Chambre Ardente :: Umbagollah
Perhaps the pressure is all getting too much for me. Trying to re-establish the Museum. Worrying about Inky. Tirelessly planning new exhibits. And now this latest outrage from Janatorial.* I'm sure it's all a red-herring designed to throw me off-balance. As if Inky would be in Rome! Anyway, I'd already checked and that's not him. But you can see what I'm up against. I deserve a holiday! I NEED a holiday.
Serendipitously I recently picked up a tome by intrepid young traveller, Mariel Hatstand. She introduced me to the mysteries and wonders of Umbagollah as well as a rather intimate acquaintance with the oddities of her personal relationships.
The population of Umbagollah is quite small, and almost half of it lives in one of the two major cities. Ex is substantially more crowded than Gum Gooloo Gum Jublet, with the seaside port of Jail third and the underground town of Cumber Poidy running a distant fourth. Jail is Cumber Poidy's main point of contact with the mainland. An uncounted number of ferrypeople live on the River Fly. Most other Umbagollians live as farmers around Gum Gooloo or in the North-west Flatlands. Some make their homes in the forest, in the mountains or in the Falling Hills; many of these are mystics, hermits and outcasts.
"The Great Big Book of Umbagollah," by Daens Resought, HG, Sc.Ast
The ancestors of today's Umbagollians were kept as slaves by the people who live on the other side of the Two Shows Ranges. A small group of them escaped captivity and fled across the Ranges, arriving in the place where Gum Gooloo now stands and building their first houses there. After a century or two, some Goolooians began leaving the city and starting small principalities of their own in the parts of the countryside now known as the North-West Flatlands and the Falling Hills. They gave themselves aristocratic names and titles and started small wars between themselves. Many, many years after that, a band of adventurers made their way from Gum Gooloo up to the Bay of Ex and established the city of Ex. Ex, growing powerful, eventually conquered Gum Gooloo and destroyed the small kingdoms of the aristocrats. Today, the government of Ex controls Umbagollah - as much as anyone can, which is not a great deal - and the ancestors' masters have devolved into shadowy figures of legend, mysteriously known as 'They.' No-one crosses the mountains, and the country on the other side has no Umbagollian name.I’m almost sure that I’ll book tickets for Umbagollah, it sounds like the perfect place to lose yourself! But I can’t find a thing on Lonely Cutlet about it… If anyone has been there – and I’m told that it has a sizeable population of immigrants – I would love to know more. I’m not sure that Ms Hatstand is an entirely reliable commentator.
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* And don't think that I don't know who 'anonymous' is either!