The group escorts Miller Lane and his family back to Stonerim where the village celebrates and hears stories of the battle. Reeve Lorcan admits the the town’s stone gates would not stand up for long against two ogres, the heroes likely just saved Stonerim from being sacked. The people give their gratitude for the protection provided by their liege Sova and the noble House of Eghal.
After another celebratory dinner, Dorn gives Sturmfrek a sack of 1000 gold pieces to keep him in comfort in his old age. Deeply moved, Stormy gives Dorn an adamant pentant which he says is the key to many doors in Hammerfall. “I believe in you,” he tells Dorn. “If you do not throw open those doors, no one will.”
The next morning the party sets off at last for Rookhaven, the most remote outpost of Felleg’Avign which fell to orcs a few months ago. No one knows what to expect or how strong the enemy will be when they get there. After that they plan to journey on to Outermost, the last forge of the Fellhammer dwarves, hopefully to find Dorn’s missing brothers.
The first day of travel through young forest and gentle hills goes smoothly. The next day around noon they hear a panicked animal and go to find a lost pack mule under attack by
18 blood hawks. Bloodied by beak and talon they kill most of the flock and drive off the rest. The blessings of Caetar heal the party and save the mule. It’s loaded with trade goods: nails, rope, cloth and such. They decide to keep him.
Later that day, passing through thicker, older forest and more rugged hills, they stumble into the territory of a group of apes who challenge them, flinging rocks and feces at the surprised travelers. Another short battle kills several apes and drives off the rest. Exhausted, the group looks for a place to camp.
Around midnight their sleep is interrupted by 9 hungry wolves. Dorn is on watch and raises the alarm. The pack doesn’t do much damage, but they lose out on a long rest. The next day they set off still weary.
Halfway through their third day of travel the adventurers spy a stone bridge in a valley, one of the landmarks Stormy mentioned and marked on the map he drew in Dorn’s journal. They make for it.
A hill giant guards the bridge and barters with them in a crude, broken common tongue. When the giant asks for the mule and Kendal as a toll for crossing the bridge, Dorn surprises everyone by charging headlong across the bridge to attack the giant. His shocked companions follow up on his attack and together they best the giant, but not before Sova takes a glancing blow from his enormous club.