Tarot is locked in a Deadly Battle with the Headless Horseman! She and her Loved ones must choose between Death or the Dark Side! Tarot is seriously wounded in a fight with the Headless Horseman, and Jon takes her to the witches haven for treatment.
Chapter 3 of Return of the Dark Witch continues right where the last issue left off, the Headless Horseman has appeared after ensnaring Tarot and her mother and drawing them to the old covered bridge with threats against the children of Salem. Although a mortal, and greatly outmatched against the entity of evil, Skeleton Man has also come to the bridge to assist his lover Rowan and her mother in protecting their home.
Jon throws himself in front of the specter and pushes Tarot out of the way as she freezes up as soon as she sees the horseman. Meanwhile in town a coven of five mortal witches cast spells of protection over Salem and send the Black Rose witches their power and energy. Back at the bridge Tarot flashes back to her childhood fear, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a tale her sister once read to her as a young girl embellishing her own horrors. Once left in her room terrified her sister persisted and played a joke on her, floating the head of a jack-o-lantern up to her window inflecting on Tarot a deep psychological scar that persists to this day.
After explaining this to Jon he realizes this creature must sense this form is a source of fear for her and that is why he has chosen it. Tarot has fallen victim to a fear-spell.
Tarots mother tries to confront the beast but is knocked back seeing the image of her daughters emerging from the woods both on fire crying to her, why didn’t she protect them.
Jon is assaulted by a spiderlike image or Raven, wrapping her legs around him and spewing venom onto the defenseless Skeleton Man.
Seeing she is the last chance to defeat the fear demon Tarot summons the courage to strike back. She holds the Black Rose Sword aloft asks the heavens for help:
“God and Goddess give me strength to overcome this spell! I will not lie here and watch my loved ones parish it’s time to face my fear, one on one!”
Blocking the flaming jack-o-lantern hurled by the horseman she strikes at his mount and lobs off the head of the skeletal horse. Striking at the rider as he continues to hurl flaming pumpkins a her the battle finds its way onto the old covered bridge as the swordmaiden hacks at the body of the evil ghoul and he battles her back with his own hessian blade. The two destroy the bridge in a hail of pumpkin fire as the skeleton tells Tarot it was her own sister that unleashed him.
The fear demon is unleashed from another realm as punishment to Raven for attempting to resurrect the girl’s father on Gallows Hill last year. Because of this upset to the natural order Raven must suffer by the three fold law. Covered in blood Tarot denies the creature its prophecy saying she will suffer her sisters full punishment in her place.
The two clash together on the bridge blade against blade while in town the circle of witches focus all their energies on empowering the witch, the pressure of their concentration making their eyes leak blood. Suddenly the Headless Horseman stabs Tarot through the chest, she screams out and miles away the head of one of the witches assisting her explodes in a bloody mess.
As the Horseman claims victory and tells Tarot her beloved Salem will be the next to fall, in the face of death she charges her sword with all her power and hurls it at the demon, impaling him. Tarot has defeated the creature but at the cost of her own life, and what’s more she has cost the world the Black Rose Sword, which now disappears from the mortal world as she passes into unconsciousness.
Moments later Jon and Tarots Mother are able to recover, the effects of the fear demon passing with the death of the Horseman. Jon scoops up his bleeding love as the life ebbs away from her. Tarots mother transports them to the Salem Harbor, in front of the customs house where Raven planned to call forth her witches haven, New Avalon.
Jon tells her she needs a hospital but her mother says the place for her is with her family, they must take Tarot to Raven’s island, there may be a chance still to save her. The two board a dragon headed skiff and launch on the rough sea towards New Avalon.
Before they can approach the island they are faced with three guardians. The first a mermaid protector of the waters, the second a huge golden skinned gorgon guarding the harbor, and the third a pair of huge stone doors guarding the inner harbor. Each protector is passed by Tarots mother, none of them can stop the high Black Rose Witch from passing into the magical sanctuary and she is able to bring Jon under her protection as he carries the broken body of her daughter.
Once Raven sees Jon has been allowed on her island she is enraged and once she seen her sister is wounded she blames the mortal Skeleton Man who yells back at her that Tarot was injured fighting Ravens battle. The two fight until Ravens mother tells her enough, to prepare a healing cauldron for her sister and not to touch Jon, since the twos hearts are linked it could only further injure Tarot.
Tarot is laid out on a bed of flowers Jon at her side and Raven realizing her sister peril, the fate of the Black Rose Witch is unknown as the third chapter of the Return of the Dark Witch concludes.
A black rose blooms in the middle of the night her petals winter in the darkening light
The west wind carries her as she bids us good bye for now our sweet black rose leaves us... and dies.
-- A Poem from the Black Rose prophecies.