Way of the Wicked
21 - The Cocytian Knot
Chapter 20: The Cocytian Knot
After the attack by the Banner Verdant we reorganized our defenses with no real idea of what would happen next. Would Elise and the Cocytian Knot attack openly or pretend they had not betrayed us?
We waited for several days and then Trik arrived on his usual supply run. He seemed completely unaware of the treachery and when shown the journal of Fineas appeared to be taken aback by her treachery. He vowed to help us destroy the woman but only if we promised not to hurt his brother Trak.
We agreed to the terms and he was sent back to Taggun Hold with the word that the Banner Verdant had all but destroyed our group and only Tylus was left alive. He would bring Elise, his brother, and the warrior Dostan to us so we could ambush them. Trik would make some excuse to hold his brother back from the initial assault so that he would not be exposed immediately.
Five days later Trik returned with the Knot and true to his promise distracted his brother for a few moments as they ascended the stairs to the first level. Sadly the witch Elise had a familiar, a white Raven that flew ahead and spotted both myself, Tylus, and Frohike laying in ambush.
Tylus grabbed the bird too late although one bite from Vexor ended the thing’s squawking. Elise was too crafty to charge through our defenses but the warrior Dostan was not and after dodging half-a-dozen of Frohike’s prepared fire-bombs met his end when Vexor spewed forth lightning upon him.
As before, The Alchemical Golem tossed fire-bombs from the third floor and drove our enemy to us. From there it was not difficult to make short work of Elise. During the fight that damn Artephius tossed an ice-bomb at the charging Trak and this convinced Trik that we had betrayed him. With Elise dead he convinced Trak to beat a hasty retreat.
I healed Dostan and gave him the journal to prove Elise’s treachery but the incredible dolt was incapable of deciphering it. Meanwhile Tylus prevented Elise from dying and we took her prisoner.
I sent Dostan back to Taggun Hold with a peace offering in the hopes we could reestablish an alliance with the Cocytian Knot now that Elise was dead. Looking back I realize there was more in play with Trik and Trak than I realized at the time. They never returned to the Horn of Abbadon but it was not the last we were to see of the twins.
I used my skills of interrogation on Elise and discovered that her arrogance was only exceeded by her vanity. In her perverted world-view she believed that betraying us was actually for the good of Asmodeus and The Master in that her Knot was more capable of finishing the mission. Such arrogance.
I turned Hexor and Vexor loose on her after the questioning. I did not stay to watch but judging by the cleanup the Boggards performed after the fact, it was an unpleasant affair. Elise deserved nothing less.