The End

-by Kurimatsu


They had always known it would come to this. Day by day since the end of the Quiraji war, another village fell. The Horde had waited too long. The Horde had trusted too well. The fringe territories had been the first to fall: Hammerfall, Tarren Mill, Stonard. Silverpine was taken with no opposition. The Undercity and Tirisfal glades burned. Durotar had been eradicated; Orgrimmar was smoking rubble. The armies of the Alliance marched across the Barrens, and the drums of war thundered at the pass into Mulgore. The once-verdant plains were muddied and trampled by the feet of thousands of refugees. The last of the Horde was gathered in Mulgore, trapped like caged animals.

Zarizanic Archmage Kurimatsu sat on the edge of the Hunter Rise, gazing out at the tent city below. In his hands he clutched the Tome of Zarizan; he had not put it down since the day he stopped speaking. For three weeks, the book never left his hand. He had not eaten, he had not slept. It had been five years, but he hadn't aged more than a month. Neither had Lilithia. She approached him from behind, no less battle-wearied than he, and laid a hand on his shoulder.

"And so it ends." she whispered. "We mustn't let them overtake us easily, Kuri. We will make them pay for this war in blood."

Kurimatsu nodded.

Lilithia frowned. "I wish you'd say something, Kuri."

The troll shook his head and rose slowly to his feet. A great cry arose from the fields below. The final battle had begun. In the distance, flames danced from tents set ablaze. The sickening sounds of weapons rending flesh rang out across the grassland. The mage and the warlock watched the armies drawing nearer below. Abruptly, Kurimatsu turned to Lilithia and swept her up into a tight hug, her feet dangling off the ground. She felt the Tome of Zarizan press into her back and remembered the last thing the troll had told her before he stopped speaking: "If the Horde must fall, it will not do so alone."

Lilithia looked at Kurimatsu after he put her down. "You've been reading the Tome."

The archmage nodded and flipped the tome open to the last page. His power had grown exponentially since the first reading. So, too, would the effect of the spell.

A battle cry from behind. The Alliance was on the Rise. They had penetrated the city. With a heavy sigh, Zarizanic Archmage Kurimatsu pronounced the last word of the spell.

For a long moment, time stood still. The human warrior charging toward the Troll and the Forsaken was frozen in mid-swing. The fires were stilled like an ethereal painting. Azeroth held its breath, bracing itself for the second Sundering.

A luminescence swirled in the sky, gathering at a single focal point, darkening the rest of the space. The time lapse ended, and in a single moment the heavens were torn asunder. A column of dancing energy came down and enveloped the spot where Kurimatsu stood. And then, the hunter rise exploded. Like the splash of pond water when a stone is thrown in, the earth soared upward as great seismic waves rippled out through the skin of Kalimdor, reaching as far as the ruins of Ahn'Qiraj in the South and as far as Nighthaven in the North.

There was another moment of stasis as the earth quaked, until finally, spreading outward from the spell's focal point, a great sphere of arcane force raged forth, rending the mountains and the seas, pushing the rock before it like a plough. In the time it takes to snap one's fingers, Kalimdor disappeared beneath a torrent of pure magic. As the spell faded, the sea rushed to fill in the gap. All that remained of Kalimdor were two long strips of land at opposite ends of a new sea riddled with tiny islands.

In the centre of that sea, the Tome of Zarizan sank slowly to the seabed as scraps of stone, metal, bone and flesh rained down in the water around it.

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