Escaping from Rookhaven, the party heads west and tries to pick up the trail to Outermost. Orcs pursue to the edge of the forest then suddenly stop. From there on all the party sees are scattered kobalds, lurking in the distance. Why would orcs fear kobalds?
They travel two days across rocky heather and thistle strewn hills before arriving at Outermost. From a distance they spy a broad gallery opened in a sheer cliff-face high up the mountain, looking out across the hills. They follow a broken, winding trail up around the side of the mountain where smaller dwarven buildings cling to a steep slope.
A hundred yards shy of the main gate they see a dwarf carrying a basket of vegetables and a brace of rabbits. Dwulfyr Fellhammer introduces his rather pudgy self and is amazed to meet Dorn after all these years.
Dwulfyr confirms that Stark’s expedition have survived, all but one. When they first arrived at Outermost ten years ago they found the place inhabited kobalds … and a dragon. She calls herself Aesilvyr, and for ten years she’s kept the Fellhammers captive and forced them to “improve” Outermost, carving new escape tunnels for her lair. When they tried to escape, she caught them and forced them all to watch as she ate one of their number. With no place to hide in the open, scrubby hills below escape seems unlikely.
Anselmo is disgusted by Dwulfyr’s abject surrender and calls him a slave and a broken man. Dorn and Anselmo argue over how to proceed, with Anselmo preferring to stay outside and Dorn eager to go in and finally meet Stark and the other Fellhammers.
Kobalds have seen them and announce their presence to the dragon. Anselmo reluctantly follows Dorn and the others inside, where he find Stark and the other Fellhammers less eager to fight than he would like. Anselmo is disgusted with Stark in particular, who gave up his armor and weapons to the dragon rather than fighting and dying in them.
For his part Stark is put off by this human outsider who speaks before (and over) his kinsman Dorn. Anselmo basically calls Stark a coward, asks if he “has any fight left in him.” Stark answers by punching Anselmo in the face.
Sova meanwhile tries to come up with a plan to deal with the dragon. Kendal casts invisibility on her and Sova sneaks down the hall to see what they are up against.
Aesilvyr is a young blue dragon about 20 feet long. The dwarven horde of Outermost has been gathered and arranged neatly around the large oval chamber where she makes her lair. The broad gallery on one side looks out on the sky for an easy escape and two corridors are wide enough to fit her. Sova returns to the others and reports.
A winged kobald finds them and doffs his red cap, politely informing them in the Common tongue that they are to have an audience with “her majestic presence.” They basically tell him to piss off.
Anselmo gathers everyone who will fight in the forge room, which has only one way in. Dorn gives Stark the greatsword he took from the hobgoblins, Anselmo gives up his battle axe, halberd and Dorn and Sova give over their longbows.
Stark asks Dorn if he truly believes they can win and Dorn convinces him they can. Stark then orders the other Fellhammers to flee while they may, as they are not warriors and would likely die even if the dragon was killed. They will have enough trouble getting through the kobalds. This infuriates Anselmo, who believes Caetar would want everyone to fight.
The time for argument ends as kobalds test the doors to the forge room. Sova dispatches two, but suffers a couple of sling-stones in return. The kobalds back up around corners but block any escape.
A minute passes. The dragon is not coming. Kobals roll some large barrels down the hall as cover. Taking some oil from Anselmo and a bucket of hot coals from the forge, Sova sets the barrels on fire. As flames and smoke fill the corridor, the Dorn and his friends are well and truly trapped.
Meanwhile, have the other Fellhammers escaped? What of the dragon?