Write-up 23rd March 2024 – The House of Spionem – Part Two

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
  • Farshad – Merchant of the Rule of Ishtir, musician 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 wrestling 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

A recap

Smersh, though he had been entombed in suspended animation along with Fetnah 1500 years ago, somehow found himself in possession to the deeds to a valley that had been granted to a son of his, by the name of Spionem. “Smersh Spionem”. Get it?S ketchy on whether or not he had ever had a son, or any other children, Smershdecided to follow this up. Discovering the current name for the place, they recently arrived, established that the total power granted his descendants was l;ong gojne, but there was still an estate, and rents, a decent inheritance

There was one sslight problem, however, the place was haunted after the death of the last heir.

Leaving a sweating and troubled Jalabu in the accommodation in the small town of Spah, the group have made their way to the house, and just entered an entrance hall….


Between sessions, there was some chat around was the reported haunting, was it perhaps the soul of Smersh, detached from hos body with a millenia and a half of stasis. So, we open on a white, brightly lit room, Smersh is constrained on a white altar, Utana supervising his bonds, José Juan administering the anaesthetic, Farshad, scalpel at the ready and Fetnah ready to hunt deep within Smersh to see if he has a soul…..

Back to the session

Looking into a gloomy hall, there was a closed door ahead, but a family shrine to The Cold Ones was by it, and Smersh tried to puzzle out the words above it “Us Gods Watch”? Smersh is new to writing and his skills are not quite instinctive, but Farshad was able to complete the inscription. As Smersh showed his respect for his deities and cleaning the shrine, the others looked around a little, finding an empty store room, perhaps meant for cleaning materials? Smersh was finishing up when a slithering noise was heard, they checked each other to ensure no illicit inter group slithering was going on, but no.

A couple realised that the sound seem ed to be coming from above, but Utana zeroed in on what was there,

on the ceiling,

clinging to the ceiling,

a corpse,

a strangely flattened and almost pickled looking corpse, as if it had been buried in the marsh for centuries. It slithered off, and the group, heedless of where they were going, powered along a corridor, past door after door, until coming to a more open part of the hallway opposite where they had come in, in front of them was a set of open doors to the outside.

and some stairs

And a lage number of wet, stinking, decaying corpses, with a mix of broken weapons, shuffling forward to engage the group. The group fought, the corpses were, mostly, unarmoured, the weapons of the group had properties against spirits so the blows went home, and two or three hits were enough to down the dead, but some hits were coming in too, despite deft footwork from utana and stoic “come and have a go” attitude from Smersh. The words received were merely scratches so far, but more dead were coming. Fetnah helped even the odds somewhat, using a prayer that discomfited any enemies that chose to stay, but still the odd got worse and worse, with three downed there were still four to one odds against the group, and more were coming, all dripping with marsh water.

Then all heard, in their heads, the line

Come with me if you want to live

Looking back down along the hall, the way they had come was a ghost of a man of late midddle years, slightly green in aspect, and he beckoned to them.

The group took to their heels, the dead too slow to do much against the disengaging foe, but they shuffled off after the fleeing mortals and their ghostly guide.

The ghost led them out the door they had come in, and then back around the building, past stinking wet puddles and footprints, and to the rear, where the invading undead had come from, but this time into the family temple. The frescoes where were fading and cracked, but visible and showed scenes of life as it once was in the valley, aided by the Cold Ones. Smersh started examining the statues and the group looked enquiringly at the ghost.

“I am Smersh IV, and I need your help!”

His plight was this. In the religion of the Cold Ones spirits follow paths to great halls to wait for the time when all will be judged, but to send them on those paths they need the aid of loved ones. Those that die without the rites can get lost and wander and never find their way to await judgement.

He has sought a way to help guide other lost souls to the afterlife, to await their fate, but there are always those seek to prevent others from improving their lot, who wish to drag them down to feed off their misery and desperation, and in this case there is a prescence on the paths of the dead that is controlling these possessed corpses to try and prevent spirits moving on.

With a spectral “Follow me“. Smersh IV took the group down to the crypt, to see plaques with portaits of his line along the walls, grouped by generations. The floor a mosaic map of the area, and on one wall is a glowing green portal, a partal that Smersh IV, a student of the arcane and faithful servant of the Gods has opened with the aid of other lost souls. This is the path that he wishes the group to take, to aid him.

There was some discussion about the desirability of the property These are mere “snagging” details. Any house has a bit of settling, as the dead writhe under them, unless there is a more that just a few undead, that is how you get subsidence

Thje group, naturally concerned about coming back are reassured, or maybe they aren’t, by Smersh IV’s assertion that some come back. At least in stories and songs some do. The group rest, and though Smersh cleans the altar before he does so, Fetnah meditates and tries to recover her spiritual balance, the rest try to ignore the scratching sounds at the door to the temple.

And there we left it

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