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Your revival of Eilistraee..?

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:11 am
by Kaote Bruchedaine
I realize the general opinion on this subject is " WotC can turn it sideways and squat" but I am curious if any of you have played a campaign, wrote a story, done and RP or even just humored some ideas on bringing Eilistraee back in your own way.

As the years and months drudge on we become jaded and begrudging about the subject most coming around to the idea of, nope it didn't happen. Especially since in order to make it canon WotC would first have to break canon. But I am sure most of us at once point were willing to just briefly entertain the idea that it happen even if for the sake of being able to undo it themselves.

So, share with use will you?

Re: Your revival of Eilistraee..?

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:23 pm
by Irennan
I have never considered it because I completely ignore WotSQ/LP. Besides being a rather gimmicky plot, the whole holy crusade/chess game theme of those books has little to do with who Eilistraee is and what she stands and fights for. Trying to kill her mother is not what she is about (and wouldn't magically make all drow flock to her).

Since I've already talked extensively about this here, I'll just say that this isn't what Eilistraee is about. Her MO revolves around acceptance of the individuals, loving them, giving them value and the possibility of a different life for anyone open to it. It's about igniting their spirit to fight for the freedom of all people (ofc some -like the drow- are in a dire need of it), to create their different, own path: a ''place in the world'' which the dark elves and anyone who wishes it can belong to. The transformation in brown elves had nothing to do with Eilistraee's ideals as well (that is not the redemption she -or any of her followers- fights for, but one based on choice and understanding), and the ''lulz all the other drow are unredeeamble'' bit is like having her spitting on the quest she dedicated her whole life to. It's just stupid and out of character.

However If I [i:22pcbnwp]had[/i:22pcbnwp] to undo LP, I'd use the ''archfey'' solution (the one that should have been included in the Menzoberranzan sourcebook), in which the Masked Lady is an amalgam of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun. After being defeated she didn't actually die, but merely lost her divinity, splitting up again in Eilistraee and Vhaeraun, no longer gods, but archfey. In this way they could still keep fighting for their quest, but they could do that at their followers side, which -IMO- would be fitting for their personality and closeness to their people. That said, there are plenty of ways to return Eilistraee. You could have a shard of the Cresecent Blade hold in it the Dark Maiden (and her brother, after the Masked Lady incident)'s soul, allowing for a quest to bring her back (maybe Wendonai could be aware of this and try to strip the Dancer's soul of her power and absorb it,-together with that of Vhaeraun and maybe Selvetarm- to elevate himself to godhood and strike an unsuspecting Lolth. Then, the Spider Queen could be forced to actually bring back their daughter and son, or face a cunning, ruthless being with the power of fighting and maybe even killing her. Lolth reviving Eilistraee and Vhaeraun would be hilarious). Perhaps Corellon took Eilistraee's and Vhaeraun's souls to himself, saving them from the game, and they are now in Arvandor healing, recovering, reconnecting and so on.

In my campaing (which is quite different from canon in a few aspects, especially regarding elves) I had (actually we're still playing through it) the events of the Silence of Lolth originate a very different series of events. The very basic plot has both Eilistraee, Vhaeraun (who in my world are rather neutral towards each other) and their followers joining forces and taking the initiative to change and open the mind of their people.

This would be the culmination of a series of actions on the Dark Dancer's (and Masked Lord's) followers side that actually started way before the silence (actually, something that has been going on for centuries) and that has slowly brought the hope for a new life to many dark elves, leading them away from those hellholes and towards a better existence, on top of allowing the Eilistraee/Vhaeraun's ideas to silently spread, especially among the ''free'' drow, (i.e. the abused low class). With time, infrastructures[b:22pcbnwp]*[/b:22pcbnwp], food/water reserves, refuges both on the surface and underground have been built, both for frequent use and in order to prepare what would have been the conclusion of all of this, the final strike, for when drow would have been ready (a time that came far earlier than they expected).

([b:22pcbnwp]*[/b:22pcbnwp]The most relevant among those is a network of portal that extends through the Underdark, connecting areas near various drow cities and settlements with the surface, with the Promenade being its ''hub''. The net is made up of ''Song Portals'' -magic took by Illefarn- crafted with the aid of Eilistraee, which would show up and activate only through a specific melody and emotions in order to avoid hostile intrusion. Furthermore tunnels would be covered with directions that point to the position of the portals, and such directions would be revealed only through Eilistraee's moonfire. Sometimes the goddess gifts lost drow trying to escape aggressors (or simply towards a better life) with temporary manifestations of this magic, in order to lead them towards the nearest portal and to safety -likely near one of her settlements where her people would aid the newcomer-).

With Lolth's absence, Sword Dancers and Nightshadows would infiltrate in the various drow cities, sparking the seed of rebellion by more openly showing to the drow the miserable, inhuman, choice and joy-less condition that Lolth and her reign forced them into. The stagnation and all the chance progress/growth that was lost due to tradition and dogma, their lives being deprived of any value and would be made evident to them, especially now that Lolth has gone away, giving basically 0 fucks about them (and the vulnerable state in which se left them) while on the other side there is someone who actually cares.

Ofc, each side would act in their own way. Vhaeraun's followers would go the route of terror tactics, with attacks and assassinations carried out even against high ranking members of houses/temple, to show that Lolth's power is far from what she wants drow to believe.

Eilistraeens would still be fighting with their newfound ''allies'', but they would mainly focus on providing the population with needed cures, food, water in time of crisis, they would make themselves protectors of their people and would more openly offer the chance of getting away from this (and an actual, concrete alternative to embrace, since they have refuges to welcome them, portals to bring them away with safety and a goddess who cares about -even loves- them). Followers of the Dark Dancer would also bring to the drow the joyful, luminous aspects of life that they have been unjustly denied, they would show them what it means to be a people, united, fighting for a common goal, to forge their own path and place in the world (for example, they lent their aid and swords to Maerimydra when fire giants and other monster attacked and took it, helping the refugees with healing and food and assisting them to retake the city, while restoring the Twisted Tower as a temple of the Dark Maiden once again. They proved that a united people can achieve much much more than a bunch of paranoid, power-hungry, brainwahsed backstabbers, that the life they wish for is actually possible).

Meanwhile, on the surface Eilistraee, Vhaeraun and their drow would be preparing the ground for an eventual exodus from the Underdark. In particular their efforts would be pointed towards restoring Miyeritar (basically connecting to the events in ''Blackstaff'') and using it as a safe haven for all drow. Of course, especially with elves trying to conquer Myth Drannor back, plopping a drow nation like this would lead to troubles (in fact, the situation is destined to become very tense).

On the divine side of things, the plot would involve Eilistraee's relation with Corellon and the Seldarine becoming more strained, cold and even full-on hostile due to her excessive (to them) audacity, especially in this project and collaboration with Vhaeraun (a secret that wold eventually emerge), with the two siblings getting closer as a result and Eilistraee rebelling against her father (because, lets face it, the actions of the Seldarine in her and her followers' regards have costed lives, and all of this mess with drow is in part their fault as well). Lolth's silence has a very different reason behind it, it is quite long and I don't really feel about writing it, but it is related to something that was done to Araushnee, turning her in the demon that she is now, with Shar being heavily involved (she and Netheril also have a big plot going on in the campaign, connected with what happened to elves and drow, and to the most recent evetns as well) and Eilistraee ''feeling'' that something is changing about her mother, experiencing visions/memories coming back and trying to gain [i:22pcbnwp]her mother[/i:22pcbnwp] back.

Re: Your revival of Eilistraee..?

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:45 pm
by Kaote Bruchedaine
Nice read, and it reminds me a bit of Starlight and Shadows. Upon reading that I didn't think of Vhaeraun and Eilistraee as hostile enemies so much as.. Bitter rivals with very differing opinions on how to achieve the same end goal. If their respective followers are sent on the same mission they are quite likely to fight over who gets to succeed and get the credit. But I also seemed to notice that their various followings are neighbors in many places. They seem keen on offering each other dirty looks and rude gestures but not so eager to fight for the sake of fighting.

Re: Your revival of Eilistraee..?

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:52 pm
by Irennan
I think that the hate that Vhaeraun shows towards Eilistraee in canon is completely random and unreasonable. I mean, it supposedly sprung from the fact that his and Lolth's attempt to frame Eilistraee failed, seriously wtf.

On the other hand, it only makes sense that the siblings are at least neutral to each other (with the occasional collaboration in more important cases) because further bloodshed absolutley is not what drow who seek a different life need. They can't be really allies tho, because Eilistraee's efforts to promote peace and harmony among all races -and especially drow and other races- are damaged by Vhaeraun's M.O..

If Eilistraeens and Vhaerunites had to work together, the main issue would be how to complete the mission; fighting over credits is rather petty, I don't see that happening when the stakes are high.

IMC Eilistraee and Vhaeraun still feel some sort of affection for each other, hampered by how Vhaerunites' actions damage the image that the Dark Maiden is trying to build for the drow, but still somewhat present. They are able to get over it and join forces when the situations requires it. However the most recent full-on 'alliance' started from the mortals rather than the two deities: each faction has been spying and keeping tracks of the other's progresses, sometimes even with a somewhat silent/indirect cooperation, and now that the opportuinity to radically change the future of their people arose, they decided to openly work together. This decision led Eilistraee and Vhaeraun to get closer as well, something reinforced by the Dark Dancer regretfully rebelling against her father (tired of offering her hand and even love to the Seldarine, only to receive indifference and maybe even hostility hidden behind kind words, when all she wants is to build a future of life for all elven people --which to an extent reflects the Seldarine's attitude towards the Dark Maiden in the canon Realms--).