sharindlar_symbol.jpg
Lady of Life, The Merciful, The Shining Dancer
Pantheon Dwarven
Realm Dwarfhome
Portfolio Courtship, dancing, fertility, healing, mercy, the moon, romantic love
Worshippers Bards, dancers, dwarves, healers, lovers
Domains Chaos, Charm, Dwarf, Good, Healing, Moon
Favored Weapon Fleetbite (whip)

Sharindlar

Sharindlar the Merciful is widely known as the dwarven goddess of healing and mercy. Dwarves wounded in battle are often healed in her name. Sick dwarves, dwarven healers, midwives, physics, and lovers pray to the Lady of Life.

However, her aspect kept secret from nondwarves is her most important modern role: her patronage of romantic love, courtship, and fertility. Dwarves who are courting appease her, as do those who sentence others in the cause of justice. When dwarves dance, they pray to Sharindlar to guide their feet, for she is said to be the greatest dancer the dwarves have ever known.

Sharindlar is invariably warm and caring with a kind word for all, both mortal and divine. She is given to shouts of joy, impromptu dances, and gales of uncontrollable laughter. The Lady of Life is an inveterate match-maker and true romantic who seeks to conjoin star-crossed lovers no matter what the odds. More than one favored dwarven bachelor or maiden has been swept up in a series of whirlwind affairs, thanks to the unceasing efforts of the Shining Dancer to provide the perfect mate.

Be merciful in speech and deed. Bring relief and healing where needful. Temper anger and hostility with constructive and charitable endeavor. The children of Moradin must live in safety and propagate. Maintain and encourage the traditional rites of courting and marriage. Celebrate the endless, joyous dance of life by living it to the fullest. Sharindlar restores the fertile seed of dwarven life, while Berronar protects the fruit.

Sharindlar is universally well regarded by dwarves and held in high esteem by those who share her beliefs among other races. Even the most xenophobic elves and the most supercilious humans are impressed by her devotion to the downtrodden and her kind and unassuming nature, despite their deep-held prejudices.

Temples to the Lady of Life are great halls, free of pillars or other architectural features. Serving as both chancels and grand ballrooms, they are well lit, often above ground or partially open to the sky, and typically hold fountains, pools, and formal gardens. The goddess's temples have numerous small guest chambers for visitors, of which there are many. Most of the Shining Dancer's temples have a small library that serves as a repository of runestones inscribed with dwarven genealogies, clan records, courting rites, descriptions of formal dances, astronomy charts, medicinal practices, herbal brews, agricultural and husbandry records, and the like.

Orders

While Sharindlar has no martial orders dedicated to her name, about one in five other priests serve small dwarven communities as midwives, independent of the faith's more organized temple hierarchies. Members of this informal sorority are known collectively as the Maidens of Midwifery, and often extend their roles to include that of physician, matchmaker, and brewer of both aphrodisiacs and elixirs said to increase fertility.

Priests

The traditional duties of Sharindlar's clergy include dispensing healing and mercy to dwarves and other individuals in need. This role requires both hospices in dwarven strongholds and travel to isolated dwarven holds scattered throughout surface and subterranean wildernesses. As dwarven birthrates slowly decline and the ranks of the Stout Folk shrink, particularly among the shield dwarves of the North, priests in Sharindlar's service devote most of their energy to reverse these trends, with the assistance of Berronar's clergy. The Merciful Maidens/Youths have focused on maintaining and teaching dwarven courting rites: traditional dances, ritual forms of address, and the like. They strive to bring young dwarves together, engendering likely matches, particularly outside the traditional clans, hoping to increase the number of prolific unions. Sharindlar's oversight of fertility has been extended in many dwarven cultures (particularly in surface-dwelling cultures) to include agriculture and animal husbandry. A particular emphasis has been placed on developing new strains of crops - wheat, barley, mushrooms, lichens, etc. - and hardier breeds of beasts - donkeys, sheep, etc.

Novices of Sharindlar are known as the Chaste. Full priests are known as Merciful Maidens/Youths or thalornor, a dwarvish word that can be loosely translated as those who are merciful. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Sharindlaran priests are Dancing Tresses, Golden Allure, Healing Touch, Merciful Smile, Loving Heart, and Fruitful Mother/Father. High Old Ones have unique individual titles but are collectively known as the Sons/Daughters (Dauls) of Sharindlar. The clergy of Sharindlar is evenly split between shield dwarves and gold dwarves. All priests of Sharindlar were female before the Time of Troubles, but some males have joined the priesthood since then. The priesthood remains 99% female.

Priestly Vestments

For ceremonial functions, Sharindlar's priests wear red robes with a blue girdle. The head is left bare except for a robin's egg blue scarf. The holy symbol of the faith is a silver disk embossed on both sides with the symbol of the goddess. It is often hung from an argent chain placed around the neck.

Sharindlar's priests avoid violence if possible, but they defend themselves or their charges against obviously hostile and violent opponents. While they prefer regular dwarven garb, the Maidens of Mercy gird themselves with armor when appropriate. A blue scarf, tied around the brow, upper arm, wrist, or ankle, is worn as an adornment. Although they rarely advertise it, members of Sharindlar's clergy usually carry a small knife so that they can mercifully end the suffering of creatures whose pain cannot otherwise be alleviated and whose demise is imminent.

Ritual

The worship of Sharindlar has been kept secret from outsiders, especially her fertility aspect. Dwarves in general refer to her as the Lady of Mercy whenever they know nondwarves to be listening. Dwarven priests of any faith who care for the wounded or sick often pray briefly for Sharindlar's favor.

When the moon begins to wax (the night after the new moon), at Greengrass, at Midsummer Night, and whenever the moon is full, Sharindlar's clergy gather to pray to the Lady of Life. The more secret rituals of Sharindlar take place in hidden caverns, wherever there is a pool of water. Such ceremonies involve dancing, prayers for the Lady's mercy and guidance, and the sacrifice of gold. Gold is heated until molten, and dwarves let blood from their own forearms into the mixture, which is then poured into the water, as Sharindlar's name is chanted and the dwarves dance about the pool in a frenzy, armor and weapons near at hand but not worn or carried.

Sharindlar is on excellent terms with most of the other members of the Morndinsamman. She has forged working relationships with those whose principles she abhors – Abbathor, Deep Duerra, and Laduguer – to facilitate her efforts for the benefit of the dwarven race. The Lady of Life has served as an emissary between Laduguer of the gray dwarves and Moradin on the rare occasions they must communicate. Sharindlar has little tolerance for hatreds or rivalries that interfere with her efforts to dispense healing and mercy to the wounded and distressed.

She has made strong friendships with the deities of the fey, and some myths claim that Shiallia, the Dancer in the Glades, is the offspring of Sharindlar's brief dalliance with one such being.

  • deities/sharindlar.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/01/13 06:47
  • (external edit)