The Scrolls of Xee
- 1 Introduction
- 2 The Texts
- 2.1 The Liturgy of Sharess- Hymns, Songs & Prayers
- 2.2 Sayings
- 2.3 Philosophy
- 2.4 Worship & The Dancing Lady
- 2.5 Conversations with a Priestess
- 2.6 Explaining Sharess
- 2.7 The Feast of Sharess
- 2.8 Goddesses
- 2.9 Hatred & Intolerance
- 2.10 The Drow
- 2.11 Thoughts & Laments
- 2.12 Love & Relationships
- 2.13 The Trade
- 2.14 Temptations
- 2.15 Life in Amia
- 2.16 An Amian Sharessan Wedding
- 2.17 A Debate in Cordor Square
- 2.18 Evil & The Way of Sharess
- 2.19 On Domination
- 2.20 The Temple of Love
The documents now known as The Scrolls of Xee were discovered in a locked chest in the basement of the Cordor Library some years ago. Moisture and the passage of time had proven quite damaging, and it is likely only by virtue of the fact that the chest itself was tightly closed that these works still exist at all. It has been my great pleasure to work on the recovery of these words, that they may be preserved for posterity.
The author is purported to be one Xaviera Xidr Xi (or Xee), a moderately influential figure in the history of the Amian Sharessan movement. While there may have been others prior to her, few if any records of their activities remain. As a courtesan, Xaviera was reputedly skilled in dance and various erotic arts, as well as song, music, and conversation. Prior to her arrival in Amia, the Sunite Temple was the main repository for what we would consider 'Sharessan' thought, or modes of expression, as it is (though to a considerably lesser extent) in Amia today. In fact, the Sunites have always been tarred with the same brush as the Sharessans, though usually less liberally. Given their portfolios, the association of both Sune and Sharess with prostitution is not particularly remarkable, nor is the fact that Xaviera herself admitted to practicing this profession for a significant portion of her time on the island. Neither, however, should be the fact that she gave up that way of life upon her marriage to her wife Lina - in her own words, one who does not wish to practice it should not.
By most accounts, Xaviera was a moderately skilled orator, and the documents certainly do show some flashes of creative linguistic talent. It is from a historical perspective, however, that the scrolls are most interesting, giving us a window into one of the brief periods of relative moral relaxation in Amia, when drow, necromancers, infernals and demonspawn walked the streets of Cordor unchallenged and even on occasion enjoyed high prestige as public figures. As such, it is unsurprising that an explicitly Sharessan group arose to take advantage of the liberalism that prevailed at the time, holding public feasts and actively soliciting donations (among other things) from its supporters and adherents. This brief hedonistic flourish was promoted by Xaviera herself, who apparently experienced an epiphany in the very building in which I currently write. Uneducated in religious matters, her thinking was highly syncretistic, as befits a dedicated convert, as well as highly personalized. We can see examples of both her personal and theological evolution in the scrolls, together with poignant episodes of doubt and despair.
I have forwarded copies of the documents to Temple authorities in some of Faerun's larger cities for more detailed consideration, though it is quite clear even on first glance that the Xavieran doctrine is fairly heterodox. Her own direct experience of her deity was initially quite limited, and she appears to have come to many of her insights through experiential inspiration rather than divine instruction. It is recorded that she was able to bless in Sharess' name, though she always promoted the importance of her priestesses (variously named as Destiny or Destana and Karia White Rose) above her own. Her later incorporation of Lliira, Hanali Celanil and Sune into her thinking reflects a segmentation and compartmentalization associated with further refinement of her beliefs.
In the aftermath of the Horde conflict, Amian society exhibited somewhat of a withdrawal or turning inward to lick its wounds, with a consequent moral retrenchment. Prostitution, while not universally welcomed previously, sank back into the obscurity of dimly lit alleys, underground passages and furtive, rapid couplings in dark corners. Open hedonism was discouraged, with the result that Xaviera's initial attempts to build a Temple to the allied goddesses of pleasure, love and beauty foundered, and the followers of Sharess and Lliira once again dispersed to the Temples of Sune and Eilistraee. Nevertheless she persevered, and after the departure of the original priestesses took active control of what remained of the group, forging the Sisters of Sharess and dedicating more of her time to worship of the Goddess Herself. It is reported that she had several direct encounters with avatars of Sharess and also possessed a vial said to contain the tears of the Goddess. She was also instrumental in fundraising and overseeing the eventual renovation of the Cordor bath house as the Temple of Love, the culmination of a long-standing dream.
The Scrolls of Xee as they are currently known have been re-written and expanded, in many cases by Xaviera herself. The documents included herein, however, appear to be the original source material from which much of her later writings derive, and as such they provide an interesting glimpse into that brief period of Amian history when a group of inspired young women attempted to promote a cult based on a synthetic approach to the triad of the physical, emotional and spiritual experiences of love.
~ Tianais Petras, Archivist, Library of Cordor