Know Your Lore: Kairoz and his plans

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

You'd better believe there's going to be spoilers for War Crimes and Warlords of Draenor in this one, folks. If you're still reading, I can only assume you're absolutely fine with this. Because man oh man, are they coming.

If you played World of Warcraft during the patch 5.4 period, and you did any of the Timeless Isle, you probably know who Kairoz is. Kairoz, or Kairozdormu, is a bronze dragon that we first met on that aforementioned Timeless Isle, where he enlists players to aid him in the creation of a device known as the Vision of Time. After helping him do so by collecting mysterious Epoch Stones, which are infused with the bizarre magical power that keeps the Timeless Isle from being affected by the normal flow of time, Kairoz sends you to use the artifact in the very midst of the conflict between those forces loyal to then-Warchief Garrosh Hellscream and those seeking to depose him.

The reason for this is that Kairoz claims to be seeking a traitor to the Bronze Dragonflight by using the Vision of Time in such a manner. Several visions are thus shown. One of them, in particular, is the one above, when Soridormi (the consort of Nozdormu, former Aspect of Time) dies, and a lone figure is seen at the end of that vision. When told of this vision, Kairoz cautions the player to mention this vision to no one.

Because the figure who witnesses Soridormi's death is Kairozdormu himself.

When we next see Kairoz, it's in the novel War Crimes. Remember that spoiler warning at the head of this post? Consider yourself on the cusp, because as soon as this sentence ends there will be spoilers. Kairoz is next seen as one of two Bronze Dragons offering their services to the August Celestials as the trial of Garrosh Hellscream begins. Chromie is the other, serving as an advocate to Tyrande Whisperwind, who is serving as the accuser arguing for Garrosh Hellscream's execution. Kairoz, meanwhile, is serving alongside the reluctant Baine Bloodhoof, who is serving as Garrosh's advocate, arguing against the former Warchief's death.

As a part of the trial, the Vision of Time is used to provide images directly out of the past, bypassing the need to rely on witness testimony. Any event, any experience, can be seen by the August Celestials and those watching the trial, much as the Vision of Time provided such to those who used it tracking down the traitor to the Bronze Dragonflight.

Meanwhile, while the trial is progressing, Hellscream's erstwhile allies (Warlord Zaela, the orc sharpshooter Shokia, Thalen Songweaver) are gathered by a mysterious figure said to be a dragon. This dragon comes to the Dragonmaw as they gather in Grim Batol. They free the goblin Harrowmeiser and use his zeppelin and money to help recruit an army of pirates.

I won't beat around the bush too much longer - what happens next is as astonishing as it is very transparent. After Garrosh's trial is concluded, but before his sentencing, a series of events unfolds. Kairoz, with the aid of Wrathion, ambushes Chromie and seals her in the magic dampening cage that held Garrosh for most of his trial. Wrathion's agents delay Anduin, who had discovered Chromie's imprisonment, and Kairoz finds the time to use the Vision of Time to create a time rift that summons various versions of famous Horde and Alliance leaders - a Baine who killed Garrosh and became Warchief, a blood crazed Jaina, an insane Kalecgos, a Thrall who never escapes and who served in Aedelas Blackmoore's plan to overthrow the Alliance, a cowardly Anduin who was a weak king, and others. In the confusion, Warlord Zaela and her various forces (including Dragonmaw riding on the back of willing Infinite Dragonflight drakes) manage to help Garrosh escape.

Chromie reveals that, with the loss of Nozdormu's power, the Bronze Dragonflight can no longer see the future so clearly as before - and yet, despite this, many of the dragons believe they should not be shepherding time, but rather altering it to bring about the best possible outcome, and Kairoz is one of these dragons. He deliberately altered the Vision of Time (which is why he had to subdue Chromie first) in order to achieve these ends. And for whatever reason, Wrathion is directly aiding him in his plans for Garrosh (who, remember, Kairoz helped defend) and the timestream. We see at the end of War Crimes that Kairoz takes Garrosh to Nagrand thirty-five years in the past, where Garrosh sees his father Grommash Hellscream being cheered by Warsong orcs. There are, however, some fairly large loose ends yet to be tied up.

  • Why did Kairoz send up to determine who the traitor was to the Bronze Dragonflight if it was always him? Did seeing the Vision of Time's vision (or being told of it) create what is sometimes called a 'predestination effect' where it was the very act of seeing his own future act that made him decide to commit it? And when does it actually happen? Soridormi's death was not portrayed in War Crimes - as far as we know, she's still alive. When does she die?

  • We're told that the Vision of Time can allow for the witnessing of alternate timelines. Clearly, it can also bring figures from alternate timelines to our own timeline. As we speculated before, this throws serious doubt on the idea that there is only one true timeline. Why does Kairoz decide to alter the past in the manner that he does? Why does he even care about Draenor, when he as a Bronze dragon (albeit possibly now an Infinite dragon, based on the allies he provides for Warlord Zaela) hails not from Draenor, but from Azeroth?

  • What we have seen so far indicates that Kairoz was capable of going into those alternate timelines (whether or not with the help of the Vision of Time) and recruiting. The Warchief Baine Bloodhoof said that the Bronze dragon spoke to him, told him of the Baine of our Azeroth's decisions. That means that Kairoz has access to many other timelines, other dimensions, and that the Draenor he and Garrosh went back to was never the one that would become our Outland. It was already a new reality. There are not just two such Draenors - there are an infinite amount of them. Hence, the Infinite dragonflight - for it seeks dominion over all such universes.

Kairoz has effectively destroyed all we thought we knew about time in the Warcraft setting. And with his actions, we embark on the first journey into an entirely new understanding. Draenor may just be the first stop.

While you don't need to have played the previous Warcraft games to enjoy World of Warcraft, a little history goes a long way toward making the game a lot more fun. Dig into even more of the lore and history behind the World of Warcraft in WoW Insider's Guide to Warcraft Lore.