Chapter 3
Safeguarding the Future

AT 1082 (AZ 1454) - Spring
The Stone Forest, The Darklands

Eighteen generations of fostering the Dark Race's revival and none had demanded so much of the Dark Eternal's energy and attention as the Monarch Lich. The eighteen centuries prior were as a day compared to the eighty long years of contending with the most maddening scion of the Dark Race.
Though he carried with him the will of the ancient Black Lich, the Dark Eternal's counsel was only heeded so far and it seemed that the Monarch Lich was growing more willful as time wore on rather than accepting his role as nothing more than a stepping stone to the achievement of the greater goal of the Dark Race. He wanted glory for himself even though his body would soon be consumed by his growing power. He added to this folly a bizarre obsession with his other half, the one who shared the same host as an infant.
There was some comfort to be had, though. The Lich performed his duty and sired an heir. So jealously did he guard his power that the Dark Eternal feared the Dark Race would die out once again, but that unwelcome prospect was thankfully avoided.
The Monarch Lich personally witnessed the hatching of his offspring, accompanied by Hazila. The Dark Eternal observed the proceedings beyond the view of the others. His time for action came when the Lich handed the newborn over to Hazila.
The Child of the Forest carried the young Lich a short distance from the nest of the Spider Queen. It was there that the Dark Eternal chose to meet her. Manifesting himself before her, she immediately dropped to her knees, but was careful not to upset the infant Lich.
"I have brought the child, my master," she said in a low, deferential voice.
"You have done well," he replied. "Now rise."
She was quick to comply, but averted her eyes from looking at his face. Her wits were sharp, for almost none could serve the Dark Eternal for any length of time without displeasing him. Unlike so many others, she would undoubtedly continue in her service for many years to come, to fulfill her latest task and whatever tasks awaited her beyond.
"Listen well, Hazila," he said. "I am sending you far from this land, near the place your people call El-Simil. You will go to the City of the Dead, called the Necropolis. As you have raised the Monarch Lich in this land, so you will raise his offspring there.
"In time, I will come for you... when you are needed, or rather, when it is time for the new Lich to take his place. Until then, you will live amongst the dead and foster the young Lich's power. Teach him well, for he holds the future of the world of Darkness."
Hazila bowed low, saying, "I live to serve your will, my master."
Summoning his power, the Dark Eternal caused purple-black light to swirl around priestess and the Lich child. Within an instant, the two were transported thousands of miles away to a distant corner of the world. Now the irresponsibility of the Monarch Lich would pose no danger. Even if his man ambitions failed and the Chaos Dominion came crashing down around him, the future was secured.