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    The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth
    Posted on Thu, October 28, 2004 by Legate
    IvorMac writes "Back in 2001 I started playing D&D again after a five-year hiatus. I have always liked the Drow from GreyHawk and thought that it would be interesting to play a good Drow as they do in the Forgotten Realms. I had no idea that Drizz't even existed at the time. Believing that no good Drow gods existed I proceeded to create The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth- Harvalsharess. I presented the idea to my DM. He liked the idea and he totally deflated me by telling me about Drizz't and showed me the history of the Drow pantheon in FR. He allowed me still use Harvalsharess as my goddess for my cleric and I change the background for her to fit FR history. Since then I have been looking for a way to bring her home (I consider Greyhawk home). I have added Greyhawk to her history and I present her to you...

    The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth
    By: IvorMac
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.


    The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth
    Domains: Sun, Earth, Good and Healing

    Very little is known about the Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth by the Drow, and not at all by the surface dwellers. This was not always the case. Harvalsharess was the god of Sun and Earth and considered by her followers to be the true Drow Mother (although it was very taboo to say so in public). Harvalsharess taught her followers to be very respectful of other religions and faiths, especially those who worshipped the earth and light. Her followers were very peaceful people, having learned how to farm and mastering both the use of light and earth. They were known to have immense gardens of a variety of mushrooms, mosses, subterranean and terrestrial fauna, with unique stone configurations reflecting and refracting light so that the gardens grew out of the depths of the earth and into the light. Some were said to have gone several thousands of feet into the earth. Her followers had darkvision and could see in sunlight without penalty, since they lived in both environments. Her people also learned to defend themselves through the mastering of light and earth.

    Lloth and her followers mashed this all into nothingness. Before Lloth turned on her lover, Corellon Larethian, she kew she need control over all Drow. She tricked her lover, Drow and Elven gods against Harvalsharess, claiming that Harvalsharess was attempting to control the growth of the world and was calling herself the Mother of all Elves. A devastating battle was fought and most of Harvalsharess’s followers were killed. The great gardens were destroyed. Lloth, with the help of some of the other Drow gods, fearing to give Harvalsharess the chance to defend herself against before her accusers, battled her to near complete exhaustion. With the last of her strength, Harvalsharess blessed the unborn girl child within Lloth (Elistraee) so that she would be protected from her mother’s taint.

    Lloth then took the depleted Harvalsharess and imprisoned her. Where, no one knows, though it is suspected that she is imprisoned somewhere in the prime material world to which Lloth is familiar, Oerth. There are three main places that she could be imprisoned in the western area of Oerth under the burning sea of sand, somewhere in Fireland or under the mountain range that separates the Celestial Imperium and Empire of Lynn. Lloth ensured that any who knew were killed.

    With Harvalsharess out of the way, Lloth then began a rebellion against her consort, Corellon Larethian. Harvalsharess’s remaining followers were conscripted into the front lines of the Drow armies, making it look like they had joined Lloth, and also ensuring that they were all doomed.

    After the failed rebellion, Lloth was banished to the abyss and the Drow embarked upon their exodus to the Underdark. Harvalsharess’s name became a Drow curse and a warning to young Drows that the demon Harvalsharess would burn them in the sun should they misbehave. As time passed, only a faint memory of the ancient curse remained.

    Three thousand years ago,(3012 before CY) a Drow named Anthrisaq discovered a long forgotten book about the so called demon Harvalsharess, only to find through reading it that she was no demon. Quietly, he began the cult of Harvalsharess. Slowly, over time, the cult grew in numbers to match that of its growing connection with Harvalsharess.
    Harvalsharess’s strength also blossomed, but she was unable to free herself or tell her followers where she was imprisoned but she could sense the faith of her followers. The cult ritualistically made pilgrimages to the surface to acclimatize themselves to the sunlight as well as the dark. They took great pleasure in working with stone and were great carvers and stonemasons. They had developed their own way of secretly communicating, in stone, and protected these secrets in the formation of guilds. The guilds also provided excellent cover for their worship. Individuals or small groups would travel, offering their services to the many Underdark cities. This provided a pattern of activity that allowed for pilgrimages to the surface.

    It was said an artifact of Harvalsharess’s, made of stone and light, was lost during the battle against Lloth. All of her followers looked for this artifact as quietly and as carefully as possible. It was believed that it could be used to free her. The book of Harvalsharess was always kept hidden. Only a few of the leaders of the cult knew its location.

    The followers pray at Sunrise and Sundown, even in the Underdark; because of their pilgrimages, they had learned to track the time measured between Sunrise and Sunset. Once every 7 1/3 years, they would all come together, except those on pilgrimage, to celebrate Harvalsharess.

    The cult grew to about 4000 members before Lloth caught wind of it. It took her a hundred years to find it. Fourteen years ago,(577 CY) she had an elite guard massacre every woman, child and man during one of their 7-year meetings. She then took her private guards to scene of the massacre and told them that this elite guard had tried to rise up against her and were responsible for the carnage that lay before them. Lloth’s private guards viciously slaughtered the elite guard, ensuring that none lived. Once again, Harvalsharess would fade from memory. Or so Lloth thought, for she did not know about the hundred or so pilgrims of Harvalsharess out on the surface celebrating the finding of the book of Harvalsharess.

    These hundred are the last survivors of the Cult of Harvalsharess. Lloth still seeks for the rumour that will lead to the truth of the book’s location. The last survivors were also ignorant of the book’s location, because that information had not yet been handed down. One younger pilgrim named Vallockur was to have received that information when he returned. Instead, he found only the horror of the massacre. It now fell to him to find a way to free his Goddess and keep his people safe.

    As long as Harvalsharess is imprisoned, her clerics may only have as their two domains—the Sun and Earth. Nor can they advance beyond the 10th level. Clerics of Harvalsharess are both male and female.

    A simple Harvalsharess prayer

    Quar'valsharess del Har'dro lueth Ssussun
    Goddess of Earth and Light
    Mzilst ssin'urne ssussun del lil Har’oloth
    Most beautiful Brightness of the Underdark
    Orthae har’dro dossta ssinsrigg zhah udossta Qu’ellar
    Holy Earth your love is our House
    Harvalsharess usstan uil dossta wanre
    Harvalsharess I am your servant
    Mrigg ussa ulu nelgath udossta ogglin
    Guide me to forgive our enemies
    Xxizz ussa ulu tlu streeaka wun lil jindun del verin
    Help me to be fearless in the face of evil
    Xal dossta suliss kyorle udossta xukuth
    May your grace guard our heart
    Orthae Har’dro udos khal wun dos
    Sacred Earth we trust in you
    Orthae Ssussun udos phuul dossta dalharen
    Sacred Light we are your children
    Lil ssinsrigg del orthae Ssussun lueth Har’dro zhah dro
    The love of the Holy Light and Earth is life
    Lil ssinsrigg del orthae Ssussun lueth Har’dro zhah dro
    The love of the Holy Light and Earth is life

    Credit to the drow dictoinary website for my reference in a rough Drow translation"
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    Re: The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth (Score: 1)
    by Jakob81 on Sat, October 30, 2004
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    I find the backstory very intriguing ad the article very well written.
    But the concept, I find it abhorrent.

    Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but I don't think drow from the UnderOerth would REALLY have any need for a good-aligned goddess, since drow from Oerth make those from Toril look like boy-scout.
    I don't think the whole drow community on (under?) Oerth would produce enough good-aligned person in a thousand years to revivify a dead cult.

    Had Harvalsharess been Neutral, I'd have liked her more.

    Here in Italy we see an overflow of FR players using good or non-evil drow. I don't know if it's so where you live, but I don't think we need the "drow-as-PC-mania" to extend in World of Greyhawk campaigns...

    Other than that, the article is good. :)

    Re: The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth (Score: 1)
    by gawain on Sat, October 30, 2004
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    It's an interesting article, but I also wonder if a good-aligned drow deity is necessary. It is already assumed there are renegades cults of Drow worshipping demon princes other than Lolth or various evil deities. It is not a stretch to say there are some small, good-aligned cults in Drow strongholds too. But I envision such cults having a more nostalgic outlook to the "Golden Age" prior to the Drow being chased underground. Therefore, these good-cults would probably worship the deities of surface elves such as Corellon Lareithian. The rites would have altered over the millenia (for one thing, they'd have to be MUCH more secretive) By definition, good-aligned would reject the basic tenets of Drow society--what better way to worship the deities of that society's bitterest enemies?

    Re: comments (Score: 1)
    by IvorMac on Sat, October 30, 2004
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    I think the drow-as-PC-mania is evident world wide. So much so that Eberron recommends that players do not play as Drow or Half dragons. When I played one (drow) I thought I was being original, oh well.
    The reason for creating Harvalsharess as good was part do to the story of Lloth and Eilistrace in FR pantheon and in part becasue there was no Earth/Sun god. And partly because I personally think that though a race can be one alignment there are always expectations. Otherwise humans would need to be played as neutral only. Lloth was the consort of Corellon Larethain, accord to FR, and was good or at least neutral to start with then became very evil. Why?? I am not sure but what happen to Harvalsharess is representative of Lloth need to quash any concept of good Drow.
    I placed the article deliberately under the Heretic heading because of some of the issues you raised.
    I thank you for your comments.

    Re: The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth (Score: 1)
    by Wolfling on Wed, November 03, 2004
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    Yeah I agree with the general consensus that the article is interesting and well written but I also agree with the consensus of there not being a need for a good drow goddess.

    The drow from what I can gather were those elves that followed Lolth and turned their backs on the good elven gods so there never would have been a need for a good drow goddess.

    I much prefer the idea that if a drow does become neutral or good that they find the patronage of a non-drow beity. Maybe Celestian as the god of the starry night sky as any drow who go to the surface might find more comfort in the starlight than the hrsh light of day. Or personally I favour Ehlonna as a patron of good drow. I think your goddess of light and earth bears a strong resemblance to Ehlonna.

    It Fills a Niche (Score: 1)
    by Greyson on Wed, November 03, 2004
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    I appreciate Ivormac's efforts on this article. I do understand the above comments - it does seem unecessary and superfluous to add yet another deity to GH's pantheon.

    But, it is also nice to have such a deity for that wandering, outcast drow PC. While we may have our opinions on the originality and novelty of such a PC, people may still play one. And, Ivormac has provided a greater power and source of inspiration for that player that is still awed and excited to play that unusual drow character. Now, that PC (and his or her DM) does not have to draw from another campaign setting to accommodate that character. Ivormac has proposed a well conceived and well written power for those whom still find wonder in playing that out-of-place drow wanderer. And, this deity may can serve as an interesting plot device in drow-surface elf relationships. Ivormac has created an interesting array of possibilities.

    Re: The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth (Score: 1)
    by Tiernan on Thu, November 25, 2004
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    My question has always been why are the drow dark sinned? Wouldn't living underground make them ablino? So, they would've been dark skinned B4 the elf war, right?

    Re: The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth (Score: 1)
    by IvorMac on Thu, December 02, 2004
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    According to the Historyof Farun and what I have read Yes. I have wonder the same thing but it could be agrued that in a more agressive environment the dark skin allowed them to hide more easily. Thus the dark skinned strain would evolved. I know this seem counter intuitive to the way human skin is but elves are not human.
    All speculation.


    Re: The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth (Score: 1)
    by Mystic-Scholar on Tue, September 29, 2009
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    I think Ivormac did well in creating his own goddess. It is the sun aspect that I question. The elves were all of a color before the Elf Wars and it was the Drow's turn to evil that eventually altered their skin coloration.

    After Lloth's rebellion it is evident that Corellon Larethian would have realized the depth of her deception and "gone in search" of Harvalsharess himself, as it were. So Harvalsharess would have technically remained one of the Seldarine. If Corellon failed to deduce this, then he isn't really a Greater God.

    The drow have no need of a "Sun" deity, even if they wanted one. As is evident in just about all of the games (see Drizzt) the Drow have no real idea what the sun is and are taught to fear it.

    I find the article well written and thought out. I like the addition of Harvalsharess but do not see how she would be a deity particular to the Drow. She would belong to surface elves.

    Re: The Drow Goddess of Sun and Earth (Score: 1)
    by JellyMin on Wed, December 15, 2021
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    The last survivors were also ignorant of the book’s location, because that information had not yet been handed down. Fence Contractor

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