The heroes enter an ice-cold cave with a frozen pond in the middle. A mighty white dragon surprises them, cornering them in the entrance. Irina gets blasted with the ice breath, and Varis is stunnd by fear. Irina manages to feystep behind the dragon, and the halfling Bree sneaks through under the beast, so now the monster is flanked. Wulfgard hits the ceiling twice and himself once, before a successful sleep spell by Irina allows him a coup de grace with "brute attack".
The dragon wakes up and blasts the gang multiple times, but eventually gets beaten after repeat sneak attacks by Bree and successful Maul hits through Wufgard. Irina casts a magic missile into the dragon's eye which finishes him off, but not before he bites off Varis' head (almost.) Varis is dead – a great hero – he saved Bree with a healing spell and suffered the consequences for himself. The party vows to find a temple in order to resurrect him.
They find some treasure, along with the dragonhide, a magic resounding throwing hammer +1 and an encrypted letter the party deciphers later:
I SEND YOU THE GOLD FOR THE SLAVES AS AGREED.
?. WANTS MORE, AND WOULD PAY EXTRA FOR FEY AND LARGE BLOOD VESSELS.
WE CANNOT POSSIBLY CATCH MORE PEASANTS FROM THE W. AREA.
I AWAIT YOUR RESPONSE.
Back in Fallcrest, they run into the half elf Erandil Zemoar who runs the Nentir Inn on the west bank of the river, just outside of the city, who shows a curiosity in what the characters are up to. Then they drop off Varis' corpse in the temple of Erathis, where they also see the 4 freed humans again. Everybody is very thankful, and the priest Dirina Mornbrow grants the raise the dead ritual for 500 gp.
They deliver the dragonhide to the dwarf Teldorthan, not without bugging him about his intentions.
The erratic "sage" Nimozaran the Green in the Septarch's tower is not of much help in order to decipher the letter, so the heroes solve it on their own.
Later, the Lord Warden of Fallcrest, Faren Markelhey, invites everybody over for dinner. He is eager to learn more about the threats the party discovered, and together they try to understand the background of the mysterious letter. It seems to point to Winterhaven, a frontier town in the west (the "W. area".)
But who is Irontooth, S?ARTHARRA?, and the villain who "wants more slaves?"