- For the macro, see MACRO time.
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.”
- — Mount Journal entry for
“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.””
Time is a progression of instants. This movement is ordinarily perceived by mortals as regular and determinant, functioning much like a clockwork; yet perception does not dictate reality: time is chaotic, always in flux, and completely malleable, flowing like the sands of an hourglass. While there is an infinite number of timeways, 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.
Time is a construct of order and structure 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
Moving between different points in time is called time travel.
- 1 Mechanics
- 2 Appearance
- 3 Influences
- 4 Notes and trivia
- 5 See also
- 6 References
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.
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.
Rarely, the essence of time can become crystallized to form an : 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.
Chronomancy is the art of weaving time. Time magic is a young field of research. This discipline falls under the school of Transmutation, allowing the deceleration of events (through or ), the acceleration of events (through ), returning you back to your previous location and health (through or ), or the opening of temporal portals and the repairing of damaged timeways, among other possibilities.
Modifying divination magic with temporal magic can allow one to see across time.
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 Keepers of Time.
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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.
Fel energy and the 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.
Time passes differently deep inside the Twisting Nether, and it is impossible to tell whether days, years, or centuries have passed. 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.
Immortal creatures essentially stop aging when they reach adulthood, and thus, they cannot die merely from old age. 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.
Aided by the Spirit of Air, a shaman may be able to see faraway objects or events, whether the distance be physical or temporal.
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.
After the Dragon Aspects' loss of power following the fall of Deathwing, the bronze dragons required mortal help to police the timeways. Vowing to protect them at any cost, the Keepers of Time reformed themselves as the Timewalkers, a new faction comprised of both dragons and mortals.
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. 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.
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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 , with Il'gynoth, Corruption Reborn noting that "The cunning ones kneel before six masters, but serve only one".
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Notes and trivia
- Ner'zhul had the gift of true visioning and all he had seen would come to pass.
- Velen has the ability to see possible futures.
- The Burning Legion and the Old Gods burn holes in the fabric of the future.
- The demon lord Archimonde arrived in alternate Draenor, reaching across space and time, to ensure that the invasion of Azeroth proceeded as planned, and that Gul'dan did not fail his Legion masters.
- The citizens of Azeroth seem to use the same Gregorian calendar as us, with months such as March, May, November, and October existing, along with weekdays such as Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday. On the other hand, the older Brann's Journal mentioned "Selune" as a spring month.
- ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
- ^ a b c The Last Guardian
- ^ a b c The Caverns of Time
- ^ Golden, Christie. "Chapter 21", Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, 286. ISBN 978-1439-19663-2.
- ^ Ezgi Pajecki 2020-09-26. Maldraxxus, Shadowlands and Beyond - Interview with Steve Danuser. Lorekeeper. Archived from the original on 2020-09-27.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Judgehype - Interview de Steve Danuser sur l'histoire de Shadowlands
- ^ Garth Holden 2020-09-24. A deep dive into Maldraxxus, the defenders of Death. SA Gamer. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
- ^ Charge of the Aspects
- ^ Murozond
- ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 132
- ^ Zephyr § Quotes
- ^ Shadowlands Maldraxxus Lore Interview - What Happens to AU Souls, Future Draka Reunion (Spoilers)
- ^ Mount Journal entry for
- ^ Hellscream, pg. 3, 5
- ^ a b Golden, Christie. "Chapter 7", War Crimes, 124 (ebook). ISBN 978-1451-68448-3.
- ^ a b Weaver Belmaril#Quotes
- ^ The Schools of Arcane Magic - Transmutation
- ^ Grubb, Jeff. "Chapter 6", The Last Guardian, 143 (ebook). ISBN 978-0-6710-4151-9.
- ^ Brood of Nozdormu#Background
- ^ WoW Website - Game Guide - Factions - Keepers of Time
- ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Emerald Dream
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 498
- ^ A Thousand Years of War
- ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Immortals
- ^ War of the Ancients Trilogy
- ^ Ask CDev
- ^ a b Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ WoW TCG - Takara, Timewalker Warlord
- ^ War Crimes, chapter 4
- ^ Hellscream
- ^ Nightborne Sage
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 303 - 305
- ^ a b Prophet's Lesson
- ^ Adventure Guide entry for Archimonde
- ^ Kirin Tor Monthly
- ^ Journal of Archmage Antonidas
- ^ Topper McNabb says: I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.