Apr 10, 2013

Igo Umblar - Navigator of the Old Ones

Igo Umblar is probably best known today, when he is known at all, as the originator and constructor of the fabled Dungeons of Igo Umblar, located in the north among the River Jarls of the Storm King barbarians (near Icewall).  The Dungeons and the Icewall Steading are both located in the Darkearth Plains region, in the far, far north, near the Destriel Mountains (in fact, Icewall is pretty much at the edge of the Destriel Mountains).

Long ago, when even Ba'a Zarn was young, the Old Ones that peopled the world were hopeful that their ancient and elder gods, the elemental gods, would return to the world.  They did not have a regular religion, as such, but much of their pursuits revolved around contacting and communicating with their four elemental gods.  This involved long and intricate research and studies into magic, strange powers of the mind, understanding of the cosmic structure of the world and the spheres, and other forces that do not have a name today.

Notable and singular among the learned peoples of the Old Ones was Igo Umblar.  He was also called the Navigator.  Igo Umblar's gift was the construction of a cosmic flute, which when played, would create notes that not only could work great magic, but also could create resonances that went out past the sphere of this world, and touched the spheres of other worlds and realities.  In playing his flute - which he did at every dawn, at every starfall, and during every event of cosmic or natural consequence - Igo Umblar was sending out a signal for the elemental gods to navigate by, and to come to this world, returning to their people, the Old Ones.
Cosmic flute of Igo Umblar, with the captured star-being that is part of it

For millenia, Igo Umblar played his marvelous magical flute.  It was constructed out of wood from a bristlecone pine tree that was grown upside down from a floating stone (it is believed it was one of the stones circling the Earthroot at the City of Shadows).  Because the tree grew upside down, the wood from that tree has interesting properties in itself, but the notes that Igo Umblar plays were absorbed, changed, and let out loose again by the small captured star-being that was part of the flute.  The tiny magical creature would take the notes played by Igo Umblar, and turn them into the song of the elemental gods, singing and re-singing each note a thousand-thousand times in the space of the same instant, capturing those notes inside the magical wood of the flute, before letting out into the world.  The magical resonance is how the songs of Igo Umblar could reach out past the sphere of this world, into others.

While the Old Ones were certainly visited by many of the servitors and minions of the elemental gods, they never did return to this world.  Not yet.  However, once the Old Ones encountered the Elves and other folk of the Seely Court, and fought their war with them, Ba'a Zarn convinced Igo Umblar to use his flute to open up a road amongst the spheres, navigating a safe exodus out of the world for the Old Ones.  This was the last time the fabled flute of the star-being was played within this sphere, and the last time this reality resonated with the songs of Igo Umblar.

While he lived here, Igo Umblar dwelt in a magically constructed world underground, that he made with the amazing magic of his cosmic flute.  It was all underground, underneath what is now the massive Destriel Mountains glacier known as the Ice Father.  The underground realm had an entryway to the surface, through a massive castle in the ice and rock, but deep underground it contained amazing, magical dimensions.  Whole vast levels carved out of the rock and full of the stuff of other dimensions, other worlds.  In his magical astral contacts and wanderings, Igo Umblar did manage to contact and draw back many magical beings that were servitors to the elemental gods - the frenetic Gill'ios that worshiped the One beneath the Waves; the body-less star nomads that were mastered by their fear of the Lord of Fire; the mysterious thought-vampires of the Lady of the Air, and also the worm-maidens of the Earth Weaver.
Statue of Igo Umblar, constructed by one of the many magical races in his dungeon

These and many other creatures came back to live among the magic levels and domains in the Dungeons of Igo Umblar.  Many of these creatures came to regard Igo Umblar as a messianic figure, and were happy to serve him, in return for his bringing them out of service to the elemental gods.  Igo Umblar, whose goal was always contact and supplication of those very same gods, did not understand this.  But century after century of the paradox, and his mind began to crack.  In the end, it wasn't that all he did was to play his flute - all he COULD do was to play his flute.  The song took him over, and it was all there was left of him.  The last act he did, was when Ba'a Zarn came and begged him to sing out a path of exodus for the Old Ones away from the world-sphere that the Valley belongs to.

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