WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

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Irennan
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WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Irennan » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:59 am

Recently, I've sent a letter to Christopher Perkins (WotC lead world builder and D&D creative manager), talking about Eilistraee's role in the Realms and why I feel that she is an integral, even iconic, part of the setting. The answer I received was very encouraging.

[quote:lox0jksr][...]Our thinking has changed somewhat with 5E. We would rather embrace the complexities of FR than oversimplify it. The Sundering (as told in recent novels) will enable us to restore all of the "lost" gods of the FR pantheon, including Eilistraee. I don't know the extent to which she'll feature in upcoming stories, but in our minds she is very much alive. I hope this news allays some of your concerns.[/quote:lox0jksr]

There is another part of that e-mail, concerning the exact reason why they decided to remove Eilistraee for 4e, however I am not sure how he would feel about sharing it. So -until I receive word from him- I won't (but many people have already guessed it). Nonetheless, this -together with what Ed said about the Dark Maiden- is pretty awesome news.

[b:lox0jksr]EDIT[/b:lox0jksr]: In Ed's upcoming novel, ''Spellstorm'', there's this passage -one of Elminster's thoughts about Mystra's current manifestation-:

[...]Twas no easy thing, being the goddess of magic. A different deity than the rest, in a world so steeped in the Art, a divinity that had to care more for mortals, or embrace utter tyranny. And at the same time share the Weave - the Weave that was Mystra, as well as being so much more - with other deities, or what remained of them, like Eilistraee[...]

This definitely means that Eilistraee is currently alive, since the new Mystra has to share the Weave with her. I've made some questions to Ed in his scroll, and e-mailed him. I will report here once I get answers. I will also edit Wikipedia and FR wiki once I get more info: the news have to spread :D

This is really encouraging, and -even if it is little- I can't wait to see the passages about Eilistraee that he is writing in his next novel.

It's also telling that Ed went out of his way to mention Eilistraee in a story that has nothing to do with her, it's just like he's really trying to tell people that Eilistraee lives :)

[b:lox0jksr]EDIT2[/b:lox0jksr]: Ed's to my question and confirmation that Eilistraee is alive once again.

''Hi again, all. Irennan, heeeere's Ed:

Communications being what they are in the Realms, with caravans bringing news and gossip and inevitable distortions as things get told and retold, most mortals can't be certain of much; they always have to trust (or not trust) retellings from afar.
However, the word spreading about the return of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun comes from excited reports of mortal worshippers personally meeting MANIFESTATIONS and AVATARS of the deities; i.e. yes, Vhaeraun and Eilistraee are both "back."
Now, as to whether they'll appear face to face with a given mortal in a given location in the Realms, that's a far different matter. The gods in general seem more "distant" post-Sundering, more "heard from" than "personally seen."

And there you have it.
The Word of Ed, so to speak.
love,
THO''

As for the answers:

1)Q: Does that thought (Mystra's sharing the Weave with Eilistraee) refer to the ''present'' time? If so, it would mean that Eilistraee is alive and -if you can share- I have some questions about that
A: Yes, that refers to the present time (and it makes me curious, why is Eilistraee among the deities with whom Mystra is sharing the Weave. Is it because of their old alliance? Because she is the daughter of a god of magic, so she has some kind of affinity?)

2)Q: Are Eilistraee and Vhaeraun separated again? A: Yes, separate again.

3)Q: Did she manage to survive to the events in LP like some speculated (in a fashion similar to how Mystra did, for example) and emerge again after the Sundering (or has the Sundering simply brought her back)?
A:Mortals know only of a reappearance, post-Sundering; details to be revealed, perhaps, in the fullness of time (this now 100% confirms that Eilistraee is alive in the present time).

4)Q:Also, in what condition is Eilistraee now, and what are she and her followers doing (and -since I'd like to edit the FR wiki page about her- is she now a demipower, or retained her status of lesser power)?
A:Current condition? Unknown to mortals (including power level/ranking); sorry

5)Q:Finally, where is Qilué's soul currently (since we know that the Cescent Blade couldn't destroy souls anymore, given that Cavatina survived it).
A:As for the soul you mention: also known. My bet would be on "a voice in the Weave" (there may or may not be more on this status, if not that particular soul, in future fiction, but it's too early to say for certain).

I've asked some clarification on 3 (namely, if she has appeared to mortals post-Sundering, or if they are only aware of her return (because she has sent visions or something like that), and if her followers know of her being alive. Will post here once I get the answer).

Also, really can't wait till Ed's next novel and see what new tidbits of lore we can get on Eilistraee, even if it is just little things.
Last edited by Irennan on Sat May 09, 2015 12:36 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:26 am

That is indeed quite encouraging. Thank you for sharing that. :)


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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Irennan » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:55 am

About the reason why they decided to remove Eilistraee:

[quote:2a9s1efh]I can't speak much with regard to the story of Eilistraee thus far, as I was not involved in its creation or evolution. However, I know that during the 3E and 4E era, there was a attempt to shrink the enormous pantheon of FR gods, as well as an effort to paint the drow as being almost universally evil to make it clear that Drizzt Do'Urden is extraordinary. (The argument is that Drizzt becomes less of an iconoclast if there are good drow everywhere.)[/quote:2a9s1efh]

A very poor reason in terms of setting and story, still they appear to have changed their approach, and that's what matters.

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Bhaern Quel » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:18 am

A very poor reason, however even SKR did indicate that 3rd Edition wanted to reduce the number of deities, he however appeared shocked about how much 4th edition cut from the realms.

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Irennan » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:32 am

I thought they didn't want Eilistraee merely because of the number of gods, but it seems that the main reason actually was ''Drizzt isn't special enough'', which really gave me a ''wtf'' moment...

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:18 am

I've heard a version of that argument before (though in the version I heard it was more to make the characters of players who wanted to follow in Drizzt's footsteps more special, make it more of a challenge if there's not someone waiting to receive them with open arms). But yes, it's things like that which make one really, really despise a character.

I mean I liked Drizzt well enough in the beginning, but come on, enough is enough already. It's long past due to retire him.

After all, isn't this supposed to be about the player characters and not the NPCs?


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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Ogrim » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:17 am

In the early books, it's mentioned that the longest living Drow known of was somewhere around 800 years old. While I agree using Drizzt as a 'reason' to do things like that is absurd. However, in the books I've read so far, Drizzt isn't even past his 2nd century of life. He's still practically a kid, as Elven or even Drow lifespans go. I say too soon to retire him, but not too soon to stop using him as an excuse for silly decisions.

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Irennan » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:09 pm

[quote="Shir'le E. Illios":3i1im50h]I've heard a version of that argument before (though in the version I heard it was more to make the characters of players who wanted to follow in Drizzt's footsteps more special, make it more of a challenge if there's not someone waiting to receive them with open arms). But yes, it's things like that which make one really, really despise a character.

I mean I liked Drizzt well enough in the beginning, but come on, enough is enough already. It's long past due to retire him.

After all, isn't this supposed to be about the player characters and not the NPCs?


Love -x-x-x-

Shir'le[/quote:3i1im50h]

That's because some people see Eilistraee and are like ''amg, good drow, must be Drizzt clone'', w/o even bothering to consider who she and her followers actually are. If they recognized Eilistraee for her battle, her goal and her ideals, instead of just thinking her as ''goddess of good drow'', they would realize that her character is A LOT different from Drizzt's (and even opposed in some regards, like their attitude towards their people). Eilistraee has a well-defined role in the setting, her involvment in a story must be justified and motivated, she can't be used as a commonplace deity and she doesn't ''threaten'' to invade stories that don't directly involve her (like Mystra or Torm could). That's why their decision to marginalize her in order to ''protect'' Drizzt's uniqueness baffles me (especially when the Dark Maiden gives to the drow depth, flavor and story opportunities that Drizzt just can't).

Furthermore if a player/DM feels that their character is not enough of a ''special snowflake'', they could simply ignore Eilistraee, as no rule says that their PC have to meet Eilistraeens in-game. Or they could actually acknowledge and include her for what she is (instead of a simple refuge for a good drow PC) and roll a character who wants to take a stand and build a future for their people, instead of going for the classic ''QQ I'm so misunderstood, my race is so ebil and so on'' Drizzt clone approach.

About Drizzt, personally I too feel that -no matter what his age is- after 20-40 books centered on him (seriously Oo), his character may be affected by staleness (and rather acute Mary-Sue-ness). He is all over the place, you see a picture of him as the main art for the [i:3i1im50h]elven[/i:3i1im50h] race in the PHB, you see him named as ''inspiration'' for the drow who want an alternative in the dark elf subrace section of the same book (and seriously, why don't name Eilistraee for that, since it is part of what she fights for, and since how the hell do drow who live underground even know about Drizzt, when he doesn't give a crap about reaching to them??), you see minis and tabletop games of him and so on. He's their flag character, I understand, but he shouldn't take all the space available. I'm just happy that they have finally (likely) decided to give Eilistraee her little corner in the Realms (we never asked for more that that, I think).

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Ogrim » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:02 pm

Fair enough, it's true Drizzt has come to be kind of everywhere now. So, perhaps I'm biased in saying it's too early to retire Drizzt. When I first picked up the first book, I had only vaguely heard mention of the character a few times in a video game or two. By the time I got into the third book I had become enraptured with the story. In all the endings that seemed almost the end, I came to feel, they were not good enough. I find myself learning so much from these books, questions of life that I have reflected upon for years without satisfactory answer, came into focus through these tales. When I am reading, this fictional person is like a twin soul, and deep down inside I need to see an ending befitting of this muse of my soul.

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Irennan » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:37 pm

Personally, I don't care whether or not Drizzt gets retired, it's just that after so many books and material centered on him, he feels a bit asphyxiating. I mean, they decided to remove Eilistraee (a character whom I feel about similarly to how you feel about Drizzt), disregarding the story and setting value, just to make him even ''more special''. That says a lot, even more so because many people saw something dear and important to them getting tossed away because of that. I just wish for other kinds of drow to be allowed into the setting alongside him and the ''we're ebil, hurrr'' type (and luckily the words about the Dark Maiden point to this happening): he's [i:2u00m77o]the[/i:2u00m77o] cash cow right now, but everything can become stale if overdone.

For example, the current novel schedule consists of only 4 FR novels/year and -until they release the CS- that's all we'll get about the Realms. Of said novels 2/year must be Drizzt books, and this means that he alone -a single character and the few, already explored, places that RAS uses- take up 50% of the storytelling resources, when there could be so much to tell about this world (especially now that deities/lands and so on are returning with the Sundering). Basically the current FR is Drizzt, more Drizzt, and a little bit of something else... You may argue that the same is true for Elminster, but -setting aside Ed's writing style that people may or may not like- with each of his novels, he brings more and more lore, details and flavor to the Realms, while Salvatore just does his thing in his corner of the world.

Obviously, If Drizzt had to be retired, I too would like that he was given a proper ending, instead of cheap one or of him getting trashed (like it happened with Eilistraee...).

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Irennan » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:54 am

The next WotC's adventure storyline will be released in Spring 2015, and it will be about the Elder Elemental Eye. Now, in FR the EEE actually is Ghaunadaur, so maybe the storyline will have something to do with drow. Given what the hints that we have received about Eilistraee coming back, and given the role that Eilistraeens have played in opposing the ooze god, I wouldn't think that it is too far fetched to assume that perhaps this is good news for us, as it could finally bring info on what the Dark Dancer is up to in the new Realms.

After all, among the other things, the Promenade was built to guard Waterdeep from the return of the avatar of Ghaunadaur, so there might be a part of the adventure involving followers of Eilistraee and rebuilding the temple, with attached lore on them and their goddess. It would be so cool to see the Promenade back and running again, and the Dark Maiden's faith restored once again...

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Leema Har'gachi » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:55 am

[quote="Irennan":276xsgad]The next WotC's adventure storyline will be released in Spring 2015, and it will be about the Elder Elemental Eye. Now, in FR the EEE actually is Ghaunadaur, so maybe the storyline will have something to do with drow. Given what the hints that we have received about Eilistraee coming back, and given the role that Eilistraeens have played in opposing the ooze god, I wouldn't think that it is too far fetched to assume that perhaps this is good news for us, as it could finally bring info on what the Dark Dancer is up to in the new Realms.

After all, among the other things, the Promenade was built to guard Waterdeep from the return of the avatar of Ghaunadaur, so there might be a part of the adventure involving followers of Eilistraee and rebuilding the temple, with attached lore on them and their goddess. It would be so cool to see the Promenade back and running again, and the Dark Maiden's faith restored once again...[/quote:276xsgad]
I agree it would be nice and by the Lady Silverhair I wish it to be so. Im waiting in anticipation for my goddess to make her grand beautiful return... And I'd love to get some sweet revenge on Ghaunadaur for all the death and destruction him and his minions caused to the Promenade and its citizens. ;) mmm TONIGHT I DINE ON OOZE SOUP!!!
CODENAME:Leema
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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Kaote Bruchedaine » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:58 pm

I admit I am starting to think like Shir'le a bit. Are they going to actually give us some real content or are we just going to throw us a broke used up bone rather than something real and meaningful?

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Irennan » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:55 am

[quote="Kaote Bruchedaine":1xjrx8iz]I admit I am starting to think like Shir'le a bit. Are they going to actually give us some real content or are we just going to throw us a broke used up bone rather than something real and meaningful?[/quote:1xjrx8iz]

I've asked Ed for a rough indication about when we might be getting to see this strongly hinted Eilistraee's return. When/if I get something from him, I'll let you know. I doubt that they're throwing us a bone, because the answer I've received was to a letter that I personally wrote, not something public (even tho they gave the ok to share it with whomever I wanted). If they had no plans, I guess that they wouldn't have answered to me at all.

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Re: WotC's take on Eilistraee in 5E

Post by Bhaern Quel » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:52 am

My tag at WotC was, "Plans are subject to change."

Clearly there can be a plan, however if the plan is implemented only time will prove.

WotC had lots of plans with 4th Edition that they in the end could not complete. The plans were forced to be changed.

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