Fancy Bastard Scales of War
Monadhan, once a simple jungle valley whose location in the world is lost to history, is now the name of the Domain of Betrayal within the Shadowfell. The sigil sequence to travel there with Planar Portal is esoteric to discover through research, but it’s not secret per se. It’s that no one goes there via Planar Portal and similar rituals because they can’t bring you back out again.
The vast majority of Monadhan’s residents didn’t use any ritual to get there. They betrayed someone—perhaps a spouse, parent, superior officer, priest, or liege. Some got away with their betrayals, and some didn’t. But afterward (sometimes days or weeks afterward), the betrayer wound up ensnared in fog that seemed to arise from nowhere. The fog grew thicker and thicker, then a warm breeze blew it away … leaving the betrayer on the edge of Monadhan with impenetrable fog behind and a teeming jungle in front.
With no day or night to speak of, time takes on an indeterminate quality in Monadhan, and no one seems to age. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the domain somehow suspends the aging process. Few Monadhan residents would grow to a ripe old age in a community where everyone has already betrayed someone and is suffering supernatural punishment for it. Occasionally a Monadhan resident will die suddenly during exertion or even sleep—”it was as if his own heart betrayed him,” the old ladies cluck as they rifle through the corpse’s pockets.
Monadhan’s other properties are better understood by residents of the domain. Because hardly anyone ever escapes Monadhan, academic records on the following phenomena are scant.
The Sting of Betrayal: Because the domain of Monadhan is suffused with betrayal, the domain itself rewards those willing to hurt their friends. If a creature makes an attack that damages an ally—a friendly fire incident, in other words—two things immediately happen.
First, the ally takes ongoing 10 damage (save ends) in addition to whatever damage the attack itself dealt. Second, the creature who made the attack gets its choice of either regeneration 5 or a +1 bonus on attacks. Either effect lasts until the ally makes its saving throw.
A creature can benefit from the sting of betrayal only once per round, so an area attack that damages multiple allies earns the attacker only one regeneration 5 or one +1 bonus on attacks. For the sting of betrayal to function, the creature making the attack and the ally must begin the battle as allies by any reasonable definition, not merely neutral parties who find common cause against a foe or other allies of convenience.
The Blurted Confession: Monadhan’s longerterm residents are traitors who have spent years scrabbling for their very existence in an environment full of other desperate traitors. Accordingly, many have internalized their betrayals and buried them deep within their psyches. At the moment of death or great trauma, many blurt out a final confession—often admitting the betrayal that consigned them to their fate in Monadhan.