Umberlee

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For the English village, see Umberleigh.
Umberlee
Game background
Title(s) The Bitch Queen,
Queen of the Depths
Home plane 2E: Blood Tor (Abyss)
3E: Fury's Heart
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Oceans, currents, waves, sea winds
Superior Talos
Design details

Umberlee (/ʌmbərˈl/ um-bər-LEE)[1] is an evil sea goddess in the Faerûnian pantheon, in the fictional setting of Forgotten Realms for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. In the RPG gaming literatures, she is most often worshipped by sailors or people travelling by sea, out of fear for her destructive powers. She controls the harshness of the sea and, revelling in her own power, she is not hesitant in drowning people at sea, if she so pleases.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood created Umberlee for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, set in Greenwood's Forgotten Realms world.[2]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

Umberlee first appeared within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Umberlee was introduced as the Bitch-Queen, the goddess of oceans, waves and winds at sea, and currents, a chaotic evil lesser goddess from the plane of the Abyss. The article states that Umberlee "contests the fate of ships at sea eternally with Selune", noting that in Greenwood's world, far more currents hamper coastal shipping than aid it. The article also states that Umberlee "commands the wind (which she can whip into a gale...) over the open sea, but prefers to use waves as her weapons, striking opponents within 60 feet with a wave ... She is rarely seen, preferring to set currents and winds in motion from afar, or send forth great sharks to engulf swimmers or shipwrecked sailors." Umberlee is described as one of “The Gods of Fury,” which is what these four gods are known as collectively: "Talos is served by Auril, Umberlee, and Malar." Umberlee is commonly worshipped by chaotic evil magic-users and clerics, and is placated by sailors; Greenwood notes, "If a DM is partial to variant “specialist” NPC magic-users, a worshipper of Umberlee could have water-related spells doubled in power (intensity and/or duration), and land, air, and fire-related spells halved in power."[2]

Umberlee later officially appeared as one of the major deities for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

Umberlee was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[3] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[4] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[5] Her clergy was further detailed in Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996),[6] and Prayers from the Faithful (1997).[7]

Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[8]

Her relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[9]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)[edit]

Umberlee appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[10] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[11]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)[edit]

Umberlee is one of the deities described as appropriate for a sea-based campaign in Stormwrack (2005).

History[edit]

Temples of Umberlee are far apart and the church is not well organized, owing to Umberlee's promulgation of chaos. Under her authority, disputes are ruled in favor of the strongest individual. There are, though, shrines dedicated to her predominantly located at port cities of the Sea of Fallen Stars and at Nelanther Isles. Here travelers by sea are sure to pay their tribute to her, and the preachings of her clerics are built upon the terrible fate that will fall upon any who do not bring a sacrifice to Umberlee. Also at the shrines are clerics for hire who for a price will travel with sailors to ensure no harm is inflicted.

Umberlee is the terror of sailors and coastal dwellers across the world. She breaks agreements on a whim and takes great pleasure in watching others drown. Umberlee is also known as The Bitch Queen.[2]

Relationships[edit]

She is in league with the Icemaiden Auril and the Beastlord Malar, under the leadership of the Storm Lord Talos. Together these gods of destruction form the "Gods of Fury" who all reside in the plane of "Fury's Heart". Even though they are in league, Umberlee faces the problem of sailors ascribing her destructive sea storms to the Storm Lord, sailors who in turn for their misguided beliefs are swiftly punished by Umberlee's wrath

.

Umberlee is strongly opposed to Selûne whose stars guide navigators at sea, Valkur who guides travellers safely home, and Sune whose beauty makes her green with envy.

Places of worship[edit]

Apart from the mentioned regions around the Sea of Fallen Stars and at Nelanther Isles, Umberlee has places of worship at many ports, such as:

  • "Water Queen's House", a temple in Baldur's Gate.
  • Temple in Urmlaspyr, Sembia.
  • Small shrine in city of Marsember, Cormyr.
  • "Halls of the Sea-Born", temple complex in Cimbar, Chessenta.
  • The "Queenspire", new temple complex fronting the harbor in Waterdeep.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-472-7. 
  2. ^ a b c Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981)
  3. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  4. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  5. ^ Martin, Julia, and Eric L. Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  6. ^ Terra, John. Warriors and Priests of the Realms (TSR, 1996)
  7. ^ Greenwood, Ed and Stewart, Doug. Prayers from the Faithful (TSR, 1997)
  8. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  9. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  10. ^ Ed Greenwood et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 
  11. ^ Boyd, Eric L., and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)