The party bought what gear they could and set off back toward the fortress with a few villagers. There was a hobgoblin camp they would have to clean out before approaching the fortress proper, so they lay in a stock of oil and formed a daring plan. Prisoners were being brought to the fortress in covered wagons, one of which they would steal, light on fire, and push through the gate into the camp to keep their enemies busy.
Once the battle began, they were stunned to see one of the hobgoblins grow to several times his normal size, but, never one to pass up a challenge, Cillian quaffed a potion and himself grew into a giant to take on the goblin leader. Later, he smashed a wagon into small pieces and single-handedly killed two of its occupants, earning the new name Cillian Wagonsbane.
As the fight neared its end, the ground began to shake and a large crack appeard between the fortress and the camp. The group had only a moment to decide as the huge fortress rose into the air. They ran and jumped onto the foundations, grabbing whatever roots and rocks they could for purchase, leaving behind the only surviving villager, a young girl named Buttercup. She stayed close to Regulus during the fight and now ran home to tell her people what had passed.
The fortress continued to rise higher into the sky as the adventurers made their way to an opening into the dungeon, where they found a safe place to rest. During their exploration of the dungeon, the party found what looked like an abattoir, and then the room where the trash was dumped. Something was definitly alive down there, but no one noticed until Gemi and Cillian had gone for a swim in the muck in an attempt to recover a glowing object. They returned with a gem and a few rot grubs, but later found out it was all for nothing. After a fight with a bronze gollem, they found a portal but realized they didn’t have the orb to activate it. It was time to go back to the rubbish and search once more for the glowing object, only this time Meriele suggested that Gemi use his Mage Hand ability to find it and no one had to fight off the grubs again.
On the way to the trash pit, they were forced to hide from a large group of hobgoblins marching past and then took the opportunity to peer out of the tunnel opening. They discovered that they were floating hundreds of feet in the air above a city that none of them knew. The landscape they could see made them think they had traveled nearly a thousand miles since leaving the mountain and the hobgoblin camp. They also saw several other fortresses flying near theirs and began to understand that whatever was happening was much bigger than they originally suspected.