Heroes of the New Day
Records of the continent of Umbria are scarce from prior to the Great Cataclysm, but soon afterward there were reports of the dead appearing on various boats and shipping vessels from the continent.
One small sailboat arrived on the eastern shore of Grandia in about 50 AC, and was fortunately discovered by a cleric of Ioun, who knew how to record the contents. Though there was no body aboard, there was a journal, carefully wrapped in oilskins to protect it from the long sea voyage. It is the best account to date of what happened in what is now called Umbria.
Much of the journal was a historical, census-type record of the town of Halania, where the author was the Town Clerk. He was also a devotee of Ioun, hence his understanding of the care of books and the need to document relevant facts. His name was Lucius Accius, and he says that the southern part of the continent was ruled by the nation of Perugia, a largely human & elvish nation. The northern half was untamed wilderness, home to barbaric tribes, wild animals, and the occasional evil cult.
As Accius tells it, a strange mist started to appear in the evenings. It was localized to small areas at first, but it grew in size over the years. Initially it would disappear with the dawn, as the daylight burned it away. For this reason, the mists were thought to be a natural occurrence, and a small council of druids agreed to this point in 23 AC. However, as the years passed, the mists grew larger in area, and eventually began to intrude into the daylight hours. It was still thought to be a natural problem in 45 AC, when the council of druids disappeared, and reappeared a moon later as undead creatures. Soon the mists covered the continent non-stop, making even daylight into a grayish period of pseudo light. Some locals began referring to the umbral appearance of the mists, and soon the name of the continent began to stick: Umbria.
The last few entries are fairly desperate, as far as town records go. The undead were definitely in charge, but it seemed that people’s minds were being clouded by the mists, so that no one could mount a united defense against the undead. Many key figures had also disappeared and reappeared in semi-living states. Lucius Accius’ last entry states that he fears he may be among the few actual living humans left in the town… and possibly on the continent. He was sending the journal off in the hopes that, with Ioun’s guidance, some distant Scholar might find it and use the Knowledge in a way that might help.
In the centuries since then, tales of the evil god of secrets, Vecna, having major churches on the island have become fairly common along the eastern coast. It seems clear that Umbria has a fully-militarized force, and the evidence found on soldiers that have made it to Grandia indicates that they have skilled smiths and advanced weapon-making techniques.
It is thought that a good deal of Umbria’s efforts go towards fighting the Orcish forces in the Hordelands, and there is even the possibility that there are multiple forces (or multiple evil gods) competing on the continent. There just isn’t enough reliable data available.
(for another tale of Umbria, check out the tale of the Isle of Keraptis in the Bard’s Tale section).
Military/Flag Colors: Dark & Light blue, w/ black. Flag is a one-eyed black skull with one glowing light blue eye on a dark blue field.