Butterfly effect

tarakan-avatarHave you ever heard of butterfly effect? It comes from that saying that a single flap of wings of a butterfly can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world. In other words, one tiny thing can have giant repercussions for the entire world. While every decision everyone makes has the potential to cause such effect, most people do not worry about it, nor should they. If everyone was worried about global repercussions of the breakfast they ate this day, nothing would ever get done. But we time-travelers must think about it all the time. When you do something in the present and it changes the world, it’s the natural course of things. But if you go back in time and sneeze, infecting an ancient person with a disease innocuous to you but lethal to him, you prevent all his future children from existing, and all of their children, and so on, changing the entire course of history. An already established history from which you came.

Not a long time ago, from my perspective at least, I picked up a temporal anomaly in distant past. Many thousands of years ago, during the formative years of the human race, there was a disturbance that didn’t belong to that era. A timewalker’s first instinct is to go back there and check what’s happening. And of course, the Watchers, such as me, always go first. The Watchers observe, and check with the Historians if that is how things were meant to be. If they were not, the Weavers are summoned to correct the situation. If it can’t simply be woven back to the proper order, the Keepers assemble a strike team to eliminate the disturbance. So in proper protocol, I went to the spot on the continuum where the disturbance first shows up. To my surprise, I couldn’t see or detect anyone or anything. But soon, a group of humans appeared from behind a barn and saw me. They were shocked and surprised, and ran away. This was when I realized I was the disturbance.

I hate closed time loops. Normal time loops are not so bad, they have a definable beginning and end and you know where it all began, and how to end it. Closed time loops are far more insidious and unnatural. The definition of a closed time loop is that an event causes itself. In this case, my arrival in the distant past of humanity caused the sensors to pick up the disturbance, which caused me to go there to investigate in the first place. The first instinct of a timewalker in that case is to get away quickly to avoid further meddling, but damage was already done. I had to interfere to limit that damage and bring history back on its proper course, lest the flap of my metaphorical wings wipes out the Wrynns from history.

I used the charms Moros made to create an illusion of an old human sage. I saw the humans gathering and going in masses towards a wooden longhouse at the top of the hill. I followed them and soon I arrived inside the longhouse where one of the young men I frightened with my unusual appearance was standing on top of a table. Turns out, that man was the legendary human hero Cian, Balor’s Bane, the Sword of the Dawn, Breaker of Chains. He was telling his compatriots about a sign from the heavens, a blessed bird-like creature, clearly a messenger from the gods to him. He postulated that sign, which was me of course, was the sign he needed from the gods to begin their rebellion against Balor, the evil vrykul king who re-enslaved humanity after their escape from Northrend. At this point, they languished in this new slavery for three generations but when I checked my timepiece, I knew they were still five years too early for this rebellion. If I continued to stand and not interfere, I would have changed the history of the human race, possibly wiping it out in its infancy.

For some time I observed their preparations and considered all my options. If I do nothing, they attack too soon. At best, some people that should have been alive instead die and many people are never born. At worst, the attack is a failure and Balor destroys most of humanity in revenge. Either way, the world as I know it would be changed forever, and as a timewalker I cannot let that happen. After due consideration, I appeared again to Cian alone and told him some real facts about who I am and what I was doing there. But Cian didn’t want to listen – he thought he saw his sign and his brethren suffered enough serving the whims of the self-proclaimed king and his cronies. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t listen to the same person that caused the original “sign”, but it was explained when he told me of Ethlenn, Balor’s beautiful human daughter, kept isolated in a tower because of a prophecy that her mate would overthrow her father. Freeing humanity wasn’t his prime concern. It was love. Or at least some carnal attraction.

That’s when three vrykul jarls appeared in the village and saw all the commotion. The vrykul began killing pigs and cows the young humanity had and threatened to start killing the women and children if the villagers don’t show up. Cian told his people not to come out, for his father Lugh heard a prophecy from the old, blind crone Hagatha that his son, meaning Cian, will overthrow Balor of the Evil Eye. That’s when I had the idea of how to convince Cian not to strike. I appeared to them again and gave them my own prophecy. That is, my knowledge of how this history proceeds – in five years, they are stronger and better prepared, and only then they kill Balor and free Ethlenn, and all of humanity. Finally, confronted with a metaphysical explanation, they agreed and left their homes. The jarls took their tribute and left. The rebellion disbanded for the time being. History was back on track.

When I returned to the present day, I went to Morozdormu and asked him about these events. It turns out, he knew what was happening and didn’t do anything because that’s how things have always been. I was supposed to go back in time and almost cause the rebellion to come too early, and then prevent the change. I was always a part of these events. I was always a part of early humanity’s history. I don’t know how it works in the timelines where Azeroth was never connected to Draenor, but Moros suggested I shouldn’t think too hard about that. I hate closed time loops. But this was a lesson why every step you take in the past is a grave danger. A lesson why untrained mortals should not be allowed to travel in time.

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About Arakkoa

Verroak Krasha, an Arakkoa druid with over 50 years of experience. Formerly from Farahlon, during the Orcish expansion relocated to Skettis, then to Sethekk Halls, then to rebuilt Shattrath, following the heresies in each of those places. Finally, he founded his own succesfull alchemy business and set out into the wide cosmos to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and boldly go where no bird has flown before. View all posts by Arakkoa

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