The Runewardens arrived back in Ptolus with an idea of what needed to be done. They had to reach Dreta Phantas, the Dreaming City, and stop the forces of the Galchutt from bringing on the Night of Dissolution. They met up with the Company of the Black Lantern at Rosegate House, the manor house granted them by the Emperor, and discussed what they had discovered in the Seven Jewels of Parnaith.
No magic functioned in Ptolus, and the city was degenerating into chaos. Some of the members of either group did what they could to help. Rumors spread of monstrous creatures rising up from beneath the streets, and rat men armed with terrifying chaositech weapons appearing in places throughout the city where no rat man would have dared to go before.
Meanwhile, an army was still outside the gates, waiting to attack. To a lesser degree, the barbarians may have been experiencing the same surprise and disorientation that occurred within the city, as their priests and shamans were unable to call upon magic to aid them.
It seemed as though the end of the world—the Night of Dissolution—was already here.
Then Zophas was contacted by his superior in the Knights of the Pale, Dierna Hillerchaun. She explained that she had learned, in her position as one of the Twelve Commanders of the city, that the chaos cults seemingly had all joined together. The cultists believed that magic would soon return and, when it did, they would conduct a ritual that would spell disaster for the city. Putting two and two together, Dierna and Zophas realized that this was it. With the barbarians ready to attack at any moment, the Commissar and the Twelve Commanders couldn’t afford to divert any attention away, but she knew that someone had to do something.
Dierna further explained that this ritual of chaos was being masterminded by a figure known as Shigmaa Wuntad, who apparently had some important prisoners to sacrifice as part of the ceremony. The group already knew where Shigmaa Wuntad was: under the Temple of the Fifty-Three Gods of Chance, a church devoted to luck, fortune and chaos. Until now, they had thought the place harmless.