The End

-by Yodavi

Azeroth was black and smoking. Seared to bedrock from the sulfurous, stinking and never-ceasing fires of the demons who had poured off of Mt. Hyjal like a tidal wave. Their defeat on the slopes of that mountain had not been forgotten, and had been avenged tenfold on the folk of all the races.

Within a year, the remnants of the Kalimdor races had been driven from the continent. Though the elves had fought desperately to save their beloved tree, the charred hulk had finally gone beneath the waves three months ago. The orcs, tauren, and trolls followed Thrall to the shores of the Eastern Kingdoms and successfully parlayed with the dwarves, gnomes, and humans. The elves joined them after Teldrassil fell. The Forsaken had sealed themselves beneath the ruins of Lordaeron, and none knew what they were doing.

Abandoning the north, the races evacuated Menethil Harbor and the dwarves collapsed the tunnels of Dun Algaz, using the mountains as a natural barricade. No news had been able to reach them of the north's fate after the last charge was blown.

On the shores of Westfall, the combined might of seven races had met the bulk of the enemy, and it had not been enough. Westfall became a graveyard. Stormwind fell. Elwynn Forest burned. The races fought for every inch, but grew tired and weary and sick as they were pushed through Redridge and across the Burning Steppes. The battle for the Searing Gorge would have been legendary. History in the making, but none who survived were able to gather enough hope to think there would be anyone left to write it.

Dun Morogh did not burn. The snows were perpetual, and the dwarves were filled with new ferocity as the heart of their kingdom was threatened. But even then, the push from Gorge to gate was rapid. The mountain of Ironforge barely had time to be filled with the very old and the very young of every race. Those who could lift a spear carried one in the snow.

Gathered around the foot of the mountain, the demons howled, shrieked, and slavered. The gates of Ironforge were shut. On the outside, a thousand dwarves, elves, humans, orcs, trolls, and tauren gathered their bruised and battered bodies. There was no division in this army. There were no races. How could there be?

The demons came, the two armies clashed as they had a hundred, a thousand times. There was nothing different about this battle, except it would be the last. There were no trumpets, no glorious last stands. There were only hoarse battle cries, steadfast in their defiance.

Yodavi Charfoot, last of his tribe, stood at the rear of the melee. His lined face looked on the battle expressionlessly, watching the battle inch up the slope towards him. He would have cried, but the tears had stopped in Elwynn. He would have screamed in anguish, but that had been left as the boat cast off Kalimdor's shores for the last time. Now he simply prepared. He drew his will to him, gathering his strength from depths he was amazed he still had. From every limb, every finger and toe, until his body shook with the effort. His scalp crawled with the energy.

A mage, he never knew which, called out as the sounds of battle grew louder and louder. Yodavi turned to look at the Ironforge gate. As another call rang out, the one for which he and many other mages waited for, he cast his last spell.

As the din rose behind him, he was jostled by a retreating warrior. Strengthless, he fell to the ground and rolled on his side. The incredible, raw, defiant, screaming power of his spell joined with the other mages' and obliterated the mountain above the Ironforge gate, sealing the city.

Was it enough? Darkness took him, and he never knew.

ER Emblem Award

This story has been highlighted as a Weekly Featured Story.

--Lilithia 17:26, 20 March 2007 (GMT)

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