Patrol the lands about, especially in cold winters, so that all those who are lost, hurt, or bitten by the cold can be given appropriate cures and shelter. [4], Eilistraee was born the daughter of Corellon Larethian, head of the elven gods, and Araushnee the Weaver (who later took the name of Lolth), a minor elven goddess. This is especially true for Shevarash, with whom Eilistraee barely manages to keep an uneasy truce. 4th Edition Statistics Eilistraee fought her melancholy by striving to bring hope and joy where there was sorrow, so that no moment was lost to gloom, and to make life flourish wherever she went. The Weaver tried to seduce Fenmarel Mestarine, elven god of outcasts and rebels, to join her in the imminent rebellion. [15] Her hunting skills and precision as an archer (though she abandoned the bow after she was tricked into nearly slaying her father with it) were also undeniable, like her knowledge in matters of magic, nature, and faith. These clerics and the Eilistraeen converts who have to hide their faith in order to let it spread and to survive under the thumb of Lolth are known as Secret Moondancers. Eilistraee's holy symbol was formerly a longsword, standing vertically with point upward, outlined against a full moon, which was surrounded by a nimbus of filaments representing her hair, all in silver. All, Combat, Creation, Elemental, Guardian, Healing, Necromantic, Protection, Sun, Wards, minor: Animal, Charm, Divination, Plant, Summoning, Travelers, Weather[note 3] So, in the present times of the Forgotten Realms, Eilistraee teaches and shows to the drow kindness and love, the joy and freedom of life that were taken away from them, calling them to her and singing to their hearts. They also gather resources, weapons and armors (preferably magical) to use for their cause. Neither was she a moon goddess, only one found under the moon as drow stole onto the surface at night. Champions of Valor. The deities of the Dark Seldarine: Vhaeraun, Kiaransalee, Lolth, Selvetarm, Ghaunadaur, and Eilistraee. [1], However, the Dark Dancer can also let her displeasure be known, and does so by making a cold breeze rise, by making the disfavored ones feel a chill in their hands or feet, through a sudden lack of inspiration or talent in any form of art, or through the failure to catch anything while hunting. Greenwood designed Eilistraee as a nurturing mother goddess and a fertility goddess. Males are primarily involved in the decision-making through their expertise in given fields, but they rarely are priests (and therefore leaders). Only when the death of a drow can directly result in saving the life of others is lethal force permitted, and even then, a silverhair knight has to atone for her act. Her hair began to glow with the same radiance as the Dark Maiden's, and then she would slowly fade away as the dance goes on. In −10500 DR, the Dark Disaster – a magical cataclysm unleashed by the elves of Aryvandaar – caused the death of many of her people in Miyeritar, severely weakening the goddess' power. [1], On rare occasions, she can decide to grant a male follower or a follower with no priestly powers who nevertheless follow her cause with the temporary ability to manifest her moonfire. Faith was more potent here than in the rest of Arvandor, and all followers of the other drow gods of the Dark Seldarine suffered minor impediments. They show to the drow that a different kind of life, far from Lolth, is possible, and assist them in making this choice by giving them aid, food, acceptance and safe places to live. [4], The Church of Eilistraee works by putting their goddess' teachings in practice. They reached a truce and even friendship, although some of their followers still remained foes and skirmished often. [8], For example, Eilistraee has appeared personally, dancing in the moonlight, near the walls of Waterdeep, witnessed by the inhabitants of the city. [1][15][2][4][22] Hers was an uphill battle, however, as her power was little and she was opposed by all the gods of the Dark Seldarine. [1] Nevertheless, she is not unwilling to retaliate when her followers are threatened. The primary edict amongst the Dark Ladies, a common name for the followers of Eilistraee, when clothing is concerned, is: utility. The Sword Dancers have the ability to cast the magic missile spell, or to use its energy to empower their next sword strike, surrounding their blade with blue-white flames. [54] All in all, Eilistraee spoke to Liriel's emotional side, providing her a sense of sisterhood, and reminding her of the beauty and joy that could be found in life. [1], The Dark Maiden is particularly close to her people. Greenwood designed Eilistraee as a nurturing mother goddess, even a fertility goddess. After Eilistraee found and befriended him, Selvetarm came to admire her goodness and appreciate her teachings, and the two grew close to each other. [34][22] She was a sublime dancer and singer, a terrific acrobat, and a brilliant musician. Whenever possible, priestesses of the Dark Maiden must use swords in battle. Symbol A Paladin must be battle ready at all times and totally fearless. Flamerule, 1379 DR[9]Returned to life during the Second Sundering[10][11][12], in Flamerule, 1489 DR[13][14][note 2] In the Forgotten Realms, the worshipers of Eilistraee mostly consist of those drow who hope to escape the danger and darkness of the Underdark and Lolth's evil, taking back their place in the surface world. Considering Eilistraee's ideals of acceptance, that—in over 10,000 years—Eilistraee never once acted or suggested the idea of such a change; and that her main goal was always to help the drow rediscover the kind of life that they had lost, and to establish them as rightful, non-evil citizens of the surface world, it could be that the goddess herself was opposed to the forceful transformation of her people. [33] Temples typically include a glade in which to dance and from which the moon is fully visible, a dark place removed from the light of day, a thick tree canopy, a fresh water stream, a forge for the crafting of swords, an access tunnel to the Underdark, and a vein of iron or some other metal suitable for the craft. AasimarLight archonsLythariPixieSilver dragons At the behest of editor Newton Ewell, who wanted a deity for good drow in the game, Greenwood used the opportunity to make the Dark Dancer official and added Eilistraee to The Drow of the Underdark (1991) and thus to the official Forgotten Realms.[12]. [29][29] She could provide them with insight and inspiration to reach an important goal,[30] or even lend her magic, if needed, to break any shackle preventing them from freely embracing the path they wanted to walk, or so that they didn't have to give themselves to Lolth in exchange for help when they felt overwhelmed (an example was the situation that saw her helping Liriel Baenre to heal her companion, Fyodor, from a fatal wound). She was a protectress to her people, who wielded her bastard sword combining the agility of her dance with the lethality of her swordplay. [69] Despite Q'arlynd's ritual, the returned Dark Dancer was still a drow goddess and most of her followers drow. To become a Sword Dancer, a drow has to spend at least 1 month on the surface, dancing each moonlit night for Eilistraee, and has to witness dawn at least once. [70][14], Selvetarm wasn't always among the Dark Dancer's enemies—once, he admired his aunt and she inspired him to turn toward goodness. After this event, Lolth's and Ghaunadaur's persecution of worshipers of rival deities further marginalized the influence of the Lady of the Dance for millennia. [2][4], She could use any kind of spell from any school or sphere of magic, but preferred those from the animal, plant, healing, creation, and charm/enchantment spheres. The church of Eilistraee has little in the way of formal hierarchy. The tradition allows the use of any kind of bladed weapon and armor, but the priestesses are required to wear as little as possible. She made such a choice so that she could be with the drow when they would have needed her the most, to provide a light in the darkness and a beacon of hope to her children in the difficult times that – as she had foreseen – would come upon them. In the heat of the battle that ensued, when Ghaunadaur made its entrance, Corellon painfully realized that the threat had to have come from within the Seldarine itself, as a being like Ghaunadaur could only enter Arvandor if a true evil already lurked within the plane. She also had followers (mostly humans, elves, and half-elves) living in Silverymoon and its surroundings. The blades' Drow symbols can still be clearly seen, as can Eilistraee’s holy symbol: a nude long-haired female drow dancing with a silver bastard sword in front of a full moon. [1][15][4][32], Eilistraee was surprisingly close to the human goddess of magic Mystra, through Qilué Veladorn, seventh of the Seven Sisters, who served both goddesses as Chosen of Mystra and as Chosen of Eilistraee. Eilistraee (eil-iss-tray-yee) is a melancholy, moody deity.She is greatly angered by the evil of most drow but glad that some worked their way free of the Spider Queen's web. Blessed living creatures always react first in battle, can better evade or withstand blows, can strike more accurately, and can wound even creatures that needed only magic to be harmed. Lend your help to all those who fight for good whenever there are ways to do so. (TSR, Inc), Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, "Candlekeep Forum - Questions for Ed Greenwood (2006)", "Candlekeep Forum - Questions for Ed Greenwood (2015)", "The 13 Strangest Deities in Dungeons & Dragons", Dungeon Master Option: High-Level Campaigns, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eilistraee&oldid=968510884, Articles using Infobox character with multiple unlabeled fields, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The Dark Maiden, The Dark Dancer, Lady of the Dance, Lady Silverhair, Moon Maiden, Dancing Goddess, Dark Lady, The Masked Lady(, Song, beauty, dance, swordwork, hunting, moonlight, This page was last edited on 19 July 2020, at 20:57. These priestesses also have various unique magical powers, granted to them by their goddess. Rare is the individual—dark elf or not—who appreciates that Eilistraee is forging her own path, one that welcomes beings of all races who revel in life and the free form expression of all that entails. At the same time, Vhaeraun was plotting against his sister and working to devise a method to slay her. The young goddess didn't know, however, that the scabbard that Araushnee had crafted for Corellon's sword was imbued with a curse which magically drew the shaft of the arrow, changing its path to instead pierce his chest. [1][20] Followers of the Dark Maiden are therefore forbidden from taking slaves, and prisoners of war (mostly Lolth-worshipping drow or untrusted individuals who have acquired too much knowledge and that are held for some time to make sure that such knowledge isn't used against the followers of Eilistraee) are usually made work for food and shelter, but they aren't owned and can't be commanded by anyone (only supervisors assigned by the decision-makers among the Dark Dancer's worshippers can give them orders, in selected cases). [speculation], Eilistraee took the role of a nurturing and protecting mother-goddess for the whole drow race, working to lead them out of the Underdark and back to the surface world, in the great forests they'd left behind long before. [12], Eilistraee's alliance with Mystra continued after the return of the two goddesses, as the Lady of Mysteries chose to share the Weave with the Dark Maiden[71] and other allied deities (like Azuth). The followers of the Masked Lord lacked the trust to cast that kind of magic, so they worked to kill various priestesses of Eilistraee and trap their soul, in order to use them for the ritual. Such attraction didn't cloud their minds, nor was of magical origin—it was as simple as the sound of a beautiful song. Either way, it was certain that after the event, Eilistraee was changed: she held both her brother's and her own portfolios, she gained the title of "Masked Lady", and caused her followers and Vhaeraun's to cooperate, albeit uneasily. [1][15][2][4], As a young goddess, Eilistraee was a free spirit, with a moody and wild side and an unpredictable temper. [1], The Run is a ritual that followers of Eilistraee undertake at least once per year. Deities of unknown worship status in the Realms, Unclad female drow with long hair dancing before a full moon with a silver bastard sword, Beauty, dance, freedom, hunting, moonlight, song, swordwork, Drow exiles; drow seeking an alternative to their society, Beauty, dance, hunting, moonlight, song, swordwork, Good drow, surface-dwelling elves, hunters, Silver longsword over a silver moon with a nimbus of silver hair. 2e The Silverhair knights have a wide array of tools dedicated to such purpose. Among the elven powers, Eilistraee is only close to Erevan Ilesere. No mortal actually witnessed the battle that ensued, so what happened remained largely unknown. Meanwhile, Eilistraee sought to recover the lost Crescent Blade; to that purpose, Cavatina Xarann, a Darksong Knight serving the Dark Dancer, went on a mission into the Demonweb Pits, where the sword was seen last. Eilistraee also manifests, usually through her light, in the moments when her "children" need her visible blessing and support or comfort. They can imbue it with a variety of magical enhancements, let it sing like a singing sword (making them strike with increased precision and rallying their hearts), or let it dance (like a dancing weapon) to attack the enemy on its own or to protect the priestess. [4][75], The Dark Maiden didn't hate her brother,[4] but was saddened by his cruelty and selfishness. [1], Those among the clerics of Eilistraee who do not die in battle are blessed by Eilistraee with the ritual of the Last Dance. In −10,500 DR, the Dark Disaster—a magical cataclysm unleashed by the elves of Aryvandaar—caused the death of many of her people in Miyeritar, severely weakening the goddess' power. Lesser deity He wears a Knave's Eye Patch over his left eye (not for an eye injury, rather its magic negates the Drows' Sunlight Sensitivity). LG NG CG LN N CN LE NE CE Priestesses of Eilistraee have no ceremonial garb; instead, they aim to wear as little as possible during their official ceremonies. If successful, she would have freed the drow from the demon's influence, but he managed to trick Halisstra into killing Qilué before that could happen, making her believe that the chosen and her goddess were actually Lolth. Legends The daughter of Corellon Larethian and Araushnee , who later was renamed Lolth , Eilistraee was banished along with the other drow deities for her (inadvertent) role in the war against the Seldarine . An alternative version is a nude drow female, depicted with long hair, wielding a bastard sword and dancing before a full moon (this version is a stylized representation of the Dark Dancer herself). Beauty, dance, freedom, hunting, moonlight, song, swordwork Discover (and save!) You pray for Eilistraee to offer you part of her grace as you engage in battle, seeking to dance between your foes’ weapons and ranks. Encourage drow to return to the surface world whenever and wherever there are ways to do so. It is usually held once per season and ends with a circle dance for the goddess if the quarry is slain (coupled with a feast if the quarry is edible). Their attempt failed, but the inhabitants of the temple suffered heavy losses. Pass this learning on whenever possible and use it to bring joy to friends and strangers alike. He was the son of Vhaeraun and Zandilar the Dancer (who would later become one with Bast, forming Sharess), but had spurned both his parents and walked alone for centuries, neither good nor evil. Eilistraee answered to that through a High Magic ritual performed by Q'arlynd Melarn, which erased the demigoddess' name from the minds of every Torillian being, including Kiaransalee herself, leading to her disappearance. [19], Eilistraee's allies are the elven gods of the Seldarine, as well as Mystra, Selûne, Lurue, Haela Brightaxe, Callarduran Smoothhands, and the other good deities of the Underdark races. [1], Her enemies are the drow gods of the Dark Seldarine—namely Kiaransalee, Ghaunadaur, her nephew Selvetarm and especially her own mother Lolth. Eilistraee’s holy symbol was formerly a longsword, standing vertically with point upward, outlined against a full moon, which was surrounded by a nimbus of filaments representing her hair, all in silver. [1], Eilistraee found an unlikely protégé in her nephew-god, Selvetarm. [4] When the right time came, she also personally accompanied her followers who didn't die in battle to their afterlife in a moving celebration known as the Last Dance. Power Level At the behest of editor Newton Ewell, who wanted a deity for good drow in the game, Greenwood used the opportunity to make the Dark Dancer official and added Eilistraee to The Drow of the Underdark (1991) and thus to the official Forgotten Realms.[22][85]. Improvisation: When you would make an ability check involving a tool, you can instead use another tool of your choice that you have in your possession, but make the check with disadvantage. After this preparation, they go on a travel, wandering on the surface world, trusting to their music, kind ways, and sword skills to keep them from being slain as drow. Furthermore, before being a warrior or a huntress, Eilistraee was first and foremost a bard and an artist. "[34], War of the Spider Queen and Lady Penitent, After the 1489 DR, Eilistraee no longer holds this last title, which she earned when she took over her brother, Other in-world rules could point to Eilistraee's survival. [2][4][22], Eilistraee's help could come in the form of direct action—and she was not unwilling to retaliate in protection of her followers, if the situation called for it[26][1][15]—but she far preferred her assistance to not be intrusive, or even openly revealing of her involvement. Her face is like that of her mother, Lolth, with delicately sculpted features and shape, save for her large eyes and ankle-length hair, which are of a glowing silvery hue. They are specialized in wielding their swords to incapacitate opponents rather than outright killing them, and have spells capable of incapacitating targets by various means (for example, by letting them feel the weight of the suffering they have inflicted upon other creatures on themselves, or by projecting bolts of moonlight capable of weakening and temporarily draining the strength and energy of their targets). [2][4] As such, Eilistraee taught her children kindness and love, showed them the freedom and joy of life that they were denied, and all around cared after them. The faithful of Eilistraee, however, are little known and poorly understood by inhabitants of both the Realms Above and the Underdark. However, in order to truly feel the Divine Dance of Eilistraee (and therefore become priests), males had to Dance the Changedance at least once, spending time as females (including everyday life, and not only rituals). Powers: Each of these wicked weapons functions as a +5 holy, ghost touched, short sword and inflicts double normal damage on any successful attacks (critical hits will deal x2 damage as normal). [76], Eilistraee was among the good deities who looked kindly on Those Who Harp,[2][4] while they in turn supported her church on the surface. [53] The Dark Maiden also helped the young drow bring back her lover Fyodor from the brink of death. Even though she was cleared from any guilt, Eilistraee chose to share her mother's exile, because she knew that the drow would need her light in the times to come. [36], That said, while her warrior skills came second to her bardic magic and artitic abilities,[34] Eilistraee could indeed fight. [4] In the 1370s DR Eilistraee, moved her divine realm from Ysgard to Arvandor. [62][8], Following those events, by Eilistraee's will,[63] Qilué began helping Q'arlynd Melarn prepare a High Magic spell meant to sever the link between the faerzress and the drow who didn't worship Lolth, and make it easier to lead them away from the Underdark and to the surface. [1][20], The faithful also have routine activities of food growing and gathering/hunting, preparation of cures and all that is needed to aid the drow to return to the surface. They were particularly wary of the Dark Maiden's call, that would lure the dark elves to the surface and show them the beauty of a kind of life that they were denied, and did all they could to prevent the drow from hearing and feeling it, afraid that they would choose to follow it and abandon the Way of Lolth. The Silverhair Knights are an order of Eilistraeens fully dedicated to the conversion and subsequent protection of drow who have come to the surface of Faerûn. Hearing the Dark Maiden's hunting horn can also simply mean that someone nearby is in need of help. Also at will, she could conjure a silvery light, dancing lights, or moonfire and make the sounds of flutes, harps, or horns. She especially takes delight in helping the needy in various practical ways, and in blessing artists with sudden bursts of creativity and inspiration. [23] Those who contemplated and listened to her felt as if they had found the answer to all that their soul ever longed for. Meanwhile, Lolth and Ghaunadaur gained great influence among the dark elves, culminating in −10,000 DR, when the Seldarine and the elves gathered at the Elven Court cursed and exiled all dark elves (including Eilistraee's followers), turning them into drow. It lasted for about a century, until the Second Sundering (circa 1480s DR), when Eilistraee returned to life and to her followers. Eilistraee is represented by a drow female in the nude, dancing with a silver sword under the moon. Specialized clerics are known as Sword Dancers of Eilistraee. 4e The Spider Queen punished her former heresy by turning her into the Lady Penitent, whose duty was to hunt drow who tried to turn to other faiths. [1][5], After her exile, the Dark Maiden wandered Toril, the same world that the elves had chosen as their home. The Hunt consists of tracking down and slaying/driving away a monster which represents a threat to the people living in the area. [1], In the 1370s DR, her conflict with her mother over the souls of the drow race ultimately led to Eilistraee's defeat and disappearance. [1], Eilistraee demonstrates her favor and happiness through the discovery of particular minerals or gems (like mithral, moonbars, moonstones, and silver) or with a sudden inspiration to write a beautiful song or poem, or to craft a magnificent sword for those who had the ability. [31] Furthermore, in the daily ritual known as the Evensong, Eilistraee would "listen" to the (usually) wordless messages of her followers as they let out the emotions, experiences, and reflections gathered during the day.[4]. An expansion of the statement to describe the God. [4][21][25][38], After the elven lord regained consciousness and the truth was made clear, he had to take the painful decision to banish all the dark elven deities for their roles in the war against the Seldarine. All drow met, when not working evil on others, are to be given the message of Eilistraee: A rightful place awaits you in the Realms Above, in the Land of the Great Light. In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, Eilistraee was born the daughter of Corellon Larethian, head of the elven gods, and Araushnee the Weaver (who later took the name of Lolth), a minor elven goddess. [7], In Flamerule of 1379 DR, the Masked Lady, while inhabiting the body of Qilué Veladorn, was killed by Halisstra Melarn using the Crescent Blade. Their rituals revolved around a hunt followed by a … While Lolth constantly tried to claim Liriel as her own chosen, Eilistraee kept subtly singing her call to the girl, guiding her and letting her channel her magic on multiple occasions, in order to help her find her own path. [43][44] Ultimately, Eilistraee could not rival Lolth's power, and the Spider Queen became the major deity of the dark elves. [speculation], Eilistraee's enemies were the drow gods of the Dark Seldarine—namely Kiaransalee, Ghaunadaur, her nephew Selvetarm, her brother Vhaeraun (only until 1489 DR), and especially her own mother Lolth. Moonfire has the same intensity as moonlight, and it is generally used as a light source for reading, to see in the dark, as a signal for communication or for artistic purposes. 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