I was curious if it was possible to defeat Death in the fleeting first encounter in the Garden of Ignominy .  So, in a --New Game Plus and on Hard Difficulty, I created a Party with high stagger/knockdown.  It consisted of a Strider equipped with one Barbed Nails & a Strider's Band (Brain Splitter/Hailstorm Volley) and a Magick Archer, Sorcerer, and Ranger each equipped with two Barbed Nails. The 7 Barbed Nails in the party give it +700 stagger +700 knockdown.  Staggered and knocked down, Death is unable to retreat and quickly succumbs to a combination of attacks--Riccochet Hunter, Immolation, Brain Splitter, High Fulmination, and Great Gamble.

Scripted First Encounter with Death02:51

Scripted First Encounter with Death

After defeating Death, the party continues on to the Duskmoon Tower .  Upon entering, the cut scene plays where Barroch is introduced.

If Death is not killed immediately and in one go in this encounter, the player will not get a second chance to encounter Death until the Fortress of Remembrance .  This is another scripted encounter where the player has one opportunity to kill Death and this must be done in one go.  Since Death, there, can be stunned and knocked into the Abyss; The fight is less challenging.  In Pre-Daimon Bitterblack Isle, random appearances of Death do not occur until The Forgotten Hall.  Death will also be a random spawn in the Sparyard of Scant Mercy and The Fallen City .  The most common spawn is in The Bloodless Stockade where the spawn rate is close to 100%.