Going up the stairs and reaching the garden again almost felt like being born again. The tomb had felt oppressing in it's grave simplicity, and repeated use of vulgar Magic had made the air heavy with not only death, but traces of the Abyss. It couldn't be quantified, but Aurora's unconscious form was - fortunately - living proof of it.
There was a point where the stairs stopped but the darkness remained, thickened even.. but that were just the shadows Aurora had sculpted to give them more privacy. Stepping through the branches of the willow tree discarded this last veil and brought the Mystagogues fully back into the living world, buzzing with electric light, sounds of Sacramento at night, and vitality.

Belle took off, taking Owlraura and the Artifact with her and leaving Corn behind. It wouldn't take too long until the frail chosen body of the Shaman would recover from the strain she put on her Pattern to keep the Abyss out. A lesson in sacrifice, hubris.. and maybe an opportunity to strengthen the bond of trust that had been beginning to form between the women.

Corn, having chosen to let the proper authorities handle things instead of taking another life for a magical item, shot his texts and waited for an answer or for somebody to arrive.
The cavalry didn't arrive for almost an hour - maybe they were busy, maybe traffic was holding them up or one of a hundred other little distractions life tended to throw at you when things were urgent held them up - but the Moros' vigil wasn't wholly uneventful: faintly, his Unseen Senses tingled and suddenly he heard the intruder's voice as if he was standing right outside his car. "You couldn't kill me, you couldn't contain me - for I am HIS tool and HE is watching over me!"

Looking around, there was no trace of the guy. Was he hiding? Had he already escaped? The latter seemed more likely, because after this final gloat Corn couldn't find a trace or sound from him again. Had it been the wrong call to spare him? Then again, despite all the yelling, the man hadn't taken a shot at Corn while he was watching from his car.
Maybe some peaceful negotiations weren't totally off the table if they ever ran into each other again, now that both parties lived to tell the tale.
But maybe Corn had just put a target on their backs, had sown wind and it was only a matter of time until they shall reap the whirlwind.

All of that was speculation. The facts were: they got what they paid for (and a Ghost to boot), they spared the life of another Mage (for better or worse) and none of them suffered considerable damage.
Who said treasure hunting was easy?

And with that, we'll end this plot. Thank you very much for the ride - I enjoyed it immensely!
I'll close this to get it into continuity and will post in the PRP Call thread for further details.