Capital of Umdar
Your guide says you have arrived in Darumi, the great capital of the Umen people — but all you see are squalid wattle-and-daub huts surrounding a giant tree. The Umen are wretched, you think — then you lift your eyes to the treetops and see lights in the branches and bridges swaying from tree to tree. The din of music and laughter from above welcomes you to one of the Elven World’s great cities.
Darumi is a city in the sky, a wonder of magically-shaped bark and wood formed from a giant tree.
Umen sorcerers called Treeshapers planted and conjured an Umdar titan oak to immense size — together with intricately shaped alcoves, rooms, and upward-winding “roads” over three generations, a period of ninety years starting in the first the year of the human era (A.H.) Thus, the finite number of homes and spaces posed a problem to the growing city. Platforms were built around the trunk, then further platforms around neighboring trees. When even the spacious platforms — spanning many trees — could not house the growing population, further housing and shops were built at the base of the trees. This “Undertown” has long been the poorest section. Waste and discarded objects thrown from the Upper City cause a safety hazard.
Darumen wear spidercloth apparel dyed in vibrant greens, grays and browns. To be born in the treetops and to never leave is considered a high honor; thus the surname Skyborn (Selendati) is prevalent. Like the other Umen Elves, the Darumen revere the Light in a similar manner to the Lamen yet also give special honor to certain animals and plants. Shrines to the Light, featuring fires which priests keep constantly burning, are popular — yet effigies of owls, deer, and eagles are carved into these shrines’ wooden walls.
The King of the Wood has his home in Darumi. He wears a crown of leaves and vines and wields a scimitar in traditional Umen style. Though subservient to the Lamen king, his wealth is great and priceless art, gold objects and exotic curiosities can be found in his lair.
Humans are forbidden to enter Darumi at all, unless they have achieved the status of elf-friend (quilenthi). Lonen Elves may never enter, as they are considered heathens. Druen, scorned by all, are often mistaken for Lonen and thus never gain entry except by deception. Lamen and Nurnen are welcome but forbidden to live in Darumi permanently.