Prologue
Exposed to the Light

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

In the warm, dark depths of an unknown chamber, he had been waiting. He did not know how long he had been there, but he was yet unformed when he first awoke. As his body took shape, he slowly began to understand what he was and the small world around him.
There was another there, a companion who shared the chamber with him. Its body was awake but there was no mind, no will to it. Though he had never seen another living thing, something told him that such an unthinking creature was nothing more than a mere beast. They were strange, the thoughts that filled his head. He struggled to understand them, but there was one thing which held no doubt for him. Whatever his companion was, he knew that he was a superior breed and that his purpose was far greater.
As he was meditating to discern his true purpose and the great thoughts beyond his current understanding, he was disturbed by the walls of his chamber pressing against his body. The walls then receded and the momentary alarm passed. The moment of peace was short-lived, though. It happened once more, the walls pressing against him and then receding and so it continued, the entire chamber squeezing and retracting. Worse yet, each time came sooner than the last.
At first, he feared some giant was trying to crush them within their chamber, but this was not the case. He perceived the undulation of the walls forcing him and his companion toward a narrow opening above their heads. He had never taken notice of it before, but he regarded the opening with dread. He could sense in his body weakness, vulnerability. The chamber had long been his sanctuary, but there was no telling what lay outside, perhaps some creature waiting to devour them. Weak though he was, he would not go easily.
He pushed his companion ahead of him. If there was danger waiting at the other end, his companion would not comprehend what was happening to it, a reasonable sacrifice. Its head became lodged in the opening and it took some time before it was pushed through. Any hope of some predator being sated with his companion was denied when the walls continued to press against him. His frail body could offer little resistance. The chamber that had been his home for so long could no longer offer him any protection.
His struggle did not avail him, and so he surrendered himself to the force of the walls and was gradually pushed out the opening. When his head emerged, he was overcome by the brightness of the light that surrounded him. It was painful and unpleasant. He longed to return to the comfort of the darkness, but his body continued to be forced out of the chamber.
After his entire body was pulled out, something strange enveloped him. The voice in his mind told him this thing was a cloth.
It seemed natural to call creature that held him a human and the wide-eyed look on the human's face represented the emotion known as fear. For some reason, the emotion pleased him. It seemed right for the creature known as human to fear him.
A painfully loud noise distracted him. It was the other, making an obnoxious squealing sound. It hurt his ears. What purpose did that serve? He then heard a similar sound from a handful of the humans that surrounded him. The hands of the human that held him suddenly became cold and limp. Before he could fall, though, a new set of hands took hold of him.
The hands were just as cold as the ones that dropped him, but possessed great strength. The creature that held him resembled a human, but was something different. A strangely familiar power emanated from this creature, the power of the Darkness. He closed his eyes in contentment. He was home.