Return to Darkness

AT 1084 (AZ 1456) - Spring
The Black Keep, The Darklands

Nothing good can come of relying on others. In the end, you and you alone are responsible for bringing your ambitions to fruition. The Monarch Lich understood this now. Why should a being of his power and proud lineage rely on anyone other than himself? Leaving others to do their part had only brought disappointment. Arachne, the Knight of Chaos, the King of Dragons, they had all failed him, but the time for failure was over. He would take matters into his own hands and set right all that had gone wrong.
The presence of the Dark Eternal was never far, but as the Monarch Lich was making his way out of the Black Keep, he made a point to show himself, though he said nothing. Nothing needed to be said, but the Monarch Lich was not content to pass in silence.
Without looking at the Dark Eternal, the Monarch Lich said, "I am surprised you are not trying to stop me."
"You have served your purpose," the Dark Eternal replied dismissively. "You may go die as you see fit."
Though he intended to remain aloof, the Monarch Lich nevertheless turned to face the Dark Eternal and countered, "I am not going to die. I am going to triumph."
The Dark Eternal's face may as well have been a stone mask for all the emotion it ever showed, but even without the slightest change of expression or inflection, his words dripped with contempt.
"Your alliance is broken. Your power dwindles and your flesh will soon fail you. Your end is nigh and in that end, you are a failure."
The Monarch Lich did not allow himself to be baited by the Dark Eternal's scorn. It was what he wanted, to prove the point that the Monarch Lich had never truly overcome the weaknesses of his human nature. He would not give him the satisfaction.
"If this body fails me, I will find another," the Monarch Lich said. "Another and another until I transcend the flesh entirely. Zephyr will be mine and once I am perfected in power and form, I will be taking the legacy of the Black Lich from you."
"If you can achieve such a feat, then the power of the Black Lich is yours," the Dark Eternal said. "But you will not."
"Look for the day when I come to claim what is mine."
"As you will..."
The Dark Eternal faded into the shadows. Why did such a creature as him, who was once human himself, have to be the receptacle of the Dark Race's legacy? No matter. Once the Zephyrians were defeated, the Monarch Lich would overcome the puzzle of flesh and then reclaim the power he lost to his offspring and after that, the power held by the Dark Eternal would be his as well.
As he approached the gate, he told his chamberlain, "Pollux, when the Queen of Zephyr comes here, remember what you are to tell her."
"Yes, Your Majesty," Pollux replied with a bow.
Even without his myriad eyes and ears, he could sense the power of the the Queen of Zephyr approaching. Pollux would faithfully deliver the challenge and she would be fool enough to accept it. She would fall and then the tattered remnants of her army would join her.
The glory would be his, all his. Why should he be a mere stepping stone to the perfection of his race when he himself could claim the honor? He would be the last of the line. There did not need to be any other. Soon the whole world would be given to Death and Darkness and he would be king over all.
The Sigil awaited him. The first step on his road to victory.