|Title(s)||Lady of Life and Mercy |
The Shining Dancer
|Symbol||A needle in flames|
|Power Level||Intermediate deity|
|Realm||The Merciful Court|
|Worshipers||Bards, dancers, dwarves, healers, lovers|
|Domains||Chaos, Charm, Dwarf, Good, Healing, Moon|
|Favored Weapon||Fleetbite (whip)|
|'Signs of Favor||flames|
Sharindlar, also known as the Lady of Life and Mercy, is the chaotic good dwarven deity of healing and mercy. Sharindlar represents a side of dwarven life rarely observed by outsiders. As of late her command of fertility has expanded her clergy's influence over animal husbandry along with the developing of new varieties of crops. Sharindlar's realm is The Merciful Court on the Nidavellir layer of the Heroic Domains of Ysgard.
Sharindlar (Sha-RIHN-dlar) 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 of all alignments and races 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 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 korreds, and some myths claim that Shiallia, the Dancer in the Glades, is the offspring of Sharindlar's brief dalliance with Tapann.
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.
Sharindlar rarely appears in avatar form in the Realms, but quite often aids dwarves by manifesting as an amber or rosy radiance and warmth. If healing herbs or plant antidotes are required and exist nearby, Sharindlar illuminates them with her radiance, to mark them for searching dwarves. If a sick dwarf seeks shelter or water, Sharindlar's radiance guides them. If dwarves are cold and lack shelter, Sharindlar's warmth and light can keep them comfortable while they rest, even on glaciers or rock ledges in blizzards. Her light is bright enough for wizards to study by and for maps and books to be read.
At dances, moots, and other meetings when dwarves may be conceived, Sharindlar often attempts to sway the thoughts and actions of dwarves by her warmth and radiance. Dwarven sages still argue over whether this is purely the result of her presence, serving as a hint and sign of approval, or if she can manifest subtle aphrodisiac powers.
Sharindlar is served by dryads, (Ysgardian) dwarves of Nidavellir, einheriar, too dogs, galeb duhr, hollyphants, incarnates of hope, temperance, and wisdom, korred, lillendi, linnorm dragons, slyphs, and sunflies. She manifests her favor through the discovery of emeralds, moonstones, and round silver coins and her displeasure through the discovery of worn, mateless boots, shattered egg shells, and curdled milk.
CLERGY: Clerics, specialty priests CLERGY'S ALIGN.: LG, NG, CG TURN UNDEAD: C: Yes, SP: No CMND. UNDEAD: C: No, SP: No
All clerics and specialty priests of Sharindlar receive religion (dwarven) and reading/writing (Dethek runes) as bonus nonweapon proficiencies. Clerics of Sharindlar cannot turn undead before 7th level, but they always strike at +2 on all attack and damage rolls against undead creatures. At 7th level and above, clerics can turn undead as other clerics do, but as a cleric of four levels less than their current level. These modifications apply only to the cleric class. All priests of Sharindlar were female before the Time of Troubles, but some males have joined the priesthood since then.
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.
Novices of Sharindlar are known as the Chaste. Full priests are known as Merciful Maidens/Youths. 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. Specialty priests are known as thalomor, a dwarvish word that can be loosely translated as those who are merciful. The clergy of Sharindlar includes gold dwarves (49%), shield dwarves (48%), jungle dwarves (2%), and even gray dwarves (1%). Sharindlar's clergy is nearly evenly divided between specialty priests (58%) and clerics (42%). The priesthood is still nearly all female (99%).
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.
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 such as High Shanatar and Besilmer) 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.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies
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.
In the Deep Realm, Sharindlar's rituals take place around the Lake of Gold, a subterranean lake whose rocky bottom is streaked with gleaming veins of gold. The Lady of Life's dwarven faithful never take gold from the lake, whose bottom is now carpeted with the sparkling gold dust of long ages of worship resulting from rituals performed in an effort to raise the low birthrate of the race. Rituals in honor of Sharindlar's fertility aspect celebrated here always end with splendid feasts and courting chases through the underways of the Deeps. Rituals invoking Sharindlar's healing strength enacted by two or more priests of the goddess involve their gathering over injured or sick beings. The Lady of Life's priests sprinkle the ill from a vial of water from the Lake of Gold, while whispering secret names and descriptions of the goddess. This ritual has a 20% chance of aiding healing per priest taking part, increased by 10% if water from the Lake of Gold is used, and another 20% if the injured being is favored by Sharindlar (a DM decision: Sharindlar has been known to favor nondwarves, pack animals, and even monsters). The aid increases of healing spells and potions to their maximum possible effect, doubles the at-rest healing rate, and halts the spread or effect of parasites (including rot grubs), diseases, and poisons completely for 1d4+1 days. The DM chooses the beneficial effect according to the circumstances. Even Sharindlar's name, whispered or repeated silently in the mind by the faithful, has a calming effect on upset or painwracked dwarves of all faiths, allowing them to sleep.
Major Centers of Worship
Tyn'rrin Wurlur, the Vale of Dancing Water, is a sprawling temple complex built among the ruins of the longfallen summer palace of King Torhild Flametonguee of Besilmer. Nestled amidst the rolling Sumber Hills-the modem name for the hills bisected by the River Dessarin, which lie just south of the Stone Bridge-the Rook of Torhild, as it is also known, is located on the western bank of the River Dessarin east of the abandoned, monster-haunted, adventurers' keeps along the Larch Path. If dwarven legends are true, the temple's catacombs contain the lost riches of fallen Besilmer, as yet unplundered, and access to subterranean tunnels that stretch from the Sword Mountains to the Unicorn Run.
The very existence of Sharindlar's temple in the Sumber Hills is a closely guarded secret among the Stout Folk of the North, a practice in keeping with the general reticence among dwarves to even discuss the beliefs and role of the Lady of Life with nondwarves. Passersby on the swift-flowing current below the hidden vale can see naught but three tiny creek-fed waterfalls that rush over the 30-foot-high cliff in an endless cascade of water and shimmering light. The aboveground structures of the temple complex are nearly invisible to anyone flying overhead, appearing as little more than boulderstrewn hillocks. Few travelers make the dangerous trek overland from the village of Red Larch to the western bank of the River Dessarin-even fewer stumble into the isolated dell, as the few footpaths in the region are cunningly constructed so as to lead travelers away from the elevated valley.
The fortified hospice of Tyn'rrin Wurlur is ably led by the aging matriarch, Dame of the Dessarin March Gwythiir, daul of Zarna. Gwythiir is assisted by a council of the eight highest-ranking priests residing in the abbey, collectively known as the Ladies of Merciful Life. When not roaming the North healing those in need, the temple's clergy-whose ranks include nearly two hundred dwarven priests who have received the call of the Lady of Life-spend their days at the temple tending small vineyards, making wine, and cultivating mushrooms on the shaded banks of the small creeks that wind through the valley. The wine presses of Tyn'rrin Wurlur are renowned in dwarven societies throughout the North for producing tuber nectar, a grape and mushroom wine legendary for its aphrodisiac properties. The Vale of Dancing Water is nearly as well known among the Stout Folk for its instruction of young dwarves, both male and female, in the rites of courting and the formal dances that have been passed down for centuries. In recent decades, successful dwarves-particularly those who have earned both wealth and honor by adventuring-have been returning to Tyn'rrin Wurlur when they are ready to settle down to enlist the Dame of the Dessarin March in finding them a suitable mate. Finally, the Vale of Dancing Water serves always-welcoming hospice to wounded or sick dwarves who seek sanctuary in order to finish out their days, or if possible, until they recover. Aging dwarves, particularly those whose careers developed their fighting prowess, often retire to Tyn'rrin Wurlur where they serve as seasoned, if aging, defenders of the vale.
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.
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.
When a dwarf is struck down in combat, he often utters prayers to Sharindlar, making no secret his veneration of this benevolent goddess. When dwarves abandon their taciturn moods for an evening of dance, or when a hardened warrior softens to accept the vows of marriage to his childhood love, Sharindlar is invoked as a deity of gaiety, romance and dance.
Clerics of the Sharindlar are known as Thalornor or "those who are merciful". They spend most of their time ministering to the needs of the sick or injured within dwarven communities. When not engaged in this manner, they to instruct dwarven youth on proper courting rituals. Sharindlar's clergy pray for spells in the morning.
Holy ceremonies dedicated to Sharindlar are most often practiced when the moon begins to wax, at Greengrass, Midsummer Night and whenever the moon is full. At such gatherings, dwarves dance around a natural pool, chanting to the Lady of Mercy while casting gold items into a sanctified cauldron. Temples most often are large halls with ample space for dancing and celebration, along with plenty of intimate guest rooms for visiting celebrators.
Over time Sharindlar has established good relations with her entire dwarven pantheon, including strained friendships with the likes of Laduguer, Deep Duerra and Abbathor. The Lady of Life and Mercy occasionally acts as intermediary between Moradin and those exiled deities when these opposed deities are forced to act together. Sharindlar shares great kinship with Shiallia, who is believed to be her daughter with Tapann.
Specialty Priests Thalornor
REQUIREMENTS: Constitution 9, Wisdom 11 PRIME REQ.: Constitution, Wisdom ALIGNMENT: CG WEAPONS: Any bludgeoning (wholly Type B) weapon, plus knives ARMOR: Any MAJOR SPHERES: All, animal, charm, creation, healing, necromantic, plant, sun, time MINOR SPHERES: Elemental, guardian, protection MAGICAL ITEMS: Same as clerics REQ. PROFS: Herbalism BONUS PROFS: Dancing, etiquette, healing
• While most thalornor (the plural form of thalornar) are either gold dwarves or shield dwarves, dwarves of nearly every subrace are called to be specialty priests of the Lady of Life. • Thalornor are not allowed to multiclass. • Thalornor can cast cure light wounds (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day. • At 3rd level, thalornor can cast aid (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day. • At 3rd level, thalornor can cast detect dwarves (as the 1stlevel priest spell) at will. • At 5th level, thalornor can cast merciful touch (as the 3rdlevel priest spell) once per day. • At 7th level, thalornor can cast cure serious wounds (as the 4th-level priest spell) once per day. • At 10th level, thalornor can cast cure critical wounds (as the 5th-level priest spell) once per day. • At 13th level, thalornor can cast heal (as the 6th-level priest spell) once per day. • At 15th level, thalornor can cast flowstone (as the 5th-level priest spell) once per day. • At 20th level, thalornor can cast word of recall (as the 6thlevel priest spell) once per day. • At 20th level, thalornor can cast gate (as the 7th-level priest spell) twice per tenday.
In addition to the spells listed below, priests of the Lady of Life can cast the 3rd-level priest spell ease labor and the 4th-level priest spell fertility, both of which are detailed in Powers & Pantheons in the entry for Shiallia.
Detect Dwarves (Pr 1; Divination) Sphere: Divination Range: 0 Components: V, S, M Duration: 1 turn Casting Time: 1 round Area of Effect: 10 feet X 90 feet Saving Throw: None
When the detect dwarves spell is cast, the priest detects living dwarves, dead dwarves, azer, duergar, derro, half-dwarves, and spilled dwarven blood, even if they are invisible, shapechanged, concealed by illusions, and so on, in a path 10 feet wide and up to 90 feet long in the direction she or he is facing. The approximate number of dwarves present within the area of effect can also be determined within 10%. The caster has a 5% chance per level to determine the subrace and gender of dwarves detected, to a maximum of 75%. The caster can turn, scanning a 60ø arc per round. The spell is blocked by solid metal at least 1 inch thick, solid stone at least 1 foot thick, or solid wood at least 1 yard thick.
The material component is the priest's holy symbol.
Merciful Touch (Pr 3; Alteration) Sphere: Healing Range: Touch Components: V,S,M Duration: Special Casting Time: 6 Area of Effect: Creature touched Saving Throw: None
By means of this spell, the priest can both heal and relieve suffering. Merciful touch cures 1d12 points of damage. The dweomer also alleviates conditions not otherwise removed by the curative aspect of this spell for up to 24 hours. For example, the discomfort caused by a disease is held in abeyance, although the disease itself is neither cured nor placed in remission. Likewise, the excruciating pain of an injury such as a broken ankle is masked for the duration; however, it is still not possible for the creature to put weight on the ankle. Spells such as irritation can be effectively negated if the duration of the merciful touch exceeds the duration of the spell that inflicts the suffering. Merciful touch only affects conditions in existence at the time it is cast. The material component is the priest's holy symbol.
Flowstone (Pr 5; Alteration) Sphere: Elemental Earth Range: 10 yards Components: V,S,M Duration: 1 round Casting Time: 8 Area of Effect: 3 cubic feet/level Saving Throw: Special
This spell makes stone flow like syrup and then harden. The stone flows in response to gravity but may be directed by beings (such as skilled dwarves) wielding wooden paddles or erecting temporary dams. The flowing stone is not heated or altered in hue. The spell does not affect worked stone.
Dwarves often use this spell to shape stone conduits, by flowing stone around logs that are later burnt away, and to sculpt stone into smooth door surrounds, covering or shielding embedded locks and the like.
Its most deadly use is to trap beings by entombing them or encasing their feet or other body parts in the hardening stone. A creature in contact with flowing stone is allowed a saving throw vs. poison. If successful, the creature entirely avoids entrapment, winning free of the affected area without harm. (Those entering the area again must make another saving throw.) Failure means the creature is partially encrusted, slowed to half movement, and suffers a 2-point Dexterity penalty until the stone is washed off (within 2 rounds) or shattered and scraped off (thereafter). If an encrusted being is rendered immobile or in the center of a flowing area more than 10 feet across, a saving throw vs. spell is required to avoid entrapment.
A creature struggling against hardening stone is allowed a Strength check. If successful, it reaches the edge of the flow area and emerges with one or more limbs encased in immobilizing blobs of stone. Failure means the creature is entrapped in the hardening stone. If stone covers a creature's breathing orifices (in most beings, the head), death occurs in 1d4+1 rounds. If stone merely prevents movement, death by starvation occurs in 1d10+10 days or when the creature is overcome by rising water, attacking beasts, or the like.
Attacks on the stone transmit half damage directly to the trapped creature. An encased limb can be freed either by amputation (lose 25% of full hit points and an immediate system shock roll against death), or by inflicting 20 points of crushing or piercing damage on the stone (10 points on the trapped creature). A second flowstone spell can free trapped beings without harm.
The material components of this spell are a drop of water, a daub of mud, a grain of sand, and a pebble.