Time of Legends

Though a legend's individual history and timelines such as those found in the Warcraft RPG and Lands of Conflict will give more detailed information on when and where in Azeroth's history they might be active, the legends in this chapter rose to prominence in the following eras:

• Before the War of the Ancients: Malfurion Stormrage, Tyrande Whisperwind.

• After the creation of the Maelstrom until the First War: Maiev Shadowsong, Medivh.

• The First War: Orgrim Doomhammer, Gul'dan, Grom Hellscream, Sir Anduin Lothar, Uther Lightbringer.

• The Second War: Muradin Bronzebeard , Khadgar, Korialstrasz, Rhonin, Alleria Windrunner.

• The Third War: Cairne Bloodhoof, Jaina Proudmoore, Thrall.

• Era-Based: Lands of Conflict explains how Warcraft campaigns can be set in several different eras (see Chapter One: History & Culture, "Lands of the Past"). Though a few legends such as Malfurion Stormrage have lived for millennia, many lived and died during specific periods of Azeroth's history. Heroes might most readily encounter these legends if their adventures occur during the legends' lifetimes; but as has been proven many times, death may be only apparent when it comes to a legend. Even when many believed him long dead, the legendary wizard Medivh returned to bring together the Alliance, Horde and Kaldorei in order to defeat the return of the Burning Legion in the Third War. These echoes of the past can come at any time, allowing heroes to encounter the impossible.

• Faction-Based: In the world of Azeroth, the most obvious way for the heroes to encounter legendary characters is through their affiliations. Legendary characters still lead both the Alliance and Horde, and many more are counted among their ranks. Conversely, other legendary characters oppose both factions. If heroes have aligned themselves with either group, they may find themselves directly serving legendary characters. This might occur when the legendary character sends them on missions or when the heroes are assigned to a legendary character's army. Lower-level heroes may only see the legend occasionally, while those in epic play might directly serve the legend as personal troops or even bodyguards.

• Locale-Based: The adventures of legendary characters take them across the known world, beyond its edge and sometimes even to different worlds entirely. Heroes might encounter legendary characters in any place, and an adventure might center on what brings the legend to the same place as the heroes. Many legendary characters also have strong ties to specific locations, such as dwarven legends' connections to their holdfasts in Khaz Modan, or a night elf legend who makes regular visits to the nearest world tree. Journeys to these locations might lead heroes to encounter a legend, such as an adventure in the Plaguelands where heroes encounter a legend still trying to reclaim Lordaeron from the Scourge.

• Diplomacy: Many legends on Azeroth rise to the level where they can see the intricate web of affiliations and alliances that can be subtly tugged to keep Azeroth stable — or to send it unraveling into the chaos of war. Rarely, though, are these manipulations done directly; legends need envoys they can trust, such as the diplomacy campaign's heroes, to carry out complex and subtle missions.

• Dungeoneering: The secrets of the past lie buried deep beneath the surface — and so do many legendary characters. Illidan Stormrage was chained in a cavern for thousands of years, and it remains to be seen if Queen Azshara might still be found among the naga and the underwater remains of Suramar. Heroes who go in search of lost artifacts in ancient ruins might discover a lost legend instead.

• Espionage: If heroes are in the possession of important information, they may be contacted by legends who understand the value of that information. Alternately, heroes may be sent by legends to collect intelligence on nearby enemies or distant mysteries. Finally, one of the many enemies of a legend might pay heroes to spy on that legend — a dangerous but potentially lucrative assignment. For many years, Orgrim Doomhammer journeyed across Lordaeron gathering information on the imprisoned clans, and he may have paid heroes to go and gather information where an orc — even a disguised orc — could not.

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• Exploration: Legends are born in the blank spots on a map. Legendary characters may lead heroes on an expedition into unknown territory, or they may go on their own and disappear, requiring heroes to go in search of them. Heroes might venture into unknown territory seeking something such as titan artifacts or lost ruins and come into conflict with a legend who shares their goals.

• Horror: Legendary villains, such as some of those included in Appendix Two of the Manual of Monsters, can themselves bring terror and horror to any campaign. When heroes encounter legends battling against the horror, they may be asked to accompany them on a journey into the shadows to confront the heart of darkness.

• Mercenary: Heroes who put their services for sale to the highest bidder discover that one of the things many legends accumulate over the course of their adventures is the riches required to hire assistance when needed. A legendary sorcerer such as Khadgar might need heroes with martial skill to help him defend Nethergarde from an attack through the Dark Portal, or a legendary warrior might hire a tinker or sorcerer to help support him as he sets off on a quest.

• Quest: Legends are drawn to undertake important quests. Heroes attempting — or destined — to become legends will find themselves walking a path on which they may encounter legendary characters. Sometimes a quest is so important that heroes may undertake the journey at the same time as a legend, combining their efforts to better their chances of accomplishing the difficult task.

• Settlement: A new settlement in the midst of dangerous territory might be visited by a legendary character who needs assistance. Alternatively, legendary villains might oppose the efforts of heroes to establish a settlement in what they perceive as their territory. Either way, heroes in the settlement will soon find the challenge of building civilization on the wild frontier becoming even more difficult.

• Survival: A legend among a group stranded in the wild may become the leader of the group, or she may be the one who sets out in search of assistance while others stay behind. Regardless, the heroes of the campaign remain to assume the other roles and take on a challenge worthy of a legend.

• Trade: Not all legends become wealthy on their travels. Some who require gold or even simply food while traveling might hire on to a traveling caravan and encounter heroes acting as merchants or guards. Heroes blazing new trade routes for the goblin trade princes or other merchants might encounter legends in the wild, stumbling across them in the midst of an epic quest.

• War: Many of the legends of Azeroth were born on the battlefield; and some of them never escape, wandering from battle to battle, drawn to where their skills and abilities are most in need or most potent. Heroes can find themselves on either side of a conflict, with a legendary warrior beside or against them, and know that after a few moments of combat their lives will never be the same.

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