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Final Sunset
1998-1999 by  Chris Schiel
http://members.xoom.com/_XOOM/schiel/index.html

Epilogue 1: A World Without Fear

The Boojum tried to put things back the way they were supposed to be, but this time, the Strife Bringer had corrupted everything beyond repair. Griswold, Cain, Ogden, Pepin, and Farnham were beyond retrieval. Likewise, Lazarus was gone and Red Vex and Black Jade had had to be destroyed. Most importantly, Diablo was gone. There was nothing left to do but close all portals to that version of Khanduras and leave whatever was left to fend for itself. The Boojum closed the portals forever with a spectacular crash.

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With Tristram gone, the magma caverns that had been underneath it released their contents volcanically. When Solo emerged from the other end of the Horadrim Portal, she had to Teleport down to her last drop of Mana to avoid being buried by a wall of ash and boiling mud. Once safe, she made her way to Westmarch to tell her story.

In the days that followed, the people of Westmarch and Khanduras realized that not a single Zerg creature, not a single glob of creep had survived the purge. The only exception was a handful of Vexlings. Eventually, they worked out a way to reproduce and proceeded to make pests of themselves until their eradication centuries later.

Solo was unable to say what had become of any of her companions. It was noted that the cows of Khanduras gave black milk for three days after the destruction of Tristram. Some took this as a sign that CowLord was dead, but most agreed that it had something to do with the volcanic ash.

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The events of the next months and centuries unfolded in many unexpected ways.

After learning that the Zerg had been defeated, Dumptruk remained in his homeland and lived out what was a quiet life for a Barbarian warrior.

Valeria Desdemona Sapphire Stars-in-the-Heavens-over-Riparia of the House of Halla had made it back to Riparia and was preparing to lead her army to Westmarch when she received word that the Zerg threat had ended. She stayed a few weeks to get her affairs in order and then returned to the Sisters of the Sightless Eye to finish her training. Thus, when Andariel was unleashed underneath the convent, Valeria was there to lead the Wild Angels against her instead of wandering the labyrinth under Tristram. As a result, the Sisters defeated the Maiden of Anguish.

Solo lived comfortably off of her tale for years and eventually became the Master Scribe of Westmarch and, later, New Tristram. As the years passed, she researched Red Vex's tale and took a greater and greater interest in conflict resolution and containing the spread of hatred. She and her followers chose Red Vex as a symbol of the folly that awaited any person or nation who succumbed to Hatred. Solo's efforts over the course of her life prevented at least three wars and left behind a legacy that would last for thousands of years.

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With Diablo gone forever, the tide of the Sin War quickly turned against the forces of Chaos. Humanity allied with the angelic hosts and drove the demons back into their own stygian realms. What followed was a brief and relatively bloodless conflict dubbed the Virtue War. It ended when humanity, tired of being bossed around by a bunch of literally holier-than-thou angels, collectively told the forces of Order to shove off. For their part, the angels were much happier hunting down and battling their ancient foes than they were trying to force mankind to toe the line.

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Thirty years later, Gerard, the son of Gillian, founded a new kingdom on the rich volcanic soil at the foot of Mt. Tristram. He ruled justly and used his psionic powers wisely. His descendants would see the small kingdom of New Tristram grow into a large country, and eventually into a global power.

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As another result of Diablo's irreversible banishment, no hero ever found it necessary to defeat him and then make a futile attempt to contain Diablo's essence in his or her own body. Since there was no Diablo, there was no one to seek out and release the other two Prime Evils.

Baal and Mephisto went largely forgotten until two thousand years later when construction workers in the desert city of Nova Lut Gholein accidentally opened the Tomb of Baal. The Lord of Destruction had an easy time taking over a city that had long-since forgotten the ways of magic and the days of heroes.

As it turned out, not everyone had forgotten. There were secret members of the Horadrim at high levels of every major government around the globe. They wasted no time in dealing with the Prime Evil. Baal was more than a little surprised at the sudden arrival of over 200 cruise missiles. He had a moment of clarity before his utter annihilation: Humanity no longer needed a Lord of Destruction.

Officials of the Red Vex Center for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution would have agreed with him. They filed a formal protest over the missile strike.

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The Lord of Hatred fared even less well. Plate tectonics worked against him and, by the time an earthquake finally opened his tomb, humanity had long-since abandoned the planet. In fact, two succeeding species had evolved and ascended to the stars after humanity left. Mephisto endured a frustrating 2.5 million years alone on a dead planet under a bloated red sun. Finally, the dying sun lashed out and wearily consumed the barren planet and that last bit of Hatred that had survived all else.

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"Sir Knight! Sir Knight! Please wake up!" The speaker was a very pretty farm girl in her late teens or early twenties.

Dolt blinked and sat up. He was on a green hillside under a tree overlooking a valley of farmland. The sun hurt his eyes. "Where am I?"

The girl didn't answer his question. "Please, sir! The Orcs are attacking my father's farm! Won't you please help?"

The smell of smoke and the sound of small wooden structures being razed drifted up the hill.

"What's an Orc?" Dolt wanted to know.

The girl looked at him as if he were addle-brained and just pointed mutely down the hill at her burning farm. He saw several figures in leather armor armed with axes and pikes. They had warty green skin and tusks but, other than that, could have been Barbarians from any tribe Dolt had ever encountered.

Dolt stood and smiled.

They had axes and pikes and leather armor. This was more like it. No sorcerers. No demons. No Zerg. Just a chance to finally practice a little good old-fashioned WarCraft.

He cracked his knuckles, picked up his axe and charged down the hill. "DOLT LUUUUUNGREEEEENNNN!!"

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Back to Chapter 15
On to Epilogue 2

Originally published to alt.games.diablo March 22, 1999

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