea, although they do size it differently.
Globe seen in HoL.
A peculiar feature of travel between continents on Azeroth is the tendency to use the air and water across the Great Sea, even though this area also holds the precarious Maelstrom. The sea on Azeroth's backside contains, however, no traveling routes, although this sea seemingly contains no such dangers.
Possible explanations for lack of mentions in lore
The lack of the backside-sea in lore can presumably be applied to a lack of travel across it:
- While the western coasts of Kalimdor appears mostly accessible, the eastern coasts of the Eastern Kingdoms seem being fairly rugged and mountainous with few major settlements. There are however several areas, including the Swamp of Sorrows, the coast created in the Blasted Lands by the Shattering, and Eversong Woods, which would have been suitable for harbors. Several eastern harbors - Revantusk Village, Fuselight-by-the-Sea, Surwich, Bogpaddle, Highbank and Dragonmaw Port - even exist already.
- It has been suggested that the backside-sea is much larger than the Great Sea. This seems to be the case for the earliest globes, but the backside-sea has shrunk on later ones. In  , the backside-sea actually appears to be smaller. The large size of the backside-sea on the earliest globes can however possibly be attributed to how the globes, lore-wise, were made by beings that were unable to properly eastimate the sea's actual size.
- While the backside-sea doesn't hold any Maelstrom, it may hold other dangers. This may explain why Medivh told Terenas Menethil II to "travel west, to the forgotten lands of Kalimdor". For some reason, Thrall did also sail west after likewise being told by Medivh to find Kalimdor, but Medivh never told him to sail that direction. It is however possible that Thrall did not know about the Maelstrom at all, and that he chose to sail west purely by random. Medivh did nontheless speak to himself with the words "sail west to the lands of Kalimdor" as he watched Thrall depart, and while unknown, it's likely that Medivh would make sure his helpers sailed the safest sea to increase the chance of them reaching Kalimdor. As Thrall's fleet sailed dangerously close to the Maelstrom, was damaged by storm, ambushed and captured by an army of murlocs, had to escape an erupting volcano while fighting off said army of murlocs led by an undead naga queen sorcerer and eventually shipwrecked onto Kalimdor, one may assume that the backside-sea is somehow pretty darn dangerous.
- Blizzard may be leaving the backside sea alone and intentionally mysterious for use in the future, as it provides a huge unexplored portion of Azeroth to feature in a future game or expansion. Alternatively, they may feel that developing the area simply isn't necessary due to the game being focused on the Great Sea.
Possible technical explanation
The reason for the backside-sea's lack of usage is unknown. However, it is possibly because the backside-sea simply didn't exist up until World of Warcraft, at which point the Warcraft-universe was already "established" around the Great Sea. Areas on Azeroth (and Outland) did initially appear as "simple" Medieval/Early modern period-style maps (for example, compare AzerothWC1.gif to Carta Marina.jpeg), a feature often seen in fantasy-settings, such as Kingdom of Gwynedd, The Wheel of Time (see Wheel of Time locations), and Dungeons & Dragons (map of Blackmoor, copyrighted 1977). Fantasy-maps like this were possibly inspired by things like J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, Robert E. Howard's Hyborian Age and C. S. Lewis' Narina. Although still using antique-style maps, World of Warcraft was the first game to depict Azeroth as a round planet. The first globes were also somewhat vague, not including locations which were still established in lore, such as Northrend. The perhaps first realisitc depiction of Azeroth as a planet appeared in The Burning Crusade in which Azeroth could actually being seen from the Black Temple in Outland. This did however not show the full planet, and Azeroth's depiction in the new "super-map" was still similar to an antique map (compare to this Old World map). The Ulduar globes in Wrath of the Lich King are seemingly the first attempt at depicting the entire Azeroth in a realistic manner. This "shift" from a 2D-map to a 3D-planet appears to be what causes the globes to somewhat differ; on the earliest one the pre-World of Warcraft map is simply slapped onto a ball, whereas the later globes in Ulduar and  attempt to create a more realistic appearance.
In other words; the backside-sea had originally no place in the Warcraft-universe due to how Azeroth was depicted. As the lore expanded, Azeroth's "form" changed, and the backside-sea was created as a result. It should however still be possible for Blizzard Entertainment to fit it into the lore, though.
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 11
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 89
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 85
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 213
- ^ a b Lands of Conflict, pg. 18
- ^ The Sundering, pg. ??
- ^ This event is seen in the WCIII-cutscene The Warning.
- ^ This can be seen in the WCIII-mission Chasing Visions.
- ^ He did not tell him to do so in his prophetic vision to Thrall (seen in the cutscene Thrall's Vision), nor in their later meeting during the WCIII-mission Chasing Visions.
- ^ This can be seen during the WCIII-mission Departures.
- ^ The loading screen on the WCIII-mission Riders on the Storm depicts Thrall's route, sailing right into the Maelstrom.
- ^ WCIII mission Riders on the Storm, loading screen description: "As Thrall and his companions set out for Kalimdor in their fleet of stolen ships, they are beset in the open seas by a sudden, fierce storm. To prevent the ships from taking a heavy pounding, Thrall orders the fleet to seek shelter in the cove of a nearby, remote island." Four ships are shown in the intro cinematic, one ruined and burning.
- ^ They are taken captive at the end of Riders on the Storm.
- ^ These events happen in the WCIII-mission Countdown to Extinction.
- ^ WCIII-mission Landfall loading screen description: "Following the mysterious Prophet's instructions, Thrall led the Horde across the Great Sea. Now after weeks of traversing the raging seas, the orcish Horde has landed upon the savage shores of Kalimdor. With their stolen ships broken and drowned, the orcs cautionsly venture inland, wary of the unseen dangers lurking within the crags of the desolate land...". The level's first quest is also to find survived soldiers.