|Divine Rank||Intermediate Power|
|Portfolio||Healing, Mercy, Romantic Love, Fertility, Dancing, Courtship, The Moon
5E: Healing, Love
|Domains||2E: All, Animal, Charm, Creation, Healing, Necromantic, Plant, Sun, Time, minor Elemental, Guardian, Protection
3E: Chaos, Charm, Dwarf, Good, Healing, Moon
|Home Plane||2E: The Merciful Court (Ysgard)
|Worshippers||Sick dwarves, dwarven healers, dwarven physicians, dwarven midwives, dwarven lovers, dwarven bards|
|Favoured Weapon||Fleetbite (Whip)|
This goddess first appeared in the Forgotten Realms splatbook "Dwarves Deep", for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition; she was then presented in more detail for that same edition in "Demihuman Deities". The reasoning was most likely that, whilst Berronar Truesilver made for a strong divine matriarch, the dwarves could their use their own goddess of love and romance, and Berronar was just a bit too staid for the job.
In 2nd edition, Sharindlar is primarily known for her role as the dwarven goddess of mercy and healing; she is invoked by many dwarven healers, and also by those who must sentence others in the cause of justice, although in these aspects she shares authority with Berronar Truesilver. Unique to her, and usually kept secret from non-dwarves, is her importance as the patron of romantic love, courtship and fertility. All dwarves cherish and admire her for this field, so important in a race that was traditionally bedeviled by low fertility and a dearth of available women.
Manifesting as a slim, spirited, flame-haired dwarven maiden, who tends to go around bare-footed, Sharindlar is so compassionate she has even forged working relationships with other members of the Morndinsamman she personally disapproves of, and thus her chaotic nature makes her an essential peacemaker in a pantheon filled with lawful-natured deities who can be rather muttonheaded about things. Why, she's even managed to serve as an emissary between the bitter enemies that are Moradin and Laduguer from time to time. Outside of her family, she has a strong friendship with the patron deities of the Korreds, and some whisper that Shiallia, the Dancer in the Glades, is actually Sharindlar's daughter, born of a brief dalliance with Tapann.
This goddess is warm and caring, with a kind word for all, given to shouts of joy, impromptu dances, and gales of uncontrollable laughter. She's an inveterate matchmaker, and a true romantic, seeking to join 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.
...Yes, she did have a beard back in 2nd edition. Even then, it was stated that she could manifest without it when she was interacting with races whose women don't have beards. When 3e came out, she lost the beard for good.
Sharindlar is known for her tendency to manifest rather obviously, in the form of a bright, warm, amber or rosy radiance that has been known to illuminate nearby healing herbs, guide sick dwarves to shelter or water, or even simply provide comfort to dwarves that are cold and have nowhere else to shelter. At dances, moots and other meetings where dwarves may be conceived, she often attempts to sway the thoughts and actions of dwarves with this self-same warm 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.
The faithful know they have received her favor by discovering emeralds, moonstones and silver coins, whilst her displeasure is shown by the sudden discovering of worn, mateless boots, shattered egg shells, and curdled milk.
The priests of Sharindlar, known as Thalornor ("Those Who Are Merciful"), are traditionally focused on dispensing healing and mercy to dwarves - and other races - who are in need. They also focus on maintaining and teaching dwarven courting rites, such as traditional dances and ritual forms of address. They strive to bring young dwarves together, engendering likely matches - and are quite willing to go outside of the traditional clan-pairings, in pursuit of heightening the dwarven birthrate. In many dwarven cultures, this focus on fertility has led to the thalornor incorporating agriculture and animal husbandry into their responsibilities, seeking to develop new and better strains of crops and breeds of beasts.
Novitiates to Sharindlar's clergy are called the Chaste, whilst full priestesses are Merciful Maidens. Priests ascend through the rangs of Dancing Tresses, Golden Allure, Healing Touch, Merciful Smile, Loving Heart, and Fruitful Mother - there are rare male priests of Sharindlar, who are known as Merciful Youths, and who change the highest rank to Fruitful Father. High Old Ones are collectively known as the Dauls (Children) of Sharindlar.
Temples to the Lady of Life are great halls, free of pillars or other arcitectural features, that serve as both chancels and grand ballrooms. Thus, unusually for dwarven architecture, they well lit and frequently either built above ground or partially open to the sky, and typically hold fountains, pools and formal gardens. All such temples feature numerous small guest chambers for the many visitors, and they often have a small library that preserves the lore important to the church - dwarven genealogies, clan records, courting rites, descriptions of formal dances, astronomy charts, medicinal practices, herbal brews, agricultural and husbandry records, and the like.
Needless to say, Sharindlar's aspects as a love and fertility goddess are deeply secret; dwarves never reveal this aspect of her to outsiders. The nights when the moon begins to wax, or when it is full, are holy nights to Sharindlar; it is on these nights that her priests perform the sacred ritual. They gather around pools of water in hidden caverns, where they dance, pray to Sharindlar for mercy and guidance, and sacrifice gold; heating it until molten and then cutting their arms to allow their blood to mix into the molten gold before throwing it into the water they are praying before, at which point they begin dancing and chanting her name.
Sharindlar's priests always keep weapons and armor close by when performing this ritual; they do not wear or carry them, but they know better than to be caught off-guard.
During ceremonial functions, thalornor dress in red robes with a blue girdle, bare-headed save for a robin's egg blue scarf. Her holy symbol is usually worn in the form of a silver disk, embossed on both sides with her fiery needle symbol, worn around the neck on an argent chain. For obvious reasons, the thalornor prefer not to fight, but they will defend themselves and their charges, wearing what armor is appropriate, but using a blue scarf around the brow, upper arm, wrist or ankle to mark their faith. Although this is rarely advertised, thalornor usually carry a small knife so that they can mercifully end the suffering of creatures whose pain canot otherwise be alleviated and whose demise is imminent.
Sharindlar's dogma reads thus: 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.
WIth the passing of AD&D and the release of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Sharindlar disappeared from the radar until the Forgotten Realms splatbook, "Faiths & Pantheons", which basically reiterated the lore from Demihuman Deities in somewhat cut-down form.
The only real differences betwen 2e and 3e lore is that Sharindlar's nature as a love goddess is a little less secret. More notably, with the recent surge in dwarven fertility and the evening out of gender ratios, Sharindlar is over the moon with joy.
She was absent in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, being seen as a little too much of a racially-focused deity to warrant full deity-write up status. She then returned in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, mentioned first in the "Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide" and then in "Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes" - sadly, her appearances in both amounted to enough mechanical information to convert a cleric, and nothing at all on the lore front.