Urgathoa

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Urgathoa
Urgathoa's unholy symbol
(Deity)
Titles The Pallid Princess,
Lady Despair
Adjective Urgathoan
Home Abaddon
Alignment Neutral evil
Portfolio Gluttony
Disease
Undeath
Cleric Alignments
Domains Death, Evil, Magic, Strength, War
Subdomains Blood, Daemon, Divine, Ferocity, Murder, Undead
Favored Weapon Scythe
Symbol Skull-decorated fly
Sacred Animal Fly
Sacred Colors Red, green
Images of Urgathoa

Urgathoa (pronounced oor-gah-THO-ah)[1] is the Varisian goddess of physical excess, disease, and the undead. She is mostly worshiped by dark necromancers, the undead, and those wishing to become undead. Sometimes those who live gluttonous lifestyles make supplication to her, as do those suffering from a serious illness.[2][3]

History

There are stories that suggest that Urgathoa was once a hedonistic mortal woman. Upon her death, she fled Pharasma's Boneyard and returned to Golarion, making her the Great Beyond's first undead creature. Her return to the mortal world is said to be the origin of disease.[2]

Relationships

Among her enemies are Sarenrae and Pharasma and their followers. She also comes into conflict with Abadar and Calistria. Calistria in particular is more of a friendly rival than an enemy, as she represents lust while Urgathoa champions carnal excess, and the two often fight over potential followers. She also hates followers of the Prophecies of Kalistrade, as their strict sexual and dietary restricts go counter to her hedonism and gluttony.[4][3] Urgathoa has been known to ally with the Four Horsemen from time to time, as many of their objects are the same.[3] She is also considered an ally of the followers of the Whispering Way.[5]

Appearance

A depiction of Urgathoa.

Urgathoa is generally depicted as an attractive, pale-skinned, and ebony-haired woman. Unlike mortal women, her flesh begins to rot and wither away at her waist, leaving her as little more than a blood-soaked skeleton from the hips down. She is often similarly manifested, but wearing a loose fitting gown stained with black, brown, and red splotches.[4]

Servants

Urgathoa's minions include powerful vampires, liches, and other intelligent, authoritative undead. Some female clerics of Urgathoa are transformed after death into undead creatures known as the daughters of Urgathoa.[2] One of the most famous of these terrifying creatures is Illcayna Alonnor, who leads an army of wights in the ruined Isgeri town of Finder's Gulch.[6] Her divine servitor race are the sarcovalt, disgusting fly-like creatures that roam her realm feeding on the remains of devoured souls.[7]

Unique servants

Barasthangas

This servant of Urgathoa is a devourer, a powerful, extremely emaciated-looking undead. Her white skin is so thin and tight that the creature's bones and connective tissue can be seen through it. She can occasionally be called on by powerful magics to perform tasks, but requires the soul of an important creature in return.[4][8]

Fjarn

Once a Linnorm King, Fjarn is now a burly corpse-grey undead in the service of the Pallid Princess.[4]

Mother's Maw

Mother's Maw, a gigantic, fanged, and flying skull, is her herald.[4]

Olix

This minion is a vampiric priest that possesses strong shadow powers.[4][9]

Church of Urgathoa

Followers of Urgathoa often spread disease.

The churches of Urgathoa are dispersed across Golarion in cell-based cults, with individual groups rarely working together. Activities are usually done under the cover of night, except in lands such as Geb, where she is worshiped quite openly.[4] She is most often followed in the the Darklands, Osirion, Ustalav, and Varisia,[3] and among twisted Garundi[10] and Varisians throughout the Inner Sea region.[11] Urgathoa is one of the Three Feasters, the deities worshipped by the Koboto tribe of the Sodden Lands.[12]

Obedience

Certain dedicated worshipers of the Pallid Princess perform daily obediences in order to receive divine blessings known as a boons from their goddess. The obedience takes the form of a ritual in which the worshiper spreads the most sumptuous feast she can find on a flat surface covered with a black velvet cloth. While consuming the food, the penitent must drink wine and say prayers to Urgathoa until she is painfully full. After a full hour of this, the worshiper must consume a piece of rotten or rancid food, trusting in the goddess to protect her from any illness that might follow. If the ritual is performed correctly and the goddess approves, the worshiper's ability to cast necromantic spells is increased for the day.[13]

Clergy

Urgathoa's priests are primarily composed of clerics and necromancers. They have few responsibilities to uphold, other than helping those who desire undeath, and protection of their own. Understandably, they often are secretive of their religious inclinations in public. The priests have been known to compel their enemies to eat their own fallen comrades.[14]

The ceremonial clothes of Urgathoa's worshipers are a loose, floor-length, gray tunic, with a bone-white or dark gray cape clasped at the front. The lower half of the tunic is usually shredded, alluding to the goddess' own physical decay. Most ceremonies involve consuming great amounts of food and drink, which means that most raiments are covered by numerous stains.[2][3]

Reaping

Senior priests of Urgathoa sometimes practice a ritual known as the Reaping. The priest will put on a grey robe and arm himself with a vorpal scythe. The priest then heads out into the world to cause as much death and destruction as he can before he is driven back to his sanctuary. They believe that if Urgathoa is pleased by the outcome of the Reaping, she will grant a boon to the priest.[15]

Antipaladins of Urgathoa

Antipaladins dedicated to Urgathoa are creatures of the night who bring disease and leave only death in their wake. They hope to emulate their patroness by hastening all to their unavoidable graves, and see undead as the ultimate expression of existence, as they have transcended both life and death. If not undead themselves, her antipaladins strive to emulate them and destroy all who oppose them. Unrepentant gluttons, they seek to feed their hunger and base desires whenever possible.[16]

Temples & shrines

Urgathoa's temples are modeled after feast-halls, with a large table serving as an altar, surrounded by numerous chairs. Usually temples are near a graveyard or a crypt, frequently inhabited by ghouls.[3] Her greatest temples are often guarded by daemonic servants.[4] Her largest temple in Geb, and it being a nation of undead, perhaps the largest in the world, is the Cathedral of Epiphenomena in the city of Mechitar.[17]

Holy texts

Urgathoa's sacred text is entitled Serving Your Hunger,[2] and written by Dason, her first antipaladin.[3]

References

  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 169. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 227. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 40-41. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  5. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 237. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  6. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 84. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  7. Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 313. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  8. Sean K Reynolds. (2011). Urgathoa. Ashes at Dawn, p. 71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-312-5
  9. Tork Shaw. (2012). Blood of the Night, p. 25. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-470-2
  10. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 14. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  11. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 22. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  12. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 175. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  13. Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 156. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  14. Sean K Reynolds. (September 11, 2008). The Origins of Gods and Magic, Paizo Blog.
  15. Brian Cortijo. (2010). Vorpal Sword. Classic Treasures Revisited, p. 57. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-220-3
  16. Sean K Reynolds et al. (2014). Inner Sea Gods, p. 158. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-597-6
  17. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 77. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2