Fending off the first couple of zombies, the Rats push through a side corridor at pace, hoping to push their way back into the catacombs to seek another exit. The sound of their running attracts the horde and Hargraine seals the path behind them with a shivering wall of razored shadows. The undead, filled with mindless anger, throw themselves into the wall and are sliced to pieces. Knowing Hargraine can’t maintain the wall forever, the Rats push on.
Pushing easily through straggling groups of moaning undead, the Rats finally encounter some of the real threats of the catacombs. Firstly the terrifying speed of the screeching ghouls, who would fling themselves howling onto their victims and savage them with filthy claws. Then the jarring hilarity of a hysterical wight who, in between racking fits of meaningless laughter, would revive the other undead as they were struck down. Lastly the brutal onslaught of a bellowing hulk; the immense body of some ancient giant made animate and sent smashing through the tunnels to crush friend and foe alike.
Keldrin Sim, his earlier terrors tempered now, finds some unknown reserve of strength. Seeming, for a moment, to take on some of the majesty of Delios he conjures a blazing star of light to blast the undead, a feat of arcane power quite beyond the young scribe who the Rats had brought down with them.
With all their resources stretched to their limits the Rats buy a moment’s peace, and locate for themselves a path to possible freedom – a narrow and long sealed tunnel heading into a safer section of the catacombs. Hearing the singing runes and the echoes of hidden movement from the surrounding corridors, the Rats gather together and push through into the tunnel, blocking the entrance again as well as they can.
Hours after, a metal grating is broken open from within, and five exhausted figures pull themselves out onto the dawn-lit rocky slopes of the Kythan cliffs. Sneaking into a mason’s yard, they rest in an attic store room for a few hours, taking the opportunity to wash and find some quick sleep. They make their way back to the Curzian as nonchalantly as possible, but breathe a very palpable sigh of relief when they reach the Night Watch.
As Nick reaches his office an arm snakes around his neck and he is pulled inside. With a long needle pressing at this throat, he hears Charis’ voice hoarsely whispering in his ear; “I need your help…”