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The Sands of Time HS

The Sands of Time in Hearthstone.

“Unto you is charged the great task of keeping the purity of time. Know that there is only one true timeline, though there are those who would have it otherwise. You must protect it. Without the truth of time as it is meant to unfold, more will be lost than you can possibly imagine. The fabric of reality will unravel. It is a heavy task ― the base of all tasks of this world, for nothing can transpire without time.”

Aman'Thul's Blessing of Nozdormu and the Bronze Dragonflight on [1][2]

Time is a progression of instants.[3] This movement is ordinarily perceived by mortals as regular and determinant, functioning much like a clockwork;[3] yet perception does not dictate reality:[4] time is chaotic, always in flux, and completely malleable,[4] flowing like the sands of an hourglass.[3] While there is an infinite number of timeways,[4] according to Aman'Thul, leader of the Pantheon, there is only "one true timeline", although some would have it otherwise, and without the truth of time as it is meant to unfold, the fabric of reality will unravel.[5]

Time is a construct of Order[6][7] and can sometimes move differently according to location. Alternate Draenor saw decades pass after the portal with Azeroth was closed while mere years happened elsewhere. The perception of time is also chaotic in the Shadowlands; to souls in the Shadowlands, it can seem like eons have passed since their deaths whereas only a few months or years have elapsed in the world of the living.[8][9] Living mortals which are influenced by the force of Order perceive time the way they do. Without a tether to their mortal plane, they no longer have the same perception.[10] Nevertheless, time of some kind, apparently in a less linear way, seems to exist in the Shadowlands, as the Primus, before leaving his realm and disappearing, had an ally able to peer into the timeways to see every possible outcome for his military and its various tactics in order to determine the best possible ones.[11]

According to Nozdormu, all that matters is this moment, and living in the moment itself is that far more important than dwelling upon the past or future, serving as Time's First Lesson, and one should try not to get caught up in all the loose ends of Time's tangled web.[12][13] Time itself is, from a certain perspective, an "illusion", in that the only true reality is the now, with every past moment being a memory, and every future moment a hope or fear that has not yet manifested, and only by Thrall truly being in the present moment was he able to free Nozdormu from the timeways which he was trapped within. Nozdormu told Thrall that it was this quiet, the pause between breaths, the small moments of one's life in which one was receiving and learning rather than giving that made all beings what they truly were, and thereby gave them the strength for their greatest journeys.[14]

Moving between different points in time is called time travel.



The Sand Clock within the Caverns of Time.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.”

Mount Journal entry for Ability mount drake proto [Reins of the Time-Lost Proto-Drake]

In all known realms of the cosmos, time flows forward, ever forward. Chaotic energies in places like the Twisting Nether can affect how quickly it flows, but it only flows forward.

Once an event happens, it cannot be changed. These events and choices, made up of all creatures and forces in the cosmos, join together like a river, sharing the same reality. Different choices and different possibilities naturally spin off the river of time like small creeks and estuaries, ebbing and flowing for a while. If these shades of what could have been are left alone, they will eventually dissipate into nothing. If efforts are made to preserve them (or alter them), they can indeed remain in existence indefinitely. They can even be made to feed back into the main river—dead creatures can seemingly "live again," and the past (or future) may literally come back to haunt you. This is not a natural phenomenon, and the inhabitants of the main timeway will often find these experiences to be quite alarming.

But the only timeway that has a permanent effect on the cosmos is the main timeway. Creatures like the bronze dragons, who have command of temporal magic, can see all the countless tributaries of alternate universes and timelines, and they can even move back and forth along the stream to observe the past and the future.

If that main river is disrupted, it could spell doom and disaster. All life on Azeroth depends on time to flow ever forward. Without the surety that the sun will rise and set each day, the seasons would not pass, the cycle of life would become meaningless, and all living creatures would eventually die from being unable to sustain themselves. It is the most sacred mission of the bronze dragonflight to keep that from happening.[15]

Due to its damages, in Outland the passage of time feels different to members of the bronze dragonflight.[16]

Apparently, all alternate versions of the same character (from different timeways and alternate realities) are more or less part of the same being, such as in the case with Draka, using an analogy of a rope with different threads which can be pulled off, but which "at some time come together to make that rope" - basically, alternate versions of various characters are able to exist as temporarily separate entities which lead separate existences for a while, but still basically part of the "same rope" which will all eventually come together in the Shadowlands.[17]


“Lost time is never found again. Oh, never mind I found it.”

Legacies Nozdormu

Nozdormu using time magic in Legacies.

Temporal magic manifests as a bronze[19][20] or golden light.[20]

Rarely, the essence of time can become crystallized to form an Inv pet scorchedstone [Epoch Stone]: golden mineral matter that radiates the weight of ages. To form, this mineral requires rapid passage through the eras. Its presence indicates that the place or the being in which the stone is found may not exist in one time at all, but shift rapidly from timeway to timeway.[21]


Chronomancy is the arcanic art of weaving time.[22] Time magic is a young field of research.[23] This discipline falls under the school of Transmutation, allowing the deceleration of events (through Spell magic featherfall [Slow Fall] or Spell nature slow [Slow]),[24] the acceleration of events (through Ability mage timewarp [Time Warp]), or returning you back to your previous location and health (through Spell mage altertime [Alter Time] or Spell mage temporalshield [Temporal Shield]) among other possibilities.

To fulfill their duty of protecting the timeways, the agents of the Timewalkers may use a Timewalker Staff, an instrument for manipulating time magic as shepherding the timeways is a dangerous work.[25] In their ranks, the Weavers are arcanists who specialize in chronomancy. Only they can repair damage to the timeways, open temporal portals, and other such tasks.[22]

Modifying divination magic with temporal magic can allow one to see across time.[26]

The Sands of Time can be used by skilled chronomancers to alter the course of time.[27]


Bronze dragonflight[]

Empowered by Aman'Thul's cosmic powers, the dragon Nozdormu and his flight were enabled to guard time itself and police the ever-spinning and interweaving pathways of fate and destiny. All who sought to disrupt the timestream flow faced the Great Aspect and his brood's[28] Keepers of Time.[29]

Intrusive time-shifting of the Infinite dragonflight creates tears in time itself, twisting it infinitely into crystallized essences.[30]

Shortly after the Third War, Krasus believed that Nozdormu held time together against an anomaly.

Members of the bronze dragonflight can help adventurers time travel to older versions of some zones.

The North Wind was responsible for time going awry in eastern Storm Peaks,[31] with time rifts being present that needed to be closed.[32] The corrupt timeline was restored with The Lorehammer.[33]

Emerald Dream[]

Time is meaningless inside the Dream. As a result, the green dragonflight, which spends the majority of its time in the Dream, is extremely long-lived. Ysera's consorts in particular almost never emerge from the Dream and are effectively immortal, as are all other permanent denizens in the Dream.[34]

Twisting Nether[]

When the orcs entered the Nether they journeyed through time and space from another world and into Azeroth. A spell that would cast one into the past was hardly that much different.[35]

Time passes differently deep inside the Twisting Nether, and it is impossible to tell whether days, years, or centuries have passed.[36] Turalyon and Alleria have fought in the Nether for a thousand years from their perspective, while on Azeroth it has been only a few decades.[37][38]


Immortal creatures essentially stop aging when they reach adulthood, and thus, they cannot die merely from old age.[39] It was Nozdormu's blessing on Nordrassil which conferred immortality, immunity to aging and disease, to the entire kaldorei race; Nozdormu has likewise blessed Xarantaur and Jonathan the Revelator with immortality.[40]

Spirit of Air[]

Icon-TCG This section contains information from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game and is considered non-canon.

Aided by the Spirit of Air, a shaman may be able to see faraway objects or events, whether the distance be physical or temporal.[41]


With the titans intrinsically being aligned with the Arcane and Order, some members of the Pantheon such as Aman'Thul have considerable mastery over time itself. The Eye of Aman'thul created the Nightwell, and Aman'Thul claimed that time was the one force capable of binding the "relentless fury" of Argus the Unmaker during their confrontation, attempting to collapse time around him and briefly dissipating his form, though his powers failed to truly subdue him. Aman'Thul's vision of the Old Gods one day causing the Hour of Twilight, capable of potentially wiping out all life on Azeroth, was one of the reasons the Pantheon empowered Nozdormu and the other Aspects with their powers, to ultimately avert this single catastrophe, although Aman'Thul for all his vast powers was not omniscient and was unaware Neltharion would eventually be corrupted into Deathwing.[42]


After the Dragon Aspects' loss of power following the fall of Deathwing, the bronze dragons required mortal help to police the timeways.[43] Vowing to protect them at any cost,[44] the Keepers of Time reformed themselves as the Timewalkers, a new faction comprised of both dragons and mortals.[43]

Vision of Time[]

The Vision of Time was an hourglass created by Kairozdormu with the Epoch Stones from the Timeless Isle and Sands of Time from the Hourglass of Time.[45] During Garrosh's trial in Pandaria, Kairoz smashed the hourglass to bring Garrosh to Year -4 of an alternate universe Draenor. The Vision of Time and its shards can also be used to see through time by those without any particular knowledge of chronomancy.[46]


Elisande was a master in time magic. She put an army into a time lock[47] which contained chaotids and pulsaurons that hid between threads of time.

Some nightborne rewind time to heal.[48]


The naaru technology of the Exodar can warp time.[49]

Old Gods[]

The Old Gods have appeared capable of disrupting the timeways, as their past interference in the War of the Ancients has demonstrated; it required Nozdormu's full concentration and strength to just barely hold their machinations at bay, and they are also responsible for eventually corrupting Nozdormu into his twisted future self of Murozond. It has been implied they are allied with the infinite dragonflight, as they worked together with N'Zoth's servants during the Cataclysm, and brought Aedelas Blackmoore from an alternate timeway into the main reality, where he slew Arygos to reanimate Chromatus. They also appear to be capable of constantly seeing all paths and possible futures, and embrace them all simultaneously as truth, in contrast with the Light, even being aware of the nathrezim's covert manipulations as detailed in Inv misc book 05 [Enemy Infiltration - Preface], with Il'gynoth, Corruption Reborn noting that "The cunning ones kneel before six masters, but serve only one".


Tailors can mend Time Rifts with Inv tailoring 815 synchronousthread [Synchronous Thread]. Timeweaver Delormi is among a group known as the Synchronous Tailors.


Due to the infinite dragonflight attack on the Temporal Conflux in Thaldraszus on the Dragon Isles,[50] unstable temporal energy was seeping into the Flowing Forest, and its bears, vorquin, ohuna, hornswogs, and salamanthers were infused with time magic, making them hostile.[51]

Notes and trivia[]



See also[]


  1. ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
  2. ^ Inv shoulder leather raidmonk n 01 [Aman'Thul's Wisdom]
  3. ^ a b c The Last Guardian
  4. ^ a b c The Caverns of Time
  5. ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, chapter 21, pg. 286
  6. ^ Ion Hazzikostas interview with Blizzplanet - "Time is a construct of Order and structure; and things in the Shadowlands are more Chaotic in a lot of ways."
  7. ^ Ezgi Pajecki 2020-09-26. Maldraxxus, Shadowlands and Beyond - Interview with Steve Danuser. Lorekeeper. Archived from the original on 2020-09-27.
  8. ^ WoWChakra 2020-05-15. Entrevista a Ion Hazzikostas sobre Shadowlands | Shadowlands interview with Ion Hazzikostas [EN/ES] (08:35). YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-05-19.
  9. ^ Bellular 2020-07-13. …SCOURGE INVASION! Pre-Patch, Shadowland’s Anti Grind, LESS RNG, New Gearing + MORE | Ion Interview (06:15 - 08:40). YouTube. Retrieved on 2020-09-27.
  10. ^ Judgehype - Interview de Steve Danuser sur l'histoire de Shadowlands
  11. ^ Garth Holden 2020-09-24. A deep dive into Maldraxxus, the defenders of Death. SA Gamer. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
  12. ^ Charge of the Aspects
  13. ^ Murozond
  14. ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
  15. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 132
  16. ^ Zephyr § Quotes
  17. ^ Shadowlands Maldraxxus Lore Interview - What Happens to AU Souls, Future Draka Reunion (Spoilers)
  18. ^ Mount Journal entry for Ability mount drake bronze [Reins of the Bronze Drake]
  19. ^ Hellscream, pg. 3, 5
  20. ^ a b War Crimes, chapter 7, pg. 124
  21. ^ N [30-35] The Essence of Time
  22. ^ a b Weaver Belmaril#Quotes
  23. ^ N [40] Mysterious Ring
  24. ^ The Schools of Arcane Magic - Transmutation
  25. ^ N [68-70] Feels Like the First Time
  26. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 6, pg. 143
  27. ^ N [60-62] A Better Start - Erzadormu says: You're fortunate I always keep some sands of time in my pocket. It has many uses, you know.
  28. ^ Brood of Nozdormu#Background
  29. ^ WoW Website - Game Guide - Factions - Keepers of Time
  30. ^ N Alchemy [70D] Master of Elixirs
  31. ^ H [25-30] Memories of Stormhoof
  32. ^ H [25-30] Distortions in Time
  33. ^ H [25-30] Where Time Went Wrong
  34. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Emerald Dream
  35. ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 498
  36. ^ N Hunter [10-45] Rescue Mission
  37. ^ N Paladin [10-45] The Scion's Legacy
  38. ^ A Thousand Years of War
  39. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Immortals
  40. ^ War of the Ancients Trilogy
  41. ^ Sentry Totem
  42. ^ Ask CDev
  43. ^ a b Dave Kosak on Twitter - "After Cata, the bronze dragons need mortal help policing the timeways. Keepers of Time are now known as Timewalkers."
  44. ^ WoW TCG - Takara, Timewalker Warlord
  45. ^ War Crimes, chapter 4
  46. ^ Hellscream
  47. ^ N [45] Gates of the Nighthold
  48. ^ Nightborne Sage
  49. ^ Inv 6 2raid ring 2a [Shard of the Exodar]
  50. ^ N [68-70] Time is Running Out
  51. ^ N [68-70] Haven't Got Time For the Pain
  52. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 303 - 305
  53. ^ a b Prophet's Lesson
  54. ^ Adventure Guide entry for Archimonde
  55. ^ Kirin Tor Monthly
  56. ^ Journal of Archmage Antonidas
  57. ^ Topper McNabb says: I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.
  58. ^ Inv scroll 03 [The Collector's Schedule]