Prologue
Deliverance

AT 999 (AZ 1371) - Late Winter
Castle Zephyr, Hesperia, Zephyr

Unseen, hidden in the shadows, the Dark Eternal watched the frail human bring life into the world. A soul clothed in new flesh, it was fresh energy for him to consume, nothing more. It was usually the only reason for him to venture out, but his purpose was different this time.
The first child emerged, a mere human, beneath his concern. The mother was the consort of a prince of this land and she had a dark secret lurking within her. It would soon be revealed.
The process was taking longer than it should. The one he waited for was apparently resisting the inevitable. Its mind was awake, but it did not yet understand what was happening to it.
The Dark Eternal had not lived through the millennia without patience and it was only a matter of time. Finally, his charge appeared. At this point, it still looked rather human, but its true lineage was already apparent. Its skin had the pallor of a corpse and its eyes the gleaming red of fresh blood.
The humans, weak and cowardly creatures that they were, trembled in fear at the fine specimen in the hands of the midwife. If they only understood the sublime beauty of such a being... However, they did not deserve such enlightenment.
He finally went out into open. The servants did not even realize his presence. With a touch, they fell one by one, their souls drawn into his body. He caught his charge just as it was falling from the midwife's lifeless arms. The newborn Lich looked at him. It could sense the magic of its ancestor coursing through him.
Enveloping himself in waves of æther, the Dark Eternal drew himself and the infant Lich across the thousands of leagues separating the land of Zephyr from the decayed ruins of Euros. The dark energies of the land instantly invigorated the infant, a promising sign for its growth.
Hazila, the priestess of the Forest Children, knelt in the presence of her future King. The Dark Eternal left the infant in her care. She would do her duty and raise it well. Of that there was no doubt.
He departed to a solitary place to gather his thoughts. He had been waiting many decades for this opportunity. The Darklands would nurture the infant Lich well and in time he would easily surpass his predecessor. Surely the infant would manifest the strength needed to tame this masterless land. The Darkness gained a fine new ally that day.