"First Sacrifices": Etrigan flies above the village of Little Spring with Madame Xanadu in his arms. He tries to convince her that the blood magic spell she is about to perform to defend the village is not worth the toll it will take on her. She tells him it is already too late. The spell ages h
- I've lived a long time, but I can be killed. I know I can. My quest would make no sense if there weren't terrible risks. If there wasn't... pain.
Appearing in "First Sacrifices"
- Father Theod (Final appearance; dies)
- Villagers of Little Spring
- Audofleda (Only appearance; dies)
- Magical View Scope
Synopsis for "First Sacrifices"
Etrigan flies above the village of Little Spring with Madame Xanadu in his arms. He tries to convince her that the blood magic spell she is about to perform to defend the village is not worth the toll it will take on her. She tells him it is already too late. The spell ages her decades in an instant and weakens her a great deal but it also reflects the attacking Horde's magic back at them. Etrigan returns to the ground with Madame Xanadu. They are met by Al Jabr and Father Theod. Enraged by Xanadu's sacrifice, Etrigan attacks Father Theod, burning his face to a blistering mess.
Nearby, Shining Knight, Exoristos, and Vandal Savage size up the approaching Horde attack. Further up the pass Horsewoman retreats from the Heraldic Dragons, mechanical constructs manned by Horde soldiers, blocking the road to Alba Sarum and reinforcements. She returns to Little Spring to join the others in their defense against the Horde. Xanadu reveals that her spell's protective barrier over the village will only last until sundown.
From her mobile fortress, the Questing Queen and Mordru magically identify the presences Vandal Savage and Madame Xanadu in Little Spring. While they are concerned about Savage's immortality and nature, they determine based on the strength of the magical barrier around the village that Xanadu must be significantly weakened.
Back in Little Spring, Xanadu tells Etrigan to return to Hell and he agrees in order to regain some strength before battle. When Jason Blood is returned, he is shocked to see Xanadu in her current state. Al Jabr assists the villagers with building a siege engine. While Alairic, the village headman, is grateful for Al Jabr's assistance, Osric insists the magical barrier is preventing the villagers from surrendering to the Horde. Father Theod tells Al Jabr that his wounds, being demonic in nature, are taking him to Hell and then dies.
Vandal Savage tries to forge an army out of villagers while Exoristos and Shining Knight help with building physical defenses. When Horsewoman rides near, Shining Knight asks in another language whether or not she will help. Horsewoman tells her that she does not speak that language, but reveals that she can understand and speak the language of horses. Shining Knight reveals that she also can communicate with her horse. Audofleda, Alairic's daughter, inspired by Exoristos convinces her that she could sneak past the Horde to Alba Sarum to get reinforcements. Exoristos praises the young girl's spirit as she embarks on her mission. Meanwhile, one of the villagers being trained by Vandal Savage speaks out against Savage's constant berating of the men, insisting they are a proud people and can hold their own with or without him. Savage promotes the young man to captain.
While Exoristos and Shining Knight wait uneasily for the barrier to fall and the attack to start, Exoristos asks Shining Knight what has brought her to this point. Shining Knight explains, despite Exoristos being tight-lipped about her own reasons for her current position, that she is questing for something. She has lived a long time, but knows she can be killed. Their conversation is cut short by an office of the Horde calling out beyond the wall. He wants to show all of the people of Little Spring what is going to happen to them because of their siding with the Demon Knights. The officer holds up Audofleda's severed head.
- This book was first published on November 9, 2011.
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