This is it…my first post. This is good, right? I have nothing to beat; nothing that has previously set my standard. But then, this will set my standard. Oh my –
The topic of this entry is The Umbral Meadow itself – or rather, how I decided on the name and what it means.
One thing I will probably post a lot about is my love of the Pathfinder RPG system. I was first introduced to this gaming system back in 2009, and it has been my favorite ever since. Pathfinder, for anyone who does not know, is much like Dungeons and Dragons. Generally speaking, you and a few friends sit around a table and roll dice, playing out characters as they react to crazy situations.
Generally speaking, that is. I have had the pleasure of discovering what’s called Play-by-post gaming. You see, back in 2009 I was knee-deep in college work and didn’t know a lot of people that were interested in these types of games. And so, I browsed online and by luck found what would become a sort of home away from home at PbPHouse.com.
I’ll talk more about pbp gaming in a future post, but the takeaway here is that the pace is very, very different from a live, sitting-around-the-table game. At one of those games, you could expect to fight a few bad guys and progress in the story within the span of hours. In pbp gaming (a venue that works great for people w/ busy schedules and personal lives), a single combat against a nasty werewolf could last two weeks or longer. This allows for a lot of planning and forethought to go into each and every single one of your posts.
Well, recently, I began a new character for a brand new game: a Fetchling Investigator. For this character’s background, it was important to bring in aspects of his race and class. A Fetchling is descended from humans that were forced into living in the Shadow Plane – a place where the most vibrant color you will find is a shade of grey. My character, Malakai, has grown up his entire life in the material plane, or the ‘normal world’. This is where the ‘Umbral’ part of this blog’s title comes from, as Umbral is derived from the word for ‘shadow’ in Latin. It also means ‘threshold’ in Spanish; giving it two meanings that make sense in context.
Another aspect of this character is his class; being an investigator he is good at mixing alchemy, potions, and poisons. As part of this character’s background, I wanted him to have been running a store that specialized in those things. On the outside, I thought, it should look pleasant and distinct while also hinting at the darker side of the human condition.
Thus, The Umbral Meadow was born! It took me a good amount of time, sitting and thinking – trying to find something that bridged the gap of pleasant comfort and the unknown. ‘Umbral’ I liked right away when it popped into my head; I mean, come on – a word that means shadow for a dude’s store that comes from the plane of friggin’ shadow? How perfect. In the end, I chose ‘meadow’ because, for me, it represents clarity and comfort – standing in the middle of a meadow is peaceful and you can see all around you for a good distance. You know you’re alone, and that’s okay.
This blog then, I chose to name after that store. It will be its own Umbral Meadow, hopefully being a threshold to things not only comforting and fun, but also new and exciting.
Thanks for reading – if you have any comments or questions, use the comment box below.