The ritual is finally complete. It required sacrificing a strong magical item of death that we found. When the ritual was complete Thanifex sat there silent, the handle completely burnt away and a spectral Smokey outline left in its place. As of now he remains silent but hopefully that ends soon so I can work on figuring out the new powers it gained.
As the universe knows, power cannot be gained without sacrifice. It appears that this was continued by the loss of my new champion. It saddens be greatly as it requires a huge amount of resources and effort to create, but the work was rewarded by raising my most powerful minion to date, and he was taken so soon.
Hopefully the power gained through the ritual is worth it.