The clattering of running ceratans slowly stopped and silence descended on the tunnel. As the group picked itself up and shook off the remaining ash from the webs, Anushka slowly floated down, the blue flames vanishing completely as her toes touched the ground. Zuzana caught her as she stumbled, keeping her standing.
Anushka groaned, “Shuksin, you talk to the trader. My head is killing me.” The Ardent woman accepted her spear from Zuzana, her other arm across the Vaulter womans shoulders.
Zuzana nodded in reponse. “Don’t worry, of course I will,” She looked around the now-empty tunnel, “Once we are out of these tunnels.”
Across the circle of light, Varun slowly got to his feet, then collapsed into a sitting position. He chuckled, the sound punctuated by coughs as Blagoje looked him over. The warlock was covered in smaller cuts and scrapes, but the large bite-wound on his neck was turning a nasty green colour. A waterskin was quickly produced and the wound was washed, but the unhealthy pallor was still spreading.
Blagoje did not look up from his ministrations as Zuzana and Anushka hobbled over to them. “Rockblood. Can’t cure this here.”
Zuzana knelt slowly next to Blagoje, making sure Anushka could keep up with the movement. “You help Varun, Blagoje,” she slyly looked over at Velabahleke, trying to gauge the traders reaction to how the fight had been ended, “We need to keep moving. We can see to our wounds once we’re out of these bloody tunnels.”
Their captive was transferred to Velabahleke as Blagoje virtually had to carry the wounded Varun away from the battlefield. Occasionally they saw a ceratan or two hiding in side-tunnels or among the stalactites in the ceiling, but they hid themselves away on being spotted. Following the largest tunnel when there was a split, they eventually found another collapse, the stairway supposedly leading to the Endless vault continuing further into the mountain. The boulders had only partially blocked the descending part of the stairway, making for a narrow and defensible chokepoint. Zuzana was not even sure a ceratan would be able to fit through, but she still put Blagoje on watching the foot-wide crack, crossbow ready and loaded this time. Varun and Anushka were sat on the floor, wounds bandaged and given water. Zuzana lit two torches, placing one on the steps in front of the wounded and tossing one further down the steps. No surprises this time. The trader was given the enviable task of staring into the gloom beyond the torches, bow ready should anything come at them. She sat herself in front of Varun and Anushka, looking over their various injuries one more time. The lighting in the stairway was about the same as the tunnel, but the tension was noticeably lighter. Anushka did not have any serious external injuries, but was clutching her head, eyes shut. She had emptied her waterskin almost immediately. Varun, on the other hand, seemed very relaxed considering the severe bite-wound in his neck and the slowly-spreading venom evidenced by the pallor expanding across his torso. The skin that had not yet turned a sickly green was becoming a vivid red, and his skin was incredibly hot to the touch. Against the red of his skin, the orange of the torch and the green of the venom, his tattoos and scars glowed a flickering blue.