Check for teeth or get her ears looked at to make sure she doesn't have an infection. It is that sleeping and whining at the same time that makes it sound like she is in pain. Maybe try Tylenol to see if she sleeps better - would be a good indication if there is discomfort. She totally sounds like my daughter with an ear infection. She would be fine all day, even for naps, no fever, and then at night, that is exactly how she would act.
Otherwise, I would say she is getting smart - she is more mature and knows how to get you to be with her. You need to make a decision about how much crying you are willing to let her do as you teach her to self-soothe - I am by no means a fan of "cry it out" but this is a good age to start seeing how she will do on her own for a few minutes at a time.
I would also suggest geting rid of the pacifier - I think she is geting too old for it, and it is starting to interfere with her soothing - that is she needs you to put it back when it falls out. That is not soothing, that is using a pacifer.
As an experienced mom, you know that it is often one step forward two steps back and so on. You had a great sleeper, but she is trying something new. So you are back to sqaure one. I would work on establishing a new routine for her and yourself - maybe a story and rocking until she is really groggy, then put her down. After that don't pick her up, just sooth with words, etc. Consider adjusting her bedtime later or her afternoon nap earlier so she is more tired, at least until you get her sleeping better. Or conversely, put her down earlier - maybe she is overtired? I know that is not much help, but you may need to switch things up a bit until you figure out what works. good luck!
PS - I wasn't suggesting "Don't ever pick her up" I absolutely think she needs to be comforted and held, but I would just give rher lots of opportunities to calm herself down. I find with my baby that, sometimes, being held by me is a little over-stimulating and putting her down can actually make her calmer. So do what works for you, but please don't think I was suggesting you let her lay tehir and scream for 30 minutes.