Chapter 2a - The Road to Ruins
“The monastery is about a league along the way. After that, a causeway leads into the swamp to the abbey.” said the girl.
“The entrance to the Catacombs is inside the building perimeter at the north end”
And off they went.
The girl, Jade, had been quite clear: “We get in. Get what I'm after. And then we get out”
Her assembled posse were all quite clear too – a first outing in anger below ground, treasure hunting with someone who seemd to know what they were doing.
She had a map, showing the way to a well where “her” treasure was awaiting her and she promised that after the mob of adventurers had helped her retrieve that treasure , then she would give up the map.
She had a story, which seemed to back up what she wanted to do
The old abbot of the place is said to have hidden in the catacombs beneath, when the monastery was under siege by a horde of bandits. He stashed the monastery's most sacred artefact - the bones of Saint A'sllvdh hand in a casket wrapped in a watertight oilskin.
According to legend,, the poor fellow died, before revealing where it was hidden to anyone, so somewhere within the ruins lies this treasure.
But Jade insisted that the Abbot, her great uncle, told her on his death bed where the map was hidden, bound her to find it and re-present it to The Church.
After a two mile trek along a seldom-used road, they come to the edge of a fen. Hidden in a small copse of brushwood, a narrow causeway leads out to a low mound upon which stand the walls and buildings of the deserted and ruined monastery.
The two Human fighting-men in the party surveyed the scene.
Raising his eyes to the mound, Sir Baltimore said “I can see only a very faint path”
“But” replied Goldylox “is that a good thing, that it appears to be fairly untravelled... “
“...as if any traffic is light and infrequent. But, perhaps, not as light and infrequent as it should be......” said the dwarf fighter beside them.
They were starting to think like a team.
The monastery had been torched by the bandits at a siege a long time ago.
It had decayed further over the years and was now a blackened husk.
The entrance to the Catacombs was inside the building perimeter in a clearing in the rubble at the north end.
“Here we go” said Jade “are we all ready”
“Yup” said the human and elf spellcasters, Norm, flexing their wrists.
The rest of them nodded in agreement
Dexter, the world's least co-ordinated Cleric dropped something again.
That broke the tension, the first-night nerves lessened.
Lanterns lit, they had a last minute check of themselves: Jade the leader with 3 fighters, 2 spellcaters and a young cleric
So Jade opened the double trapdoor and after a moment to let their eyes get used to the light, they headed down the stairs into adventure.