The End

-by Errik

A world was a fitting sacrifice, he mused to himself. The heretics and the unfaithful of it, anyway. What use were they, in the end? Nothing more than fodder for this great day. This momentous day. What person would do any less for a master that has provided everything? For one that staves off Death's clutching hands, and breathes immortality into withered limbs. No, no sacrifice could be too great, and this was far too little.

But it would suffice, for now. There were greater things to come. Greater forms to don, as he was promised so very long ago, when he had first spilled blood in His name. It seemed like only yesterday, that he hade made contact with one of His of His servitors and tacticians. The price had seemed great even then. But...a fact had been proven to him, time and time again. A simple yet nessecary one.

The gain of a sacrifice is proportionate to the loss.

His family lie long dead beneath his estate in Dalaran. Their hearts had rent the world for a brief instant, and set him on the path to what he had become this glorious day. And why shouldn't they have served him in some way? He had been snubbed before, made a tithe just for being the third son.

The fires burned beside him, lapping at the ochre sky like hungry dogs. The Lord Archon, Errik Von Lossart the Third, Prophet and erstwhile savior, sat on a malachite throne. His faithful were legion, and behind him, miles upon miles away, Stormwind burned eternally, consumed in an unending conflaration wrought by the magics he had been gifted with so long ago. Day after day it burned the ground, only to be rebuilt, and consumed again. Its populace long since put to the sword, or dragged to this holy place to serve as the blood on the altar. Such was the price for those that resisted inevitability. And his way, his Path was inevitable. A grand and golden end to a long and bloody journey.

Before him, lay the last link, the last key in the events he had started so very long ago. The Door was too be opened, ever so soon. And then He....He would come, and bare witness to all that his ever faithful servant had done for him. And he would reward him greatly.

"And here, lies the path to our Golden Land, my faithful. Here lies the path to Ascension. We shall be above reproach, we shall be as gods amongst the lesser folk who still run from our righteous fury. The Burning Spirit swells with pride at our actions, at the purity that we have wrought here and now, then and there." He gestured wide with a crimson clad claw, his eyes burning with felfire.

"This is the gate, and we have naught to do but open it and seize our prize. Our reward for such faithful service. Millions have been sacrificed for this moment. The Barrens have been scoured of all life, burnt to cinders in our passing. Undermine lies cracked open to the beauty of the Holy Fire, its populace used to slake our thirst. And the Human cities lie in ruins, their peoples either purged our added to our number. The Dwarves, who held out for so very long, screamed in anguish as we broke their mountian apart, and gorged ourselves on the knowledge within! They wailed as they were nailed to Stars outside their city! Thousands to line the path, and show what happens to those who dare stand against us!" A thunderous peal of assent greeted him.

"And the Kaldorei....the Kaldorei were weak, and died as weaklings do, ground into the dust by the boots of the strong. How they cried as their Goddess' statue was dragged down, and thrown from the edge of their Tree! How they squealed as we gutted them to the last child, proving the failings of their petty magics against the might of those who follow the one and true God! We are made sacrosanct, we are a nation unto ourselves. We are peopled from all the races of Azeroth! We are the best of this world. We are on the brink of a great change, of a great becoming! We are t last on the bring of Ascension, when we slough off our mortal forms, and become as Blessed Messangers to the Burning Spirit!"

Before them all, lay the edifice of change, of power, of destiny. It stood higher than any man, nearly as high as a giant, ringed by hundreds of fallen Demons. The Dark Portal stood, yawning lazily in the cracked light of the Blasted Lands. The stones were slick with blood.

The sacrifices were on going, their bones torn red from wet flesh to fashion thousands of the Eight-Pointed Stars. Skulls hung from crags, decorated armour. Screams were rising like a symphony, in tune to steady drums. Chants spiced those tortured sounds, extolling the virtues of the Word Bearers, of the Lord Archon himself. From his throne, Errik could do not but grin.

And then, with a shuddering, shaking motion, the gates between worlds began to open, quickened by books plundered from a thousand sources, from the Necropoli of the reeling Scourge. From the hands of the great Lich himself. Light spilled forth, and the Stars were lit aflame, the prisoners nailed to them writhing in unearthly torment. Fire, gold and black and blue and red, spewed forth, turning day into a nightmarish clash of colours.

Words boomed forth, in the hearts and minds and ears of all for thousands of miles. The portal.....stretched....with His girth, with the power of the figure who reached through, hazpazardly. A great bronze hand, riven with flames of hate and rage, breached the portal. The chants rose to a fever pitch, as a prodigious finger clawed at the ground, bringing forth the very blood of the world itself. Azeroth screamed, as it felt His touch in full.

"Behold....the Burning all his majesty! In all his glory!" he screamed, as reality itself buckled and reeled, trying to compensate for the power that was asserting itself. That hand, that great hand, reached the edges of the rift, and spread them...tore them assunder.

The appendage's twin appeared, and both gripped the sides again, splitting outwards, obliterating all in their path, destryoing them in every possible way, and in some ways that were theoretically impossible. A great and burning eye was glimpsed. A well of all the visceral hate and pain in the universe. It was a window to Paradise.

A voice that induced madness and dispair called out, and Errik writhed in unimaginable rapture. His body was split by burning cracks, eating away at the long dead flesh of his frail and emaciated form. Bloody fire blazed from his eyes, reaching out shivering tendrils to consume his lank blonde hair, his red crown. The rift grew wider still, and existance shuddered, the soul of Azeroth was being rent to slivers.

" God...oh my God how you bless me with this gift! This Ascension! This End to a failed world! My God, I offer you the life of every person here, I offer them to you freely, and they are yours...take them...and I ask for my only reward! Let me...let....aaaaaaagggh!" He shrieked, snapping his head to and fro as the fire spread, nibbling at the black expanse of his heart.

"LET ME ASCEND! MY GOD, GRANT ME MY LONG DESIRED REWARD! LET ME BECOME YOUR ATTENDANT! YOUR FAITHFUL SERVANT ASKS THIS AND ONLY THIS!" And as his soul, his crimson being flecked with corruption was drawn from the cinders of his body, none could say what happened next. None could behold the radiance that followed.

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