The End

-by Selariah

The goblin gave the human woman a strange look.

"You're nuts for staying here Sel. Listen, I know you like this place and all..."

Selariah silenced him with a wave of her hand. She stood crooked over her cane, barely able to stand it seemed. Although she did not look any older than thirty, her body had long since given way; her appearance only an illusion.

"I've lived in Winterspring for over twenty years now, I made this place my home for a reason. I'll be damned if I let anyone take this place from me." She frowned at Krix, giving him that stubborn, serious look that signified that she would not back down.

Normally Krix would have let it go there. He knew better than to try and convince the old archmage when she got that look on her face. This time was different, however.

"Listen, Sel, we've known each other a while, you've been one of my best customers. It wouldn't feel right to let you know that you're mad. The Burning Legion is marching through Felwood this instant! They're headed straight for Hyjal, and they'll destroy everything in their path, including you!"

Selariah sneered at that, tossing back her head haughtily. "Like hell they will! I can take on a few demons! I've taken on worse in my time...did I ever tell you the story about when I went into Blackrock Mountain and..."

Krix interrupted her, speaking in an annoyed tone. "Yes, a million times. That's not important. Listen, I know you're powerful; I know you've taken down all sorts of evil nasty things, whatever. But you can't possibly think you'll be able to stop the Burning Legion single handedly, that's beyond even you."

She turned away from the goblin and sighed, nodding her head. "I...I know. I cannot defeat these demons alone. Nor will help come to save me." Her voice lowered, becoming more serious, growing heavier with the burden she would have to carry.

"Then leave! Don't be suicidal! Ugh, whats the use in trying to talk sense into a human..." Krix grumbled.

Selariah looked up and furrowed her brow. "They want his skeleton. They intend to somehow resurrect him. His bones still lay entangled in the dead mass of Nordrassil, and what worth is my life if I run so that they can raise him without me having lifted a finger?"

Krix looked, down, somehow ashamed at hearing her words. Yet the elderly archmage continued quietly. "I cannot destroy them, I cannot defeat them...but I swear, they will not lay their hands upon the bones of Archimonde. They will not destroy my home, my Winterspring. And that is that."

Selariah walked away from the goblin, leaving him stunned in her wake. She wrapped her coat tighter around her as she hobbled away from Everlook. "I will miss you though, old friend..."

The next day, the infinite, never-ending snows of Winterspring for the first time came to a halt. The beautiful white wasteland remained as cold as ever, quiet and calm, its final rest before the coming of flames, fire, and destruction. Dark clouds brewed over Hyjal. A deep blackness hovered in the distance over Felwood and what was formerly Ashenvale.

A week passed, the dark clouds, the evil blackness growing, the blackness reaching toward the clouds. The time of the awakening was soon. Archimonde would rise again, and the world would fall under his wrath, under the demon army that even now marched to see him rise again. Kil'Jaedens legions, with Archimonde at their head, would be unstoppable.

There is only one entrance to Winterspring, ever since the old furbolg tunnel collapsed. Through Darkwhisper Gorge, the Burning Legion would march to Mount Hyjal. The Gorge is crossed by a single, ancient bridge, built ages ago by the Kaldorei, as a passageway to Nordrassil. Upon this bridge, in constant vigilance, stood a lone woman bent over her staff.

"This is it then...they come. It has been a good life, but here it ends." Selariah smiled to herself, unafraid. She had faced death before, but never before had it been so sure.

The columns of demons marched toward the gorge bridge, headed by one of Kil'Jaedens lieutenants. Weapons of flame and obsidian flashed in every clawed hand, a mist of death following in their every footstep. Upon seeing the woman, the lieutenant at the head of the column gave an unearthly wail, terrifying to hear. He sneered, his eyes bursting into red flames.

Selariah did not flinch at the cry. Her staff dropped to the ground as she stood tall and proud, her elderly weakness leaving her. "Who here wishes passage unto Winterspring? Who here would cross over Darkwhisper Gorge?"

The demon sneered indignantly. He spoke in a dark, malignant voice, the very essence of evil dripping from his serpentine tongue. "You cannot bar our passage, human! Die, along with the rest of your pathetic race..." He turned to the column behind him. "Capture her, and do whatever you like with her..."

Selariahs eyes glowed a gentle, icy blue, as she once again spoke, her voice carrying power and intensity, growing with every word, every syllable echoing off the icy walls of the gorge. "Try if you wish, demon, but you shall have no one today! You shall go no further!" At the apex of her cry, the skies of Winterspring burst to life, torrents of wind carrying snow to the gorge, swirling about the archmage, and pressing back against the line of demons.

The blast of snow tore into the line of demons, pushing them back as threads of ice cut demon flesh to ribbons. Selariah took one proud step forward, the winds and snow growing stronger. The lesser demons cowered back in fear, shrieking in pain and terror. Yet the lieutenant stood unphased by the human's display of strength.

"ENOUGH!" he cried, the very force of his voice carrying power into the air, calming, nay, destroying the winds. The demon army quickly recovered, reforming into their lines. "You may be powerful, mage, but you cannot stand against the Legion. Submit, and I might kill you mercifully. Persist and I will see you die such a torturous death that you shall wish you had never lived!"

Selariah closed her eyes, standing at the edge of the bridge. "This is my home, demon. I did not give you or your kind permission to enter, and so you never shall." The glow in her eyes burst to life, wings of ice forming at her back, as her feet left the ground. Selariah threw her head back, the winds exploding to life again, stronger than before, as her voice lifted into incantations both ancient and powerful.

The demon lieutenant, for the first time, seemed afraid at the power he was witnessing. He cowered back, as the line of demons crumbled, crawling back into the tainted lands beyond the gorge. The torrent of winds and snow swirled around the archmage, solidifying around her body, encasing her in solid ice.

"Aya, forgive me..."

The snows and winds grew stronger, until they were blinding, a blizzard unlike any that had ever been seen on Kalimdor. Only moments passed though, before the winds died down. Before the demon army stood a wall of solid ice, unbreakable, impassable. At its center, encased in ice, preserved forever, the ice-winged body of Selariah.

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