Broken Isles

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NeutralBroken Isles
Level: 98 - 110
Legion Broken Isles loading screen.jpg
Loading screen as of patch 7.1.0
The Broken Isles are shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Their jagged coasts, lush forests, and colossal mountains are home to ancient ruins and cultures not seen by outsiders for thousands of years. Every stone has a story to tell; every cavern holds the promise of a new discovery.[2]

The Broken Isles are a mysterious chain of islands located northeast of the raging Maelstrom. Littered with ancient elven ruins, they contain notably the mighty night elf city of Suramar as well as the long-lost Tomb of Sargeras. The third invasion of the Burning Legion commenced when the sealed portal inside the Tomb was opened again by Gul'dan from the alternate universe.


Before the Great Sundering, the region that would become the Broken Isles was a part of Ancient Kalimdor and near the Well of Eternity. It was here where the ancient forest of Val'sharah, home of Cenarius, was located, as well as the city of Suramar, hometown of Tyrande Whisperwind, Malfurion Stormrage, and Illidan Stormrage. The Sundering blasted most of Suramar underwater, though some of it stayed above the waves due to the efforts of resident night elves, who would later evolve into the Nightborne.

In the distant past Magna Aegwynn, Guardian of Tirisfal, battled the avatar of Sargeras. Knowing that the dark titan's corpse still held power, she sought a safe place to entomb it. Aegwynn placed his body in a building in the underwater ruins of Suramar, believing it to be secure.[3] This would become known as the Tomb of Sargeras.

Second War

WC2BnE logo 16x42.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.

During the Second War, Gul'dan led his followers through the isles en masse towards the end of the conflict. The great warlock raised a new island[4][5] from the bottom of the sea and opened the Tomb, only to be torn to shreds by the demons inside. Doomhammer loyalists of the Blackrock and Black Tooth Grin clans then fought the forces of the Stormreavers and Twilight's Hammer.[6][7]

Third War

WC3RoC logo 16x32.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

During the Third War, Maiev Shadowsong chased escaped prisoner Illidan Stormrage here, while the latter searched for the Eye of Sargeras. She discovered the remains of the ancient night elf city of Suramar here, as well as a never-ending battle between the undead remnants of the Twilight's Hammer, Blackrock, and Stormreaver clans.[8] Maiev pursued Illidan into the Tomb of Sargeras, but Illidan found the Eye first and used it to destroy the tomb as well as most of Maiev's forces.[9] Afterwards, Maiev sent a runner to return to Kalimdor and get help from of Malfurion Stormrage,[10] who rescued her forces and pursued Illidan.[11]


Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

The Broken Isles are a new continent introduced in World of Warcraft: Legion and are the main setting of the expansion. The Tomb of Sargeras has been reopened and demons have began to pour into the isles.


In-game map of the Broken Isles


The Broken Isles can be accessed after reaching level 98 and completing the introduction questline. All Broken Isles zones are scaled to player's level, except for Suramar, which is an end-game questing zone for level 110 players.

Lore sub-regions


Main article: Instances by continent


Main article: Arena

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

The Broken Isles include about four large (relatively speaking) islands and about three small islands. They were underwater until a scant few decades ago, when the orc warlock Gul'dan raised them from the ocean floor. Gul'dan was searching for the tomb of the fallen Titan Sargeras, and indeed he found it: The ancient Kaldorei structure stands on the largest isle. Other Kaldorei ruins, remnants of their culture from 10,000 years ago, stand on the other islands. For having been underwater for the better part of ten millennia, they look pretty good.

The Broken Isles are an unpleasant and dangerous place. The Death Hiss tribe of naga dominates the region, led by Tide Priest Harash. Other threats are abundant as well: giant turtles, hydras, wendigo and a host of other dangers occupy the areas the naga are not. Also, a few goblin merchants have managed to carve out some spaces for themselves with the help of hired mercenaries.

The Maelstrom is just northwest of the Broken Isles. It's close. It's too close. The Maelstrom's magical storms lash the Broken Isles, making for near constant winds and rainfall and, occasionally, something stranger. The Maelstrom's proximity makes the Broken Isles unstable. Soon, the storm will prove too much and the islands will sink back into the sea.[12]

The Broken Isles are apparently being pulled toward the Maelstrom as implied by Lands of Mystery, and it is said they will likely be destroyed at some point by the magical forces of the storm.[13] The explanation that the islands are moving towards the Maelstrom may have been created to explain why the islands seemed to have moved positions in the maps between Warcraft II and Warcraft III. However, it is also implied that the island was much closer to the Maelstrom than it was shown in the map for Warcraft II when Aegwynn buried Sargeras there.

Notes & trivia

  • It was originally established that Gul'dan had raised the Broken Isles entirely, which where described as volcanic, from the bottom of the ocean.[6] However, it has since been retconned so that he raised only the island of Thal'dranath, also known as the Broken Shore,[14] the rest having survived the Great Sundering.[15]
    • Malfurion Stormrage also knew about their existence,[16] confirming the retcon.
    • After the Third War, Maiev's runner announced Illidan's presence on the Broken Isles, and they were not surprised by the location.[17] However, she was not aware that the Tomb of Sargeras or Suramar had remained.[citation needed]
  • The Broken Isles were represented by the Sunken Ruins melee tileset in The Frozen Throne, but none of the Legion areas perfectly match with the tileset.


Zone images


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Location discrepancy

  • In Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, the islands were shown to be halfway between Balor and Kul Tiras. The map was likely not to scale, however, and was just showing areas that were involved in the storyline, or it may have been inaccurate. Still in Warcraft II, only Aegwynn and Medivh knew the true location of the Tomb of Sargeras, and they did not share that information with anybody.
  • The northern islands may have been meant to represent the Broken Isles, but were seemingly too far north at the time. In Legion, the Broken Isles are located exactly where the northern islands were on the Vanilla map, indicating that they are in fact the same. However, the "northern islands" and the island that the RPG called the Broken Isles have been on the map at the same time since Warcraft III.
  • Balor may be a part of the Broken Isles or located near the island chain.

Patch changes