They all asked me the same thing: why return to that… “cursed” place. They told me how it was either infested by demons or ravaged by dragons. Or both. They told me all the reasons as to why we had never gone back to Baungrvuor, ranging from the earthly to the far-fetched. But in the end, they all came after me. For they felt The Pull as well.
It wasn’t about the treasure. No, that must have been stolen in ages past. It wasn’t about the prospect of leading a clan myself either, that was more of a necessary consequence. No, it was due to The Pull, as I came to call it. A longing for something I had never seen. Like my ancestors themselves wanted me to see Baungrvuor, to wander the ancient halls of Ak’ Baungr and repair the damages of time. At first I couldn’t explain it, so I lied about a message I had found, telling how it was safe there now. When they asked me to show it, I couldn’t, and was quickly labeled a charlatan and a scam. So I prepared to go alone, for The Pull was growing stronger every day. When I was about to leave my home for the last time, I was interrupted by four other dwarves. They told me, reluctantly at first, that they would like to come with. For they felt that my cause was just, and that Baungrvuor deserves to see its former glory once more. I welcomed them with open arms, and they quickly grew to be my greatest companions. But they would not be the last.
At the second solitary hold, or Zohr-Gol, we stopped for supplies and we were approached by another group. There were eleven of them, and they wished to join or group in search of our ancestral homeland. Six more at the next village, and fifteen at the next Zohr-Gol. When we had finally reached the straits in order to cross them, our humble party had grown to a small walking village. More appeared every day, from all walks of life. And they all felt The Pull. Some stronger like me, others less so.
The two crossings were treacherous at the best of times. I had told everyone that the journey would be dangerous. There might be demons or dragons waiting for us at Baungrvuor, but you could likely never see them for you would drown in the crossings first. Even though we numbered in the hundreds, none among us could boast any kind of boat building expertise. This meant our boats ended up more like rafts. Some crumbled from the weight, some hit a rock, and many a dwarf drowned. Some turned around, not willing to risk their lives on the ocean. Some stayed on the middle island, swearing to never step on a boat again. But two hundred and thirty-seven of us managed to get to the other side safely and continue on.
The Pull was stronger than ever on the other side of the crossings. We were on the same continent as Baungrvuor now! You could feel the excitement in the air, and we marched with a newfound energy. We followed the shoreline, marching with the ocean on our right and mountains on our left. We came across some secluded fishing communities, but they were too small to feed our host. I had packed enough meats and ale for myself, but others hadn’t. Supplies were running low on the day we spotted the valley entrance.
I didn’t even think on it at first. Then it dawned on me: This is Baungrvuor Valley! It was just like in the tales, except the towering statues were no longer there. Nor was the road, or the port town. Only an untamed wilderness of hills and trees. But I felt it within me, that this was the way to go. This was the way our ancestors took. And so we will as well. I rallied our morale, for we were now here! We had arrived! Now, all we needed to do was to find somewhere to set up, to build our first hold.
As we marched through the forest, I was vigilantly on the lookout for anything unnatural. Any signs of a curse or demon activity, or dragons in the air. I only saw forest. No animals, but that was probably due to our large, noisy group. But there was nothing but forest. In fact, there was a lack of unnatural things. No sings of any old ruins, roads or holds. It made me nervous: what if we were in the wrong valley? The Pull told me otherwise, that I would need to go just a little bit deeper. But others had voiced the same concerns. And I was worried.
After some days of clearing our way through the forest we came upon a mountain and a river. This was only important because my heart told me that this was to be the location of our hold. And so it was: Zahrak Gol was built. At first it was some tents, but the mountain was quickly mined into to make halls and rooms. Smithies were set up, and farms were sown next to the river. The prospect of building a hold in Baungrvuor valley had everyone working like they were possessed. Soon, it came clear that we would need clans to better organize our new home. I was elected Johtab of our new hold, and named my clan Enzgrym, after my grandfathers father. Enzgrym was to be the clan of administrators, mages and farmers. Then there was Dozmar, the clan of miners, warriors and hunters. And lastly there was Guntzgam, the clan of smiths, merchants and woodcutters. It was agreed upon that this was only to be a temporary arrangement, to be reviewed in twenty years.
Word of our new home spread, and more dwarves slowly found their way to Zahrak Gol. It was soon apparent that we would need both more room and more food. A new settlement was formed, downstream of the river. Zom Järvr quickly grew to a food production hub: everything from fish to apples to milk was soon available to our budding Grah-Gol. Still not enough to trade away, but definitely enough to last us through even a tougher winter.
It has now been ten years since we have arrived here. I haven’t felt The Pull since putting up the first tent of Zahrak Gol. But now it has returned. For we haven’t yet found Ak’ Baungr. And in the name of all my ancestors, we will.