The acolytes within a sect of priests and paladins of a hostile land know that to complete their training, they must partake in a pilgrimage to one of the great ruins of their order. With the wilderness as harsh and unforgiving as it is, most of the order know that these missions have the potential to end tragically. Supposedly though, those who reach the ruins are imbued with new power. What happens to one of the acolytes on their journey?
Ideas and questions:
The prompt tasks you with exploring the journey, but you could also spend some of your time focusing on the destination. If the ruins are important to the order, what happens there might be integral to the story.
Perhaps, as hostile as the land is, the pilgrims will end up in an encounter that looks like it will end with bloodshed. In that case, it gives you an opportunity to show that these members of the order are perhaps prepared for such a thing—whether it is fighting off their aggressors, or submitting to the end as a symbol of sacrifice to their deity.
Another important point of the story is the power that the acolytes are imbued with subsequent to their journey. What powers do they gain, and is it always the same for every acolyte?
What prompts the acolytes to begin their pilgrimage? Is it based on the age of the member of the order, the length of time that they have served, or something else entirely?
Is this pilgrimage something that would happen for individuals, or would they go as a group? And is their experience meant to be shared, or is it something personal, even if they travel together?
The prompt explains that tragedy is to be expected. Write your story where things do go entirely as planned. While your main character may survive the journey (though they may not), they should face hardship, perhaps with lasting effects.