Allies and Obstacles

Bringing a legendary character into a campaign is a good way to evoke the stories that the heroes (and your players) may know from the events ofthe Warcraft computer games and novels. If they don't recall or are unaware of the legends, the appearance of a legendary character can help to inform them of crucial information on larger events. Either way, meeting a legend is an important touchstone that connects the heroes of the campaign to everything that is unique and important about the world of Azeroth. Thus, it may not be something that can wait until heroes have arrived at the level of epic play.

If legendary characters make an early appearance in a campaign, it's possible that heroes will not yet be ready to fight alongside them — or in the case of legendary villains, fight against them. Still, heroes might play a vital but distant role in events involving legendary characters. They can be dispatched to retrieve an artifact or person required by the legend. They might be sent to activate a mechanism in the depths of a dungeon complex that will open the way for a legend to confront her foes. During a war, heroes might be sent to defend a pass, portal, stronghold or other location vital to the success of a legend's mission. These missions remain a critical factor in the outcome of mythic events, but don't place heroes in the midst of conflicts they would likely not yet survive.

Only in rare situations will a legend not acknowledge that he needed assistance, so heroes who succeed in their missions will gain the thanks and trust ofa legend, and a powerful new ally. Heroes might be asked to accompany the legend for a time as retainers—or, ifthe heroes have reached the level of epic play, as full-fledged adventuring companions. If their paths part, a legend may show his gratitude by providing information, magic or equipment that the heroes might otherwise be unable to acquire. However, even a legend who has taken his own path could return when the heroes most need him to provide assistance in kind.

Legendary villains will never forget those who have played a part in defeating their plans, so some heroes may attempt to keep their roles in those parts of an epic campaign as quiet as possible. Yet those villains who have risen to the level of legend will likely strive to ensure that a threat from the past will not be one in the future. They will employ any means at their disposal (hunters, scouts, minions, magic and technology) to identify and eliminate even the least of their enemies. Young and inexperienced heroes may find that they have inadvertently disrupted the plans of a legendary villain and set in motion a campaign of events that will take them all the way to epic play. It may be years before they finally encounter the legend, but they will always know that they haven't been forgotten; when on the crux of epic play they might prove their mettle by defeating a single legendary opponent as a group — then go on to become legends themselves.

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