Duran nods in agreement with Gaven. "Even if we don't find a passage perhaps this would be a good place for Buckeye, Sophie, Ollie and Bill to wait and hide in safety until we have dealt with the bandits. We just need to make sure and cover our tracks into the church."
Duran then feeds Karnak a bite to eat and sends him up to circle the ruins to keep an eye out for them until their course of action is determined.
Karnak gives no indication of threats in the area. With no signs of trouble, you make your way carefully through the brush and weeds up to the church. You leave very little track behind you – only enough that someone specifically looking for it would notice.
Entering the church through the large hole in the wall you can see that most of the roof has crumbled away. Litter of stone and wood fragments is scattered across most of the floor. Sunlight pours through the roof, which has almost entirely collapsed from the midsection eastward. A few scattered shadows cross the floor from the odd remaining rafter.
At the far end of the church, to the east, you see a massive set of old double doors. The wood is rotting, and the iron bands are rusting, but they still hold together. Along the walls are small stone sconces built directly into the walls, obviously intended for torches at one time.
The north and south wings bear the remnants of painted frescoes. The colors are so chipped and faded that you cannot make out any distinct images.
To the west you can see the altar you perceived previously through the hole in the wall. It stands upon a raised stone dais. In this one section of the church, the roof is still almost entirely intact. No rubble at all can be seen on the dais or the altar. The altar's surface is perfectly smooth and unscratched.
High on the wall behind the altar, you see engraved in large characters the following words:
Beneath this, scrawled on the wall in some thick, red pigment is a symbol and words that look distinctly out of place in a church of the light:
This portion of the wall appears slick with water – while none of the other stone in the church seems damp at all. It is as if the church is weeping, or perhaps trying to wash itself clean of the blasphemous graffiti.
To the left of the altar (south) there is a stone font, now empty and dry. The surface of the font is smooth and clean, like that of the altar.
To the right of the altar (north), there is a life-sized statue that Gaven recognizes as a likeness of Brother Camillus, a legendary healer from the early days of church history. Brother Camillus wears a simple robe, and stands with his right hand raised high in benediction, and his left hand resting on his breast.
A single ray of sunlight, entering through one of the very few small holes in the otherwise intact ceiling in this western section of the church, casts a golden aura around the figure of Brother Camillus.
Surprisingly I managed to get some things done I didn't expect to, and was able to write this post today after all. (Yay!)