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Zayl is a guardian of the balance of Sanctuary, also known as a necromancer. He first appears in Richard Knaak's novel The Kingdom of Shadow as a secondary character and later on in Moon of the Spider as the protagonist. He carries the talking skull of Humbart Wessel, a veteran fighter from Westmarch. He also carries a ivory dagger bound to his soul much like the one Mendeln wields in The Sin War.