Nothing really ends. Especially not wars.
Ringo Flinthammer had known nothing but war since he was a boy, when orcs first invaded Azeroth. And in every war since, leaders had told soldiers marching off to war, or fighting to drive the orcs from their homelands, it would all be over by the Feast of Winter Veil. Ringo guessed night elf leaders a millennium ago probably told their soldiers they would all be home from the War of the Shifting Sands in time for the Lunar Festival.
Sargeras’ defeat was not a secret. There were lights in sky over Argus and a vision of Sargeras — or maybe the titan himself — appeared above Azeroth for a moment before a new red star appeared in the sky.
Moments later, Legion ships vanished from the skies over both worlds, winking out in a flash of green, one by one.
But that left members of the Burning Legion trapped on both worlds. Many of them dug in, determined to defeat the Armies of the Legionfall and the Army of Light. Or to take as many of their opponents with them as they could.
Mop-up operations had gone on for weeks. The Legion had controlled Argus for millennia. Rooting them out might take decades.
As happened in Quel’Danas and Northrend and Pandaria and Draenor, the occupation lasted longer than the war itself. The war zone became home. Slop splashed into dented metal plates became home meals. Bedrolls, slowly rotting from nightly contact with the corrosive soil, became the feather beds waiting at the end of the day.
At times, Ringo half-convinced himself the Stoutlager Inn, with its comforting fire and the smell of beer and roasting sausages, which had soaked into the stone walls and floor over centuries, was just a pleasant dream. As was his elderly ram, now only suitable for giving rides to children in Thelsamar and cropping the grass in front of his home. As was the son who forgot his father’s face more each day. And the wife who …
An explosion. Then blackness. And silence.