“We do not know if the Caverns of Time have always been accessible to mortals. Truly, it is impossible to tell as the Timeless One is in perpetual motion, changing our timeways as he sees fit. What you see now may very well not exist tomorrow. You may wake up and have no memory of this place.”
Much to our dismay, Operation: Gnomeregan was a complete disaster. The High Tinker’s fiery words bore into the hearts of our brothers and sisters, but ultimately the fate of I, the Frost-Mage Bashertin Fizzleblock, Death Knight Wimzig Wintersprug, and Priestess Uxie Umbrastorm, became intertwined by the sneakiness of the nefarious Mekgineer Thermaplugg.
It was originally planned as a backdoor sabotage, led by myself, to disable the automated aerial defenses that prevented the gnomish flying machines to provide air cover for the frontal assault. A slip through the radiation vent while under the protection of the combined magical forces of my Ice Barrier, Wimzig’s Anti-Magic Shell, and Uxie’s Light Screen would allow us to penetrate the secondary control room directly.
“It is strange, I know… Most mortals cannot actually comprehend what they see here, as often, what they see is not anchored within their own perception of reality.”
It would seem that the covert operation was a failure from the start. Some spy had gotten word out of the operation, and Thermaplugg’s guards were already waiting for us. We were outnumbered, and captured.
We were left alone to die in an isolated prison with a lone vent, which gradually filled the room with the very irradiation from which our people fled. We had no time to waste. We needed to react accordingly.
“There are only two truths to be found here: First, that time is chaotic, always in flux, and completely malleable and second, perception does not dictate reality.”
I threw my hands up into the air and uttered the words for a teleportation spell, but the effect was blocked by a space-distortion matrix that Thermaplugg apparently set up; an equivalent to a mage ward. Uxie suggested that I try to imbue her Wormhole generator with Time-altering properties, so that we would be able to bypass the space-block by travelling through time itself.
I had no choice. It was either escape through time, or die trying. I concentrated on the remote that Uxie held in her hand, and Wimzig kept us in an anti-magic barrier that would only hold us for the duration of the spell. The wormhole opened. We jumped in.
“As custodians of time, we watch over and care for Nozdormu’s realm. The master is away at the moment, which means that attempts are being made to dramatically alter time. The master never meddles in the affairs of mortals but instead corrects the alterations made to time by others. He is reactionary in this regard.”
The wormhole sent us through a strange tunnel of sorts. I cannot explain it myself, but it was as if the three of us had seen random blots of the entirety of Azeroth’s history unravel before us in accelerated motion, like a series of vague photos making up a convoluted collage of events past, present, and unknown.
“These tunnels that you see are called timeways. They are infinite in number. The ones that currently exist in your reality are what the master has deemed as ‘trouble spots.’ These trouble spots may differ completely in theme but they always share a cause. That is, their existence is a result of the same temporal disturbance. Remember that should you venture inside one…”
The three of us woke up in a daze inside a cave in the middle of the Tanaris Desert. We were greeted by a pair of gnomes in gold-coloured robes. They explained everything that had happened. How we had appeared out of nowhere through one of their timeways. How their supervisors were unable to pinpoint the origin of our travels. How the collapse of the timeway through which we had appeared prevented us from ever going back home again…if it still existed at all.
The female of the pair shifted into an amber drake, and showed us our new existence: an Azeroth shattered by the Destroyer. A world forever in ruin by the Earth-Warder’s rampage and emergence from the depths of the world.
Uxie said she would rather have died back in Gnomeregan. I’m not so sure myself.
“For normal maintenance of time, the Keepers of Time are sufficient caretakers. We are able to deal with most ordinary disturbances. I speak of little things, such as rogue mages changing something in the past to elevate their status or wealth in the present.”
The Keepers of Time granted us temporary shelter in their cavern, in exchange for assisting them with the maintenance of their timeways, which ranged from thwarting chronomages and time-traveling engineers, to more major recurring problems such as timeways threatened by who were described to us as the Infinite Dragonflight. We were gradually accepted by the Keepers as one of their own.
Ultimately, there wasn’t anything that the Keepers could do to return us to our previous realm of reality, as it may no longer exist. The only thing that matters now is that we continue to assist them until they can find a suitable solution.
Wish us luck, dear reader, if such a thing exists.
My mage, DK, and priest were all transferred to Feathermoon. The above is essentially the story of how they arrived there. I look forward to my experiences on an RP server for the duration of this expansion and beyond.