The Coalition's War
The dark lord of Monadhan, trapped by the sin of betrayal.
Long ago, when the dragonborn empire of Arkhosia warred with that of devil-tainted Bael Turath for dominion of the world, the dragonborn of Arkhosia forged pacts with dragons to aid their war effort. One such was Arantor, a silver dragon who felt that aiding the empire against the devilry of Bael Turath was a glorious and fitting endeavor for one of his power. During his service, Arantor was tasked with the destruction of a remote Turathi military outpost almost hidden within thick tropical rain forest. Its remote location and jungle surroundings ruled out ground-based reinforcements. Accompanied by his daughter, he took wing and prepared for a swift and brutal surprise assault to eliminate the threat.
They attacked by night, diving out of a torrential downpour and raking the camp with their freezing breath while smashing tents and crude buildings asunder with tail, wing, and claw. In that first furious assault, they slaughtered scores with surprisingly little resistance. Only after the first pass did they discover, to their horror, that the tents below harbored not the battle-hardened legions of Bael Turath but civilian refugees: families, elderly, infirm, and wounded. Arantor and his kin broke off the attack immediately and retreated to the security of the storm clouds. Weighed down by the innocent blood they had spilled, the daughter proposed that they return to Arkhosia immediately to report the terrible mistake. Arantor, concerned with the damage such a massacre would cause to his reputation, declared that they would inform no one of the night’s events. Their argument over a course of action grew long and heated as lightning crashed around them until irrevocable words were uttered and disgusted with her sire, she turned to head back and report the truth whatever the consequences. In a blind fit of rage, Arantor attacked. The battle was swift and vicious. The younger was no match for her elder; soon her broken body plummeted through the raging storm and was lost to the jungle below.
With rage, grief, and self-loathing coursing through him like molten steel, Arantor turned to the valley below. No one could bear witness to his shame; no one could be left to tell the tale of this . . . mistake. Methodically, mercilessly, he hunted down and butchered every last refugee, leaving nearly two thousand silent corpses in his wake.
He fled the valley, but could not return to Arkhosia. Instead he vanished into the wild places of the world, surfacing from time to time as the war progressed to launch ruthless attacks on Turathi targets, military and civilian alike. Each time the slaughter was complete; Arantor left no survivors. The carnage continued until a team of Turathi dragonslayers tracked him to ground and destroyed him.
Arantor awoke, whole and seemingly healthy, in the Shadowfell as the dark lord of his own personal domain of dread: Monadhan. a twisted reflection of the jungle valley, complete with fortress and refugee camp, where his shame was born. As the years slipped by and he exhausted every avenue of escape he could conceive, Arantor became aware that he still aged as he would have in the mortal realm. He consigned himself to waiting out his considerable life span, hoping that his purgatory would end and he would be allowed peace upon his death. This was not to be. As his body died, his consciousness remained trapped within his decaying form, animating it as an undead prison to last throughout eternity. As his flesh began to rot away, he became aware that where his heart should have been rested the skeleton of another silver dragon: the daughter he turned upon and murdered. When the last scrap of withered skin sloughed off, it stirred and began to ceaselessly whisper the names of the innocents Arantor had slain over the years.
When the Platinum Champions traveled through Monadhan, they needed to battle Arantor in order to gain access to his horde, which contained the Sword of Kas. The sword was the key needed to escape the domain, and in obtaining it, they defeated the maddened dracolich, as well as the Heart of Darkness which tormented him. However, Arantor was not destroyed – the curse of Monadhan raised his shattered bones after the heroes departed in order to continue his eternal torment.
Ionen, not wishing to see one of his children suffer so deeply for so long, resolved to return one day and see the dragon laid to rest, either by finding the true spirit of his daughter, Imrissa, or by convincing the Raven Queen to help him unmake the domain of betrayal once and for all.