- Book of Dark Silk
The Book of Dark Silk, usually referred to as the Book of Dark by those who follow the Mother of Darkness, is the joined holy book of the Churches of Vierdri'ira and Baraeon Ca'duz. The Book of Dark Silk was handed down by both deities after cementing their alliance and can now be found in every Inner Sanctum of her temples. Its cover is made of pitch-black silk, and it bears no other markings. However, it does not need to, every dark elf who sees it immediately knows what it is and should treat it with caution. To be found with a Book of Dark Silk is often one of the last moments of somebody's life, as unauthorized taking of a copy is blasphemous and punishable by death.
"We were betrayed. Betrayed by those who we used to call kin. Betrayed by those who were also gifted. A betrayal that will be answered in kind."
-The Book of Dark Silk, opening line
It is unknown the exact point in time the first worshipers of Vierdri'ira came about, but it cannot have been long after the division between the elven races. When the dark elves went below the surface, two great leaders of their people rose, each leading a different group into the world below, each promising that their race would one day defeat the plague of the surface elves and regain their title as the true superior race.
Their names were Baraeon Ca'duz, the Prince of Hate, and Vierdri'ira, the Mother of Darkness.
It is thought that these two leaders of their people gathered such a following that they were worshiped while alive, and eventually they ascended to the heavens. As the dark elves spread across the world below, both groups eventually came into contact with each other and started to intermingle. At that time, both deities still had both male and female followers. As both deities' objectives are fundamentally the same, it did not take long until a joint holy book was transcribed, the Book of Dark Silk.
This dark alliance made the dark elf race prosper, and many cities sprung up in the realms below—until the treachery of Az'atta occurred. Az'atta, a female priestess of Baraeon Ca'duz, betrayed her god, which led the Prince of Hate to expel all female followers from his church. In reply, Viedri'ira expelled all male followers from hers.
This did not mean that they became enemies, but this event did start the competition between the two deities to constantly outdo each other, which is reflected among their followers. The Book of Dark Silk, however, still stands as the core text of both faiths.
Dark elf followers of Vierdri'ira are responsible for the strengthening and propagation of their people. This doesn't mean they are pregnant all the time however. In fact, most priestesses do not have more than one or two children in their lifetime. They teach the daughters of others the words of Viedri'ira from the Book of Dark Silk and teach them to depend on their own skills and abilities to reach the most power in life. Dark elf female children are taught when young that they are to prove themselves as superior to their peers, and they are also trained to suspect attack at any time and to be able to dish a strike or counterstrike right back to their opponents.
Followers of Vierdri'ira must strive to be the very best that they can be. If for any reason it is known that a follower is not living up to the best of her abilities, she is taken into the Hall of Submission and punished, usually at the end of a priestess's whip. Those punished are never quite the same upon returning.
It is said that the belittlement or destruction of males is among one of Vierdri'ira's followers favorite pastimes. Rumors abound that dark elf women kill off their mates for the sheer reason of not producing healthy female children, however, the Book of Dark Silk does not mention anything about this. In addition, it is rumored that the dark elf warriors of Vierdri'ira will buy male slaves simply to practice their prowess in battle on. If defeated in battle by a slave, both the slave and the mistress are killed. If the slave is defeated, job well done.
One of the most practiced beliefs however is the hierarchy or the personal way each individual follower views those around them. Usually the typical viewing is as follows, in order from most hated and disrespected, to most acclaimed:
Az'attans < Males < Females < Dark elf males < Dark elf females < Dark elf females of Vierdri'ira < One's self < Vierdri'ira