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 Eilistraee and Vhaeraun are alive in 5e FR

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Irennan Posted - 24 Sep 2014 : 01:13:13
EDIT 4: Changed the title. Updates can be found in the other edits.

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

quote:
Thank you for your letter and follow-up email. It's always nice to hear from fans who are passionate about our game worlds, the Forgotten Realms in particular.


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



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


Cheers,


Chris Perkins
D&D Story/World-Building Lead
Wizards of the Coast LLC


This is pretty awesome news, including the part about embracing the complexity of the Realms.


EDIT:
A little more news, with Ed's upcoming novel: Spellstorm (thanks to BenN for sharing those) SPOILERS -well, just a little, since this is just a side note and not relevant to the story-:

So, in the novel there's this passage -one of Elminster's thoughts about Mystra's current manifestation-:

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

This definitely means that Eilistraee is currently alive, since the new Mystra has to share the Weave with her. I've made some questions to Ed in his scroll, I will update this thread once I get answers.

EDIT2:

Ed has answered to my questions:

1)Does that thought refer to the ''present'' time? Yes, that refers to the present time.

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

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

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

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

EDIT 3 I feel that there's no need for spoilers here, since what follows has nothing to do with the novel ''Spellstorm'', and since even THO posted it without spoilers. So, here it is:

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

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

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

EDIT 5: Some more info from Ed, about the relationship between Eilistraee&Vhaeraun, and Eilistraee's clergy.

''Irennan, yes, there can at the present time in the Realms be male clergy of Eilistraee (no changedance necessary).
SOME of their followers are still foes (humans even of the same family and/or political bent and/or organization can disagree fervently, as we're all well aware, and this applies here, too), and Eilistraee and Vhaeraun remain very different in outlook and character...but they now UNDERSTAND each other very thoroughly, and make allowances for each other's differing aims, styles, and strivings far more than they hitherto did...''

EDIT 6: Further info.

''After Flamerule 1489, Vhaeraun and Eilistraee are separate deities with the same powers and portfolios they had before 1375, but a new understanding, respect, and even friendship for each other. Some of their followers still war with each other, but the two deities do not. Thus far, Eilistraee’s teachings after the Sundering are the same as before the Sundering.''

''Vhaeraun is back to being himself, with the same portfolios. His ethos is SUBTLY changed; he is now advocating drow dwelling in the World Above (the surface world) be good citizens where doing so will enhance their chances of staying alive and being accepted, and do their evil deeds as covertly as possible. In other words, do good when and where it profits them to do so.''

EDIT 7 Spoilers for ''Death Masks'' (beige text)

I've looked up the preview of the book on Google Books and (although the preview is incomplete and kind of random, when you make a research), this is what I got from it. Somewhen in 1491 DR, Eilistraee has personally manifested, dancing *just* outside the walls of Waterdeep, seen by many Waterdhavians. Following that, many of her followers have been drawn to the City of Splendors (I guess they think of that as some kind of message from the goddess), and they are now there with the intent of building a temple to the Dark Dancer within the walls. They have tried to gain the sponsorship of some nobles or harpers (Remallia Haventree, a moon elf harper that also appear in the Tyranny of Dragons story, has given a positive answer, for example), as they intend to buy some buildings, destroy them, and then magically summons a forest and some rivers within the city, as a dancing place of worship.

EDIT 8 Some relatively recent tidbits

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/776420658783723520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
The Darksong Knights currently are "thin on the ground at the moment, but very much active."

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/865189046170951680
The Silverhair Knights too are "Still active, still a small order. Usually pray for atonement directly to Eilistraee...and are usually personally answered." (this also means that deities can still be more directly involved with their people, if they so choose)

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/796182273288704000
The Promenade has been stealthily reclaimed, in addition to the new temple that Eilistraee is getting within Waterdeep itself. Ed also added "But can't say more yet; things are HAPPENING down there. ;}"

In the "Assault on Maerimydra" module, it is revealed that a group of followers of Eilistraee has participated to the liberation of the city, with the hope to help as many drow as possible, and to establish good relationships between the drow and the rest of the Moonsea. Assuming that Maerimydra is liberated in the adventure, the Sword Dancers of Eilistraee get to settle within the retaken city and participate to the rebuilding process.

Apparently, Karas and the Hidden also have reappeared (in the Szith Morcane Unbound module), but no explanation at all is given for that :/

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Irennan Posted - 18 May 2017 : 21:02:32
I've updated the OP with some new info
Irennan Posted - 20 Nov 2016 : 22:24:06
So, apparently a group of Eilistraeeans has settled within Maerimydra, alongside the drow of Szith Morcane, after their cooperation to defeat Graz'zt during the "Rage of Demons" storyline:

In the "Assault on Maerimydra" adventure, the PCs can benefit of the help of a band of Sword Dancers, who are trying to help the drow of Szith Morcane against the invading demons.

quote:
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 adventurers are successful, and they usually canonically are (although there is the possibility that they abandon the Eilistraeeans to a bunch of undead dwarves--the "friendly dead"--who enjoy killing drow), this happens:

quote:
With the final blow, Graz'zt's form fades away and it is as if a weight has been lifted from your mind. You have done it. Against impossible odds you have forced the Dark Prince back into the Abyss. Without their demonic allies, the allied forced streamed into the city and your victory assured theirs. Maerimydra is liberated! In the days that follow, the drow of Szith Morcane join with the faithful of Eilistraee to occupy the city. The mind flayers of Ryxyg and the myconids of Sporedome join all of the factions in sending members to help rebuild and set up small trading enclaves in the city. On the surface, the government of New Hillsfar and the rebels of Elventree come together in a new openness that has not been seen for generations. Both commit themselves to sending supplies to the starving of Mulmaster and troops to march on Phlan. Your victory has united people above and below the Moonsea! Yet in the quiet of the night, after celebrating your success and mourning the dead, you wonder what became of young Elisande and her goat?


If the characters are not able to defeat Graz'zt:

quote:
And so the desperate attempt to retake Maerimydra has failed. While dealt a deep blow, the forces of the Dark Prince remain ensconced and strong. In the days that follow, the drow of Szith Morcane and the faithful of Eilistraee go their separate ways, preventing any hope for reunion and moderating of the drow in the Moonsea. The mind flayers of Ryxyg and the myconids of Sporedome grow ever distrustful of the surface dwellers and retreat to their respective homes, fearing the next swarm of derro from Ravagestone. On the surface, the government of New Hillsfar and rebels of Elventree never truly come together and many worry that Hillsfar will return to the xenophobic tendencies of past generations. Aid to the starving of Mulmaster and forsaken Phlan is in short supply. You have bought the people above and below the Moonsea more time, but how long remains unknown. Yet in the quiet of the night, while fretting over what could have been and mourning the dead, you wonder what became of young Elisande and her goat?
If the characters liberated any slaves, Maforie, or half-demon babies, the factions take custody of them and plan to see to their care. All of the characters are assumed to successfully travel home after the adventure.
The End
Irennan Posted - 20 Jan 2016 : 00:21:27
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder
Simple!
quote:

"I get you," said Tatarsky. "I think I get you, anyway... That is, hang on there... That means this lot determine that lot, and that lot... That lot determine this lot. But then how... Hang on... Then what's holding the whole lot up?"
He broke off in a howl of pain: Morkovin had pinched him on the wrist as hard as he could - so hard he'd even torn off a small patch of skin.
"Don't you ever," he said, leaning over the table and staring darkly into Tatarsky's eyes, "not ever, think about that. Not ever, get it?"
"But how?" Tatarsky asked, sensing that the pain had thrown him back
from the edge of a deep, dark abyss. "How can I not think about it?" "There's this technique," said Morkovin. "Like when you realise that any moment now you're going to think that thought all the way through, you pinch yourself or you prick yourself with something sharp. In your arm or your leg - it doesn't matter where. Wherever there are plenty of nerve endings. The way a swimmer pricks his calf when he gets cramp. In order not to drown. And then gradually you build up something like a callus around the thought and it's no real problem to you to avoid it. Like, you can feel it's there, only you never think it. And gradually you get used to it. The eighth floor's supported by the seventh floor, the seventh floor's supported by the eighth floor; and everywhere, at any specific point and any specific moment, things are stable. Then, when the work comes piling in, and you do a line of coke, you'll spend the whole day on the run fencing concrete problems. You won't have time left for the abstract ones."
- "Babylon" by Pelevin Victor





Well, wow... I'd prefer to be tormented by doubt, rather than that
TBeholder Posted - 19 Jan 2016 : 20:39:42
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Personally, I didn't like that game, at all.

Eh, we already got a whole thread on that one.

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I got the impression it was a bit of both, though I admit I don't know how that would work.

Simple!
quote:

"I get you," said Tatarsky. "I think I get you, anyway... That is, hang on there... That means this lot determine that lot, and that lot... That lot determine this lot. But then how... Hang on... Then what's holding the whole lot up?"
He broke off in a howl of pain: Morkovin had pinched him on the wrist as hard as he could - so hard he'd even torn off a small patch of skin.
"Don't you ever," he said, leaning over the table and staring darkly into Tatarsky's eyes, "not ever, think about that. Not ever, get it?"
"But how?" Tatarsky asked, sensing that the pain had thrown him back
from the edge of a deep, dark abyss. "How can I not think about it?" "There's this technique," said Morkovin. "Like when you realise that any moment now you're going to think that thought all the way through, you pinch yourself or you prick yourself with something sharp. In your arm or your leg - it doesn't matter where. Wherever there are plenty of nerve endings. The way a swimmer pricks his calf when he gets cramp. In order not to drown. And then gradually you build up something like a callus around the thought and it's no real problem to you to avoid it. Like, you can feel it's there, only you never think it. And gradually you get used to it. The eighth floor's supported by the seventh floor, the seventh floor's supported by the eighth floor; and everywhere, at any specific point and any specific moment, things are stable. Then, when the work comes piling in, and you do a line of coke, you'll spend the whole day on the run fencing concrete problems. You won't have time left for the abstract ones."
- "Babylon" by Pelevin Victor


CorellonsDevout Posted - 16 Nov 2015 : 02:09:16
Haha well that's probably the explanation we would get if we asked. I agree it doesn't make sense, but that's the impression I got.
Irennan Posted - 16 Nov 2015 : 02:07:34
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I got the impression it was a bit of both, though I admit I don't know how that would work.



Yeah, I can't wrap my head around that. It wouldn't logically make any sense, unless we made the actions of one of the two parts meaningless except as symbols, so I go with the deities' moves being symbols for their decisions. And the ''it's gods, so mystery'' explanation would make my eyes roll to no end: once the gods are characters, that justification is out of the picture
CorellonsDevout Posted - 16 Nov 2015 : 02:04:10
I got the impression it was a bit of both, though I admit I don't know how that would work.
Irennan Posted - 16 Nov 2015 : 01:55:07
The pieces having free will points towards the game being a metaphor for the actions of the various mortals. Each moves could represent the order, or suggestions, of the gods to their followers (the pawns), and sometimes the mortals misunderstood or chose to act differently. If the game were real (as in, it had real power on the events that happened in the world), then, by all logic, every action of the various characters would be pointless, as it would be pre-determined by the moves of the gods. If a move required the mortals to actually achieve that result first, then the move would just be symbolic.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 16 Nov 2015 : 01:49:06
I like that they were characters. To be honest, in spite of the problems with that series, I liked a lot of the characters, gods and mortals alike. I saw the game as both a metaphor and literal. While the followers of both goddesses could be seen as "pawns", they had freewill as well, because, if I remember correctly, there were points in the game when one of the "pieces" would move in a way their respective goddess hadn't planned. I really liked that series, but I can see why others have problems with it. I certainly have issues with the ending (even without the "death" of E and the whole high magical ritual, the ending felt really rushed). But I enjoyed the rest of it, and I cared about what happened to many of the characters.
Irennan Posted - 16 Nov 2015 : 01:37:01
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Having a god appear before a mortal and speaking with them about something serious (a mission, for example), or a priest receiving something from his/her deific patron, be it a vision, manifestion, or what have tou, can add excitement. Sometimes even having a deity pretend to be a mortal can work (if they are doing it for a very specific reason), but I will agree with earlier statements that having a deity appear in your kitchen and talking about the weather or flirting with you, or something mudnane can be cheesy. I like the gods to be involved, and I was actually intrigued by the scene in the Avatar series where they had that council meeting, and I also liked the game between Lolth and Eilistraee. I found that interesting. Having the gods involved makes them more real. But as others have said, it's about how they're presented. When gods are characters, they should still act as -gods-.



Personally, I didn't like that game, at all. Eilistraee choosing to play a game over the fate of her people, gambling everything she has fought for over millennia (especially when she could have simply kept doing what she was doing before, with the power that she acquired during the Silence of Lolth), and all the other deities mindlessly joining in (and for some reason throwing themselves at Eilistraee, one by one) is very far fetched, and even OOC, IMHO.

On the other hand, I also feel that the whole game was a huge metaphor. We have two possibilities: the actions in the game determine what happens, or the actions of mortals do. In the first case, the actions of the mortals, reflected by the pieces moving on the board, would be pointless, since the result would be decided by the game, no matter what happened on the Prime. If the actions of the followers actually determined their own outcome and-say- a move could only be made after the same thing happened on the Prime, then the game would be pointless except as a metaphor, since the various moves would just be representations of what happens in the world.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 16 Nov 2015 : 01:32:28
Having a god appear before a mortal and speaking with them about something serious (a mission, for example), or a priest receiving something from his/her deific patron, be it a vision, manifestion, or what have tou, can add excitement. Sometimes even having a deity pretend to be a mortal can work (if they are doing it for a very specific reason), but I will agree with earlier statements that having a deity appear in your kitchen and talking about the weather or flirting with you, or something mudnane can be cheesy. I like the gods to be involved, and I was actually intrigued by the scene in the Avatar series where they had that council meeting, and I also liked the game between Lolth and Eilistraee. I found that interesting. Having the gods involved makes them more real. But as others have said, it's about how they're presented. When gods are characters, they should still act as -gods-.
Aulduron Posted - 16 Nov 2015 : 01:18:41
If I were running a campaign, I'd say she survived because she is also Mieliki.
LordofBones Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 15:42:36
The key to divine beings is presentation. You don't necessarily need to have deities blow kingdoms to bits, but there should be hints about how powerful they are, like the metal of the avatar of Velsharoon's crown really being raw positive energy.

Even something like class features or natural abilities being suppressed, like Lathander being ten miles away removes turn resistance on all undead just by being around.
Eltheron Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 14:26:41
quote:
Originally posted by Brylock

I mean, the simplest explanation is that they aren't particularly good writers and that they try to do better but don't always succeed, obviously.
In any case, I've never paid overmuch attention to Realms fiction anyway, as it's always been one of the less interesting parts of Faerun I thought, not to mention extremely inconsistent with the backround in a general sense.


I'm not sure that logic or Occam's razor really applies well in situations involving opinions based on taste.

Many people seem to love having their gods walk around, fight with them, act goofy, even have sex with them. There are quite a few Realms writers who are pretty terrible, but consider that one of the reasons that TV shows like Hercules and Xena were so popular was because they had the Greek gods wandering around acting very human. Hera was portrayed as cruel and vengeful, Aphrodite as capricious and giggly, Ares as jealous (of Hercules) and sexy (for Xena). Those characters were extremely popular, well-loved, and pure camp.

More than anything, the Realms (whether the game world or the novel setting), has always catered to the loudest segment of its fanbase. So I don't think it's any real surprise that it's cheesy, campy, and filled to the brim with every D&D idea/concept out there (including the kitchen sink).
CorellonsDevout Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 13:30:13
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Ed mentioned something like that in a panel. He wanted the gods to be mysterious and awe-inspiring, but over time they turned "Greek-like" (though ironically Mystra is one of his main characters). Personally, I like when the gods are characters, but it should be done in moderation, otherwise they lose their mystery. I think it can be done. I don't want to see the gods become so distant they practically aren't there, but I also don't want to see them being "in your face". I think the gods help enrich the setting, but I think there is a balance. It makes sense that the gods are involved to a point.



From what he has recently said, Ed occasionaly uses gods, even directly in his game (he said that Elminster and the Seven Sisters have talked face to face to Eilistraee, for example). The key is occasionally, and done so that the appearance of the deity is memorable and needed, enriching the story.



I can agree to this. I think if done right, it can add to the story. Of course, I like deities, so I tend to be more in favor of their involvement (to a point). There comes a time when it's overkill for me.
Irennan Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 13:26:30
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Ed mentioned something like that in a panel. He wanted the gods to be mysterious and awe-inspiring, but over time they turned "Greek-like" (though ironically Mystra is one of his main characters). Personally, I like when the gods are characters, but it should be done in moderation, otherwise they lose their mystery. I think it can be done. I don't want to see the gods become so distant they practically aren't there, but I also don't want to see them being "in your face". I think the gods help enrich the setting, but I think there is a balance. It makes sense that the gods are involved to a point.



From what he has recently said, Ed occasionaly uses gods, even directly in his game (he said that Elminster and the Seven Sisters have talked face to face to Eilistraee, for example). The key is occasionally, and done so that the appearance of the deity is memorable and needed, enriching the story.

Personally, this is something that I would only do with lesser deities, or with deities that don't embody cosmic forces. A deity of death, magic, entropy and so on (i.e. concepts that are really hard to grasp, or wrap one's mind around, or give a meaning to. I don't include things like love, hate or hope in this category: those are very well known to mortals), would become alien, and detached from the mortal perspective (even when they are ascended mortals). All of this is just my opinion, ofc, and I'm aware that in canon things aren't really like this.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 13:07:15
Ed mentioned something like that in a panel. He wanted the gods to be mysterious and awe-inspiring, but over time they turned "Greek-like" (though ironically Mystra is one of his main characters). Personally, I like when the gods are characters, but it should be done in moderation, otherwise they lose their mystery. I think it can be done. I don't want to see the gods become so distant they practically aren't there, but I also don't want to see them being "in your face". I think the gods help enrich the setting, but I think there is a balance. It makes sense that the gods are involved to a point.
LordofBones Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 08:28:54
Deities and beings on their level of power should be awe-inspiring.

Being a chosen of Wugga-Wugga isn't going to save you from falling to your knees before Bane's direct presence, choking on your own fear as you thrash and sob helplessly with visions of your family and friends bound before the Black Altar in eternal servitude flashing before your eyes. Likewise, when you stand before Lathander, all you can see is his brilliant radiance filling your mind; you see your youth restored and the triumphs of the young before your eyes, and every dark doubt you have is driven from you by the glory of that young, burning sun.

That all pales before Sune though; questioning priests and paladins about how Sune rewards her most devout brings up big, goofy grins and glazed eyes. Possibly with some giggling.
Brylock Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 08:01:14
quote:
Originally posted by Eltheron

quote:
Originally posted by Brylock


Indeed they are not, as they are fictional and this used however we want.
But from a fictional standpoint, if Lolth does everything and Corellon does nothing or Bhaal or Bane or whoever gets directly involved (I seem to recall n 3e the Chosen of Talona leading group of villains called the Blightlords to inflict the Great Dale with a horrid zombie virus thing and Silvanus not doing anything to aid what would be a significant loss of worshippers to him), I note that very frequently in Realms fiction (and fantasy fiction in general, such as Dragonlance) good deities do little to directly aid their worshippers while evil ones get hugely and blatantly directly involved.

I can't say WHY this happens but for whatever reason it seems to be the overwhelming majority in fantasy fiction....that or the somewhat newer "all the deities are jerks all along" thing that I see now and again.
Good deities in fantasy and the Realms aren't inherently anything except fictional it's true, but for whatever reason they often seem to be used in a much more passive context then evil deities.


I absolutely agree with you about novels overusing gods, often overshadowing the mortal protagonists.

Realms fiction has always been (unfortunately) particularly bad at bringing in gods to act as direct protagonists. Personally, I really hate it when that happens. I loathed the Time of Troubles for the especially cheesy god activities, and in a lot of ways it's been a staple in Realms fiction ever since.

Mystra's probably been the biggest or most frequently guilty deity in that regard, which is why a lot of people wanted her dead (and why they killed her at the start of 4E). People asked for her back, but WotC tends to show us only extreme pendulum swings. Either she's in everybody's business and showing up for lunch and afternoon delight with Elminster, or she's dead. Selune running a bar as a wench and getting butt-pinches during 2E was drivel.

Lathander's, Helm's, Sune's, and Mielikki's involvement in the Sundering (all separate novels) was also pretty cringeworthy IMO.

People hated Eilistraee's portrayal near her end.

Honestly, I don't quite understand why so many novelists love making deities stupid, cheesy, or massively over-involved. We end up with more cheese than anything else in the overarching Realms metastory.


I mean, the simplest explanation is that they aren't particularly good writers and that they try to do better but don't always succeed, obviously.
In any case, I've never paid overmuch attention to Realms fiction anyway, as it's always been one of the less interesting parts of Faerun I thought, not to mention extremely inconsistent with the backround in a general sense.
Eltheron Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 06:25:34
quote:
Originally posted by Brylock


Indeed they are not, as they are fictional and this used however we want.
But from a fictional standpoint, if Lolth does everything and Corellon does nothing or Bhaal or Bane or whoever gets directly involved (I seem to recall n 3e the Chosen of Talona leading group of villains called the Blightlords to inflict the Great Dale with a horrid zombie virus thing and Silvanus not doing anything to aid what would be a significant loss of worshippers to him), I note that very frequently in Realms fiction (and fantasy fiction in general, such as Dragonlance) good deities do little to directly aid their worshippers while evil ones get hugely and blatantly directly involved.

I can't say WHY this happens but for whatever reason it seems to be the overwhelming majority in fantasy fiction....that or the somewhat newer "all the deities are jerks all along" thing that I see now and again.
Good deities in fantasy and the Realms aren't inherently anything except fictional it's true, but for whatever reason they often seem to be used in a much more passive context then evil deities.


I absolutely agree with you about novels overusing gods, often overshadowing the mortal protagonists.

Realms fiction has always been (unfortunately) particularly bad at bringing in gods to act as direct protagonists. Personally, I really hate it when that happens. I loathed the Time of Troubles for the especially cheesy god activities, and in a lot of ways it's been a staple in Realms fiction ever since.

Mystra's probably been the biggest or most frequently guilty deity in that regard, which is why a lot of people wanted her dead (and why they killed her at the start of 4E). People asked for her back, but WotC tends to show us only extreme pendulum swings. Either she's in everybody's business and showing up for lunch and afternoon delight with Elminster, or she's dead. Selune running a bar as a wench and getting butt-pinches during 2E was drivel.

Lathander's, Helm's, Sune's, and Mielikki's involvement in the Sundering (all separate novels) was also pretty cringeworthy IMO.

People hated Eilistraee's portrayal near her end.

Honestly, I don't quite understand why so many novelists love making deities stupid, cheesy, or massively over-involved. We end up with more cheese than anything else in the overarching Realms metastory.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 03:56:39
Okay, so I don't really want to get in another argument about Corellon, considering the last time I was the only one who wasn't waving the "Corellon sucks" banner, and I have said my opinions in past threads about the drow and the Crown Wars. All I will say is that I think if the elven race were truly threatened, Corellon and the Seldarine would intervene. As the Crown Wars raged on, the elves were on the verge of annilating themselves, and the Seldarine stepped in and said enough, and had them make the Elven Court, so that the CW would not happen again. The Seldarine as a whole I think are more subtle in how they interact with their followers (though Shevarash might be more involved), other than obvious certain points in history involving high mages. I seem to remember reading in the Last Mythal series that Corellon encouraged his people to better themselves and their society via their own means, though the Seldarine are also a big part of many elven lives. It's just not direct involvement. I wish thr Seldarine got more face time, personally. With the exception of a few books, when the gods are involved, it's typically the "human" ones. Anyway, 'nuff said here. I have said it all before in other threads.

I will say that Eilistraee is actively involved with her followers in part because she has to be. They have a hard task in front of them. But the fact that the drow can hear her song with a little guidance is proof they have freewill (I believe that life is a combination of nature and nurture, not one vs the other. This applies to the drow as well). I am eager to see what the future holds for the drow siblings, now that they seem more inclined to work together.
Irennan Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 01:52:21
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

I prefer to use Jim Butcher's handling of powerful entities. Greater deities, pantheon heads and the like don't interfere but instead 'nudge' or gently push the appropriate mortals towards their goals.

A drow ciy marches towards an elven outpost, just as a young paladin accidentally stumbles on the crypt of the ancient elven archmage sworn to guard the forest.

A champion of Torm rides to strike down the undead scourge in the Battle of Bones, while at that same time a necromancer randomly picks up a curious book that happens to detail how the undead host of Myrkul turned typical Tormite battle strategy against them.

The reavers of Garagos launch an assault on Sembia, but a young marshal is inspired after watching a stag outmaneuver a pack of wolves.

That kind of thing.



I think that each deity should have their own, personal MO when it comes to interaction with mortals. However, for greater deities, who tend to be much more powerful, knowing and distant than lesser powers, I too would use this kind of approach as default.
LordofBones Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 01:38:50
I prefer to use Jim Butcher's handling of powerful entities. Greater deities, pantheon heads and the like don't interfere but instead 'nudge' or gently push the appropriate mortals towards their goals.

A drow ciy marches towards an elven outpost, just as a young paladin accidentally stumbles on the crypt of the ancient elven archmage sworn to guard the forest.

A champion of Torm rides to strike down the undead scourge in the Battle of Bones, while at that same time a necromancer randomly picks up a curious book that happens to detail how the undead host of Myrkul turned typical Tormite battle strategy against them.

The reavers of Garagos launch an assault on Sembia, but a young marshal is inspired after watching a stag outmaneuver a pack of wolves.

That kind of thing.
Brylock Posted - 15 Nov 2015 : 00:30:51
quote:
Originally posted by Eltheron

quote:
Originally posted by Brylock


I meant more in a narrative context, as opposed to a GMing context.
I try to have the deities themselves relatively uninvolved beyond the context of their cults, churches, or occasionally their Chosen.


Level of involvement by deities is both a narrative and GMing choice. They're linked.

If I'm reading you correctly, you prefer keeping deity (and perhaps NPC) involvement as background. That's certainly a valid choice. But it's also an entirely valid choice to have deity and NPC involvement as active, unfolding story elements.

My point here isn't to argue, it's just to underscore that deities and their involvement aren't limiting factors inherent to the setting or to D&D. Good deities aren't inherently useless. It's a choice we make, as GMs, for the unfolding narrative.





Indeed they are not, as they are fictional and this used however we want.
But from a fictional standpoint, if Lolth does everything and Corellon does nothing or Bhaal or Bane or whoever gets directly involved (I seem to recall n 3e the Chosen of Talona leading group of villains called the Blightlords to inflict the Great Dale with a horrid zombie virus thing and Silvanus not doing anything to aid what would be a significant loss of worshippers to him), I note that very frequently in Realms fiction (and fantasy fiction in general, such as Dragonlance) good deities do little to directly aid their worshippers while evil ones get hugely and blatantly directly involved.

I can't say WHY this happens but for whatever reason it seems to be the overwhelming majority in fantasy fiction....that or the somewhat newer "all the deities are jerks all along" thing that I see now and again.
Good deities in fantasy and the Realms aren't inherently anything except fictional it's true, but for whatever reason they often seem to be used in a much more passive context then evil deities.
Eltheron Posted - 14 Nov 2015 : 22:50:29
quote:
Originally posted by Brylock


I meant more in a narrative context, as opposed to a GMing context.
I try to have the deities themselves relatively uninvolved beyond the context of their cults, churches, or occasionally their Chosen.


Level of involvement by deities is both a narrative and GMing choice. They're linked.

If I'm reading you correctly, you prefer keeping deity (and perhaps NPC) involvement as background. That's certainly a valid choice. But it's also an entirely valid choice to have deity and NPC involvement as active, unfolding story elements.

My point here isn't to argue, it's just to underscore that deities and their involvement aren't limiting factors inherent to the setting or to D&D. Good deities aren't inherently useless. It's a choice we make, as GMs, for the unfolding narrative.


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