As you enter the large hall the High Priestess is already waiting. Her simple, white gown
is draped over the black marble floor, the flickering, blue light of the faerie fire that
lines the alabaster columns reflects off her long, silvery hair. Upon seeing you a warm,
friendly smile appears on her face and she extends her obsidian black hands invitingly.
“Welcome child,” she greets you in a melodic voice that sounds wizened with
centuries. “Welcome to our inner sanctum.”
When you approach her she takes your hands lightly in hers. “Come,” she bids
you with a joyful sparkle in her eyes, before she takes a few lithe steps backwards that
drag you with her. Then she turns—still holding one of your hands—and precedes
you deeper into the dimly lit room. She moves with the elegance of a ballroom dancer and
the exuberance of a human kid, wanting to show her newest toy to her best friend. On
occasion she looks over her shoulder, her loose tresses swaying to her movements like
white lilies in a spring breeze. And all you can do is follow her silent strides.
She brings you to a pillar of pale, white light near the back wall, shining on a
twelve-foot statue of the deepest jet and partly coated with bright silver. It depicts
the dancing form of a nude, elven woman, her arms raised high above her head and her
gleaming hair swirling around her black skin. You are led to an ebony dais standing at
the giant’s feet with a sun-bleached parchment perched on top of it. Reverently
the priestess picks up the scroll, the silvery glow limning the paper now also
enveloping her hand. She presents it to you, speaking with respect for the sacred item.
“This is a copy of Eilistraee’s Dogma,” she says. “It shows us
without doubt or duplicity the moral code by which we live. It is a guideline presented
to us by our goddess. Read it attentively, learn it by heart and try your best to follow
it in your deeds. For it is the path to Eilistraee’s light and joy, both the
question and the promise of the Dark maiden.” With this she hands you the
document and you set yourself to reading the fluent script.
Aid the weak, strong, grateful, and churlish alike. Be always kind, save in
battle with evil.
< On Promoting Joy >
Encourage happiness everywhere; lift hearts with kind words, jests, songs,
and merriment. Whenever possible, food should be eaten with accompaniment of
song. Except for properly sad occasions, a feast should be accompanied by
merriment. Promote happiness and gaiety whenever possible.
< On Self-improvement >
Learn how to cook game and how best to hunt it. Learn how to play, make, and
repair musical instruments. Learn new songs, dances, and ways with weapons,
spices, and recipes, and pass this learning on whenever possible. Practice
music and swordwork.
< On Possessions >
Wealth is to be used to buy food, musical instruments, good swords and armor,
and other tools to serve the will of the goddess. When on the road feed, aid,
and defend the needy along the way with a prayer to the goddess. Lend
assistance to those who fight for good, asking as price no more than an
object that can be used to the benefit of the goddess’ works.
< On Food >
Where food cannot be purchased or received, it must be gathered or hunted
for. Feed yourself by your own gardening and hunting skills as much as
possible. Set aside food and give it as often as possible to strangers in
need, particularly outcasts and those of other races. In times of plenty,
store food for lean times ahead.
< On Strangers >
Strangers are your friends. Any hungry travelers met with, who offer no
threats, are to be fed—carry food at all times for this purpose. The
homeless must be given shelter from storms, under your own roof if need be.
In harsh winters, patrol the lands about to find and take in the lost, the
hurt, and those caught in the teeth of cold. Try to convert at least one
stranger per moon to the worship of Eilistraee.
< On Conflict >
Defend and aid all folk, promoting harmony between the races. When fighting
evil burn the bodies of the evil creatures slain as an offering to the
goddess—unless such creatures are edible and non-sentient, and there
are hungry folk near. When faithful and allies fall in battle, any priestess
present must, if possible, provide burial, a funeral song, and comfort to the
bereaved. Repay rudeness with kindness. Repay violence with swift violence,
so that the fewest may be hurt and danger fast removed from the land.
< On Drow >
Aid all drow who are in distress. If the drow are in combat the fighting is
to be stopped with as little bloodshed as possible. So long as the drow met
with are not working evil on others, they are to be aided and given the
message of Eilistraee: “A rightful place awaits you in the Realm Above,
in the Land of the Great Light. Come in peace and live beneath the sun again,
where trees and flowers grow.”
< This is the credo of the Dark Maiden. >
Having read the text you carefully place the manuscript back on the dais. Things are so
clear now... you finally understand. For a brief moment you feel deeply attuned to the
Lady of the Dance, and you look up at her statue in veneration. “It is time to
leave now,” a singsong voice whispers in your ear and hesitantly your turn away.
With two slender hands on your shoulders you are gently escorted towards the exit.
“But feel free to return as often as you like,” the voice continues. You
hardly notice, still a bit dazed from the experience. Slowly you leave the impressive
hall behind you, but the place has left a lasting mark on your soul.
Continue your trip