The End of the Burning Legion comes.
In the year following the demise of the Burning Legion, the Alliance had brought about the restoration of Lordaeron. Without leadership the Legion had crumbled. With Illidan’s death and the Illidari's defeat, Sylvanas' return to living at the cost of the Forsaken, and Arthas retreating to the frozen north to contemplate his betrayal and enduring love of Jaina, the lands had finally come to know peace. Vereesa and the remnants of the Blood Elves sought to rebuild their society. The once many followers of the Legion dwindled.
The Fel Orcs were purged upon Mannoroth’s defeat. As the Annihilan were nearly extinct, the demons that had once served them saw an opportunity to escape. The Draenei began to push back destroying many fleeing dark servants. It became clear that escape was not an option.
A woefully inexperienced female Man’ari scientist, Aeren Deathseeker, saw a potential solution. She knew that being desperate would result in errors but the hour was late. For the time being she had the few remaining demons, loyal undead, demonic mechanical contraptions, and other stragglers in line and loyal to her. They would sustain her until a solution at her research facility in the Suramar Ruins could be realized.
As time passed her hidden army grew as portals were opened to the many demonic worlds known to her. Despite this growth Aeren was not satisfied with the composition. There were far too many lesser soldiers. Formidable forces arrived at the behest of a remaining Dreadlord soon after she began recruiting. Although these gains were meaningful there was not enough to insure survival in the face of a renewed Alliance.
A lower servant suggested expanding their search to gather more resilient forces by forgoing procedures meant to maintain portal stability. Aeren rejected this idea knowing pride had destroyed Mannoroth, Archimonde, Illidan, and shattered the Legion. Mannoroth had died by the axe of a “lesser,” Archimonde ignored a powerful but non-threatening enemy, and Illidan had been consumed by a lust for power. Velen came to mind: “Arrogance is the ruin of a leader seeking his objective.” Aeren issued orders to halt any additional experimentation without her express consent.
She dismissed the issue and moved on. The servant had her position in mind and continued to work in secret. One particular portal had been left relatively alone due to its location. As the incantations continued to have little effect the servant grew restless and employed a set of ancient incantations. After a time the portal violently shifted colors and shapes, the servant fled, and an explosion of dark magic flooded the structure. A fissure in reality had formed where the portal had been. It was so black one felt as if they were being sucked in simply by looking into it. An attempt was made to seal the room, but Aeren had already arrived following the tremor. She had only to look in the servant’s eyes to see his betrayal and cut him down without a word. She ordered the fissure sealed.
After days of fruitless study the void had only grown. Aeren began staring into it in the early hours of each day. There was a terrible fear in her that something monstrous was approaching, an entity far worse than her previous overlords. Her instincts were accurate.
Researchers continued to look for methods to close the fissure. In the early evening, a fortnight after the opening, a darkness began to emanate from the void. Those working around did not see the shadowy tentacles approaching. Aeren heard the sharp but short screams despite her distance from the structure. She ran to assist her forces only to find a frantic melee in progress. Strange shadows seemed to consume her forces, mutate them, and turn them against her. It was apparent within seconds that her army was facing defeat. She fled followed closely by agonizing wails and strange terrifying sounds.
As Aeren approached the outer ruins of her base, a strange withered arm reached out from the shadows. She recognized it as one of the few treants left by Maiev Shadowsong in the outskirts of Suramar but it had been severely mutated and appeared to be burning. She met eyes with the creature and was overwhelmed with a terrible fear unlike any emotion she had ever experienced. It was a blur as she recovered from the attack and ran – there was no time for further observation.
She collapsed through an opening into a building housing a smaller portal from earlier experiments. It was large enough to carry her from the horrors around her. In the face of this new power her allegiance to the old Legion began to wane. It would serve no one should these creatures destroy all that existed. The pangs of her wounds and some sort of magical aura put off by these … lost… souls were weakening her further. Deciding that the Alliance and Horde leadership must be made aware she modified the portal and stepped through. At the last moment before she was transported the same gnarled wooden arm grabbed her. Aeren was desperate to escape and cast an offensive spell to destabilize the portal in hopes that the creature would release her.
As she fell into the soft grasses of South Kalimdor the portal imploded behind her leaving a small crater. Brushing herself off an involuntary sigh of relief left her lips as she listened to birds for a moment. A sign for Theramore was not far from her. She chuckled as while the implosion on this end was minor the area around her entry point had been decimated.
This whole scenario had been a disaster. Aeren had contributed to the emergence of a force so terrible it could lead to the annihilation of life entirely.