Sugati Bahudeya Estate
The estate of Sugati Bahudeya (a name which means "Star-Auspicious Munificence") is located perhaps ten minutes by horseback from the great Varangian city of Yane. Sugati Bahudeya is a gift to the Imperial Satrapy from the Wizarat of Varangia. It is currently in the holding of the current Satrap, V'neef Jiana.
- 1 The Palace
- 2 Layout
- 3 Estate Lands
- 4 Inhabitants
Sidereal Aspected Manse •••••
The palace itself is a beautiful edifice, constructed with geomantic and astrological precision, extending out onto Lake Splendor of Stars. It is built with two large keeps that stand across the courtyard from one another, the Guest Vault and the Household Vault. It also has four smaller square keeps at its corners, set aside for military and domestic use. The outer walls themselves are not simply walls, but contain all manner of antechambers, slave quarters and similar structures needed to keep the Palace in operation.
The Palace itself is explicitly not a government edifice - it is given over to the maintenance and comfort of the Satrap and her household. As such, only the Satrap's household servants and guards are installed here as staff, and only her direct guests are welcomed. This was given to the satrap as a gift for her friendship and fair handling of the Varang people.
Permissions: Several of these abilities are based on those who have permission to invoke them. An attuned user who is inside the manse may grant permission to use these abilities to anyone he touches. The wielder of the hearthstone may grant permission to anyone she touches, or to anyone who is simply within the manse that she is aware of.
- Comfort Zone (•): The interior of the Manse is always perfectly comfortable, cool on warm days, and warm on cold evenings.
- Magical Conveniences (•): Built with splendor and wonder in mind, the manse can generate light from any surface someone with permission chooses, by simply touching it and willing it to shed light of nearly any intensity, hue and quality. It also generates hot and cold running water, and all inanimate surfaces and substances remains perfectly clean and shining fresh, never getting dirty, stained or worn. Its ovens, stoves and hearths all generate flame without needing any fuel or ignition.
- Geomantic Subtlety (••): It is difficult to ascertain the aspect of the manse, requiring a difficulty 3 Perception + Occult roll to do so; rolls to ascertain anything based on geomancy are at a -3 external penalty to do so.
- The Silent Voice (••): Anyone in the manse's zone of influence who has been designated as having permission to do so can communicate with the manse telepathically. The manse can and will pass such messages on if the communication to it indicates it is to do so, effectively providing a telepathic private intercom system within the manse's walls. The manse can pass messages on to anyone in the zone of its influence, but only those with permission may send messages to it.
- Extended Zone of Influence (••••): The zone of the manse's influence extends out to a five-mile radius around it, easily allowing it to encompass the city of Yane in its zone of influence.
The Guest Vault
The Guest Vault faces the road that leads to the estate. Its massive doors open out onto the elegant but simple courtyard, permitting access to the two-story tall, cobbled passageway (easily wide enough for any wagon, save the largest of the Guild's keep-wagons) that opens on the Garden Courtyard. Flanking this entrance are a pair of stairs leading up to balconies overlooking the hallway. This balcony has a number of entrances, leading to several guest suites, made up of multiple rooms apiece. A smaller set of stairs leads upstairs to single guest rooms and communal eating spaces for all guests here. A full set of servants tends to the needs of guests here. The middle of the lower hallways has passages that lead into the Roadside Walls, as well.
The Household Vault
The same size as the Guest Vault, the Household Vault does not have to sacrifice most of its interior space to a central passageway. Its interior is opulent, as befitting the palace of an Imperial Satrap, with many public areas on the main floors, and wings worth of suites, ballrooms, small theaters, nurseries and the like. The central hall, the Satrap's Refectory, is where most people in the estate take their evening meals when the Satrap is in residence to take hers.
The Roadside Walls & Towers
The Roadside Walls are honeycombed with two kinds of rooms: guard stations (each of which looks out onto either the Garden Courtyard or the road outside) and storage (which are accessible only from the passages). The sole exception to this are the stables. There are two stables, one on each side of the entrance. These stables open onto the Garden Courtyard, with a side passage that leads out into the main hall through the middle of the Great Vault. One of the stables is reserved for the exclusive use of the Satrap and her household, while the house guard and guests use the other stables. The two towers that face the road hold armories and barracks for the household guard, as well as defensive stations along the upper parts of the towers.
The Lakeside Walls & Towers
The walls along the side of the estate that faces the lake has a variety of small rooms and suites along its length. Most of them are closed off or used for storage, though the V'neef Advisor, Qatia, maintains rooms in one set of them. Many of these rooms have large balconies that gaze out over the lake. It also has a set of stairs - the Lake Stairs - that lead up to the main level of the estate, and which have a variety of moorings to allow small boats and the like to be tied up to them. This set of entrances is guarded by household guards, of course.
The two towers that face the lake have been turned into household offices, libraries and meeting rooms, as well as a summoning room with a binding circle imbedded into the floor of that chamber. The upper stories of these towers have been turned into opulent guest quarters for those Imperial or House guests who are too important to be put into the comparatively plain guest suites of the Guest Vault.
The under-side of the estate is a vast and impressive open cavern, with high-arching ceilings upheld by massive stone pillars. Most of the space down here is open to the lake surface. Relatively narrow stone walkways hug the supporting walls and arches. The entire series of water-cellars are also clearly intended to allow for the inevitable rising and dropping of the lake: there are three levels worth of these walkways, with the bottom-most level only revealed in the heat of drought season, and everything but the uppermost level submerged in typhoon season.
The vaults down here are open, for the most part, to the lake itself, although there are a small few rooms that are sealed off save from entry above, though water is permitted to still fill them: the wine cellars, in which many bottles of pale wine are kept in racks that can be winched down into the water to keep them permanently chilled, and the water oubliette, a series of eight lightless chambers accessed from the guard towers (four per tower) with narrow ledges on the sides of the wall, up and down the height of the deep chambers, forcing those within them to either find a way to cling tenaciously to these ledges, sleeping and awake, or spend their time in the water below.
The Garden Courtyard
The central courtyard might be called a garden, if gardens grew trees. Its lavish and beautiful landscaping is surrounded on all sides by galleria. It is filled with impressive statuary, and those who are here for long begin to see a theme to the layout: it is divided into the twenty-five Celestial Houses, though this is hard to tell with all the little copses, nooks, crannies and private spaces scattered through it.
There are seven small plinths that appear and disappear within the garden courtyard when no one is looking - a white one lined with orichalcum veins, a black one lined in veins of moonsilver, and five others that look like large pieces of polished hematite, with veins of glass in the colors of the Maidens. These items appear in new areas of the gardens as that Incarna's celestial body moves into the House that part of the garden is associated with - a sort of astrological tool hidden in garden landscaping.
The estate's astrologer Daivaja Has-Kan Matilna has found that this tool is not only better than the individual calculations any given astrologer might make with ephemeris, but also updates itself perfectly, without needing to track the movements of the Maidens. It is also proof against the strange patterns that the Incarna bodies sometimes make in the Heavens, which cannot be predicted in an ephemeris, and can only be spotted directly.
In the center of the garden is a grand five-sided gazebo that stands upon a hill overlooking the rest of the courtyard: the Heart of the Garden. It is enclosed by glass walls with some kind of etching on them. This gazebo can only be opened by the bearer of the hearthstone. Within is a small five-sided pillar into which the manse's Essence is channeled and solidified into a hearthstone, the XXX. Additionally, at night, by touching a single pane of glass, the symbols of the Zodiacal Houses glow in soft, pearlescent light, with a small mote of light on the glass in a color of one of the Incarna, corresponding with the location of that plinth in the garden, even if it can't actually be seen from the Heart of the Garden.
The estate itself is surrounded by rough terrain, with sandy soil and a great deal of scrub. It is unsuitable for agriculture without a great deal of expensive soil conditioning, and very few herd animals could possibly pasture here. Despite this, the satrap has found a handful of ways to make it profitable.
The land itself supports small numbers of goats, including a handful of wild herds. Household goatherds see to the care of the estate's goats, who are penned in a small wooden compound a half-mile from the manse proper. This compound has space for a dozen or so herds, and sleeping arrangements for all its goatherds, plus their wives and families. These goats provide food for the estate, and the coin that comes from selling them at market is split between the goatherds and the estate.
The herds of wild goats are a draw to a number of predators, including the large pumas of this area. Other wildlife of this area includes wild boar and a great deal of fowl. This is another source of the estate's income: hunting parties. The estate's groundsmaster, Ilava Yane Rakisa, puts together and organizes parties of hunters, who pay for the privilege of hunting the well-stocked lands of the estate, with the guidance of a skilled hunter like Rakisa.
Finally, the last and most profitable venture was the idea of the Satrap's Second, who noticed that among the other twisting scrub bushes were often found the rare dragon-palm shrubs. When its bark is slit in the season of Water, the trees "bleed" a red-brown sap through the Seasons of Earth and Wood. When dried, this sap produces the expensive dragon's blood resin so used in incenses all over Creation. Estate workers harvest the resin, often even sleeping in the fields to keep resin-poachers from stealing any.
The lake of the estate is beautiful, shining with the reflection of the sky during the day, and sitting still as a mirror at night. Such a body of water in this land is coveted, and one of the estate's other sources of income includes the many fishing parties held here. A full day of fishing, along with boating and ending in a meal of what was caught during the day, cooked on the pebbled beach, is well-coveted and well-paid-for by the nobles and wealthy of Yane.
The estate also has a variety of small pleasure craft for the general use of the staff and household. The largest of them is very nearly a yacht, with a covered area replete with luxurious cushions and plenty of space in which to relax in the sun.
The inhabitants of the Estate are all private household staff: that is, they are not part of the satrap's official offices, but are maintained by her and her House, personally.
A small number of V'neef maintain rooms in the Satrap's household: her oldest son, Ashuru and his new wife Aola, her step-son Tatewaki, her daughter Susana and the Varang woman she oversaw the adoption of into House V'neef, Qatia. In practice, though, only Susana and Qatia are around very often - her son and daughter-in-law have duties with the Thirty-Fourth Legion, and Tatewaki is only in Yane half the year or so.
- Chatelaine Ledaal Ramira (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): A school-days friend, Jiana and Ramira were quite close during their time in the Spiral Academy. Recognizing and sympathizing with one another's stresses - the expectations of greatness from Jiana as the first V'neef scion to attend the Spiral Academy, and the high demands laid on Ramira as an unExalted Ledaal in one of the four Secondary Academies - in many ways, they got one another through those years. They have been fairly inseparable since those days, and House Ledaal has been quite content with the arrangement. Indeed, they have asked for only one favor: that the Satrap help find Ramira a suitable husband. Though she is technically responsible for the smooth operation of the household, Ramira has it organized so that it runs on its own, for the most part. She spends the majority of her days as nanny to Jiana's children (currently, her only ward is little Susana). Ramira's quarters are in the Household Vault.
- Winsome Star (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): The rogueish Varangian known as Winsome Star is simply referred to as "the Satrap's second." He is, in general, her right-hand man, tending to whatever her needs may be at any given time. Those close to the satrap know that he is an outcaste, formerly of the Svasaa, but found guilty of crimes against his caste for also taking up tinkering with clockwork and the Art of Enchantment. Winsome Star has an enlightened Essence, and has skill in both the Golden Exhalation and Falling Blossom style of martial arts; as such, he often assists the household guards in training, and should violence threaten. He is usually at the satrap's side, unless off on a specific mission. He fights with a wickedly sharp kukri blade and flamepiece. Winsome Star's quarters are in the Household Vault.
- Lady's Maid Rora Yane Ikatya (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Sweet tempered and very quiet, Ikatya also shows a marked eye for what is beautiful. She assists the Satrap with her hair, clothing and cosmetics, as well as keeping up her private suites. She tends to quietly find projects for herself to do around the Satrap's suites, tending to embroidery, flower arranging and redecorating as she sees fit. She is also a fierce guardian of her lady's privacy, and is known to carry a concealed knife that she is willing to use to defend that privacy. Ikatya's quarters are in the Household Vault.
- Lady's Maid Rora Jishal Obaya (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Bright and cheerful, the household staff generally acknowledges that if Obaya had her way, she'd be living in one of those musical performances where people suddenly break out into song and choreographed dance routines. She is always singing, and is insufferably happy most of the time - a good counterpoint to Qatia's occasional gloominess. Qatia has grown quite attached to Obaya, and sometimes the two are more like close girlhood friends than they are mistress and maid. Obaya's quarters are in the Household Vault.
Ashuru & Aola's Retinue
- Lady's Maid Rora Yane Ladiya (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): An experienced Lady's Maid hired to tend to Aola's needs, Ladiya rarely sees her mistress, who tends to remain in her quarters in the Garrison. As such, the slightly pudgy, matronly woman is overwhelmingly thrilled when Aola visits the Estate, and tends to fawn on her. She finds Dulvis' sternness and discipline to be stuffy and pretentious.
- Lord's Man Rora Kriss Dulvis (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Dulvis was a servant in the Kriss garrison of the Legion, he so impressed the Satrap Jiana when she visited one day that she hired him away to act as her son's manservant. He is accustomed to serving military men, and has a stern, disciplined demeanor that reflects his years of service. He finds Ladiya's fawning and overly-familiar ways to be something of an embarassment.
- Lord's Man Rora Yane Wali (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): The young manservant Wali is boyishly cute and very fond of his master. He is always only too happy when Tatewaki visits, and goes out of his way to please him. Of all the servants, he takes the most pride in his appearance, a trait that he has picked up from his master, though the other servants find it obsequious and effete.
The servants are expected to be very presentable. To that end, they wear very sharply-pressed clothing, including a high-collared vest and either flowing Delzahn-style pants, or long skirts, on either gender.
- Ekanata Talt Vatis (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Butler for Guest Vault
- Ekanata Yane Ediaa (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Butler for Household Vault
- Suuda Yane Kajita (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): The Chef for the Estate, Kajita is an excellent chef. He's an even better manager of the kitchens in general, however, always running a ship-shape operation.
- Asutivala Yane Ravvi (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Ravvi oversees the bakehouse, and occasionally lends Kajita a hand in the kitchens with certain vegetarian dishes. She is also a skilled herbalist, and plans the estate's herbal gardens.
- Adhikaari Kriss Lasati (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Sommelier
- Daivaja Has-Kan Matilna (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Household Astrologer
- Absat Yane Tovuj (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Household Blacksmith
- Sadhiveda Yane Bilisa and Prativeda Tarcha Olidiun (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Household Healers
- Gosvamin Talt Kobul (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): The estate's stablemaster has a reputation as something of a drunk. But his skill with the estate's horses is unquestionable.
- Ilava Yane Rakisa (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Groundsmaster
- Saunika Yane Wendit (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): Lake-Keeper
The household guards are not Legionnaires. They are guards paid for directly by the Satrap and House V'neef. As such, while they don't necessarily have the same crack training that Legionnaires might, they are much more appropriate for fighting men who might be found in a Satrap's household - silent, going mostly unseen and always watching.
Their daily uniform consists of breastplates, simple helms, long bows and chopping swords, with simple target shields. The armories have the means of upgrading their armor to lamellar if outright conflict should threaten.
- Captain of the Guard Crestfang Crane (UnExalted • Sugati Bahudiya Estate, Yane, Varang City-States): A grizzled soldier who has seen many battles, Crane was born on the Blessed Isle. From an early age, he had a predeliction for violence, but not much of one for discipline, so he eschewed joining the Legions. Instead, he made his way to Nexus and signed on with one of the infamous Scavenger Lands mercenary companies, eventually even drawing the attention of a small nation made up primarily of mercenary companies and their families, and serving with them for a while. Eventually, he found his way into the South, where he gained the notice of V'neef Jegan, joining the old vintner's household guard. When Jiana was installed as satrap of the Varang City-States, Jegan's gift to her was the services of Crestfang Crane, the best captain of a household guard he'd ever seen.