Amulet, Shadows, Growth

By the time you find the secret door you're almost ready to give up and call it a day (well, a night. Can't rob the necropolis during the day!). Maybe this tomb was never finished, this mausoleum never occupied.

Maybe it's just a dead end! A trick. It's been known to happen.

Besides, your lantern's starting to sputter, the last refill of oil on your belt hanging with the weight of finality. If you waste it on a dead end then it'll be weeks until you can scrounge up enough for another attempt, maybe months before you can sneak in again.

You breathe a sigh of relief when your probing fingers find the hidden latch, when a paving stone near the center of the room descends into the ground with an echoing rattle.

Below there's nothing but swirling shadows and the gleam of a rung, firmly embedded in the rock wall.

Your freshly filled lantern doesn't do much for the darkness as you descend, as the shaft's rough walls recede into empty darkness, as the ladder widens and distorts. By the end you're clambering down metal rings floating around a smooth stone pillar.

It's not the strangest tomb you've seen here (half the rich assholes buried in the necropolis designed their own crypts in the throes of dementia), but it is decidedly odd that you can't figure out how the rings are anchored.

They're just floating in the air.

But that's not important, not compared to the light you can see distantly glinting off something, far outside of your meager circle of light. No one would build a place like this and leave it empty, so that must be–

You tie a rope to the ladder before you walk away from it. It wouldn't do to get lost, not when you're painfully aware of how little time your lantern has left in it.

First lesson of the necropolis: don't get lost without light.

The object is vaguely disappointing, just a polished silver disk adorned with a ring of perfectly formed black pearls, a thin chain pooled behind it. A necklace, maybe?

It's sitting on a polished pillar, both the column and the floor around it inlaid with rings of dull metal. The sort of place you'd put something that's deeply, profoundly valuable. A place to display it, to show it off.

This amulet certainly doesn't look the part, but ... well, it's better than nothing. And once it's in your hand it just makes so much sense to put it on.

The crypt seems brighter with it on.

Easier to navigate.

You don't even notice when your lantern dies, long before it should have.

There are other objects on other pedestals, each beautiful in their own way, but none of them are for you.

You're careful to seal the crypt back up when you leave. It wouldn't do for anyone to find them before it's time for them to be found.

Although ... maybe you know a few people who'd benefit from being pointed in the right direction. Maybe.

It's so easy to slip out of the necropolis, back into the city proper. So easy to stay out of sight, away from the slow sunlight seeping into the world from the sky's many pores.

You never noticed how easy before, how little thought it takes to cover yourself in shadows.

You're going to do wonderful things, now that you've realized, now that you've got that silver-and-pearl amulet wrapped around your neck, drinking up the light and pouring shadows into the world. Now that you know how to feed it.