The manhole cover was halfway along a stretch of dark and dirty alley, overlooked by high walls that turned the place into a deep canyon. It was empty, but then he'd expected that. Now, while it was night, he could feel the dark energies ebbing and flowing along the alley. A sensitive human might have dreams or visions in a place like this -- and might wake up screaming -- but even the least sensitive would avoid the place instinctively. During the day, there would be nothing here; it would just be another place.
That thought made Vilisant glance up at the sky. How much longer did he have? It hadn't been that late when he'd approached the woman, but time could do funny things when one was traveling the dark river, as he'd done in trying to escape. He bent down, hooked a finger into the metal hole, and lifted the cover. Looking down into the darkness, he could see metal rungs descending to a large concrete pipe with a trickle of water flowing down the center: an ordinary storm drain. Nodding to himself, he lowered the lid and stood.
He circled the manhole three times, extending his awareness into the darkness he could feel flowing out from it. The world around him grew darker with each circuit, even to his eyes. He was moving below the surface of the world again, this time by minuscule degrees, looking for the point where... There.
He laid a hand on the manhole cover, and this time the steel disk lifted of its own accord, floating eight feet into the air. When he looked down, the smooth concrete walls of the pipe were gone, replaced by rough stone.
Vilisant took one last look around, then stepped off the edge and let himself drop.