24 July 2000. Early hours. Leaving Szczercow, Poland.
After the Szczercow POW raid, the party immediately left the area and headed south before reinforcements arrived.
The travel was surprisingly uneventful. Apparently the region is crawling with marauders from the mutinied Soviet 9th Tank Division, but no bandits were encountered. The party swam their two amphibious vehicles across the Warta River at the site of somebody’s riverside marijuana farm, and continued south until the forest between Krzepice and Kłobuck, where they camped until morning.
During the night, a radio call was intercepted in that older code to Soviet units, reporting that Polish deserters attacked a Soviet detachment at Szczercow and were repulsed. The “hooligans” were posing as engineers driving two amphibious vehicles (models unclear, one UAZ-sized, other truck-sized) with Polish markings. “Well-armed with Pact and NATO equipment. Direction of travel unknown at this time.”
Only acknowledgement Maks overheard was from a Soviet unit at Sieradz.
A Strange Find
Enroute, the party stumbled across wild dogs picking at something outside a cave. Turned out to be the corpse, one of a group of American deserters that fled the 256th before its destruction at Łask. In the man’s rucksack they found a gold chalice studded with gems, and a journal detailing the story of the unfortunate man. The journal entries spoke of his groups’s encounter at Częstochowa, a wild tale of haunted tunnels under the Jasna Gora Monastery, and seeing the Black Madonna.
And so The Black Madonna was our group’s first Twilight 2000 module.
1985 … Frank Frey … 40 pages … GDW 505
The party sent out scouts to find the cache recorded in the journal, and indeed there were US military supplies buried there. On the way, they encountered a recently raided village, possibly the victim of a slaver attack.
The party moved to shift to a spot just west of Kłobuck. Prior to leaving, William thought he heard a distant scream coming from the direction of Krzepice, kilometers away to the west. He wanted to go investigate, but Maks talked to the group about the world now being full of people needing help, and the party needed to carefully consider every operation.
In the forest west of Kłobuck, the party scanned the city’s perimeter through binoculars. Buildings were ruined, no activity. A two-truck Soviet convoy appeared on the north-south highway, full of wary soldiers, but it skirted town and continued south.
The party continued east to Częstochowa (English pronunciation: Chenstahova), figuring if the cache reference in the journal was correct, maybe there was something to the wild tale under the monastery. The city, as expected, was destroyed back in the battle there in 1997, seemingly not a building intact, rubble strewn everywhere. A three-man scout team went to the hill crowned by the monastery’s ruins, looking for the tunnel entrance mentioned in the journal. After a skinned knee and a twisted ankle, they found the opening when a few bats emerged at dusk.