The unthinkable had happened: despite their most careful preparations, the prey had once again slipped out of their trap. Deep in the Ultimate Desert the Circle of Invocation disappeared with a deafening thunderclap. The seventeen Sorcerers of Eng'Hornath stood rooted to the spot for several seconds. On the Stone of Power, the name of which none dared utter, the victim's blood still dripped: the great blue- and gold-feathered wings had long since ceased to twitch, but the vril, a rare and sacred bird to be found only on Tandil, had lingered on in agony for a considerable time, its pain powering the evil magic of the outlawed sorcerers. Its ravaged beauty was a sign of their allegiance to the Chaos Demons of the Outside, and no sacrifice less significant could have enabled them to control such a large number of ghorrs – and yet still it had not been enough.
Demd'Rhat crumpled and fell. The blood flowing from his mouth and ears looked black in the pale light of the Second Moon, and it was clear that he was dying: the backlash had just struck him. Dark Magic allows no imbalance: if you use it with intent to kill, someone has to die, and if the intended victim somehow avoids the strike, it will rebound upon the one who summoned it up and kill him instead. Demd'Rhat was the second of the Sorcerers of Eng'Hornath to die since they had first gathered to fulfil their deadly mission.
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