Description[edit | edit source]
Qilué was a 6 feet tall drow female of wild, dazzling beauty (a far cry from the sleek, well-groomed appearance of most drow priestesses). She had silvery hair that flowed down to her ankles, and silver eyes (like her goddess) that were larger than those of most drow. Her appearance was so awe-inspiring, imperious at times, that Liriel Baenre believed Qilué to be Eilistraee herself when meeting her for the first time.
Personality[edit | edit source]
The seventh among the Seven Sisters, or the "Dark Sister", Qilué was the focus of wild rumors, her reputation on the surface Realms being made up of whispers and voices, but nothing more (and often far from the truth). More than any of the other Sisters, because of her service to (and her being a chosen of) two free-spirited goddesses (Eilistraee and Mystra—The Two Who Watch, as she called the goddesses when weary of their directives), she was always careful of her power and of using it properly. Qilué Veladorn was the high priestess of the Promenade of the Dark Maiden, a temple to Eilistraee that she founded near Skullport, in the Undermountain, an underground dungeon that laid below the city of Waterdeep. The other drow of the temple regarded her as the Chosen of the Chosen (Chosen of Eilistraee was often used as an alias by her followers), as she was a leader and an inspiration to them: they looked to her as an exemplar and both respected and loved her. Even if Eilistraee's clergy didn't have a hierarchy, most priestesses (within the Promenade and outside it), recognized Qilué as a guiding figure.
Qilué could be firm and commanding when needed, but she usually was a kind and warm person (even if she could also be impish and rather irreverent). The Dark Sister disliked violence and preferred to avoid combat through the use of diplomacy, although she didn't hesitate to attack and could be as cold and merciless as any drow, when it came to protect herself and her people. Her supporters would often speak of intense personal friendships with the high priestess, of her relaxed and understanding nature and of her ability to accept any individual for whom they were (even when she could see their darkest secrets). They trusted her word and often didn't hesitate to redirect lost adventurers (or individuals who felt lost in their lives) to see Qilué, because:
The Dark Sister was angered by tyrants and slavers, and anything that would oppress intelligent creatures. She was very proactive in contrasting such forces (which often led her and her drow to battle bands of followers of Vhaeraun and Lolth, slavers and organizations like the Zhentarim or the Cult of the Dragon). She also despised all drow who acted with arrogance and cruelty, and all those people whose prejudice led them to draw their weapon against drow, expecting them to be enemies even before a single word could be spoken. In many occasions, she humbled all those who underestimated her and the drow of the Promenade (trying to to raid it and get rid of the dark elves in it), teaching them a lesson that they would hardly forget.
Qilué loved to dance and to hear and perform singing. She never danced for Eilistraee when clothed, as the Dark Maiden was celebrated through nude dance. Many people in Skullport have been surprised, sometimes even enthralled, by the sight of a nude drow lady dancing alone in a far cavern, with only the bio-luminescence of underground mushrooms to illuminate her. Qilué sometimes purposefully showed herself in this way to lure drow of other faiths or any individual that she wished to talk to.
The Dark Sister had a talent in playing pranks and making mischief, and she—covered in illusions—would often visit the city of Waterdeep, joining parties of the Waterdhavian nobility or learning about the human society. She particularly enjoyed taking Laeral's appearance, and her wild, mischievous ways and dalliances with human men gained her sister quite a reputation among the nobility. The Dark Sister could be totally uninhibited at said parties and celebrations: her duties didn't leave her much time to dedicate to herself, so she fully enjoyed any chance to unwind, often letting all control escape her, dancing and frolicking with wild abandon.
Differently from most clergy of Eilistraee, the priestesses of the Promenade—Qilué included—didn't spend much time on the surface, concentrating their activities underground. Nonetheless, Qilué was concerned by the happenings in Waterdeep. She was particularly careful of the intrigues of the Waterdhavian nobility and of the criminality that they hired to advance shady goals, mostly related to slavery. Qilué fought and vehemently opposed slavery-focused organizations in various ways, either directly, or by sabotaging their activities (like the making of potions and poisons used to kidnap folks to then sell them as slaves in Calimshan, or to be forced to work in Calishite-owned mines in Chult). She would often travel to Skullport and Waterdeep, attending significant meetings hidden by her magic, learning useful information for her goals, and she had many agents on the surface world. Her other major concern was to convert (or, if truly forced to, destroy) the increasing numbers of drow who came to the temple complex with hostile intent, as the Promenade was seen as an abomination to be destroyed by most followers of Lolth, Ghaunadaur, and even Vhaeraun.
Possessions[edit | edit source]
Qilué possessed a unique singing sword that could be stored in an extradimensional space located within the Weave and drawn from there at will. Others who tried to trace the sword, or enter the extradimensional space, would find their way barred by a manifestation sent by Eilistraee, equal in effect to an Evard's black tentacles spell that materialized right in front of them, accompanied by the discharge of a cascade of lightning bolts Qilué called this blade “Dancing Mistress,” but Eilistraee herself called it "Iluemeirarra", the name of her drow priestess whose soul and was bound into it at the death of her corporeal body. Iluemeirarra could see through the sword and telepathically speak to Qilué (or other wielders, as well as to creatures wounded by the blade) to warn her of eventual approachers.
Whenever Qilué was outside the temple, she wore a single bracer on her right forearm that was a sheath for a magical, silver-plated dagger and that also had the power of storing six spells of any level. It was gifted to Qilué by three of her Sisters, and she held the item dear, as it reminded her of the love of her Sisters whenever she looked at it. She kept it loaded with the spells find traps, locate object, remove curse, fire storm, regeneration, and sunray. She didn't wear the bracer when dancing to Eilistraee.
When not dancing to the goddess, Qilué wore a robe that flickered with a shifting, silvery glow. It had the power to protect her from lower-level spells and to reflect back at the caster the first high-level spell that struck the robe in a twelve-hour period. The robe was linked to Qilué's life-force, and it instantly lost all its powers when not touching her. It could be made invisible, or made to glow with a soft radiance of a chosen color, or made to emit mists that could cloak her identity and allow her to hide in shadows.
Qilué also often carried a blast scepter and a special wand of magic missiles that could unleash about one missile per second and recover its magical energy with time (roughly, every hour it gathered the power to unleash one missile). Both were found in the tomb of an archmage of ancient Netheril. The blast scepter was an artifact capable of absorbing heat and electricity, and of reflecting the blast force of all explosions away from the bearer. The scepter could be used to stun a creature by touch, generate a conic shock wave of sonic energy (capable of knocking away and paralyzing) and powerstrike a target, severely damaging most creatures on touch (targets made up of material that had never been alive were disintegrated by it, as per the spell).
Like most clerics, she possessed a medallion, symbol of Eilistraee, that she could use for clerical spells
Powers[edit | edit source]
Mystra gifted Qilué the power to disrupt any magical item within 90 feet of her body. She could choose to selectively block items or use the energy of one item to power the effects of another. The precise limits of this power were not known. Qilué was also immune to one spell of each level: magic missile, web, lightning bolt, Evard's black tentacles, cone of cold, chain lightning, power word: stun, sink, and imprisonment. Mystra and Eilistraee also granted Qilué the power to cast some spells without the need to pray for those or to use material components. If cast, they returned to her mind by Eilistraee's grace 24 hours later. They were cure light wounds, charm person, dispel magic, neutralize poison, raise dead, blade barrier, and resurrection. Qilué was careful to pray for spells often: it was a needed precaution, as the Promenade was often under attack, and its survival also depended on the high priestess' strength. As all priestesses of Eilistraee, Qilué could manifest her Moonfire. She also had other powers, but those remained mysterious to most.
She could also use moonbeams as means of travel through long distances, although this magic could not bypass strongly magically guarded places
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Family[edit | edit source]
Qilué had a particular bond with Laeral Silverhand. As a childhood habit (that carried on to her adulthood), she used to take Laeral's appearance to wander the surface world, play pranks, or join nobles' parties, at times getting her sister in real trouble. This initially damaged their relationship, but with time Laeral came to accept her sister's ways and to even be amused by her (at times, she would even ask Qilué to impersonate her), and the two became very close. They kept in touch with each other, and Qilué gave Laeral an ear cuff that allowed her to transport directly to the Promenade of the Dark Maiden. Qilué was known to work with Laeral's Harpers, but at times their directives could come into conflict. The Seven Sisters had personal names known only to each other, to Khelben, Elminster, Lhaeo, and to certain trusted Harpers. These true names were used in messages and communication and guardian magic, so that the Sisters could recognize each other without breaking any disguise. Qilué's truename was Ilindyl.
Elkantar Iluim, a former drow noble who had been sold into slavery by his matron mother because of his rebellious tendencies, was her consort until his death at the hands of Gorlist, also in 1361 DR.
Liriel Baenre[edit | edit source]
Qilué took a liking to Liriel Baenre, who was found by Ysolde in the Land Above. She supported her, seeing her good intentions, but mostly, because Liriel showed clear signs of Eilistraee's favor, who would not favor an evil drow. However she somewhat resented her for unwittingly bringing Lolth's presence into the Promenade, disabling all magical wards, and forcing Qilué to expel the goddess' evil Presence, draining much of her strength. The dispelling of all wards led to an attack by the Dragon's Hoard, ending with some casualties and also, the death of Elkantar at the hands of Gorlist.
She grieved greatly for Elkantar, but she would suffer the loss of another loved one when her daughter, Ysolde, was also slain by Shakti Hunzrin in a later conflict devised to capture or kill Liriel. Despite having no hand in Ysolde's death, Liriel was certain of Qilué's deep resentment against her for being the indirect cause of the deaths of both her companion and beloved daughter, barring her from becoming a priestess of Eilistraee.
Others[edit | edit source]
With time, Qilué gained the reputation of a protector of adventurers, as she was known to often rescue those who ventured in the Undermountain from the perils of the dungeon. Most of those who received her help showed deep gratitude, seeming to almost revere her. In exchange of any aid or healing offered, Qilué usually asked for their help in a single, simple mission or favor, and those whose work and attitude managed to win her liking, were offered the chance to enter in the service of the drow of the Promenade (rewards consisted mostly of riches in form of gems or magic items; rewards for mages were known to also include spell scrolls and even tutelage in magic useful in the Underdark). When pleased by the work of the adventurers in her service, she gave them magical means of communicating with her, which could be used to call upon her help when they got in troubles. However, each time she had to come to the rescue carried a price in the form of a further task, and some adventurers would find themselves involved deeper and deeper into the plots of the Dark Lady in Skullport and Waterdeep.
History[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Though born to a human couple, Qilué was full-blooded drow, due to the bizarre events surrounding her birth. By the time her mother (the half-elf soreceress Elué Shundar) was bearing the seventh child, the woman—possessed by Mystra—was almost reduced to a husk by the goddess' power that flowed in her body. Believing his wife to be the victim of an evil spirit, Qilué's father (the human Harper Dornal Silverhand) killed her, endangering not only the child's life, but her soul as well, as she would have been completely destroyed by the power of the Lady of Mysteries that was flowing in her. Looking for another pregnant female strong enough to bear the child, Mystra chose a drow follower of Eilistraee, Iliryztara Veladorn, who was leading a group of like-minded drow to found a community on the surface, near the spot where Dornal killed Elué. Iliryztara's unborn daughter had perished during the journey, and that would have eventually led to the mother's death. Since Eilistraee was trying to find a way to save her follower, Mystra offered to replace the dead baby with the soul of the seventh sister, Qilué, to save both. Eilistraee accepted Mystra's offer, and the Dark Sister came to life—and so did the friendship between the Dark Maiden and the Lady of Mysteries.
When Qilué was but a child, Eilistraee (in the form of a 9-foot-tall, stunningly beautiful drow maiden) appeared to her, asking her to lead her friends to aid nearby drow in need, and gifting all the drow children holy singing swords (precious blades that sang when unsheathed, capable of protecting the wielder against fear, despair and magicaly induced fascination/domination effects) to assist and protect them in their efforts. Later, a greater mission was awaiting them, as the Dark Maiden manifested again, asking to destroy the Pit of Ghaunadaur, a mile-deep shaft connected to the Sargauth Level of Halaster's Undermountain, from where the god of abominations could have assaulted the surface world. Surrounded by a glowing aura, symbol of Eilistraee's favor, Qilué led her friends from their drow settlement of Buiyrandyn in this quest. With the protection of the Dark Maiden, they fought their way to the Pit, where Qilué faced an avatar of Ghaunadaur. Eilistraee and Mystra used the Chosen's body as a conduit for their power, and silvery fire burned away at the evil god, until it fled for its life, much reduced in strength. The remaining servants of the god fled with their master, and the divine fire melted and sealed the tunnels and entrances used for the escape. Then Qilué collapsed, and her playmates heard the voice of Eilistraee warning that Ghaunadaur had only been driven away, but not permanently defeated, and that he would one day try to return. The voice said:
When Qilué regained her consciousness, her experience and the two goddesses' gifts marked her with wisdom and an innate magical talent, which would help the Dark Sister in the role that both goddesses had envisioned for her. In the subsequent years, following the instructions of the Dark Dancer, Qilué and the rest of the Chosen of Eilistraee (the title that the drow gave themselves) started to regularly patrol the region, checking for signs of ghaunadan activity (which often led other inhabitants of the area to mockingly refer those patrols as promenades, even though the Chosen proudly used the term as a name for the temple that they would later build).
Death[edit | edit source]
In Flamerule of the Year of the Lost Keep, 1379 DR, Qilué Veladorn was killed by Halisstra Melarn using the Crescent Blade. Qilué planned to kill the balor Wendonai (whom Lolth had originally used to corrupt the drow into following her), whose essence was held inside the Crescent Blade, by taking it into her and destroying it with Mystra's silver fire. If successful, she would have freed the drow from the demon's influence, and, with that goal in mind, 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 Wendonai was 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 free Halisstra's from Lolth's influence, but Wendonai tricked her into killing Qilué before that could happen, making her believe that the chosen and her goddess were actually Lolth (supposedly slaying the Masked Lady as well in the process).
As a Weaveghost[edit | edit source]
Despite Qilué's sister's (Laeral) and Corellon's Solar's (Lashrael and Felarathael) thinking, the Blade couldn't destroy souls anymore after it was shattered and then turned into a vessel for Wendonai, as proven by the continued existence of Cavatina Xarann's soul after her body was killed by the weapon. In fact, Qilué's soul found refuge in the Weave, within the same extradimensional hideout as her singing sword Iluemeirarra, and she survived as a Weaveghost,[note 1] like all the Seven Sisters did after the death of their bodies.
In the 1480s DR, during the events of the Second Sundering, Eilistraee managed to return to life, and while Qilué remained a Weaveghost, Eilistraee granted her priestess full access to her realm. The Dark Sister chose to remove herself from mortal affairs, at least for a time, but she still talked and interacted with mortals through altars and sacred places, much like the other "dead" seven sisters could while waiting for Mystra to recreate their bodies.
A memorial stone dedicated to Qilué could be found in the Dancing Dell, within Ardeep Forest.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- In one of his answers, Ed Greenwood says that Qilué's soul was dragged into the Weave (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), bringing a great part of the Dark Maiden's power with it. Eilistraee was then severely weakened, but not truly slain. For about a century, she could only manifest herself 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, but Qilué remained a Weaveghost.
References[edit | edit source]
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- Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
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