|Caverns of Time|
|The gate that was once closed, opened before the oncoming storm|
|Race(s)|| Bronze dragonflight|
|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, 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.
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.
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.
Appearance and denizens
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.
To access the instances in Heroic mode, 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.
Escape from Durnholde KeepThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
- Thrall Escaping from Durnholde Keep (Warcraft Adventures (not released)/Novel Lord of the Clans) (level 66-68 5-man')
- Bosses: Lieutenant Drake — Captain Skarloc — The Epoch Hunter
- Note: Due to the level requirements of its prerequisites, must be level 66 or higher to go do the Escape from Durnholde Keep.
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.
Opening the Dark PortalThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
- Defend Medivh while he opens the Dark Portal (Warcraft I) (level 70 5-man)
- Bosses: Chrono Lord Deja — Temporus — Aeonus
- Note: You must first complete Escape from Durnholde Keep to access Opening the Dark Portal
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 of Mount HyjalThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
- Battle for Mount Hyjal (Warcraft III, Twilight of the Gods) (level 70 25-man raid)
- Bosses: Rage Winterchill - Anetheron - Kaz'rogal - Azgalor - Archimonde
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.
- Note: The Battle for Mount Hyjal is the only section of the Caverns of Time that contains no presence of the Infinite Dragonflight. For speculation as to why, see Infinite Dragonflight - Speculation
Culling of StratholmeThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
- The Purging of Stratholme from its infected inhabitants (Warcraft III, The Culling). (level 80 5-man)
- Bosses: Meathook - Salramm the Fleshcrafter - Chrono-Lord Epoch - Mal'Ganis
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.
End TimeThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
- A possible future of what would happen if Deathwing succeeds in destroying all life on Azeroth. (level 85 5-man)
- Bosses: Echo of Sylvanas - Echo of Tyrande - Echo of Jaina - Echo of Baine - Murozond
Well of EternityThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
- The first invasion of the Burning Legion on Azeroth, pre-Sundering (Novel War of the Ancients). (level 85 5-man)
- Bosses: Peroth'arn - Queen Azshara - Mannoroth and Captain Varo'then
Hour of TwilightThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
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, Blood Elf, Tauren, Orc, Forsaken and Troll 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.
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 effeminate brother Bortega, 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.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.
|Entrance and above ground?||Underground?|