iii) Of course, all the doors in the corridor are locked

Of course, all the doors in the corridor are locked. Their handles are hot to the touch. Shyan plants a square kick or two on a likely candidate. It splinters, cracks, gives. Inside, a forgotten guest room, layered with dust, cobwebs, the decay of ages. Importantly, sheets.

Abia holds the grumbling creatures away with her frigid fingers. She hears in her head the complaints of Ulxurix, both annoyed and amused at this display of arcanery. Fassn, meanwhile, pinches fabrics and licks dust, while wheeling around enough to make Berstuun look seasick.

Cang and Shyan get to work fashioning a rope of a bedsheet. They twist it until it’s densely knotted. With a tug they test its tensile strength, then heave it out the broken window. It’s long enough to climb down.

“What about me?” asks Berstuun, finally. “I never learned how to climb.”

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