Shadows Over Ustalav
Religion of Urgathoa
Urgathoa “Seize what you can, tear it apart, and savor its sweet bloody taste.”
THE PALLID PRINCESS Goddess of gluttony, disease, and undeath Alignment NE
Domains Death, Evil, Magic, Strength, War Favored Weapon Scythe
Centers of Worship Geb, Ustalav Nationality Varisian
Some claim that Urgathoa was a mortal once, but when she died, her thirst for life turned her into the Great Beyond’s first undead creature. She fled from Pharasma’s endless line of souls and back to Golarion,bringing disease with her to the world. She appears as a beautiful, raven-haired woman from the waist up, but below that her form begins to rot and wither, until only blood-covered bones remain at her feet.
Urgathoa is amoral and utterly lacks ethics, as she was willing to throw off the natural order to suit her own desires despite the consequences to others. A hedonist in life, her undead state and startling lack of flesh means she can sense less now than she could as a mortal, so she makes up for it in excess and depravity. If she wishes to taste the brain of an infant or see what patterns leprosy would make on the flesh of a young prince, she does it, and she expects no less from her followers, living and undead. Life (and unlife) are far more interesting and intense than the dull existence of a dead soul, so it is of utmost importance to cram as much sensation into your existence as possible; ascetics, particularly those who follow the Prophecies of Kalistrade, are repugnant to her.
When Urgathoa is pleased, common food tastes like a delicious meal, water tastes like fine wine, and a meal is never so filling that the eater feels uncomfortable. The Pallid Princess sometimes rewards female clerics who serve her well by transforming them after death into hideous undead creatures called the daughters of Urgathoa. When she is angry, she makes food and water taste like ash, fills the belly with gnawing hunger, or inflicts rotting or swelling diseases that make it difficult to eat. She has been known to render legs insensate or paralyzed so the victim must crawl, or reverse the taste of food so that garbage and sewage are the only things the offender can manage to swallow.
Undead and dark necromancers are her primary worshipers, though those who hope to become undead (such as a vampire’s minions, potential liches, and so on) seek her favor as well. As such, her priests must often keep their activities a secret. Some who are sick with plague make offerings to the Pallid Princess in hopes of alleviating their illness, but most turn to Sarenrae for healing. The occasional gluttonous prince might make sacrifices to Urgathoa as well, be it for more food, women, or other physical pleasures.
Urgathoa’s avatar is slightly more presentable than how she is shown in art, dressed in a loose gown that clings to the gore on her lower half and does little to conceal that she is nothing but bones below the waist; from neck to toe, the gown is stained with patches of black, brown, and red, remnants of meals better left undescribed. Her herald is Mother’s Maw, a flying fanged skull as large as an ogre, surrounded by a cloud of flies, trailing maggots, and dripping blood from its sharp teeth. Among her blessed minions are Barasthangas (a devourer), Fjarn (a former Linnorm King, now a ghast barbarian), and Olix (a vampire priest with unusual shadow powers).
If the other deities would just leave her alone to feed her needs, Urgathoa would have no enemies, but Pharasma and Sarenrae pursue her and her kind wherever they are found,so she reciprocates this attention. Abadar’s cities create population gluts ripe for disease, which she obliges,angering him. She and Calistria vie for control of their overlapping interest, with the elven goddess representing lust and the undead one representing physical excess; in most cases this is an amiable arrangement, for Urgathoa has no sexual urges anymore, but from time to time a necrophiliac cult arises and bridges the gap between the goddesses, forcing them to spar to determine who the cult belongs to. She has also been known to lend support to the daemon Horsemen from time to time, for many of their
goals closely match her own.
Priests, Temples, and the Church
The Pallid Princess’s clergy is approximately 2/3 clerics and 1/3 necromancers, necromancy inclined sorcerers, blackguards, and undead who rise to positions of power whether or not they have magical ability. They have no duties other than mutual protection and aiding those who wish to become undead, for Urgathoa is satisfied when mortals excessively consume in her name and is content at the rate that undead propagate themselves.
This doesn’t stop cult cells from taking a more aggressive stance, such as planning to convert the population of an entire town to zombie slaves. Priests usually conceal their allegiance and find employment in jobs that allow them frequent access to dead bodies, such as gravedigger, mercenary, or (if desperate) butcher. Those who can cook well might find work at a noble’s manor or in a general’s retinue. In lands suffering from plague, they may pass themselves off as knowledgeable healers, treating some of the sick and leaving others to die, or perhaps curing uncomfortable but harmless illnesses while infecting patients with deadly diseases instead.
Living priests who are active during the day usually lead normal lives in w professions are suitable for their talents and only reveal their true colors under cover of night. Only in undead-controlled lands such as Geb do Urgathoa’s priests practice their faith openly, where they serve all the normal functions that a publicly-respected priest has in society, such as spiritual advisor, healer, government official,and so on. Undead priests typically hide during the day and are active at night doing whatever unholy urge strikes them.
Her temples are built like feasthalls, with a large central table serving as an altar and numerous chairs surrounding it. Most temples are adjacent to a private graveyard or built over a crypt and often inhabited by ghouls (which embody all three of the goddess’s interests). It is not unusual to find daemon servants and guardians in her most powerful temples as a result of her alliance with the Horsemen.
Urgathoa’s church is scattered and cell-based like most evil cults; the most powerful or charismatic member in the area is the local leader and there are few occasions where cells meet or combine. Upon gaining the ability to create undead (typically with the animate dead spell, though a vampire, ghast, or shadow’s ability to create spawn counts),