In the World of Darkness, the Umbra is a shadow of reality. It is the "wading pool of the universe", so to speak. It overlaps and reflects the world we walk through every day. However, in the Umbra, emotions and meanings are the life's blood of reality. Something which has no emotion to it (a corporate office building) will appear pale and insubstantial, while someplace with emotional connotations to it (a church, a home) will be vibrant and alive. Even moreso, the "nature" of a place is overtly expressed in the Umbra. A lab may look pristine and clean in reality, but in the Umbra, the dark and twisted spirits and horrible stains tell the tale of evil worked in that place some time in the past.

The Umbra also contains the pathways to the rest of reality. The Deep Umbra, High Umbra, The Mid-Realms, and the Low Umbra (or Underworld) can all be reached from here.

Umbra is also a hip Canadian-based housewares manufacturer/design firm. Their products have the quality of patio furniture, only they are made of groovy juicy frosted and colourful polyethylene.

The price of these items is inexplicable until you see the individuals who designed them.

Some Umbra products include the Garbo, a shapely waste receptacle, the Plato, a dishrack, and the Oh! chair. All show the characteristic cloudy plastic and low production costs (which are by no means transferred to the consumer).

My favorite meaning of umbra is one I read once that attributed Umbra as a term in ancient Rome for "an uninvited guest". (I cannot find the dictionary I got this out of now though, to note it in full) This was used if an invited guest invited a third person to a party, that person was welcomed, but as an umbra.

In some ways I find it scary that the Romans had a term for this.

Umbra is also the name of my odd dog, in that he is black (penumbra) and was a dumped/stray animal that we adopted (uninvited guest).

The umbra is the part of a shadow cast by an object in which the light source is completely obscured.

For point light sources, there is no shadow other than the umbra. For light sources larger than a point, there are places which are part in shadow - i.e. places where the object obscures some, but not all of the light source. These lesser parts of the shadow are called the penumbra and the antumbra.

Assuming your monitor is a light source: Hold a small pad of paper up very close to your eye, so that it covers your view of your monitor. Your eye is now in the umbral shadow of the paper.

The umbra of the moon on the Earth is the area where a total solar eclipse can be seen. The umbra of the Earth on the moon causes a total lunar eclipse.

Umbra is an ancient and enchanted sword in the Elder Scrolls universe. It appears in Morrowind and Oblivion, held by an Orc and a Bosmer respectively, each named Umbra after the legendary weapon they wield.

In Morrowind, Umbra is looking for a warrior worthy of his namesake sword - he asks you to kill him, if you think you can. In Oblivion, Umbra has retreated into an Ayleid ruin, presumably to avoid killing any more people. When you approach her, she tells you "Leave while you still can." You cannot start a conversation with her, but she will quietly confide in you if you stand nearby:

"Umbra... it is everything." "It hungers for souls."

The sword is an ebony longsword which casts Soul Trap for 120 seconds on strike. It is unusually fast for its class.

Um"bra (?), n.; pl. Umbrae (#). [L., a shadow.]

1. Astron. (a)

The conical shadow projected from a planet or satellite, on the side opposite to the sun, within which a spectator could see no portion of the sun's disk; -- used in contradistinction from penumbra. See Penumbra.


The central dark portion, or nucleus, of a sun spot.


The fainter part of a sun spot; -- now more commonly called penumbra.

2. Zool.

Any one of several species of sciaenoid food fishes of the genus Umbrina, especially the Mediterranean species (U. cirrhosa), which is highly esteemed as a market fish; -- called also ombre, and umbrine.

Umbra tree Bot., a tree (Phytolacca diocia) of the same genus as pokeweed. It is native of South America, but is now grown in southern Europe. It has large dark leaves, and a somber aspect. The juice of its berries is used for coloring wine.

J. Smith (Dict. Econ. Plants).


© Webster 1913.

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