The dragon breathes its icy breath across the surface of the ship, and everyone is chilled by the effect.
Almost half the crew are stricken dead immediately, and none of our heroes, save those below decks were unscathed. The deck was coated in ice and the paladin slipped and fell over the edge and was swallowed up in the clouds below.
At last, alchemists’ fire was deployed, and the dragon, wounded and burnt, dove down through the clouds presumably seeking the water of the Great River below.
The ship itself managed to hide within the clouds for a while before emerging once again, with no sight of the dragon.
From there, they pressed on to Piell Under the Falls. The airship stopped short, at one of the recently restored Royal Inns. The Captain refused to go farther and nobody demanded an explanation.
Not wanting to pay the innkeeper’s steep fees, the party left immediately on foot towards the town of Piell. While they found many people willing to sell them maps through the underdark, or guides to the passes or wizards willing to try a teleport for sufficient (i.e., significantly more than they had) cash, they could find nobody both credible and affordable.
They left the city under the falls to try their luck in the town of Vir, within the kingdom of Briischin.
Throughout their three-day trek north, they found signs of the growing military presence everywhere. Platoons of Queen Briischin’s soldiers marched through the snow, and patrolling the town.
They managed nonetheless to purchase a map showing most of an old trade route, a pass through the mountains to the kingdom of Roldar, where Yisha the Necromancer Queen rules. Near the beginning of their journey, though, they found a group of bandits hiding in the foothills.
They managed to defeat the first ones found, killing some, bribing away another, and scaring away a hostage who was sent out to warn them off before finally confronting the bandit leader, who they easily convinced of their might.
Interestingly, he had heard of Earth (though did not seem to speak English), and the prisoner they had chased off may have been from there. And he knew of the Book of the Worlds, as emissaries of Queen Yisha had asked him about it previously, but he wanted no part in such high politics or powerful evil magic, so he told the party what he knew and bade them farewell.
They turn their attention now back to the West, where the book supposedly is being kept on the Island of P’numm in the great Free City of Pendwy.