Since I did not enjoy being possessed by the book, I want to the castle to see Bran. I requested that he use my favor from the Brenin to get a ring of protection from evil and good. He would not honor my favor from Prince Rhys ap Rhys however.
I spent several months at the temple in Gorna, serving Ehlonna. Then I felt Ehlonna’s call to journey to the downlands, so I traveled with a trade caravan over the Stark Mounds. I became part of the team going into Hochoch to take out Governor Neumann. Dandelion, Kosef, Thia, Osiris, Morrick, Evendur, Aoth, and I composed this team. Dandelion had visited the Governor the week before as a messenger and met Neumann and his halfling scribe. He has the ability to detect thoughts and discovered two voices in Neumann’s mind. Dandelion concluded that the scribe was probably controlling Neumann and therefore the more dangerous of the two. He had also heard that a sword might still be dominating Neumann as it had during the war. Once we reached Hochoch on the 18th, Dandelion made contact with some of Neumann’s servants and bribed them to sneak us into the servants’ quarters. We went in concealed in a cart when they got supplies for the evening meal. The servants even drew us a map of the manor house and gave us some information on Neumann’s habits. We then waited until after supper and went into the manor house. We posed as servants carrying wood while Dandelion posed as a guard supervisor. Many of the guards were ill with stomach trouble. The servants had to eat the leftovers from the guards’ meal, so some of them unfortunately became ill also. Once in the kitchen, Aoth noticed holly leaves and berries in the food. This made our job easier since most of the guards were indisposed. Morrick and I will get along just fine, he is a life cleric also and a good fellow for a dwarf. An elf and a dwarf can work together and find common beliefs. Morrick bribed the guard in the kitchen with a flask of alcohol, so he slipped out and left us alone. Dandelion went upstairs still in his guise as a guard and found three guards. He sent them one at a time down the stairs where we unfortunately had to kill them.
Once upstairs, Morrick cast silence on the area in front of the Governor’s chambers. We decided to open the door to the door to the scribe’s chambers. I used thaumaturgy to open the door from across the landing. The scribe’s room was empty and did not seem that anyone lived there. There were halfling sized garments in the closet, but the room smelled stale. We then noticed a light coming from the library, so we opened that door. The library was empty, but the light emanated from Neumann’s office. The shelves were obsessively neat with one book missing in the W section. Aoth turned into a weasel and looked under the door. He reported that Neumann was sitting at his desk with a raven. Then suddenly Aoth disappeared and we heard the sound of smashing glass. I threw open the door and Kosef rushed into the office and shot the raven with a bolt. He scored a solid hit, but the raven just squawked and disappeared. The rest of us rushed in to discover that Aoth had jumped out the window and was being chased or followed by a sword. I picked up a small chest near the Govenor and then jumped out the window after Aoth, as did Kosef, Thia and Tornado. Dandelion cast Protection from Evil and Good on the Governor, freeing him from the sword’s influence. Neumann told Dandelion that the scribe was actually an unseelie imp who controlled the sword which controlled him. Neumann also told Dandelion the striking the bell in the north tower of the castle with the sword would destroy the sword. Aoth ran for the gate and convinced the guard to open it for him. He was screaming that he needed to get out of town. Tornado managed to catch and hold him and I cast Protection from Good and Evil on him, breaking the hold of the sword. By this time, Gareth had helped Neumann down to the manor gate while Morrick retained Protection from Evil and Good on him. The sword kept trying to dominate us, thankfully with little success for 30 seconds or so. Luckily my ring kept me safe, but Thia and Tornado and Kosef were each affected in turn. Thia just ran away, while Tornado attacked Gareth and Kosef attacked me. He almost knocked me unconscious, but Morrick healed me. I had managed to grab the sword and Kosef had used rope to bind it to my body before this, so I had some control of it. It alternated with struggling against its bonds and trying to dominate us on the minute and a half it took us to walk to the castle. Osiris broke the sword’s hold on Tornado by attacking him and Evendur did the same for Kosef. Dandelion cast fly on me, so I took the sword to the top of the north tower and struck the bell with the sword, causing it to crumble to dust. I needed to use the Song of the Satyr to successfully control the sword to destroy it. Thus we destroyed the sword, although the imp escaped. While I was doing that, Thia managed to open the small box that Neumann had with him in his office. Inside was a ring inscribed Legendary Fey Ring of Mastery Over Magic. Evendur made the case that the ring should be his and slipped it on. Immediately he became less intelligent and other effects as the ring suppressed all his magic items. He will need to quest to remove the ring. They also recovered the book that Neumann was regarding. It was an arcane puzzle box which had a warning that it was for only the highest mages.
Neumann had sent guards for the knights and nobles of Hochoch. He signed papers and presented his sword to Gareth as rightful ruler of Arweth. He then plunged head first off the back of the castle to the rocks many feet below. Rhyzzat had done some tutoring for Gareth, so Gareth gave an eloquent speech declaring Arweth’s independence and ordering the Gran March troops out of the County. Tomorrow I will seek an audience with Count Gareth, asking for permission to cleanse and reopen the temple of Ehlonna and bring the old faith back to the people of Arweth. I believe that is why Ehlonna brought me here.