CAERN UMBRA

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The penumbra of the caern is an imposing place, despite its reflection of the material world. The isle’s man made paths, a mix of green and modest web, glistening over it in neat and spaced patterns, not the frantic and tightly woven web that hides the weavers handy work like it does in the city. The spiders calm, content to go about their business if not interfered with. Where the historic buildings give way to nature, the webs taper into the green and palpable darkness beyond. The air is clean here, the smog of the city beyond it, but the smell of cracked ozone and curious yellow shades of a looming storms occasionally flood the senses.

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The Shadow Lord's unwavering dominance and strength are more than an apparent, and there is a sense of being watched on high and from all around by the imposing patron spirit. Faint flashes of heat lightning at times, crackle the Penumbra with echoes of distant thunder. The green of the plant life is vivid and deep, and the shadows have a cumbersome darkness that devour the light almost abruptly giving one question as to if these voids of black are not passages to darker realms.

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The river’s waters around the bawn are black and blue, the colors of a wound. The tides agitated, like a storm might burst to life at any moment. The strong undertow is evident in the way shadows look to be dancing violently under the surface, flashes of lightening and screaming faces manifest in a blink of an eye, leaving one wondering if they really just saw what they think they saw and serving as a stark warning that entering the river may be certain death.

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The Glade's penumbra, in the heart of the caern, thrives an indomitable tree. It shadows the others in size and it grows from a bed of smooth slate stone. Only a few feet from it’s base the stone scarred and cracked, black and smoldering, a reminder of Grandfather Thunder’s power and control. The tree reaches heights, that of a mountain, where as its expansive lower branches are visible, the top is swallowed by the rolling gray clouds, spiraling above. The sheer notion of climbing it seems an impossible task, and more so fraught with peril, the idea that any feet that tread the filth outside the umbra would touch it, a dire insult with lethal repercussions. She is called “Vigilantes in avia” The watchful grandmother and gathered around her, are her children, as if gathered under her protective branches, sprouting tall and strong, no less imposing yet clearly under her care. It is quite here, yet fraught with the tension of the Grandfather who looms over them all, the eye of the storm, ever watchful.

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Grandfather Thunder has his own brood that reside in the branches of the grandmother with beady dark eyes, hungry for secrets and treasures. Owls can be seen nestled in the occasional shadowed branch near the memorial sites watching rat gafflings skitter into the blankets of darkness. Night spirits, make their home in the long shadows trees and foliage, moving like webs in a breeze and receding into the dark waters surrounding the Isle when Helios takes Luna’s place in the sky. And even when Helios reigns high, the storms that follow in Grandfather Thunder’s wake force clouds to roil with the occasional distant thunder and flash of white hot lightning. Amidst the intimidation and control, the naturae and spider webs push each other back and forth, less polarized than they are in the city. One would even hope it a model of balance for the city one day.


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