shevarash_symbol.jpg
The Black Archer, the Night Hunter
Pantheon The Seldarine
Realm Arvandor
Portfolio Hatred of the drow, vengeance, crusades, loss
Worshippers Arcane archers, archers, elves, fighters, hunters, rangers, soldiers, sorcerers
Domains Chaos, Elf, Retribution, War
Favored Weapon The Black Bow (longbow)

Shevarash

Shevarash is taciturn, violent, and consumed by thoughts of bitterness and revenge. He never displays any emotion aside from anger and a brief exultation or triumph after each victory. The Black Archer has no patience for those who do not share his zeal for vengeance, and he has no interest in moderating his crusade in the interests of peace. The Black Archer often acts in anticipation of an attack by the drow on a relatively undefended elven settlement, or, if he reacts too late to prevent a repeat of the slaughter that still haunts him, Shevarash sends agents to pursue the dark elves back into the Underdark and hunts them down until they are dead.

The greatest enemy of the Seldarine is Lolth, who sought the corruption of the Arvandor and the overthrow of the Creator of the Elves. The largest enemy of the Fair Folk is the drow, the debased followers of the Spider Queen who long ago were enmeshed in her dark web. Redemption and revenge may be achieved through the utter destruction of the drow and the dark deities they serve. Only then may the joy of life begin anew. Hunt endlessly!

Nearly 6,000 years ago, circa - 4400 DR, on Midwinter night - the longest, darkest night of the year - an army of duergar and drow poured forth from the Underdark and overran both the dwarven realm of Sarphil on the southern shore of the Moonsea and the Elven Court at the heart of the great forest of Arcorar.

The Dark Court Slaughter claimed the lives of countless elves and dwarves, including most of the assembled leaders of the Fair Folk and the Stout Folk who had come to the Elven Court to re-establish their long-standing alliance. Among the fallen was the family of the archer-guard Shevarash, once a carefree hunter of the Elven Court. In an anger-tinged prayer to Corellon Larethian, Shevarash vowed to become the Seldarine's hand against the drow to extract revenge for the loss of his family.

The grief-stricken warrior swore a grim oath neither to laugh nor smile until the drow goddess Lolth and her foul followers were destroyed. It was a tall order, but for the remainder of his life, Shevarash became the deadliest nemesis of the drow, raiding their underground cities, slaying their priests, and destroying shrines to their foul gods. Shevarash was finally slain by a horde of myrlochar (soul spiders) after killing a Lolthite high priestess and six of her consorts, circa - 4070 DR.

Upon his death and with the assistance of Fenmarel Mestarine, Shevarash the Black Archer underwent apotheosis to become the Night Hunter and the Arrow Bringer.

The cult of Shevarash is little known, even among the Fair Folk, except in communities where attacks by drow raiders are fairly common. Although the dedication and passion with which Shevarashan priests pursue their hated quarry is much appreciated by their kin, few elves can understand the intense, all-consuming hatred that consumes members of this faith. To the Fair Folk, the all-consuming hunger for vengeance exhibited by Shevarashan avengers has more in common with the wars waged by the N'Tel'Quess than it does with elven sensibilities.

The church of Shevarash is small, but disciplined, for only through careful planning will the drow be destroyed. The followers of Shevarash are consumed with their quest to root out and destroy the drow and the sources of power of their dark gods. As such, since its founding by the lieutenants of Shevarash after their leader's death and apotheosis, the church of the Black Archer has been totally focused on its military campaign against the drow.

He is venerated by elves and half-elves who have suffered the loss of loved ones through violence, particularly those who burn with revenge against the drow, and by those who have sworn to destroy the Spider Queen and the other evil gods of the dark elves. Some elven theologians speculate that Shevarash serves to gather in the bitterness and hatred that has riven the elven race since the Crown Wars, thus keeping the contagious evil of the Spider Queen from spreading to the elven population at large.

Temples of Shevarash are located in cave mouths that connect elf-occupied forests with the deep tunnels of the Underdark and from which drow raiders have emerged (or might emerge). The Black Archer's temples are constructed to serve first and foremost as nigh-impregnable forts blocking access in either direction that can be held by a handful of defenders. Most are designed to withstand long-term sieges and include wellstocked armories, storerooms, and cisterns of fresh water. The walls of Shevarash's houses of worship are typically adorned only with trophies seized from fallen drow. Shevarash's followers sometimes construct shrines to their god in the Underdark, but such monuments are makeshift at best, quickly built in caves that serve as a temporary base of operations. Fallen warriors of the cult are brought back to the surface to be interred or, if absolutely necessary, buried in unmarked cairns in the Underdark so as to hide them from the drow.

Priests

The followers of Shevarash are consumed with their quest to root out and destroy the drow and the sources of power of their dark gods. As such, since its founding by the lieutenants of Shevarash after their leader's death and apotheosis, the church of the Black Archer has been totally focused on its military campaign against the drow.

Individual priests spend their days drilling, designing tactics for warfare in the Underdark, guarding known entrances to the Underdark, and participating in hit-and-run raids and major assaults on drow-held territories in the Underdark. Not a few members of the Black Archer's clergy join adventuring bands that intend to explore the Underdark, for the cult of Shevarash is small and additional swords in the battle against the drow are always welcomed.

Novices of Shevarash are known as the Haunted. Full priests of the Black Archer are known as Dark Avengers. Shevarashan priests have unique individual titles, most of which include a litany of the foes they have slain. Senior priests are known as Dhaeraowathila, an elvish word that can be loosely translated as drowbane.

Shevarash’s clergy is almost evenly split between Wood Elves, Moon Elves and Sun Elves. A few Half-Elves from those same subraces round out the list. Very surprisingly, the Black Archer’s clergy is exactly evenly split between males and females. Membership of the church is evenly split between priests, crusaders, and rangers.

Priestly Vestments

The ceremonial garb of the faith consists of silver chain mail, a blood-red half-cloak, and a silver helm with a fixed half-visor that covers only the upper half of the face. The holy symbol of the faith is a broken arrowshaft that has been dipped in drow blood and blessed by a priest of Shevarash.

Priests of Shevarash favor bows and swords, but they employ a wide variety of weapons in their unceasing quest for vengeance. For armor, most Dark Avengers favor chain mail (elven chain mail if available) as a good balance between protection and maneuverability. Followers of the Black Archer have no compunction against seizing the armor and weapons of the drow for their own use.

Ritual

Midwinter Night is observed by the cult of Shevarash in memory of the Dark Court Slaughter. On this holy day, those who wish to join the ranks of the clergy are inducted into the faith and vows of uneasing vengeance are shouted into the night. In honor of their deity's original vow, each new cleric swears to never again laugh or smile until the Spider Queen and other dark gods of the drow are slain and their followers are destroyed.

The Black Archer is closely allied with the Seldarine, particularly the more militant powers, although none of the elven gods are as consumed with hatred and vengeance as he is. Although Shevarash considers Fenmarel Mestarine his superior, the Lone Wolf and the Black Archer share little in common aside from their mutual hatred of the drow. Of the rest of the Seldarine, Shevarash works closely with Corellon Larethian and Solonor Thelandira in particular, but the other two powers are more concerned with defending elven realms than bringing the war into the tunnels of the drow, much to the Black Archer's frustration.

As consumed by his hatred of the dark elven powers now as he was during the night of the Dark Court Slaughter, the Black Archer now hunts Lolth, Ghaunadaur, Vhaeraun and the other dark gods of the drow directly, often venturing into the Abyss to do so. Shevarash has moderated his hatred toward Eilistraee and the good-aligned drow who worship the Dark Maiden. He does not kill them out of hand, but he still dislikes them thoroughly.

In life, the Black Archer's extended forays into the Underdark nurtured his antipathy for the other evil denizens of the Night Below, and as a god he battles their divine patrons as well. Shevarash's all-consuming crusade is such that the only long-standing divine allies he has garnered since his apotheosis are those such as Callarduran Smoothhands who shares his hatred of the drow and their pantheon of dark gods. As humanity has begun to venture ever deeper into the Underdark, Shevarash has begun to work more with human gods such as Shaundakul and Hoar. To the great distress of the other members of the Seldarine, the Black Archer's bitterness is such that he has recently begun to find solace in the soothing embrace of Shar.

  • deities/shevarash.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/01/13 06:47
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