The seventh hand rises
Stefan had reached the Isle of Mer, but his enemy found him even there. In the confrontation, Stefan obtained the device by which his enemy communicated with the she-demon Malega in her realm in the Void and vowed to take it for destruction in the Gray Forest.
During the return trip northwards, Malega used her powers to sway Stefan to her will, as she had done with her last slave. The elves along the way can only watch helpless as the Seventh Hand falls further under the influence of the enemy.
In the end, Stefan sees only one choice he can make to prevent the war and the deaths of those he loves: take up the crown of the Black King of Gorroc and give his soul to the she-demon Malega.
“I am ever doomed to fail against her,” he spoke as the moon disappeared under the horizon and the last light faded away.”