Divine rank: intermediate deity
Title(s): the Bitch Queen, Queen of the Depths
Symbol: blue-green wave curling left and right
Alignment: chaotic evil
Portfolio: oceans, currents, waves, sea winds
Worshipers: sailors, weresharks, sentient sea creatures, coastal dwellers
Worshiper alignments: LN, N, CN, LE, NE, CE
Cleric alignments: CE, CN, NE
Domains: chaos, destruction, evil, ocean, storm, water
Favored weapon: "Drowning Death" (trident) or "Jellyfish" (trident)
Festivals: none known
Umberlee (uhm-ber-lee) is a malicious, mean, and evil deity, and she is the terror of sailors and coastal dwellers across the world. She breaks agreements on a whim and takes great pleasure in watching others die by drowning or in the jaws of sea predators. Vain and desirous of flattery, she is excessively greedy for power and revels in exercising it. Weresharks are her creations, and theirs is one of the few races that worship her out of admiration rather than fear. The Bitch Queen is always depicted as a female blue-green torso garbed in shells and a mauve cape made from jellyfish rising out of the waves with taloned hands, elbow fins, eyes of pale pearly death, and hair of kelp.
Umberlee is one of the Gods of Fury. She serves Talos, along with Auril and Malar. Talos has been encroaching upon her portfolio, and since she lacks the strength to fight him, Umberlee has been trying to distract him with romantic intrigues. She fights Selûne and Valkur (to whom sailors pray to bring them home safely), Chauntea (for her dominion over land), and Sune (whose beauty she envies).
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 folk hear the wind and wave unless a cleric of Umberlee is there to protect them. Slay those who ascribe sea and shore storms to Talos.
Umberlant clergy are charged to spread respect for Umberlee by preaching of the doom she has wrought in the past and the storms to come in all coastal cities and settlements. Along the way, they seek to build up favor enough to be washed ashore by the deity 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.
Clerics of Umblerlee pray for spells at high tide (in the morning or evening), making offerings and self-anointing on the brow, hands, and feet with sea water. The drowning is a private ritual and only clergy members may witness it or take part. In the Drowning, a supplicant lies before an altar and is surrounded by candles lit to the deity, each placed with an intoned prayer by a different Umberlant cleric. The attending clergy then withdraw and release a wave of 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 Umberlee 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 two public rituals of the Umberlant faith are the First Tide and the Stormcall. The former is celebrated when the ice breaks up in a harbor and involves a parade through town with a caged animal, which is then tied to a rock and hurled into the sea. If it reaches shore alive, it is treated as a sacred animal for the rest of its days. Stormcall is a mass prayer 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. Its participants pray around pools upon which float candles on driftwood planks, and throw sacrifices into the pools. A doused candle is a sure sign of the Bitch Queen's anger. Umberlee's clerics tend to multiclass as druids, fighters, rogues, divine disciples, or waveservants.
The ceremonial garb of the Umberlant clerics consist of a skintight blue or green body stocking worn with 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 skeletal hand of a drowning victim.
Temples of Umberlee are always located along the coast or underwater. Many lie within sea caves, while free-standing structures are usually constructed from flotsam, surf-pounded rocks, and the shells of great sea beasts. Umberlant temples are mainly vehicles for sailors and merchants to make offerings of candles, flowers, candies, or coins to appease Umberlee's wrath.
The church of Umberlee is disorganized and run differently in different locales. The only organized hierarchy is that imposed by a particularly favored and powerful cleric, and such regimes are inevitably washed away in time by the ever-fickle Bitch Queen. Clerics of the faith are even given to dueling each other to settle disputes of rank or ability, although such combats are rarely fatal. Instead, the loser is usually thrown aboard the next ship to leave port, regardless of the destination.
Like the church of Talos, the church of Umberlee is almost universally despised and propitiated only out of fear. Nevertheless, despite the promise offered by the relatively weak church of Valkur, nearly every sailor makes an offering to the Bitch Queen before heading into her domain and Umberlant clerics can walk unmolested in dockside wards in most ports. They are even welcomed aboard most ships, in hopes that their presence will help appease Umberlee.