Upon reaching Manya, Asher decides to spend some of the hard earned gold on a proper inn with all the comforts deserved to the party. Exploring the trading hub, they party meets several strange shopkeepers and hears rumors of military movements to counter the goblin incursion.
After resting for the evening and uneventfully crossing paths with their previous employer, the group also hears a tale of woe if the innkeeper about a lone traveling noblewoman who ditched the bill she was to pay that morning.
The party decides to make a little extra gold for the journey in a way that doesn’t involve hard travel or sleeping in the dirt away from a town. Trader Joe asks them to investigate thefts of his merchandise within the Barn after nightfall and arranges to get them past the keepers. That night, they discover that Hot Tamale sleeps with his goods for “safety” and that the small man is actually a small goblin in disguise.
They let the goblin escape as they have no proof of ill deeds on his part and investigate the tip he gives them about goblins moving through the ruins beneath the Barn. Explosions and rumbling were heard coming from below and drove the party to action.
Learning more about the ruins of the Orellan Empire and having guardsmen watch the entrance, the party goes in to investigate.
Within the ruins they fight a fierce battle against a large group of goblins who held a well-dressed and well-equipped alchemist captive. Using visual tricks and brute force, the heroes were able to turn the tide of battle in their favor. As things were going sour, the goblins attempted to slay their captive rather than allow her freedom but were interrupted by Dywin and Arnou.
The captive proved immediately capable. With a rough and foreign accent, she introduced herself as Nox and though she wanted to leave danger, she had to recover her alchemical notes from the goblins as they are family and trade secrets she is not able to part with. Showing stealth and assassination skills, Nox accompanied the party as they ambushed and killed the goblin baron and took his treasure for their own, though her notes were not to be found.
Deeper into the labyrinth, they discovered yet another room of goblins, this time led by a mad bomber. In almost a mirror of the first hard fight, the party was able to funnel the goblins into a disadvantageous position and turned their own explosives against them. Here, Nox was able to find her bags and quickly shooed the party away from them and secured them tight.
Dywin kept watch over Nox with a slightly distrustful eye as there was quite a bit of unclaimed treasure about, and the party cleared one of the collapsed tunnels to find a very dead goblin charred to death near another collapsed tunnel. Clearing away the debris and moving the corpse, Vanya noticed an enchantment sweep over him and try to enter his mind.
Warning the others of a potential trap, they clear the path to find a shattered object and a massive grey humanoid with wings standing watch in the chamber. Suspecting a demon, Nox cleared out with Vanya and Dywin taking that opportunity to go as well. Illisia stayed to talk to the creature while Liss and Asher stoicly and silently stood guard for her.
The monstrous behemoth explained that he was an agent of the ancient Orellan Empire and grew irritated when he learned of their lack of influence. Offering a reward for granting him his freedom, he eventually figured out that the party is a group of elemental chosen and that the cycle has begun anew. Unable to come up with a question that satisfied the demon-figure, Illisia accepted a massive chunk of gold from him as well as a piece of his chitinous flesh as a means to summon him should they have great need.
Jovially and with Dark laughter, the monster disappeared into black smoke and billowing winds and vanished from the chamber.
Somewhat shaken, the group gathers their treasure and exits the ruins of the Orellans and returns to the Barn on the surface.