Keeper Secrets: 4 Allegiances
Prologue



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Notes: There are several.

I don't own Dungeon Keeper, Bullfrog does. If I made any money from this, I'd be obligated to give it to them.

This fic combines aspects from Dungeon Keepers 1 and 2, plus some stuff I made up. For detailed information on this world and this story, go to .

Keeper Secrets is the sequal to another fic, Dungeon Secrets: 4 Views, which can be read at my home page.

Even though the game is not mine, the story is, and I would appreciate it of you did not use it without my permission. I think that's all, so on with the fic!
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There is only one thing that a Keeper can give his or her child when the Black Keeper is sent out into the Shadowrealm. Keepers breed by sharing energy and leaving some of it behind at the end to form a new entity. Breeding is not common among Keepers, as it creates more competition, but it is not as necessary for Keepers as it is for mortal creatures anyway, as we do not die of old age. However, death among Keepers is by no means rare, so the species must continue somehow. Perhaps it is out of some perverse sense of destiny that we continue to create offspring.

When a Black Keeper is created, we can give them only one thing. A name.

The name is not remembered by the Black Keepers. Before a Darkness finds them, they have no mind to speak of and are simply voracious masses, wanting nothing except to devour a Darkness. They cannot remember their own names, nor even recognize them. But they retain them nevertheless.

When a Black Keeper is awoken by a Darkness, when its Heart starts beating for the first time, its name is the first thing that appears to it. Often a Darkness will speak each name to the Keeper as it is "born" in a kind of ritual. The new Keeper gets its identity, as well as its soul, when it recognizes its Darkness. But the name is given to it by its parents.

I watch it. The child. A pitiful black mass it seems, not yet awake enough even to feel the Hunger. I long to caress it, but cannot. It would not do for a Keeper this young to feel the touch of a Darkness. I fear that it would drive the young thing insane.

This child. My son.

I've heard tales that maternity changes you. That Keepers, especially female ones, have an unusual blind spot where their children are concerned. Many cannot bring themselves to defeat something that is born from themselves, and so perish at the hands of their own offspring. For you see, the child cannot tell who the parent is. The only way a Keeper knows its own child when it comes across it is the name. The Black Keeper knows not who named it.

I will not be so weak. I will not allow myself to fall at the hands of this Keeper. Should I encounter him, I will not hesitate to kill him, if it comes to that. My child he may be, but nothing, not even the spawn of my own energy, is more important than my Darkness.

And yet... I cannot deny that I hope to see him again some day. I hope to somehow find my son, when he is grown and has achieved much, and see that he has succeeded. For he will succeed. He is my son and can do no less.

My time here grows short. I cannot stay in the Shadowrealm much longer, or I risk losing the Red Darkness to the abyss that exists in this place. Evain has already gone. I cast a last look at the Black Keeper, even as it begins to wake.

Tharian, I tell it. You are Tharian.



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