Path to destruction
Bajoran society was built around their religion and Winn, while deeply attracted to power and opportunistic, had faithfully served the will of the Prophets. But in 2375, her faith had wavered. She had recieved a vision from what she at first thought was the Prophets, who had told her that a Guide would come that would help her bring about the Restoration of Bajor. After meeting an old farmer named Anjohl Tennan aboard Deep Space 9 who possessed the "wisdom of the land" that the Prophets mentioned, Winn believed she had met her Guide. As well as accepting Tennan as her partner in the coming Restoration, she also developed a romantic attraction to him. Little did she know was that Anjohl was actually Gul Dukat - former Cardassian Prefect during the Occupation - who had been surgically altered to appear Bajoran.
For several days, Winn and Dukat shared each other's company, but when Winn received another vision, she was shaken to the core of her being. The beings that had spoken to her were not the Prophets who communed with Sisko, but her gods ancient enemies - the Pah-wraiths - that had long ago been banished from the Celestial Temple. After this revelation, Winn consulted the Orb of Prophecy, but it imparted nothing to her and she feared that the Prophets had forsaken her since she had been in communion with the Pah-wraiths. Dukat - still acting under the guise of Anjohl - informed Winn that he had been sent by the Pah-wraiths. Winn was disgusted by this revelation and, fearing for her very soul, sought the counsel of Kira Nerys. She knew that she had, more often than not, put her own political interests ahead of the spiritual well-being of the Bajoran people and wanted to repent. She claimed that she was willing to do anything to earn the Prophets' forgiveness and Kira assured her that it was not too late, that she could still go back to the good graces of the Prophets by setting aside the things that led her astray, such as ambition and jealousy. She suggested that Winn step down as Kai, since it was power that had led her astray. Winn, however, balked at this answer, insisting that the Bajoran people needed her. Kira left knowing that she had failed to get through to Winn.
Believing that the Prophets had shunned and ignored her lifetime of service to them, the bitter Winn returned to Anjohl and told him that she was ready to follow the path of the Pah-wraiths. Together, they returned to the Kai's residence on Bajor and plotted on how to release the Pah-wraiths from their prison within the Fire Caves. Using her authority as Kai, Winn had the Book of the Kosst Amojan removed from the Archives, much to the disturbance of her aide Solbor, who came to realise that Winn was being manipulated by Anjohl. "Anjohl" was later exposed as Gul Dukat and Solbor tried to alert the authorities, but Winn stabbed him before he could reveal the truth to anyone.
Although shocked to discover that she had bedded Dukat, Winn continued to work with him towards the release of the Pah-wraiths. After many weeks of study, the two of them ventured to the Fire Caves to put their plan into action. The release of the Pah-wraiths required a blood sacrifice, and Winn killed Dukat with a goblet of poisoned wine, hoping that feeding Dukat to the Pah-wraiths would make her worthy of becoming their Emissary who would rule over the new Bajor.