Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

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Faediira
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Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Faediira » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:15 pm

why did Liriel Baenre chose to follow Mystra instead of continuing to get to know the Eilistraeens. I understand there was some problem with Liriel bringing the power of Lolth into the promenade which killed and injured several priestesses. Why on Toril would those same priestesses turn their backs on Liriel instead of continue to show her the same love that Eilistraee showed them.
May the light of Eilistraee shine brightly in the face of evil!

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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Bhaern Quel » Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:25 am

This likely can be best answered by the author.
Elaine Cunningham's answer was she choose not to have the character atone the short version. I will see if I can find her reply to a question asked a few years ago.

Other then not choosing, clearly her interest in arcane magic clearly in someways makes sense to select Mystra as patron. After all she never wanted to be a priestess of any deity.


Could not find it quick.

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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Irennan » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:39 am

AFAIK, Liriel chose to follow Mystra because magic was her true call. That doesn't mean that the Eilistraeens would reject her, though.

Priestesses of Eilistraee are not all the same, to some fo them it is difficult to get rid of centuries of tradition and brainwashing. But there are Eilistraeeans that Liriel developed affection to, and vice versa. Ysolde is one of them, for example, and Liriel fondly remembers her as the first priestesses of Eilistraee that she met, and the first creature to warmly welcome her to the surface and to let her know that she had a place there, among them. Thorn, whom Eilistraee chose as her 'champion' in Tangled Webs (or was it Windwalker?), and Liriel have also become very close, to the point of considering themselves to be sword sisters along with Sharlarra.

At the end of Windwalker Liriel saw the reaction of the priestesses led by Ysolde when Shakti killed Qilue's daughter, and she felt that it was her presence which brought them such loss and suffering (something reinforced by their cold looks) -as Shakti was looking for her -, and this led her to conclude that she would have never had a place among them. However that was only the result of her thinking and her point of view, based on the reaction of just a small group of priestesses (and on her preconception about her raace), and even then she immediately knew that Eilistraee still wanted her, as she could still feel her magic and presence singing to her very being.

I'm sure that even Qilué herself would have kept a place for Liriel in her temple. At the end of the day, Liriel chose Mystra because of her call, but I'm sure that she didn't refuse Eilistraee and that she kept paying homages to her (remember that in Faerun people worship many deities, and even if clerics have one main patron, they can still worship other allied gods).

About the accident that happened in the Promenade, I guess that Qilué and the others kind of reacted in self defense, and honestly it was a logical thing to do. Their position was revealed to Lolth, their wards broken, some of them wounded. Eilistraeens have as many enemies as any other drow, and their resources and power are limited, they can't really trust anyone and doing so would mean risking their life (and this explains why sometimes they can sometimes be so quick in acting in self defense). Seeing their #1 nemesis showing her presence in their safe haven would ofc be reason of panick. Anyway remeber that Qilué still gave Liriel a token that identified her as an ally of Eilistraee, and thus gained her the goddess' help. She didn't abandon her, but couldn't let her stay at the Promenade, because of how that would have endangered so many drow there.

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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Kaote Bruchedaine » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:04 pm

My personal opinion as to why Liriel ended up in following of Mystra is that the base of her character conflicted with the basis of Eilistraeen culture.

Eilistraee is the D&D version of a bookworm and party girl hybrid. When reading the books I often wonder which is her primary love; chasing fun, or diving into books. While I don't suspect Eilistraee would personally have any issues with Liriel or her various hobbies I figure the priestesses would be quite frustrated by Liriel's desire to simply not "grow up" so to speak. Liriel has always struck me as the type that would go out of her way to have fun. And if she can't find fun to be had she will make fun. And if someone attempts to prevent her fun, that's grounds for a some serious conflict.

Liriel had quite a bit of bad luck and ended up butting heads with Eilistraee's clergy quite a bit in a relatively short time, but I suspect she doesn't care that much. I would think that offense and such things just roll off of her and get laughed away. I think what would have chased Liriel away most is that she might fear the Priestesses would hold back her lust for her brand of fun.

I see Drizzt and Liriel as both having a child's mind to two different ways. Drizzt seemed to have a child's fear of the world he was raised in. Liriel on the other hand had the child's curiosity. Chasing the unknown, and every time she found something scary or dangerous she made a game out of poking it with a stick. The priestesses and leaders under Eilistraee would encourage her study of magic while at the same time try to take her stick away. Not because I see Priestesses as being against fun, but because Liriel seems to lack the ideas of racial or political barriers. I see her as being far to willing to prank anyone regardless of race or title. Possibly resulting in a diplomatic incident.

I am going to forward this thread to Elaine Cunningham now. I am really curious to see if I am very far off the mark.

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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Irennan » Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:23 pm

[quote="Kaote Bruchedaine":gtlomfpj]My personal opinion as to why Liriel ended up in following of Mystra is that the base of her character conflicted with the basis of Eilistraeen culture.

Eilistraee is the D&D version of a bookworm and party girl hybrid. When reading the books I often wonder which is her primary love; chasing fun, or diving into books. While I don't suspect Eilistraee would personally have any issues with Liriel or her various hobbies I figure the priestesses would be quite frustrated by Liriel's desire to simply not "grow up" so to speak. Liriel has always struck me as the type that would go out of her way to have fun. And if she can't find fun to be had she will make fun. And if someone attempts to prevent her fun, that's grounds for a some serious conflict.

Liriel had quite a bit of bad luck and ended up butting heads with Eilistraee's clergy quite a bit in a relatively short time, but I suspect she doesn't care that much. I would think that offense and such things just roll off of her and get laughed away. I think what would have chased Liriel away most is that she might fear the Priestesses would hold back her lust for her brand of fun.

I see Drizzt and Liriel as both having a child's mind to two different ways. Drizzt seemed to have a child's fear of the world he was raised in. Liriel on the other hand had the child's curiosity. Chasing the unknown, and every time she found something scary or dangerous she made a game out of poking it with a stick. The priestesses and leaders under Eilistraee would encourage her study of magic while at the same time try to take her stick away. Not because I see Priestesses as being against fun, but because Liriel seems to lack the ideas of racial or political barriers. I see her as being far to willing to prank anyone regardless of race or title. Possibly resulting in a diplomatic incident.

I am going to forward this thread to Elaine Cunningham now. I am really curious to see if I am very far off the mark.[/quote:gtlomfpj]

What you describe seems to be Qilué's problem as well. She is ''wild'', unpredictable and fun loving, just like Liriel is, and yet she is a good leader and respected as such.

About possible diplomatic incidents, well Liriel is not stupid. She loves pranking, but she would recognize when it is not the time to do so. She knows when it's time to be serious, I guess that growing in Menzoberranzan makes you understand that in the hard way.

I don't think that her adventurous nature would be a problem or contrast with Eilistraee's teachings, quite the contrary. Eilistraee's dogma is also about spreading joy, about enjoying and celebrating life and making it flourish. Reading the description of the goddess in ''Demihuman Deities'', she encourages freedom of self-expression and fulfillment, she doesn't restrain it. The Dark Dancer herself is quite a rebel and a free spirit, she would never take away the ''fun'' from the drow, she wants to show the drow what joy there can be in life, something that most of the have never known.
Redemption, choosing another life is a part of what Eilistraee stands for, but there's more. She also represents the luminous, happy aspect of life that so often is overshadowed/forgotten -especially among the drow- and this is a very important aspect of her personality.

For a further proof look at the kind of rituals and prayers that Eilistraee wishes from her followers to understand it, they're all (well except the various hunts) free and spontaneuous. Even the priestesses' duties (besides, obviously freeing the drow from Lolth and building a future for their people on the surface) are among the other things- about encouraging joy, nurturing song and dance, helping and protecting the needy, promoting kindness and harmony among the races. There's nothing that prevents adventures, they are even encouraged to do so, as long as they keep ''being priestesses'' in their travels.
This leads me to think that Liriel would have fit perfectly among the Eilistraeens, they are not the ''rigid, serious'' bunch at all (even if some of them can be. But then it is just natural to have diversity in any culture).

To me, Windwalker made Liriel's reasoning quite explicit: there are two passages at the end explaining how she felt about her place among the priestesses (or lack thereof, because of the losses and suffering that she believed caused by her presence, and because in her mind she would have never been ''forgiven'' for that), and her feeling that Eilistraee still wanted her, as she could hear the goddess' and her magic singing to her. For a time she even came to consider to live in the wilderness with Thorn (and they kept traveling together anyway). I don't recall any passage with Liriel thinking that living among the Eilistraeens would contrast with her nature, or limit her possibilities (except when she couldn't use her magic on the surface), and given her focus on her identity, that would have explicitly emerged at some point.

Nonetheless, I'd surely be interested in what Elaine has to say on this, if she found the time to post.
Last edited by Irennan on Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Faediira
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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Faediira » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:06 pm

I would also like to know what Elaine has to say regarding that post. Hopefully she's not to busy to respond might take her a day or two though I hear she's got a deadline to keep ;)
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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Irennan » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:23 am

Elaine recently commented about how Liriel currently feels about Eilistraee, an answer that I very much like.

[quote:2ec4m87h]
Once upon a time, music was the focus of my life. I pursued an undergrad degree, taught for several years, and learned to play several instruments with varying degrees of proficiency. Since I was primarily a church musician, when I left that church, my focus shifted from music to other creative pursuits. Today I spend a great deal of time writing. It's what I've chosen to do, and I think it's a pretty good fit for my temperament, interests, and skill sets. But I still find a considerable amount of meaning in music. It's no longer my occupation and it takes up much less of my time than it used to, but I have not shut and sealed that door. I suspect that Liriel's sense of connection to Eilistraee is very similar.

The worship of Mystra satisfies Liriel's intellectual curiosity and her drive to excel. The Dark Maiden, however, speaks to her more emotional side: music, dance, sisterhood, and to the sheer joy of existence. So yes, she will feel the call of Eilistraee from time to time. Because we all have things that pertain to our lives, if not our livelihoods.[/quote:2ec4m87h]

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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:35 am

That is a lovely way to see it. I like that very much. Thank you for sharing. :)


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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Irennan » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:02 am

Yes, it is. And my pleasure!

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Re: Liriel Baenre and the Eilistraeens

Post by Kaote Bruchedaine » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:05 pm

Well, so long as the loud parties are not over for good!

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