- Not to be confused with Shattering.
The Great Sundering (also simply known as the Sundering, or the Breaking) was a cataclysmic event that shattered the continent of Kalimdor approximately 10,000 years ago, at the end of the War of the Ancients. This was caused by the implosion of the destabilized Well of Eternity, which destroyed eighty percent of Kalimdor's landmass, sending it down to the bottom of the oceans.
A seething, massive whirlpool known as the Maelstrom now remains where the Well of Eternity once stood. Left behind were the major continents known today as Northrend, Pandaria, the Eastern Kingdoms, and the remnant still referred to as Kalimdor. Other islands such as Kezan and the Broken Isles survived too.
In the RPG
A non-canonical name for the event is the Cataclysm.
The concept of a sundering, or a world being reshaped, is a common theme found in fantasy. Tolkien described a reshaping of Arda, and lands lost to the seas in his writings, and the Dragonlance Dungeons and Dragons gameworld underwent the Cataclysm, where seas receded to the point that a coastal port town became landlocked. In Warhammer, the Gates of Old Ones once shattered and Chaos swept the world, damaging the land, primary on north and south poles. In David Eddings' Belgariad, the dark God Kal Torak attempted to use a magic orb that had been used to shape the world in anger and split the world in two and mutilated himself, an event similar to the Sundering.