With a creak and a jolt, the wagon that you and your companions are sitting in finally sets off. It took some persuading to find someone willing to take you on this journey. Looking around, the small village you’ve been staying in slowly recedes as you trundle along the old cart track. Ahead of you, the wagon driver sits facing forwards, across a solid wooden plank that serves as a seat. You notice he hasn’t really spoken to any of you nor even glanced back since agreeing to take you all along. No problem, him minding his own business suits everyone on board.
You all have an array of equipment crammed into the back of the wagon. A sturdy backpack each, filled with dried food rations, healing ointments and a multitude of useful items for an expedition. Each of you has your own personal belts and pouches with the more important and precious items that you may use. Finally, there are the weapons that you all carry. No one knows what to expect when you get to your destination but if the rumours are true, it would be wise to be prepared for trouble.
Sun dappled leaves hang low above the trail as the cart meanders on. After passing through sloping green hills, the narrow cart path reaches the start of the forest. A few hours now have passed since you departed from the village. Whilst the sunlight is strong and the heat pleasant on such a fine spring morning, you can’t help feel a tug of uneasiness in your stomach. On the other side of this forest lies your destination, a place that none of you ever thought you’d be going to.
Recently unearthed and steeped in ancient lore and mystery, a momentary reflection reminds you of the agreement you made to investigate. A successful venture to discover the secrets long lost would bring fame and renown. If the legends are true, then somewhere in that mysterious place are the treasures no adventurer nor explorer could pass upon.
Looking around at your companions, you realize that you’ll be going to this place with a chance of coming out unscathed. Despite the whispered dangers and supposed threats, you can’t help feeling a surge of confidence as the cart trundles out of the other side of the forest.
Not long now, maybe another half hour of bumping along in the cart. You’ve enjoyed the idle chit chat and getting to know your companions, you feel confident in your abilities. As the cart moves on from the forest, towards the slight ridge away from the trees and to the North, you instinctively know that this is it.
The Cart suddenly just stops and the driver without even turning announces you’ve arrived. As far as he will go anyway. He lets you all heave the kit and yourselves off the wagon. Without a moment’s notice, the driver has wheeled his cart around, a rumbling rattling crate of wood that speeds off back down the track you just came.
Glancing around, the forest lies behind you, stretching out in both directions, the cart and driver disappearing into the dusk light shadows of the trees. You are all on your own now. Nearby, a small stream splashes over small rocks. A good place to set up camp for the night. It’s getting dark and you all agree it will better to enter that place of mystery and the unknown in the daylight. Maybe the dangers that are said to exist will be lessened. Tomorrow, you will see.