The End

-by Rapha

The bushes rustled gently as the cat limped into the small clearing. Silver moonlight cast a pale glow on the gash in his flank, the tear along his haunch. His forced panting echoed softly across the tall grass, whispering the depth of the wound. Within a moment, the cat was gone and a large Tauren bull was lying on his side, propped up by a gnarled tree-stump of a hammer. He growled quietly to himself, and looked up at the stars.

"So it has come to this..." he thought. "To die of a wound from steel, to pass away by the imbalance, the war that has consumed my thoughts and sweat for so many long years. I have seen the scales tip to the right, then the left. I have seen them linger near the middle. Yet they will not rest, though this time I will." He took a deep breath, absorbing the sweet smell of the forest moss, the dry musk of rotting wood, and the singing scent of night flowers. They all called him by name. He let himself down to the moist soil, and sighed once more, wincing at the searing pain. "No more herbs.. no more poultice. No more touch of nature singing her strength. This time, she takes her course gently." He closed his eyes.

"Now for the true dream..." he thought. "I will see my sisters Ishoda and Amanli. I will remember the laughter of my friends, Troll and Forsaken alike, their names too sweet to let loose on this dying tongue. And I will remember the soft, delicate, song of the rain... that she may sing for all the years before, and after, my time."

-Rapha Rainsong

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