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I will add sections about priestly equipment, magic, centers of worship, titles, and add more info about the clergy (including Darkmasks, and Masked Traitors, which deserve their own page).--Tsammarco (talk) 11:30, July 20, 2016 (UTC)

QuestionsEdit

Dear everyone,

I'm Saya222 and I'd love to ask three questions regarding the newest edit.

The first one is simple correctness. There is a section Under Eilistraee and I would love to know whether and if yes how much should be transferred to the Churhc of Eilistraee-page.

The second one is that there is a case of lore contradiction. A WotC product contradicts Ed Greenwood's candlekeep forum entry. The rules are clear on that WotC supersedes. My question is how are such things handled? Is it normal to simply delete it or to write a note which essentially says "Ed Greenwood wrote in the candle keep forum different lore and that was" in the appendix?

The third one is about a template. It's from the adventure league and I know that the template for it is {{Cite digital book}} but I can't find the common structure for it on the Help:Templates-page. May I have the page for it?

Thank you for reading through

Best Regards

Saya222 Saya222 (talk) 22:53, November 19, 2016 (UTC)

I think that the passage about the difficult cooperation between Eilistraeeans and Vhaeraunites post 1375 DR should be included in both articles.
I don't own the adventure that you cited, but--unless it makes a general statement--it doesn't conflict with what Ed said. He in fact said that while Eilistraee and Vhaeraun are now allied, some of their followers still fight. The followers in Szith Morcane could simply be part of those. In any case, I'm curious about what it states about Eilistraee, Vhaeraun and their churches, if you feel like typing it here.
Likewise, many of the inhabitants of the Promenade were killed, but Eilistraee hadn't lost most of her followers yet. Could you type here the passage where that is stated? That I know, the Promenade had less than 500 drow living in it (and that was after Vhaeraun followers came in), while Eilistraee, as a lesser deity, had at least a few thousands of followers by then.
Also, IIRC, it wasn't Halisstra who warned Eilistraee (she was fighting Selvetarm in the Demonwebs at that time), but her priestesses.
The part about misinterpreting the deities refers specifially to Ilythiir, not to the dark elves in general. Eilistraee had only a small presence in Ilythiir (she was strong in Miyeritar at the time), and wasn't seen in a good light there, while Selvetarm didn't even exist. LEoF clearly refers to the main deities of Ilythiir at the time (in fact it doesn't even mention anything associated with Eilistraee or Selvetarm, when it describes those misinterpretations).
That said, thanks for your work, you researched really a lot of lore for this article--Tsammarco (talk) 23:52, November 19, 2016 (UTC)
Dear Tsammarco,
thank you for the quick answer and your editing. I will answer one by one to the questions.
First, I'm sorry, my wording was really bad in the article. I think there is a real lore contradiction because the statement was that the deity Eilistraee opposes the deity Vhaeraun. Also if you're interested, DDEX 3-16 has an army of Eilistraee followers taking part in sacking Maerimydra. Those who played it told me her treatment wasn't good though.
The statement about most of Eilistraee's following being dead. While writing this, I'm not at home, so I can't give you a page number (I'll write it later) but after the Promenade fell, other shrines were also attacked via portals from the main temple. I took this as the reason why only a 4-digit of people changed despite the formerly existence of far more people. Large scale dying also was one of the reasons why Q'arlynd was chosen cast the change dark elf ritual despite being second choice. Though, 5e made followers for every revived deity fall from the sky en masse and some logical explanation should be made.
The part with Halisstra is really my mistake, I'm sorry.
The part with Ilythiir's misinterpretation was another case of bad wording, I thought due to the entire section above being written about Ilythiir it would be evident but obviously it wasn't. My apologies here too. Also thank you for excluding Eilistraee out. The information about Selvetarm was connected to the one with the Yuirwood-section, do you think mention about the result of that one's birth should be mentioned.
I delete the War of Three Leaves section, that war is -17100 DR and thus after the Sundering.
Again thank you for the editing and righting mistakes
Best Regards
Saya222
P.S. I forgot to write about the deleted War of Three Leaves. That one was in the Grand Histories of the Realms.
Also I can't take all the credit because several people helped me in getting pieces of knowledge, the adventure league for example came from those who bought the bundle. But still thank you.


Thanks for clarifying. Before changing the lore, I think I'll purchase the adventure next week and read what they said, to see if there's a way to renconcile the two pieces of lore (or ask Ed himself on Twitter, to see what he has to say about it. He's really, *really* good at making sense out of contradicting lore, and he has already done that for some of the 5e incongruences, like the one about Tiamat being trapped in Avernus). I'm actually sad to hear that they are already overwriting Ed's lore. I was so glad to see Eilistraee and Vhaeraun at peace, and honestly it just makes sense for both of them to no longer actively fight each other, and focusing on the real enemy (plus, they're both alone in their battle, and could really use an active ally). Although Ed did specify that any hate or similar feeling between the two siblings has evaporated, but that their ideals and modus operandi remain deeply different and conflicting, so maybe they could still clash in certain circumstances (i.e. if followers of Vhaeraun keep practicing slavery, then Eilistraee/followers would likely try to stop that).
As for Eilistraee's followers getting a bad treatment in that adventure, heh. I guess that they all die, or that they are written as hypocritical bastards, or both. WotC seem to really enjoy to do that since Lady Penitent. Are there any info on Vhaeraun and followers there? I'm actually interested in both siblings.
The problem apparently wasn't hypocrisy. The adventure was the last of 16 or so adventures of a longer story and it was a "the alliance gathers to fight"-scenario. In that scenario one of the armies were the forces of Eilistraee and unlike the others they appeared apparently out of nowhere with no interaction beforehand and background than "they just appeared". This "suddenly appearing to take the rewards" combined with them being almost useless or even a liability was considered the problem by my friends. They said that unlike the other groups who suffered a lot of problems over the stories and about whom they cared because the heroes solved the problems with together, they had simply no justification to be a liability apart from being weak. Also they said that the swordancers' (all-female) battle attire consisted of being practically naked and the mental picture of an army of half naked women charging at an army with with a sword in hand was considered as ridiculous as it sounds.
That said, I don't know what exactly made them a liability but their treatment as reward snatchers, they got the city, made those who played the adventure not angry but annoyed.
About the followers of Vhaeraun, I've read that adventure and they don't appear as a group, just the Hidden who are introduced to the party through Kâras, yes the same from the City of Spider Queen and the Lady Penitent trilogy, he mysteriously revived and was again a priest of Vhaeraun in the Hidden, probably an oversight but that one surprised me.
About most Eilistraee's followers being dead, remember that--while the Promenade suffered heavy losses--Ghaundaur's minions were decimated too, and his trapped avatar was banished to a Maze plane. So, yes, their remaining forces would have needed to split among a lot of shrines, and then face the defenders. I think that it's unlikely that many more followers died, even if the mage who were supposed to cas the ritual did. Unless the novel specifically says that most followers were dead, I don't think that we can write that
I talked about Selvetarm and Eilistraee in Ilythiir, because in the article it was generally stated that the deities of the Dark Seldarine were depicted as spider gods, and that all the deities of the Dark Seldarine killed their followers for that (when Selvetarm and Eilistraee in fact couldn't and din't, respectively). IMO it isn't needed to add more info about Selvetarm, because--IIRC--Zandilar asked for the help of Vhaeraun himself when the elves of the Yuirwood were in danger, so it's mostly about him, as his church wasn't really involved (so I guess that the info that you have already added is enough)
I know that the war of three leaves happened after Eilistraee met Cornaith and Sharlario Moonflower, but I added it as an example of what Ilythiir would eventually bring in the future, and that Eilistraee had warned Sharlario and Cornaith of in Evermeet (since that part of the article deals with her warning). In any case, I won't add it to the article again, since it is growing large as it is (it would probably be needed to create different pages for the various centers of worship, and then put links in the main page, like it was done for the church of Eilistraee and Ilmater pages)
Best regards--Tsammarco (talk) 13:34, November 20, 2016 (UTC)
Dear Tsammarco,
thank you for the reply.
About the --almost extinction of Eilistraee-followers-- I do think it was added to decimate the numbers so much too keep them from having influence in the Post-Spellplague, but now is a different time and I'd agree with you that this kind of explanation would be better. About the "choice to become dark eves", do you have something to quote because the ones who were changed didn't seem to have chosen it for there was at least one who was absolutely horrified at what the one called "becoming weak", also the caster Q'arlynd the caster was surprised. His ritual certainly didn't affect all of them though, otherwise there is no explanation to the 5e-following. We solved it by downgrading the deities to demigods and quasi-deities.
I've wrote some parts regarding the question about the new lore in one of the paragraphs above under yours.
Again thank you
Best Regards
Saya222

Saya222 (talk) 15:26, November 20, 2016 (UTC)

The followers of Eilistraee or Vhaeraun aren't even mentioned in any post-LP product (Vhaeraun gets the skulkers, tho, but only at the very end of 4e), so yeah, they likely didn't have any influence post-Spellplague, but we don't know if it was for their numbers, or because they were weakened due to Eilistraee's absence (or her presence only through her floating mask form that Ed suggests she had during that time). No, I don't have any quote about the ritual leaving a choice, that's why I added the [speculation] template, but now that you mention that passage (which I had forgotten, since it's been a long time since I've read those books, and I don't own two of them anymore). I'll remove the part about it possibly being a choice.
--Tsammarco (talk) 15:37, November 20, 2016 (UTC)
Ok, I got the adventure. What it says about Vhaeraun is:
"Vhaeraun is the drow god of thievery, drow males, and surface raiding. Although the two were opposed to one another, Vhaeraun resided in the Demonweb Pits in the area bestowed upon him by his mother, Lolth. He is also opposed (and was at one point slain) by his sister, Eilistraee. Due to their persecution by the predominate priestesses of Lolth, the faithful of Vhaeraun are loosely organized and operate covertly"
The passage is rather confusing in its usage of tenses. It seems that it is talking about the past, since it refers to Vhaeraun living in the Demonwebs and being slain by Eilistraee, without mention of his return (although it is kinda implied). I've asked Ed Greenwood for clarifications about this matter, and will report his answer here.
On a side note, Eilistraee and her followers don't appear in that adventure, but in the next one, where they for once aren't treated badly. They are portrayed as rather weak in power, but they are there to try to help the drow of Maerimydra against Graz'zt.
"Saradreza Oussmtor/Faithful of Eilistraee:The scantily clad Sword Dancers of the good-aligned drow goddess of song, beauty, swordsmanship, hunting and moonlight stand out among the other groups. While drow, these beautiful women are friendly and welcoming of everyone. They see the chance to retake Maerimydra and the aiding the drow of Szith Morcane as a chance to rally drow with no interest in remaining under the shackles of Lloth's tyranny. The high priestess of their small circle is Saradreza Oussmtor. She is charismatic and warm-hearted and views this opportunity for cooperation as the best chance to spread their goddess's message. For the pre-assault objectives, the Faithful are considering aiding in convincing the Friendly Dead to ally in the attack." If the PCs succeed at the adventure, the Eilistraeeans get to stay within Maerimydra alongside the drow of Szith Morcane.
EDIT: Ahh, I've just now read what you said about the new lore (I had missed it). And yes, the "scantily clad" part is annoying, especially because the priestesses of Eilistraee don't go in battle without armor (on the contrary, they use whatever most practical gear they can get for a given situation). If you combine that with their being low powered, it does make you think of the "damsel in distress" trope, which they are definitely not. But in the adventure, while they are definitely not strong, from what I understand they do lend their help and go into battle alongside the PCs and the other warriors, and as a reward they get to stay in Maerimydra (staying in a place that is probably more than large enough to accomodate all the drow that took part to this event doesn't seem a grab to me). So yeah, they could have been treated better (and they could have been introduced before the end), but it's at least better than I was expecting (hypocritical "holier than thou" people). And I was too surprised to see Karas there, but I too believe that it must have been an oversight (in fact the adventure says that most descriptions are taken straight from CotSQ, which honestly makes the conflicting lore about Vhaeraun even more puzzling)--Tsammarco (talk) 00:49, November 21, 2016 (UTC)
Dear Tsammarco,
did I make you buy two adventures? In that case my apologies, I referred to 16th because my quote was from the 15th.
I hope it didn't cause problems.
Best Regards
Saya222
Saya222 (talk) 15:45, November 21, 2016 (UTC)
No need to apologize, lol. I didn't see any group of Eilistraeeans in DDEX03-15, so--since you mentioned them being involved in Maerimydra--I thought that they would appear in "Assault on Maerimydra", and I was interested in both the pieces of lore about Vhaeraun and Eilistraee, so I would have eventually bought both anyway--Tsammarco (talk) 17:38, November 21, 2016 (UTC)
Dear Tsammarco,
I read the adventure finally too and to be honest, I found the eilistraeeans' treatment horrible.
If they really were a newly introduced party then they were a party no one asked for and no one knew about and the players had no control whether or not to accept them. This was especially problematic because anyone who sat at the table would ask themselves "where did they come?", "what's their track record?", "why are they just now appearing?" "why do have to trust them?" etc.. That they are there to increase their influence and thus turned the players intentionally or not into the plot's pawns is certainly not how the players should be treated.
Though, while they weren't nefarious, they aren't there for any reason but to have them there and that's really not a treatment any PCs and NPCs deserve.
On a side note, now they have a presence to speak of, so let us hope that the next Underdark campaign, I think the one after Storm King's Thunder, treats them better.
Best Regards and I'm sorry for the long writing
Saya222
Saya222 (talk) 16:09, November 25, 2016 (UTC)
Yes, as I've said, I agree that they could have treated way better, and that it wasn't good. However, it wasn't as bad as I feared. They went there to help against the demons, and saw the cooperation as a good opportunity to spread a message and support those drow who wanted to be free from Lolth (this is what it is said in the adventure). I totally understand your points about them popping out of nowhere, being hard to trust, and so on. However, they didn't have selfish motivations, and what they get in the end is a place to stay within the ruins. It doesn't seem to me that the players were pawns or manipulated.
About their presence, don't the drow of Szith Morcan have a presence in Maerimydra too now? I think this would include the Hidden and other followers of Vhaeraun there. I agree that it will be interesting to say how it all plays out. The next Underdark campaing will likely include the Undermountain, and it will likely happen at the end of 2017 (the one after the giants is supposed to be Chult/Mezro).
About the issue of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun being in conflict again, Ed has given an answer. He said that Eilistraee and Vhaeraun aren't at war, and that there's more going on (although he said he couldn't speak more about such lore, and that it would have been published in the future), but their followers are back to skirmish often. (https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/800564045418000385)--Tsammarco (talk) 17:55, November 25, 2016 (UTC)
Dear Tsammarco,
thank you, both for lore and and the information about publication.
Best Regards
Saya222
Saya222 (talk) 16:22, November 26, 2016 (UTC)
About the template, if the document is a free downloadable PDF, then we use the {{Cite web}} template. If you have to purchase it and use a reader like a Kindle or a Nook, then it would be {{Cite digital book}}. If you give me a link to your source, I will create a template for it, if one does not already exist. —Moviesign (talk) 01:27, November 20, 2016 (UTC)
Dear Moviesign,
thank you for the offer.
The informations would be:
Title: Szith Morcane Unbound (Adventure Code DDEX 3-15)
Adventure Design: Robert Adducci
Development and Editing: Claire Hoffman, Chris Tulach, Travis Woodall
Debut: February 5, 2016 (the date played on adventure league)
Release: March 1, 2016 (date opened for purchase on the dmsguild)
In the case a purchase link would be needed, it is this one [1].
Please ask me further for more information.
Again thank you for the offer
Best Regards
Saya222
Ah, I searched around and discovered we had a discussion about this a year ago. I guess it is past time to make this a reality. Let me tinker with it and I'll post something on the Forum. —Moviesign (talk) 15:15, November 20, 2016 (UTC)

EvensongEdit

It wasn't the Evensong. Lisa Smedman made a mistake in those books. According to all previous sources, the Evensong is an intimate ritual that all followers of Eilistraee perform at the end of their day. It is a wordless message to their goddess (usually involving a personal dance and song) in which they let out all the emotions, experiences and reflections that they have gathered in the day for Eilistraee to listen. In the Promenade of Eilistraee this ritual took the particular form of the Flamesong, the most important personal prayer for the Dark Ladies and Maids (priestesses and novices, respectively), in which they danced around a flame or a candle. They would sing freely for their goddess and dance following the rhythm of the music as it came, until the flame was existinguished. (see Demihuman Deities).

In the novels the following sentence is written "The sound of male voices singing the Evensong hymn was just wrong." This sentence is the reason, why the first section shouldn't be written as "communal chorus" but "Evensong". I know Demihuman Deities and Faiths and Pantheons but other novel entries have either all-female rituals like in Silverfall or ones where males joining meant physical assault like in Extinction. In the novel Storm of the Dead, Qilué needed to enforce the "males are allowed rule" top down and only after having double checked with Eilistraee whether this was alright with her. All this should be mentioned in an article.Saya222 (talk) 21:47, May 17, 2018 (UTC)
Smedman gives her definition of Evensong in Sacrifice of the Widow, and she mistakes it with a generic mass chorus. I can't point to the page because I no longer own the book, but it is towards the beginning. It follows that other mentions of the Evensong by that author also refer to it. There are female-only rituals (those who are reserved to the priestesses, like the one we witness in Silverfall), sure, but the other ones are not exclusive. The Evensong has always been a very intimate thing, a moment of connection between Eilistraee and her followers, and it has always been a sweet thing. In one of his answers, Ed Greenwood also says that no one would ever dream to prevent a male from dancing to Eilistraee.--Tsammarco (talk) 21:58, May 17, 2018 (UTC)
Really? My imagination of the Evensong was a rather harsh thing. "Letting out all emotions" sounded to me like letting out all anger and frustrations gathered over the day to start over clean into the next day. Smedmam's version of a harmonious thing was what perplexed me there. But now to the topic, what Smedman wrote at the beginning of the book was not a definition of the Evensong, but just that there is a place where priestesses gather to sing their Evensongs (page 58). Furthermore, there is this sentence "Males weren't invited to join Eilistraee's sacred dances, nor could they lend their voices to the Evensong." (Sacrifice of the Widow, Page 170). Per policy of this wiki, this here is canon and not what Mr. Greenwood wrote in the Cadlekeep Forum.Saya222 (talk) 17:40, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
It is indeed a sweet act, a moment of connection between Eilistraee and her followers. The simple fact that the goddess is ready to listen to the emotions and feelings that her followers gather during the day is important, because the drow are taught that they have no value outside of power, so an act like this shows them that what they feel and desire deep inside is indeed important. In addition to that, Idk why you are assuming that someone who chooses to follow Eilistraee would only have rage or pain to express, rather than a joyful rediscovery of the beauty of life that they were denied for a long time. Idk how you picture Eilistraee, but she's a goddess that wants her people to smile to life and dream once again.--Tsammarco (talk) 17:54, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
To the question about letting out rage and pain. These are the primary emotions drow, especially those from the Underdark, have. Imagine, 200+ years of suppressed emotions out of which rage and pain are the strongest with no outlet of it. Dealing with this, I imagine, can take an entire lifetime, be it counted in centuries or not.
What Eilistraee does is teaching the drow to let go of all that. She gives her vibrant love, and she opens their hearts to the beauty of life that they were denied. She's always close to them in this journey, in the hardest moments (even though she does it delicatly, without imposing anything on them), to help them see for themselves what life can be, and how to embrace it at its fullest. It's a personal rebirth (Elaine Cunnigham shows this beautifully in all the scenes when Eilistraee herself is subtly there for Liriel in the most difficult parts of her journey). Sure, rage will still be there, but it'll be far from the only emotion, because that rage was caused by all the self-denial in first place, something that would be no more once they move on to a different kind of existence.Tsammarco (talk) 18:49, May 18, 2018 (UTC)

Regarding my picture of Eilistraee. Well it's that of a good deity of the FR-Setting. A person with genuinely good intentions but weird execution and an equally weird affinity for political corruption. For example a weird policy in Eilistraee's case, the weirdness is the part how easily new converts get in. A priestess of Lolth for example has a long criminal record. Murder, rape, slavery, etc.. All of whom get under Eilistraee receive no punishment which belies a certain degree of unfairness/carelessness towards the victims and make Eilistraee look like just a ticket for an easy-way-out for otherwise unforgivable criminals. For a specific act with weird execution, look no further than how the promenade came to be. Eilistraee enlisted what amounted to child soldiers (Qilué and her friends) to massacre those of an enemy faith to steal their land. While Ghaunadans are certainly no good people, the in-universe execution of this act is still just weird.Saya222 (talk) 18:25, May 18, 2018 (UTC)

Qilué and others benefited from the direct protection of Eilistraee *and* Mystra themselves, and they didn't kill drow. Qilué was essentially acting as an avatar there. They killed slimes and trapped the avatar of Ghaunadaur itself. None of those kids was killed in the process.
First, the problem is to enlist children into battle at all. Second, they did kill sentient creatures. Third, Ch'arla died in this battle.Saya222 (talk) 19:30, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
I didn't remember that. Demihuman Deities and the 7 Sisters book give a *far* different version (they only killed slimes, no one died, and the goal was to prevent the effin' avatar of Ghaunadaur from laying waste on the surface and protecting the future Waterdeep). If Lisa Smedman added that, then that'd just be the n-th act of smearing that she did to this goddess (I have yet to find a positive thing in Smedman's portrayal of Eilistraee. She might as well have portrayed a Lolth-wannabe). For sure that isn't what Eilistraee's creator, Ed Greenwood, intended the goddess to be. In addition, when Eilistraee first appeared to Qilué (i.e. when they were kids), she didn't ask them to attack the Pit of Ghaunadaur, that would come later. The Dark Maiden simply asked them to help nearby drow in need (Idk if Smedman changed that too, tho).--Tsammarco (talk) 19:43, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
That's right. She initially didn't say that but still handed weapons to those children and told them to go to the Pit while they were still children(Demihuman Deities page 20). Also, I meant these slimes as sentient creatures. They were sentient slimes that acted as worshippers to Ghaunadaur. The part with endangering future Waterdeep was one I didn't know. Quite pathetic of that city to be saved by endangering children.Saya222 (talk) 20:36, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
I found this on p. 20: Several years after her birth in the Year of the Awakening Wyrm (767 DR), Qilue Veladorn, Chosen of Mystra and Eilistraee, led a handful of her dark elven playmates from their tiny, now-vanished settlement of Buiyrandyn in an assault on the Pit of Ghaunadaur.
Sure, several years might mean that the drow still hasn't reached maturity, but they are not really children nonetheless (especially in 2e, when starting age for drow adventurers was 60 years, and when Liriel started at like 40 years). Handing the swords is not a bad thing in itself. Remeber that those swords resonate with the song of Eilistraee, they inspire and reassure, and can even allow the wielder to drive away assailants without the need of violence. For someone who lives surrounded by the dangers of the Underdark, those swords can very well be a boon. That said, the reason why Qilué was chosen is that, due to her nature, she could allow both Mystra and Eilistraee to confront Ghaunadaur as an avatar (from Ed's version, it sounds like Ghaunadaur was overpowered through Qilué). It's not like it was a random pick.
That doesn't convince me. I go today meeting up with friends. One of them has 7 sisters. I'll look how the wording of that is.Saya222 (talk) 05:57, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
7S does indeed talk about Qilué as a child "Surrounded by the glowing aura of Eilistraee's favor, Qilué led her friends from their tiny, now vanished drow settlement of Buiyrandyn in an attack on a temple of Ghaunadar. They hacked through countless slimes, oozes, and creeping things to reach the central hall, where Qilué embraced the largest amorphous horror of all: Ghaunadar itself. Eilistraee's power, bolstered by Mystra, flared forth from the child's body as ravening fire that burned away at the drow elemental god until it opened a portal in desperation and fled for its life, much reduced in strength." The other passage, the one quoted before, that you pointed me to, leaves room for interpretation. In any case, keep in mind that the children had to be tall enough and have enough strength to *wield* a silver *bastard sword* (and silver is far heavier than iron or steel). That means that they couldn't be children as we mean it. As for why Eilistraee chose them, as I said, in Ed Greenwood's version the plan was to have Qilué as a conduit for Mystra and Eilistraee. She would easily defeat the avatar of Ghaunadaur and the children wouldn't be endangered (in fact, in the non-Smedman's version, no one died. As a further factor to consider, the song of the swords can enthrall and stop a large number of sentient creatures at ones, provided that they are not too powerful. That power really came in handy as a protection from the large number of slimes).--Tsammarco (talk) 13:08, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
-The children weren't endangered, at least not in Greenwood's version, in which they were protected by both Mystra and Eilistraee
-Imprisoning an avatar of Ghaunadaur and killing its sentient slime followers (whose only goal is, given G's dogma, to allow him to feed), saving many human/elf/drow lives from their madness in the process, is a good thing no matter how you look at it (also, the sentience of those slimes is not explicitly stated, at least not in DD or the 7S, and the canon about G says that he stripped all his slimy followers of their intelligence in a fit of rage). Waterdeep wasn't saved through the children themselves, Qilué acted as a conduit for Mystra and Eilistraee. The reason why she was chosen is, as I said, her nature. The whole reason for the existence of the Promenade is to safeguard the prison of Ghaunadaur and protect Waterdeep from it (and stopping the slavers of Skullport and trying to make friends with the humans and elves of Waterdeep in the meantime. Also, favoring drow trade with the surface through the moonsong, and providing guides. The drow of the Promenade are known for this).--Tsammarco (talk) 21:16, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
Again, the problem is to send children to do such a dangerous thing. As a sidenote, Eilistraee is trying to live with everybody in peace. Do you know of quote where "everybody" could include the likes of Ghaunadaur or Lolth?
Eilistraee wants harmony among all races, not all existing creatures (how do you live in harmony with demons, for example). She feels a burning anger towards Lolth and Ghaundaur themselves, but she clearly doesn't think the same of their followers, whom she wants to lead to the light (and before you say "but she killed his slimes!" I answer to it below). I thought that was obvious. Idk what to answer to your first point, except by repeating what I already said, Qilué was chosen because of a very specific reason, and Ghaunadaur had to be stopped by that time. The children weren't put in danger, they overpowered their foes because Qilué was a conduit for Eilistraee and Mystra both, and, on top of that, the sword could enthrall and drive away large numbers of sentient creatures under a certain strength (those oozes seem to fit this category).--Tsammarco (talk) 13:08, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
G's slime worshippers stopped being worshippers after he took away their sentience. These on the Promenade on the other hand were sentient creatures, otherwise they couldn't be worshippers. And intelligent slimes like ghaunadans exist after all in the setting.Saya222 (talk) 05:57, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
Nonetheless, they are creatures with the only goal of feeding and supplying sacrifice to Ghaunadaur. Their destruction can only be a positive thing for other races--Tsammarco (talk) 13:08, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
Going by Smedman's portrayal of Eilistraee, she can't even be called a good deity. She'd be CN at best, with a militarist, misandrist, tyrannical outlook, one that more often than not discards compassion in favor of wanton killing. Now, compare that with the lore about Eilistraee and her actual character (one that is *about* compassion, freedom, nurturing, etc...). Smedman's portrayal of Eilistraee is geared towards making her unlikable. If I had know Eilistraee through that, I would have never liked her, because Smedman's portrayal of Eilistraee simply isn't Eilistraee.--Tsammarco (talk) 20:16, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
Your talking with somebody whose first contact with Eilistraee was through Smedman's work (Extinction to be precise).Saya222 (talk) 20:36, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
I had assumed as much. I know no one who knew Eilistraee through that and who thinks of her as a likable deity at all. I guess that was their point (since in that time WotC was going under the "Drizzt must be the only real good drow" phase, so everyone else had to be evil, or still unlikable. The whole reason behind such a treatment of the drow gods towards the end of 3e was to make Drizzt more special). The actual Eilistraee and Smedman's version are two incompatible goddesses.--Tsammarco (talk) 21:16, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
As for the affinity for corruption, the drow who have committed past crimes don't get away scott free. They are made to change through understanding. One of the beliefs that Eilistraee holds dear is that redemption is a choice that can be embraced even by the darkest souls, if given the chance. There is strength in sparing a life, letting it bloom and rise from their past evil, because untold beauty can stem from an awakened soul. However, in order to embrace the light, the drow have to see it first, and Lolthite grow without ever seeing it, or even feeling love or affection. Eilistraee knows that all of them are sufferers of abuse, neglect, and lack of affection from those that should love them the most. They abuse each other, they abuse their children, but--most of all--each of them is abused by Lolth, and the innocent tortured until their innocence is swallowed by cruelty. However, she still sees their beauty, and strives to make them bloom once again.
To a people who have been taught that they have no value except for their "status/power" (or except as "meat of Lolth"), who grew up amidst strife and hatred, without knowing genuine affection, Eilistraee shows the strength in protecting caring for each other, in sisterhood/brotherhood, in compassion. She gives them love and shows a different way of life by making them experience it first hand, because only that can lead those drow to actually choose that different way.
In short, Eilistraee understands that most of the "evil" drow act like that because they know no other way. If she were to punish them for their past acts, she would only twist the blade in their wound. They have been abused, they try to embrace a different way to escape from that, the last thing they need is more punishment. They need to receive all that they lacked under Lolth's thumb, to be taught life anew. There is no other way to make the drow rise from their evil other than that--Tsammarco (talk) 18:47, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
That has several problems. First, punishment isn't just done to enforce rules but also to create a sense of fairness and equal standing between offender and victim. Not punishing is to forfeit fairness. Furthermore, to use not knowing as an excuse for committing crimes is certainly not right, especially when drow do know that their actions are wrong. They have (poorly enforced) laws against killing and so on and constantly fear the idea of those under them to rise up, meaning they know that they give reasons to their victims to hurt their offenders.Saya222 (talk) 19:30, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
The drow don't think that their actions are wrong. The drow think that their action are the only way for them to thrive or survive (villains generally don't regard their actions as "wrong", or themselves as "evil". At least decently written villains, unless you want to write an utilitarian villain). What would you have Eilistraee to do to encourage redemption? Put them in some kind of prison? Once again, picture someone who thinks that the whole world is their enemy, then is convinced to give something else a try, only to be punished and harmed? The "punishment" for these drow is to make up for all the harm that they caused by doing good instead. Besides, this fear of uprising that you mention is non-existent as a general rule, and hierarchy is intended to be very loose among Eilistraeeans. It only appears in Smedman/Athans' books, and we know how many blatant errors those include--Tsammarco (talk) 19:43, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
Do you seriously think Lolthite drow are decently written villains? I always find they are hard/impossible to use in sessions because of their self-limiting nature and use Vhaerauite drow instead. And yes, I think the hard way of dealing with past deeds is the right way. Currently, Eilsitraee's way comes off as an "easy-way-out", as mentioned above. It constantly endangers the idea of good in D&D to be cheapened. Best example is probably the first time Eilistraee tried to kill Lolth with the Crescent Blade. The idea behind it was to cause with it chaos and destruction in drow society, so that their cities break down, and the surviving refugees who have nowhere else to go than the surface were to be made to convert to Eilistraee. That would redeem them. I found it just cruel.Saya222 (talk) 20:36, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
No, they aren't very well written, but they do indeed think that there is no other way to live other than Lolth's. That's the consequence of living in total isolation.
Eilistraee helps formerly evil drow to understand and embrace another way of life, to change, create, nurture, do good, by letting them understand that there's a different way of life than what Lolth teaches them. It's aimed to make the world a better place. Eilistraee's concept of redemption of the drow consists of both rediscovering the joy that they were denied, re-learning to love, and then working to help those in need. That is a form of 'atonement' (one that is constructive, as it produces positive results for others as well). It doesn't cheapen the idea of good in D&D, at all. As a matter of fact, redemption has always been a staple of the concept of good in D&D. Redemption paladins or characters focused on helping redemption have always existed in D&D. That said, what do you think the redemption of the drow should consist of? Self-flagellation? Punishments? By your reasoning, a lot of them should be killed or imprisoned for their whole lives, because their crimes tend to be a lot. Remeber that the drow are indeed victims of abuse. They literally grow up without knowing what simple affection is, while surrounded by hatred, while getting their hopes crushed. They have suffered their whole lives, their evil is a consequence of that, and all that they have gone through is also quite the punishment in and by itself (basically, they are punished since their birth...). The drow are broken, and *need* to be taught love, not to be punished even more. Eilistraee acts with this concept on her mind. As a final point, most drow commoners (and the bulk of those who want to leave Lolth come from there) are not even that dark. They are the major bleeders of their society, after all.
The concept that this is an easy way out is also wrong. First, because the followers of Eilistraee need, as I said, to work and help people or communities in need. They work for their place on the surface, for their new life, they try to become forces of good, they don't get it free. Second, Eilistraeeans don't get it easy, like at all, on the surface. Remember that the drow are already punished by the sheer hostility that they get even when trying to change. For example, even when the drow of Eilistraee in Raven's Bluff worked to provide cures, food, and clothing to the poor of the city, they were assaulted by drow-hating mobs. They don't need further hostility by the very goddess that is trying to act like a mother to them.--Tsammarco (talk) 21:16, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
The problem is, that they never face consequences for their actions and start somewhere anew. Furthermore, a good parent is someone who isn't just loving but also strict. Especially when the child does something wrong without knowing it, the parent needs to explain and then punish the child so it learns. This is especially important when dealing with people without a sense of decency like drow. Eilistraee's sounds to me like simple negligence/leniency and frankly laziness to fulfill all duties of a parent, including the hard ones, and confuses it with love.
What I think of a proper way is if they would face their victims, be it just to repay them or at least apologize (one can argue whether that is enough but it's a start), but instead they completely leave their past lives behind. That drow commoners aren't that dark is something I know. I also play quite often drow NPCs. They certainly will have it easier to fulfill the demands of fairness.Saya222 (talk) 05:45, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
They do face the consequence of their action, because, as I said for like 3 times now, they work to gain that new life. They do good. They help people in need, they risk their lives, they are held to share and protect (and, as drow, they are easily subject to pre-emptive retaliation by surfacers for assumed danger). Eilistraee does indeed love the drow, and does exactly what you describe: she makes them understand that they don't have to be like Lolth forces them to, and shows them goodness, she teaches them goodness and to do good. Once again, for the 3rd time, you have these people who have been through hell for their whole lives, who have been abused and been inflicted gratuitous punishment since when they were children, who face mostly hostility and even violence once they get to the surface, who are made to work, to do good, to save lives, and so on in order to start anew. This is not an "easy way", immensely far from it. The drow are indeed given acceptance and warmth by Eilistraee and her followers, that's because they *need* it to even *start* to change.
I think you make a category mistake. Effort put to create a new life and effort put to remedy past mistakes are two different things and can't be paid with the same coin so to speak. Their lives on the surface may be hard but why should a victim from the Underdark care about that? Eilistraeean drow are probably the most cut off from drow society as a whole. They basically say good bye to their past lives and start anew. While this may sound good (though as you put a hard life), they leave everybody behind to continue to suffer, in the case of a Lolthite priestess most certainly due to her actions or support of their system. They have no systematic ways to change drow society for the better as a whole, only creating rather isolated pockets for themselves or sending one or two priestess to give one of their pendants.Saya222 (talk) 17:58, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
No, I didn't make that mistake. The followers of Eilistraee put a lot of effort into doing good, into saving lives, into spreading joy, into making the world a better place, even risking their own safety. They do good to anyone, their redemption is becoming forces of good. Even if the targets of their good actions are not often their own victims (if they have any significant victim, since commoners not always have), they are still atoning, they are paying--as you put it--for their past mistakes by improving the world and other people's lives. Unless you don't consider that a form of redemption? In that case, I don't know what to tell you, we just disagree on that point.--Tsammarco (talk) 18:43, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
As for improving the drow society, they work to insert the drow into the mainstream society of other races, they try to integrate into other communities, they try to create relationships between drow and other races, promote drow trade on the surface, and to build safe havens that could welcome all drow who wish for a change (they did this in the Moonsea, with communties like Elventree, they tried to do this with Evermeet, they tried with human cities, they are still working towards that). They work to build a new home on the surface, in harmony with other races: the basis to support a drow civilization up there, without the need of war with the surfacers. Are they generally succesful? No, but they still do their best for that. In short, they work towards building something that other drow could want to embrace, so that they have someplace to go once they leave Lolth. As for reaching other drow, see my point below.--Tsammarco (talk) 18:43, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
As for your proposal, how do you face someone who is, in the vast majority of cases, dead? If they're not, how do you even find someone who has been made a slave, sold, carried to who knows where? And if you are talking about other drow (like past enemies, or something), going back to a city where your only presence might be a cause for you to be captured and sacrificed to Lolth, to apologize to someone who--due to their hatred--might denounce you as a heretic or something, doesn't sound like a realistic possibility either. However, I'll let you know that there are indeed followers of Eilistraee who do something along those lines (Secret Moondancers). They do return to drow cities, they risk their lives just to help other drow break free from Lolth's oppression too.
May I ask which sourcebook gives info about Secret Mooondancers? Their name suggest that they live among Lolthite but don't do a lot of concrete stuff except maybe eventually get out of the city themselves. Regarding the problem with the possible damage they may cause to themselves. A former priestess for Lolth probably should pay for what she did if she have the chance.Saya222 (talk) 17:58, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
Champions of Valor. The Secret Moondancers are not even the only ones who do that. All priestesses of Eilistraee *must* reach to at least 1 drow per month, and bring them away from Lolth's grasp (and there aren't many ways for that, if not going back). The novels (I think LP or Extinction) also clearly talk about redemption missions (here, finally 1 good thing about Eilistraeeans written by Smedman) and a net of portals to allow safe transportation of refugees to secure places--one is even found in Menzoberranzan itself (and the pins that you mentioned above are part of this system. They are the way of recognizing someone that is looking for another path). I wish that the novels put more focus on this aspect of the Eilistraeean mission (where her faith shines). Alas, more often than not, the novels only care about fights and contrived, at times nonsensical, editor-enforced plots. There's also an order of Eilistraeeans, the Silverhair Knights, that is entirely devoted to scouting drow communities and trying to reach to drow there. While I think that their sin-eating thing is misguided and simply unfitting of the Eilistraeean MO, they do that only when they feel forced to (in fact, it is dangerous thing for them as well). Normally, they start with the traditional Eilistraeean approach of finding drow who suffer, and try to help them, and then lead them to a safe place on the surface (once again, you have people who put their lives on their line to help their fellow drow).--Tsammarco (talk) 18:43, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
As for your second point, about paying for their past crimes. Would it be right for them to pay by dying to apologize to someone whom they have slighted or harmed? Because you know what happens when a heretic is unmasked. Then, may I ask what the point of redemption even is? That said, yes, many Eilistraeeans have died by Lolthite hands.--Tsammarco (talk) 18:43, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the info and patience you showed to me. Per the efforts of Eilsitraee this page might interest you.[[2]] It's one of the portals you talk about.
Thank you for the linkTsammarco (talk) 22:52, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
Your approach also presents the problem of gaining the info from a convert, making them reveal their past crimes. While many can very well do that, while many do feel guilty for the suffering that they caused and try to make amend, usually that never happens at the beginning, but only happens after they have changed and embraced a new life. New converts will almost never want to talk about their crimes. What should the Eilistraeeans do in that case? Probe their mind, extort info? Constantly keep at persuading them until they give in? Or should they first give the drow an opportunity to open their eyes, and then make amend? Because I'm pretty sure that exercising violence on a new convert will give them really bad flashbacks--Tsammarco (talk) 12:48, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
You don't need to punch people right away, it's just that I never heard of any Eilsitraeean who had the guts to face their past crimes. Instead they seem to be happy about having found a new goddess and immerse themselves, almost like a drug, in love and devotion. I never read about one having guilt and use it for positive change in their societies where they used to be the source/conduit of a lot of suffering caused by Lolth's dogma.Saya222 (talk) 17:58, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
And I tell you that going out there and trying to improve the lives of others, even whie exposing yourself, is a form of dealing with past crimes. Especially when the victims are dead (i.e. a very common instance), and you can't materially do something for them--Tsammarco (talk) 18:43, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
About your later point, I don't recall it as the real reason for the Crescent Blade (and, once again, that is Smedman's addition), and to assume that the drow would automatically go to Eilistraee without Lolth (or that Eilistraee--whose whole M.O. is based on letting the drow *understand* that another way exists, and then make a choice based on that understanding--would think that) is ludicrous. Eilistraee knows far too well that some would turn to her, but most of them would turn to Vhaeraun or to demon worship, or to to other dark deities (because, without the above-mentioned understanding, the teachings of Eilistraee would be far too different from what the drow are normally used to). What happened in the Silence is an obvious proof of that (not to mention that the whole chaos thing was already happening, both on its own, and due to the other gods of the Dark Seldarine, so the situation wouldn't have changed by a lot). Eilistraee simply felt compelled to remove the source of all the afflictions that the drow suffered: Lolth. She clearly knew that it wouldn't make the drow magically change, but it would still provide a better opportunity for them to change (since all the censorship, brainwashing, persecutions etc... would be gone).
In any case, the goal that you describe would lead to no more suffering than letting Lolth be, re-emerging stronger than before, and continuing doing crappy things. In fact, from an utilitarian point of view, it would be a good action. However, we know that Eilistraee isn't utilitarian, far from it.--Tsammarco (talk) 21:23, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
The addition is page 206 from Extinction, the Crescent Blade is not yet introduced but it is the phrase that serves as the narrative logic why Eilistraee is trying to kill Lolth. You said that removing the source of problems without regard to the chaos it will cause is a good thing. You know that this "might kill the patient with the treatment"-approach is the reason why the Jaezred Chaulssin are evil.Saya222 (talk) 05:45, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
That's the belief of one of the priestesses (and most of them are deeply misguided in Smedman's books), not Eilistraee's own belief, nor it fits her MO. As for your second point 1)It isn't without regard for the chaos: as I said, the chaos was already there, and the count of drow and non-drow deaths under Lolth, the amount of suffering, would be just as high if not higher. Amidst that already existing chaos, Eilistraee was called to make a choice. The situation was bad, drow were dying left and right: aside from lending her help to refugees (which she did, it just wasn't the focus of the perspective provided by the novels. A well-thought portrayal of Eilistraee would have a different perspective, putting emphasis on aiding those refugees before the whole kill Lolth quest, but the novels were written with a specific plot in mind), she had to choose whether to not do anything about Lolth herself, about simply letting her re-emerge stronger than before, or try to stop her. The choice here is obvious. Also, Eilistraeeans weren't acting without regard for the consequences of the Silence either, as they generally aid refugees, like they did for the Maerimydrans (who suffered due to the followers of Kiaransalee and unforeseen consequences of Vhaeraunite plans).
2)I said that the goal that you described was good from a utilitarian point of view (i.e. "for the greater good"). No, the followers of Vhaeraun aren't evil because they want a revolution, they are evil because of their dealing with things like slavery, assassination for profit, and for their supremacist and imperialist views. The statements that revolutions (which nearly always imply chaos, unless you can somehow get the whole population to think in the same way, and act in the same way) are evil a priori is misguided to say the least.--Tsammarco (talk) 12:48, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
The problem with revolutions is only when they do it in the full knowledge of being unable to contain the damage. I was talking about the Jaezred Chaulssin because they risk millennia of enslavement or even the possible extinction of their species for their goals.Saya222 (talk) 17:58, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
The Jaezred Chaulssin led external threats to the drow cities. That's not a revolution proper. A revolution proper comes from the people themselves. When a whole people rebels, how can you ever be certain that you can control the damage. Setting aside the Realmsian aspect of this discussion, sadly, in these cases there's no safe choice. If you want a big change, you have to take risks. The bigger the change, the greater the risks.--Tsammarco (talk) 18:51, May 19, 2018 (UTC)
I checked a preview on the google books site. Lisa Smedman clearly talks about the Evensong as a kind of communal chorus (in the description of the place, she talks about at least dozens of priestesses being there during the Evensong. Furthermore, in the Promenade the Evensong takes the form of the Flamesong, which is practiced in privacy). The fact that she talks about "lending their voices to the Evensong" further points to it being intended by her as a communal chorus. Even further proof, the Evensong, despite its name, doesn't need to be an actual song.--Tsammarco (talk) 17:54, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
Got me convincedSaya222 (talk) 18:25, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
Added a note to explain the contradiction--Tsammarco (talk) 18:29, May 18, 2018 (UTC)

By definition, this can't be denied to anyone, being an intimate and private ritual (what Smedman describes is no ritual in particular, just a communal chorus). As we have already discussed, this is *far* from the only mistake that Smedman made in her books (they have been retconned for a reason. On a side note, the retcon is even deeper now with WotC's take on the elves/drow: the drow's appearance has always been the way it is now. No curse, no nothing--like it was in 2e).

Retconned? That's something I didn't know. Is there a site or something where one can read what was retconned and what not? Now the passage with dark elves being brown always surprised me because Ka'Narlist's description was exactly that of a drow.Saya222 (talk) 21:47, May 17, 2018 (UTC)
So is the description of the drow gods. As for the retcon, it's what the Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes tells (or at least the people who own it are saying that). Even setting aside the return of the drow gods (that is once again re-stated in that book), the whole ending of the novels was retconned, as 1)drow have always been such, no curse, no descent, etc... 2)No one goes to Arvandor, not even the elves (they now reincarnate, like the 4e devas), therefore making the whole "Corellon allows them into Arvandor" point moot. EDIT: someone else who owns the book clarifies, and point 2) isn't true. 1) still stands, tho.-Tsammarco (talk) 21:58, May 17, 2018 (UTC)
That's interesting, may I ask whether there was a prerelease or something or is your acquaintance an employee at WotC? Regarding the information, wasn't Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes a setting neutral book, basically a Fiend Folio 5e-version? I thought whatever that book will say won't have an impact on this wiki if it contradicted realmslore. I mean drow exist outside of Toril and they have their own origin stories. The FR-version is just the most detailed and complex. The others are basically "we were always drow and our enmity with elves is because we lost against them at some point in history."Saya222 (talk) 17:40, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
It extends to all worlds. The part about there being no curse has been explained multiple times by the author of the books during their videos on the D&D beyond channel. The elves had shapeshifiting abilities, they all betrayed Corellon and crystallized in their favourite form (originating the various subraces). The drow remained with Lolth, the other elves went back before it was too late. What happened after that depends on the world (if it has drow), but Corellon didn't curse anyone--Tsammarco (talk) 17:54, May 18, 2018 (UTC)
That'll be interesting to see how somebody converts it in the wiki.Saya222 (talk) 18:25, May 18, 2018 (UTC)

As for it being a concerted effort, males can normally participate to most Eilistraeean rituals. And Eilistraee herself has her own ways to show them her favor when they need it, through, for example, moonfire (see Demihuman Deities).--Tsammarco (talk) 21:05, May 17, 2018 (UTC)

May I ask what this information have to do with the topic at hand? The first sentence means there are some rituals, males aren't allowed to enter and the other is a blessing with no security over why they get it, how strong it is and for how long it lasts, but again I don't see why these are mentioned here.Saya222 (talk) 21:47, May 17, 2018 (UTC)
It was to point that Eilistraee does want males to take part in songs and dances (in fact, I said that in the article)--Tsammarco (talk) 21:58, May 17, 2018 (UTC)
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