Eilistraeean weddings!!

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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Aylstra Illianniis
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Eilistraeean weddings!!

Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:56 am

Okay, I recently asked a question over on Candlekeep of the great Ed himself, regarding the form that an Eilistreeean wedding would take- ie, what goes on, when and where is it held, what sort of celebrations would be held, etc. So, for all those interested (and who here isn't?) Here was his reply- in full!!! Enjoy!!

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This answer applies to situations where both partners who desire to wed venerate the Dark Dancer before other deities. For “mixed marriages,” the priestess of Eilistraee they find will consult with clergy of deities the non-Eilistraee-first partner venerates above others, and craft a modified ceremony accordingly.

So here we go, assuming that someone has found a priest or priestess of Eilistraee and asked them to perform a “love-binding” (which is what the faith of the Dark Dancer calls marriage) . . .
Such a request cannot be refused for reasons of personal inclination (i.e. the clergy not wanting to), only for reasons of “unworthiness,” as revealed hereafter.

A priest of Eilistraee will only love-bind when no priestess is available, and junior priestesses will defer to priestesses who have performed more wedding ceremonies (this is “the will of Eilistraee,” and mortals have not been told why she prefers matters this way).

By way of preparation, the priestess who will perform the wedding meets separately with the individuals to be wed (“supplicants”). Supplicants need not both be drow, or of the same race, or of differing genders, but MUST reveal their true natures to the priestess (i.e. the union is invalid, and the priestess will be made aware of this by the power if the goddess during the ritual, if one or both of the partners is using illusions or shapeshifting to appear to the world around as something other than what they are, or is not wholly who they claim to be [examples of this: a doppleganger impersonating someone, someone with a tsochar inside them, etc.]). When the priestess is alone with the supplicant, she casts a spell on them to ascertain when truth is told, then questions them as to their love for their partner, their motives in seeking to be united, their willingness to serve Eilistraee faithfully and venerate her “in truth.”

If satisfied with what she learns, the priestess prays with the individual to “call down Eilistraee’s regard” upon them both. She will know if she gains this attention, and the supplicant will usually see her eyes turn to bright, pupilless glows of silver (she goes “moon-eyed”).

When this happens, both priestess and supplicant disrobe, embrace (wrap arms around each other and press their bodies together, almost always face to face; this is NOT a sexual uniting], and dance together, the priestess “leading” the movements and silently praying to Eilistraee for a sign of blessing (for the binding), or a sign of warning or denial. The Dark Dancer will unerringly spot any treachery the priestess may have missed, but in all other cases will eagerly bless the union—which after both supplicants are “danced and found worthy,” can take place immediately, or at any future time.


Part two of his answer is forthcoming shortly!!
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
http://mickeys-tavern.com/index.php?showforum=188

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Aylstra Illianniis
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Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:57 am

A love-binding (wedding) will always take place at night, under the moon (i.e. a non-overcast, moonlit night). The most favourable spot is a forest glade where Eilistraee is often worshipped with dance; failing that, a bare hilltop or rocky height will serve; lacking that, any level ground that’s not covered by manmade construction (or other creature-built things, altars to Eilistraee being the sole exception) and is bathed in full moonlight will do. Favoured above all others is any spot where Eilistraee herself has been seen or has manifested.

The ritual can begin whenever the moonlight first touches the chosen spot, and the supplicants are present. If there are well-wishers/an audience/a congregation present (and there should be at least two witnesses, one a dedicated, active worshipper of Eilistraee and one not), they stand at the edges of the place of the ritual; if they are sufficient in number, the presiding priestess will ask them to form a ring around the supplicants, as far back as the boundaries of the spot (e.g. standing trees) permit.

If circumstances permit (i.e. safety of the participants, even in cold winter weather), the supplicants will have disrobed before entering the spot of the ceremony, and been dressed in ankle-length overrobes by the priestess, who will be similarly clad (barefoot, robes only). When the ceremony begins, the priestess disrobes, works a minor spell that causes moonglow to manifest around her (and the altar, if there is one), then calls on Eilistraee to “watch this binding, and make it firm” and then upon the witnesses (and the other watching audience members, if any) to “witness this union of love.”

The priestess will then produce a large “loving cup” full of wine—a black, sweet, smoky-tasting vintage consecrated to the goddess and prepared by clergy of Eilistraee—and direct the two supplicants to face each other and drink from it simultaneously. She then takes it from them, bids them kiss, and while they are doing so, removes their robes, touching each of them in the small of the back while doing so and causing moonglow to manifest around them (a glowing white aura).

She then parts them, clasps their hands together, and bids them ask Eilistraee for Her blessing “with all their hearts.” After they have both done so (usually female first, but it’s up to the supplicants; if they can’t swiftly decide, the priestess will direct one of them to speak first), the priestess declares them “bound before the Goddess,” claps her hands, and the festivities begin.



And part three of Ed's "official" Eilistraeean wedding lore will be up next!!
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
http://mickeys-tavern.com/index.php?showforum=188

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Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:00 am

Here's tha final part of his reply. I posted all of this for anyone who would like to hold/participate in such festivities! :p ;)

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These festivities vary with the circumstances (a need to be stealthy due to wartime or personal danger, fierce cold or winter weather, etc.). If there are other clergy of Eilistraee (or other deities) present, they at this time move to form a circle at the edges of the place where the ceremony is held, in a ring facing outwards, weapons drawn, to defend the “Bound” (the wedded couple) and the celebrants during the dancing (this may be a very real service, or merely a ceremonial duty, depending on the where and when of the wedding.

The presiding priestess then begins a rhythmic chant to the goddess (which will be echoed by any other Eilistraeean clergy present, and often by other worshippers who’ve attended such a ceremony before; it’s simple, repetitive, and rather haunting [imagine the “sunrise, sunset” refrain from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, that rises and falls twice, then on its third descent becomes a syncopated staccato five-note fall, and from then on sweeps into the same rise, but always has the five-note descent]) and casts a minor spell that will carry this music on without anyone having to sing (though typically she and other priestesses will keen a harmony “above it” from time to time, as the dancing continues).
Dancing then begins, led by the presiding priestess. The Bound must dance, with each other and then with the witnesses, though the form this dancing takes can be whatever is comfortable or physically possible for those involved (wild leaps down to elders with canes merely swaying and murmuring, or an agile dancer gyrating around a not-very-mobile one).

Usually the priestess leads the Bound into an initial dance while the celebrants watch, then stops dancing and lets them dance amorously together while she (the priestess) murmurs a prayer to Eilistraee for her boon upon the couple. Then general dancing begins, the priestess drawing celebrants to join the Bound.
Sometimes all or some of the celebrants disrobe for the dancing, sometimes the Bound consummate the marriage there and then amid the dancers, and sometimes the ceremony turns into a general orgy, with many or all of the dancers plunging into lovemaking. Food and drink may or may not be served, as the participants desire.

The moonglow around the body of the priestess is “given” (conferred, more faintly and lasting a shorter time) to all she touches—and most priestesses will embrace all celebrants and dance with them.

It’s customary for the dancing to go on until the moonglow fades from the body of the priestess or dawn comes (whichever happens first); the spell used by most priestesses causes their glow to last for a little over an hour [yes, of our real-world time], and any conferred glows to die with hers or a little earlier). She will usually end the musical spell at this time, and lead the Bound, the celebrants, and any guardian clergy away to where they will spend the rest of the night (an inn, temple accommodations, private homes, or a single large dwelling). Sometimes, however, the musical magic is left alone, to sound in the spot of the ceremony until it fades entirely, half a day later. On rare occasions, in warm summer weather, slumber may occur on the spot, within the guardian clergy, until morning.



So saith Ed.
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
http://mickeys-tavern.com/index.php?showforum=188

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Post by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:06 am

so, who's getting married?
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Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:10 am

:angel: I have NO IDEA what you're talking about, Zarae. It was just a question I had asked of the venerable Ed Greenwood over on Candlekeep, and he hath finally answered. And WHAT an answer!! T'is a service I thought to provide for all here.... 8)
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
http://mickeys-tavern.com/index.php?showforum=188

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Post by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:11 am

sure...*wink*
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Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:17 am

*sigh* Well, I must confess- my query to Ed DID in fact have an ulterior motive. Y'see, ther is a certain young couple who has not, to date, "tied the knot", as it were. That's all I'm sayin'....
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
http://mickeys-tavern.com/index.php?showforum=188

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Post by Inriiaynrae Jaelre » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:48 am

:)) a wedding! cool! weddings means snacks which means cookies! and of course joining folks together...
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Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:10 am

Indeed! Is Inrii still with the group to Menzo? She might get an invite!!
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
http://mickeys-tavern.com/index.php?showforum=188

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Post by Inriiaynrae Jaelre » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:14 am

huh? she never was with a group to menzo...

if your thinkin ariali, she's taking someone back to the promenade with the dwarf.
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Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:13 am

Ah, right. I forgot which it was. Hmm, how fast can she get back...?
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
http://mickeys-tavern.com/index.php?showforum=188

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Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:11 pm

Wow, that's a wonderful ceremony. Thank you. And thanks to Mr Greenwood for writing it for us. :)

I had some thoughts on a wedding ceremony myself which was fairly similar (at night, forming a circle, nudity (perhaps we should call that "moonclad"), handholding, dancing) though nowhere near as detailed. And I love the openness and freedom expressed in the celebrations.

The only (minor) detail I like a little less is that there is again a preference for the female clergy. I wonder when Eilistraee would be ready to have equality on that point too. But as I said in this it's a minor point (and, to some degree, part of Eilistraee's flavor I guess).

Wonderful ceremony. :)


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Post by Bhaern Quel » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:17 pm

Shir'le, I believe you forgot that males Clerics are rare. The Drow culture, even Elf culture has had mostly female Clerics for thousands of years. Yes there have been exceptions by some deities.

It would be odd to even have a Priest of the Dark Maiden, thus rarer for the Priest to be senior.

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Re: Eilistraeean weddings!!

Post by Faediira » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:14 pm

I have been reading through a lot of the threads to get a feel for the group and oh gosh when I saw Eilistraeen weddings as the header i dove head first right into it. Thank you for posting this I am adding this to my timeline for my main characters wedding she deserves that kind of happiness. And its going to be wonderful.
May the light of Eilistraee shine brightly in the face of evil!

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Re: Eilistraeean weddings!!

Post by Xityar » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:28 pm

Thank you for posting, lovely reading.

I recently began playing Ad&D 2nd Edition with a new Eilistraeean priestess. I can only hope there will be a chance to perform this!

This Faith never gets old. :)

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