Complete Portfolio?

Since the Chosen of Eilistraee is a religious oriented player group, naturally there is a place to have theological discussions. That is in-game religions; please leave real-world religion out of it. Debate the fine points of a certain dogma, how a church can enforce worship while staying true to its tenets or simply why one deity is better than another one is. All are free to talk about it here.

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Kaote Bruchedaine
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Complete Portfolio?

Post by Kaote Bruchedaine » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:03 am

I have read several conflicting portfolio options for Eilistraee. So I am curious, is there a complete concise solution? I realize one of the bigger conflicts is before/after she comes to ownership of her dear Brother's portfolio but that doesn't seem to be the center of the conflicts I've found.

One example I've found that is in conflict is Lycanthropes. I seem to recall her having a soft spot for the sentient lycanthropes while considering those that have fallen feral as an enemy. While there are others that claim she would have all Lycanthropes as enemies. Both sides of the argument seem to want to cite the two lycanthropes in the War of the Spiderqueen series as their argument. On the other hand most of us here have come to agree that those books are an experiment in terrible writing and consistency.

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Shir'le E. Illios
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Re: Complete Portfolio?

Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:40 am

Portfolios of deities tend to change over time. They might acquire additions or parts might get removed for a variety of reasons (like taking on part of the portfolio of other deities, etc). Practically it comes down to that each edition of the rules might have slight difference to a deity's portfolio. This means it tends to come down a little to player preference.

For me, I tend to take the following as Eilistraee's portfolio: song, beauty, dance, swordwork, hunting, moonlight.

I would be careful to take anything from the War of the Spider Queen as proof for anything, since I got the impression that the author (Lisa Smedman particularly) while having written an entertaining tale might not have fully understood Eilistraee. As such I'd expect discrepancies with general Eilistraeen attitudes.

But since novel are technically canon, I tend to fall back to the following excuse here: Eilistraeen communities tend to be small and widely spread out with little communication between them, meaning that individual communities might develop slightly different views on things. This would neatly explain any conflicting views on lycanthropes where some communities might embrace them where others might consider them problematic.

Though I think that in the larger sense since Eilistraee is a deity of acceptance she would embrace lycanthropes who aim to do good. Or as the AD&D 2[sup:3biepm95]nd[/sup:3biepm95] ed. sourcebook Demihuman Deities says: "Dark elven priests of the temple armed with enchanted silver
swords and moon-worshiping lycanthropes from the nearby Howling Hill join together to conduct sacred hunts to Eilistraee and Selune when the moon is full."

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Shir'le
F'sarn natha tithaur wun l'su'aco.

-= Shir'le E. Illios =-
Chosen of Eilistraee

Irennan
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Re: Complete Portfolio?

Post by Irennan » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:55 am

[quote="Shir'le E. Illios":h2ix4zba]

I would be careful to take anything from the War of the Spider Queen as proof for anything, since I got the impression that the author (Lisa Smedman particularly) while having written an entertaining tale might not have fully understood Eilistraee. As such I'd expect discrepancies with general Eilistraeen attitudes.

But since novel are technically canon, I tend to fall back to the following excuse here: Eilistraeen communities tend to be small and widely spread out with little communication between them, meaning that individual communities might develop slightly different views on things. This would neatly explain any conflicting views on lycanthropes where some communities might embrace them where others might consider them problematic.

Though I think that in the larger sense since Eilistraee is a deity of acceptance she would embrace lycanthropes who aim to do good. Or as the AD&D 2[sup:h2ix4zba]nd[/sup:h2ix4zba] ed. sourcebook Demihuman Deities says: "Dark elven priests of the temple armed with enchanted silver
swords and moon-worshiping lycanthropes from the nearby Howling Hill join together to conduct sacred hunts to Eilistraee and Selune when the moon is full."

Love -x-x-x-

Shir'le[/quote:h2ix4zba]

Yes, this what I'd say too. Attitudes and the interpretation of some points of Eilistraee's teaching will obviously chnage from an individual to another and from a community to another, just like it happens for other deities.

On the topic of lycanthropes, some followers may see them as people who -like the drow- are somehow victims of a situation and accept such creatures among them and lend their help -therefore giving more importance to the part of Eilistraee's dogma that encourages promoting harmony and acceptance among races-. Other followers may instead see them as a threat for other people and try to remove them. I suspect that Eilistraeens who kill lycanthropes without even trying to offer them a chance (like in WotSQ) --unless acting in self defense and their opponent going berserk-- are in the minority and mostly new converts, who still feel the weight of their previous lifestyle and all the ''kill first or be killed'' thingy. It would be logical to expect that with time, the drow who follow the Dark Dancer would come to actually understand what the goddess wishes for and embrace her teachings, becoming more accepting.

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Re: Complete Portfolio?

Post by Kaote Bruchedaine » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:14 pm

This raises another theoretical question. In a world where having an actual conversation with your diety, or even speaking with them face to face, is possible. Just how much diversity can be justified in various micro-cultures? Not just Eilistraee where there maybe twenty thousand glades averaging a hundred people each, but any religious group.

Now I understand regional and geographical adaptations are natural. A Glade near Palischuk would not consider an orc wandering the country side to be as big a deal as a glade near Daggerford might. So I don't mean local behavior, but I mean Dogma interpretations.

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Re: Complete Portfolio?

Post by Irennan » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:59 pm

[quote="Kaote Bruchedaine":2yvfzvzk]This raises another theoretical question. In a world where having an actual conversation with your diety, or even speaking with them face to face, is possible. Just how much diversity can be justified in various micro-cultures? Not just Eilistraee where there maybe twenty thousand glades averaging a hundred people each, but any religious group.

Now I understand regional and geographical adaptations are natural. A Glade near Palischuk would not consider an orc wandering the country side to be as big a deal as a glade near Daggerford might. So I don't mean local behavior, but I mean Dogma interpretations.[/quote:2yvfzvzk]

That's what bothered me as well, but apparently in the Realms talking to a deity isn't such an easy task. Most people, even priests, only get to see their deity's power, or emotions/visions gifted to them, they get to feel and ''know'' their god(dess), but never get to see an avatar, let alone the deity herself.
Deities have specific signs that let their follower know when they're particularly pleased or not with their action, but they directly speak to mortals only in rare situations that require it. ''On Hallowed Ground'' explains it well, deities avoid acting directly on the prime in most ways, because it is considered neutral ground. They have a sort of underlying and universally accept agreement on that, their doing otherwise would likely trigger a sort of chain of events that would in turn possibly lead to divine conflicts investing the prime in their full force.

Eilistraee however is described as close to her people, helping them in practical matters and protecting them in similar way. For example, she could manifest her embrace to someone who needs it or is lost in the dark, help her drow finding food, scare away potential threats and sometimes even make an appearence in their dances (or in their defense, as the Dark Dancer is described as prone to ''wild action'' when her followers are in danger). But she is also delicate in her actions, seldom intervening in mortal's affairs, trying to not force choices on them, and this could provide room for a kind of ''micro-cultures''. However, when it comes to the particualr case of lycanthropes -as I said- her teachings become indeed subject of interpretation: some may give more importance to the part of Eilistraee's dogma that encourages promoting harmony and acceptance among races, others may want to avoid that innocents are hurt by the curse-induced savagery of such creatures.

Also, don't forget that ass***** can be found everywhere...

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