The party takes care of miscellaneous business in Hillcrest until that evening, when Vlad and Poppy hold a funeral pyre for Warder Kev. The next morning they depart for Leitus’ compound.
When they arrive, they find the facility abandoned, ten Elven Etu’sauri are on the premises, they have been sent to punish Leitus for his crimes and are hunting for clues as to his whereabouts. When Poppy inadvertently uncovers such a clue, indicating that Leitus may have fled into the Eastern Wastes, the Etu’sauri depart with the promise that if they find Leitus, they will return with any warpstone he may be carrying.
The party quickly finds the flooded mine shaft which leads to the goblin cave, after a few attempts, Gronk swims into the murk and discovers a plug left by Leitus’ Dwarven engineers, and uses it to drain just enough water from the tunnel to open up space to breathe. Moriel travels to the fort two miles away and instructs 3rd Battalion to start their assault, then returns. The party strips down to their respective skivvies (except for Vladimir, who strips down completely, ritualistically painting himself in Warder wax paint. including, let us not any of us forget, decorating his privates as a dragon), takes only weapons what will not be harmed by submersion along with two small explosive charges Gronk brought from Hillcrest, and begins the long swim through the dark. Roughly halfway through the tunnel, they discover another warpstone sorting room that appears to have been flooded with its cache of stone intact, they continue on to the end of the tunnel.
When they emerge in the mine chamber, they find it empty, the goblins all distracted at the cave entrance defending their fortress against the assault of the Northland Army. After sneaking through the tunnels, they find their way inexorably blocked by the horde, with no way to proceed to a point where the explosives could properly seal the bloom. After some argument over what to do next, Banagher promptly lights the fuses on the powder kegs, grasps them, speaks a word of power, and vanishes, much to the party’s surprise. He teleports himself to the head of the bloom, drops the lit kegs down the shaft, then teleports back to the party – but not before the goblins hear the commotion. They flood into the tunnel, and the party mounts a brief defense before retreating. Again, much to the party’s surprise, Banagher somehow ignites himself in a holy fire, killing hundreds of the small goblins in the swarm and allowing the party to retreat to rear chamber and barricade the door.
The explosives detonate, collapsing the bloom and preventing more goblins from coming to the aid of their brethren on the surface. The army troops quickly overwhelm the fort and use fire to flush out the remaining goblins.
The party emerges from the caves to the shock of the assembled troops. Soaking wet, covered in goblin blood, and almost entirely naked (except, again, Vlad, who was completely naked, with a roused…dragon), the party serenely walks through the troops and into the woods back towards Leitus’ compound as if it were the most natural thing in the world.