Mathias ran through the ruins of the empty building, slamming doors behind him. He even went so far as to knock over bookcases trying to evade the shadow that had been following him since he left tavern, where he’d split the lucre with his colleagues after a particularly choice night of targets.
What he and the rest of his crew failed to realize in the heat of the moment is that one of his targets had been a retainer of Geoffry Warne, Duke of Schellsea. Unfortunately for Mathias, his mate Job got overzealous and instead of knocking the man unconscious, his head hit the pavement with a sickening crack and killed him.
It didn’t take long for the rowdy tavern they were in to turn quiet, the patrons murmuring and exchanging sheltered glances at Mathias and Job. Word travelled quickly that they had been marked by The Umbra.
Mathias didn’t know where Job got off to, he could only imagine that he was dead at best or worse. Much, much worse. He leaned his back against a door, listening for a sound but only hearing his own pounding heartbeat in his chest. By the time his eyes focused in the darkness, it was too late. The human-shaped shadow emerged and clapped him upside the head with a truncheon.
When he awoke, there was darkness all around him, but he could feel eyes on him as he struggled against the chains the bound him to the wall, his screams would echo out into the Schellsea Night – a staunch reminder that The Umbra are not to be crossed.
It’d be the last time anyone would hear from Mathias or Job, and when their names are mentioned, those around them have the tendency to make a sign with their hands to ward off the Shadows. if the rest of his crew continued to line their pockets with stolen gold, they did it in a much less risky fashion.
Status: The Umbra is a tight-knit and vicious organization, one step up from The Watchmen. Less interested in the day to day petty squabbles of life, and with a hierarchy that traces its way back up to the dukes of Schellsea and eyes and ears all the way down to its lowest folk. They exist to squelch behavior that would make an already grim life any grimmer through any means necessary. Banditry is a known commodity in the post-Shadow world but when unnecessary lives are taken, rest assured that The Umbra has seen it, and it disapproves.
Hierarchy: The total number of people in The Umbra are unknown. It could be as few as 10, or upwards of 100. They’ve taken great care to hide their numbers, they have endeavored to make the city whisper their name, and take great strides to keep it that way. The one thing that is known its leader is known as Nox, and the commoners scare their children with stories of how he/she is a shadow and how he moves quicker than the human eye to punish those who go too far.
Quirks: The Shadow Genasi are rare and mistrusted, but The Umbra takes great pains to find them and bring them into their fold; who better to scare people away from the Shadow than a Shadow itself?