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Caverns of Time

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Caverns of Time
Several instances
Cavernsoftimegate.JPG
The gate that was once closed, opened before the oncoming storm
Location Tanaris
Race(s) Bronze dragonflight Bronze dragonflight
Infinite dragonflight Infinite dragonflight
Advised level 66-85
Player limit 5-25
Caverns of Time
The Caverns of Time
Within the Caverns of Time

Located in the eastern part of Tanaris, the Caverns of Time contain various portals to different key historical periods and events in Warcraft history. The caverns act as a crossroads for the various timelines,[citation needed] and through them one can travel back and forth along the ebb and flow of time.

The Caverns of Time are home to Nozdormu and the bronze dragonflight. It is their sacred mission, one which was charged to them by the titans, to guard the caverns against the intrusion of mortals, whose interference would assuredly disrupt the flow of time. Recently, a mysterious force called the infinite dragonflight has begun to meddle with time. The Bronze Dragonflight is recruiting adventurers to make sure that the events that took place in the past remain as they were.

Contents

History

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

Relics of past ages live half-buried in the sands near the entrance to this vast cave system. The bronze drakes of the mighty dragon Nozdormu patrol the borders, making sure that no mortals enter the sacred grounds at the cavern's entrance. Those who somehow slip past the drake guardians and enter the caverns have never returned quite the same — tales describe how some appear as old men, while others are reduced to infancy by the cavern's strange energies.[1]

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Deep within the Caverns of Time, the brooding dragon Nozdormu has awakened. Since the world was young, the bronze dragonflight has safeguarded the winding labyrinth, monitoring the shifting timeways to ensure that the delicate balance of time is upheld.[2]

The Timeless One sensed a threat to his beloved timeways. Shadowy agents have infiltrated the Caverns of Time, attempting to sabotage four key historical events: Thrall's escape from Durnholde, the monumental battle of Mount Hyjal, Medivh's creation of the Dark Portal and Arthas' culling of Stratholme. In the face of this overwhelming threat, Nozdormu is enlisting heroes to help him prevent the fabric of time from unraveling forever.[3]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

During Thrall's journey during the events of Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, Thrall and Desharin ventured to the Caverns. Thrall learned about the timeways such as one, where he escapes from Durnholde. While they were meditating, an agent attacked them and killed Desharin. Thrall was then tossed to a portal by a bronze dragon and began his journey through the past and was able to release Nozdormu.

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

In World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, the Dark Portal will be twisted to link up to the Draenor of the past, rather than the current Outland. In order for players to still access Outland (and level from 60 to 70), a portal to Outland will open up in the Caverns of Time.[4]

Appearance and denizens

Overview of the area

The caverns are not all sand — some former barren areas are full of lush forests and all around the Caverns there are huge dragon watchers, some on all fours and some on two legs, towering above everything else, and they wield huge axes. A few vendors and other humanoids exist throughout the Caverns, among them being frozen human warriors that surround towers of old Lordaeron and frozen citizens of Stratholme, an alcohol vendor, an enchantment materials vendor and a vendor that sells general goods. From the general goods vendor (who is called a <Provisioner>) you can buy new types of cheese and water. The frozen NPCs' eyes all creepily move and glance around.

The bronze dragon Anachronos, who sits outside the gate, is labeled as a "?? Boss" but is not hostile at this point in time — although his companions Tick, Chronalis, and Occulus do remain aggressive. It is not at all a risk to walk right into the caverns as they currently stand, so long as you don't get too close to any of the dragons other than Anachronos.

The caverns contain several instances with content culled directly from their previous Warcraft games or periods of the Warcraft history that elapsed between them. At one point Blizzard also discussed a battleground set in the past, but the project appears to have been shelved.

Key Expac Level Label
A TBC 66-85+ Entrance
B TBC 70+ Instance portal green.pngHyjal Raid
C TBC 66-70 Instance portal purple.pngOld Hillsbrad
D TBC 68-70 Instance portal purple.pngBlack Morass
E WotLK 80 Instance portal purple.pngOld Stratholme
F Cataclysm 85+ Instance portal green.pngDragon Soul
G Cataclysm 85 Instance portal purple.pngEnd Time
H Cataclysm 85 Instance portal purple.pngHour of Twilight
I Cataclysm 85 Instance portal purple.pngWell of Eternity
1' 70 Neutral Steward of Time <Keepers of Time>
2' 30 Neutral Alexston Chrome <Tavern of Time>
3' Graveyard
4' 65 Neutral Yarley <Armorer>
5' 65 Neutral Bortega <Reagents & Poison Supplies>
Neutral Alurmi <Keepers of Time Quartermaster>
Neutral Galgrom <Provisioner>
6' 70-73 Neutral Zaladormu
Neutral Soridormi <The Scale of the Sands>
Neutral Arazmodu <The Scale of the Sands>
7' Moonwell
8' 66 Neutral Andormu (child) <Keepers of Time>
Neutral Nozari (child) <Keepers of Time>
9'  ?? Neutral Anachronos <Keepers of Time>
10' 70 Neutral Andormu (adult) <Keepers of Time>
Neutral Nozari (adult) <Keepers of Time>

Instances

Escape from Durnholde Keep

The entrance to Old Hillsbrad Foothills

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Durnholde Keep was the headquarters of the orcish internment camps in southern Lordaeron following the Horde's defeat in the Second War. At this time, Thrall was a 19-year-old slave to human officer Aedelas Blackmoore, who intended to use Thrall as a puppet Warchief to control the orcish Horde and thus gain power over his fellow humans. However, Thrall knew that he was destined for more, and so he made his escape from Durnholde to find others of his kind, eventually discovering the Frostwolf Clan and his place as Warchief.

This instance contains the entire Hillsbrad area as it appeared 7 years ago, before the Horde destroyed Durnholde, and Tarren Mill fell to the undead.

Opening the Dark Portal

The entrance to Black Morass

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Medivh, the last of the magical Guardians of Tirisfal, was possessed at birth by the evil Titan, Sargeras. It was Medivh who first contacted the corrupt orc sorcerer Gul'dan, also in the service of the Burning Legion. Together they sought to bridge the dimensional gap between Azeroth and Draenor, homeworld of the orcs, to facilitate the destruction of Azeroth. On the appointed day both Medivh and Gul'dan concentrated their considerable magic energies, forcing the collapse of the dimensional barrier. The setting of this event is the Black Morass, now known as the Blasted Lands.

Players defend Medivh as he opens the portal.

Battle for Mount Hyjal

The entrance to Mount Hyjal

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

At the pinnacle of the second battle against the Burning Legion it was clear to the races of Azeroth that the only way to achieve victory would be to unite their forces in a final, desperate push for victory. This battle took place at the peak of Mount Hyjal, at the foot of Nordrassil, the World Tree. The night elves, led by Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind, the new Horde, led by Thrall and Cairne Bloodhoof, and the remnants of the Alliance of Lordaeron, led by Jaina Proudmoore, united their forces against Archimonde and the demonic forces of the Burning Legion in a massive, epic battle to defend Azeroth. Victory was narrowly achieved, even as Archimonde reached the World Tree and attempted to drain it of its energy.

Culling of Stratholme

The entrance to the Culling of Stratholme

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

The next instance, included in the second expansion, is Stratholme several years in the past. Players join Arthas in "cleansing" the city of plagued villagers, one of the final acts in a series of personal changes that culminates in Arthas becoming a death knight of the Lich King, and one of the first acts into his decent to madness. This was a level within Warcraft III. Jaina Proudmoore and Uther are seen in this instance briefly, as Arthas had a disagreement with his mentor before the culling of the people of Stratholme, and disbanded the order of paladins to which Uther belonged — the Knights of the Silver Hand.

Final Push against the Worldbreaker

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

End Time

The entrance to present and future Dragonblight

The Dragon Aspects that occupy Wyrmrest Temple have a problem: They know that if they cannot destroy their fallen brother Deathwing, he'll consume the world. There’s only one artefact with the power to weaken the Black Scourge, but it has long since been destroyed: the Dragon Soul. To retrieve the golden disk the Aspects must charge the heroes of Azeroth with its retrieval from the depths of time. Deathwing first unleashed the power of the Dragon Soul to stop Sargeras and the Burning Legion from entering Azeroth through the Well of Eternity. That means sending players to the Caverns of Time and Nozdormu. Upon arriving, the Aspect of Time will tell them that his ability to send them back to the battle at the Well of Eternity is being interfered with by an entity in the future. First then, players must go forward into the Endtime and kill Murozond. Within they’ll witness a charred vision of the world should the plan to defeat Deathwing fail.

Well of Eternity

The entrance to the Well of Eternity

With Murozond's defeat, players will be able to venture into the past and partake in the near-apocalyptic clash at the Well of Eternity. There, players will fight alongside such prominent characters of Warcraft lore as Illidan, Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande. They’ll see the demon Mannoroth and the delusional highborne queen, Azshara.

Hour of Twilight

Once the Dragon Soul is secured, players will return to the present and in the third instance will be charged with protecting both Thrall and the artefact as they make their way to Wyrmrest Temple in Northrend. In The Hour of Twilight, they'll discover the Temple is now under full assault by Deathwing and his myriad forces. It's a conceit that players will be familiar with from Wrath of the Lich King’s patch 3.3, and it perfectly stages the final Cataclysm raid against Deathwing himself.

Dragon Soul

The raid picks up right where the final instance finishes. Thrall and the Dragon Soul are now nearby Wyrmrest Temple and raiders begin by attempting to relieve the beleaguered Aspects. Deathwing's host includes the Twilight dragonflight, Earth Elementals, servants of the Old Gods and the Twilight's Hammer cult. As players reach the summit of the Temple they’ll encounter Ultraxion, one of the most powerful Twilight dragons ever created. Once the Twilight dragon has been bested, Thrall is able unleash the charged Dragon Soul upon Deathwing. The raid then boards an airship in pursuit of the wounded dragon who is now flying for the Maelstrom and the safety of Deepholm. En route, Twilight's Hammer drake riders, led by the Twilight's Hammer Warmaster, will harry them. Having dispatched the Twilight's Hammer, players will then leave the airship and climb onto the back of Deathwing himself. Scrambling on the huge dragon, players will be tasked with prying up these huge elementium plates from his back to allow Thrall and the Aspects to shoot the Dragon Soul at him again.

Human Illusion

Due to lore reasons, primarily the absence of certain races at the time periods portrayed in the CoT instances, the bronze dragonflight will place the spell Human Illusion on all Draenei, Night Elf, Worgen, Blood Elf, Tauren, Orc, Forsaken, Troll and Goblin player characters, turning them into Human forms of themselves - but retaining all of that character's actual gear on their new temporary model. Death Knight players will still retain their echo voices and blue glowing eyes. Before Patch 4.0.6, worgen players retained their usual Human form, but were unable to use [Running Wild].

Night Elf Illusion

All players appear as night elves in the Well of Eternity instance, similar to the Human Illusion in the Culling of Stratholme and Escape from Durnholde Keep instances.

Quests

The Sand Clock
The old Sand Clock

NPCs

Alexston Chrome appears first; he appears to be a tavernkeeper and operates an establishment named the Tavern of Time where he sells five varieties of alcohol.

Next to appear is Yarley, a dwarven armorer who sells ordinary blacksmithing supplies and can repair your gear.

The last vendors to appear are Galgrom, and his unfortunate brother Bortega (who's voice has been altered due to the strain of time travel), orcs who have become stranded between some point in the past and the present. Galgrom sells various foodstuffs, including two new items,  [Garadar Sharp], which restores 4,320 health over 30 seconds and requires level 55, and  [Filtered Draenic Water], which restores 5,100 mana over 30 seconds and also requires level 55, as well as some level 65 foods and projectile weapons. Bortega, a poisons/reagents vendor, sells nothing new.

Since it came out,  [Filtered Draenic Water] has been replaced, as it would not have been around at the time

Other unselectable NPCs (Stratholme Citizen Specimen, Stratholme Child Specimen and more) appear throughout the open areas. Also, other factionless NPC's and they, like the vendors, are members of the Keepers of Time faction (with the exception of Alexston Chrome, who appears to be factionless).

Quick Travel to Caverns of Time

As of Patch 2.4, Zephyr at the World's End Tavern in Shattrath City can port characters who have at least Revered reputation status with the Keepers of Time directly to the entrance of the Caverns, just next to the meeting stone and the Steward of Time.

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

In the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, players can also use the portal located at the Violet Citadel in Dalaran or speak to Zidormi standing in front of it. Unlike the transport from Shattrath, there is no reputation requirement.

Notes

  • Before patch 4.2.0, in order to access the instances in Heroic mode, players had to obtain Honored Reputation with the Keepers of Time, and then buy the  [Key of Time] from Alurmi, the Keepers of Time quartermaster, in the Caverns of Time. The Culling of Stratholme does not require any key nor reputation for Heroic mode.

Gallery

References

External links