Resolving some downtime in the case of Li Xian and Kang, the two head down to the ruins of old Daoli to recover metal from the crater left by the meteor. After months of hard work and the help of the nezumi, they excavate a few tons of ore – but their expedition is cut short by a fire giant and his goons, claiming they had trespassed on the giant’s mining operation! Seeing that they’re at a disadvantage, they surrender to face their judgement and are transported back to the giant’s temple via the Plane of Shadow.
Meanwhile, as our friendly gnomes and Sokka (I mean Chiko) ascend the fire giant mountain, they pick up the familiar sense that their elven friends are below ground. They’d been captured! A rescue mission which was originally planned for just a few nezumi has grown, and now they’ve got to bust out all of them.
The obsidian gargolye provides a distraction from the air as the group descends down the venting pipes and into the fire giant stronghold. Li Xian and Kang discuss plans, but want to see what’s going on in this place before leaving.
A member of the Beast Courts is negotiating a payment to the fire giant regent, but the giant looks unimpressed. “The dragon grows hungry, best you feed him before he lashes out.”
Li Xian and Kang are brought before the giant and found guilty of trespassing. The giant knows Li Xian and lets him know his punishment has been suspended due to a favor from the Beast Court, but to watch his back because there are those in the Inquisitors orders who work for the regent. Kang is released upon the requirement that he steal a shipment bound to a warehouse along the northern shores and bring it back to the mountain.
However, before leaving, the Beast Court representative has a private conversation with Li Xian and then takes possession of a royal guard. With his new body, he goes to free the ogres and start a riot – giving the party a chance to escape and freeing a dozen of the enslaved ogres. At the end, it’s noted that the ogre population has been pushed south and dangerously close to Elven villages.