Once my shadow spread across every land, yet I was born mortal, sensing I was meant to be so much more. I made the most of my frail flesh, breaking of a fragment of the World Serpent and making it part of me. Only I got sentimental. I shared my power with my apprentices. They in turn got greedy. One dared to set herself up Imperatrix, uniting all of the frightened little queens in an alliance against me. Xian thought she’d vanquished me. All she defeated was my mortal form, banishing me. Ah, my dear, I always had a way back through my own flesh and blood, whom you willingly wedded. Once again, you got greedy. Instead of killing or sealing away my descendants, you sought to make them your tools of magic, your Imperial slaves. Did you think that little collar you and Zenobia worked so hard on could stop them, let alone me? Through the Serpent-Born, my power lives on. Through them, I can return. Just consider that, my dear traitor as you tremble on your throne, filled with stolen power and vitality. I will return. And when I do, I will suck the life force from you and all of your tools. Just watch and sleep the sleep of the hunted. I shall return.