Shrine of Eilistraee
The small community of Eilistraeean drow on Amia call this place their main, and in some cases second, home. With very few exports or imports, the Shrine is a self sufficient entity managed by the High Priestess. It is to be known that all are welcome as long as they do no harm and no person of good nature will be turned away when they are in need of aid or sanctuary.
Organization and Leadership
The Amian Shrine houses a player faction.
This loosely organized faction oversees the Shrine, with a high priestess/faction leader at its head. In recent times however, there has been a change in the hierarchy of the Shrine and it's leadership does not fall on the shoulders of the Council of Four, but on the shoulders of three leaders with a High Priestess of Eilistraee at the head.
Typically, Eilistraeeans tend not to form structured organizations, which reflects the chaotic nature of Eilistraee herself. They have a tendency to mostly do what suits them as long as it furthers the goals of their Dark Maiden. There are, however, organizations associated with it though - namely the Eilistraeean houses and families.
Clergy and Leaders
Pellanithra Aurvy'ath – High Priestess of the Shrine and Matron of House Aurvy'ath
Jud'Vardas Kenlyl - Master Bard and Envoy of the Shrine
Triel'ithra Zau'ana - Darksong Knight of Song and Seneschal of the Shrine
Im'kiira Al'nuar - Faernkerym - Priestess and Matron of House Al'nuar
Madison O'Reilly - Kenlyl - Priestess and Matron of House Kenlyl
Maral Zau'ana - Priestess and Mother of the Zau'ana Family
Auen'nal Zau'ana – Knight-Commander of the Darksong Knights
Jud'Vardas Kenlyl II (Child; Madison/Jud)
Jocelyn Kenlyl (Child; Madison/Jud)
Jacqueline Kenlyl (Child; Madison/Jud)
Former, Notable, or Deceased Members
Viki D'Vreeze - Former High Priestess, Founder
Vrinn D'Vreeze - Founder
Ramika Melie - Shrine Envoy
Wiggan Claddath - Former High Priestess
Thamian Everstar (Deceased)
Christophan Warrick Kenlyl (Deceased)
Valkirya Claddath (Deceased)
Erelkacha Kenlyl - Former High Priestess
((This is only a sample number of the Shrine members and is still in the process of being updated. All those listed had access to our forums either currently or at one time.))
Features of the Shrine
- The Moon Circle - Where most of the Eilistraeean rites and dances occur.
- The Campfires - For general gatherings and storytelling.
- The Inner Sanctuary - The personal residence of the drow houses that reside at the Shrine.
The original Shrine was founded years ago by Vikii D'Vreeze as testament to her faith and power. She set the stones that are at the current Shrine's heart and hallowed the ground so that evil outsiders and undead would find the very grass they tread upon too uncomfortable to go any further. That original Shrine was razed in conflict with drow marching through the Oakmist Vale and a new one was constructed on land purchased by Ravena Sinthale'. When she left the island, she vacated her title to it. Now, the land is held in trust by those who worship there. This land was also shaped by the magic of the powerful troglodyte, Garm. Although Matron Vikii D'Vreeze is long gone, the Shrine remains as a symbol of Eilistraee and a refuge for drow who reject the ways of evil.
Playing an Eilistraeean
There is a lot of flexibility in how to play an Eilistraeean, but here is some general information to help you get started. No two Eilistraeean characters are alike after all!
Worshippers: Eilistraee is a Chaotic Good deity. Generally, reformed drow make up the largest segment of Eilistraeean racial makeup, with half elves (both half surface and half drow) making up another large component. There’s a smattering of other races, such as humans, dwarves, half orcs, and hin. Often these non-elven followers are people who have been aided or rescued by the Eilistraeean, in many cases freed slaves.
Classes: Eilistraeeans can be of practically any class, though the religion does not include paladins, blackguards or druids. Eilistraeean monks are known, but very, very rare, though not prohibited from following the Dark Maiden. There are, however, no known formal Eilistraeean monk orders. Females tend to be clerics, bards, or champions, while males often tend to be warriors, mages, rogues, or bards. Eilistraeeans, as followers of a goodly deity, despise undead, so Pale Masters would be entirely unheard of amongst the religion unless they were actively trying to reverse their state. Male clerics of Eilistraee are exceedingly rare, but not unknown; male clerics are required to have undergone a ritual known as the Changedance and to have spent at least 1 year as a female before being formally accepted into the clergy. Bards are very common amongst Eilistraee's followers as the Dark Maiden encourages and promotes bardcraft. Weaponmaster is also a highly viable PrC, given the Eilistraeean emphasis on the art of the sword.
General Attitude: Your typical Eilistraeean is fully aware of the cursed and reviled nature of their race. They also accept such, knowing that their ancestors (and often themselves) have done much to deserve the fear and hate their presence inspires. An Eilistraeean sees it as their duty to change people’s minds about their religion and their people through peaceful means while defending themselves if necessary. However, an Eilistraeean will also be quick to caution people about being overly accepting of drow they don’t know, lest they turn out to be a Llothite or follower of some other malign entity. Many drow who follow the Dark Maiden also possess a measure of pride in the fact that they have managed to throw off the shackles of Lloth. They usually won’t let this control them though, usually realizing that they are the exception, not the rule.
Eilistraeeans and their Goddess also detest the institution of slavery. Given that they follow a goddess who emphasizes freedom from oppression, it should come as no surprise that they seek to liberate slaves whenever possible, especially when those holding them are evil drow or members of other malign Underdark races.
Some Eilistraeeans are melancholy sorts, turning inward in sorrow over the evils they have committed in their past. One might play such converts as being amongst the most zealous followers, especially at converting other drow. On the other hand, they might also have little compunction about killing those who refuse to change and continue on the path of Lloth or Vhaeraun. Others might focus more on spreading goodwill and happiness as part of the Eilistraeean dogma. These latter tend to be musicians, dancers, and performers of all sorts. They’re also more likely to attempt contact with elven settlements in the hope of bettering relations between the two races. Other Eilistraeeans might be more artists or warriors, teaching the arts of music and dance, or swordcraft and forging.
Attitude Toward Other Races: Most Eilistraeeans are accepting of beings of different races, unless they actively commit evil. Being so reviled themselves, they can well understand the concept of the diamond in the rough and are all too aware books shouldn’t be judged by their covers. This doesn’t mean they won’t immediately consider most creatures such as goblins, kobolds, gnolls, orcs, or ogres as evil, but that they might be more open to the idea of a rogue specimen of such races attempting to free itself from the typical behavior of it’s race.
Elves are a special case for most Eilistraeeans. Given that their religion focuses very heavily upon rapprochement with the elven races, most Eilistraeean will be especially careful not to harm or display hate towards surface elves. On the other hand, they also know most surface elves will try to skewer them on sight, so it’s not uncommon for an Eilistraeean to be ready to defend themselves if forced to. They will, however, refrain from killing any elves, and often flee rather than fight if at all possible.
Religious Attitude: Eilistraeean are also often deeply religious, as are most drow. They may not show it on a constant basis, but followers of the Dark Maiden see their goddess as the savior of their race, or at least of themselves personally. They often create or perform works of music or dance to praise Eilistraee, or practice swordcraft to honor her. They see it as their holy duty to try and convert other drow, but are quite willing to defend others against their darker-hearted cousins if necessary. Few things may anger an Eilistraeean more than witnessing other drow performing evil on the surface, for it mires the drow more deeply in Lloth’s web, and for the fact it makes the Eilistraeean’s own work more difficult. Insults against the Dark Maiden by the ignorant will often be ignored, but from those who are known to know better often prompts a degree of cold anger from Eilistraeean, and sometimes bloodlust from newer converts. They generally worship away from others in the woods, in open fields under the moonlight, or if they at a shrine - at the Moon Circle.
Organizations Within the Faith (Information from Ravenovf)
Secret Moon Dancers are the countless Drow who live in the Underdark under the thumb of evil gods. A small number of them know there is another goddess who will answer their prayers, a benign goddess who loves them - Eilistraee, the Moon Maiden. Usually, they live among evil Drow and practice their heresy in secret, in the privacy of their own homes. They teach their children of the Dark Dancer as many have since the fall of the Drow. Some of them eventually escape to surface communities or bastions of Eilistraee's power below - such as the Promenade in Skullport. However, just as many however see their duty as remaining hidden among evil drow, working against them in secret.
The Dark Song Knights are an Order descended from the Itheryi nobles who failed to stop the spread of corruption among the Drow. They are a militant order devout to Eilistraee who favor heavy armor and weaponry. They are adamant foes of Lolth's Abyssal agents and, to a lesser extent, all evil outsiders. The Amian Shrine has recently come into it's own sect of the Dark Song Knights.
The Dark Swords of Eilistraee are Shadowdancers, reformed Assassins, and spies who work in the shadows to gather information and quickly and silently eliminate evil doers.