Azeroth, Pre-Sundering – A Visual Guide

You know, I’ve looked and I’ve looked online just about everywhere, but I have yet to find a map of pre-Sundering Azeroth – what the continents looked like before the Sundering that split them into the continents of Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, and Northrend that we know today.

I can talk till I’m blue in the face about how Azeroth used to be nothing BUT Kalimdor, but it’s easier to show what it looked like – please note, the following is a VERY rough map, and not officially sanctioned by Blizzard. It is more than likely that the land mass was larger than what I’ve depicted here, and the territorial borders were placed there in the interests of speculation and theory more than anything.


Click for a larger image.

What you can see from this is that #1 – Zin-Azshari? Was HUGE. It covered a VERY large portion of Kalimdor. Think of New York City, and then triple or quadruple it. The Highborne concentrated closer to the Well of Eternity (the blue portion in the center), and Suramar bordered it on the far side. I’ll go more into Suramar and what exactly you could find there in the next Night Elf History post – but for now, think of it as the religious capital of the kaldorei.

The red areas are leftovers from the war between the trolls and the aqir – the aqir being the descendants of what are now known as the Nerubians to the north, and the Qiraji to the south.

The green areas are two distinct areas of green, and I may tweak with those at a later point when I go further into troll history – the lighter green is what is left of the Amani empire, which used to cover much of the area now taken by the kaldorei. The Amani empire split into several smaller tribes that are scattered along the northwest of the Eastern Kingdoms. While the Shatterspear trolls of northern Darkshore are attributed as Gurubashi in origin, I theorize they are actually an offshoot of what was once an Amani tribe, as the Gurubashi were primarily located in the south, and nowhere NEAR where the Shatterspear are currently located. I’ve also theorized that the Sandfury down south in Tanaris were originally Amani in origin.

Really what I’m looking at and what lore seems to suggest is that the Amani tribe started out in the northern forests and jungles, fairly concentrated in the center, but once the kaldorei developed, they pushed the Amani Empire back on BOTH sides – not just to the eastern coasts, but the western coasts as well. The majority of what was left of the Amani on the western coasts were killed when the Sundering occured, but there were still a few straggling tribes that we see today here and there on present-day Kalimdor.

The darker green is the Gurubashi empire – or what’s left of that. You can see it’s still fairly massive, and even post-sundering the Gurubashi covered much of the southern portion of the Eastern Kingdoms. The southern troll tribes all split from the Gurubashi originally.

Regardless! None of this is fact, really I made the majority of it up, but as I can’t seem to find a ‘real’ map anywhere, I thought I’d throw one together for the purposes of demonstrating just how large pre-Sundering Kalimdor was.

If anyone manages to hunt down an actual map of pre-Sundering Kalimdor, I’d love to see it!

Edit: After a quick question thrown at the Queue over on wow.com, it’s come to my attention that there isn’t a map, apparently. How sad. It’s also come to my attention while working on the Night Elf History posts (now complete!) that man I made a lot of little mistakes here and there. I will probably be tweaking and reposting this map as time goes on and I gather more information on what goes where.

In the interests of keeping things tidy, I am also considering putting together a companion map of Draenor, pre world-explodey-terrible-bad-boom. If I do, I’ll post it as well, of course. Keep an eye on the blog for more Lore History, more conclusions, more RP Tips and in-depth looks at characters in Warcraft lore!

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4 Comments

  1. Wyrm said,

    02/02/2010 at 2:43 pm

    Don’t you mean the Aqir being the ancestors of the Nerubians and the Qiraji instead of descendants?

    BTW I enjoy your site. ^_^

  2. Wyrm said,

    02/02/2010 at 2:45 pm

    Oh and also, the Shatterspear Tribe actually traveled to Kalimdor from the Eastern Kingdoms after Hakkar the Soulflayer’s first defeat. They are definitely of Gurubashi origins.

  3. Wulfy said,

    07/06/2010 at 4:44 pm

    Great map! Really interesting to think of ‘prehistoric’ Azeroth.

  4. 04/26/2011 at 5:14 pm

    [...] the centaur. I wish that Anne Stickney had gotten around to editing Tauren territories into her speculative map of pre-Sundering Kalimdor; I would place them in the southwestern area of the map that isn’t currently colored anything [...]


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