The first half of this session was all role-play.
First, the party cleaned up in Jarlsberg and set out heading north from Jarlsberg, through the rest of the swamp. I sprung a few swamp encounters on them but in each case the party detected the threat before they were themselves detected and decided to avoid the encounters.
The party's first stop out of the swamp was an edge-of-civilization farmhouse where they got cleaned up, replenished their supplies had a hot meal and went on their way. They camped out in the countryside the first night and found an inn on the second night. On the third night they arrived in Belrane.
In Belrane the met with Jarl Wellus, who's a non-nonsense leader of a port town which is the bread basket of Prolia. Wellus is a traditional Jarl, with a stone keep, patterned after a Prolian longhouse, which they had a small feast telling about their trip through the swamp. The party did not mention the book of lost kings that they found but did describe the sunken, undead infested city of Jarlsberg and the dangerous creatures of the swamp. They stayed the night, and had their first chance to get a good read of the book.
Then the party traveled to Shinar, staying at inns along the way. The road between Belrane and Shinar is well-traveled and fairly safe this time of year. No encounters.
By the time they reached Shinar the party had gotten all the relevant information from the book, made their history checks, which fell slightly short. They sought the knowledge of a Skald in Shinar, Drinl Scot, who was able to augment their history knowledge to pull the last few scraps of information about Fendreaus and Krolak-Nol.
Also, in searching around for information of a Skald, they ran across the information about the Dragons between Beryl and Derros, and the current situation with the Dwarves. They finally decided to back Jarl Jorgen in their quest and think they have an edge in being the first to find the crown.
Jorgen also invited the adventurers to a feast and put them up for the night. He's much more mercantile and less traditional than Wellus, by contrast. his demense is a Palace.
One particular conversation they had with Jorgen in trying to sound him out convinced the PC's to back him was his talk about uniting the Towns and how he'd mediate disputes and make the country prosperous. I'm not sure if anyone noticed that he specifically never boasted about his ability to lead the country in times of war. Jorgen is a great merchant-king, a good diplomat and has good relations with all the Jarls... but he does not have any experience in battle.
The next day the party started north again. This time in search of Krolak-Nol.
In Derros,they met the Minstrel who regaled them with tales and information about the two Dragons.
They traveled the rest of the way to Prauld without incident, where they decided to ask the watch if they'd heard of Krolak-Nol. The tower guards had not, since they only ever scout half a day's travel into the forest.
The PC's then entered the forest to see if they could find the tower themselves. One day's travel into the forest they met the Hobgoblins and managed to avoid hostilities, although it was a near thing. After some discussion and a hefty tax paid to the squad captain, who knew the location of Krolak-Nol, they arranged an escort through hobgoblin lands and got some directions to take them the rest of the way.
After finding the tower, the party decided to descend into the crevasse and fought the skeleton encounter and the magma-men/imp encounter, having some difficulty with the fumes in the area, but pulling through.
And that was the end of session 4.