Greetings. As it is said in the title, this thread is a plea for a singular DDI article.
My request concerns some of the content that didn't make the final cut of the recently released book ''Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue'', material that should've brought the drow deities Eilistraee and Vhaeraun back to the FR as archfeys. I'll just quote what one of the authors of the book said about them (on a fansite board).
So, what I'd really like to see is this content released as a DDI article, because it looks like a fitting and flavorful way to bring the siblings back while completing the previous lore and restoring elements that enrich the realmsian drow (opening many opportunities for stories, novels and campaigns). Besides, being the Dancing Maiden and the Masked Lord archfeys, even tho they are FR specific, the material about them could be easily used even in different settings if desired, offering new takes and campaign opportunities for the DMs and players who wish to use it.
That said, there are many reasons to reintroduce Eilistraee and Vhaeraun to the Realms and to explore what they stand for, something that the lore that was supposed to be in the book and that I'd like to see released seems to do very well.
1)The siblings are valid and meaningful characters on their own. Besides, they are what distinguishes and characterizes the FR dark elves and makes them unique, a big part of the origins of this race in the Realms, two drow deities (well, archfey now) that truly belong to the setting. And they are very popular: their removal from canon was really ill-received and many people would be happy to see them in action again (and this is something worth of consideration).
Their personalities can't be replaced by any other:
Eilistraee is the underdog, the romantic, idealistic and indomitable rebel who fights against tyranny, never giving up no matter what hardships she has to face. She is a loving mother who stands for her children whose spirit has been broken and twisted, whose existence has been deprived of its value, so that they could find the joy of life and freedom that were taken away from them. She is a symbol of all that is beautiful and just, a gleaming light in a sea of darkness, teaching that even there one can find hope, that even when all seems lost, beauty can still be found: something worth fighting and living for. Eilistraee inspires the drow to conquer back the freedom of finding their own happiness, of self-expression and fulfillment, of life itself; to take a stand and create their path, make their own choices, rather than running along binaries set for them by Lolth. And she does that by showing them a different way, by singing to their very souls and hearts, giving them what they were denied: value, acceptance, kindness and love, by passionately fighting for the ideals of life she wishes for her people.
The Dark Maiden chooses to dedicate her existence, to sacrifice her happiness (and undergo a self-imposed exile) for this quest, in order to be a beacon of hope and goodness for the drow, a mother-goddess who protects and helps them to survive and flourish in a hostile world. But not only that:
''Eilistraee is forging her own path, one that welcomes beings of all races who revel in life and freedom of expression of all that entails''. She strives for the dark elves and all people to be together, accepted for that they are, free to express themselves and to embrace what makes them unique.
On the other hand, Vhaeraun is a militant whose purpose is to undermine the already precarious balance of drow society, making it crumble under the weight of people who no longer want to be puppets or pawns for the fun of a deity with clear ego issues, and wish to conquer a worthy existence for themselves and their race. One where instead of agonizing due to pointless and poisoning infighting and being forced in shiny cages underground, the Dark Elves can extend themselves into becoming a powerful race worthy of respect. So the Masked Lord stands for rebellion through violent and fierce fighting.
So returning the siblings as two allied ''lowly'' archfeys who compliment each other would add a lot of depth and characterization to the drow (which, as I said, could be used by DMs who enjoy it even in different campaign settings, or in homebrewed settings), and variety to the Realms (being them unique and cool characters).
Furthermore even as archfey they would be as valid in their role as they were while being full fledged deities, because the ''battle'' they lead isn't a matter power but a matter of ideas, of changing the mind of the dark elves. While they can help, support and fight for them, at the end of the day the act of breaking the shackles is in the hand and understanding of mortals and not of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun.
2)They introduce a different angle for the (FR) drow, something that expands the possibiliites of development that this otherwise mostly one-note race offers, completing it.
I don't know why the material was removed from the book, despite the fact that maps and even art were developed for it and despite the desire of the authors to include it, but I'm guessing that it was because the editors thought that the Dancing Maiden and Masked Lord would've made the drow less villainous. Well, this isn't true. Honestly the realmsian drow kind of fail at being charismatic and strong villains. They live and act mainly out of divine mandates and of pointless dogma that filled their mind since their childhood, not out of their own volition. At the end of the day they are brainwashed pawns for their deity, oppressed, not movers. They as a race don't shape their future but mostly depend on Lolth for it, like an infant with the worst mother ever. She toys with them, pitting them against each other in intrigues and betrayals and forcing upon them a life of sacrifice, ever-going struggle for power on others (while they don't have real power on themselves), frustration, and consuming hatred to make them her perfect tools, without any sort of value as persons. Her indoctrination comes to the point that almost all of them don't have any means to make choices about their lives, to fulfill themselves, and even happiness is deemed weak (which isn't something villainous, but self-destructive), as Lolth declares.
This is the situation of the drow, which inspires pity rather than fear or hate, and which prevents the dark elves from being cookie-cutter villains, but not from being interesting (and dangerous) foes and race, provided that this aspect of their society is played out (and that's what makes them different, flavorful, something that monsters-drow have too, but whose development they lack, while still not being cookie cutter villains because of it).
E and V and their followers show that the drow are capable of taking initiative, that they can be proud, indomitable and fierce, fearsome enemies for the ones who oppose them. Even in the direst of the situations (as the one their race fell into) they can find the strength and determination to fight in order to change something, better their life and rise once again.
3)Considering that DDN is going after modularity and inclusiveness, it'd make sense to return Eilistraee and Vhaeraun to the Realms (and, as I said, to offer the new lore that was in store for them for any use): if a DM wanted the drow to be monsters in his/her campaign, he could easily ignore the siblings, but setting-wise fans who would like to enjoy new stories and novels about them, their followers and missions (or even their appearance in stories that aren't focused on them), without the burden of an ultimate ending already set in stone by previous canon (which as I see it, was unfitting and forced for both brother and sister, looking very much like a tool to simply remove them), don't have as much choice (the best we can do is having them alive in our Realms/campaigns, which we're totally doing). The lore about the Dancing Maiden and the Masked Lord heading into the future as archfey would easily offer a basis for potential development of their role in the new hopeful era of the FR, a role that they totally deserve (besides, it wouldn't even conflict with the Sundering event: if Ao decided to write their names on the Tablets of Fate, they could easily be ''promoted'' again to deities, if he didn't they would remain archfey).
So, thank you for your attention and for the patience of reading this lengthy post (and my apologies for all the cases of bad English that you might've found in it, but English is not my first language). To the people from WotC who could be reading this, I really hope that the release of the cut lore about Eilistraee and Vhaeraun as a DDI article will be taken in consideration. It wouldn't cost you anything (as far as I know, seeing that the material can be put by the authors into DDI format within a week, without further costs), but it would be really appreciated and would make (as far as I can see) many people happy.