Final Sacrifice

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Final Sacrifice
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Author(s) Clayton Emery
First printing March 23, 1995
ISBN-13 978-0061054204
preceded by Shattered Chains

Final Sacrifice is the final novel in the Greensleeves cycle. It was published in May 1995. It is written by Clayton Emery. The story continues from Whispering Woods and Shattered Chains.

Blurb[edit | edit source]

From frozen mountains to an ocean-drowned forest, from war-torn battlefields to the glowing crypts of Lat-Nam, the Archdruid Greensleeves travels with her ragged troops searching for spells to defeat an army of angry wizards and end their reign of terror. While Greensleeves uncovers ancient mysteries, Gull the Woodcutter fights a fierce battle with a Keldon Warlord who holds the key to an awful secret from the past.

With each fight, Greensleeves, Gull, and their outnumbered army realize that only one last desperate spell can save them all. But to unleash it, Greensleeves must be willing to make the final sacrifice.

Summary[edit | edit source]

The novel starts three years after Shattered Chains. During this time, Gull and Greensleeves's army has grown into a formidable force and has liberated almost all of North Aerona from evil wizards. However, all the fighting and death have taken their tolls on Greensleeves. The druid just wants some peace, in company of her lover Kwam and her brother, who has married Lily and is father of two daughters. The druid is supposed to regularly summon the wizards they defeated and tagged with the Stone Brain, but she is often too tired to do that. Greensleeves is also frequently visited by the shade of Chaney, who advises the druid, in cryptic words, that she'll need to make the "final sacrifice".

Meanwhile, nine of the defeated wizards which have been tagged by the Stone Brain, are summoned to the tropical island seen in Whispering Woods by Towser and Karli, who did touch the Stone Brain, but weren't enslaved by it. Towser reveals that he has stolen Greensleeves' Nova Pentacle and copied it. He gives a copy of the pentacle to every wizards: in this way, the wizards won't be summoned away by Greensleeves. Towser also shows to the other wizards his last creature: a huge Keldon warlord, who seems to incite a mad frenzy in the people around him and who has a personal grudge against Gull.

Back at the headquarter of Greensleeves, in the Whispering Woods, the druids is just trying to summon the wizards, when she realises to be unable to do it. Immediately, the wizards attack the Woods from three different directions. Greensleeves try her best to help on every front, but the casualties are heavy: Petalia, captain of her bodyguards, is lost in The Abyss when the druid banishes Ur-Drago. In another part of the Woods, Gull is confronted by the Keldon warlord: before the enemy can kill the woodcutter, Greensleeves teleport herself, Gull and the survivors of their army to the headquarter. However, even the center of the Woods has been ravaged by the attackers. After seeing one of the wizards, Gurias, kill another of her bodyguards, Greensleeves unleashes her fury, killing him and summoning her most powerful spells, which cause the enemy to flee.

Greensleeves understands that the evil wizards have find one another thanks to the Stone Brain, so she intends to discover every secrets of the artifact. She dons the helmet and finds out that its ultimate secret is buried somewhere in the ruins of the College of Lat-Nam, in the long lost isle of Lat-Nam. The same night, Chaney's shade passes in the afterlife, after reminding Greensleeves once more of the final sacrifice.

Knowing that the Hurloon minotaurs, being collectors of stories and legends, must know where lies the island of Lat-Nam, Greensleeves, Gull and a small party travels to the Hurloon Mountains. After days of telling stories and waiting, the minotaurs find Greensleeves' crusade worthy and reveal the location of Lat-Nam, which could be find out from the Stone Brain.

The party teleports to Lat-Nam, which is a tropical island, covered by scrub forest and a poisoned glass desert, where once the College stood. The army is quickly attacked by the Duler angels and the merfolks of the Copper Conch; after a fight, Greensleeves communicate with the angels and the merfolks, who were tasked by the Sages to be guardian of Lat-Nam, and befriend them. The rest of the army is summoned and the excavation is started. After unraveling a Dragon Engine and other traps, a tunnel is found. However, the rest of the college has collapsed and it is now underwater.

The merfolk brings Greensleeves to the Lord of Atlantis, who carries the druid to the underwater portion of the College, where Greensleeves finds a skull of a Sage, to which she asks the secret of the Stone Brain. When the girl returns to the camp, she finds out that they have been discovered by Towser and the other wizards, who are attacking their army. After a long battle, the army retreats in the tunnel, where Gull has a prophetic dream about his dead family: however, among them, he doesn't see Sparrow Hawk, his long lost brother, and has a revelation on the warlord identity.

Towser proposes a truce, to which Gull answers asking a personal duel between himself and the warlord. When Gull reveals to the Keldon that the latter is, in truth, Sparrow Hawk, who has been kidnapped and enchanted by Towser to be a war machine, the two brothers reconcile. However, Haakon unleashes a fireball against the two, which are engulfed in flames.

This causes Greensleeves to go mad with anger and sorrow, making the "final sacrifice" of her ideal that every live is sacred. She blasts Haakon with a bolt, then traps the other wizards in the desert and summons a Force of Nature. Absorbing the mana of the creature, which is the mana of Lat-Nam and Terisiare itself, Greensleeves becomes a planeswalker and loses herself, seeing her friends and family as mere ants compared to her.

Before she can unleash her overwhelming power and destroy the isle, she is brought to her senses by Kwam, and sees that her brothers have survived the fireball, thanks to the enchanted might of Sparrow Hawk. Greensleeves decides to pour all of her mana in the isle of Lat-Nam, curing the land from the poison and transforming the desert in a verdant forest, thus sacrifing her planeswalker powers.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Lat-Nam, the surviving evil wizards, stripped of their mana by the Force of Nature, are brought before the druid who, using the secret of the helmet revealed to her by the skull, uses the Stone Brain to strip Towser of his magic. Seeing how the punishment has caused Towser to run away, screaming madly, Gull finds the solution too drastic and cruel, so he decides to let the other wizards retain their magic, but only for doing good. Greensleeves keeps to herself the last secret of the Stone Brain, its ability to give magic to anyone, thinking that a similar power is sure to cause another war for control over it. In the end, the wizards all pledge obedience to Greensleeves, who is declared High Wizard of the Domains by her followers.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

The cover art has Gull with all five fingers on his left hand. He only has two from a tree felling accident.