The Moondancers & the Shadowblades
Birth of the Faith of Children of The Dancer
Faith of Children of The Dancer, drow cult for goddess Eilistraee, has definitely become one of the most prominent religious groups in Silver Shore Island. But how did that come to be? How did the drow of Silver Shores leave Lloth and become followers of the Moon? Years after breaking of the world were devastating, and as such many records have been lost. But legends still live, giving at least a taste from what once was and started the line of Prophets.
The Children tell a story of G'eldefryn from the House of Torafin'arlyl. After becoming isolated from rest of the drow, drow of Mori'tarna were fighting for their lives. Both surface and underdark were suffering, making survival and getting slaves impossible. Believing that Lloth had now abandoned them for good, the cities fell to chaos. That was until young matron of Torafin'arlyl would change things forever. She would walk on the shores of the underground lake in the center of the city when she felt light calling her. As she saw the surface of the water, she saw the reflection of the Moon and the night sky, even here deep under the solid rock. And as she came closer, she saw a drow woman, more beautiful than anything she had ever seen, dancing over the wawes. Her skin was dark as obsidian, her eyes and hair purest silver as she danced, naked, with all the joy and sorrows of the world. She was taller than any elf G'eldefryn had ever seen in her life and far more beautiful. This was the Dark Dancer, Eilistraee, and she spoke to the lost matron.
"I have come to you, my child, to be your light in the darkness. I am here with you, to show your path to a better life. Lead my children to me, and I will protect you and give you prosperity."G'eldefryn felt the summon of her goddess. She was so awestruck by her beauty, that she cried tears of joy as her goddess embraced her gently, blessing her with her power. As she was blessed by the Dancer, her hair and eyes turned silver to show she now belonged to the goddess. G'eldefryn would spread the word of the Dancer, and would go to temples were they sacrificed slaves to Lloth, and instead of sacrificing a slave she cut her own hands and bled to the altar, speaking to the crowd:
"This is last blood we will shed for the Wicked Spider queen, as Eilistraee has called us to her light. Lloth has never cared for us, but Eilistraee never forgets her children, her flesh and blood."As G'eldefryn showed the blessing of the goddess, drows around her would come to follow her, yet some were skeptical. Great matron from the house of Mel'urdenath, house great warriors and draconic sorcerers, challenged the prophet to a duel. Eilistraee would send G'eldefryn a sword made of moonlight to defeat her foe, and she would vanquish her. But as she did, matron's daughter, Vaslinithra would come to her, and instead of striking her, she offered her her sword. Vaslinithra told she had felt the goddess' summon, and would give her life to protect her prophet. G'eldefryn, moved, would ask her to rise and declared her as her shield and sister. The matrons gave away their Lothian house names, G'eldefryn's house taking the name Moondancer and Vaslinithra taking the name of Shadowblade. Together they would defeat the Llothians and bring peace to the The Children of Eilistraee, united the drow and brought them to connect with the world above.
As the disaster struck, starting the Age of Scars, land now know as Scar Coast sank under wawes by magical explosion. This formed the islands on its place, giving birth to Silver Shore Island. Under this Island there was cities of Netehdrez and Zaetron Derraz, once the southern most point of drow-areas known as Szith Draethoz. Netehdrez was just mere trading post at the time, Zaetron the south slave center, but now they were stranded away from rest of the drow. This area would later be called Mori'tarna. During this chaotic time, the drow went through remarkably fast religious revolution, and ended up establushing the Great Matron Council of Silver Shore, Faith of Children of The Dancer as well as established G'eldefryn Moondancer and Vaslinithra Shadowblade in charge of the new coalition. Exact details of these events have been lost in time, by the nature of chaotic time they happened in. What is recorded, however, is that soon after the disaster some of the drow started to trade with their wood elven cousins on the surface. It's unclear was this before or after the Eilistraees call. Some of the few records suggest that young G'eldefryn might have actually been exiled from her own house before the events, and her gaining band of followers and letting out slaves. Vaslinithra is also mentioned in some of these records, way before the supposed death of her mother. Thus, it's commonly believed that the myth is an oversimplification of a far more complex picture. This is in fact very much approved even by most theologists of The Children themselves, who believe the myth to be very much a reflection reality. What is clear, however, is that Lothians were pushed away from the new religion that would become the norm. Moondancer family has also systematically shown their capability in prophecy and divine powers, solidifying their image as a true line of prophets.
The story is well known and commonly accepted explanation of the origin of the local drow by Islanders of Silver Shore. Partially thanks to the teachings of Eilistraee as well as divine aura of the descendants of Moondancer family the story and religion has become popular at the island. Outside of the island, there is far more skepticism.
The Children pretty much base their whole livestyle and believes on these legends, and Moondancers and Shadowblades have ruled the local drow society ever since. The change of religion has tranformed the drow culture significantly from the Llothian origins. Ritualistic bleeding/blood-letting is still used as a form of worship to both revere the Goddess and to remember the first prophet. Moondancers have become the religious leaders of the local drow, and Shadowblades their military counterpart. During the rule of Empire of Islenor worship of Eilistraee was banned, which made her seen by the opposers of the empire as a figure of rebellion, and Eilistraees both loving and fierce nature have made her somewhat of a presentation of the nature of the islanders. This has further given the Great Matron Council of Silver Shore more power over the island and it's residents and has colored the culture significantly. So much so in fact, that a statue of Eilistraee was put in the middle of the city of Numen Hoop after the empire was sent away from the island, to symbolize the freed island.
Several depictions of the prophet hearing the Goddesses call, as well as from Vaslinithras vows to G'eldefryn. Some of the most famous once are the wall paintings of the Temple in Zaetron Derraz.
Date of Setting
Roughly between years 1 to 22 AoS