"My Tomb in Castle Branek": Inspector Stavic and two villagers search the eerie ruins of Castle Branek, unknown that they are being watched by the minions of Moragaine le Fey. The agents of evil ambush the men, only incapacitating them before hurrying into Mer
- Merlin chose well when he summoned this demon, Etrigan!! But the last word belongs to Morgaine le Fey!
Appearing in "My Tomb in Castle Branek"
- Merlin (As a spirit)
- The Unliving (Mentioned only)
- Castle Branek
- Merlin's Tomb
- Walpurgis Wood
- Eternity Book (As Merlin's tomb only)
Synopsis for "My Tomb in Castle Branek"
Inspector Stavic and two villagers search the eerie ruins of Castle Branek, unknown that they are being watched by the minions of Moragaine le Fey. The agents of evil ambush the men, only incapacitating them before hurrying into Merlin's crypt to aid their mistress. No sooner than they enter, a boulder knocks them back and they face the wrath of Merlin's mightiest servant, The Demon! In the face of fearsome and inhumanly strong opponent, the minions fight on, more afraid of failing their mistress. The sorceress watches Etrigan tear through her soldiers before advancing towards Warly. Quickly, she keeps her enemy at bay by reciting an incantation to revert the creature back to the helpless Jason Blood lying unconscious on the ground.
From Jason's apartment in Gotham City, Glenda Mark worries where her fascinating new acquaintance is at this moment. His long time friend, Harry, tells her it's best not to think about when it comes to Jason's profession as a demonologist, especially considering the stone creature that appeared at Jason's door. Randu announces himself, also concerned about his friend, and reaches out using his "Eye of Kharma" technique. Via the conduit of Blood's portraits, he forms a clear vision of the unconscious Jason in his mind's eye.
Jason is discovered by Inspector Stavic and his companions who revive the stranger they witnessed riding through town. Demanding answers Jason cannot give, they all enter the now empty crypt together. As Jason examines the tomb, recognising it as a facsimile of the Eternity Book, but is interrupted by the tomb's guardians. The gargoyles attempt to defend the sacred text, but crumble when their power is suddenly taken away. The spectral life force of Merlin materialises before them, and instructs Jason Blood to go after le Fey and stop her. Together, Jason and Stavic mount their horses and follow Merlin's oblique directions into Walpurgis Wood.
Deep in the woods, Morgaine le Fey congregates with many revelling witches. As the black dance concludes, the sorceress removes her mask to reveal her decrepit visage. She moves to the bonfire to begin the ritual and Warly provides her with the necessary tools. Her very touch spreads her decay to an animal fossil, turning it to dust which is thrown into the flames. Almost immediately, the sky blazes with falling meteors, one of which almost strikes two approaching riders.
Jason and Stavic ride towards the eldritch conflagration in the clearing and sneak up to the coven. Stavic warns that there is more to fear than just witches in Warpulgis, and his concerns are vindicated by the attack of the Gorla, a guardian of witches. Stavic is tossed aside by the creature like he's nothing before it charges Jason. The creature has the strength of ten men and tosses Blood to the ground.
Across the Atlantic, Randu senses Jason's need, and is drawn to a portrait of an knight bearing a shield with the inscription, "Yarva demonicus Etrigan." Randu creates a psychic link and speaks through Jason to instinctively summon his demonic counterpart.
Etrigan leaps onto a tree and bends the trunk over, snapping back it on the witless Gorla. He pounces onto the downed monster and bludgeons it to death with a rock. The Demon races past the unconscious Stavic to the edge of the clearing and channels his fiendish rage into the ground. The shock waves rip through the earth and sends the witches fleeing into the night. All except for Morgaine le Fey, who ventures into the fire, determined to complete her spell. She recited her incantation as the flames engulfed her. As Etrigan's fury rises, the force building beneath their feet erupts into a thunderous explosion.
The immense blast severs Randu's psychic link and he collapses in a chair, exhausted and unsure of what he just witnessed.
Later, Inspector Stavic once more finds Jason Blood unconscious, this time at the edge of a large, smouldering crater. Neither man knows what happened, nor the fate of Morgaine le Fey. Stavic politely suggests that Jason leave immediately, as he wants no more involvement in the supernatural. The spirit of Merlin, on the other hand, is pleased that Jason Blood's path to the recollection of his past has begun.
- On the second panel of page 14, Inspector Stavic is mistakenly drawn with two arms.
- "Jack Kirby's The Demon" (2008) which collects the original series contains a pencilled page that was cut from the final publication. The intended page 2 depicts Inspector Stavic and the villagers arriving at Castle Branek where the find the fallen Unliving.
- Morgaine le Fey uses a unique incantation to revert Etrigan back to Jason Blood: "Demon, Demon --- Hear thy name! Demon, Demon --- Heed the flame! From sign of toad and albatross --- It forms the line you cannot cross --- Vanish, vanish Etrigan! Return again in form of man!!
- Her spell to obtain youth was; "Fire rage! Fire climb! Burn age! Burn time! Build the bone and smoothen skin! Let death go out --- And life come in!"
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Links and References
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