Ramos stood at the edge of the firelight. The air was metallic, owing to the scrying defense Thiramos has designed. They were safe for now, but their adversaries were watching for them. Ramos looked around the camp. Thiramos was busy preparing some kind of ritual on the ground, drawing sigils that left a cold, blue light in the dirt. Fennia was aiding Thomas with spells of divination and Bors was praying to St. Bathazar for justice. Ramos shuddered at the memory of Nerubi’s passing.
Then he remembered why they were there. John and Weapon 27 had betrayed them in that awful cave. The party had been sent to snuff out a growing cult to the new dragon god Ezra. A brutal fight had occurred between Ramos’s men and the cultists. Victory was assured, but suddenly John spoke something to Weapon 27 and the half-ogre slashed at Ramos. He narrowly avoided being bisected by his friend’s huge blade. Ramos turned in time to see John, with a sad but detatched look on his face, draw a silver flask from his cloak. Ramos was about to turn his attention to his former friend, but Thiramos grabbed him. There had been a flash of light and Ramos was here.
They didn’t know why John and Weapon 27 had betrayed them, but Thiramos suspected that the flask John had drawn may have been a containment vessel for a demon. Had he been corrupted or was he always corrupt? Weapon 27 was always unstable, and it turned out that they knew almost nothing about John. Maybe he had been waiting all this time to kill them, maybe something had happened.
Ramos shook his head. It didn’t matter anymore anyway. After they had killed the dragon knight Blix and defeated Seth, Luthor had realized that only he and Karn remained and had evidently plotted with John. If they were to have any hope of stopping Prince Luthor, they had to kill John and Weapon 27. Thiramos surmised that John was looking for them through magical means, but he doubted that John would expect a preemptive attack. They were prepared.
“Thiramos, is this the only way?” Ramos asked.
“Lamont, you know it is,” he responded. Ramos nodded.
“Alright. Are we ready?” Ramos asked. One by one the group nodded.
“When I open the portal, it will appear on the ground. We should all jump in together at the moment it appears.” The ice mage said.
“Very well. Once we get to them, you all follow the plan. Thiramos and Fennia attack Weapon 27. Bors needs to incapacitate John, and I’ll take him out. We need to hit them before they know what’s coming.” Ramos said. The group nodded. Thiramos waved his wand to complete the ritual and a glowing white circle appeared on the ground. Ramos immediately jumped into the portal.
The portal dropped them into a stone room. Ramos was familiar with the room because they had studied it carefully through Thiramos’s mirror. Torches lit the walls and their quarry sat at a table discussing their plans. As Ramos’s eyes adjusted to the light, John was already moving toward the far side of the room. So quick, Ramos thought. Weapon 27, however, was predictably slow in reaction. He had only managed to stand with his massive sword when Thiramos attacked him. A bolt of frigid light leapt from the elf’s wand and smashed into the half-ogre. As the massive fighter took to thunderous steps, his speed slowed and he was encased in ice. Fennia wasted to time and launched a massive beam of magical energy towards Weapon 27. The ogre’s form exploded into frozen chunks of gore.
Ramos had lost track of John in the grizzly display and, as this thought dawned on him, a wire closed around his throat. Almost instantly, the air in his lungs was trapped and his vision darkened.
“I’m sorry, my friend, but the money was too good,” John’s voice rasped in his ear. His grip pulled tighter and Ramos knew that this plan was either about to work, or he was about to die. From the side, Bors uttered a strange word in an unknown language. John’s body became ridged and ceased fighting against Ramos’s struggle. Ramos brought the tip of his newly constructed rapier up to his neck and cut the wire.
As air rushed back into his lungs, he turned to face John. The spy stood, frozen in place with a distant look on his face. The murderous garrote hung useless in his hands, wet with Ramos’s blood. John’s eye’s followed him, with a look somehow displaying sadness, confusion and hatred at once. Ramos plunged his sword into his friend’s heart. With a great cough of blood the paralyzing spell was broken and John fell forward.
“I’m sorry, John,” Ramos said. The spy looked at Ramos and gave a bloody grin.
“That’s not my name,” he said. The light left his eyes.
Ramos woke up.