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- For Maelstrom as an in-game resource, see Maelstrom (game resource).
The Maelstrom is a massive, fierce vortex of water that was created when the Well of Eternity collapsed into itself during the Great Sundering. It is located in the middle of the Great Sea which subsequently filled the void. The water churns constantly in a dizzying storm of tidal and arcane energy that seems to have no end.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Quests
- 4 Factions
- 5 Notable characters
- 6 In Warcraft III
- 7 In World of Warcraft
- 8 In the RPG
- 9 Notes & trivia
- 10 Gallery
- 11 Videos
- 12 Patch changes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
As the aftershocks from the Well's implosion rattled the bones of the world, the seas rushed in to fill the gaping wound left in the earth. Nearly eighty percent of Kalimdor's landmass had been blasted apart, leaving only a handful of separate continents surrounding the new, raging sea.
At the center of the new sea, where the Well of Eternity once stood, was a tumultuous storm of tidal fury and chaotic energies. This terrible scar, known as the Maelstrom, would never cease its furious spinning. It would remain a constant reminder of the terrible catastrophe and the utopian era that had been lost forever.
During the Third War, Thrall's fleet crashed and they made an emergency landing on an island near the Maelstrom, where they found a group of jungle trolls fighting desperately against human colonists and murloc invaders. The island was destroyed by Zar'jira, with Thrall and his allies barely escaping.
This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.
Deathwing has used the Maelstrom to re-enter Azeroth's physical plane from Deepholm, triggering the Cataclysm. Thrall is present here on behalf of the Earthen Ring, and is trying to maintain the rift with other key Earthen Ring members alongside Muln Earthfury and Farseer Nobundo.
In the final battle against Deathwing he attempts to flee to Deepholm and the adventurers face him before he can usher forth the final cataclysm. Even after the death of the Destroyer, the shamans of the Earthen Ring were still healing the world.
This section concerns content related to Legion.
With the disastrous results of the Battle for Broken Shore against the Burning Legion, the elders of the Earthen Ring called an emergency council at the Maelstrom. While there, the Earthen Ring and a shaman adventurer pushed back an attack led by the fel lord Geth'xun. After the shaman adventurer reclaimed an artifact, an Order Hall was established at the Heart of Azeroth.
Just northeast of the Maelstrom, a titan vault known as the Primordial Observatory can be found.
Maps and subregions
Continent (only in-game)
Regions adjacent to the Maelstrom
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Access|
|Deepholm||None||Via the center of the Maelstrom.|
In Warcraft III
From the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual:
- "As the aftershocks from the Well's implosion rattled the bones of the world, the seas rushed in to fill the gaping wound left in the earth. Nearly eighty percent of Kalimdor's landmass had been blasted apart, leaving only a handful of separate continents surrounding the new, raging sea. At the center of the new sea, where the Well of Eternity once stood, was a tumultuous storm of tidal fury and chaotic energies. This terrible scar, known as the Maelstrom, would never cease its furious spinning. It would remain a constant reminder of the terrible catastrophe and the utopian era that had been lost forever..."
In World of Warcraft
This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.
The Maelstrom can be seen on the world map of World of Warcraft, where it sits between Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. This depiction of the Maelstrom, as well as evading ships/zeppelins, was continued in the following expansions which elaborated the map and added more travel routes.
The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King
- The Burning Crusade:
- Wrath of the Lich King:
This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.
In the third expansion, Cataclysm, players became able to visit the Maelstrom. As far as game mechanics are concerned, the Maelstrom is a sanctuary, where PvP combat is disabled. The zone can be reached through the quests which lead the player to Deepholm from Stormwind City and Orgrimmar. Once the player enters Deepholm, the Maelstrom cannot be revisited.
Player mobility in the Maelstrom is limited: mounting is disabled, and an invisible wall does not allow movement outside of Thrall and Aggra's piece of land. As a result, players cannot venture over via flight or swimming to visit Kezan or the Lost Isles.
In the RPG
The Maelstrom itself is located in the northern tip of the South Seas, to the northwest of the Broken Isles. At the center of the Maelstrom is a location known as the Eye. The empires of the makrura and the naga, named Mak'aru and Nazjatar, lie beneath it. They, along with the other regions within the Maelstrom, are considered sub-regions of The Eye. These are all located beneath it, below ocean surface.
Notes & trivia
- The shark-dinosaur-Forsaken Epicus Maximus appeared in the Maelstrom during Cataclysm beta due to player complaints that the area didn't feel "epic" enough.
- Foreman Dampwick in Bilgewater Port threatens to dump troll slaves into the Maelstrom.
- On the game's world map, the Maelstrom is considered a continent composed of the Maelstrom itself, Deepholm, the Lost Isles, and Kezan.
- Since the inclusion of the Broken Isles in Legion on the world map, the position of the Maelstrom slightly moved to the west.
Underneath The Eye.
Thrall maintaining the rift.
Muln Earthfury maintaining the rift.
Farseer Nobundo maintaining the rift.
World map before patch 3.0.3.
World map before patch 4.0.3a.
World map before patch 5.0.4.
World map before patch 7.0.3.
World map before patch 8.0.1.
World map in Battle for Azeroth.
- Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Level scaling implemented.
- Patch 7.2.0 (2017-03-28): Lightless Cavern and Primordial Observatory added.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Heart of Azeroth added.
- Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): The Maelstrom now has its own loading screen.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Added.