Beneath the swirling vortex of raging arcane magic that is the Maelstrom lies the Eye. The Maelstrom is the scar that marks the implosion of the Well of Eternity. Event that happened 10,000 years ago at the end of the War of the Ancients.
Sargeras was about to enter Azeroth, when the champions severed the highborne’s spellwork. I may have to re-read War of the Ancients Trilogy. For some odd reason a memory glitch makes me wonder if it destabilized when Deathwing swooped down to take the demon soul from under the highborne’s nose. That would make him a selfish-heroic figure—nvm.
Anyway, the portal was severed and the Well of Eternity imploded. The land sunk around Suramar, and the ocean surrounding the massive landmass of ancient Kalimdor rushed in to fill the immense gap, submerging everything under the waves.
What once was part of a massive land mass, was now known as the Great Sea. Thus ancient Kalimdor ended up divided into three continents: Kalimdor, Northrend and what is now known as Eastern Kingdoms. Some higher land remained above the water. These are the known isles within the Great Sea: Tel Abim, Isle of Kezan, Zandalar Isle, Plunder Isle, Kul’Tiras, Darkspear Islands (now sunk), Hiji Isle, Gillijim’s Isle, Doctor Lapidis Isle, Crestfall, Tol Barad and Zul’Dare.
Is there anything else in The Eye? You would be surprised. There is indeed. Beneath the waves are various locations charted by Prospector Brann Bronzebeard during his exploration of the world. He left Gryphadin with a goblin merchant at the Broken Isles, and with the use of a magical helmet dove into The Eye of the Maelstrom.
The Eye is but the place that once was known as Zin-Azshari (Glory of Azshara). The city built by the Night Elves around the Well of Eternity. A place now sunk and smashed to the bottom of the Great Sea. It lies now in ruins beneath the waves.
The ocean floor has many locations of interest: Nazjatar, Grishan Caverns, Mak’aru, Drowned Reaches, Pillar Deep, The Boiling Terrace, the Scintal Reef and the Rift.
The Boiling Terrace is located to the southeast of The Eye. It has volcanoes, vents, fissures and emanate dangerous gases that swirl to the surface as large bubbles. To the southeastern edge of the Boiling Terrace is the Drowned Reaches. It is here where all the ships caught by the nigh-magnetic pull of the Maelstrom’s neverending storm vortex end up. It is a ship graveyard. Undead may be found here. Not Scourge Undead, but the restless sailors of many races that wander the area either as animated skeletons or zombies. Any ships caught by the Maelstrom in the past ten thousand years ends up in the Drowned Reaches.
The Rift is the place where the Well of Eternity still exists, smashed beneath the ocean floor into Azeroth’s exposed molten core. Red and orange light emanates from the fissure on the ocean floor.
The Scintal Reef is a coral reef on the southwest of The Eye. This is Makrura territory. Their capital is located within: Mak’aru.
The Grishan Caverns were formed by volcanic activity on the sea floor. The naga stays clear from this area, fearing gargantuan sea creatures may dwell within, such as the Kraken, giant octopi or giant squids—to name a few.
Mak’aru is the capital of the Makrura race—lobsterlike humanoids—who are sworn enemies of the naga. Mak’aru is built within the Scintal Reef, made of coral terraces and organic-like buildings. Due to their thousand of years feud with the naga, Prospector Brann Bronzebeard thinks they might serve as allies for a common goal if diplomats could convince those Makrura on the shores to seek an audience with their leaders.
Pillar Deep is on the northeast of The Eye. It is another thermal vents location that releases steam and gas bubbles. This place looks similar to the Thousand Needles, with thousands of stone-like pillars nigh reaching the surface—except they are not pillars at all. They are giant tubeworms. Smaller eyeless worms inhabit the place.
Nazjatar is the capital of the Naga civilization, former Night Elves known as the Highborne. Their leader is the fabled Queen Azshara, orchestrating and shaping the history of Azeroth from the depths of Nazjatar. Serving the whims of the Old gods who saved her people and transformed, nah, cursed them to be the Naga.—as revealed in Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive by Richard A. Knaak.
Nazjatar is built into the walls of The Rift, overseeing the long descent to the molten core where the once Well of Eternity still exists. Queen Azshara is massive in size. She reigns from the place that was once her palace in ancient Zin-Azshari.
Creatures found in the Maelstrom: Naga, Makrura, Sea Giants, Giant Crabs, Eyeless Worms, Water Elementals, Octopi, Sharks, Hydras, Threshadons, Frenzies, Giant Squid.
The World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery is very thorough about areas of the South Seas, Northrend and Kalimdor. For a book published on 2005, it does have a lot of accuracy with what we can find currently in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Therefore, most of the South Sea content might be accurate with what Blizzard Entertainment may provide fans in a South Seas-themed expansion. Grab your PDF copy of this book here.