For there be divers sorts of death — some wherein the body remaineth; and in some it vanisheth quite away with the spirit. This commonly occurreth only in solitude and, none seeing the end, we say the man is lost, or gone on a long journey — which indeed he hath; but sometimes it hath happened in sight of many, as abundant testimony showeth. In one kind of death the spirit also dieth, and this it hath been known to do while yet the body was in vigor for many years. Sometimes, as is veritably attested, it dieth with the body, but after a season is raised up again in that place where the body did decay. — Floriana Ombranato (Shadowborn), leader of the Arcanum Sanguineus
There are mighty powers in the world that wield the secrets of death. One such is the Eladrin lich Samdhya, the Witchqueen. She seeks the Subtle Knife, an artifact that will allow her free travel between the realms of Faewild, Shadowfell, and this earth. She knows that the heroes have been in the presence of the Subtle Knife (when they escaped the Faewild), but no more than that.
She bargains with the party. She will trade the Tear of Selûne delivered to her by her unwitting thrall, Helio Castroneves, mayor of the city of Tolar, in exchange for the Subtle Knife.
The party agrees to the terms of the arrangement and are allowed to depart the Shard of Night, citadel of the Shadowfell city of Carcosa that overlaps Tolar. As happened before when they departed the Faewild, time is distorted in addition to space. The late Summer of Tolar city has become Winter … but there is yet no clue when this Winter might be.