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Eilistraee

Eilistraee, also referred to as "The Dark Maiden" a goddess in the drow pantheon, and her portfolios are song, swordwork, hunting, the moon and beauty. Her worshippers are good Dark Elves hoping to escape the Underdark's evil, Lolth-worshiping matriarchal society (known as the Dark Lady in the Dawn Lands), and regain a place in the surface world.


She is worshiped by song and dance, if at all possible, in the surface world under the moonlit night among the woods. She takes great pleasure in bards learning new songs, craftsmen at work, and the doing of kindhearted deeds. Among her followers are dark elves, humans, gnomes, elves, shapeshifters (children of the moon) and fae.


Eilistraee is represented by a dark elf female in the nude, dancing with a silver sword under the moon.


Eilistraee's followers are fairly small in number, and frequently met with distrust from both the generally dark elf-fearing outside world, and followers of the Dark Lady in particular. There is rumored to be a temple of Eilistraee in the elvish city of Eshanasera.


The clergy of Eilistraee are collectively known as "the NightLadies" or “Moon Dancers”, although individual temples often have their own naming conventions for both the clergy collectively and individual titles.


Young initiates and acolytes are known as Maids. Individual titles vary greatly from temple to temple, but some suitable examples include Moon Dancer, Moon Singer, Dark Huntress, Argent Maid, Living Sword, Unsheathed Blade, Sword Smith, Bright Edge of Darkness, Darksong Knight, Protector and Ghost of the Moonstruck Night.


Priestesses of Eilistraee have no ceremonial garb; instead, they aim to wear clothing that is comfortable for their official ceremonies. The holy symbols of the faith vary, including: 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.


One of the highest rites and ceremonies of Eilistraee is 'The Hunt'. The followers of the Dark Maiden take up their blessed weapons under the light of the full moon, they hunt a chosen animal (and in some more violent cases, orcs, werekin or other such fiends that threaten the safety of the surrounding area and its occupants).


Ceremoniously, they partake in something of a dance as they chase down the animal (or fiend) and sacrifice it in the name of their Deity. If it is an animal that they chose, the body is usually dressed and prepared as a meal for the partakers in The Hunt. The meal is followed with a celebration of song and dance in praise of Eilistraee and of the earth and moon itself, often times Silvan-ri and Shiandria.



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