It starts when they begin backtracking.
The Crusader doesn't know where the fuck he's going and the Jester says as much, "What's the deal with Mr. Backwards Boots?!" It's not his first heckle, but the damage is done the same, stress rippling through the party and the green Crusader in question, especially. A half hearted plea is tossed out, but the Jester laughs over it, a thunder cloud of gloom following them faithfully through the halls. None of them notice his complaints have the same effect on himself, that each jab, each laugh, each shrill nasally question is forcing more sweat to roll underneath the mask.
When they are on their last torch and third cycle through, the Jester belatedly realizes it's not sweat. He's blind when the trap hits them, noxious gas making the Antiquarian's throat close, her coughs honking like a dying animal and it's not a joke, but the truth, he screams it, a warning, a final notice, and they scream stop laughing, stop laughing you sick fuck while he sobs, tears worse than the salt cubes he forced his lethargic mouth to chew, their weight heavy on his tongue, he's scared, so scared.
Worse than the time the guards founds him and beat him with their knife handles, pain worse than the cuts and welts on his fingers from learning to play, terror worse than the thief who pushed him down the stairs and stole his petty coins from street performances, his nose crooked and unsightly ever since -
"SHUT UP," he shrieks. "SHE'S DYING, THERE'S NO PUNCHLINE YOU IDIOTS, HEAL HER!"
In the dark scuffle, the Plague Doctor forces a needle into the fading Antiquarian. The blight leaves her system quickly, while the Crusader forces his own hands on the Jester's shoulders.
Apparently leadership never dies, because the Jester is rendered immobile, the touch too firm to squirm against.
"We are going to get out of here. Believe me! A torch is practical but only an illusion of safety! We are the first in the Warrens and this is only natural. We must live and bring these horrors as warnings to our fellow brothers and sisters! Do you understand me? Jester!"
"I can't die," the Jester wails.
"You will not die," the Crusader affirms.
"No, you don't understand, I can't die."
"And you will not! Together with us--"
"I have to play the funeral songs!"
The Crusader shuffles back uncertainly, "What?"
"And the wake, the passing ceremony! They'll beat me, they'll beat me if I'm late!!"
The Jester grips back and screams, starts to force the Crusader backwards.
"I'm late, I'm late. I'M GOING TO BE LATE."
In a dash of bells and mildew caught clothes, the party follows after the sprinting Jester in a panic. They scream, having given up on hiding from the enemy, when they see the impossible:
A bright light from an open door when the Jester throws it open, sobbing into the distance.
"TWASN'T MY FAULT. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MEEEEEEE."
When the Crusader meets the Heriess, who has already witnessed the Jester bumbling through the Hamlet in his haste to get to the Graveyard, she stops him dead in his tracks with a furious look.
The practiced sounds of a lute echo through out the hamlet, easy on the ears, while the Heiress rips a deed to pieces in her hands.