A suiter

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A suiter

Postby Orin » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:51 pm

Here's a question that might generate some interesting answers: Eilistraee is a melancholy and rather lonely Goddess. In that vein, who do you think would make a good match for her? Or who would choose to court her - or make the attempt? Who would she herself find most desirable?

I got the idea for this from reading the first part of Lady Penitent where she and Lolth are playing Sava. Lolth gets to basically act through Selvatarm, giving her a distinct advantage. Now I haven't finished it, so I don't know how that plays out, but I found the whole exchange very...as the Goddess herself said, unfair. I found myself wondering whether she had like...an exarch or some such, like many other gods seem to. Then I thought, "What if another God found this as unfair as I do, and also thought Eilistraee was pretty ;) .

Actually, to be fair, I came up with an idea for a character that endeavors to become a God themselves for the purposes of making themselves an equal that they might be a match for the Dark Dancer. Then I thought that was too self indulgent and thought of this instead. :D

My first choice in FR was Melil, but as I understand it, he's pretty self involved. Then I thought it would be just adorable if it was someone completely unlike her, except for the important parts - like goodness and kindness. Like what if Torm, or like The Red Knight and she had a love at first sight thing going on. They have no idea why they like each other, but it just won't go away.

Anyway, that's my silly thoughts on the subject. What do you all think?
Let not the biting, callous and sometimes cruel words of unenlightened and uncaring minds sway your heart from your passions. For it is your passions that are the language with which your soul speaks to the world.

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Re: A suiter

Postby Irennan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:16 pm

Orin wrote:Here's a question that might generate some interesting answers: Eilistraee is a melancholy and rather lonely Goddess. In that vein, who do you think would make a good match for her? Or who would choose to court her - or make the attempt? Who would she herself find most desirable?

I got the idea for this from reading the first part of Lady Penitent where she and Lolth are playing Sava. Lolth gets to basically act through Selvatarm, giving her a distinct advantage. Now I haven't finished it, so I don't know how that plays out, but I found the whole exchange very...as the Goddess herself said, unfair. I found myself wondering whether she had like...an exarch or some such, like many other gods seem to. Then I thought, "What if another God found this as unfair as I do, and also thought Eilistraee was pretty ;) .

Actually, to be fair, I came up with an idea for a character that endeavors to become a God themselves for the purposes of making themselves an equal that they might be a match for the Dark Dancer. Then I thought that was too self indulgent and thought of this instead. :D

My first choice in FR was Melil, but as I understand it, he's pretty self involved. Then I thought it would be just adorable if it was someone completely unlike her, except for the important parts - like goodness and kindness. Like what if Torm, or like The Red Knight and she had a love at first sight thing going on. They have no idea why they like each other, but it just won't go away.

Anyway, that's my silly thoughts on the subject. What do you all think?


Before answering your question, I'll just tell you 1 thing. If you like Eilistraee, I vehemently advise against reading Lady Penitent. First, because everything that happens in them has been entirely undone, and it happened merely as an editorial mandate coming from WotC to "make Drizzt moar speshul", not for story value. Second, Smedman and Athans have absolutely no respect whatsoever for Eilistraee or the drow pantheon, or the lore of the Realms.

They warped Eilistraee, they threw mud on her, on her lore, on what she stands for, they associated her with things that have never belonged to her (and that are flat out evil), they distorted and polluted her idea of redemption, they flat out contradicted the most fundamental parts of her character.

They turned her into some kind of militarist, merciless misandrist whose idea of redemption consists of atoning for what you are, an idea that is toxic, that also nearly excludes the whole drow race in the books, that simply defeats the very point of Eilistraee, and that makes absolutely 0 sense in the context of the Realms (as many others plot-devices used in those novels).

If you want to see a goddess that you like getting ruined like that, then go ahead and read those novels, but I'll just tell you that they were painful for me, and that they now no longer matter anyway. EIlistraee lives, and she's her own sweet self again.
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As for a companion for Eilistraee, I don't really see her having a fixed relationship with anyone. She's such a free spirit, she can love with such freedom and spontaneity that I picture her being able to enjoy moments of intimacy, tenderness, or simply affection to their fullest without the need to bind herself to anyone.

When you live as long as a goddess, your idea of love also changes just like your perception of reality. I picture Eilistraee as a goddess who can love many at once with intensity and unconditionally, and that the fact that she loves many doesn't diminish the value of her love for the single individual. Just like she does with the drow, she would love each for what makes them just themselves--a unique kind of love for each of them that comes from seeing the beauty that is unique to each of them, from knowing their dreams, their battles, and even the demons that they face.

I also think that the lines between romantic and non-romantic love could become blurred in many cases, because we're talking about a creature who can experience this sentiment is such a deep and spontaneous way, and who is *big* on freedom of expression, and one large part of romanticism and sex is that they are an expression of affection among the other things.

Besides, IMO, Eilistraee can love deities and mortals alike (in fact, why would she--who chose to be one of her people--restrict herself to deities)?

Honestly, I don't think that any god except maybe Torm would be an ideal fit for her. Among the goddesses, I could maybe see the likes of Lliira or Mielikki enjoying a pleasant relationship with Eilistraee. She's also close friends with Haela Brightaxe.

As for other gods finding Eilistraee desirable, well... she's a goddess of beauty, she literally embodies the drow concept of beauty, I think that many would find such a goddess to be desirable. The deities who could seek her company are, ofc, those who share interests or principles with her. So, the ones that I mentioned above, plus someone like Finder, maybe even Ilmater--since both he and Eilistraee greatly value compassion and fight to defeat suffering wherever they go (even if in quite different ways).
Last edited by Irennan on Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A suiter

Postby Irennan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:52 pm

Also, hmm, what about Erevan Ilesere. A non-malignant, eccentric trickster god full of flair and love for adventure. Shaundakul too has that love for adventure and discovery. They would fit well with Eilistraee's spirit. Especially her encouraging her people to "embark on a journey" (so to speak, but also quite literally) to rediscover the beauty of life, all that they have been missing on, and to freely embrace the sheer joy of existence. The thrill of seeing and the world and being filled with marvel in front of its wonders.

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Re: A suiter

Postby Orin » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:29 pm

Irennan wrote:
Orin wrote:Here's a question that might generate some interesting answers: Eilistraee is a melancholy and rather lonely Goddess. In that vein, who do you think would make a good match for her? Or who would choose to court her - or make the attempt? Who would she herself find most desirable?

I got the idea for this from reading the first part of Lady Penitent where she and Lolth are playing Sava. Lolth gets to basically act through Selvatarm, giving her a distinct advantage. Now I haven't finished it, so I don't know how that plays out, but I found the whole exchange very...as the Goddess herself said, unfair. I found myself wondering whether she had like...an exarch or some such, like many other gods seem to. Then I thought, "What if another God found this as unfair as I do, and also thought Eilistraee was pretty ;) .

Actually, to be fair, I came up with an idea for a character that endeavors to become a God themselves for the purposes of making themselves an equal that they might be a match for the Dark Dancer. Then I thought that was too self indulgent and thought of this instead. :D

My first choice in FR was Melil, but as I understand it, he's pretty self involved. Then I thought it would be just adorable if it was someone completely unlike her, except for the important parts - like goodness and kindness. Like what if Torm, or like The Red Knight and she had a love at first sight thing going on. They have no idea why they like each other, but it just won't go away.

Anyway, that's my silly thoughts on the subject. What do you all think?


Before answering your question, I'll just tell you 1 thing. If you like Eilistraee, I vehemently advise against reading Lady Penitent. First, because everything that happens in them has been entirely undone, and it happened merely as an editorial mandate coming from WotC to "make Drizzt moar speshul", not for story value. Second, Smedman and Athans have absolutely no respect whatsoever for Eilistraee or the drow pantheon, or the lore of the Realms. They warped Eilistraee, they threw mud on her, on her lore, on what she stands for, they associated her with things that have never belonged to her (and that are flat out evil), they distorted and polluted her idea of redemption, they flat out contradicted the most fundamental parts of her character. They turned her into some kind of militarist, merciless misandrist whose idea of redemption consists of atoning for what you are, an idea that is toxic, that also nearly excludes the whole drow race in the books, that simply defeats the very point of Eilistraee, and that makes absolutely 0 sense in the context of the Realms (as many others plot-devices used in those novels). If you want to see a goddess that you like getting ruined like that, then go ahead and read those novels, but I'll just tell you that they were painful for me, and that they now no longer matter anyway. EIlistraee lives, and she's her own sweet self again.
------------------------------------------------------------
As for a companion for Eilistraee, I don't really see her having a fixed relationship with anyone. She's such a free spirit, she can love with such freedom and spontaneity that I picture her being able to enjoy moments of intimacy, tenderness, or simply affection to their fullest without the need to bind herself to anyone. When you live as long as a goddess, your idea of love also changes just like your perception of reality. I picture Eilistraee as a goddess who can love many at once with intensity and unconditionally, and that the fact that she loves many doesn't diminish the value of her love for the single individual. Just like she does with the drow, she would love each for what makes them just themselves--a unique kind of love for each of them that comes from seeing the beauty that is unique to each of them, from knowing their dreams, their battles, and even the demons that they face. I also think that the lines between romantic and non-romantic love could become blurred in many cases, because we're talking about a creature who can experience this sentiment is such a deep and spontaneous way, and who is *big* on freedom of expression, and one large part of romanticism and sex is that they are an expression of affection among the other things.

Besides, IMO, Eilistraee can love deities and mortals alike (in fact, why would she--who chose to be one of her people--restrict herself to deities)?

Honestly, I don't think that any god except maybe Torm would be an ideal fit for her. Among the goddesses, I could maybe the likes of Lliira or Mielikki enjoying a pleasant relationship with Eilistraee. She's also close friends with Haela Brightaxe.

As for other gods finding Eilistraee desirable, well... she's a goddess of beauty, she literally embodies the drow concept of beauty, I think that many would find such a goddess to be desirable. The deities who could seek her company are, ofc, those who share interests or principles with her. So, the ones that I mentioned above, plus someone like Finder, maybe even Ilmater--since both he and Eilistraee greatly value compassion and fight to defeat suffering wherever they go (even if in quite different ways).


Ok, so first...I'm starting to see that what you said about LP and WotSQ is very true. I mean....I REALLY don't like criticizing the work of others, ever. I don't enjoy negative criticism myself, it makes me feel awful, but...there does seem to be a kind of disconnect. One of the things I realized when I read all of this was that WotSQ was the last series I read from FR. I'm not even caught up on all the Drizzt stuff and I love Drizzt! Anyway, yeah...kinda sad. I sort of like Q'arlynd though. Oh well. It doesn't really matter if, as you say, all of what happens is undone. I hate it when big IC's have to etcha sketch their own worlds because someone marred them.

I am very glad to hear that Eilistraee is back to her old sweet and cuddly self again too!

So....I agree with your entire second paragraph in full, which is why I almost didn't post this topic. I suppose that the title is a BIT misleading, as I don't know that I meant or said anything about tying down or marriage, but suitor might imply that. So, to be clear, I meant more as a lover or paramour rather than a spouse. That being said...I suppose I just thought it was cute. We don't actually get to decide who we fall in love with, so I just thought it would be hilariously adorable if she fell for someone like...I don't know, Arvoreen or something. Just funny is all.

You're right too. She would love whoever she chose, which seems to be everyone. I think that I was at first approaching this from the perspective of trying to find someone to help her against Lolth, as I found myself wanting to. I was trying to, fix the problem, as it were. That's how I tend to interact with any story. I place myself in it, and imagine myself acting as I would. It's why I tend to read slowly, because I have a rather vivid imagination.

Right? Who wouldn't want her? Another idea I'd had was a story of a bard that came to the same conclusion I did and said "Nope. We gotta figure this out!" fancying themselves a matchmaker, they went out into the planes in search of a companion for the Dark Lady. In one silly scene I saw him speaking to Tempos and telling the war god of her beauty, but Tempos knows her of course, as Svartalfheim is on a layer of Ysgard. Every time I thought of this I heard Tempos exclaim "SHE'S TOO SKINNY!" as he smashed some weapon or another into something that was in want of smashing.

Yeah, Torm would be a fine match, he's also a human deity, which might appeal to Eilistraee's desire for cooperation with surface races. You know I totally thought of Illmater, because while he's not LIKE her, their goals are almost identical. That would be another adorable match.

Anyway, yeah it's a bit moot because, as we've established, she'd love everyone and anyone who met or saw her would be enamored as well. It's a delightful cycle, I think. It's also just fun to play match maker. I still think it would be hilariously cute to have Helm - The Epitome of Stoicism and Discipline, be caught completely off of his guard by the beauty of Eilistraee. His mouth agape and his weapon held only loosely in his grasp as he watches her dance. In her mind she says "He's so stern and rigid. I abhor rigidity...so why can't I take my eyes off of him?"

It makes me giggle cry.
Let not the biting, callous and sometimes cruel words of unenlightened and uncaring minds sway your heart from your passions. For it is your passions that are the language with which your soul speaks to the world.

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Re: A suiter

Postby Orin » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:30 pm

Irennan wrote:Also, hmm, what about Erevan Ilesere. A non-malignant, eccentric trickster god full of flair and love for adventure. Shaundakul too has that love for adventure and discovery. They would fit well with Eilistraee's spirit. Especially her encouraging her people to "embark on a journey" (so to speak, but also quite literally) to rediscover the beauty of life, all that they have been missing on, and to freely embrace the sheer joy of existence. The thrill of seeing and the world and being filled with marvel in front of its wonders.


See? It's fun!
Let not the biting, callous and sometimes cruel words of unenlightened and uncaring minds sway your heart from your passions. For it is your passions that are the language with which your soul speaks to the world.

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Re: A suiter

Postby Irennan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:58 pm

Orin wrote:
Ok, so first...I'm starting to see that what you said about LP and WotSQ is very true. I mean....I REALLY don't like criticizing the work of others, ever. I don't enjoy negative criticism myself, it makes me feel awful, but...there does seem to be a kind of disconnect. One of the things I realized when I read all of this was that WotSQ was the last series I read from FR. I'm not even caught up on all the Drizzt stuff and I love Drizzt! Anyway, yeah...kinda sad. I sort of like Q'arlynd though. Oh well. It doesn't really matter if, as you say, all of what happens is undone. I hate it when big IC's have to etcha sketch their own worlds because someone marred them.

I am very glad to hear that Eilistraee is back to her old sweet and cuddly self again too!


Yes, it has been undone, but it didn't get what it deserved. There was no other novel to undo that crap, it was nearly retconned--it was in between a full-fledged retcon, and an event that undid it in-world. Long story short, WotC acted as if those things never happened, but also said: "oh yeah, the drow Pantheon is alive again, because something called The Sundering happened".

However, once you read that stuff (I mean Lady Penitent), and once you stop to think about it even for a second, you'll see how utterly hideous the implications are, and--at least for me--that ugly feeling sticked. Some scenes are also disgusting, and not because they are well thought, full of feelings, or w/e, but simply because you can almost feel the hostility and the hatred towards the characters. It was like not only WotC wanted to remove the drow gods, but wanted to do that in the most gruesome way possible while also sh*tting on all that Eilistraee stands for.

For example, even after
► Show Spoiler
I don't need to tell you how this utterly destroys her character--it was like I wasn't even reading about her. I just have no words to express how deeply that angers and pains and saddens me, even now that it has all been reverted. It simply hurt as hell. It was also basically an in-universe reflection of what Athans&Co wanted to do with the Realms: trash what people loved and replace that with what they thought was the "kewl" stuff.

So, ofc, keep reading if you want, but at least you'll do so knowing the kind of stuff that you'll encounter.

(Also, criticism is fine as long as you're telling the truth. When the authors disrespect a character and setting that they did not even create, when they do so just because they want another character to be the "most speshul evah" (they admitted that one of the goals was that, the other was to reduce the size of the FR pantheon), then they fully deserve criticism. There's a reason why those novels were entirely ignored by WotC until they had to undo those events).
------------------------------------------

Right? Who wouldn't want her? Another idea I'd had was a story of a bard that came to the same conclusion I did and said "Nope. We gotta figure this out!" fancying themselves a matchmaker, they went out into the planes in search of a companion for the Dark Lady. In one silly scene I saw him speaking to Tempos and telling the war god of her beauty, but Tempos knows her of course, as Svartalfheim is on a layer of Ysgard. Every time I thought of this I heard Tempos exclaim "SHE'S TOO SKINNY!" as he smashed some weapon or another into something that was in want of smashing.

Yeah, Torm would be a fine match, he's also a human deity, which might appeal to Eilistraee's desire for cooperation with surface races. You know I totally thought of Illmater, because while he's not LIKE her, their goals are almost identical. That would be another adorable match.

Anyway, yeah it's a bit moot because, as we've established, she'd love everyone and anyone who met or saw her would be enamored as well. It's a delightful cycle, I think. It's also just fun to play match maker. I still think it would be hilariously cute to have Helm - The Epitome of Stoicism and Discipline, be caught completely off of his guard by the beauty of Eilistraee. His mouth agape and his weapon held only loosely in his grasp as he watches her dance. In her mind she says "He's so stern and rigid. I abhor rigidity...so why can't I take my eyes off of him?"

It makes me giggle cry.


Well, those were indeed funny scenarios to picture in my mind. Thank you for the hilarity :D

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Re: A suiter

Postby Orin » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:15 am

I'm really sorry that those stories filled you with such sadness and hurt. I honestly think that that is what happened to me after what I read in WotSQ. I was so upset with how it ended. I couldn't believe that they just ruined Halisstra, who WAS becoming one of my favorite characters. I understood that Lolth needed to live, but now that I think about it, it just seemed like the person that wrote the last book, wanted the readers to suffer.

It's why I've never really been able to go get excited about "collaboration". As a writer, I'm so emotionally connected to and protective of my worlds and characters, I can't imagine letting anyone else touch them. Let alone just handing a major world event to someone unfamiliar with the world they are writing in. I really feel sorry for Ed, as he seems to be really fond of Eilistraee and had to watch that unfold. It also makes me angry, because the fact that they wanted to get more attention for Drizzt means that a lot of anger is directed towards THAT character that is not really fair. Again, I don't think I read past Hunters Blades where he dueled Obould. So it might have gotten out of hand.

It also occurred to me that since I am now likely not going to finish that story, I think I'm going to pick up all the Elminster books, as I haven't read them yet.
Let not the biting, callous and sometimes cruel words of unenlightened and uncaring minds sway your heart from your passions. For it is your passions that are the language with which your soul speaks to the world.

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Re: A suiter

Postby Irennan » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:12 pm

Orin wrote:I'm really sorry that those stories filled you with such sadness and hurt. I honestly think that that is what happened to me after what I read in WotSQ. I was so upset with how it ended. I couldn't believe that they just ruined Halisstra, who WAS becoming one of my favorite characters. I understood that Lolth needed to live, but now that I think about it, it just seemed like the person that wrote the last book, wanted the readers to suffer.


Paul Kemp wasn't really at fault. The events were decided in the larger outline by Athans, with RAS offering help for Menzo, to make sure that things remained how he wanted them. The authors had to follow the outline (same for Lady Penitent). In short, the story was meant to bring absolutely nothing to the Realms. Even setting aside that Lolth's plan made 0 sense (it actually violated the logic of divinity in the Realms), at the end of the story everything was exactly like it began: no change within the drow society or mindset, no evolution, nothing except a destroyed city (andn that isn't a positive change, it only destroyed story hooks and possibilities and replaced them with nothing that we didn't have before). Those novels didn't add any lore, didn't open new plot hooks, didn't bring any menaningful change, and on top of that they threw crap on Eilistraee and her followers--even tho the latter part was also Smedman's fault.

When it comes to drow, she has a reputation for warping and/or completely disregarding lore--for example, males do in fact dance within Eilistraeean communities, but Smedman had males who even dare to watch a dance get effin' mutilated. The Eilistraeeans of Velarswood are known to be in a good relationship with the Selune-worshiping lycanthropes of the region, but Smedman had the priestesses mercilessly hunting any and all lycanthrope, because they were considered abominations to be exterminated--they even had that macabre trophy tree with the various heads hanging. That's simply not Eilistraee, at all. All those things get tenfold worse in Lady Penitent).

Back then, WotC had this new idea that no other drow character outside of RAS' cast could be interesting or anything but a cartoonish villain, and it showed in how they deleted any charismatic or interesting or unique drow character (including evil ones like Pharaun). They also had an anti-Realms stance, and--once again--it shows in how they did their best to remove nearly all the elements of the Realms that people loved, until they (literally) exploded the setting with 4e and the Spellplague (after the end of 3e, with things like Lady Pentinent, and the changes of 4e, the Realms became unrecognizable). 5e kind of rebooted everything, but it's like seeing someone you love getting killed and then raised as a pseudo-zombie.

It's why I've never really been able to go get excited about "collaboration". As a writer, I'm so emotionally connected to and protective of my worlds and characters, I can't imagine letting anyone else touch them. Let alone just handing a major world event to someone unfamiliar with the world they are writing in. I really feel sorry for Ed, as he seems to be really fond of Eilistraee and had to watch that unfold.


Ed is very fond of Eilistraee indeed. When 5e was announced and was said to be intended to bring changes to the Realms, I e-mailed him about Eilistraee. He said that he was trying all he could to bring Eilistraee back alongside all the other deities that were getting restored, because EIlistraee is one of the deities that really means a lot to him, that he created for his own original world and that featured quite a lot in his home game.

Even tho this process met obstacles, in the end Eilistraee was restored too for 5e, and she's even getting a new temple within Waterdeep itself (not under it, within it. That was due to the Dark Maiden appearing in person under the walls of Waterdeep, to lead her people to the city and start rebuilding friendships with surface races. They received the support of the Harpers, and now the temple is being built).

It also makes me angry, because the fact that they wanted to get more attention for Drizzt means that a lot of anger is directed towards THAT character that is not really fair. Again, I don't think I read past Hunters Blades where he dueled Obould. So it might have gotten out of hand.


I don't hate Drizzt. I don't find him particularly compelling, but I don't hate the character. I do feel a deep anger towards those who were so puerile and selfish to think that making one single character even more special (and he already was, he also had far more novels and exposure than any other character) was worth deleting tons of other characters and whole parts of the setting, while also doing that with spite and disrespect. To further reinforce the point that WotC just had a hatred of Eilistraee because of Drizzt, look at the Reader's Guide to Drizzt, written by Athans. It has a section on the drow pantheon, and yet is missing Eilistraee (and only Eilistraee) and this was before LP was even written.

To me, it was one of those childish behaviors, when kids that see other kids playing with toys just have to smash those toys, because no one but them should be able to have fun. And that is all more stupid, since they were doing so with things that they didn't create, that were someone else's work, but that they were using as a platform to launch their own stuff. It's like Tolkien suddenly expecting that all fantasy is trashed and smashed because he is the only one who should get to play with it, except that for WotC they didn't have the ability to say that they created anything.

It also occurred to me that since I am now likely not going to finish that story, I think I'm going to pick up all the Elminster books, as I haven't read them yet.


It doesn't feel good to say what I said about those novels, especially to someone who is reading them, but--since you seem to like Eilistraee so much--I didn't want you to get burned. They were meant to harm Eilistraee and the drow in general, and to pigeonhole them into the narrow view that some dude at WotC had for them. They were not written to expand the story of the drow and their gods, nor they were written as a natural progression of that story.

For example, even tho the sava game was only a metaphor, accepting to take part to it makes no sense at all for Eilistraee. Forcing herself to play by Lolth's rules, and playing for a stake that has nothing to do with her goal. If Lolth were to die, that would lead to a huge bloodshed and to the drow generally flocking to demon worship or other dark entities, because the drow need to change and rediscover life before they can actually make a different choice.

Eilistraee's goal is to awaken that spark within the drow, to defeat Lolth by making the drow understand and therefore start forging their anew, one without Lolth. There's no other way for her to succeed. The fact that WotSQ and LP only focused on killing, killing, killing, and more killing is telling of the superficiality of those who wrote Eilistraee's arcs in those stories.

But then, the events in those books have no impact whatsoever on the current Realms anyway (except that some NPCs are still dead :( ), so they're not even needed to understand the current situation.

I really enjoyed the Elminster's books. They offer you a kind of insight into the Realms that no one else can offer, and even tho some people find Ed's style difficult to follow, you can really feel his excitement when he overloads the scene with characters, monsters, or magic, to show off all the cool things that he created for the setting. It makes me smile.

In any case, sorry for hijacking this thread. It was supposed to be lighthearted and fun, but I took it in a very different direction.

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Re: A suiter

Postby Orin » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:14 pm

Irennan wrote:In any case, sorry for hijacking this thread. It was supposed to be lighthearted and fun, but I took it in a very different direction.


Hey man, don't sweat it.

I've been exactly where you are, about a number of subjects. I understand what it's like to watch someone take something that I love and disrespect it. It's like watching a lover in the arms of an unworthy cur who you know will just use them. I also know what it's like to feel so strongly about something that you can't help but talk about it and just for the record, I agree with you all of what you've said and I am grateful to you for warning me off of the series. You've saved me time, money and most importantly heartache. So thanks.

Besides, that's what this forum and Eilistraee are all about right? Free expression. So I am glad you expressed yourself and I hope you continue to do so, even if BOTH of us got a bit off topic. It's only digital data anyway, right? Just a few kb on some server somewhere. No worries.

Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, I just sent an e mail to Ed that was an absolute TOME about how Eilistraee saved my life and how important she is to me. In it I made many points, some of which may or may NOT have been appropriate for me to send to someone who is a complete stranger to me. I actually talked about Bob for a lot of it, but that was important for context. I also admitted to him that while I'd heard his name before, I've been enjoying FR for more than a decade now and still didn't know who HE was until like...earlier this year.

So if you're feeling embarrassed...uhhhh, me too!

It's nice to know that there is someone who cares about Eilistraee and FR as much as I do, too.
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Re: A suiter

Postby Irennan » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:37 pm

Orin wrote:
Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, I just sent an e mail to Ed that was an absolute TOME about how Eilistraee saved my life and how important she is to me. In it I made many points, some of which may or may NOT have been appropriate for me to send to someone who is a complete stranger to me. I actually talked about Bob for a lot of it, but that was important for context. I also admitted to him that while I'd heard his name before, I've been enjoying FR for more than a decade now and still didn't know who HE was until like...earlier this year.

So if you're feeling embarrassed...uhhhh, me too!


I hope that he gets back to you (and if there's any non-personal content of his reply that you wish to share, you're obviously welcome to do it). He did when I e-mailed him, and he was very understanding, as he always is. When I read his answer, Eilistraee's fate was still up in the air, and what he told me comforted me immensely. So yeah, I hope that it will be a very pleasant experience for you as well.

It's nice to know that there is someone who cares about Eilistraee and FR as much as I do, too.


Yes, it makes me glad indeed, so thank you for that as well :)

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Re: A suiter

Postby Zekafae » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:48 am

I'd say, in post return, there'd be many whom would gladly wish to welcome her back. The praises of officially being freed from the shackles from Lolth's control and domain would be many. Like any, wanting to thank your savior can hit deeply intimate tones. There's not many, if any among elven deities whom would be worthy, maybe one or two among other pantheons. The best would come from her own flock, among those that were blessed to becoming dark elf(return to their ancient roots) and no longer Drow. Among those few, ideally, they'd have to had ascended to extend the lifespan and be aligned to her. I admit, it would be a very enjoyable and romantic thing for such things to occur. I've even had thoughts for Zek being one to court the maiden. High epic level, might as well have ascended by the point he's at. It would make for a good ending, serve as personal guardian and blade, paramour. And perhaps help bring more to a dark elf pantheon. To the newly reborn dark elves. Of course working alongside her father to help further save more Drow. Afterall whom better to be at her side and help, than one who's lived through both sides, underdark, to the surface.
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Re: A suiter

Postby Irennan » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:26 pm

All of Eilistraee's followers would gladly welcome back, and they--in fact--did, as Eilistraee personally came to them, to celebrate a new beginning.

The thing is, those who were "blessed" didn't see it as a blessing (nor it was one: it only changed their appearance, unrelatedly to whether they wanted it or not). That "uncursing" was actually a violence, and carried really ugly implications. Basically, those who underwent the transformation were *forced* to do so (the casters themselves are shown to be horrified, Leliana couldn't care less about her skin color, she was only heartbroken over what had happened). They were forced to give up the bodies they were born with, what they were, and the reason for that was that Corellon and the elves wouldn't accept them unless they renounced to their identity as drow. Basically, it showed them that their choice in life didn't matter, to be accepted they had to give up part of their identity. That also came with a sever case of fridge horror, as all those who turned into dark elves in the Underdark very obviously died (since the transformation only made them look like wood elves, while stripping them of any innate magic or senses normally associated with drow).

All of that not only is an, IMO, gross message, it also is--no need to say--completely antithetical to Eilistraee as a character. Eilistraee chose to be "one of them", to share their fate when she was but a girl, in order to be by their side in the times of need. Eilistraee can feel and understand their desire for a better life, she knows their struggle, she can feel the suffering of these people forced to grow without knowing what affection is, while seeing their hopes shattered.

Eilistraee knows that all of them are abused until their light is nearly snuffed out, until cruelty swallows them. However, no matter how dark their souls can become, Eilistraee still sees them for their hidden beauty, the part of them that was silenced by hatred: she treasures and nurtures it, to make it flourish again. The Dark Maiden just wants to give all drow the pure, warm, and vibrant love that they were denied their whole lives, she appreciates them for what they simply are--and that includes being drow.

She has a very positive attitude about that matter. After 10k+ years, now that the drow are born as drow, the "curse" is no longer such, but part of who the drow are, and Eilistraee acts as a mother goddess to them as a whole race, to help them flourish again, not force them to change their appearance. If she wanted to remove the curse, she'd just have worked towards it. However, she never made a move, she has never cared. In over 10k+ in-universe years (and 20+ years of existing in the published Realms), she never nudged any of her followers towards it, she never spoke about that, never did anything, not even once.

She instead *embraced* the curse so she would be closer to her people and show them that joy can be found even amidst suffering and despair (she also seems to like the drow's appearance, since she built her aesthetics around it). And rightfully so, because when you are born as a drow, why would you be forced to give up on who you are? Picture any of them, after all the abuse they receive, being finally rescued and given a new chance, only to be told that they have to be "redeemed for their drow-ness" first, or it's a no-no... that would never lead any of them to choose a different path. That's absolutely not what they need, but to be given value for who they are in their entirety, and that's what Eilistraee does.

It's a kind of understanding that can be found nowhere else. Only those who have lived through the same struggle and pains that the drow experience, only those who know what it is really like, can truly accept them as a whole--including the evil that they have to face every day, that they have to defeat to take back their life. Such pain, and the battle against it, is not some kind of dirt to be erased, but a part of their identity, the proof that they have survived many hardships, that they are strong enough to thrive and leave the cruelty of the old ways behind, that they're still beautiful despite all that. Eilistraee knows that it is a part of the beauty of her children, and the very reason why she chose to share all of that.

As for Eilistraee's followers themselves, undoing a ten thousand years-old spell has never been their, or the Dark Maiden's, goal (or the reason why the joined Eilistraee's dance--and what an incredibly lame goal that would be, tbh). They never wanted to become non-drow, but to forge a path in the world for themselves and their people, accepted for what they are, as *drow* (again, Eilistraee herself chose that). Take the example of Liriel, whose mentality about being drow is shared by most of them--to an individual who was born as such, ''drow'' simply is what they are, and they are proud of it. They work to build their own place in the surface world that is their rightful home, to show what being drow actually means--being abel to create, nurture, rather than only destroy. They want to bring a change and forge an actual future for their people.

You can see that in all the lore about Eilistraee: she's very much about leading the drow to rediscover all that is good in life and that they've been missing on, and helping them thrive again, as *drow*. The uncursing was only a strategy that WotC used in 4e to reduce the non-evil drow to Drizzt and his clones. It has, and never had, anything to do with Eilistraee. In fact, it has been retconned for good.

Currently, the dark elves are no more. Eilistraee and her followers are *drow*. It makes sense, tho: in the novels, it is said that only hundreds of them were transformed. However, Eilistraee, as a lesser deity, has at least *thousands* of followers (so maybe the author saw the absurdity of this and snuck in a way to control damage), meaning the only a minority was changed (and that's likely the reason why Eilistraee currently still has mostly drow followers). Besides, those among her followers who underwent the skin color change either remained with the drow moondancers (and mixing with them, the transformation was basically lost) or died in the Underdark (a lot of them did), or mixed with other elves and humans--but that basically means that nobody would even realize their true identity, as the dark elves are, for all practical purposes, indistinguishable from wood elves. So they basically were irrelevant.

The fact that, in the book, Eilistraee herself withdrew her guidance and favor from Q'arlynd's spell may also be the reason why the spell failed. I like to think that Eilistraee meddled with it to grant a choice to the targets, so that they could *choose* whether to become brown elves or remain drow (or maybe the goddess just interrupted the spell). For certain, leaving the vast majority of the drow to rot, to *force* a handful of them to become brown-skinned, while also dooming many of the transformed individuals to die, is not Eilistraee. Especially because the reason that the book provided was "lol, the rest is unwilling and unredeemable, 'cuz reasons". That is very clearly something that not only would never even cross Eilistraee's mind, because it would defeat all that she has ever believed in, but also makes 0 sense, given that most of Eilistraee's followers came (and still come) from the group of drow that was labeled as "unwilling" in those novels.

The only way for such a transformation to fit Eilistraee's character, is for it to be offered to the drow who wish to take it as an opportunity, and for it to not be labeled as Eilistraee's goal, because it isn't.

Personally, glad that the implications of such a mess were retconned into oblivion, where it belongs.


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