Kiaransalee

Kiaransalee

In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Kiaransalee is the drow deity of slavery, undead, and vengeance.

Appearance

Kiaransali manifests as a sinuous female drow, wearing only silver jewelry and silk veils. She wields Coldheart, a dagger that perpetually drips acid, and when it pleases her she dons the Mantle of Nightmares, a cloak of bones that causes magical fear in all who gaze upon its horrors.

Relationships

Kiaransali is a servant of Lolth. She is allied with Vhaeraun, the Great Mother, Blibdoolpoolp, Piscaethces, Laogzed, Diinkarazan, Diirinka, Gzemnid, Ilsensine, Maanzecorian (dead), and Psilofyr.

Her foes include Dumathoin and Laduguer. She hates Orcus and seeks to gather her strength and reconquer his layer, as once she did before. She fears that her life may be taken to sate Orcus' own lust for vengeance, however.

Realm

Kiaransali dwells in the fortress of Kandelspire on the world of Guldor. Kandelspire was the last bastion of the dwarves on this world, which fell to Lolth's forces some decades before. Now it is haunted by the vengeful ghostly and undead remnants of the proud dwarven warriors who died fighting to the last. The Revenancer has entered this world through a portal in the Demonweb Pits and has made Kandelspire her home. There, she marshals her forces, building her strength in the hope of reconquering Orcus' realm.

Dogma

Kiaransali forbids her worshipers from forgiving debts or slights of any kind. Payment, of some kind, is integral to any interaction. Kiaransali teaches that life itself is the greatest of all crimes, with enslavement in undeath the most fitting of punishments. Enslavement of the living is also a holy act. Worshipers of Kiaransali seek to take their wealth and slaves with them into the grave.

Worshipers

Worshipers of Kiaransali are slavers, morticians, torturers, executioners, and merchants. They are misers, meticulous in their record-keeping. They treat their servants of slaves, and treat their slaves without mercy. House Vae of Erelhei-Cinlu worships Kiaransali as their patron, although they have always believed her to be inferior to Lolth.

Clergy

Priests of Kiaransali are known as yathrinshee. They not only work their slaves to death, but they reanimate their corpses so that they continue their labor. To venerate the Lady of the Dead, yathrinshee lie within their personal sarcophagi with their arms clasped together on their breasts. They favor loose black robes with hooded cowls stitched with ivory and bone. They wear gray skullcaps on their heads and thin silver rings on every finger except their thumbs. They spread the ashes of burnt corpses on their uncovered skin. Despite their miserly creeds, they are the first to offer bounties on escaped slaves and prisoners, and always pay in full.

History

Apotheosis

Kiaransalee, as she was originally known, was the mortal queen of a world called Threnody at least 30,000 years in the past. She was banished by her husband the king, and worked for centuries to raise an undead army to exact vengeance for this. When she was finally done, all life on her world was extinguished. Fleeing with her minions to the Abyss to escape the wrath of the Seldarine, she eventually became a demigoddess. At some point she was slighted by Orcus, though no one but her remembers the details.

In later years the goddess Lolth fell into the Abyss as well, capturing Kiaransalee in her twisted web. For millennia, the Lady of the Dead labored under Lolth's spidery shadow as the goddess of undeath and vengeance, capable of only small acts of rebellion.

The Death of Orcus

When the time seemed right, she ambushed Orcus in his own layer. Though Orcus was more powerful, he had grown complacent with the diminishment or imprisonment of his major rivals. The Vengeful Banshee managed to slay him with a blast of negative energy, casting his corpse into the Astral Plane. To ensure he could never return, she cast a spell that erased his name from all mortal records.

This dealt a major blow to the demonic forces in the Blood War, who suddenly lacked for the undead troops Orcus used to provide. Kiaransalee promised to provide similar troops in time, but still many demonic generals sought to return Orcus back to life.

The Priestess Wars

Centuries later, the Vengeful Banshee took advantage of chaos and civil war in the Vault of the Drow, defying the Queen of Spiders and attempting to establish her priesthood as supreme in the city of Erelhei-Cinlu. After the fall of House Eilservs, its ally House Tormtor was relegated to minor status. When priestesses of the Revenancer offered an alliance, they were eager to listen. In return for this alliance, Erehe, consort of Tormtor's ruler Verdaeth, helped locked the Wand of Orcus away in Agathion. Kiaranasalee drowned Erehe in the River Styx, but allowed Verdaeth to resurrect him, without his former memories. Convinced the other noble houses held the secret of restoring his memories, Verdaeth started a war.

House Tormtor allied with Everhate, Aleval, and a large number of githyanki. The illithids of Dra-Mur-Shou allied themselves with the anti-Tormtor faction (houses Despana, Noquar, Kilsek, and Godeep), fearing the results of an Erelhei-Cinlu friendly to their hated enemies the githyanki. As chaos and savage battles overtook the Vault, hundreds of drow died, as did hundreds of their mercenaries.

The war was finally ended after Eclavdra abased herself before Lolth and underwent a horrible punishment to prove herself. Surviving unmarred, she made a pact with her goddess whose nature remains obscure. In reward, Lolth intervened personally to end the war. Though turning her concentration to this conflict cost the Demon Queen of Spiders her holdings in Geoff and Sterich, the war was ended definitively. House Eilservs was reinstated in power and House Kilsek was banished, replaced with House Vae.

The Return of Orcus

Recently (around 591 CY) Orcus somehow returned from the dead, retaking Thanatos, the layer Kiaransalee had made her own, and driving the goddess out after a time of conflict. Returning chastened to Lolth's Demonweb, she drank of the Spider Queen's venom, formally binding herself in servitude to the Queen of Spiders in exchange for her forgiveness and sanctuary. As a sign of this, Lolth altered the last glyph of her name, changing the Drow Elvish glyph lee to the homonym li, signifying enslavement. Now she is Kiaransali in all texts and inscriptions.

Currently, Kiaransali lairs in the fortress of Kandelspire on the Prime Material Plane world of Guldor, which was conquered by Lolth some decades ago. Her religion no longer claims any authority that does not derive from Lolth, though some of her worshipers still harbor resentments.

Death

Kiaransalee's worship was destroyed through epic magic by the drow wizard Q'arlynd and his apprentices, erasing the memory of the goddess within Realmspace, effectively eliminating her from the pantheons of Toril. There is no reason to believe that this affects the goddess elsewhere.

References

  • Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities. Renton, WA: TSR, 1998.
  • Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.
  • Conforti, Steven, ed. Living Greyhawk Official Listing of Deities for Use in the Campaign, version 2.0. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005. Available online:
  • Cook, Monte. Dead Gods. Renton, WA: TSR, 1997.
  • McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1996.
  • McComb, Colin, and Monte Cook. Hellbound: The Blood War. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1996.
  • Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1992.
  • Sernett, Matthew, Dave Noonan, Ari Marmell, and Robert J. Schwalb. Tome of Magic. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2006.
  • Smith, Lester W, and Wolfgang Baur. Planes of Chaos. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.
  • Stark, Ed, James Jacobs, and Erik Mona. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2006.
  • Weining, Frederick. "Vault of the Drow." Dragon #298. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2002.
  • Wyatt, James. City of the Spider Queen Web Enhancement. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002. Available Online

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