The journey was not successful, by any mark of the word.

Obur had made it, once before. He had marked the path north of the Heath, found the Eye, and made an offering. It had been “safe” then. There had been some violence, still, but that firesprite deserved every bone-breaking punch for burning his precious beard. But this journey was different. He had asked Aubrona and Thok to come along, but Thok had had a difficult time lately with his flashbacks. The mere mention of what happened had made Aubrona push sick into the redstone chest; Obur had to drag the wailing dwarf up to the shrine for some privacy and time with Cavilon.

The walk to the eye went swell enough, with minor pauses to pick some flowers. There was a moment where Obur made sure to warn Aubrona about the dangers that lie ahead; but even he did not truly know what lied ahead.

From the second they stepped on that island, it felt changed. Clearly, something had worked the populace into a frenzy. The pigmen there regarded them with hostile disdain, the foam around their mouths dripping with pure malice, their swords drawn and brandished in their directions. They were always a mean lot, but they never started a fight themselves. One seized on the opportunity when Obur misstepped over one of the empty lava flows, which instilled the rest with the confidence to attack.

Both dwarves drew their weapons: Aubrona, a fancy steel longsword and bow; Obur, his trusted axe. The first few were fended off easily, but the din of battle drew the attention of what seemed a limitless number of enemies, and awoke the ghasts. Worse yet, there seemed no escape; the flows were too deep and the walls too smooth to climb. Having most of their ire, Obur leapt out of the flows and tried to lead them away, but in the process he lost Aubrona. Already the magics woven into his armor were wearing thin, and he could feel the blows more and more. He was not a skilled fighter, and already exhaustion was setting in. With a horde between him and the other dwarf, he set off for a distant building, settled just off shore, looking just as ragged as he.

He cleared the fort of a few pigs and then perched himself atop one of the spiraled obsidian pillars the ran through the walls. But a few moments later, Aubrona waded up, missing everything she had brought, and cursing up a storm, and nursing a terrible leg wound..Obur made no effort to console her; it was clear she would have none of that.

Reunited, the dwarves swallowed their pride, and decided to pray just offshore. After fashioning a small iron altar, Obur placed his silver brooch, stringing it between two iron pillars. The dwarves sat in silence, projecting their prayers into the aether, and left.

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The journey was not successful in the least. They had lost much. Arms, armor. Food, riches. Pride… blood.

But it was not a mistake. And they will return again.