Write-up 16th May 2024 – New House, new responsibilities

Having dislodged the demon, Marshiyu-shamawpti from their lair along one path to the afterlife of The Cold Ones, and allowed lost souls to continue their journey, the group have returned to the chapel and Smersh’s descendant, who plans to remain to guide the lost.

Our cast

  • Utana – Noble of the Rule of Haraxa, Agent and Officer of the nation
  • José Juan – Foreigher from the far west, warrior, healer and agent of the Rule
  • Fetnah – Shaman from a long time ago, and a forgotten and lost land, and agent of the Rule
  • Smersh – Larcenous Priest from long time ago, and a nation long gone, and agent of the Rule
  • Jalabu – Noble of Dilmun, Merchant-Adventurer and agent of the Rule, currently coming to terms with his inner demon, literally


  • Arpaesis – From the far western land of Ta-Khemet, student of Arcane Lore, and agent of the Rule, currently studying books of Lore
  • Dhran the White – of humble origin in Ishtir, warrior, agent of the Rule, currently studying in the capital and trying to unionise
  • Farshad – Merchant of the Rule of Ishtir, musician and agent of the Rule

This was a bit of a slow one, having chased the dead and gone the the Lands of the Dead, they had not explored the House of Spionem before, but now they had destroyed the demon, the threats that had lurked here were no more, so it was more of a tour of the ground level of  the house than an active adventure.

It was not just the door to the family temple that was encumbered by long dead corpses that stopped in their tracks when the demon as dismissed, the house has many strewn around it, as to the marshes and lands around the estate, these they saw, as Farshad went bah to the town of Spah to start coming to grips with the accounts of Smersh’s estate, and take a measure of Afhaq, Smersh’s factor.

Greybeard Floor of Spionem's House

The Compass Rose in the grounds, formed of painted and decorated stones, whist accurate, gave Jalabu the hereby-jeebies

First, the central courtyard, this shows the nature of the building, repairs and replacements over the centuries, everything replaced but still the same house, styles changed, techniques changed, but still the same house.

In the garden, along side feral plants, weeds, benches, a dry fountain that could only have been fed from a tank higher up, given that the house is on a hill. There were also two statues, one of Spionem, the other of another of the family, the sadly named Smershina.

Going through to the house, they found themselves at the family shrine and store rooms they had seen before, and from there they made a search of the place, finding that in many rooms that there were signs of ransacking, with smashed tablets, shelves, furniture and the like. Old vandalism aside, the exploration was uneventful, mainly, they found estate offices with space for petitioners and files,  though Smersh and Fetnah shared some discovered silver vials of what might be cures or healing draughts.

Other areas of interest were a set of screens in a reception room commemorating Smersh and Fetnah’s last known adventure before disappearing centuries before. The servants quarters had been cleared before being deserted, so furniture aside, they were bare.

The kitchens were functional and had some long rotted food in pots, but Jalabu’s exploration of the basement proved more interesting. Not only did he find some still drinkable wine, he also found the body of a pedlar, a Kurrim woman, strangled, seemingly by one of the recently animate dead, no more than three days before. Other items of the household were found belonging to the household in varying states of usability or not. The group were impressed at the sincerity and passion which Smersh put into rites to guide spirits of the dead on their way.

One of the places where an event might have happened in an “haunted house scenario” had the discovery been made before the demon was disposed of.

Moving on, planning to come back later, perhaps after Fetnah had rested and could try to talk to local spirits,  a family area was found, and uncovering chests found the family crockery, most local, some from Zhau far to the East, or from far to the South-East in the Thousand kingdoms. wrapped in silks, and another reception room, changed into an alchemical laboratory, the bed an afterthought of someone more dedicated to their art than themselves. This turned up some books on herbs, plant husbandry, astrology and alchemy.

They were about to go upstairs when they heard a voice calling them, a message from Farshad, a troop of cavalry had arrived in Spah.

The group decided to investigate, seeing more of the corpses through the marsh, but as they reached Spah and followed the gawkers to the square where, indeed, a troop of Haraxan cavalry were there, not armed for war, but for travel.

Four detached themselves and sought Utana and Smersh, though one, a Faliscan by their dress, hung back at first. The others introduced themselves Golnaz, Captain of Agents in the city of Khanedarya, Eiman, Agent of Khanedarya and Mina, Officer of Cavalry of the Household of the Shara.

The officers asked to inspect Utana’s and Smersh’s shortswords that they had been present with as a reward for service, each individually decorated with personal marks, one identify was assured, they continued

“The situation of the Lord Smersh is, unusual, to put is mildly, a long vanished ancestor made heir by a bequest from a vanished dynasty and nation. There has been much debate and His Grace the Shara has decided to uphold this bequest, for now, but with these provisos.

“Smersh will be granted the title of Databdara, upholder of the law, under the tutelage of the Lord Utana. My lord Utana will also be granted the title of Databdara, senior to my Lord Smersh. In all respects Smersh will act as might a magistrate for these lands, but Utana will guide him, and ensure that he acts according to the law and his duty.

“The companions of the Lords Utana and Smersh are granted no such position, but they remain Agents under the Lord Utana’s supervision and are at the disposal of Databdara Smersh. Should the Lord Smersh find some official position for them, he may recruit them if they are willing.

“The Council that the town of Spah should be allowed to continue their affairs, within limits, until such time as it seems fit to reorder things.

“The will of the Magistrates I present to you.”

As they were handed scrolls confirming these decisions, Smersh was given a bronze lotus flower as symbol of his rank the harmony and authority of the realm. Mina presented Utana with a silver ring decorated with a winged lion, which Utana knew indicated that his name had been recorded on the rolls of those few who could directly request an audience with Shara Krush, monarch of the Rule of Haraxa.

The others in the group are presented with a pouch of silver and a flask of wine from the Royal Cellar, tokens of gratitude.

The Databdara is a local version of the Magistrate, not only the judge, but in charge of the investigation of any crimes, responsible for the settling of disputes. They are responsible for ensuring taxes are collected, censuses taken, the good order and morals of their district maintained.

It will be expected that as Databdara, Smersh will hold regular courts, open courts where disputes can be brought, as well as specific courts when charges are to be made.

The Haraxans stepped back and the Faliscan presented him to José Juan, introducing herself as Ramutha, an envoy from Ambassador Hortensia, who had asked José Juan to gather intelligence on the realm.

A message and a present from Ambassador Hortensia. She also bade me give you her greetings, and hopes that you keep well. I will be staying in this village for a week, she asks if you can provide a report of things of interest to trade and the political situation. If possible, I will return with your word. There are materials in the packet.”

In the packet is a book, the art style is not Faliscan, José Juan does not recognise it, but the script style and language is are Faliscan, a book on medicinal materials and practices of this land. The rest of the contents are writing materials, presumably for a report.

José Juan makes noises that could be taken Fiordland agreement then steps back.

At this point Fetnah’s attention is taken by a short woman who waves to her, Fetnah has a conversation with her, causing the others who cannot see this other party to question if Fetnah has finally cracked until there is a demonstration that Fetnah can now see her spirit ally, plain as day.

And there we left it…


The upper floor of Spionem's Hpuse, now his father Smersh's, after 14 centuries

The upper floor of Spionem’s Hpuse, now his father Smersh’s, after 14 centuries

The exploration of the house is assumed to continue off line now.

In the main, the upper floor was dominated by 5 bedrooms of various sizes, which were not only long disused, but even before the death of the last of the line were being used more as store rooms than being suitable as bedrooms. Despite the vandalism downstairs, these seemed unolested.

Two  contained stacked furniture from the other bedrooms, another contained long size spoiled or evaporated liquids whose coat tags, affixed to the bottles by wire, implied medicines, industrial fluids for cutting metal, or as part of alchemical processes.

One contained artistic materials, and the results painted glass and pottery plaques are mounted in cabinets, the paints are long since rotted away. The last took longer to discover, it seemed like it was just a collection of chests of ancient fabric, old tools and useless Knick-knacks, but, when cleared out, the boxes had formed a wall. Behind that were three sets of armour in a no longer fashionable style style, in need of repair, but potentially functional, a rack of spears, a well used bronze sword, with ivory handle inlaid in silver, and its mare in iron, a copy but newer, each with their scabbard, though the leather belts are dry and cracked.

There are two other features, a tank used to feed the fountain in he garden, and, on the room, an observatory, with a few esoteric instruments are a mystery to the group.


The house is in need of clearing and repair, and there we leave it.

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