In a city that was, relatively recently, stolen by giant bats, a young man wakes up in a holding cell. There's a guard standing watch, though a rather scrawny one.
Oh, what fun! Violence!
It's not very prolonged violence; the Wretched Recidivist hasn't got the strength to defeat someone with his opponent's strength and speed, and the shiv is no advantage at all once it's in his opponent's hand. In short order, he lies on the floor, blood gurgling from several stab wounds, and his killer got a free shiv out of it.
He saunters away humming to himself and licking blood off his fingers.
Well, he could always go wander around the tunnels. Maybe the reason you're not supposed to do that is that somebody might stab you with a giant bat tooth and eat your face.
He's got a shiv and a lot of enthusiasm! Let's see who wins!
The Snuffer is strong, and fast, and vicious. But it's also used to facing only those foolish enough to enter its tunnels. Foolishness usually correlates with overconfidence, but this new foe seems to actually know what he's doing. Which is a problem, because the Snuffer really wants his face. It's such a good face!
It lunges and tries to put the Vake-tooth through his chest! If it overextends itself in the process, well, that won't matter because the boy will be dead and it will have his face.
The boy, unfortunately, is quicker than that.
Instead of his face, would the Snuffer like to trade its Vake-tooth for this lovely shiv? Too late, the deal has already been struck. The tooth is in the boy's hand and the shiv is somewhere in the Snuffer's middle bits.
He considers pursuit, then decides to head back to his cell instead.
There was something about a Mirthless Gaoler, right? He was supposed to tell her - he should've written it down - ask her if she knows the seventh letter, or something? He should probably get on that. The accommodations up here are much less comfortable than his room at the Widow's place.
Can he get her alone? Mysterious secret passwords are probably not the sort of thing he should be blabbing about where just anybody can hear.
Well now he's all tempted to come up with something she won't have heard before, but instead he leans in and says, "I'm told I should ask you if you know the Seventh Letter."
"Oh, I'm always this confident," he says cheerfully, and he walks away.
Mingling sounds like fun!
That sounds like even more fun!
This is useful information not only for its own sake but for the purpose of arranging to be mugged less often! He's delighted.
"All right," he says, with his usual cheer.