As you may have learned from one of our previous news posts, a special Arena Event called “Taverns of Time” has started on June 11th. A total of 28 Arena-exclusive cards have been introduced, and one of them is more special than you might expect: Chromie. But who is this mysterious female gnome with the pocket watch, and what will be her business in Hearthstone?
A Gnome in Disguise
Long story short, this cute little gnome is really not the one she seems to be. In World of Warcraft, Chromie played a leading role in numerous events all around the lands of Azeroth. Her true form is called Chronormu, and she is a dragon of the Bronze Dragonflight. Thanks to the blessings of Aman’Thul, one of the titans that helped with creating the world of Azeroth, this dragonflight is able to perform temporal magic and therefore alter time as a whole. Their leader, Nozdormu the Timeless One, showcases this ability both as a lore figure in World of Warcraft and, as surely all of us know, as a card in Hearthstone.
Being able to retroactively change the happenings all over Azeroth requires a lot of thought and discipline, and that is why the Bronze Dragonflight used their abilities with care. They didn’t try to interact with mortal entities on purpose to keep the balance intact, but Chronormu was an exception to the rule.
Back when the Scourge tried to mess with time-changing experiments, Nozdormu chose Chromie to do investigations. During the incidents in Andorhal she acquired a liking for the mortals that she really wasn’t supposed to interact with, and so she became the member of the Bronze Dragonflight who, of course within their boundaries, was chosen to help the people of Azeroth.
The Four Portals
As already said, Chromie and the Bronze Dragonflight had a massive impact on Azeroth’s timeline. In World of Warcraft, the Caverns of Time, a strange place in the zone of Tanaris, grants access to several different portals to important Warcraft timelines. Among them are four “historical epochs”, dungeons that players could visit, and these are showcased by the four cards that Chromie will shuffle into your deck:
Opening the Dark Portal
This card throws us waaay back in time! To be precise, the events occuring in this dungeon happen during the early Warcraft I days, which took place 30 years prior to the beginning of the World of Warcraft: Players need to help our beloved party-planner Medivh, back then corrupted by the all-mighty villain Sargeras, to open a portal to another mystical world called Draenor. That way he tried, together with Gul’dan, to destroy Azeroth in the name of the Burning Legion, something that was bound to influence not only one but several timelines. Not the most noble goal to fight for as a dungeon group, but that only shows that the Bronze Dragonflight wanted players to take a lesson from past mistakes as well.
Battle for Mount Hyjal
Fast forward to the Warcraft III timeline: During the 25-man-raid “Battle for Mount Hyjal”, WoW players were able to relive the final mission of Warcraft III. This battle marks the end of the Third War of Azeroth after the adventurers, alongside Horde and Alliance forces, successfully fought off both the Scourge and the Burning Legion, resulting in the ultimate defeat of Archimonde, the corrupted Eredar leader.
Up to this day the Battle for Mount Hyjal showcases a milestone in WoW raid history, combining cutting-edge boss fight mechanics and incredible storytelling!
Escape from Durnholde
Talking about stellar storytelling, this 5-player-dungeon may be one of the community’s favorites: In the Escape from Durnholde, you and your group travel back in time to help nobody less than Thrall, a back-then 19 year-old orc slave, escape the orc internment camp at Durnholde Keep. The events took place after the Warcraft II timeline, just after the orcs lost the Second War.
To be able to help the future Warchief of the Horde fulfill his destiny was more than just “fan service” by the WoW developers back then. Experiencing Hillsbrad, the zone in which the dungeon sets place, in its historical state, and seeing Thrall become the figurehead of the Horde was nothing less than incredible.
Culling of Stratholme
And we are back in the Warcraft III timeline: In The Culling of Stratholme, five players are yet again able to help another iconic figure of Warcraft history: Arthas of Menethil. During this timeline, Stratholme, the second-most populated and most northern city of Lordaeron, seemed to be infested by the Plague of the Undeath. This event marks the very beginning of Arthas’ downfall as he plans to slaughter his own citizens for what he calls the “greater good”. Even Uther Lightbringer, his teacher and now first hand, refuses to help Arthas with his questionable plans to defeat the threat lingering over the city. In the end, Arthas takes things into his own hands, and the dungeon group eventually has to help him.
Once again we could watch an utterly important Warcraft character walking his path in history, in this case Arthas’ way to become the Lich King as we know him today, one of the most fascinating stories in the World of Warcraft.
More than just an Event in time
To me and many Warcraft fans, this event is much more than just a bunch of cards being added to the game. It’s yet again a tribute to the Warcraft franchise as a whole.
Chromie helped Warcraft players to understand the meanings behind their own history, and this, to an extent, seems to be happening again with the “Taverns of Time” event. And while the “Tavern of Time”, a small tavern led by a random NPC called Alexston Chrome located in the Caverns of Time, may not play an important role in WoW, it surely will deliver now when it comes to telling the incredible tales of Warcraft history in the game of Hearthstone, not last thanks to Chromie and the time travellers of the Bronze Dragonflight.