Kelemvor lies dead upon the doorstep of Madness, Cyric's Citadel within the Supreme Throne, at the heart of Pandemonium. The Mad God stands victorious over the corpse of the nascent deity, who ascended to become the ruler of death in the span of a few decades. The Hounds of Chaos feast upon Kelmvor's corpse, sending shudders throughout the Celestial Pantheons. The gods watch on in horror as Jergal presides over this mockery of a funeral and wrests his claim over the Portfolio of Death, assuming the right to judge once more all souls as they enter the Fugue. The faithful of Kelemvor, who died in the Divine Marches as they battled Cyric and Jergal's faithful, are given to the Hells to accommodate the Infernal Princes' services in resisting demonic incursions into the lands of the dead when no Lord truly ruled it. As the Crystal Spire crumbles, the terrible visage of the Throne of Bone, the seat that Jergal (and then Myrkul) once held, enters again into the nightmares of Mortals.
No more shall they find a gentle Lord of Death who cradled them in life and judged them. Now enters an ancient god of death: remorseless, pitiless, and feared by his peers for his ancient knowledge of the workings of the world and his tireless conviction and fervor in upholding his portfolio, the End of All Things. Tempus, forced to contend with Bane and Shar in measure, relents his claim as Lord of the Fugue, directing his faithful to no longer trouble the Scriveners of Doom. Yet, before he could claim the portfolio of the dead, Clar Banda stretches out her fingers and contests Jergal's claim, declaring that Undeath and the Dead are one and the same and that the Dead shall wander the world until they are ready to part from this world.
Jergal's answer to this challenge is simple: He orders his faithful to annihilate the faith of Clar Banda down to the last. In Thay, where the strongest renaissance of his faith took place to even challenge the faithful of Kossuth, temples and crypts that once belonged to Velsharoon are utterly plundered and cast into disrepair. The former god of Undeath is no stranger to using the dead as a weapon, but neither is Clar Banda. It's said armies of thousands of zombies, ghouls, and more battle in desolate lands commanded by Necromancers of the rival faiths, tearing and consuming one another in great orgies of unholy violence and desecration of one another. Souls that were once bound for the fugue in such cases become stuck in the material plane, risen again to battle on behalf of their gods until the conflict is over.
The faithful posit the conflict as such: Lord Jergal desires an End to All Things, whereas Clar Banda desires the capability of mortals to choose their end, going so far as to extend in into unlife. The Goddess of Undeath, and the God of Death engage in brutal conflict to determine the divine agency of the End of Mortal Life.
The Companions of the Pallid Mask swell in number as the faithful of Kelemvor are converted. Necromancers, convinced that a Lord of such ancient knowing could never be defeated by such a nascent goddess, detach a contingent of their forces to confront Clar Banda in the very place of her apotheosis. Their intent is grim: striking a blow to her faith at the Cradle of Her Ascension and the Destruction of the Twin citadels of her faith, Greatish and Outset Isles, where the Ritual of Clar Banda's Gift of a Second Chance took place. Cormyr watches Masked Soldiers march in single file toward the docks of the Wyvernwater, and populating Mausoleum's and Mortuary's that were seldomly populated for anything other than funerals, but now turned into grim barracks of death. Cormyr tenses in preparation for another battle, wary of the faith that claimed the Reapers as their own god's working in bringing death to the world.
Mystra's breath continues to grow weaker and weaker, and this rattles the multiverse as the Weave fluctuates. Resting upon a bed of dreams in the Astral Sea, Mystra struggles to recover from Cyric's God-Killing blade, attended by Savras, the Lord of Truth. Nursing her wound as the Weave evaporates from her body and the youthful flesh of Midnight turns into the ashen gray of Death. Throughout the Realms, vigorous storms of wild magic wreak havoc, before returning to tranquility as the goddess struggles to maintain her duty- and maintain her very grip upon life in equal measure. Her power wanes in the face of the near-constant conflict that her faithful face from the multitude of foes that arrayed against her. The fall of Velsharoon and the ascent of Clar Banda was a terrible blow against her power and stature, and wicked Shar delights in the additional mortal wound that Mystra must bare.
Mystra's Chosen, one and all, weaken. The Simbul falls in and out of insane rages, and Elminster is nowhere to be found. The other Chosen suffer between insanity and constant grief as Mystra tosses and turns, teetering on the edge of death. Mages across the realms grow concerned, and warily eye any possible ascent of the Mad God Cyric as Lord of Magic. However, any such attempt appears to be foiled by Azuth, who wards the goddess as she tries to heal. Jergal, for his part, seems uncaring - as if he predicted her doom as a long time coming. Deep in the Astral Sea, Mystra breathes and struggles to continue her duties.
Yet, the timeless landscape of the Astral Sea darkens, and Dendar, the Serpent of Nightmares, descends upon the sleeping Mystra to feast upon her nightmares. Azuth's wards shatter and Savras finds himself overwhelmed by the Elder Evil. The God of Divination and Foresight, Absolute Truth and What Shall Come sacrifices himself, planting his staff upon Mystra's slowly beating heart and pouring his essence inside of her to empower the dying Mystra - or, at the very least- grant her a fighting chance. Yet, too little and too late, Dendar latches onto her sleeping body, coiling around the helpless Mystra, and serpentine fangs feed the god-killing venom into her body, sending her into an even deeper slumber where nightmares plague her mind, and pleasant dreams are few and far between. Here, Dendar ceases her rampage against Cyric - here, Dendar rests to enjoy her meal that may take millennia and more to digest. Here, on sleeping Mystra, the first Nightmare feasts.