Umberlee is the evil sea goddess of the Faerûnian pantheon. She is most often worshiped by sailors or people traveling by sea, out of fear of her destructive powers. Ship crews often toss gems over the sides of their vessels to calm storm-tossed waters. She controls the harshness of the sea while reveling in her own power and is not hesitant to drown people, if she so pleases. The Queen of the Depths is responsible for the creation of weresharks within the Realms.
She is known as a particularly malicious, petty and vain deity. Acting on her turbulent whims when making deals with mortals. She is quite greedy for power and hungry for the flattery of others.
Worshipers, Clergy & Temples
He has worshipers among krakens, sahuagin and other evil sea creatures. A number of these are actually worshipers of Panzuriel, a deity with no power on Toril; Umberlee merely grants spells on his behalf. Weresharks are one of the few races that venerated Umberlee out of admiration, rather than fear.
Umberlant priests are a varied, disorganized lot, much given to dueling with hooked, sickle-like knives to settle differences of primacy and rank (these dueling knives represent Umberlee's reapings of those who sail the seas).
Umberlant priests roam coastal cities, living primarily off the offerings left by fearful sailors. In addition to the traditional lit candles and small candies, Umberlants are increasingly demanding more real coin be left on the altars. When there are no worshipers present, Umberlant priests then remove the offerings from the stone block altars at Umberlee's shrines and sluice the altars with buckets of sea water containing seaweed to signify that the Sea Queen has come for what is rightfully hers. Umberlants are also paid handsomely to travel on ships from port to port, for their presence (it is thought) guarantees that Umberlee will not destroy a vessel.
Those who relish her power and potential become specialty priests. Specialty priests make up most of Umberlee's clergy, since the advantages of the faith prove to be quite handy when superstitious sailors want to dump a priest overboard at the first sign of a storm. A few clerics have made some progress in status in the faith, and most of them work in the adventuring order of the church.
Umberlee cares not why people worship, only that they do. She rarely comes to favor individual mortals, but she does do a little extra for those who faithfully make offerings. To gain favorable winds for a voyage or to deliver them alive from storms, sailors sacrifice valuable cargo to her by throwing it overboard, playing tunes dedicated to Umberlee on mouthpipes as they do so. They usually ensure that the cargo contains something alive if their peril is great. If a ship runs aground and an Umberlant priest is aboard, the furious sailors usually try en masse to murder the priest before they are themselves drowned. Corpses of Umberlant priests have washed ashore impaled by as many as 30 cutlasses.
Clerics seek to build up enough favor with Umberlee to be teleported ashore by the goddess if they are ever in danger on the seas and to enrich themselves by accepting offerings, selling the safety of their own presence on shipboard, or by casting certain spells. For a long voyage down the Sword Coast between Waterdeep and Calimport, an Umberlant priest may charge as much as 500gp to an average merchant vessel or up to three times that to a large, new, well-armed caravel carrying valuable cargo. If a priest on board has to use magic to defend or protect the ship, he/she charges by the spell and may well quibble over price on the spot!
Pirates often hire Umberlant clergy to cast speak with the dead because, by careful phrasing of a question, they can learn directions to a sunken ship or treasure.
The ceremonial garb of the priests of Umberlee consists of a skin-tight blue or green body stocking worn with a voluminous cape of blue or green trimmed with white fur (to represent foaming breakers). A tall collar, similarly trimmed, rises from the back of the cape's neck. A popular badge of rank is the magically preserved skeletal hand of a drowning victim.
When adventuring, all clergy members wear whatever they desire from day to day, so long as something of mottled blue and green is worn (usually as a sash or scarf). Most Umberlant clergy members carry a hooked dueling knife.
Novice priests are known as the Untaken, but once Umberlee has confirmed an individual as a priest, she or he is entitled to take offerings, lead prayers, and bestow blessings in her name. Full Umberlant priests can adopt any of the following titles (regardless of true rank and powers): Flood Tide, Dark Breaker, Puissant Undertow, Wave of Fury, Savage Seawind, and Wavemistress or Wavelord. Specialty clergy are known as Waveservants or True Servants of the Wave and use the same titles as other Umberlants with the addition of the word "Dread" in front of them.
Temples of Umberlee are few and far between, and the church is universally hated throughout Faerûn. Most places of worship are shrines located near docks and wharfs, where boats and sailors can be found. The shrine is composed of a simple dark stone altar, often sluiced with sea water and seaweed.
Umberlee is to be worshiped daily with offerings, prayer, and self-anointing on the brow, hands, and feet with sea water. In addition, the faith has a few special rituals, most notably the Drowning, First Tide, and Stormcall.
The Drowning is a private ritual, and only clergy members may witness it or take part. In the Drowning, an Untaken becomes a true priest of the goddess. The supplicant lies before an altar and is surrounded by candles lit to the goddess, each placed with an intoned prayer by a different Umberlant priest. The attending clergy then withdraw, and a senior priest casts a spell that causes sea water to flood the room in a huge breaking wave and then flow away. Supplicants who survive are confirmed in the service of Umberlee and warned that if they should ever betray the Queen of the Deeps, drowning is the fate that awaits them. They were spared during the Drowning and so can be taken by the Sea Queen at any time to come (clergy whom the Sea Queen feels have failed her go to sleep one night never to awaken, dying during the night of drowning, their lungs mysteriously filled with sea water).
The public rituals of Umberlee include First Tide and the Stormcall. First Tide is celebrated by a flute-and-drum parade through the streets of a city by the clergy when the ice breaks up in a harbor. In a cold-hearted and brutal ritual, the clergy carry a live large animal down to the shore to be tied to a rock and hurled into the water. If the creature somehow washes or struggles ashore alive, it is freed, tended, and magically healed back to full health. It then becomes a sacred animal with the rank of an Umberlant (this custom began in ancient times when Umberlee often selected her clergy from among human sacrifices by unbinding them beneath the water).
Stormcall is a mass prayer in which worshipers call for Umberlee to send a storm to devastate a specific harbor or ship or to turn away an approaching storm or one that has already broken upon the worshipers. Worshipers kneel around pools in which lit candles float on fragments of driftwood that have been carefully collected and dried by Umberlant priests for this purpose. Sacrifices of precious goods are thrown into the pools, but the priests must carefully levitate the candles through the magic of the ceremony as this is done to keep them alight—for a candle doused is a sign of Umberlee's anger.
The Umberlant faith does not have many affiliated orders. The only one of note is the adventuring order of the faith, the Sea Queen's Breakers, which pursues treasure-hunting and recovery operations beneath the waves or adventures on land when the promise of gold seems to outweigh the dangers of an Umberlant priest working long away from water.
The sea is a savage place and those that travel it had best be willing to pay the price of challenging Umberlee's domain. All should know the bitch queen and fear her, for the wind and the wave can reach everywhere if sufficiently angered. Fair offerings bring fair winds to sea travelers, but those that do not pay their respects will find that the sea is as cold as Umberlee's heart. Spread the word of the might of Umberlee, and let no service be done in her name without a price. Make the folk fear the wind and wave unless a cleric of Umberlee is there to protect them. Slay those who ascribe sea and shore storms to Talos.
Umberlee appears as a female with greenish skin, dark eyes, whose body is wrapped in seaweed. She has webbed feet, pointy ears and gills. She sometimes carries a trident.
Relationships & History
Umberlee once had a relationship with Iakhovas, variously described as a megalodon, wereshark or sharkwere. She even granted him immortality. However, their relationship fell apart, and she sought revenge on him.
Umberlee was strongly opposed to Selûne, whose stars guided navigators at sea; Valkur, who guided travelers safely home; Sune, whose beauty made her green with envy; and Chauntea for her dominion over land.
Silvanus was technically Umberlee's superior, as the ruler of the dominion the Deep Wilds within which she resides. However, Umberlee rarely, if ever, saw herself as Silvanus' servant.
Umberlee is a member of the Deities of Fury, a group that included Auril and Malar, led by the Storm Lord Talos. As Talos encroached upon Umberlee's portfolio, as both deities ruled over storms, she attempted to distract him with a romantic relationship.
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Umberlee is a human female with greenish skin, dark eyes, webbed feet, pointy ears and gills. She is athletic, and her body is wrapped in seaweed. She is carrying a trident.
Located in the wharf district, just off the main street, but near the water, is a simple dark stone pedestal close to the building's wall. It has been covered with water and seaweed, but scattered at it's base are several coins, carvings and flowers.
Umberlee's priest is a thin, pasty man with greasy black hair. He is wearing a skin-tight green body stocking with a voluminous blue cape trimmed with white fur (to represent foaming breakers). He has a tall collar, similarly trimmed, rising from the back of the cape's neck. A skeletal hand hangs on his check, tied to a thin rope around his neck.