Eilistraee was the chaotic good drow goddess of beauty, song, dance, freedom, moonlight, swordwork, and hunting, within the drow pantheon known as the Dark Seldarine. She was the patroness and protector of the few dark elves who longed to return to the surface and live there, at peace with other races, and to abandon the endless conflicts and intrigues that dominated the lives of most drow. She was often referred to as the The Dark Maiden, the Lady of the Dance, or Lady Silverhair, and sometimes The Dark Dancer, among other titles Briefly, she was known as The Masked Lady, while her faith subsumed that of the Masked Lord Vhaeraun, her divine brother. Her name was pronounced variously as "EEL-iss-TRAY-yee", "eel-ISS-tray-ee", "eel-iss-tray-yee", or "eil-iss-tray-yee". Eilistraee pronounced her own name "AISLE-iss-try-ee", while Elminster Aumar, Qilué Veladorn, and the rest of the Seven Sisters pronounced it "Isle-ISS-tree", even when addressing the goddess face to face.
She was the daughter of Araushnee (later Lolth) and Corellon Larethian, a free-spirited and kind-hearted goddess, with a fiery streak in her personality. When, during her youth, a host of evil deities assaulted Arvandor (her home), Araushnee's treachery almost made her slay her own father. Even though she was cleared from any guilt, Eilistraee chose to share her mother's exile, because she knew that the drow would need her light in the times to come. After the descent of the drow, Eilistraee tried to be a mother goddess to her people and bring them the hope of a new life. She fought to lead them back to the lands of light, helping them to flourish and prosper in harmony with other races, free from Lolth's tyranny and the conflicts that dominated their lives. Hers was an uphill battle, however, as her power was little and she was opposed by all the gods of the Dark Seldarine. But, despite having to overcome many hardships and setbacks, Eilistraee never gave up fighting for her people. In the 1370s DR, her conflict with her mother over the souls of the drow race ultimately led to Eilistraee's defeat and disappearance. It lasted for about a century, until the Second Sundering (circa 1480s DR), when Eilistraee returned to life and to her followers.
- 1 Description
- 2 Personality
- 3 Activities
- 4 Powers
- 5 History
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Symbol
- 8 Worshipers
- 9 Realm
- 10 Appendix
As an avatar, Eilistraee appeared as a drow female of glowing beauty. She was tall (9 feet/2.7 meters in height) and lithe, with graceful, strong limbs and a glossy, obsidian-dark skin. She usually appeared unclad, cloaked only by her ankle-length hair that shone with a bright silvery hue, and by motes of moonlight that were ever-dancing about her body.
Her face bore a certain similarity to that of her mother, Lolth, as it possessed delicately sculpted features and shape, but her eyes were large, with irises that held the shifting hint of blue of a moonstone, and expressive of her mood or emotions.
When Eilistraee spoke, her voice always carried a soft musicality that made mortals instinctively drawn to it. Such attraction didn't cloud their minds, nor was of magical origin—it was as simple as the sound of a beautiful song.
Overall, the Dark Maiden's appearance inspired utter awe and astonishment, as well as emotions so deep to move mortals to tears. Those who contemplated and listened to her felt as if they had found the answer to all that their soul ever longed for. However, upon her leaving, they would experience a feeling of deep loss, or even desolation, though only for a brief time (as Sharlario Moonflower and his son, Cornaith, felt when the Dark Dancer manifested to them, warning them of the dangers of Ilythiir).
Due to a history of grief and losses, and to the suffering of her people, melancholy and sadness were deeply rooted in Eilistraee's heart. It was a hard battle to endure, one that could weigh her down. However, it had also taught her to search for and nurture beauty everywhere, even in places like the Underdark, where it didn't seem to belong. Eilistraee fought her melancholy by striving to bring hope and joy where there was sorrow, so that no moment was lost to gloom, and to make life flourish wherever she went. She learned to find happiness in peace and arts, especially music and dance; in simple things like seeing artists composing and performing, craftsmen at their work, people doing acts of kindness, and lovers in tender moments. She especially took delight in helping the needy in various practical ways, with a soft spot for outcasts, and in blessing artists with sudden bursts of creativity and inspiration.
As a young goddess, Eilistraee was a free spirit, with a moody and wild side and an unpredictable temper. Even as she matured, these traits never really left her: she had a fiery streak and was prone to wild action, especially in protection of her faithful when they were harmed. The evil that was inflicted upon—and perpetuated by—most drow caused a burning anger within her, one that could cause her to lash out, but she was comforted that some worked their way free of the Spider Queen's web.
The Dark Maiden was particularly close to her people. Aside from providing practical help in their everyday life, she was known to offer comfort and support in various ways, including listening to them as they let out or vented their personal emotions and experiences (see Activities). When the right time came, she also personally accompanied her followers who didn't die in battle to their afterlife in a moving celebration known as the Last Dance. According to Rowaan Vrinn, Eilistraee didn't test her followers, as the challenges of life were enough of a test themselves. She valued the intent behind their actions more than the actual success.
Though focused on the drow, Eilistraee accepted folk of all races who danced along her path, who delighted in life and in the free-form expression of it in all its forms. She fought so that all races could live peacefully together, helping and accepting each other despite their differences, and strongly believed in the possibility of redemption for those who had fallen to evil, especially the drow.[speculation]
- See also: Eilistraee's teachings
Eilistraee took the role of a nurturing and protecting mother-goddess for the whole drow race, working to lead them out of the Underdark and back to the surface world, in the great forests they'd left behind long before.
When she was a young goddess, the Dark Maiden chose to share the dark elves' exile, so that she could be by their side when they would need her the most, to provide a light in the darkness and a beacon of hope in the difficult times that—as she had foreseen—would come upon them. As such, Eilistraee taught her children kindness and love, showed them the freedom and joy of life that they were denied, and all around cared after them. Even though she couldn't promise safety, she strove to protect and help them strengthen, grow, and flourish in a surface world that had become hostile to them, but that was their rightful home. She aided them in hunting, swordcraft, and other practical matters of their everyday lives, in immediately useful ways.
Eilistraee's help could come in the form of direct action—and she was not unwilling to retaliate in protection of her followers, if the situation called for it—but she far preferred her assistance to not be intrusive, or even openly revealing of her involvement. In fact, it wasn't Eilistraee's way to intrude in her people's lives, because she felt that a forceful interference would prevent them from making their own choices. On the contrary, she strove to empower each drow to find their own path in the world, and did so by watching over them in their "journey", and by offering them the tools to travel it themselves and overcome its challenges—both large and daunting, and the smaller ones posed by daily life. For example, she could subtly lead a drow braving the surface to a community of her followers to find a sense of belonging, support, or even a home. Her hunting horn sounded to hearten her faithful and scare away dangerous creatures which threatened them. Her song, or her silvery radiance and silvery moths, guided drow who were lost in the darkness or in the Underdark to a safe place, or yet lightened childbirths that occurred in the dark, and hers was the force that brought a stag within the reach of hungry drow.
Likewise, Eilistraee intervened when her people needed visible confort or emotional help. She could make them know that they were not alone, and that someone was watching over them, when they felt lost (usually through her own light, or as a protecting, shadowy, tall female dark elf that danced with the drow). She could provide them with insight and inspiration to reach an important goal, or even lend her magic, if needed, to break any shackle preventing them from freely embracing the path they wanted to walk, or so that they didn't have to give themselves to Lolth in exchange for help when they felt overwhelmed (an example was the situation that saw her helping Liriel Baenre to heal her companion, Fyodor, from a fatal wound). Furthermore, in the daily ritual known as the Evensong, Eilistraee would "listen" to the (usually) wordless messages of her followers as they let out the emotions, experiences, and reflections gathered during the day.
The Dark Maiden sang her call to all dark elves—from the highest matron mother to the lowest male slave—sending them dreams or visions, showing them a different, better life, and the beauty of the world (especially when they were close to the surface). Lolth was powerless to stop these visions, as too much interference from two goddesses could easily bring a mortal's mind to insanity, and despite her continued efforts to suppress any knowledge of her daughter, the drow definitely came to "feel" the Dark Dancer at some point in their lives, with varying reactions.
While many would either not understand their dreams and emotions, or chose to ignore, disbelieve, or reject them, many others secretly yearned for the goddess and all that she wished for them. In fact, it was not unusual for them—if they thought they could get away with it, without the knowledge of a priestess of Lolth—to choose to spare the life of a worshiper of Eilistraee, decline to tell other drow what they'd seen of their activities, or linger to watch one of their dances rather than breaking it up. That said, despite those feelings, not many drow could find the strength and resources to make the final step and leave their past behind to cleave to Eilistraee on their own. Furthermore, the Dark Maiden's efforts were opposed by the power of Lolth and the other evil drow gods, and what she could do was very limited.
Despite her focus on the drow, Eilistraee took to heart the cause of aiding the needy wherever and whenever possible, no matter their race, gender, or strength. She believed in offering kindness, shelter, and acceptance to anyone not working evil, especially if outcasts. She and her church also worked to spread joy and merriment, and to bring confort and hope to those who were taken by sorrow. Finally, the Dark Maiden was, among the other things, a goddess of beauty; as such, she was known for her efforts to nurture and spread enthusiasm for arts—especially music and dance—and for blessing artists and bards with bursts of creativity and inspiration.
Her most common sign was a silvery radiance (sometimes accompanied by a snatch of song or a few echoing notes of a harp) that could also take the form of a handful of dancing moonbeams or moon-motes. Eilistraee used this light to assist her people: she was known to use it as a beacon guiding those lost in the woods, to shine a light on something dropped in the dark, to illuminate a dark place where women gave birth, or to generally guide those who saw the manifestation. She also used it to bless a worshiper in various ways. Swords enveloped by the silvery light could not be broken or damaged and struck with maximum force. Living creatures would always react first in battle, could better evade or withstand blows, could strike more accurately, and could wound even creatures that needed magic to be harmed.
Her song was another iconic manifestation, and the Dark Maiden's way of calling the drow to her, luring them towards a different life. However and whenever the goddess appeared, her song was heard. It was a tune of unearthly beauty, moving many to tears but also a sweet and tempting lullaby, or the soothing voice of a loving mother. At times, Eilistraee would appear in person, to show her favor, give a blessing, or hearten her followers. Mortals lucky enough to see her would always hear her tune, but usually only glimpsed her from afar, balanced atop a distant hillock or battlement, with her silver hair flowing behind her. At times, she could also appear during celebrations dedicated to her, leaping inside the flames of bonfires, or manifest herself by night, cloaked and cowled and with her radiance dimmed, to travelers in the woodlands, usually to test their kindness.
Sometimes, Eilistraee would use her radiance to bless the faithful or even non-faithful who decided to honor her with a solitary dance, turning the creature's hair into a mane of silvery, dancing flames. This could last as long as a month, or even be permanent. She would also very often[note 4] manifest when one of her priests led a new convert to her faith in prayer, which was itself an offering to Eilistraee.
On rare occasions, she could decide to grant a lay follower who nevertheless did her work with the temporary ability to manifest her moonfire. This could be to show her blessing or support, or simply to provide some light. However, the bearer had no control over the moonfire's duration, intensity, or location—such things were solely up to the goddess.
The sound of a high and distant hunting horn was another sign associated to the Dark Maiden. She was known to conjure it to rally or hearten her followers, or to scare off bandits or orc raiders, who would believe reinforcements were coming for those harassed. When there were no enemies about, worshipers took the sound of the horn to mean there was someone close by they needed to aid.
Eilistraee demonstrated her favor and happiness through the discovery of particular minerals or gems (like mithral, moonbars, moonstones, and silver) or with a sudden inspiration to write a beautiful song or poem, or to craft a magnificent sword for those who had the ability.
However, the Dark Dancer could also let her displeasure be known, and did so by making a cold breeze rise, by making the disfavored ones feel a chill in their hands or feet, through a sudden lack of inspiration or talent in any form of art, or through the failure to catch anything while hunting.
Eilistraee's identity as a nurturing and artistic goddess showed in her magic and skills. Despite having access to all kinds of magic, she focused on powers related to nature, life, creation, and enchantment. She was also an excellent crafter and weaponsmith, and could freely create almost any magical item pertaining to beauty, music, moonlight, hunting, or swordwork..
Furthermore, before being a warrior or a huntress, Eilistraee was first and foremost a bard and an artist. She was a sublime dancer and singer, a terrific acrobat, and a brilliant musician. Her art had the power to elicit intense emotions in her allies and foes alike (to the point of sometimes leaving them stunned), or to inspire courage, dispel uncertainty and hopelessness, and enhance her allies' focus. She delighted in performing, and such was the beauty she created, that it could even move beings who were normally incapable of feeling emotions, or that could shrug them off due to training, magic, or nature.
Music and song held a particular meaning, as they were the intimate nature of Eilistraee's iconic magic, the Spellsong. Its melody was capable of physically healing, creating, and protecting, and allowed its practitioners to travel to places far away and see the world. Through the Spellsong, Eilistraee taught to listen to the songs of distant lands, the melody that a place and its people "sung" when lit by the moon, and to travel to such places along beams of moonlight, summoned by singing and dancing to its rhythm.
That said, while her warrior skills came second to her bardic magic and artitic abilities, Eilistraee could indeed fight. She was a protectress to her people, who wielded her bastard sword combining the agility of her dance with the lethality of her swordplay. Her hunting skills and precision as an archer (though she abandoned the bow after she was tricked into nearly slaying her father with it) were also undeniable, like her knowledge in matters of magic, nature, and faith.
Finally, along with all the standard powers and godly senses of a deity of her rank, the Dark Dancer could instantly become aware of threats posed to good-aligned drow, to her followers, or to drow thinking of rejecting the faith of the deities of the Dark Seldarine, but only if their number was equal to or greater than five hundred.
She could use any kind of spell from any school or sphere of magic, but preferred those from the animal, plant, healing, creation, and charm/enchantment spheres. She had continuous true seeing, enabling her to see all things as they truly were, whether invisible, disguise, blurred, or hidden. She could instantly, at will, unleash nine silvery magic missiles (more potent against evil) or turn spells back against their casters; could levitate at will; and quickly regenerate wounds or even lost limbs. Also at will, she could conjure a silvery light, dancing lights, or moonfire and make the sounds of flutes, harps, or horns. Her music had the power to repel evil beings and undead, briefly stun a creature, and unlock things as a knock spell.
When she wished to appear clothed, Eilistraee's avatar could manifest wearing deep brown leather boots that allowed her to move in total silence and without leaving any trace at will. It combined the powers of the boots of elvenkind, boots of varied tracks, and boots of the north. She could also wear a dappled green cloak that shifted its color according to the surrounding environment (combining a cloak of elvenkind and a ring of chameleon power, rendering the goddess' avatar invisible in natural areas).
Eilistraee was born the daughter of Corellon Larethian, head of the elven gods, and Araushnee the Weaver (who later took the name of Lolth), a minor elven goddess. She was the sister of Vhaeraun.
The commonly accepted version of the story or myth of how Eilistraee came to her role in the Dark Seldarine ran as follows.
Around −30,000 DR, ambitious and traitorous, envious of the authority that her consort Corellon had over the elven people, Araushnee (with the cooperation of her son, Vhaeraun) gathered a host of deities who were opposed to the Seldarine, tricking them into assaulting Arvandor in an attempt to overthrow Corellon. The Weaver also tried to seduce Fenmarel Mestarine, elven god of outcasts and rebels, to join her in the imminent rebellion. As her adulterous lover, he was initially tempted by her advances, but he ultimately declined the offer.
The only deity of Arvandor who took steps to stop Araushnee's plan before it could unfold was Sehanine Moonbow. Through her connection to moonlight, she had in fact witnessed the Weaver crafting a scabbard meant for Corellon, imbued with cursed magic devised to bring defeat in battle to its owner. The item had been crafted by Araushnee before a meeting between Corellon and Gruumsh that was supposedly meant to establish the terms of a truce, but that in truth she had orchestrated with the orc god with the purpose of slaying her lover. This attempt was however a failure, and the sheath was lost in the battle, only to be later retrieved by Sehanine. The Lady of Dreams—-aware of Araushnee's betrayal, but knowing how important her love was to Corellon—tried to dissuade her from such madness, but the Weaver reacted violently, defeating and imprisoning the moon goddess with the aid of Vhaeraun. With the only meaningful obstacle out of their way, Araushnee and Vhaeraun proceeded with their plan, working to lead Eilistraee to find the cursed item. They exploited the Dark Maiden's adoration for her father, knowing that she would have been more than eager to search for the sheath, and overjoyed to return such a prized possession to him, making her the perfect scapegoat.
When the attack began, Eilistraee (whose skills in archery, scouting, and hunting were widely known among the Seldarine) was the first to spot the threat, allowing her father and the other elven deities to prepare a defense. The Dark Maiden took part in the battle, enthusiastic and proud to be able to fight by her father's side in defense of their home. In the heat of the battle that ensued, when Ghaunadaur made its entrance, Corellon painfully realized that the threat had to have come from within the Seldarine itself, as a being like Ghaunadaur could only enter Arvandor if a true evil already lurked within the plane. His sorrow grew even more intense when he realized that his lover, Araushnee, was behind it, as she stood observing the battle in triumph. Seeing the distraction and shock of the elven lord, an ogre god took advantage of the situation and charged towards his position: he almost managed to end his life, but Eilistraee acted swiftly to defend her father, loosing an arrow at the charging ogre-god. The young goddess didn't know, however, that the scabbard that Araushnee had crafted for Corellon's sword was imbued with a curse which magically drew the shaft of the arrow, changing its path to instead pierce his chest. Seeing the scene from the skies, Aerdrie Faenya, unaware of the deception, struck the still-shocked Eilistraee down, incapacitating her. Despite Corellon being almost fatally wounded, the battle was ultimately won by the forces of the Seldarine and, as soon as the last invader was driven from Arvandor, the elven deities—still unbelieving that the Dark Maiden could act against her father—gathered around the unconscious elven lord, trying to aid him and save his life.
It was then that Araushnee, faking grief, put in motion the second part of her plan (as she had intended for the invaders to be defeated). Pretending to do her best to save her lover, she tried to use a concoction of poisonous herbs, prepared by Eilistraee for the arrows of the mortal dark elves, to finish Corellon, passing it for a healing elixir made up of water from Elysium and healing herbs. She hoped that if her treachery was uncovered, she could still blame Eilistraee, as the potion had been her work. This plan didn't go well: Sehanine Moonbow had in fact managed to free herself, and intervened in time to save Corellon (together with Aerdrie Faenya and Hanali Celanil, in the form of the triune goddess Angharradh) and free Eilistraee from guilt.
After the elven lord regained consciousness and the truth was made clear, he had to take the painful decision to banish all the dark elven deities for their roles in the war against the Seldarine. Eilistraee was cleared from any wrongdoing, considered only an unwitting participant, but regardless she insisted upon this punishment: she foresaw that the dark elves would need a beacon of good within their reach and her help and support in the times to come. Reluctant yet proud, Corellon conceded her wish.
After very nearly slaying her own father with a misplaced arrow, Eilistraee swore never to use ranged weaponry again, lest her missile go astray. Thereafter, the sword was the only weapon for her.
After her exile, the Dark Maiden wandered Toril, the same world that the elves had chosen as their home. For centuries, she fought Vhaeraun's corruption of the Ilythiiri, thwarting his efforts to gain influence over all the dark elves of the south. Eilistraee had in fact foreseen that the influence of Vhaeraun (and of her mother, whom she knew would later come to Toril), would have led the Tel'Quessir to war against each other, and she worked to prevent that.
When Sharlario and Cornaith Moonflower traveled towards Ilythiir as representatives of the elves, to establish diplomatic ties with the dark elves there, Eilistraee personally appeared to both of them. The Dark Dancer came to seek friends in the two elves, and to warn them of the danger represented by Vhaeraun and his followers, and of the strife and conflict that they (and even darker deities) would have brought to the People. Both elves offered to become her followers, to support the goddess in her struggle, but—although honored—Eilistraee kindly refused, as she only wanted the elves to be aware, and as she feared that soon her own people would become exiles like she was.
Eilistraee eventually managed to gain some followers in Ilythiir, but her strength wasn't enough for her to prevail. On the contrary, she and her followers became hunted by the Masked Lord and the Ilythiiri, and the conflict allowed Ghaunadaur to rise and gain influence over the dark elves, posing an even greater threat than Vhaeraun. Lolth's attention turned to the dark elves of Toril only later, when the moon elf Kethryllia Amarillis intruded into the Demonweb Pits, reminding the Spider Queen of a way to regain more of her divinity by having the surface elves worship her again. Her power started to rise after the First Sundering and the death of many Vhaeraunites in the destruction of Atorrnash, which contributed to the decline of the Masked Lord, and the further marginalization of Eilistraee.
After dark and green elven refugees from Aryvandaar founded Miyeritar in −18,800 DR, the Dark Maiden's faith concentrated there, as the goddess became a major patroness of the nation, which would flourish and grow into an important center of arts and magic. However, the following centuries inflicted blow after blow to Eilistraee and her followers. During the Crown Wars (−12,000 DR to −9000 DR), she could only mitigate the growing control Lolth, Vhaeraun, and Ghaunadaur had over the dark elves. In −10,500 DR, the Dark Disaster—a magical cataclysm unleashed by the elves of Aryvandaar—caused the death of many of her people in Miyeritar, severely weakening the goddess' power. Meanwhile, Lolth and Ghaunadaur gained great influence among the dark elves, culminating in −10,000 DR, when the Seldarine and the elves gathered at the Elven Court cursed and exiled all dark elves (including Eilistraee's followers), turning them into drow. This harsh punishment was motivated by the corruption that Lolth and the balor Wendonai were spreading among the noble houses of Ilythiir, and by the worship of Lolth that had begun to spread among the Ilythiiri. Ultimately, Eilistraee could not rival Lolth's power, and the Spider Queen became the major deity of the dark elves. After this event, Lolth's and Ghaunadaur's persecution of worshipers of rival deities further marginalized the influence of the Lady of the Dance for millennia.
Eilistraee found an unlikely protégé in her nephew-god, Selvetarm. He was the son of Vhaeraun and Zandilar the Dancer (who would later become one with Bast, forming Sharess), but had spurned both his parents and walked alone for centuries, neither good nor evil. After Eilistraee found and befriended him, Selvetarm came to admire her goodness and appreciate her teachings, and the two grew close to each other. A hope was sparked in the Dark Maiden's heart: that her nephew could become an exemplar, and aid her in healing the rift between the dark elves and the Seldarine. However, said hope and friendship ended in the late 3rd century after Dalereckoning, when Lolth tricked Selvetarm into slaying Zanassu (a demon lord whom Lolth considered her rival, as he claimed to have power over spiders), by promising him that doing so would gain him the admiration of the Dark Maiden. But Selvetarm was overwhelmed by the demonic essence and he fell wholly to evil, ending up as Lolth's champion. Spiteful Lolth did this to prevent her daughter gaining an ally among the Dark Seldarine.
Despite all these setbacks, Eilistraee kept fighting to bring her hope to the drow and lead them back to their rightful place in the light. It was only in the centuries after Dalereckoning that her faith regained a degree of prominence in Faerûn.
The Time of Troubles
In 1358 DR, when all the deities of the various pantheons were forced to walk Toril in their mortal avatar forms by Ao's decree (an event known as the Time of Troubles, or the "Avatar Crisis"), Eilistraee too was affected. She appeared to mortals at least once during the Time of Troubles. The Lady of Dance manifested in the High Forest, in the location that became known as Darkmaiden's Leap, a site of pilgrimage sacred to her. The goddess ventured there to rescue a group of drow refugees and lead them to the safety of the temple of the Promenade.
During the 1360s DR, Eilistraee took to heart the young drow Liriel Baenre and her travels on the surface. While Lolth constantly tried to claim Liriel as her own chosen, Eilistraee kept subtly singing her call to the girl, guiding her and letting her channel her magic on multiple occasions, in order to help her find her own path. For example, the emotion of Eilistraee's dance, and that of her moon magic, helped Liriel to envision and create her personal rune to carve in the Yggdrasil's Child—the goal of her quest, that would have allowed her to preserve her drow magic (and therefore, to her, identity) on the surface, and which also granted all drow the same ability (although that effect was not something that Liriel had intended to happen). Eilistraee's Moonsong, the ability to hear the song of people and places lit by the moon, guided Liriel to free the elven souls that had been trapped in a magical tapestry by the illithid Vestress of the Kraken Society, and made her feel a connection to the followers of the goddess. The Dark Maiden also helped the young drow bring back her lover Fyodor from the brink of death. and Thorn—Eilistraee's own champion—assisted her in her travel to Rashemen. All in all, Eilistraee spoke to Liriel's emotional side, providing her a sense of sisterhood, and reminding her of the beauty and joy that could be found in life.
At the beginning of the 1370s DR, the cosmology rearranged under the World Tree model. After her millennia-long exile, Eilistraee was allowed to move her divine realm, and the souls of all her followers (including drow), back to Arvandor. She kept a small realm in the Demonweb Pits, but it remained mostly empty, and Eilistraee herself very rarely visited it. It wasn't known whether moving from Ysgard to Arvandor happened out of material necessity, or was the first sign of her efforts towards reconciliation bearing results.[speculation]
War of the Spider Queen
In the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, the goddess Lolth went into a state of hibernation, a period called the Silence of Lolth, with Selvetarm protecting her, as part of a plan to increase her power and separate her divine realm, the Demonweb Pits, from the Abyss. For about one year, she stopped granting spells to her followers and became effectively inactive. During this time, Lolth's absence led a considerable number of her followers to seek alternatives in the other deities of the Dark Seldarine and this resulted in Eilistraee gaining followers and influence. She chose one of her new converts, Halisstra Melarn, to wield the artifact known as the Crescent Blade, which could be used to kill Lolth before her awakening (in 1373 DR). Halisstra went on a mission to the Demonweb Pits, leading two fellow priestesses of the Dark Maiden, Uluyara and Feliane. However, after being defeated at the hand of Quenthel Baenre, Halisstra ultimately decided to betray Eilistraee and convert back to the awakened Lolth. The Spider Queen punished her former heresy by turning her into the Lady Penitent, whose duty was to hunt drow who tried to turn to other faiths. The Crescent Blade was left broken, lying in the Demonweb Pits.
Even after Lolth emerged from her Silence, the deities of the Dark Seldarine continued battling for supremacy over the drow or, in Eilistraee's case, to free them from Lolth's renewed grasp.
Lolth convinced Eilistraee to play a divine game of sava, with the stakes being the players' lives and therefore the very fate of the drow. The Dark Maiden accepted, seeing an opportunity to finally end the torment that Lolth had been inflicting on the drow for millennia and to set her people free, and put herself on the line for them. After the end of the Silence, working on the Spider Queen's side, Selvetarm ordered his Judicators to initiate a series of attacks against the shrines and temples of Eilistraee. At the same time, Vhaeraun was plotting against his sister and working to devise a method to slay her. As a result, his worshipers planned to cast a High Magic spell to allow Vhaeraun to enter his sister's realm and assassinate her. However, that kind of magic was very taxing, and would have required the sacrifice of the souls of the casters. Because of that, the followers of the Masked Lord started to kill various priestesses of Eilistraee and collect their souls in their masks (a technique which they called "soultheft"), in order to use them as a fuel for the ritual.
Eventually, Qilué Veladorn, leader of the church of Eilistraee, managed to learn about their plan and started working to disrupt it, alongside the drow mage Q'arlynd Melarn (who had turned to the faith of Eilistraee). Q'arlynd's task was to take the place of one of the Vhaerunites and try to disrupt their ritual. Meanwhile, Eilistraee sought to recover the lost Crescent Blade; to that purpose, Cavatina Xarann, a Darksong Knight serving the Dark Dancer, went on a mission into the Demonweb Pits, where the sword was seen last.
With the Dark Maiden and her followers struggling against multiple fronts, Selvetarm made another move, trying to strike at the heart of his aunt's forces, as his followers attacked the Promenade of the Dark Maiden. However, his attempts ultimately failed: on Nightal 20 of the Year of Risen Elfkin, 1375 DR, the defenders of the Promenade (led by Qilué) bested the assailants, while Cavatina killed the demigod himself in the Demonweb Pits (with the help of the Lady Penitent), using the Crescent Blade, which she had recovered almost intact (but which was no longer the original artifact, and had become a vessel for the balor Wendonai).
On the same date, Q'arlynd failed to accomplish his mission and Vhaeraun managed to enter his sister Eilistraee's realm and attempted to assassinate her. Despite that, the Dark Maiden did not receive her brother unprepared, as she had been warned by her priestesses about his intentions. No mortal actually witnessed the battle that ensued, so what happened remained largely unknown. However, Eilistraee emerged from the battle alive, suggesting that Vhaeraun had failed and perished at the hand of his sister. Chaos and despair spread among the followers of the Masked Lord, but some thought that their god was still alive, and that the twins had a plan and agreed to merge and work together against their mother for a time. Others were convinced that Vhaeraun had succeeded and was disguised as Eilistraee. Either way, it was certain that after the event, Eilistraee was changed: she held both her brother's and her own portfolios, she gained the title of "Masked Lady", and caused her followers and Vhaeraun's to cooperate, albeit uneasily.[note 5]
In the Year of the Haunting, 1377 DR, Kiaransalee and her cultists initiated hostilities against the Masked Lady and her followers. Furthermore, the church of the Revenancer tried to call an army of undead from Death Heart, a city on the Negative Energy Plane, by feeding the faerzress with negative energy. As a byproduct, this increased the drow's urge to go back to the Underdark, which clashed with the Dark Maiden's goal of leading her people back to the surface. Eilistraee answered to that through a High Magic ritual performed by Q'arlynd Melarn, which erased the demigoddess' name from the minds of every Torillian being, including Kiaransalee herself, leading to her disappearance. Her temple was also destroyed, and her followers' plan thwarted.
Following those events, by Eilistraee's will, Qilué began helping Q'arlynd Melarn prepare a High Magic spell meant to sever the link between the faerzress and the drow who didn't worship Lolth, and make it easier to lead them away from the Underdark and to the surface. Meanwhile, Qilué also took possession of the Wendonai-possessed Crescent Blade, and hatched a plan to kill the demon (whom Lolth had originally used to corrupt the drow into following her) by taking its essence into her and destroying it with Mystra's silver fire in the place where he had been summoned for the first time. If successful, she would have freed the drow from him, but in the time that it took her to prepare for the plan, his presence would affect and influence her.
In 1379 DR, Ghaunadaur joined the conflict between Lolth and Eilistraee, focusing his attention on the latter (who, through her chosen, had previously banished The Elder Eye's avatar from Toril). As a result, with the help of some traitors among the former Vhaeraunites who had joined the Masked Lady, his cultists managed to attack the Promenade. Their goal was to destroy the prison—guarded by the followers of Eilistraee—that prevented their god from creeping into Toril. The attempt failed, but the inhabitants of the temple, and the followers of the goddess who used the Moonspring portals to aid them, suffered heavy losses.
In Flamerule of the Year of the Lost Keep, 1379 DR, the High Magic spell that Q'arlynd Melarn and Qilué had prepared was cast with the intervention of Eilistraee (although the goddess would withdraw her presence early during the ritual). Qilué was supposed to be the main caster, but she had realized that she couldn't have taken part in the spell, for Wendonai's influence would have compromised it, and had assigned her role to Q'arlynd instead. Despite being meant to sever the link between the faerzress and the drow, the ritual also transformed hundreds among the followers of Eilistraee (who, as lesser deity, had at least a few thousands of worshipers) and those drow who were not tainted by Wendonai's blood, back to their original dark elven form.[note 6]
At the same time, in order to enact the plan to destroy Wendonai, Qilué and her sister Laeral Silverhand traveled to the only place where such a task could be accomplished: the royal court of ancient Ilythiir, where the balor had been summoned for the first time. Fearing that Qilué would lose her life in the ritual, Laeral froze her in time and went to seek help, but in the meantime the drow priestess was found by the Lady Penitent, who took hold of the Crescent Blade. Eilistraee inhabited the body of her chosen to try to save her, free Halisstra's from Lolth's influence, and offer relief from torment. However, Wendonai tricked the Lady Penitent into killing Qilué and the goddess before that could happen, making her believe that the chosen and her deity were actually Lolth.[note 7] After that, the souls of the newly transformed dark elves among the faithful of Eilistraee were allowed by Corellon Larethian to enter Arvandor (even though Eilistraee's realm, which continued existing, had already been moved to Arvandor almost a decade before, alongside the souls of her followers within it). Despite Corellon's decision, Qilué's soul didn't go to his realm in Arvandor, and became a Weaveghost instead.
Eilistraee managed to return to life during the event known as the Second Sundering, in Flamerule, 1489 DR. The goddess took the title of Dark Maiden once again, as her brother too had returned and taken back his portfolio. Despite Q'arlynd's ritual, the returned Dark Dancer was still a drow goddess and most of her followers drow. She also gained the portfolio of freedom, in addition to her traditional portfolios of beauty, dance, song, moonlight, swordwork, and hunting.
After their reappearance, Eilistraee and Vhaeraun reached a reciprocal understanding, and the enmity between them was no more. Both siblings personally let their return be known, manifesting through their avatars to their followers, who enthusiastically spread the word. Eilistraee, in particular, was seen dancing and speaking to mortals in many places, especially along the Sword Coast. For example, the citizens of Waterdeep witnessed the Dark Dancer, as she danced in the moonlight, near the walls of the city, up the road to Amphail. This led many moondancers to the City of Splendors, with the goal of creating a shrine to their goddess (the Dancing Haven) within its walls.
Eilistraee's alliance with Mystra continued after the return of the two goddesses, as the Lady of Mysteries chose to share the Weave with the Dark Maiden and other allied deities (like Azuth). This was meant to both stabilize the Weave, and prevent it from crumbling due to disruptive actions (like Lolth's failed plan to build her own Demon Weave by parasitizing the original), or attempts on Mystra's own life (like that which caused the Spellplague). Furthermore, while Eilistraee's and Mystra's shared chosen, Qilué, remained a Weaveghost, Eilistraee didn't want to give up on her, and made sure that her priestess had full access to her divine realm.
Eilistraee's allies were the elven gods of the Seldarine, as well as Mystra, Selûne, Lurue, Mielikki, Haela Brightaxe, Callarduran Smoothhands, and the other good deities of the Underdark races.
Relationship with Mystra
Eilistraee was surprisingly close to the human goddess of magic Mystra, through Qilué Veladorn, seventh of the Seven Sisters, who served both goddesses as Chosen of Mystra and as Chosen of Eilistraee. Mystra commanded her followers to promote the growth of magic everywhere, which included encouraging the development of spellcraft among races with high affinity to magic, like the drow, and nurturing them. It was one more reason for the Lady of Mysteries to choose the Dark Maiden as a friend, and their relationship continued even after the human wizard Midnight took Mystra's mantle.[note 8] After the Second Sundering, Mystra chose to share the Weave with Eilistraee, among others.
Relationship with the Seldarine
While the Dark Maiden and the Seldarine were allies, and despite her efforts towards the reconciliation of elves and drow, their relationship was a difficult one because of the division between the two people, and because of the perception that many elves had of their "dark kin". This was especially true for Shevarash, with whom Eilistraee barely managed to keep an uneasy truce. Eilistraee was polite to all the elven powers, but she was only close to Erevan Ilesere. In the 1370s DR Eilistraee, moved her divine realm from Ysgard to Arvandor. It wasn't known whether the Seldarine allowed her to do so out of the material necessity presented by a shift in the cosmology, or if that was the first sign of her efforts towards reconciliation bearing results.[speculation]
Eilistraee's enemies were the drow gods of the Dark Seldarine—namely Kiaransalee, Ghaunadaur, her nephew Selvetarm, her brother Vhaeraun (only until 1489 DR), and especially her own mother Lolth. She also counted as foes the other evil deities of the Underdark: Deep Duerra and Laduguer, Blibdoolpoolp, the Blood Queen, Diinkarazan and Diirinka, the Great Mother, Gzemnid, Ilsensine, Ilxendren, Laogzed, and Maanzecorian before his death. She also counted as an enemy Malar, a rival and evil god of the hunt in the surface world.
Relationship with Lolth
Lolth was Eilistraee's chief enemy. The Dark Maiden was infuriated by her mother's evil and corruption, and constantly strove to help the drow break free from her oppression and find their way back to the surface world.
Lolth ordered the persecution of all the worshipers of the Dark Maiden and the suppression of all information and records about her. The Spider Queen's clergy worked to hide Eilistraee's existence to the drow, fearing the impact that such knowledge would have on the status quo. They were particularly wary of the Dark Maiden's call, that would lure the dark elves to the surface and show them the beauty of a kind of life that they were denied, and did all they could to prevent the drow from hearing and feeling it, afraid that they would choose to follow it and abandon the Way of Lolth.
Relationship with Vhaeraun
The relationship between Eilistraee and Vhaeraun drastically changed over the ages. After her self-imposed exile, the Dark Maiden fought Vhaeraun's warmongering influence on the dark elves of Ilythiir. After the Descent of the drow, while the two siblings shared certain goals, their views on how to achieve them clashed. Eilistraee wished the drow to peacefully return to the surface and build friendships with other races, while Vhaeraun wanted the drow to claim back the ancient prestige of Ilythiir through violence and conquest.
The Dark Maiden didn't hate her brother, but was saddened by his cruelty and selfishness. Nonetheless, their conflict eventually escalated in 1375 DR, when Vhaeraun's plan to assassinate his sister backfired, and she temporarily took his portfolio. However, post-1489 DR, after their return during the Second Sundering, Eilistraee and Vhaeraun had gained a deep understanding of each other. As a consequence, they were closer and became more open to each other's ways and goals. They reached a truce and even friendship, although some of their followers still remained foes and skirmished often.
Relationship with Selvetarm
Selvetarm wasn't always among the Dark Dancer's enemies—once, he admired his aunt and she inspired him to turn toward goodness. The two grew very close, and Eilistraee even hoped that Selvetarm's good heart could convince the Seldarine to work with her to reunite the drow and the elves. However, her hope was destined to die when Lolth tricked the young demigod into a terrible fall.
Relationship with Ghaunadaur
The Dark Maiden hated the influence that Ghaunadaur had on the drow, and fought it on many occasions. The Elder Eye held a grudge against Eilistraee due to her efforts in defeating and trapping his avatar near the Promenade of the Dark Maiden, in order to protect the city of Waterdeep from it.
Eilistraee was served by the following creatures, whom she also sent as her agents: aasimar, aasimon (particularly lights), asuras, cath shee, einheriar, eladrins, mercury dragons, elven cats, feystags, frosts, hollyphants, incarnates of faith and hope, lythari, mist dragons, moon dogs, moon horses, pixies, radiance quasielementals, revered ones, silver dogs, silver dragons, sprites, sunflies, tieflings, and silver-striped tabby cats or normal-looking animals with solid silver-colored eyes. Silver moths could also be used as a message from the goddess.
Eilistraee's holy symbol was formerly a longsword, standing vertically with point upward, outlined against a full moon, which was surrounded by a nimbus of filaments representing her hair, all in silver. However, a more elaborate variant that entered common usage from 1372 DR depicted a nude female drow with long hair, bearing a silver sword and dancing before the full moon. This symbol was still in use in the 1480s DR, after Eilistraee's return with the Second Sundering.
- Main article: Church of Eilistraee
The worshipers of Eilistraee mostly consisted of those drow who hoped to escape the danger and darkness of the Underdark and Lolth's evil, taking back their place in the surface world. However, in line with her ideals, Eilistraee would welcome beings of all races (though, among her non-drow followers, elves, humans, and especially half-elves were the most numerous). They shared the desire of seeing all races living in harmony, without pointless discrimination or wars, and worked towards that goal (and those among them who were drow also fought to build their own place on the Realms above).
Eilistraean communities were often of matriarchal nature. However, differently from Lolth's, theirs was a nurturing matriarchy, meant to empower all—males and females alike—to thrive on the surface world, and characterized by a very loose hierarchy. In fact, the clerics of Eilistraee, commonly known as Sword Dancers, acted as an extension of Eilistraee's own motherhood of the drow, and took the role of teachers, protectresses, and diplomats. The priestesses aided their people to learn to live and forge their own path in a hostile world, and to rediscover a sense of belonging and community. They also protected their people from danger, and built a place for them to live by establishing friendships and relationships with other races. The Eilistraeans were also known to offer aid and shelter to those who came asking them (no matter the race), and even to actively travel to other places in order to bring food, cures, arts, and practical help where there was need of it and to those met along the way.
Many followers of Eilistraee, and especially her clerics, strove to learn and promote arts—with a soft spot for music and dance—as well as teaching them and passing along the knowledge of particular pieces, songs, or dances learned during travels or created by them. They would also take care of broken musical instruments, or craft new ones. Those who didn't know an art, were instead known to support bards by hiring them when they could afford it. This was part of their way to promote joy and merriment in their communities and during their travels.
That said, despite their efforts, the faithful of Eilistraee, were little known and poorly understood by inhabitants of both the Realms Above and the Underdark. Her worshipers were figures of myth and superstition and were targets of prejudice and wild mistruths. Some surface dwellers believed they were the disguised vanguard of the Spider Goddess's plan to take over the surface, while those drow who followed Lolth or other evil deities suspected them of being surface elf spies and saboteurs posing as drow as a prelude to invasion. Most non-elves could not comprehend the existence of a good drow deity, while surface elves were uncomfortable considering it, finding Eilistraee a threat to their doctrine that the dark elves were wholly to blame for the Crown Wars and other ancient tragedies.
Eilistraee was most commonly worshiped in Cormanthor among the drow there and in the Dalelands among the half-elves, and also in Waterdeep and Skullport. She also had followers (mostly humans, elves, and half-elves) living in Silverymoon and its surroundings. All her worshipers were typically of a good nature.
Main article: Shrines and Temples to Eilistraee
Under the Great Wheel cosmology, Eilistraee had her home in Svartalfheim, the drow domain of Nidavellir, the third layer of the plane of Ysgard. Svartalfheim was an underground realm of tunnels heated by hot springs, characterized by precious or semiprecious minerals and subterranean forests that only needed heat to live.
Under the World Tree cosmology, Eilistraee had her home in Arvandor, a plane of natural beauty, with the elven gods of the Seldarine. Within its borders, the night was perpetual, with the moon ever-shining in the deep blue sky. Faith was more potent here than in the rest of Arvandor, and all followers of the other drow gods of the Dark Seldarine suffered minor impediments. Her realm here was small, however, as she split her divine energy between it and another small domain within the Demonweb Pits, home of the other drow gods of the Dark Seldarine. This place was almost abandoned, however.
Eilistraee was first created for the original home campaign run by Ed Greenwood himself, appearing by manifestation, dream vision, and in person. At the behest of editor Newton Ewell, who wanted a deity for good drow in the game, Greenwood used the opportunity to make the Dark Dancer official and added Eilistraee to The Drow of the Underdark (1991) and thus to the official Forgotten Realms.
Greenwood designed Eilistraee as a nurturing mother goddess, even a fertility goddess. The popular dancing-naked-under-moonlight aspect of the goddess and her faith was inspired by British traditions of fairies, and was intended to show her as non-warlike and non-violent, rather than capricious. She could be a protectress of her people and a terrific sword dancer, but she was intended to be a bard, not a huntress herself, only encouraging these skills in her followers, in order to help them survive on the surface. Neither was she a moon goddess, only one found under the moon as drow stole onto the surface at night. Nevertheless, by association, the official Eilistraee acquired such skills and powers herself under later writers and development. Ed Greenwood denies a connection to Artemis/Diana of Greek and Roman mythology, though the later development appears to have made the official Eilistraee a little more similar.
- Post–Second Sundering, after her return (circa 1480s DR), Eilistraee is presumed to no longer have the title "Masked Lady", because Vhaeraun too has returned and taken back his portfolio.
- As said here, in answer to this question, only the following lines of text in the last reference are to be considered canon: "After Flamerule 1489, Vhaeraun and Eilistraee are separate deities with the same powers and portfolios they had before 1375, but a new understanding, respect, and even friendship for each other. Some of their followers still war with each other, but the two deities do not. Thus far, Eilistraee’s teachings after the Sundering are the same as before the Sundering"
- The Drow of the Underdark sourcebook lists Weather as a major sphere (see p. 23), whereas Demihuman Deities lists it as minor (see p. 17). Also, the Plant sphere is granted in the DotU, but was changed to the Wards sphere in DD.
- About 68% of the time.
- The Grand History of the Realms explicitly says that Vhaeraun's assassination attempt failed and Eilistraee killed him. However, in one of his answers, Ed Greenwood suggests that Eilistraee actually spared her brother's life. The Dark Maiden defeated Vhaeraun with the indirect help of her ally Mystra, as the Weave frustrated the Masked Lord's magic while enhancing Eilistraee's. The goddess temporarily took her brother's portfolio, and trapped his sentience in the Weave, where it was enfolded in a dream by Mystra. The Lady of Mysteries did that to ensure that the two drow siblings would survive the cataclysm that she knew was coming—the Spellplague—in which she would be "killed" to renew the Weave, and magic would go wild.
- Considering Eilistraee's ideals of acceptance, that—in over 10,000 years—Eilistraee never once acted or suggested the idea of such a change; and that her main goal was always to help the drow rediscover the kind of life that they had lost, and to establish them as rightful, non-evil citizens of the surface world, it could be that the goddess herself was opposed to the forceful transformation of her people. This would be further supported by her belief that the drow needed to find their own path in life, and her gentle and never direct approach in helping them in such endeavour (Demihuman Deities p. 12 and 14). It could explain why the spell—which saw her intervention—only affected a minority of her people and why, after the goddess' return, both she and her followers are still drow
- In the same answer mentioned in the previous note, Ed Greenwood hints that Eilistraee actually managed to survive Halisstra's attempt to kill her, albeit much weakened. When Qilué Veladorn was killed, since the Masked Lady was inhabiting her body, a great part of her power was dragged into the Weave with the Chosen's soul (the souls of Mystra's chosen often become "Voices in the Weave" after their death, as explained in the novel Spellstorm, and their memories and experiences are shared by Mystra). After that, for about a century, Eilistraee could only manfest herself only as a floating black mask surrounded by moonlight, capable of silently communicating with mortals, but not of answering prayers or granting spells (except by direct touch). After Mystra and the Weave were completely restored in 1487 DR, the goddess of magic could finally give Eilistraee her own lost power, and do the same with Vhaeraun, after having awakened him from his dream.
- A concept further reinforced by Ed Greenwood's explanation of how Mystra worked to help Eilistraee during the War of the Spider Queen crisis.
- The Drow of the Underdark
- Demihuman Deities
- The Seven Sisters
- Warriors of Heaven
- Faiths and Pantheons
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition
- Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide
- Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
- Dragon #176: "If You Need Help – Ask the Drow"
- Dragon #172: "Seeing the Sights in Skullport"
- Dragon #227: "Report from Undermountain"
- Dragon #251: "Magic of the Seldarine"
- Dragon #315: "Sin Eaters of Eilistraee"
- Stand-alone novels:
- Starlight & Shadows trilogy:
- War of the Spider Queen series:
- The Lady Penitent trilogy:
- Video games
- Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal: Eilistraee is mentioned by one of her followers in the drow city of Ust Natha, Solaufein.
- Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark: Eilistraee is mentioned and described by the converted drow assassin Nathyrra and by the Seer, a priestess of the Dark Maiden leading a group of rebels in the drow city of Lith My'athar. In the second chapter of the game, the player character is asked to aid the followers of Eilistraee of Lith My'athar against the Valsharess and her army.
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Eilistraee is one of the deities that can be chosen during character creation.
- Board Games
- Lords of Waterdeep – Scoundrels of Skullport expansion: One of the quest cards available to the players is called "Protect converts to Eilistraee", saying "The Dark Lady smiles on those who see the deeper beauty within."
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 237, 240–241. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), pp. 20–25. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
- Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), pp. 99, 173. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
- Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 13–16. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- Ed Greenwood (August 1999). Silverfall. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1365-7.
- Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
- Lisa Smedman (September 2007). Storm of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4701-0.
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- Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 23, 108. ISBN 978-0786965809.
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- Ed Greenwood (2016-06-07). Death Masks. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-6593-2.
- Ed Greenwood/The Hooded One (2015-04-17). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2015). Candlekeep Forum.
- Ed Greenwood/The Hooded One (2015-11-14). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2015). Candlekeep Forum.
- Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 23–25. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
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- Hal Maclean (September 2004). “Seven Deadly Domains”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #323 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 65.
- William L. Christensen (April 2006). “The Wild Hunt”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #342 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 89.
- Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
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- Elaine Cunningham (1999). Evermeet: Island of Elves. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1354-1.
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- Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 2. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
- Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
- Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 12–13. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 133–135. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
- Elaine Cunningham (July 2003). Daughter of the Drow (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 978-0786929290.
- Elaine Cunningham (July 2003). Daughter of the Drow (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 144. ISBN 978-0786929290.
- Elaine Cunningham (July 2003). Daughter of the Drow (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786929290.
- Elaine Cunningham (May 1998). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 252–253. ISBN 0-7869-0698-7.
- Elaine Cunningham (May 1998). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 345–346. ISBN 0-7869-0698-7.
- Ed Greenwood/The Hooded One (2006-11-05). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2006). Candlekeep Forum.
- Ed Greenwood/The Hooded One (2006-11-06). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2006). Candlekeep Forum.
- Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 24. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
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- Elaine Cunningham (April 2004). Windwalker (Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 107–109. ISBN 0-7869-3184-1.
- Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
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Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat
Greater Gods of Faerûn
Amaunator | Asmodeus | Bane | Chauntea | Corellon | Cyric | Ghaunadaur | Gruumsh | Kelemvor | Lolth | Moradin | Oghma | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Tempus | Torm
Gods of Faerûn
Angharradh | Auril | Bahamut | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Garl Glittergold | Gond | Ilmater | Loviatar | Luthic | Malar | Mielikki | Sheela Peryroyl | Sseth | Talona | Tiamat | Tymora | Umberlee | Waukeen | Zehir
Exarchs of Faerûn
Abbathor | Arvoreen | Baervan Wildwanderer | Bahgtru | Baravar Cloakshadow | Brandobaris | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Sashelas | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Erevan Ilesere | Fenmarel Mestarine | Fzoul Chembryl | Garagos | Hoar | Hruggek | Jergal | Labelas Enoreth | Lliira | Maglubiyet | Malar | Marthammor Duin | Milil | Obould | Red Knight | Sharess | Shargaas | Shevarash | Shiallia | Siamorphe | Solonor Thelandira | Thard Harr | Uthgar | Valkur | Vaprak | Vergadain
Greater Deities of Faerûn
Angharradh | Bane | Chauntea | Corellon Larethian | Cyric | Garl Glittergold | Gruumsh | Horus-Re | Kelemvor | Lathander | Moradin | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Yondalla
Intermediate Deities of Faerûn
Abbathor | Arvoreen | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain
Major Deities of Faerûn
Angharradh | Bane | Bhaal | Chauntea | Corellon Larethian | Garl Glittergold | Gruumsh | Horus-Re | Lathander | Moradin | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Yondalla
Other Deities of Faerûn
Auppenser | Abbathor | Arvoreen | Auril | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain