Sex, Marriage and Children

Since the Chosen of Eilistraee is a religious oriented player group, naturally there is a place to have theological discussions. That is in-game religions; please leave real-world religion out of it. Debate the fine points of a certain dogma, how a church can enforce worship while staying true to its tenets or simply why one deity is better than another one is. All are free to talk about it here.

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Bhaern Quel
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Post by Bhaern Quel » Thu May 25, 2006 3:34 am

[quote="Yasraena D'issan An'ar":3fksggso]If Eilistraee were to be a viable option she could not be as gender bias as her mother. One of the things that drives the males to Vhaerun is the promise of throwing off the shackles the females have placed on them. Eilistraee if she hopes to save the males too would also need to be more egalitarian and less Matriarchal. The general cultural tendency of years of influence of Lolths doctrines on converts to Eilistraee would be a reason for a gender bias in practice but not dogma.

I personally feel a male could be a straight cleric of Eilistraee. Why not? Why couldn't a male drow upon seeing Eilistraee's people fall in love with the Dark Maiden and serve her faitfully? There are certainly male clerics of other feminine deities such as Sune, Sharess, and Chauntea.[/quote:3fksggso]

Actually many of us believe male Clerics are now permitted, however the 3.X text that supports this belief is weak. Ed will not reply to the direct question as if there was a change from 2.X concerning Clerics.

A equal society, or at least near equal with all races invited the female only rule makes no sense. Many that decry the idea of male Clerics in 3.X relie on 2nd Edition material because the pale 3.0 write up in F&P said nothing about gender rule change and the 3.0 write up did say Priestesses wear gowns when relaxing often. There are gender nuetral gowns, such as students wear for graduation, however most consider the word gown to equal a dress (gender specfic) as proof that there can not be a male Cleric.

*shrugs* There are other ways around this as well. *wink*

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Shir'le E. Illios
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Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Thu May 25, 2006 10:53 am

The text Bhaern is talking about is as follows (from [url=http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dn ... a:23z9fkta]this page[/url:23z9fkta]):
[quote:23z9fkta]Clerics of Eilistraee wear their hair long and dress practically for whatever they are currently doing. For rituals, they wear as little as possible. Otherwise, they tend to wear soft leathers for hunting, aprons while cooking, and—rarely—armor when battle is expected. When relaxing, they favor silvery, diaphanous gowns. Most clerics prefer holy symbols of silver, typically worn as pins or hung around the neck on slender silver or mithral chains.[/quote:23z9fkta]
There are various ways of reading this, but I think there are two things going on here.

First is the fact that in the past the Eilistraeen clergy was female only and thus has this vision of “just about all of them are female”, meaning that when writers write about them they tend to see female priestesses. This would make it natural for all writing to be geared towards this idea of them being female (without specifically stating so, since it wouldn’t be true).

Secondly, if you want to take the text literally (which I think is, in general, a bad idea to begin with) then note that it says “they [i:23z9fkta]favor[/i:23z9fkta]”. That reads, to me, that they’d prefer to wear that if they felt it was appropriate (which most male priest might not feel to be the case). Heck, I can even read that as “they like gowns but don’t necessarily wear them themselves”.

At the very least it’s an extremely flimsy argument for there being no male priests of Eilistraee. And considering that Eilistraee is a deity of acceptance I find it hard to believe that she wouldn’t accept male priests. I just think it’s very rare for there to be any (the whole drow female clergy dominance thing Lolthian society has going and all).

On a side-note, Sword Dancers [i:23z9fkta]are[/i:23z9fkta] exclusively female. I think that’s where most of the female-centric part of Eilistraeen religion has gone to.


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-= Shir'le E. Illios =-
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Serath En'Sendaran
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Post by Serath En'Sendaran » Thu May 25, 2006 2:50 pm

I guess I lean on the whole "Favored Class: Wizards (Male) Cleric (Female)" write up from the Monster Manual 3.5 when I run. I just don't see there being very many males actually even wanting to be clerics, among the drow. It's kind of not in the typical mind set. Though, dreagloths, which are generally typified as male, are still able to be "clerics" of Lolth, despite thier sterile state. You may be correct, gender may no longer be a rules issue. I would still think there are far more priestess of the Goddess, than there are priests.
Now... there's another scary concept. If Eilistraee is about acceptance and redemption... would she accept a dreagloth? (I know I'm spelling it wrong, but I think you know what I'm talking about.)
"Plynn ussta che, plynn ussta thac'zil,
plynn uns'aa vel'klar Usstan shlubnaut fre'sla,
Flamgra l'thac'zil lu'caghresst l'qu'mados,
dos shlubnaut plynn l'anulo dal uns'aa."

Bhaern Quel
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Post by Bhaern Quel » Thu May 25, 2006 3:03 pm

The favored class clearly can be a factor for Drow males choosing arcane more often then divine magic, but one must remember half-elves and humans are also followers and thier favored class can be anything. There might be few male Drow Priests, but there might be more male half-elf and human Priests.
Though just looking at favored class the arguement would follow that elves would be mostly Wizards with few Clerics.

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Post by Serath En'Sendaran » Thu May 25, 2006 4:21 pm

[quote="Bhaern Quel":8z16pt96]Though just looking at favored class the arguement would follow that elves would be mostly Wizards with few Clerics.[/quote:8z16pt96]
Isn't this the case, though? Even most elven clerics have a little training in wizardry. That has been the impression I have been given. Considering the amount of elven PrC being mostly arcane caster + other class combinations. Drow are much the same way. I think the rules reflect accurately the intent to make the races more approriate to their portayal in the books. Those that do not follow the "traditional path" normally devote whole heartedly to that pursuit. That is my opinion though. There will always be exceptions.

I would see, though, a strong tendency in most drow faiths to "let the women lead". Though there are possibly males in Eilistraee's clergy, I don't seem them really being leaders in that culture. Even Vhaereun sees the value of strong female leaders when dealing with drow. Perhaps it's just an ingrained racial desposition? They aren't the only society in Faerun that yields to its women.
"Plynn ussta che, plynn ussta thac'zil,
plynn uns'aa vel'klar Usstan shlubnaut fre'sla,
Flamgra l'thac'zil lu'caghresst l'qu'mados,
dos shlubnaut plynn l'anulo dal uns'aa."

Bhaern Quel
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Post by Bhaern Quel » Thu May 25, 2006 5:41 pm

Looking though _If you need help, Ask the Drow_ and am finding a few interesting quotes, the first not what I was lookig for.

[quote:2uk9l1n2]The symbol of Tyr they kept in honor, with Eilistraee’s full approval, [/quote:2uk9l1n2]

[quote:2uk9l1n2]Councils, among the Chosen of Eilistraee, are always secular and freespeaking meetings: Secular and business affairs are discussed plainly, all priestesses having an equal voice regardless of rank[/quote:2uk9l1n2]

[quote:2uk9l1n2]The current garrison of temple guards consists of 24 drow (nine females), nine dwarves, 27 humans (12 females), and four halflings[/quote:2uk9l1n2]

Well did not find what I want which was the breakdown of races of the Clerics, it should be remember the article is 2nd Edition with that silly female only rule.

What I did pull out is that other deities are acepted enough to be honored or at least not banished.

That this community is ruled by the Clerics, with of course the Chosen of the Chosen considered High Priestess.

That the guard has more humans then Drow and indication of two other races that follow the Dark Maiden.

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Shir'le E. Illios
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Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Thu May 25, 2006 6:15 pm

[quote="Serath En'Sendaran":9yqztfwa]You may be correct, gender may no longer be a rules issue. I would still think there are far more priestess of the Goddess, than there are priests.[/quote:9yqztfwa]
That I do not doubt.

[quote="Serath En'Sendaran":9yqztfwa]Now... there's another scary concept. If Eilistraee is about acceptance and redemption... would she accept a dreagloth? (I know I'm spelling it wrong, but I think you know what I'm talking about.)[/quote:9yqztfwa]
“Draegloth”. And yes, I’m quite sure she would… if the draegloth in question was true and honest about conversion.


And regarding favored class, I’ve always seen that as a natural aptitude of a race towards a certain class and thus a general preference. But it doesn’t exclude other classes. It might mean that there are more of the favored class than any of the others, but I don’t think one of the other classes gets excluded because of it (after all, favored class takes candidates away from [i:9yqztfwa]all[/i:9yqztfwa] other classes).


Beyond all that I don’t think it really matters whether there are many more priestesses than priests as I think all would encourage at least friendly relations among all followers (and other friendly individuals). There’s no such thing as an Eilistraeen priestess thinking herself ‘above’ the followers or anything (not in the general sense anyway). ;)

And though there are (far) more female clergy than male clergy I think among the rest of the followers the numbers are likely closer to 50-50.


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Post by Serath En'Sendaran » Thu May 25, 2006 7:53 pm

Well, there is one aspect to things about the clergy of Eilistraee, when it comes to gender and race divisions. I believe I remember reading in one of the Forgotten Realms RPG books that (technically) if there is a racial designation in the porfolio and/or Domains then clerics can only be of that race. That would limit the clerics of Eilistraee to being only Drow or Elves. Though there could be followers of any race. I am sure that there would be rare exceptions (and I've allowed the occasional exception to the rule), and if there is any god that would allow it, it would be Eilistraee.
I've also noticed in the books and fictions, that the gods in general do seem to be rather gender-biased. Not just Lolth and Eilistraee, but Shar, Selune, Sune, and most female deities favor female leadership, while Lathandar, Tyr, Helm, and Bane favor male. There are exceptions, of course. Just a trend I noticed.
"Plynn ussta che, plynn ussta thac'zil,
plynn uns'aa vel'klar Usstan shlubnaut fre'sla,
Flamgra l'thac'zil lu'caghresst l'qu'mados,
dos shlubnaut plynn l'anulo dal uns'aa."

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Shir'le E. Illios
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Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Thu May 25, 2006 11:29 pm

[quote="Serath En'Sendaran":2poad2te]I believe I remember reading in one of the Forgotten Realms RPG books that (technically) if there is a racial designation in the porfolio and/or Domains then clerics can only be of that race.[/quote:2poad2te]
I don’t remember reading that… at all. You could be right, but I don’t remember that.

In fact, Demihuman Deities specifically mentions:
[quote:2poad2te]All clergy of Eilistraee must be female, but they may be of any intelligent race.[/quote:2poad2te]
Now, of course, the first part of that quote seems to have changed in 3E, but I’m fairly certain that the second part has remained the same. Considering that Eilistraee is a deity of acceptance that only makes sense (she wouldn’t show racial prejudice and at the same time fight to eradicate it).

In general I get the sense that there’s no racial restriction for deities unless they specifically mention there being one.

Of course that’s just my interpretation.


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-= Shir'le E. Illios =-
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Bhaern Quel
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Post by Bhaern Quel » Fri May 26, 2006 12:37 am

Canon, as messed up as it is, acording to WotC (last official statement) is anything that contains an FR logo. That when facts conflict one should look at newer sources, the last printed is the rule in general, however at times a novel recent can be superceded by a source book. *shrugs* In effect often the individual needs to decide when a novel is stronger then a source book, of course one can ask the Sage about posible conflicts.

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Post by Kirintha the Fair » Sun May 28, 2006 12:01 am

Shirle your interputation of her priestesses is a little different from mine.


a minor degree of gender discrimination doesnt diqualify her from a Good alignment.

It does mean it might be done a little differently though.

As differently from the matriarchy of the underdark drow, as the racism of the surface elves is from that of the underdark drow.

(if thats a reasonable comparison)

the Surface elves call all other races "N'Tel'Quessir" or "not people" yet they have proven quite honorable, in their dealing with them.

they dont casualy exterminate other races (Well with the exception of "the victorious blade of the people")(PS. I wouldnt blame them for the attempt too much though... since humans reproduce so much)

or try to enslave etc lesser races

whereas the drow certainly do.

All im saying is that Keeping a little gender prejudice in the church doesnt disqualify it as good.

And remember that being excluded from the sisterhood, might actualy benifet the males in some ways.

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Post by Bhaern Quel » Sun May 28, 2006 12:30 am

[quote="Serath En'Sendaran":1ebniwl4]
I've also noticed in the books and fictions, that the gods in general do seem to be rather gender-biased. Not just Lolth and Eilistraee, but Shar, Selune, Sune, and most female deities favor female leadership, while Lathandar, Tyr, Helm, and Bane favor male. There are exceptions, of course. Just a trend I noticed.[/quote:1ebniwl4]

Books and fiction tend to deal with RL archtypes, males are the fighter and wizards (wizzard is a male gender title, or tends to me), females are the nuturers, the healers, fight only when they have to. A detailed search of named NPCs and patron dirites might actually show something different, much like the belief that the full moon effects childbirth or other events. The facts show that people only remember nore clearly things like a full moon birth. Ed has indicated he did not design Rilistraee as a lunar goddess, just moonlight made sense for her followers because of the far more punitive sunlight exposure in the then current Edition (It should be noted that at least 15 items were written for FR under 1st Edtion rules, that most was written under 2nd rules, though with reprints (upgraded) 3rd clearly more then 1st might soon exceed 2nd if not already )

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Post by Bhaern Quel » Sun May 28, 2006 12:36 am

[quote="Kirintha the Fair":2hq5iaww]Shirle your interputation of her priestesses is a little different from mine.


a minor degree of gender discrimination doesnt diqualify her from a Good alignment.

It does mean it might be done a little differently though.

As differently from the matriarchy of the underdark drow, as the racism of the surface elves is from that of the underdark drow.

(if thats a reasonable comparison)

the Surface elves call all other races "N'Tel'Quessir" or "not people" yet they have proven quite honorable, in their dealing with them.

they dont casualy exterminate other races (Well with the exception of "the victorious blade of the people")(PS. I wouldnt blame them for the attempt too much though... since humans reproduce so much)

or try to enslave etc lesser races

whereas the drow certainly do.

All im saying is that Keeping a little gender prejudice in the church doesnt disqualify it as good.

And remember that being excluded from the sisterhood, might actualy benifet the males in some ways.[/quote:2hq5iaww]

All things are posible, however I suspect dancing nude males was the biggest problem with having male Priests. The cimatic effect was not readible sellable. TSR went though a lot from USA religious factions because of the claim TSR promoted Satanism. Oh it clearly is posible that males might benefit from not wanting to be a Cleric, however there is no source that I know of that clearly indicates the advantage of being an Eilistraee Wizard or any other class.

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Post by Kirintha the Fair » Sun May 28, 2006 1:18 am

this brings us to another issue do you think that communitys of eilistraeeans are theiocratic or democratic.

I've got the hint that societys a bit more of a benign theiocracy... however I think some of the sisters might actualy be HAPPY to let the males concen themselves with such issues, since they'd find they might find the boring.

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Post by Bhaern Quel » Sun May 28, 2006 1:39 am

[quote="Kirintha the Fair":37do0fwk]this brings us to another issue do you think that communitys of eilistraeeans are theiocratic or democratic.

I've got the hint that societys a bit more of a benign theiocracy... however I think some of the sisters might actualy be HAPPY to let the males concen themselves with such issues, since they'd find they might find the boring.[/quote:37do0fwk]

The only official community I know about, it was clearly mataricatic and appears to be theocratic as well. FR in general (any race or location) is not a democray friendly world, there might be some signs of electing a mayor in the Dalelands (prehaps a few other places) however I suspect any "free" election is controled one way or another.

As for the sisters asigning tasks to males and give them much if not total freedom in completing such tasks, this clearly is indicated by some WotC material. The website offers things like equal society (without details) in one web page, others do appear to indicate a slight gender bais. In the end we need to try to make the best sense of mixed messages that come from current and/or former employees/consultants on FR.

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