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Eilistraee

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Eilistraee symbol
Symbol of Eilistraee
Eilistraee
(Dead power)
Basic Information
Title(s) The Dark Maiden[1][2][3][4]
Lady of the Dance[1][4]
Lady Silverhair[1]
The Dark Dancer[5]
The Dancing Goddess[6]
The Masked Lady (as of Nightal 20, 1375 DR)[7][8]
Pantheon Drow pantheon formerly: the Seldarine
Died Flamerule, 1379 DR[9]
As a Mortal
Race Drow
Gender Female
2nd Edition Statistics[10][11][12]
Power Level Lesser deity
Alignment Chaotic good
Symbol Silver longsword silhouetted by a silver moon, often with a nimbus of silver hair
Home Plane Ysgard, Nidavellir formerly: Arvandor
Realm Svartalfheim
Portfolio Beauty, dance, hunting, moonlight, song, swordwork
Spheres All, Combat, Creation, Elemental, Guardian, Healing, Necromantic, Protection, Sun, Wards, minor: Animal, Charm, Divination, Plant, Summoning, Travelers, Weather[note 1]
Worshipers Good-aligned drow, hunters, surface-dwelling elves, some humans and half-elves
Worshiper alignments
LG NG CG
LN N CN
LE NE CE
Avatar
Bard 29
Cleric 24
Fighter 21
Ranger 21


formerly:

Bard 16
Priest 11
Fighter 9
3rd Edition Statistics[13][14]
Power Level Lesser deity
Alignment Chaotic good
Symbol Unclad female drow with long hair dancing before a full moon with a silver bastard sword
Home Plane Arvandor also: the Demonweb Pits
Portfolio Beauty, dance, hunting, moonlight, song, swordwork
Domains Chaos, Charm, Drow, Elf, Good, Moon, Portal
Worshipers Good drow and those wanting to live above ground in harmony
Favored weapon The Moonsword (bastard sword)
4th Edition Statistics
Power Level Dead power

Eilistraee (pronounced eel-iss-TRAY-yee[15] or eel-ISS-tray-ee[16]), also referred to as the Dark Maiden, was the chaotic good drow goddess of song, swordwork, hunting, the moon, and beauty. She was greatly angered by the evil of most drow but glad that some worked their way free of the Spider Queen's web. Eilistraee appeared as an unclad, glossy-skinned drow woman of great height with ankle-length, sweeping hair of glowing silver.[1]

She was worshiped by song and dance, if at all possible, in the surface world under the moonlit night among the woods. She took great pleasure in bards learning new songs, craftsmen at work, and the doing of kindhearted deeds.[1]

HistoryEdit

Eilistraee was the daughter of Corellon Larethian and Araushnee, who later became Lolth, and the sister of Vhaeraun. She was banished along with the other drow deities for her role, albeit inadvertently, in the war against the Seldarine. Eilistraee insisted upon this punishment from her reluctant father, because she foresaw that the dark elves would need a beacon of good within their reach.[1]

In Flamerule[9] of 1379 DR, Eilistraee, while inhabiting the body of Qilué Veladorn, was killed by Halisstra Melarn using the Crescent Blade. This last act of sacrifice was not in vain, however, as it redeemed those drow not tainted by Wendonai's blood, and Corellon Larethian thus permitted the souls of Eilistraee's faithful and the newly transformed dark elves to enter Arvandor.[17]

RelationshipsEdit

Eilistraee's allies were the Seldarine, Mystra, Selûne, Lurue, Haela Brightaxe, Callarduran Smoothhands, and the good deities of the Underdark races.[1][15] Her enemies were the evil deities of the Underdark, especially the rest of the drow pantheon.[18][19]

TeachingsEdit

The Message of Eilistraee
A rightful place awaits you in the Realms Above, in the Land of the Great Light. Come in peace, and live beneath the sun again, where trees and flowers grow.[20]


WorshipersEdit

The church of Eilistraee was little known and poorly understood by inhabitants of the surface world. Her worshipers were good-aligned drow hoping to escape the Underdark's evil, Lolth-worshiping matriarchal society, and regain a place in the surface world. Among her followers were Tel-quessir (and also the human half-breeds of Tel-quessir), humans, gnomes, and shapeshifters.[citation needed]

Some non-drow worshipers of Eilistraee rubbed black dye into their skin.[21]

ActivitiesEdit

The Church of Eilistraee had an active proselyting program to other drow. Eilistraeean missionaries carried tiny swords to give out to drow in the Underdark that served as keys for safe passage to the temple.[22]

Rites and RitualsEdit

ArtifactsEdit

The Crescent Blade

The Crescent Blade was a magical curved blade with a leather hilt. There was silver inlaid in the blade. On it were the Drow words, "Be your heart filled with light and your cause be true; I shall not fail you."[24] It was said that Eilistraee plucked a pebble from the heavens and tossed it to earth. It grew as large as a boulder and very hot. It was made of moonmetal; if one looked at the moon, they can see the hole in the shape of a crescent. The boulder was forged into a crescent-shaped blade with enchantments, including moonlight—it could cut through armor and stone—protection against evil, and being able to strike quickly. If the wielder was a true priestess, she could use it to sever the neck of any creature, including gods.[25]

The Singing Swords

The Singing Swords were twenty magical singing silver bastard swords provided by Eilistraee and wielded by Qilue Veladorn and the Chosen of Eilistraee who patrolled the Pit of Ghaunadaur near Skullport. The swords sang constantly (and loudly) when unsheathed, and lost their abilities and bonuses when silenced. The blade's song made its wielder confident and immune to charm, command, confusion, fear, friends, repulsion, scare and suggestion. An emotion cast on the wielder only caused rage, focused on the one who cast the emotion spell. The sword's song also cancelled the effects of a harpy's song, silenced shriekers, and could entrance weak, earthly, liviung creatures, although this ability could be negated by a bard's counter-song.[26]

Shines and TemplesEdit

  • The Chondalwood Shrine[27]
  • The Dancing Dell, Ardeep Forest: Soft glowing blue moss, short grasses, and ferns cloaked this smooth bowl valley and the raised ring of earth that surrounded it. In the center of the dell stood the Ladystone, a finger of rock touched by Eilistraee and sacred to her. The Ladystone's powers guarded the dell and could strike at intruders as commanded by the goddess or her priestesses. The origin of the Ladystone was unknown, but it had been here since before the arrival of elves in the Ardeep. Eilistraee herself manifested here on more than one occasion to dance with her priestesses. Drow who venerated Eilistraee often danced here on moonlit nights, sometimes led by Qilué Veladorn.[28][29][30]
  • The The Dancing Stone[31], Elventree
  • The Dark Dancer, Ravens Bluff: A converted warehouse in the docks district of was dedicated as a shrine to Eilistraee in 1370 DR.[32]
  • Darkmaiden's Leap[33], The High Forest

In the northern High Forest, southeast of Everlund was a small clearing with a large flat-top gray rock about six feet tall and five feet in diamater. Pre-Time of Troubles the stone was known as Hastrin's Grayrock, named after an elven ranger who used the stone as a waypoint. After 1358 DR the top of the stone bore a single left footprint the size of a drow female's foot.[33]

The shrine is a natural pillar of black rock about ten feet tall,carved with crescent moon-shapped holes that create the sound of several flutes playing when the wind blows. The hilt of a sword protrudes from the top of the rock. Hidden behind a nearby waterfall, is a cave that houses the shrine's followers.[34]

In a section of the forest littered with broken chunks of stone is an ancient structure that consists of a dozen sharp sword-shaped columns of black obsidian set point-first into a circular platform of white stone; the column-sword's hilts flattened to support a weathered circular roof of white stone with a round moon-shaped hole at its center.[36]

Within the Moonwood north of Quaervarr, is treeless hill where followers of the Dark Maiden gather on moonlit nights. In a cave beneath the hill, is a small shrine to Eilistraee.[27]

Eilistraee

Eilistraee, as illustrated by Matt Wilson

Located near Skullport, this was the main headquarters for the faithful of Eilistraee with many portals to other parts of the world but also access to tunnels into the Underdark for redemption missions.[37] The Promenade was led by High Priestess Qilué Veladorn, youngest of the Seven Sisters and Chosen of Mystra. She led the priestesses while also giving out missions when something needed her attention. Second to her was the Promenade's Battlemistress, Rylla. She led both the fierce warrior/priestesses of the Darksong Knights (who had training in demon-hunting), and Protectors of the Song, the group of elite warriors, often armed with one of the twenty magical singing swords, whose first duty was to guard the Promenade.[citation needed]

All priestesses at the Promenade were free to do as they liked unless given a mission by either Qilué or Rylla. Although the Darksong Knights had more independence they too were subject being given missions. Generally its clerics wore their hair long and dressed practically for whatever they were currently doing. For rituals, they wore as little as possible. Otherwise, they tended to wear soft leathers for hunting, aprons while cooking, and—rarely—armor when battle was expected. When relaxing, they favored silvery, diaphanous gowns. The holy symbol was a small sword; clerics preferred holy symbols of silver, typically worn as pins or hung around the neck on slender silver or mithral chains. They prayed for spells at night, after moonrise, singing them whenever possible. Their rituals revolved around a hunt followed by a feast, dancing, and a Circle of Song. This last was held preferably in a wooded glade on a moonlit night, in which the worshipers would sit and dance by turns in a circle, each one leading a song.[citation needed]

The shrine is located in a series of caves lining both sides of a steep-sided overgrown gully dominated by a grove of towering shadowtop trees.[27] A group of at least fifty Eilistraeens, drow and other elves, dwelt in the Velarswood near Harrowdale, where they had a temple in the northern part of the wood.[27] They often gathered in evensong in gratitude.[38] They were creating a surface home there and generally had good relations with local humans, whom they aided when ill.[39][40] Eilistraeen priestesses and moon-worshiping lycanthropes from the nearby Howling Hill join together in sacred hunts to Eilistraee and Selune when the moon is full.[27]

After the evil drow of the The Twisted Tower were defeated by elves of Cormanthyr and Rystal Wood in -331 DR, the tower was left in the hands of their good dark elf allies. Within a century, the tower becomes Eilistraee's great temple in the Realms.[27]

The temple fell and was reclaimed by the drow beneath Cormanthyr in either 190 DR[27] or 194 DR.[42]

Any follower of the Dark Maiden who mentions her name within the tower is enveloped in a swirl of moonfire.[27]

A score of followers of Eilistraee in the High Forest, their camp is near the Dessarin, north of the Lost Peaks and less than a night's travel to Everlund[43]. Formerly led by Ysolde Veldaron[27], then led by the drow Dolor after Ysolde's death in 1361 DR.[44]

Notable worshipers of Eilistraee Edit

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. The Drow of the Underdark sourcebook lists Weather as a major sphere (see p. 23), whereas Demihuman Deities lists it as minor (see p. 17). Also, the Plant sphere is granted in the DotU, but was changed to the Wards sphere in DD.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  2. Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  3. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. (TSR, Inc), p. 99. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 240. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  5. Ed Greenwood (August 1999). Silverfall. (Wizards of the Coast) ISBN 0-7869-1365-7.
  6. Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
  7. Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast) ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
  8. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lisa Smedman (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
  10. Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), pp. 21, 23. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  11. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. (TSR, Inc), pp. 99, 173. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  12. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 13, 14, 17. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 237. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  14. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 143. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 241. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  16. Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
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  18. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
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  53. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 260. ISBN 0786932023.
  54. Lisa Smedman (February 2005). Extinction. (Wizards of the Coast) ISBN 0-7869-3596-0.
  55. Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection. (Wizards of the Coast) ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
  56. Lisa Smedman (February 2005). Extinction. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 284–286. ISBN 0-7869-3596-0.
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Further readingEdit

ConnectionsEdit

The Dark Seldarine
The drow pantheon
Lolth
Dead Powers
EilistraeeKiaransaleeSelvetarmVhaeraunZinzerena
Ex-members
Ghaunadaur


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