-=Stirrings of Evil - the Dark Kingdom Returns=-

More than five years ago, the Dark Kingdom once again stirred. Its Queen, Queen Beryl, had once been a member of the Court of Earth, and although low in rank, had formed a tendre for the Prince of the Earth's Kingdom, Prince Endymion. Sadly, as the legends always go, the Prince of Earth was in love with the beautiful Princess of the Moon, Princess Serenity.

Using the power of the human hearts, Queen Beryl manipulated the hatred and cruelty present in every human soul to control her followers, brainwashing the four Guardians of the Prince of Earth to serve her wishes and needs. Taking over the earth itself through the same technique, Queen Beryl incited all of the hatred and anger inside their hearts and focused it against the peaceful Moon Kingdom. Launching an attack against the Moon Kingdom with her forces, Queen Beryl sent the four Generals to kill their senshi-princess lovers, she herself killing the Prince of Earth in spiteful revenge. Agonized, Princess Serenity killed herself with the sacred sword of the Moon and Queen Serenity used the last of her strength to seal the Dark Kingdom with the power of the Silver Crystal.

When the Dark Kingdom returned to earth, having broken the seal Queen Serenity had placed on them, the four Generals - Jedite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite - were sent to earth, one by one, to gather energy. But Sailor Moon, united with her friend's love and the power given to her by the love she and Prince Endymion, reborn on earth as Chiba Mamoru, once more shattered Queen Metallia and sealed the Dark Kingdom.

Queen Beryl was dead, the four Generals of the Dark Kingdom dead, and Queen Metallia once more nothing more than a pulsing tremor in the hearts of humanity. The Sailor Senshi fought on, facing new enemies and new trials, and gave their first crisis no further thought. But the Dark Kingdom had not forgotten about the Sailor Senshi, nor the power that held them at bay from returning to the surface of the world.

A new Queen rose, this one fighting her way up through the ranks of the great Dark Kingdom military. By her side stood five men and women in black uniforms, this new Queen casting aside the old method of using Generals (helpful since all of the Generals were dead) and instead calling upon the Commanders of the Army as her lead servants. The Black Ranks, as they were called by the youma who they had charge of, were feared and respected and gave the new Queen, a former Black Rank herself, firm control over the remains of the Dark Kingdom.

Grabbing the Scepter, the symbol of authority in the Dark Kingdom, Queen Tanzanite took the Throne. Slowly manipulating the hearts of mankind, Queen Tanzanite derived power from the growing anguish on earth, feeding it into the remnants of Metallia. With every death of Sailor Moon, every time she pushed the limits of the ginzuishou's power to save the earth, the seal on the Dark Kingdom weakened. Every time Sailor Moon's heart turned to pain and mistrust, Queen Metallia and the Dark Kingdom grew stronger. When the Sailor Senshi fought against Sailor Galaxia and Sailor Moon faced the great evil of Chaos alone, the seal holding the great Dark Kingdom at bay broke entirely.

Queen Tanzanite had no wish to repeat the gross failures of the past, instead ordering the poppet Jedite to begin a slow campaign to gather energy. Youma were dispatched sporadically over the face of the planet, small attacks to bring little attention to their true goal - raising energy to once more revive Queen Metallia. The Black Ranks, who had served as the liaisons between the Generals and the army, noticed the slow change in their Queen; although not as stupid as her predecessor, Queen Tanzanite had begun to lose her free will against Metallia's manipulations on her mind and soul.

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