Prologue
A Dark Alliance

AT 1066 (AZ 1438) - Late Summer
The Sigil of Omnimancy, The Darklands

As Xorgoth flew over the Darklands, he felt invigorated by the black energies that seeped from the very earth itself. It had the savor of Dragon magic, but the taste was soured by the mark of the tainted blood of the Exiled Princes. This very magic was the reason he had come to this land.
He saw his destination below him, the huge emblem forged by the humans who once ruled the land to tap the power of the gigantic confluence of the æther currents. He and his dozen escorts dove toward the ground in perfect formation. Upon landing, he was approached by a cloaked, human-sized figure.
So this was the seed of the Dark Race who had summoned him here. He claimed lordship over the land and had he been anything other than a seed of the Dark Race, the King of Dragons would not have deigned to treat with him. Xorgoth knew that in spite of this creature's small size, he had the power to destroy the thirteen proud sons of Tiamat with little more than a breath.
"Welcome to the Chaos Dominion, O son of Tiamat," the seed of the Dark Race said. "As you already know, I am called the Monarch Lich, seed of the Dark Race and lord of scorched earth, blood seas and blasted sky. Of course I know who you are and why you have come, but we must observe common custom and courtesy."
Xorgoth hated the Lich's condescension, but it was the right of those with power to flaunt their supremacy. The King of Dragons had to bear it so long as he was the weaker if he wanted what he sought. At least he did not need to humiliate himself with submissive words. It was a small comfort, but better than nothing.
"I, Xorgoth, King of Dragons, Lord of the Children of Tiamat, seek the relics of Xargos the Exiled Prince that lay hidden in this land. In exchange, I am willing to enter a league with the Chaos Dominion, to strive against your enemies and spread your conquests. The fire, the fangs and the claws of the Dragons will be at your disposal."
"And by what terms do you wish to seek these relics of the Exiled Prince?" the Lich asked.
"Complete freedom to search your territory from border to border and the full right to slay any who would dare interfere."
The Lich paused for a moment to give a display of consideration before he answered, but it was clear he had already decided the matter when he said, "This I will grant if you deliver five hundred Dragons to reside here and serve me and another thousand at the ready when I should call on them."
The Lich was asking a steep price. The blood of Dragons was not cheap and their lives could not be bartered lightly. Nevertheless, the promise of the relics of Xargos was too sweet a reward to turn down.
"So be it," Xorgoth replied.
The Lich nodded approvingly and said, "I expect the first hundred to arrive before next new moon and the rest before the seasons change."
"You shall have them."
"Then our business is concluded," the Lich said. He spread out his arms widely and continued, "My lands are at your disposal, son of Tiamat. Have your thousand ready, for the day is not far off when I shall have need of them."
Xorgoth nodded and then promptly took to the skies with his escorts close behind him. The Lich did not specify what kind of Dragons he required and so the five hundred would hail from the lesser breeds with a few others who displeased him. In the end, the steep price the Lich asked would not be so steep after all.