3 comments on “Lolth’s Lore Problem

  1. I absolutely hate this “new and improved” elf lore. I does seem like someone was trying to present the Elf/Drow conflict as some clumsy contemporary metaphor and failed spectacularly. For some reason everything in this origin story revolves around Corellon being “everchanging and fluid” – Gruumsh hatred, Lolth’s betrayal, elven “original sin” – when it was never the case before. It was just Lolth being overly-ambitious and Gruumsh being vengeful for being cast aside. Simple, elegant and appropriately high fantasy.

    Now, this new lore creates some nasty and unfortunate implications about gender issues (so, let me get this straight, Corellon – being “fluid” is considered good and wonderful – and all elves subcionciously want to be like “them”, Lolth declaring herself distinctly female is treated as betrayal and the most evil thing ever.. eeesh) it breaks the established elf canon in half across the entire multiverse AND presents Corellon as a petty and spiteful, narcisstic god – like Lolth used to be in previous editions. I get that WotC wanted to “go in the different direction” but for me, they kind of went too far and too loose for me to enjoy this new canon.

    Thankfully, it is all easily ignored – even within the Forgotten Realms canon. Elaine Cunningham’s “Evermeet” still exists and is as cool as ever – and much more fitting as the origin story for the Elves, and Mordenkainen himself has a notorious habit of not knowing what the hell is he talking about.

    • It can be ignored only so long as people immersed in the older lore are present. With the large numbers of new players coming into the hobby, this is likely to be their starting point and anchor around things. So I anticipate conflict in future over it between people who prefer the old lore and people brought up in the new lore. Personally, I like aspects of both, hence my approach in the post to how to make it work.

      You’re right about Mordenkainen, I had a thread a ways back on twitter about the biases of fictional characters in describing things in world.

      • I don’t believe this “new lore” should be treated as THE definitive one – just another in a seven million Elven origin stories (and in my opinion, not a particularly good one) that don’t HAVE to apply to FR. Greyhawk elves are different from FR elves, which are different from Krynn ones, which are different from Eberron ones – and so on. And it should remain that way.

        in my mind, specific world lore trumps the general one. In this case FR lote with Araushnee, Angharradh (who also misteriously disappeared from existence in this new version) and Elves being created from Corellon’s blood AND Sehanine’s tears takes precedence over MToF. Also, MToF lore doesn’t make a lick of sense in Dragonlance. And Mordenkainen should really double-check his notes.

        Seriously, if WotC really tries to push this catch-all version as the “proper” one across the multiverse – they are making a big mistake. Not to mention do the disservice to the authors of the established worlds like Baker, Greenwood, Cunningham, Denning and Hickman.

        Keith Baker has already declared in Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron that the revelations about elves from MToF hold no water in Eberron – despite MToF claiming otherwise (those elves/drow simply “forgot” they came from Corellon/Lolth, sure), which makes matters even more confusing. MToF heavily contradicts SCAG at this point – which explicitly mentions War of the Seldarine, Angharradh, Crown Wars and Corellon being portrayed as a stalwart protector of the Elves instead of narcissistic manchild, seemingly as intended by Greenwood.
        And Vhaeran is apparently a “silent, dutiful son of Lolth” in Mordenkainen’s mind, instead of an iconic rebel against matriarchy. What’s next – Eilistraee as a Chaotic Evil godess of war and oppresion?

        So, 5e is lore-wise a glorious mess now.

        As for the new players coming onto FR and 5e in general – given how scarce, vague and “whatever” the information about EVERYTHING is in 5e – they would have to come back to older sources like 2e or 3,5e FR for some more specific information about the world. If I were to come to 5e FR completely blind, without 3,5 sources backing me up, I probably would be lost as a stray puppy while reading MToF (The only info the book gives about Eilistraee for instance is “she exists” – nothing about her dogma, clergy or history with the Seldarine).
        And thankfully, Greenwood’s/Cunningham’s previously established FR lore is much more thought-out than Crawford’s “new” one.

        Apologies for getting maybe a bit more heated that necessary. I didn’t want to come off as a curmudgeon or disregard any points in your – quite excellent – write up about problems with this new elf lore that’s been actually bugging me from the beginning – just maybe present a different viewpoint.

        …And I REALLY don’t like MToF, so there is that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s