Following the festival days, Sir Erdanen Torrance announced his candidacy for mayor of Sayre. Rather than put forth the normal efforts of campaigning, including the customary debates, public events, or even announcing his platform, the bard simply held a concert, where he played a special song he’d composed – the Anthem of Unity. Even those who did not attend heard his music, amplified by the Battlefield Elocution ritual so as to be heard even on the outskirts of town. He put all his charm and persuasive magic into the performance, and come election day, Erdanen won by an unheard-of unanimous vote. Even his rival politicians voted for him!
After assembling at City Hall, Amyria and Bejam introduced them to the newcomer: an angel by the name of Rachaela. She greeted them with bright eyes, but kept her formless face obscured by a hood. Her wings shined with radiant energy, and the design on the prayer stole draped across her shoulders identified her as an agent of Kord – god of strength, and Jett’s patron deity.
She informed them that she had come bearing news of the missing genasi – the guilt he felt as a result of Bugug’s death had drawn him into a domain of dread in the Shadowfell, a demiplane where great betrayers go to meet their punishment: Monadhan. Rachaela pleaded with them to rescue him from the realm – he had done much to please Kord, and losing such an icon of strength would be a great loss both to the world he protected and the god he faithfully advocated through his deeds in the war.
Interjecting into the discussion, Ionen believed he had related news. He believed this undertaking signified that the Champions were not yet finished with their journey, especially since they had never learned what Tiamat had been planning by starting the war in the first place. He claimed that he had read in the stars that the true destruction was only beginning, and that this would be the dragon gods’ final spat – perhaps giving him the chance to finally assume his rightful place and fulfill the prophecy of Io’s rebirth.
While none of the assembled put too much stock in Io’s perception of his own destiny, Amyria at least was very concerned with finding out just what Tiamat was up to. Rachaela advised that if the group could find Jett, they should be well-equipped enough to handle an additional task… Beyond Monadhan lay a separate demiplane, where a ritualist in Tiamat’s employ hid, working on some unknown plot, perhaps to salvage Tiamat’s schemes. He was guarded by the black exarch, Mornujhar.
Erdanen leaped at the chance to head a rescue team, and Komè eagerly accepted the quest to give aid to a former friend and simultaneously uncover Tiamat’s plot. Ionen could not resist the chance to knock Tiamat down a peg for her misbehavior in the past years, and Blank elected to tag along seemingly out of the simple pursuit of excitement. After handing off his mayoral duties to a bewildered Mr. Paradox, Erdanen and the other Champions were ready to make the journey to the Shadowfell through the portal Rachaela had prepared.
She gave them one last warning: Monadhan was created as a prison for betrayers and turncoats, and they would not be able to leave it by the simple use of rituals. Once there, they would have to find their own way to escape it, as well as find the one path that would lead them to Mornujhar and the ritualist. Fully embracing this risk, they marched through the portal undeterred.