"The Shadow" is one of the most mystical places on the continent of Nybelmar. Called "Kingdom of Ehebion" by its inhabitants (and often "The Shadow Realm" - as a reaction to the Korweynite lore), "The Second Shadow" by Korweynites, or simply "Murmillion lands" by Santerrans, this region has always been more or less involved in all the important events of the most troubled history of the eastern part of this continent. South of the burned fields of Pallaeion Ulinoth, east of the Fallaenion Gaeldorioth's lush forests and north-east of the beautifull Jerrah river we find the easternmost tip of Nybelmar: the Ehebion peninsula. This seemingly unnatural range of volcanic mountains ("Epheran'yphero", or "The Burning Mountains"), continuing inland with the soft hills named "Oberion Thaleseth" (or "Moon Hills"), hosts the mysterious Murmillions, the ones that forged one of the longest lasting Kingdoms in all Caelereth.

The Nightvalleys of Ehebion

View picture in full size Picture description: The Nightvalleys of Ehebion, a region of rugged terrain with furious streams crossing dark forests. Drawn by Nalfaren.

Description. The Ehebion peninsula (also named "The Sickle") has a mostly mountainous landscape, with a range of active volcanoes far to the eastern shore and one of inactive volcanoes more inland. Dense and dark forests cover almost all of Ehebion with mighty tall firs and pine-trees. Traveling through these woods may be a very challenging task due to the fierce wild beasts that inhabit them but also due to the extremely rugged terrain. Furious streams run down the steep rocky slopes and often paths may bring a sudden end into deep ravines. There are few settlements here and most of them may be found up in the mountains, almost everytime the houses being dugged into their very rock. These are the homes of the "Lords of the Sickle" - Families older as the Kingdom itself - and very few commoners live here (apart of those settled in the mining villages). Yet each Family of the Kingdom was always to be held in great respect if they owned a drak (Murmillions' strange fortresses, carved in the very mountain and seemingly melting with it) in Ehebion. It was here that the first capitol of the Realm was built: the great fortress-city of Dasans, nowadays being once again the most important settlement of those that call themselves "Free Murmillions" - those that refused the Santerran rule.

Places of notice on the Ehebion peninsula are as follows:

The Bridge of Mists

View picture in full size Picture description. The famous Bridge of Mists at the city of Dasans, the capital of Ehebion. Image of the game Mystical Empire, used with friendly permission, drawn by Quellion.

The Moon Hills. As the shores are practically unreachable, there are only two pathways by which one can enter in the Ehebion peninsula and both of them come from the Moon Hills. One can take the road through the Gates of Ehebion (a fortified mountain pass) towards the Dasans Bridge of Silence, or the longer High Shores road, sinuating along the northern coast and then heading south along the mining communities to the Dasans Bridge of Mists. Just between the Gates of Ehebion and the Purple Tower (that marks the beginning of the High Shores road) we can find the city of Lhindal, former capitol of the kingdom in the later Times of the Second Shadow. West of Lhindal lies one of the marvels of this realm, the Silver Forest. Stretching on several hills and the valleys between, a great forest, composed exclusively of birches, has been an inspiration point for many local tales and legends. The thin trunks covered in white bark and the small light green leaves give the forest an eerie look as if the trees themselves would be of silver. Strange ghostly beings are said to live there, dangerous for unwary travellers as they never follow a good/evil pattern but just search for means of play. It is also said that few who meet such beings also live to tell the story.

Beyond the Silver Forest many settlements host the commoners' class tending the vine plantations or the sheep and cattle herds. A little up to the north, controlling the northern Moon Hills territories, we find the fortress of Daekas a first line of defence against any possible threat from the north, but also the producer of the finest grape-wines in all of East Nybelmar.

Places of notices at the Moon Hills are as follows:

Location. The Ehebion peninsula of the east Nybelmar and also all of the Moon Hills are the territories inhabited by Murmillions now. During the Dark Age of Nybelmar though, their kingdom was stretching from the Ehebion peninsula far to the south-west, near the Ranesh river and the city of Kormendale.. Return to the top

People. Inhabitants of the Shadow Realm of Ehebion are the Murmillions. Murmillions are a folk of strong will and short temper. In their belief in the Goddess Mari they’re willing to do much which appears weird, arrogant or cruel to other people, but in their own way they can be loyal comrades and warm family members. Murmillions are quite fatalists, as they do believe that some things are meant to happen. For instance this very reason is what stands now between Santerran Murmillions and Free Murmillions. The last great war against Aca-Santerra was started by them as many believed the Year of Darkness would mean the rebirth of the Dark God, Mari's spouse from beyond the world. They were defeated by Asthalon the Black, the only Santerran king said to be aligned to Mari. That's why a lot of Families accepted Santerran rule as being part of that destiny: they were defeated because it was meant this way. Of course, many Free Murmillions are now regarding the Santerran Families as "Fallen Families" and they are accusing them of tendencies to "speak the name of the unspoken", giving their "unfree" status as an example of what could happen if one tries to deal directly with the Dark One.

Some wise man once said that Murmillions are split between darkness and light, seeking the one by obeying to the second. The religious rituals of Mari, the main Goddess of Murmillions, are always seemingly chaotic and are very mind-influencing, driving the participants often in states of hysteria, deep meditation or hallucinations.

They often use various rituals to determine the future, but those are more misleading and subtle than the ones known from the priests of Aca-Santerra's Thalisien and are also more detailed and presumably more powerful, if interpreted correctly. Santerrans see Mari more as a Goddess of illusion and insanity than as one of destiny, thus being the antagonist of Thalisien.
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Coat of Arms/Sign.
The clerics and nobles of the Murmillions use a special kind of writing, based on glyphs - these are supposed to be sacred as their reading/interpretation is the only way in which one can connect with the truth of the Gods or the magical aura, cár'áll. Their coat of arms is a purple banner on which the glyph of Mari, the Glyph of Dreams, is painted. Sometimes, on special occasions, the noble families have the honor of adding on the vertical margins of the banner smaller glyphs that build a statement of wisdom, a "motto" that constitutes that family's signature of pride. Santerran Murmillions have kept the Glyph of Mari but they are painting it on a black banner. They want to point out that Mari is herself merely the manifestation of the Unspoken and that the free Murmillions are following a wrong path, being too much closely linked to Menemronn the Purple and, obviously, his mistakes. Return to the top

Climate. A temperate climate reigns over Ehebion with mild winters in the Moon Hills, although, due to the high mountains, in the peninsula it can get quite very cold. Return to the top

Flora. As we have already seen, tall firs and pine-trees cover most of the Ehebion peninsula, while the Moon Hills hosts mostly beeches, lime-trees, acacia and birches. Pipeweed is cultivated in several places and also the western hills are very suited for growing vines. The rest of the hills are mostly pastures, used for the large herds of cattles and sheep (a herd being usually owned by several villages). Also worth to be mentioned is that a special sort of mushroom grows in the caves of Ehebion and it is used by Murmillions due to its unique feature of bioluminiscence. Return to the top

Fauna. Besides the fire dragons of the Burning Mountains, the fauna of Ehebion is that which usually can be encountered in any temperate climate region of Caelereth. The most notable exception to this would be the warg. Considered to be a mythical beast in other places, the warg is nevertheless real in Ehebion. Their origins are unknown but, supposedly, they were brought here or created by Menmeronn, being set on the loose after his legendary defeat. A dangerous presence nevertheless, yet the locals managed to deal with them, as they are hunting the warg as the warg are hunting them as well. There is a Murmillion saying that tells that "only the unworthy is eaten by the warg". Many commoners are sending their young boys to hunt and eat a warg as a rite of passing into adulthood. The nobility instead had developped a sport from the warg hunting (a very dangerous sport indeed, as not always everybody returns from such a hunt) and also, in time, they perfected a fine cuisine from the warg meat. The warg fur might also be used in various clothing or interior decorations. Return to the top

Resources. The lands of Murmillions are formed by mountains and high hills, with a range of volcanoes (many of them still active) far in the east. So besides small portions of farmlands and vineyards on the high hills, there can be found, up in the mountains, various mining sites producing mainly iron ore, silver, amber and opals. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. It is said that the Ehebion peninsula is now only the northern half of an ancient magical fortress that was raised from the waters by a powerful archmage, Menemronn. During the almost forgotten War of the Chosen, Menemronn (one of the fighting wizards) retreated to Nybelmar and erected by means of magic the volcanoes later to be known as the Burning Mountains (Epheran'yphero). Every nation of East Nybelmar (humans or elves) has a myth about Menemronn, but not always the myths are told in the same way. The common interpretation (that can be encountered in the Kaýr of Korweynite lore for instance) was that he supposedly planned to subdue all the nations of Nybelmar and to "harvest" them for his own purposes. Murmillions though (that see themselves as the followers of Menemronn) never mention a plan of conquest, but mostly an attempt to civilize a barbaric, primitive land.

Nevertheless, a long and bloody war was fought throughout all of Nybelmar leaving many scars, some of them even now being not yet healed. Menemronn's armies were defeated by a great alliance of humans and elves in a heroic battle carried in Epheran'yphero. Again, the elves and humans tell that Menemronn was killed in that battle, yet his body was never found, thus leaving Murmillions now with their very own interpretation (that Menemronn never actually died but he merely left the "World of Exile", fulfilling his glorious destiny). After this last battle, it is said that the highest of all volcanoes violently erupted tearing up the land and crumbling into the sea. Thus Menemronn's fortress was split into what we see now: the Ehebion peninsula, the Bay of Desolation (where the great volcano crumbled) and the Artakar peninsula (the continental Aca-Santerra now).

After the alliance retreated its troops, one of the human leaders, Kyras the Dark, returned to the Burning Mountains rallying around him all those that still believed in the cause of Menemronn - humans and elves alike. These are the ancestors of Murmillions, the Lords of the Sickle. As actually even the Murmillion name (that strangely, for Korweynites or Santerrans has a literal meaning and supposedly different ethymologies) is the human transcription of the elvish Mór'mélor (Styrásh
Mór'mélor), which means "deep shadow". Return to the top

History. Still to be added. Return to the top

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