Saint Ulia

Bring Them Under

The Albatross shows itself in a novel way each cycle, and its usual expression of innocence was this time overshadowed by its expression of the curse: to harm the innocent is to invite a great retribution from the Lord of the Universe, which Saint Ulia delivered without guilt or hesitation.

I gave him thrice the mercy he gave to my love, and thrice the mercy he deserved.
- Saint Ulia upon her victory over Maeleachlainn

Saint Ulia of Deceanglia is the Patron Saint of widows and anyone seeking revenge. One of the Europan Saints, she is very popular among Imperian triarii and ballistarii immunes, who make up the bulk of The Cultivars. Her sacred flower, the hemflos, was nearly eradicated after the Sicarii developed sicara poison, but was saved from extinction by one of Saint Ulia's cults, The Widows' Hearth.


In the bogs of Deceanglia, the Warlord Donndubhán maintained a wide kingdom with many Underlords in his control. As was the custom, he made yearly tithing visits to his Underlords. In the Year of the Fire, he left his young wife Ulia and their new baby Sluaghadhán in his fortress to gather tithes.

All was well until Donndubhán reached the city fort of the Underlord Maeleachlainn, who refused to tithe. He attacked Donndubhán and his entourage, luring them to a banquet feast where the wine was laced with a local poison. Donndubhán, ever watchful, abstained from drink, and therefore was the only one not poisoned. From the Archives of the Deceanglian Eras, the historian Bricius of Deceanglia wrote of the massacre:

[...] and the Warlord of the Fire Year beheld his second-in-command, the Chieftain Cunobelinus, Him of Many Hands, bleeding from his eyes and mouth, and upon his skin a spreading purple color so foul and creeping, and a frothing in his mouth came with his screams, which was red in color, and continued its leaking even after Cunobelinus fell dead to the floor.

The Warlord of the Fire Year, Donndubhán, In Honor May He Rest, rose up from his seat to find his whole party thusly, and he drew his sword in anger to leap upon the traitor Maeleachlainn, who had him restrained by a hundred hands of guards, and the traitor Maeleachlainn cut out the hearts of the poisoned dead, and fed them to Donndubhán until he was likewise poisoned.

But Donndubhán, Strength of the Fire Sear His Breast, did not succumb to this venom at once, remaining alive for days thereafter. And Maeleachlainn brutalized the Warlord's dying body, cutting and tearing, until he was sure the Warlord was dead, and then he sealed Donndubhán within a wooden coffin, affixing a slaughtered albatross, the sacred bird of Donndubhán, to the top. He sent it away to Donndubhán's fortress and his wife, whereupon the Wife and Mother Ulia Donndubhánaa, Fiery is Her Heart, beheld her husband not yet dead, and he was able to speak her name once before he passed into the Deep Forge Beyond the Sea.
Bricius of Deceanglia

Ulia was prostrate with grief, brought from her lamentations only by the hunger of her child. She had her husband buried with all the rites of a great Warlord, and the day before the funeral, she received a messenger from Underlord Maeleachlainn, asking for her hand in marriage. She declined, drawn deeper into pain and anguish. Another messenger arrived with the same request from Maeleachlainn, and again Ulia declined. A third messenger brought a third request. Maeleachlainn demanded her hand in marriage so that he might claim his rightful place as the new Warlord, punctuating this proposal with the promise that no harm would come to the infant prince Sluaghadhán if Ulia agreed to the marriage. Ulia became enraged, and into her fiery fury blew the cosmic spirit of the Saint, imbuing her with strength and vengeance.

Ulia replied to Maeleachlainn, accepting his proposal and demanding their marriage take place in his city. She asked that he send his finest lords and chieftains to accompany her on the long journey to his fort. Maeleachlainn complied, sending his finest lords and chieftains, and Ulia had them burned alive.
She then went to Maeleachlainn's fort, and on the way was met by an albatross along the road. The great bird carried a flower in its beak with five blood-and-fire petals, and Ulia knew this was the source of the poison that had ended her husband. She ordered her soldiers to follow the albatross to the groves of hemflos in the swamps, and they each carried a hidden deadly bloom as they entered the halls of Maeleachlainn.

As Maeleachlainn had done to her husband, Ulia poisoned the food and drink of Maeleachlainn's men, until they were all dead in their own puddles of blood. Maeleachlainn himself was force-fed flower after flower until his skin split and his eyes collapsed in their sockets, and all of his blood poured over him, and he died begging for Ulia's mercy, of which there was none to give.

After this, Ulia burned the city fort in its entirety, trapping every citizen who had ever sworn fealty to Maeleachlainn within the blaze until there was nothing but soot and ash to mark where it had been.

The Person Behind the Myth

A Viking Mother (1929) by Frank Stick
Ulia was a princess of refined breeding and upbringing, said by documents of her time to have been uncommonly beautiful and witty. She was happy to be the wife of Donndubhán and mother to his children. Ulia and Donndubhán, while betrothed for political reasons, were deeply in love with one another. Upon Donndubhán's death, Ulia withdrew from public appearance for so long many of her subjects thought she had died.   Driven by her desire to protect her son Sluaghadhán, Ulia initially had no interest in seeking revenge on Maeleachlainn. However, after Maeleachlainn's threats and continued advances, Ulia enacted her revenge plan. It was not enough to simply kill Maeleachlainn: she wanted to make sure his particular tribe was of no future danger to her son.

In fact, Ulia's vicious and complete vengeance dissuaded every other tribe from challenging her or her son. Ulia became the Warlord Regent until Sluaghadhán came of age. While ruler, she established the Widows' Hearth for people whose spouse had died and left them in dire straits. She did this until her death at the age of 110, at which time she walked into a blooming glen of hemflos, found later lying peacefully among the flowers.


Ulia established the Widow's Hearth, which is solely responsible for preserving hemflos. The organization viciously guards its hidden hemflos groves to prevent the flowers from being distilled into the deadly sicara poison. The organization continues its service to widows as well, and expanded to support widowers and orphans in the Fifth Age.

The Sicarii are an organization who take inspiration from the story of Saint Ulia, namely the message of devastating and bloody retribution against those who have wronged them. This inspiration for vengeance is at the heart of the Sicarii organization's indiscriminate collateral damage on places like Cappadocia and at the Seige of Masada.

Warlord Regent
Ulia Donndubhánaa

Cult of Saint Ulia
Organization | Mar 8, 2022

Patron Saint of
Widows and Revenge

The albatross was Donndubhán's tribal symbol, representing innocence until harmed, at which point it would turn into a curse upon the one who had harmed it.

4 ACI 114 ACI 110 years old
Place of Death
Relevant Articles
Geographic Location | Nov 28, 2022

Articles under Saint Ulia

Saint Signs

Marinasta ascribes certain traits to those born during the year patronized by a certain Saint.

Saint UliaCourageous, determined, confident, honest, enthusiastic, optimistic, passionateImpatient, moody, short-tempered, impulsive, aggressiveComfort, leadership, physical challenges, individual sportsInactivity, delays, work that doesn’t use one’s talents
Saint CosmianaGentle, affectionate, curious, adaptable, learns quickly, exchanges ideasNervous, inconsistent, indecisiveMusic, books, magazines, chats with anyone, short trips around townBeing alone, being confined, repetition, routine
Saint ErasaTenacious, highly imaginative, loyal, emotional, sympathetic, persuasiveMoody, pessimistic, suspicious, manipulative, insecureArt, home-based hobbies, water, helping loved ones, meals with friendsStrangers, criticism of Mom, revealing personal life
Saint HremonaCreative, passionate, generous, warm-hearted, cheerful, humorousArrogant, stubborn, self-centered, lazy, inflexibleVacations, being admired, ostentationBeing ignored, difficult challenges
Saint PoloaResourceful, brave, passionate, stubborn, a true friendDistrusting, jealous, secretive, violentTruth, being right, longtime friendsDishonesty, passivity
Saint AthaProgressive, original, independent, humanitarianRuns from emotional expression, temperamental, uncompromising, aloofSocializing, activism, intellectual conversationBroken promises, loneliness, boredom
Saint MaidenResponsible, disciplined, self-control, good managersKnow-it-all, unforgiving, condescending, expecting the worstFamily, tradition, modestyPessimism, fatalism
Saint DaefnaReliable, patient, practical, devoted, responsible, stableStubborn, possessive, uncompromisingGardening, cooking, music, romance, working with handsSudden changes, complications, insecurity
Saint RosiaCompassionate, artistic, intuitive, gentle, wise, musicalFearful, overly trusting, sad, desire to escape reality, victim/martyrSolitude, music, spiritualityCriticism, a haunting past, cruelty
Saint IsdiaCooperative, diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, socialIndecisive, avoids confrontations, will carry a grudge, self-pityHarmony, sharing, natureViolence, injustice
The Twinned SaintsLoyal, analytical, kind, hardworking, practicalShyness, worry, overly critical of self and others, all work and no playAnimals, health, natureRudeness, asking for help, too much attention
Saint BastaGenerous, idealistic, great sense of humorPromises more than they can deliver, impatient, undiplomaticFreedom, travel, natureClinginess, constraint, out-of-the-box thinkers


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