Forgotten Realms Drow pantheon: [ Lolth | Vhaeraun | Eilistraee | Ghaunadaur ]

A Chaotic Good drow goddess of Lesser power. Also known as the Dark Maiden, the Lady of the Dance, and Lady Silverhair.

Eilistraee was daughter of Corellon Larethian and Araushnee (who became Lolth, the goddess worshipped by most of the drow). During the time the drow were banished to the Underdark and their deities to the Demonweb Pits, she insisted that she should go with them, even when she was clearly a good goddess. She felt the drow needed some light.

Due to the promotion of good, the church of Eilistraee is obviously quite different from the rest of the drow churches. Foremost, the drow are encouraged to return to the surface to live with others in peace - as the message the worshippers spread goes, "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 the trees and flowers grow."

Also, the church works actively to help people and show them that clearly not all drow are evil. The idea is to feed the hungry, help people in need, teach, learn and just appreciate songs and dances, and fight the evil everywhere. (The worshippers are thus encouraged to act accordingly when they know when turning the other cheek just won't work...)

The clerics (as usual) get to do a large part of the fun stuff. There is one traditional drow thing in the church: usually only females become clerics. The clerics are primarily musicians and musical skills are required. They also hunt and dance. In the night. Naked. The major festive rituals include the High Hunt every four years, where they try to catch a dangerous beasts with nothing but a sword, and the Run every year, where they (properly dressed, this time) seek unfamiliar elven communities, get to know them and help them if needed.

Eilistraee's worshippers are obviously not very well liked amongst the most of the drow, and other races still regard even the good drow with major suspicion and even hatred. The worshippers of Lolth are extremely hostile towards worshippers of any other deities in general and especially happy, harmony-promoting sects like Eilistraee's. Vhaeraun's worshippers are generally not much better. Therefore, in the Underdark, Eilistraee's worshippers must hide their worship very well. On the surface, things are a lot brighter, except for the general hatred toward the drow.

Major centers of worship (if that can be called them) can be found in The High Forest, Cormanthor, and the Promenade of Eilistraee (in the Skullport in Waterdeep).

Sources:
Ed Greenwood, Skip Williams, Sean K. Reynolds and Rob Heinsoo. Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, 6/2001. Wizards of the Coast, Third edition, 6/2001. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.


I have to add that Eilistraee's inclusion to drow pantheon has been a controversial move. Drow have the unnatural ability to generate hate in people even outside of the game, mostly due to the conflict between "purists", normal average RPGers and the munchkins who play with Drizzt clone characters, often quite badly. Purists naturally maintain that evil drow are the majority and good drow, and drow on surface world in general, are an abomination. Some even say Eilistraee was included only due to please the munchkins who play good drow. I beg to differ - it is sad that people clone Drizzt, but good drow do have potential. And let's not forget Eilistraee's non-drow worshippers either.

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