Tales from the Silver Marches
The Dark Maiden, Lady of the Dance
Symbol: Nude long-haired female drow dancing with a silver bastard sword in front of a full moon
Alignment: Chaotic good
Portfolio: Song, beauty, dance, swordwork, hunting, moonlight
Eilistraee (eel-iss-tray-yee) is the deity of good drow and those of that race who wish to be able to live on the surface in peace. A melancholy, moody deity, she is a lover of beauty and peace, but is not averse to striking back against those that would harm her followers. The evil of most drow causes a great anger to burn within her.
The church of Eilistraee encourages drow to return to the surface world and work to promote harmony between the drow and surface races so that drow again become rightful nonevil inhabitants of Faerun. Members of the church nurture beauty, craft musical instruments, sing, and assist others in need. Clerics must be able to sing adequately, dance gracefully, and play the horn, flute, or harp. Skill at swordplay is also encouraged, as is the ability to hunt.
Clerics of the Dark Maiden pray for spells at night, after moonrise. Their rituals revolve around a hunt followed by a feast and dancing (wearing as little clothing as possible). Four times a year they have a High Hunt, during which they hunt a dangerous beast while wearing nothing and carrying only a single sword. Once a year they perform a Run, when they seek out unfamiliar elven communities in order to show them kindness and bring them game and assistance, thus fostering acceptance of the drow in doing so.
History/Relationships: The daughter of Corellon Larethian and Araushnee (who became Lolth), Eilistraee was banished along with the other drow deities for her (inadvertent) part in the war against the Seldarine (the elven pantheon). She insisted upon this punishment, which was dealt reluctantly by her father, because she foresaw that the dark elves would need a beacon of good within their reach. Her allies are the Seldarine, the good deities of the Underdark races, Mystra, and Selune; her enemies are the evil deities of the Underdark, especially the rest of the drow pantheon.
Dogma: Be always kind, save in battle with evil. Encourage happiness everywhere. Learn and teach new songs, dances, and the flowing dance of skilled swordwork. Promote harmony between the races. Befriend strangers, shelter those without homes, and feed the hungry. Repay rudeness with kindness. Repay violence with swift violence so that those that cause it re swiftly dealt with. Aid drow in distress, and give them the Lady’s message: “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.”