This is the place where Andrew sits beside a pillar of bronze after freeing Matthew and the rest of the Mermedonians’ captives. It is here that the Mermedonians gather together to divine – through diabolical arts – which of their own they will slaughter for food: ‘When all of them had gathered together at that meeting place, they used a divining rod to determine which of them should be first to give up their life as fodder for the rest; they drew lots with hellish arts, and with heathen rites decided between men’. The rod first alights on one of their elders – who delivers up his own son in his place.
sacrifice [Chapter 16]
This is a place of gathering and sacrifice. Supported by the ambitious ‘shadder mincer’ Orfing, the freed Ardship exacts revenge on the ‘Pry Mincer’ Goodparley. In the candlelight Riddley sees the Eusa folk, their ‘faces like bad dreams’, surrounding their victim. Chanting, they pass an axe swiftly from hand to hand, giving Riddley the impression that the weapon is dancing by itself. Riddley attempts to intervene, but Goodparley is tortured and blinded. Although stripped of his office, blindness confers a new mystical status on Goodparley. Riddley helps him from the scene: from here they enter exile together.