- -by Limduul
The world of Azeroth; a place stripped of all natural forms of life, aptly named "The Blasted Lands". Now in the center, where once was a portal, stands a strange tower like structure of twisted metal, crystal, and mutated growth. The "Device" was a mixture of almost all methods used by sentient life to alter their world. Technology and Sorcery, both Nature and Nether, embodied in a creation that was at once abomination to all. Perhaps even to the creatures of the Legion that fought to defend it.
Their masters, however cared little for their opinion - the creator of this "house" even less so.
The architect in question stood alone at the warped heart of the Device he'd created, calmly gazing upon the battle surrounding it.
The Legion, even now, was pouring through the multiple gates that had been opened by the structure, devastating both sky and earth in their passage. Their endless numbers cutting swathes through the combined forces arrayed against him. Orc and Human. Kaldorei and Troll. Dwarf side by side with Tauren. At one time or another, he'd manipulated them, lied to them, and in the end, betrayed them. Pushed and pulled, to get them exactly where he needed them. Yet all had been revealed to them now. The bitterest of enemies had cast aside ancient grievances, to unite under the banner of the one that had realized his plan. This had led him to a very simple conclusion, after weighing all of the data available to him.
She was coming for him.
In the final analysis, he supposed that she always had been. But the great device was large, and she still had a ways to go yet. As did they all. So there was time enough to think. The roar upon the wind was not merely the howling of Infernal and Dreadlord, or the baying of the Felhounds. Fighting against them in a war of screams now come the battle cries of those who sought his destruction. Like an arrow in flight, a large force cut their way through the temporarily stretched defenders. A set of keen eyes surveyed them, a mind putting shape to bunched figures fighting in the trembling darkness.
Did the mighty Shamans roar out of anger, or regret? Were the punishments for betraying a clan coursing even now through his mind as she led them against a former friend? And how strange it must seem to be focusing his ancestors' energies to heal her...
It had been so clear to him at last. The parts he would need. He had begun with the fragment of a Kaldorei's soul, and ended with the withered heart of Sargeras that, even now, beat slowly in his chest. Stirring now, finally beginning to ask the wrong questions as time ran out.
Slave! What occurs? Why do you not strengthen our defenses? Engage your traps! Destroy these fools!
A calm reply - Ah, but master, the trap is already set. Patience.
They ripped into the machine even as they worked their way toward him. Smashing delicate parts and pieces, melting carefully grown roots, obliterating finely placed crystals. All secondary systems. He calculated that nearly eighty percent of his work had been merely decoration. Distraction. Perfection.
He could hear the echoes of their path, the death cries of the Dreadlords he had placed in their way, just enough, yes, just enough. The figure turned as the energies of this place he'd made finally coalesced, the entire structure beginning to hum with raw power. Its final use was about to begin.
The figure turned as the last Barrier exploded inward. A woman stood in the entrance, her silvery hair streaming across her blackened armor; her eyes the color of blackest midnight as she lifted her blade in a roar. Her face a mask of determination and rage. He was almost fooled, if not for the single tear that streamed down her cheek as she charged.
There was no counter attack, no shields of energy, or rays of death, nor did he so much as raise his staff to her. He merely stood as her utterly pure blade drove through where his heart had once been, completing the circuit he'd created.
Her eyes shifted hues, never stopping, as they widened in shocked realization. A single word escaped her lips as the long held energies traveled through them.
He had never lied to Sargeras. Aside from the fact it would have been impossible, there was no need. When he had made his bargain, he told the Dark Titan his machine would have the power to reshape a world in an instant.
He'd just never said which one.
Powers dark and light, never meant to mix, coursed along new streams. Their focal point a man who was no longer a man, pinioned on the truest soul he'd ever known. Reaching out through a heart not his own, to every part and piece of the Burning Legion, in a chain reaction bellowing back against itself and into a portal that had been twisted to a new use. In seconds, those who had come to ravange the world were reduced to nothing more then fuel for the Device, vaporized before the eyes of the startled heroes. The machines hum now rising to a scream as all of it, every speck of the nether was shoved through a far-to-weak body, consumed in one guiding purpose.
A simple truth, realized by a practical man: It always took more to create, then to destroy.
In the last moments before what remained of his body was similarly vaporized, Limduul, once of Andorhal, shaped his lips in a simple word -
And all was clear. No more blood, no more ash. Her blade was utterly clean, and she was left to stare in wonder at the new gateway that had formed in his place. A gate to a world of bright sunlight and rolling hills, behind her, a lone Orc voiced the name of it in a voice filled with awe...