Selune

Our Lady of Silver, the Moonmaiden, the Night White Lady

Symbol: Pair of female eyes surrounded by seven silver stars
Home Plane: Gates of the Moon
Alignment: Chaotic good
Portfolio: Moon, stars, navigation, navigators, wanderers, questers, good and neutral lycanthropes
Worshipers: Female spellcasters, good and neutral lycanthropes, navigators, monks (Sun Soul), sailors
Cleric Alignments: CG, CN, NG
Domains: Light, Life
Favored Weapon: “The Rod of Four Moons” (heavy mace)

ALIASES: Bright Nydra (Farsea Marshes), Elah (Anauroch, among the Bedine), Lucha (Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden)

ALLIES: Mystra, Lliira, Sune, Tymora, Eilistraee, Sehanine Moonbow, Shaundakul, Eldath, Chauntea, Valkur the Mighty, Lathander
FOES: Shar, Umberlee, Mask, Moander (now dead)

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When Selune (Seh-LOON-eh) journeys to the Realms, she is said to appear in many forms and is depicted in religious art as everything from a female face on a lunar disk to a dusky-skinned woman with wide, radiant eyes and long ivory-colored hair to a matronly, middle-aged woman whose dark hair is streaked with gray. In Durpar, Estagund, and Var the Golden, Selune is worshiped as part of the Adama, the Durparian concept of a world spirit that embraces and enfolds the divine essence that is part of all beings. Here she is known as Lucha, She Who Guides. Lucha oversees connections and relationships, guiding herdsmen to good pastures, blessing marriages, helping lost ships at sea, and ensuring safe births. It can be safely said that as the moon changes, so does the nature of the moon goddess.

Selune’s eternal foe is the evil goddess Shar, and she battles her ceaselessly on many planes of existence, both through mortal worshipers and servitor creatures. The undying enmity between the two goddesses predates the existence of most, if not all, of the present-day existing Faetunian deities. The enmity between Shar and Selune carries into their priesthoods, such that open battle often occurs when followers of each faith meet. Selune also struggles with Umberlee constantly over the fate of ships at sea and with Mask over the works of mischief and evil he performs in the shadows the moon’s soft glow creates.

Selune is a caring but quietly mystical power who often seems saddened by events perhaps millennia old. While she is normally calm and placid, her war with Shar is fierce, with neither side giving or receiving quarter. She is seen in many ways by her followers, who are a diverse group, and she is at times effervescently joyful and active, at others maternal, quiet, and almost poetic, and at yet others warlike and fierce, showing little mercy to her foes.

Before the Time of Troubles, Selune had served Sune for some centuries after being independent for millennia. After the Godswar, she went her own way again. Her relationship with Sune and Lliira is still extremely friendly and cooperative.

Selune is served by the Shards, a group of shining female servitors. The Shards can grow wings or banish them as they desire and have long, flowing blue hair and pearly-white skin. They are in reality planetars.

The Church

Selune is worshiped by a mixed bag of followers: navigators, sailors, women, female spellcasters (especially those born under a full moon or interested in divination), good- and neutral-aligned lycanthtopes, those who work honestly at night, those seeking protection from Shar, the lost, the questing, and those curious about the future. Couples look to Selune to bless them with children when they are ready, and women look to her for courage, strength, and guidance. The demands she places on her followers are few, and the goddess is reputed to be free with her gifts and boons to mortals.

Selune’s priesthood is as diverse as her worshipers, with hers being truly a faith that promotes equal access and understanding. Reflecting the chaotic and scattered nature of the church of Selune, its hierarchy is a hodgepodge of clerics, specialty priests, crusaders, mystics, informed or blessed lay individuals, and a smattering of good-aligned lycanthropes (both natural and infected). All cooperate in relative—if rollicking—peace under the symbol of Our Lady of Silver. Members of this diverse group all worship the goddess in their own styles. Her churches vary as do the phases of the moon, from opulent temples in Waterdeep to simple shrines in the Dalelands, from hermitages and hilltop dancing circles to ornate mansion temples.

A great deal of moon-related activity occurs in and around Waterdeep, and most of this is attributed to the temple to Our Lady of Silver. Most Selunites, however, tend toward smaller shrines and individual worship, since “Anywhere the full moon shines is the place for Selune.” Selunites refer to night conditions as being either “moonlight” (the moon is present, though perhaps not immediately visible) or “nightgloom” (the moon is not out or is dark).

Selunite priests use a wide variety of titles, but novices (not yet full priests) are always known as the Called, and human females tend to dominate the ranks of the more powerful clergy. Typical Selunite titles (in ascending order) include: Touched, Enstarred, Moonbathed, Silverbrow, Lunar, Initiate, and High Initiate. All of these titles are followed by “Priestess/Priest.”

Those titles that follow these in rank tend to begin with “Priestess/Priest of the” and end in some form traditional to the individual temple or shrine the priest is affiliated with. It must be stressed that outside of Waterdeep and other larger city temples, many departures from these forms of titles will be found. The elite specialty priests of the goddess are known as silverstars. Selune as Lucha is worshiped by nearly everyone in Durpar. Her worshipers believe that she will guide them to the most profitable customers. It is widely believed that Lucha herself watches over all marriages performed by her clergy, and nearly all marriages in Durpar are performed by priests of Lucha. Her priests work ceaselessly against those of Mask and other evil gods.

Dogma

Selune’s ethos seems to be one of acceptance and tolerance over any other overriding principle. All are to be made welcome in her faith and seen as equal, and fellow Selunites should be aided freely, as it they were one’s dearest friends. “May Selune guide your steps in the night, and bring them to the new dawn” is the common blessing ot priests of Selune to the faithful.

Novices are charged with the words of the goddess: “Let all on whom my light falls be welcome if they desire to be so. As the silver moon waxes and wanes, so too does all life. Trust in my radiance, and know that all love alive under my light shall know my blessing. Turn to the moon, and 1 will be your true guide.”

Day-to-Day Activities

Priests of Selune spend their time wandering Faerun reaching out to the faithful and to potential worshipers of the moon goddess, since Selune can be worshiped anywhere on the surface world. They make much small coin by telling fortunes, because folk who try to read the stars never achieve the same success rate in predictions as do clergy members who can call on Selune for real guidance. In this way, Selune steadily gains worshipers from the ranks of those who look to the night sky for guidance.

Members of the Selunite priesthood also face lycanthropes fearlessly and thereby win respect among farmers and other members of the common folk. They are also, by the Lady’s command, generous with their healing, often charging very little beyond a meal and a warm place to sleep for straightforward healing. Selune’s way thus makes the goddess ever more popular and keeps her clergy hardy, well-traveled, and in practical touch with the natural world.

The Moonmaiden’s clergy are encouraged to be self-reliant, humble, and yet make as much of a success as they can in the world while always remaining as helpful and friendly to the lonely and to decent folk as possible. By this long-sighted policy Selune allows her clergy to become happy, fulfilled, important people, and sees her faith steadily gain power thereby. Our Lady of Silver is inclined to be lenient in matters of alignment and religious observance. Self-reliance and finding one’s own, practical path are more important than fussy detail in her faith, and so Selune is also gaining favor among eccentrics, adventurers, and mavericks of all sorts, including outcasts. Many sages expect Selune to rise again to great might among the powers, perhaps within their lifetimes.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies

Selunite clergy embroider their rituals into quite individual, unique observances. The basics of these are open-air dances and prayers under the moonlight with offerings of milk and wine poured upon a central altar during the nights of every full moon and new moon. These rituals are often called night stalks and during them her priests reaffirm their closeness to the Night White Lady and commune with her when possible.

The most sacred rituals of Selune are the Conjuring of the Second Moon and the Mystery of the Night. The Conjuring of the Second Moon is performed only during Shieldmeet. It summons the Shards to do the bidding of the mortal clergy, often to do battle with minions of Shar. The Shards always take one mortal priestess to be one of them before they depart.

The Mystery of the Night must be performed at least once a year by every priest. During the Mystery ritual, Selunite priests cast certain secret spells and lie before the Moonmaiden’s altar, from whence they fly upward and spiral around the moon in a trance while they speak personally with Selune via mental visions.

Major Centers of Worship

The greatest and most beautiful temple to Selune is the House of the Moon in Waterdeep, where Priestess of the High Moonlight (or to the uninitiated, simply “High Priestess”) Naneatha Suaril holds court in a gilt-domed temple whose ornate new gates depict Selune triumphantly hurling Shar down into the spires of Waterdeep as the faithful say she did during the Time of Troubles. Here dozens of silver-robed priestesses harp out tunes to the moon or sell healing drafts, potions that keep one alert for an entire night and yet bestow the benefits of a solid sleep, and other potions that give their imbibers darkvision from one dusk to dawn.

Here, too, the devout make pilgrimages to see the holy replica of the Wand of the Four Moons in its glass case (guarded by specialty priest of Selune). Selune usually manifests in the temple from out of this wand. It was created and blessed by Selune herself in memory of the battle with Shar she had in Waterdeep. This holy duplicate is identical in form to the wand that Selune wields in battle. It levitates in its glass case and glows with a soft, silvery-blue light, though it has no other known magical powers. Some swear that Naneatha can, by special request to the Moonmaiden, switch this duplicate with the real Wand of Four Moons and wield it in all its glory for short periods, but no witnesses to such an event have ever come forward.

A fortunate few pilgrims have witnessed drops of Selune’s holy essence—the ingredient used in the making of her potions—falling from the hovering wand or heard her whisper words of advice or encouragement in their heads as they gazed upon it. On Selune’s Hallowing, a yearly Waterdhavian temple holiday, Naneatha carries it before her at the head of a parade of worshipers that leave the House of the Moon at moonrise and move down to the harbor.

She Who Guides is favored in Lastarr, an independent city once part of Estagund which is her most prominent center of worship. One lost center of Selunite worship is Myth Lharast in the heart of Amn, one of the legendary cities surrounded by a mythal. Founded as a city of Selunites ages ago, its mythal is linked to the moon, and it appears only on certain moonlit nights as a ghostly, floating splendor of walls and towers only to disappear again. An assortment of evil beings and groups, from undead armies ruled by demiliches to gargoyle clans, have seized control of it over the years and used it to raid the surrounding land. This has given it a fell reputation. The faithful of Selune yet hope to restore it to her care.

Affiliated Orders

One order of fanatic Selunites is known as the Swords of the Lady, who are often referred to colloquially as the Lunatics. Its members are led by a few Selunite crusaders, specialty priests, and mystics. They tend to act rapidly in response to threats from Shar and her priesthood, although their behavior is often viewed as bizarre by the public at large. Among other groups, the church of Selflne is also affiliated with Harpers and a group of female diviners who worship the Night White Lady who call themselves the Oracles of the Moon.

Priestly Vestments

The ceremonial costume of Selunites varies from place to place. Selunite clergy members wear everything from plain brown robes to only a little moonstone jewelry as an accent to normal clothing to rich bejeweled gowns of the finest make and haughtiest fashion with enchanted, animate trains and capes and accompanying moonstone crowns.

The finest can be found at the House of the Moon in Waterdeep, where the high priestess Naneatha Suaril presides over rituals in a wide-bottomed hooped skirt with a large fanlike collar rising at the back of its neck. Both skirt and collar are stiffened with whalebone and set with clusters of pearls and other gemstones

The ceremonial dress of priests of Lucha consists of a circlet woven of vines or flowers and white robes. No shoes are worn at ceremonies. The only other symbol of office is a staff wound about with vines and flowers.

Adventuring Garb: In the field, the clergy members of the Selunite church dress practically for the task they are undertaking. The tend to dress fashionably, but not gaudily, in day-to-day life. The preferred weapon of the clergy of Selune is a smooth-headed mace called the moon’s hand. The moon’s hand has identical statistics to a standard footman’s mace, though it gains special combat bonuses in the hands of a specialty priest of Selune.

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Selune

Tales of the Bloodstone Lands Autumnfyr