The Goddess Eilistraee
Name: Eilistraee, “The Dark Maiden”, Goddess of Goodly Drow
Mother: Lolth, Goddess of the Drow (Formally:Araushnee, Godess of Artisens, Destiny)
Father: Corellon Larethian, God of Arts and Crafts and Patron God of Elves
Current Status: Wounded and recovering. Corellon maintains her realm. (See note at bottom)
Portfolio: Song, Dance, The Moon, Beauty, Goodly Elves, Lycanthropes, Hunters, Moonlight, Swords
Favored Weapon: The Moonsword, a bastard sword.
Alignment: Chaotic Good
The Story of Eilistraee
The Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting, Forgotten Realms, has many different pantheons and deities. The Elven pantheon, the Seldarine, is lead by a powerful Greater God, Corellon Larethian. Corellon and his consort Araushnee, the “Weaver of Destiny”, had two children, Vhaeraun, the Drow God of trickery and males, and Eilistraee, the Goddess of Song and Dance. After a time, Araushnee became obsessed with the destruction of Corellon and sought usurp his power by any means. She employed the aid of her son, Vhaeraun, and many demi and lesser deities. In time, Araushnee had gathered an army of the most evil Gods. She made her move against the Seldarine.
During the ensuing battle, Araushnee tried many times to destroy Corellon and control, or destroy, the Seldarine. At one point Araushnee caused an arrow fired from her daughter Eilistraee’s bow to strike Corellon. Araushnee and her forces lost the battle. After this Araushnee was renamed Lolth and striped of her Godliness. She, and her compatriots, were cast from the Seldarine to the Demon Web Pits deep in the 66th later of the Abyss, where Araushnee and her compatriots eventually created the Dark Seldarine.
Corellon knew his good natured daughter to be innocent of firing the arrow, yet she demanded that she also be cast down to the Abyss as well. She saw a future in which she might be needed by the Dark Elves over whom Lolth pervaded. With sadness in his heart Corellon granted her request, though he allowed her to return to the Seldarine, in the plane of Arborea as she wished. Eilistraee was so dishearten by her unwilling attack upon Corellon that she vowed never to use a bow again, instead wielding a “one and a half handed” sword known as a bastard sword.
The followers of Eilistraee are diverse, but always of goodly nature. Most followers of the Dark Maiden will be of a Chaotic Good alignment. Though rumored, until the fall of her bother, Vhaeraun, there were no priests of Eilistraee, only priestesses. After the fall of Vhaeraun, male clergy are allowed, though they are not fully accepted by many of the female clergy. The reason appears, ostensibly, because of the very female nature of the religion. The actual reasons may be more to do with the nature of Vhaeraun. The former followers of Vhaeraun were thieves and specifically championed the rise of male domination within the otherwise female Drow society.
Priestesses of Eilistraee are generally Elven, and most often Dark Elven, though anyone able and of the correct alignment could be a follower. Typical Elven prejudices exists against Humans, Dwarves, Half Elves, and Goblinoids. Interestingly, Eilistraee is favorable to Lycanthropes and will allow such a creature to serve as a cleric. Physical attractiveness is not a requirement, though most Elves are generally considered physically attractive. Priestesses are required to use and eventually master swords, singing and dancing, and hunting. The primary attributes of a successful priestess are agility, speed, faith, and bravery. Priestesses of Eilistraee wear a tiny silver necklace around their necks as a holy symbol of the Goddess, though variations exist. In theory, any symbol which pleases the Goddess may be used if the 1st level cleric spell, Create Holy Symbol, is successfully cast upon it. The details of clerical worship, spells, and requirements are covered in more detail in the specific Character Creation article.
Lay worshipers are people who wish to follow Eilistraee but are unwilling or unable to become clerics. Followers may become clergy at some point, should they decide to and are able. It is not a requirement of followers of Eilistraee to wear a holy symbol, though it is common. Holy symbols for followers are often the same as clergy in design and materials, but lack the fully powers of a consecrated holy symbol. Often, holy symbols for followers are blessed any may even provide some minor miracle powers for the very devote.
Greenwood, E., Heinsoo, R., Reynolds, S., K., and Williams, S. (2001). Forgotten Realms: Campaign Setting. Deities. Wizards of the Coast, Renton, WA.
Wikipedia.com – Eilistraee. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eilistraee
Excerpt from Faiths and Pantheons: Eilistraee The Dark Maiden, Lady of the Dance Lesser Deity. Wizards of the Cost. Retrieved from