The lowest magic-using rank of student in Highmill. An Adept is often selected from the trading post runners and servants of Ferrule, due to the necessity of math skill involved with those jobs. An Adept can rise to the rank of LowWizard by passing "The Test", a quiz on basic arcane knowledge and mastery of cantrips and 1st level spells. Adepts are identifiable by their basic brown robes with hoods always pulled up.
Anabel Fier
Father of Rocard Abbrix and wife to Linton "The Tall King" Abbrix, sister to Trademaster Arcus Fier. Died just prior to the 1st election of Linton as Lord of Umbra. The circumstances around her death were not disclosed to the public, alledgedly because of its vicinity to the election.
Baquin Erynion
Baquin is the current and longtime Quaestor of Umbra and former Trademaster of Prow. He comes from a long line of Trademasters. His father Barryn Tidesmith was the Trademaster before Baquin and later returned to the position after Baquin changed office. Baquin changed from his human last name, Tidesmith, to his elvish mother's last name Erynion (in high elvish: "Eryn" meaning "Forest" and "Ion" meaning "Son of" or "Boy") as a political tactic during his first election. He is known as being brutally fair and sticking to the letter of the law. His hard-nosed approach has made him a favorite of the Council of Traders, despite the constant butting of legislative heads.
Breaks (aka "The Breaks")
The eastern outer settlement of Umbra, known for its mining industry and as the home of The Lows and the Hall of Light. See The Breaks.
The northwestern outer settlement of Umbra, known for its hunting and varied flora and fauna. See Breeze.
The western outer settlement of Umbra, known for its farming industry. See Canter.
Caprin's Keep
A former church in northern Ferrule, located just north of the Inner Ley, and the second largest building in Ferrule. It is the barracks, stable, and office of the runners of Umbra. The bottom floor is split between a stable and warehouse, the second floor is offices and supply rooms, the third floor is a barracks and apartments, and the top attic space is a lounge area.
A manmade lake located just outside the ley of Prow. It is the largest lake in Umbra. The Trademaster heavily regulates fishing and stocking in Century. The myth is that it is named "Century" because of the amount of time it took to fill it.
Council of Traders
A group of traders that, in coordination with the Quaestor's office, sets price caps and set commodity values for an entire election cycle. They also exclusively elect the Quaestor from the group of candidates remaining after the election of the Lord.
Dagrin's Hall
A small, stout keep in southern Ferrule, the office and barracks of the Novata.
The central settlement of Umbra, the economic and political center of Umbra. See Ferrule.
A cattail that grew near a ley (typically in Prow) that is plucked right before flowering and immediately dried. If properly harvested and dried, a firetail will explode like a firework when exposed to fire.
Garic Kenist
The current Lord of Umbra, aka "The Runed King", and a LowWizard. Kenist reputedly finished and submitted his monograph of study (on converting the mana of temporal distortions caused by ley-based wild magic) to become a HighWizard, but declined consideration for ascension to pursue his political career. Since the Lord of Umbra is selected specifically by the HighWizards, this proved a successful motive. He was candidly opposed for election by the former Lord, Linton Abbrix. Garic is unmarried and has no children.
Grand HighWizard
The elected mayor or lord of Highmill. Although this title carries reverence among non-wizards, any Highmill resident knows it is a mostly political and clerical position. The Grand HighWizard is consequently the HighWizard least involved with actual study or teaching. The Grand HighWizard takes on numerous "scribes" to assist him with this work. The traditional garb of the Grand HighWizard involves basic dark clothing illuminated by magical light spells (often permanently applied). The contrast of light on dark creates a shadowy effect that many liken to the Umbral.
Hall of Light
An ancient underground structure covered in unique leys. A tangential path of leys leaves The Breaks and goes into the mountainside, through a cut hallway, into an antechamber and finally ending in a large underground cathedral. Legend says that this was a place of worship for whatever beings created the leys. They call it the Hall of Light because of the constant yellow light emitted by the runes of the leys that border the room. The antechamber is the beginning of the network of antfarm-like mines that criss-cross around the Hall of Light and deep into the mountains.
The northeastern outer settlement of Umbra, the seat of knowledge and magic. See Highmill.
The highest rank of a magic-user of Highmill (except for maybe the Grand HighWizard). A HighWizard has not only passed "The Test" to become a LowWizard, but has submitted a monograph of magic to prove his or her worth. To receive the title of HighWizard, an oath must be made to remain in Highmill and pursue magic for the remainder of their lives. They must also not take any other office and must never reveal the secrets of high magic to any common man.
HighWizards are very identifiable. Depending on their specialty (e.g. evocation, magical alchemy, aer...) they take on varied florid and extravagant garbs. For instace, to denote one's position as a master of divination, one wears a Tudor bonnet with a lit candle affixed on top with enough extra tassles to practically blind the wearer. A wizard specialized in fire magic wears an andesite necklace, linked together with iron chain, often weighing over 25 pounds. There are currently twenty-three HighWizards, including the Grand HighWizard.
Ancient walkways that form perfect circles around all of the settlements of Umbra. They are covered with mystical glowing runes and are thought to be indestructible. Matter that remains near them often take on strange effects. For instance, all trees that grow near a ley are composed of a stronger version of wood, which the locals call "Darkwood". It is said that the leys are the only thing that can stop an Umbral.
Linton Abbrix
The last Lord of Umbra, "The Tall King", who intentionally removed himself from candidacy after his 17th year of rule. Originally a woodsman from Breeze, Linton became involved in politics by regulating trade values in Breeze, then later in Ferrule. He married Anabel Fier and they bore one son, Rocard, who is the current Mouth of the Umbra. He notably stood against Garic Kenist after stepping down. Linton currently lives in Ferrule and is the new head of the office of the Novata.
Lord of Umbra
The single most powerful person in Umbra, with executive powers similar to a monarch. He or she is elected from a pool of candidates, two chosen from each settlement, by the HighWizards (who usually relinquish their right to present two candidates). The Lord often receives a nickname in the format "The ____ King" by the people. The current Lord of Umbra is Garic "The Runed King" Kenist who followed the much beloved Linton "The Tall King" Abbrix.
Lows (aka "The Lows")
The collection of mines built within the last 200 years that encircle, surround, and include the Hall of Light. These mines are often seen as a slight to whatever force built the Hall of Light (and thus, the leys). Many mines have been abandoned over the years, but are still a tourist attractions to spelunkers. Tours of The Lows and the Hall of Light are given by the Marstone sisters during weekday business hours.
The middle rank of a magic-user and student of Highmill. A LowWizard has proven himself through "The Test", a written quiz on basic arcane knowledge and the ability to cast various cantrips and 1st level spells. LowWizards are plainly identifiable by their custom of clothing: red and brown silk robes and an similarly-colored, tufted biretta. To ascend to the rank of HighWizard, a LowWizard must submit a monograph of study that highlights a previously unknown facet of magical knowledge.
The mayor or lord of the fort town of Traverse. Unlike the other settlements, the Margrave is elected exclusively by soldiers, not citizens, and not dependent on those soldiers' locations in Umbra. The group of candidates to make the election pool for Margrave is chosen by the former Lord during the election cycle, which is heavily influenced by the suggestions of the current Margrave. A former Margrave can not return to life as a solider. Instead they may either retire or join the security force responsible for protecting a high official in Ferrule. The current Margrave is Arcus Fier, brother of Anabel Fier.
Marstone Sisters
Three dwarven sisters, Gelda, Des, and Janil, who have become famous in Umbra by being the official tour guides of The Lows and the Hall of Light. For a modest (and it's rumored to be negotiable) fee, they will guide a group on a perfectly rehearsed tour that includes historical anecdotes, song and dance, and a complimentary homemade dwarven snack cookie (which is widely considered to be disgusting).
The Mouth of Umbra (or more rarely, the Mouth of the Lord) acts as a second-in-command to the Lord of Umbra as well as an advisor, and eponymously, as the messenger of the Lord's decrees, be they to the public or to individuals. A new Mouth is elected exclusively by the former Lord, Quaestor, and Mouth, with ties being broken by the former Mouth.
A troubleshooting group, four or five strong, assembled from various competent citizens and soldiers from across all of Umbra. This group follows under the direction of an appointed commander to solve various problems in Umbra. Although only five Novata have ever been in place, a sixth was recently added. Of note, there is no term for a single member of a Novata, only a term to describe the group as a whole. The groups are named in order of age; the oldest Novata is called Novata One and the newest formed group is Novata Six.
The southwestern outer settlement of Umbra, known for its fishing and trading. See Prow.
The treasurer, accountant, and economic ombudsman of Umbra. One of the three "high officials", the Quaestor is elected exclusively by the Council of Traders. The current Quaestor is Baquin Erynion.
Rocard Abbrix
The current Mouth of Umbra and the only child of "The Tall King", Linton Abbrix and Anabel Fier. Many consider his election to be a loophole in the system that disallows any two people of close relation to hold high office at the same time. This is because the position of Mouth is elected by the former cycle's Lord, Mouth, and Quaestor.
A mailman/mailwoman of Umbra. Often a revered job because of its constant travel to all of the settlements and because all runners ultimately live in Ferrule (despite bunking in an outside settlement's stable half the time) inside the famous Caprin's Keep. The job's prodigal nature, coupled with a fluid understanding of basic math (used for transactions and weight) often make runners into candidates as Adepts in Highmill.
Although the term scribe carries the usual definition of a writer of documents in Umbra, it also refers to the servants of Highmill. The term originally carried the standard meaning, but as the HighWizards became more reclusive of their magic, fewer laborers would be permitted to enter and carry out the normal duties of a castle. The burden fell upon the scribes. Thus the meaning changed and is expanded to mean any general servant or laborer of Highmill, although most of their duties still involve the translating and copying of texts. Scribes are not limited in what they wear, like the other residents of Highmill. They tend to simply wear job-appropriate dress, based on their tasks.
The mayor or lord of Prow. Trademasters have the unique distinction of being able to step outside trade boundaries set by the Council of Traders. This is specifically because of and for trading with outsiders. For instance, a trademaster could temporarily change the value of barrel of oil (it is illegal to vary the value of a commodity anywhere else in Umbra) to strike a deal with a visiting trade ship. Since these ships are extremely rare, the majority of this power is limited to the small amount of trading with the Merfolk. Quaestors of Umbra have almost exclusively been former Trademasters for the past 80 years. The current Trademaster is Barryn Tidesmith, father of former Trademaster and current Quaestor, Baquin Erynion.
The southeastern outer settlement of Umbra, known as a fort city and as the center of Umbra's military. See Traverse.
A diverse valley country that forms the basis of this campaign. There are seven settlements: Ferrule, Traverse, Prow, Canter, Breeze, Highmill, and The Breaks.
The alleged mysterious monsters of Umbra. They can only come out at night and they can not cross a ley. They are the reason that everyone lives inside the leys. They are reported to look like humanoid figures that hover slightly off the ground, all black except for two glowing eyes.