However, after being defeated at the hand of Quenthel Baenre, Halisstra ultimately decided to betray Eilistraee and convert back to the awakened Lolth. 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. Solaufein, a major NPC in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, is also a follower of Eilistraee.  Eilistraee doesn't test her followers, as the challenges of life are enough of a test themselves. Around −30,000 DR, ambitious and traitorous, envious of the authority that her consort Corellon had over the elven people, Araushnee (with the cooperation of her son, Vhaeraun) gathered a host of deities who were opposed to the Seldarine, tricking them into assaulting Arvandor in an attempt to overthrow Corellon. Chaos and despair spread among the followers of the Masked Lord, but some thought that their god was still alive, and that the twins had a plan and agreed to merge and work together against their mother for a time. It was a hard battle to endure, one that could weigh her down. This harsh punishment was motivated by the corruption that Lolth and the balor Wendonai were spreading among the noble houses of Ilythiir, and by the worship of Lolth that had begun to spread among the Ilythiiri. When there are no enemies about, worshipers interpret the sound of the horn to mean there is someone close by they need to aid.  She is mentioned as such in the novels Spellstorm and Death Masks by Ed Greenwood. Mortals lucky enough to see her would always hear her tune, but usually only glimpsed her from afar, balanced atop a distant hillock or battlement, with her silver hair flowing behind her.  Furthermore, while Eilistraee's and Mystra's shared chosen, Qilué, remained a Weaveghost, Eilistraee didn't want to give up on her, and made sure that her priestess had full access to her divine realm.. Specialized clerics are known as Sword Dancers of Eilistraee. , Eilistraee sings her call to all dark elves—from the highest matron mother to the lowest male slave—sending them dreams or visions, showing them a different, better life (especially when they are close to the surface).  Despite Corellon's decision, Qilué's soul didn't go to his realm in Arvandor, and became a Weaveghost instead. She was tall (9 feet/2.7 meters in height) and lithe, with graceful, strong limbs and a glossy, obsidian-dark skin. She hoped that if her treachery was uncovered, she could still blame Eilistraee, as the potion had been her work. Chaotic good Its melody was capable of physically healing, creating, and protecting, and allowed its practitioners to travel to places far away and see the world. Gender , Eventually, Qilué Veladorn managed to learn about their plan and worked to disrupt it, alongside the drow mage Q'arlynd Melarn. For centuries, she fought Vhaeraun's corruption of the Ilythiiri, thwarting his efforts to gain influence over all the dark elves of the south. The Dark Lady smiles on those who see the deeper beauty within.  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..  In fact, the clerics of Eilistraee, commonly known as Sword Dancers, acted as an extension of Eilistraee's own motherhood of the drow, and took the role of teachers, protectresses, and diplomats.  The Eilistraeans were also known to offer aid and shelter to those who came asking them (no matter the race), and even to actively travel to other places in order to bring food, cures, arts, and practical help where there was need of it and to those met along the way. Some believe her to be insane, because the Queen of Spiders pits her own worshipers against one another in an endless struggle for “station.” She can be kind and aids those she fancies, but she thrives on death, destruction, and torture--including those of her own worshipers who have displeased her. The goddess helps the dark elves to strengthen, grow, and flourish in a hostile surface world, protecting her faithful and aiding them in hunting, swordcraft, and other practical matters of their everyday lives. This led many moondancers to the City of Splendors, with the goal of creating a shrine to their goddess (the Dancing Haven) within its walls. 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. When faithful, friends and allies fall in battle, priestesses of the Dark Maiden must comfort and soothe those who are mourning the loss, and provide a funeral song and burial. 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.. Lesser deity , The most iconic Eilistraeen spell is the Dark Maiden's Moonfire. Neither was she a moon goddess, only one found under the moon as drow stole onto the surface at night. , The Harpers appreciate the hope that the goddess and her faith represent and assist them on the surface of Faerun. All, Combat, Creation, Elemental, Guardian, Healing, Necromantic, Protection, Sun, Wards, minor: Animal, Charm, Divination, Plant, Summoning, Travelers, Weather[note 3] In fact, it was not unusual for them—if they thought they could get away with it, without the knowledge of a priestess of Lolth—to choose to spare the life of a worshiper of Eilistraee, decline to tell other drow what they'd seen of their activities, or linger to watch one of their dances rather than breaking it up. Its congregants tend to gather in small, independent bands in deep forests across Faerûn. , The holy symbols of the faith vary, and include a silver sword pendant the size of a hand, a silver bastard sword outlined against a silver moon with silvery filaments, and a nude long-haired female drow dancing with a silver sword in front of a full moon. , In Flamerule of the Year of the Lost Keep, 1379 DR, the High Magic spell that Q'arlynd Melarn and Qilué had prepared was cast with the intervention of Eilistraee (although the goddess would withdraw her presence early during the ritual). On the contrary, she and her followers became hunted by the Masked Lord and the Ilythiiri, and the conflict allowed Ghaunadaur to rise and gain influence over the dark elves, posing an even greater threat than Vhaeraun.  Nonetheless, their conflict eventually escalated in 1375 DR, when Vhaeraun's plan to assassinate his sister backfired, and she temporarily took his portfolio.  Lolth was powerless to stop these visions, as too much interference from two goddesses could easily bring a mortal's mind to insanity, and despite her continued efforts to suppress any knowledge of her daughter, the drow definitely came to "feel" the Dark Dancer at some point in their lives, with varying reactions. The Weaver tried to seduce Fenmarel Mestarine, elven god of outcasts and rebels, to join her in the imminent rebellion. , For example, Eilistraee has appeared personally, dancing in the moonlight, near the walls of Waterdeep, witnessed by the inhabitants of the city. She also counted as foes the other evil deities of the Underdark: Deep Duerra and Laduguer, Blibdoolpoolp, the Blood Queen, Diinkarazan and Diirinka, the Great Mother, Gzemnid, Ilsensine, Ilxendren, Laogzed, and Maanzecorian before his death. , The Dark Maiden was particularly close to her people. The war ended with the defeat of the cultists of Kiaransalee and with Eilistraee's answer to the demigoddess' attack: a spell performed by the drow mage Q'arlynd Mealrn, which deleted her name from the minds of every Torillian being, including Kiaransalee herself, leading to her disappearance. The item had been crafted by Araushnee before a meeting between Corellon and Gruumsh that was supposedly meant to establish the terms of a truce, but that in truth she had orchestrated with the orc god with the purpose of slaying her lover. , The Dark Maiden hated the influence that Ghaunadaur had on the drow, and fought it on many occasions. Pass this learning on whenever possible and use it to bring joy to friends and strangers alike. Meanwhile, Cavatina Xarann, a Darksong Knight serving Eilistraee, was sent by Qilué on a mission to recover the Crescent Blade from the Demonweb pits. The holy symbols of the faith vary, including: a silver sword pendant the size of a hand, a silver long sword outlined against a silver moon with silvery filaments, and a nude long-haired female drow dancing with a silver sword in front of a full moon. Her art had the power to elicit intense emotions in her allies and foes alike (to the point of sometimes leaving them stunned), or to inspire courage, dispel uncertainty and hopelessness, and enhance her allies' focus. , Despite all these setbacks, Eilistraee kept fighting to bring her hope to the drow and lead them back to their rightful place in the light. Title(s) Channel divinity 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. 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. , Many followers of Eilistraee, and especially her clerics, strove to learn and promote arts—with a soft spot for music and dance—as well as teaching them and passing along the knowledge of particular pieces, songs, or dances learned during travels or created by them. These priestesses also have various unique magical powers, granted to them by their goddess. Silver moths could also be used as a message from the goddess.. , Eilistraean communities were often of matriarchal nature. A Paladin must be battle ready at all times and totally fearless. She could be a protectress of her people and a terrific sword dancer, but she was intended to be a bard, not a huntress herself, only encouraging these skills in her followers, in order to help them survive on the surface. Home Plane None As a byproduct, this increased the drow's urge to go back to the Underdark, which clashed with the Dark Maiden's goal of leading her people back to the surface. (March 1994). Eilistraee tried to be a guide for the exiled drow, but in her state she could not rival Lolth as deity of the dark elves, and the Spider Queen led them in the Underdark. They are excellent dancers and have the ability to use the sword in a unique fashion: through an agile, acrobatic and almost artistic swordplay, they can fight in such a graceful way to resemble a dance. However, a more elaborate variant that entered common usage from 1372 DR … , The relationship between Eilistraee and Vhaeraun drastically changed over the ages. [note 5], In the Year of the Haunting, 1377 DR, Kiaransalee and her cultists initiated hostilities against the Masked Lady and her followers. , The Darksong Knights are an elite order of Eilistraeen crusaders, mostly active in the Southern Faerûn, beneath the lands of ancient Ilythiir. , Despite all these setbacks, Eilistraee kept fighting to bring her hope to the drow and lead them back to their rightful place in the light. Home Plane They have also to be skilled in the art of playing of at least one of the Dark Maiden's favored instruments (horn, flute, or harp); to be adequate singers as well as fit, graceful dancers, and to pass along and teach their skill. During that time, many deities of Toril who were considered dead or lost managed to return to life, the Dark Maiden being among them. Portfolio , It was then that Araushnee, faking grief, put in motion the second part of her plan (as she had intended for the invaders to be defeated). Power Level They prayed for spells at night, after moonrise, singing them whenever possible.  However, differently from Lolth's, theirs was a nurturing matriarchy, meant to empower all—males and females alike—to thrive on the surface world, and characterized by a very loose hierarchy. However, upon her leaving, they would experience a feeling of deep loss, or even desolation, though only for a brief time (as Sharlario Moonflower and his son, Cornaith, felt when the Dark Dancer manifested to them, warning them of the dangers of Ilythiir). At times, she can also appear during celebrations dedicated to her, dancing and leaping from the flames of bonfires, or manifest herself by night, cloaked and cowled and with her radiance dimmed, to travelers in the woodlands, usually to test their kindness. For about one year, she stopped granting spells to her followers and became effectively inactive. Preserve lifeRadiance of the dawnCharm animals and plants She valued the intent behind their actions more than the actual success. Ed Greenwood denies a connection to Artemis/Diana of Greek and Roman mythology, though the later development appears to have made the official Eilistraee a little more similar. Her realm here was small, however, as she split her divine energy between it and another small domain within the Demonweb Pits, home of the other drow gods of the Dark Seldarine. Champions of Valor. 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. , Eilistraee is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999). Differently from Lolthite societies, males are however generally treated with fairness and equality (even if at times, some priestesses or even whole communities could have a different stance, likely because centuries of dogma and tradition due to Lolth's doctrine were hard to overcome), The clergy of Eilistraee is different from most other religious organizations in that there wasn't any hierarchy or chain of command, as everyone stood on the same ground (even if most followers recognized Qilué Veladorn of The Seven Sisters as their guide and voice of the goddess). , 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 and other allied deities (like Azuth). Worshipers lucky enough to see her usually only glimpse her from afar, balanced atop a distant hillock or battlement, with her silver hair flowing behind her. Discover (and save!) They can also use their magic to temporarily enchant a bladed weapon with a silvery glow that increases the precision of its strikes, without the possibility of it being dispelled. However, the bearer had no control over the moonfire's duration, intensity, or location—such things were solely up to the goddess. For about one year, she stopped granting spells to her followers and became effectively inactive. For example, she could subtly lead a drow braving the surface to a community of her followers to find a sense of belonging, support, or even a home. , After very nearly slaying her own father with a misplaced arrow, Eilistraee swore never to use ranged weaponry again, lest her missile go astray. 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). From the remorseless evil of the undead and fiends, to the cruelties born in the hearts of mortals, Sarenrae's doctrines preach swift justice delivered by the scimitar's edge. , In Flamerule of 1379 DR, the Masked Lady, while inhabiting the body of Qilué Veladorn, was killed by Halisstra Melarn using the Crescent Blade. Worshiperalignments 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.  The Promenade of the Dark Maiden is another example of this, founded because of Eilistraee's direct request to Qilué Veladorn. , When she was a young goddess, the Dark Maiden chose to share the dark elves' exile, so that she could be by their side when they would need her the most, to provide a light in the darkness and a beacon of hope in the difficult times that—as she had foreseen—would come upon them. A particular form of Spellsong is the Grand Chorus, celebrated by the priestesses of the temple of the Promenade of Eilistraee. , Her song was another iconic manifestation, and the Dark Maiden's way of calling the drow to her, luring them towards a different life.  It wasn't known whether moving from Ysgard to Arvandor happened out of material necessity, or was the first sign of her efforts towards reconciliation bearing results.  Finally, the Dark Maiden was, among the other things, a goddess of beauty; as such, she was known for her efforts to nurture and spread enthusiasm for arts—especially music and dance—and for blessing artists and bards with bursts of creativity and inspiration.. She could be a protectress of her people and a terrific sword dancer, but she was intended to be a bard, not a huntress herself, only encouraging these skills in her followers, in order to help them survive on the surface.  The Dark Maiden has personally manifested and danced with her followers (especially in the Sword Coast region), who have returned under her protection and enthusiastically spread the voice of her return. Eilistraee appears as an unclad, glossy-skinned drow woman of great height with ankle-length, sweeping hair of … 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. your own Pins on Pinterest She's comforted that some worked their way free of the Spider Queen's web. Faithfuls disrobe and start dancing, seeking their goddess' blessing. In the Forgotten Realms, Eilistraee, like all deities, has a definite set of teachings for her followers. Despite Corellon being almost fatally wounded, the battle was ultimately won by the forces of the Seldarine and, as soon as the last invader was driven from Arvandor, the elven deities—still unbelieving that the Dark Maiden could act against her father—gathered around the unconscious elven lord, trying to aid him and save his life. In fact, it wasn't Eilistraee's way to intrude in her people's lives, because she felt that a forceful interference would prevent them from making their own choices. However, said hope and friendship ended in the late 3rd century after Dalereckoning, when Lolth tricked Selvetarm into slaying Zanassu (a demon lord whom Lolth considered her rival, as he claimed to have power over spiders), by promising him that doing so would gain him the appreciation of the Dark Maiden. Favored weapon The drow definitely come to know about and "feel" the Dark Dancer at some point in their lives, but many of them either don't understand said dreams or emotions or choose to ignore, disbelieve, or reject them. A hope was sparked in the Dark Maiden's heart: that her nephew could become an exemplar, and aid her in healing the rift between the dark elves and the Seldarine. She also counts as an enemy Malar, a rival and evil god of the hunt in the surface world. However, Eilistraee emerged from the battle alive, suggesting that Vhaeraun had failed and perished at the hand of his sister. Halisstra Melarn, the Lady Pentinent, was also a priestess of the Dark Maiden during the Silence of Lolth. Elves of Evermeet. 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. 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