With the knowledge that the party was out of their league, they all agreed it was time to learn as much as they could about their foes. With Papa HeeNo’s hint, our heroes set out for Mercyglade.
Mercyglade was a few days inland from the nearest port in Grand Victoria. Unfortunately, John informed Fenrir that the crew had had enough. They did not sign on for all of the danger that the party brought along. Disappointed but not entirely surprised, Fenrir told John to pay everyone then set out to finding a crew more willing to work for them.
The road to Mercyglade was long and windy, and so the party elected to take the shorter path cutting through the mountains. On the way they encountered several giants who the party decided to surprise with the magic dice they had taken off of the medusa, as a possible weapon and as a way to better understand how the dice worked.
This decision turned out to be a good call because the dice summoned a shadow dragon. The dragon, along with the party’s most powerful spells, decimated the giants before they even knew where the party was hiding. Fortunately, it also ended the giants before the dragon discovered the party, soaring off into the distance once the giants were defeated. With a sense of relief that they did not have to fight the dragon, the party went the rest of the way to Mercyglade.
Mercyglade was exactly as Jane had described: a foreboding asylum. Fenrir was sent off to explore the asylum as an animal and report back. After some searching, it was evident that the mental hospital had suffered some sort of tragedy. The place was abandoned with ghosts flying around. After reporting his discovery to the party, everyone decided to slowly explore once morning came.
In a shocking turn of events the party found the ghosts to be fairly agreeable. The head of the asylum, unaware that he had died, was determined to help his ghost patients as best as he could. The doctor informed the party that Priest had been at the asylum, and after exploring a bit more the party was able to infer that Priest had performed a dark ritual at Mercyglade, and that the torching men they’ve been fighting were the former patients.
Jane and Fenrir were also interested in the horrible treatment Jane suffered at the hands of the doctors at Mercyglade. The head doctor explained that traditional techniques completely failed to help her, and that they tried a variety of more extreme methods out of desperation to help her get better. Jane, however, found this to be an inadequate justification and held no sympathy for any of the people at Mercyglade.
When exploring the top of the tower Jane was held in, the rest of the party discovered that Jane had made a deal with Demogorgon, and were outraged that they had kept this from the rest of the party. It was only the appearance of a ghost wrapped in chains that halted the argument.
The ghosts at the hospital needed to move on to their proper plane of existence. Shira, with the power of her music and dance, helped the ghosts move on and find piece. She captivated the audience with her talents until one by one they ascended. By the end of her performance, only the head of the asylum remained. He told the party that he was still trying to help his patients, and the party knew that stopping Priest would be the only way to help him finally rest. After promising they would go take care of Priest, they stopped by the one building that they had not yet been.
This building was the one which had dangers, skeletons popped up and the party got ready to fight. Perhaps out of frustration that her time at Mercyglade was much more peaceful than she had wanted it to have been, Jane went a little overboard with her fire. The building was quickly set on fire and the party had to leave the building before they got the chance to fully explore. With a slightly beleaguered party, save for a beaming Jane, the party set out to return to their ship.
The first night on their way back to the ship, the party was set upon by the dragon they had summoned from the dice. The dragon targeted Shira only, and carried her off into the distance before the party had any chance to react. Keladry and Fenrir led the chase as they followed the dragon. Unfortunately, it was night and they lost sight of the dragon very quickly. Fenrir did what he does best and turned into a dire wolf, hoping he could follow Shira’s scent.
While they chased after the dragon, Shira realized exactly who had captured her. The dragon, after throwing her into a cave, explained to her that he was the dragon her parents had fought back during their adventuring days. The dragon told Shira that he would leave her parents alone only if she would stay in the cave as a prisoner for as long as he was trapped. Shira naturally responded with words this author does not feel are appropriate to repeat.
Eventually, the party found where the dragon was hiding and, after springing Shira from her cave prison, they slew the dragon. Shira was able to finish what her parents started as she dealt the final blow against the dragon, which let out a final roar of hatred for Shira and her family before going down.
On their way back they received a letter from John saying that he couldn’t hire a new crew because the party had wanted pictures of themselves plastered all over the town. Priest’s men were hunting them. With this knowledge, the party was able to sneak into town and sail away, using some skeletons Jane raised as a crew.