"A crude map of the settlements of Umbra."
Umbra is my home-grown Pathfinder campaign setting. Umbra is the campaign's title as well as the name given to the small grouping of settlements that set the stage of events that take a party of four (or five) from 1st level to 5th level. The villages of Umbra are secluded from the rest of the world by high mountains to the north, a fast river to the south, and a pervasive fear that keeps its residents in constant fear of the terrors that come in the night.
The seven settlements of Umbra are each individually encircled by ancient stone walkways, engraved with glowing runes of a long forgotten magick. These "leys" not only imbue the nearby flora with strange and mystical properties, but also are the only barrier from the legendary dark creatures that come out at night: the Umbral. Some say that the Umbral are a fairy tale, a way to keep children from wandering out at night. There are true tales though of field workers who didn't make it back by nightfall whose corpses are found the next day torn asunder. Disbelievers say it's merely the work of dire wolves or maybe even the goblin clan. Others say they've seen them. Dark shadowy figures that float off the earth, apparently all made of mist except for two malevolent glowing eyes.
The characters start as a band hand-selected from across Umbra. They are one of six groups called "Novata". They were formed not only to foster good relations between the settlements, but to solve various problems around and between the territories. In the past they have been sent on fairly menial tasks, such as clearing a road or rebuilding an outhouse. Lately, the word is that many Novata members lay in hospice, having taken on mortal wounds. Another story claims that a Novata has disappeared completely. The act of even forming your new hapless party means that there must be some new demand. Could it be related to the increased movements of the shamanistic goblins outside of Traverse? Or maybe the strange surge in dangerous wildlife to the west? Or could it even be to delve into the nature of the Umbral themselves?
They will find out soon. The former Lord of Umbra, Linton Abbrix, is now the new commander of the Novata. He has called you in to give you your first orders. Your group meets in Ferrule, in the foyer of Dagrin's Hall, the office and barracks of the Novata. A house guard tells you that Lord Abbrix will call you in shortly...
* All artwork used in this /umbra subfolder of PghX was found in Google Images and labelled "free to share, use, or modify, even commercially". Attributions are included as required under any common license. I an image is not free to use, let me know. I'll take it down. But I won't like it.