A slightly taller than average lad of the Southron Delta, Umo is remarkably plain, and slightly ugly. His head has the look of a potato, and his personality is much the same, easily overlooked, and frequently trod upon. His frequently tousled hair is brown, and is starting to show thinning at the crown of his head. While Umo is a smart enough fellow, he quickly becomes tongue-tied around members of the opposite sex, and his lack of confidence causes him to become a sheepish follower when around other men.
Umo grew up in a typical semi-flooded Southron village, working with his family to keep rice paddies in good shape and tending the oxen that were used to pull the dredges and mending fish nets for the small ponds. There was some excitement around his 15th birthday, before his hair started to go. Several villages fell under the sway of a potent Necromancer, several others resisted and were all but destroyed.
Deter gathered us in the light of the commons, he raised his voice and challenged us. We knew some of the people who had been killed by the necromancer, and some who had accepted his offers of servitude and fealty. Deter had railed against them and we listenraptlypty. It would be unfortunate for us in the end though. Deter took almost 200 men and older boys with him, drawn from more than half a dozen villages. They would go to their deaths and servitude.
Umo was one of the village boys who followed Deter during the raid against the Necromancer. Deter and thcourageousus members of the lot were cut down, slain by arrows and steel blades. Their corpses were raised, and added to the Necromancer’s war host. Umo and about two score others cowered and were captured, questioned, and imprisoned. Umo spent nearly two years languishing in the Necromancer’s dungeon. He alternated between blind hope in rescue, just like in the epics, and between crushing despair. Only the silent horror of his undead jailor prevented him from taking his own life. He shivered every time that particular zombie stood at his cell and stared at him through empty eye sockets.
Eventually a minion of the Necromancer visited Umo and made him an offer. He could go free, if he agreed to swear fealty to the Necromancer, and accept his mark. If not he could stay in the dungeon until space needs sent him to the ranks of the undead. Feverish Umo accepted, he swore fealty to the Necromancer through his servant, and he accepted the mark. He now bears a black glyph in the middle of his forehead and on the back of his right hand.
Where once Umo dreamed of being a great hero, he now is a lesser minion of a Necromantic lord he has never even laid eyes upon. In the years since his release, Umo has been slightly raised to the position of Zombie Handler. He works in a black stone quarry a few miles from his old village, guiding a one of many teams of zombies cutting, facing, and moving stone to the site of the Necromancer’s growing castle. He spends his days wrapped in cloth and covered with stone dust, his nights half sleepless and achingly tired.
Borsht was a mercenary dwarf who was later employed by the Necromancer. The red-bearded dwarf is the master mason at for the construction of the Necromancer’s castle, and has the full run of the quarries and the zombie work gangs and their handlers. Old Bloody-beard drives his crews relentlessly, pleased with the untiring undead, but miffled by the still soft and squishy mortal handlers required to guide the simple minded zombies. As such, Borsht rides the handlers like borrowed mules, driving them long hours and setting heavy work quotas.
The whip cracked and a few people flinched, the rest were dead, and simply stood. Borsht scowled, he hated the weak humans, mewling about being tired and hungry. They would be ground to dust in the softest of dwarven mines. The undead were another matter, they were relentless, their tools wore away well before they did, and they didnt sleep, or eat, or shit, or bleed. He loved them in his hard dwarf heart.
Several times, adversaries challenged the Necromancer, some serious. Few ever targeted the stone cutters, most had heard the stories of pits filled with zombies cutting stone, no one to rescue, and plenty of chances to be killed. No, the foolish heroes attacked the castle building site, or the Necromancer’s tower. They died, some were made zombies, others were made examples off. during this time, Umo learned that unlike the epics, where good always wins, evil sometimes prevails. He closed his eyes to hope and settled in with a long suffering quiet despair.
Naza the Dragon
Finally, a band of warriors attacked the quarry, lead by the steel clad Naza the Dragon. Umo had never heard of the Dragon, but Naza was a young heroine at the time, only recently having earned her spurs and sword. Deemed the Dragon for her ferocious temper, she lead a dozen men on a raid of the mines, cutting down zombies, killing a few handlers and generally making a mess of things. The heroic band didnt make much progress before being surrounded and hammered to pieces by Borsht and his retinue of stinking filthy dwarves.
Naza recognized Umo, they grew up together in the same village, and where he was the potato-headed boy, she was considered a princess among the rice paddies. Naza called to him for help, and if he had indeed loosed his zombies on the dwarves fate might have changed. Seeing her fair face and golden hair, he was paralyzed. He wanted to help, but he knew in his long defeated heart that it was pointless to try to fight. Naza’s friends were hacked to pieces, and the would be warrior princess was bound and given to the Necromancer as a gift from Borsht. Umo wept that night, listening to the undead eat the bloody pieces of the heroes and Naza’s screams as Borsht made sure she wasnt ‘carrying any concealed weapons’.
Lesser Necromancer’s Mark - These matched sigils allow the Necromancer to easily scry his minions. The mark on the brow presents a defence against undead, as they will ignore the marked person in favor of other prey, until the marked person is the only meat in sight. The mark on the hand allows for issuing basic instructions to menial undead. There are Greater Necromancer marks that allow the command of War-Dead and complete protection from lesser zombies.
Umo Cinzento is an anti-hero. He does nothing heroic, and sides with foolishness when he does act, or with the inaction of the apathetic. As a low ranking minion of a Necromancer he will spend his entire life supervising undead doing menial labor, never advancing beyond this sad station. His life is hard, and eventually the once young man from a Southron rice village dies, very old at the age of 32. Within two days, an apprentice of the Necromancer arrives and raises Umo along with several other gathered corpses. In death as in life, Umo spends his time overlooked, slaving away in a stone pit.