Request for a DDI Article (A Plea)

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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).

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I was in charge of the Eilistraee portion of the book. I asked (begged might be a more accurate term) for that section, because I love the Dark Maiden and wanted her to have a role in the book, since she has had such a prominent presence in the Forgotten Realms. As Brian said on the Candlekeep forum, the section that addressed Eilistraee and Vhaeraun heading into the future did not make the final cut. We worked very hard on it and fought as hard as we could to include it. Ultimately, the decision lay with the editors. [...] While I cannot share the text of what I submitted to WotC, Irennan is pretty much spot on in our idea of how to keep consistent with the old lore while returning Eilistraee and Vhaeraun. The Masked Lady sacrificed her divinity and returned as an archfey -- actually two archfey. Vhaeraun and Eilistraee lost their names in the sacrifice and only have their ancestral titles of the Mask on the Moon and the Dancing Maiden. While the archfey cannot grant spells, PCs would directly interact with the spirits of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun. They rule from the Grotto of Silver and Shadow (the map was included in the map pack released with the Puzzle game), which has fallen into ruin in the centuries that they were gods. So drow servants of the Lord and Lady have two great tasks -- fight the oppression of Lolth while reclaiming a feydark realm from the wilderness and evil fey such as the fomorians. This gives judges two great campaigns - one based entirely in the feydark and dealing with other fey and one in the Underdark continuing the fight against Lolth and her minions. The followers would be far fewer than before, making every PC who serves the Lady and the Lord that much more important. Also, servants of Lolth are searching for the hidden Grotto and hunting the Lady and the Lord's followers constantly. Being a servant of the archfey would be a harrowing experience of a rebel, fighting overwhelming odds. I second Brian's recommendation to let WotC know that you want the material with Eilistraee and Vhaeraun .If other people ask for it, they may publish the cut content as a DDI article. I still have all the text and could put it together into DDI format within a week.


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.

As a fan of these deities, I approve of this message!  It would be cool to see them bring some interesting internal conflict in Drow society back.

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If there's any content from the Menzoberanzan book that's been left on the cutting room floor, count me in as 100% interested in seeing it published on the WotC website or as something published in Dragon or Dungeon.
Since I was reading about the return of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun in January in the fan-forum you mentioned, I was in joyful anticipation for the (then) upcoming Menzoberranzan book and was hughly disappointed when I heard that the content was cut, so you have my vote. I'm not willing to wait much longer to see new lore/fluff for my favorite deities in FR.
A DDI article would be nice.

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

I would love to see this content appear in Dragon too!

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I would also like to see the Eilistraee and Vhaeraun content.
I've decided NOT to buy the book because of this cut content. Just when I thought I would be starting to buy new books from Wizards again, this is grave news indeed.
It would be interesting to have Eilistraee, even as far as having it back as a deity on Points of Light, thought outside of FR it kinda overlap with the Points of Light's Sehanine.

I wonder if there was crunch planned for that book that was removed for the sake fo edition neutral?

Even as popular as it is, Forgotten Realms is a niche market, and Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue only tackle a small portion fo that niche market...making it even smaller niche market...lack of crunch would kill any interest from players outside of that niche...I am currently playing a Drow (homebrew settings, based on Points of Light), and i have no incentive for the book, and that's a pity (thought i did used the theme article on dragon's magazine attached to the book).

Maybe i am just disapointed because i was expecting a Dark Pact Hexblade where the pact weapon was a whip with sneak heads that poison enemies you strike with it =P
It would be interesting to have Eilistraee, even as far as having it back as a deity on Points of Light, thought outside of FR it kinda overlap with the Points of Light's Sehanine.



She's way different from Sehanine, not just a moon goddess/archfey (actually, according to Ed -her creator- she is associated with the Moon only because the night is the time of the day when drow can live on the surface without suffering from the light), but rather one who symbolizes the intense struggle for freedom. So DMs could use her even in PoL if they wish, without creating overlap with Sehanine (I'm not saying that she should be included in core, far from it, only that people who like Eilistraee could easily use this new content about her as archfey if they wanted to).

About the crunch, I don't think that they ever planned to include it, as the book was early stated to be edition-neutral (at DDXP, IIRC).
I think the reason i think it "kinda" overlap is that good Drow usually workship sehanine, and that is also the godess of love and is also asociated of going for freedom and against opression in PoL.  My knowledge and interest of FR is very superficial thought, but i always thought PoL version of Sehanine got influence from Eilistraee.

Now that i think about it, one can reflavor white well hexblade into making a pact with Eilistraee instead of the Lady of the Well, it kinda fits. 
Oh, I see. I thought that PoL Sehanine was like FR and GH Sehanine: Lady of Dreams, Mysteries and Mysticism (and -well- Moon). In this light then Eilistraee-Dancing Maiden could be an Archfey ally of Sehanine for the players who want to include her while using PoL -since they have common goals and stand for similar concepts- and then use your reflavoring idea for some fey warlock pacts.

Nonetheless, having the material to make it into the Realms would give a very valid and interesting (re)addition to the setting (the realmsian Sehanine is much different from Eilistraee, as I said, and the Lady of Dreams doesn't even exist anymore there...): the Dancing Maiden and the Masked Lord -unique and distinguishing elements of the FR- would add a totally different take on the drow (as their followers don't simply flee from their race or try to find a new life severing every contact with their former society, instead they fight fiercely for their people's freedom), some variety and depth of characterization that the realmsian dark elves desperately need.
I'm 100% in support of releasing this content via DDI. I was on the fence about purchasing "M:CoI", and the removal of this content confirmed it as a "no buy" for me.

I suspect other plans may now be in store for the siblings, along with the other fallen gods, but this Archfey angle is excellent, and does not preclude their reassumption of divine status.

As discussed above, they could be easily used in a PoL/homebrew setting in their Archfey state. I intend to use this, regardless, but would love to see DDI support. The content already exists; all you have to do is offer it to us. Make my subscription fee worth something! Of late, it's value is extremely suspect.

What happened to my post count? It seems the more I post, the more it drops. Is that how it's supposed to work?

I've decided NOT to buy the book because of this cut content. Just when I thought I would be starting to buy new books from Wizards again, this is grave news indeed.

Actually the content that is in the book is worthwhile. the history, house rankings and house/city descriptions especially.

They do a good job at focusing on material that is handy for adventure hooks and campaign flavour.

The problem is that its lacking. Instead of providing stats and descriptions for all top 20 houses, they only select a few and they ommit to speak of all drow deities.

So although it felt like half a book, that half to me was still good.  
I guess that Canreyiz's point is that he/she won't buy the book because of WotC insistence in keeping Eilistraee and Vhaeraun out of the (canonical) realmsian picture, not because the book itself is bad.
To be fair, it makes sense that the material was left on the cutting room floor.  I know that's not going to be a popular statement, but the book was called "Menzoberranzan:  City if Intrigue"  Neither of them have any place in Lolth's chosen city. 

If it was a generic book about realms Drow, I'd agree it was more deserving of a place.  Frankly, I'd have preferred a book that was more generic and provided more information about other cities then Menzoberranzan.  That said, even though I dislike both of them, given their popularity releasing the information in a DDI articale makes too much sense.

I can't imagine why it /wouldn't/ be released in a DDI article.
Yes, that's a good point: Menzo isn't exactly E's and V's followers' place. However the book wasn't presented as a FR-only supplement but also as a stand alone setting (AFAIK), and in the latter context the siblings would've fit well and added much.
Hopefully, they'll do the right thing and release the info.
why not try to submit it into that dragon/dungeon magazine article submission, if your "article" was greenlith for a printed book, i am sure it will have a higher chance of being accepted than most content submited by the rest.  I also recommend you to give tips to reskin or adapt some of the points of light's sehanine related stuff to fit more into Forgotten Realms, Like White Well Hexblade Pact being reskinned as a fey pact with Eilistraee
why not try to submit it into that dragon/dungeon magazine article submission, if your "article" was greenlith for a printed book, i am sure it will have a higher chance of being accepted than most content submited by the rest.  I also recommend you to give tips to reskin or adapt some of the points of light's sehanine related stuff to fit more into Forgotten Realms, Like White Well Hexblade Pact being reskinned as a fey pact with Eilistraee



Well, that's something that only Brian James or Eric Menge could do. Eric said that the lore is still in his and WotC's archives and that it could be put into DDI format within a week, so its release would be really fast if the company wanted to publish it.

If you're suggesting to write and submit our own article, IMO it'd be like kind of stepping on the author's toes, since they've already produced the material. Besides (even setting apart that most of what I could write would probably be worse than what has already been written) I really don't see WotC accepting articles whose content would significantly alter the FR, and -as I said- they already have the lore, it's only up to them to do a good thing and publish it (maybe including some crunchy bits like the ones you pointed out).
why not try to submit it into that dragon/dungeon magazine article submission, if your "article" was greenlith for a printed book, i am sure it will have a higher chance of being accepted than most content submited by the rest.  I also recommend you to give tips to reskin or adapt some of the points of light's sehanine related stuff to fit more into Forgotten Realms, Like White Well Hexblade Pact being reskinned as a fey pact with Eilistraee



Well, that's something that only Brian James or Eric Menge could do. Eric said that the lore is still in his and WotC's archives and that it could be put into DDI format within a week, so its release would be really fast if the company wanted to publish it.

If you're suggesting to write and submit our own article, IMO it'd be like kind of stepping on the author's toes, since they've already produced the material. Besides (even setting apart that most of what I could write would probably be worse than what has already been written) I really don't see WotC accepting articles whose content would significantly alter the FR, and -as I said- they already have the lore, it's only up to them to do a good thing and publish it (maybe including some crunchy bits like the ones you pointed out).



Exactly.  I'd think that WotC /paid/ for the material, so why not use it?  Where's the harm?  It's not like adding them back is going to ruin things.  Fans want them back, the material's already written.  I just don't see why /not/ release it?
Bump for the Eilistraee fans.
This plea have my support...even if i don't care for Forgotten Realms or the subject at hand....but dragon/dungeon magazine really really REALLY need more content, the before 120s pages magazines turned into 30-35 pages on the last year and a half...
Bump for the Eilistraee fans.



And for Vhaeraun's fans as well. But thanks, I appreciate it.
I'll add my +1 to the requests for an old-style web enhancement but as a DDi article.
 
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
I would like to see it in more than just an article. I would like to see it in the Realms! You know, like a novel or something
Another vote for seeing that content in Dragon and Dungeon Magazines! :D
Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition
I would also like to see the Eilistraee and Vhaeraun content

 

Another vote also for me. I would prefer to see both in the official pantheon on forgotten realms v.5!!!!!