At night, the city is haunt of shadows. Mist roams the streets freely. People lock their doors and bolt their windows, and hide under the cover of their woollen sheets. Grandfather stares into the hearth, amber sparks slowly dying, remembering pagan things from the past. Outside, howling echoes throughout the streets. The bellfry clock strikes midnight. The lanternman quickly doused the final lantern and hurries home, his stilts going clack clack clack. It is as if all the nightmares have become reality. Shadows on the walls. Running legs and heavy panting. Sometimes one can discern figures moving through the mist, though it's hard to know whether these are real or just a trick of the light.
People in Harbat fear above everything else the hunter, a stalker of the night that has allegedly killed over a score of men and women. No one is safe, not even the toughest sailor. The authorities believe there is no "hunter" and that it is a sort of scapegoat. Whenever a murder is committed, it's supposedly the Hunter's fault. They substantiate this notion by the fact that "no one has ever seen anything" ("No sir, gov'. I ain't seen nothin'"). Or perhaps it doesn't exist and people use it to attribute other murders to.