I liked the arc, but the emotional turmoil this is supposed to engender didn't resonate with me in the slightest. They are essentially brand new characters playing in their what amounts to first session, with them. From a continuity stand point.
I would totally be awestruck if this had happened to a character that was truly beloved and dear to the players over many sessions. But a character dying within their first session, while presented as noble would get a thumbs up, the tears that I would normally admit, to falling during a good final sacrifice, felt unearned yet.
I like the characters and the players themselves much more. But these new characters are essentially shiny newness broken out of their plastic slip covers and run for a session.