Sehanine Moonbow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sehanine Moonbow
Game background
Title(s) Daughter of the Night Skies, Goddess of Moonlight, the Lunar Lady, Moonlit Mystery, the Mystic Seer, the Luminous Cloud, Lady of Dreams
Home plane Olympian Glades of Arborea (2e-3.5e)/Arvandor, the Verdant Isles (4e)
Power level Intermediate (Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms)/Greater (points of light)
Alignment Chaotic Good (Neutral Good tendencies)
Portfolio Mysticism, dreams, far journeys, death, transcendence, the moons
Domains

Chaos, Dream, Elf, Good, Illusion, Knowledge, Moon, Oracle, Repose, Travel, Trickery, Love[1]

alias=Angharradh (Forgotten Realms only)
Superior Corellon Larethian
Design details

In many Dungeons and Dragons campaign settings, Sehanine Moonbow is the elven goddess of the moons. She is one of the more powerful members of the Seldarine. The Lady of Dreams actively opposes the nefarious schemes of the Spider Queen and the other drow powers. She is sometimes said to be the wife of Corellon Larethian. Her preferred weapon is the Moonstaff (quarterstaff). Her symbol is a full moon topped by a crescent-shaped haze.

Publication history[edit]

Sehanine has traditionally been a goddess of the elves.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

Sehanine (Moonbow) was first detailed as a deity in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about her priesthood.[2]

Sehanine was one of the deities described in the From the Ashes set (1992), for the Greyhawk campaign.[3]

Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[4]

Sehanine received a very detailed description for her role in the Forgotten Realms in Demihuman Deities (1998).[5]

Sehanine is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[6]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)[edit]

Sehanine's role in the 3rd edition Greyhawk setting was defined in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000).[7]

Her role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[8]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)[edit]

Sehanine was detailed again in Races of the Wild (2005).[9]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)[edit]

Sehanine appears as the lunar deity described in the Players Handbook for this edition (2008). In this edition, Sehanine's portfolio and personality have been altered to reflect her importance in the new pantheon. In addition to being the sole deity of the moon, she is also the goddess of love and autumn. Sehanine insists that all of her followers avoid zealotry and walk a middle path between good and evil.[10] The Forgotten Realms version of Sehanine is revealed to have been the fey aspect of Selûne.

As of the Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms (2010), Sehanine appears as the God of the moon and autumn, as well as the patron of trickery and illusions. She has close ties to Corellon and Melora. She is the favorite deity of elves and halflings. She is the god of Love, and scouts and thrives ask for her blessing on their work. Her teachings include: Follow your goals and seek your own destiny; Keep to the shadows, avoiding the blazing light of zealous good and the utter darkness of evil; and, Seek new horizons and new experiences, and let nothing tie you down.[11]

Description[edit]

Sehanine appears as a youthful and ageless female elf wearing a diaphanous gown made from moonbeams. In combat she wields Moonshaft, a quarterstaff. As befits the goddess of mysteries, Sehanine is cloaked in secrets and illusions and rarely speaks her mind directly,[9]:23 preferring to communicate through a process of dreams, visions, and other mystic experiences. The Goddess of Moonlight is a truly spiritual and ephemeral being who evades any attempt to define her. Her serenity surrounds her like a mantle of moondust.

Relationships[edit]

Sehanine is closely allied with all the Seldarine, particularly Corellon, Aerdrie Faenya, and Hanali Celanil, and gets along swimmingly with many other gods, including Baravar Cloakshadow, Cyrrollalee, Dumathoin, Oberon, Segojan Earthcaller, Titania, and Urogalan. Her foes include Gruumsh, the Queen of Air and Darkness, and the evil deities of the drow.

Realm[edit]

Sehanine lives in the realm of Arvandor on the plane of Arborea. She shares Corellon's tower of Gwyllachaightaeryll there, spinning webs of illusion around its many splendors.

Sehanine Moonbow is also associated with the Moonarch of Sehanine, a portal to a demiplane where the elven gods test those who enter it.

Dogma[edit]

Sehanine's faithful view life as a series of mysteries veiled by Sehanine herself. The spirits of elves discover new mysteries once they transcend their mortal existences. Sehanine unveils the next step through dreams and visions revealed during the elven reverie. Worshippers of Sehanine revere the moons, feeling their pull in their souls like tides in the ocean.

Worshippers of Sehanine Moonbow seek out and destroy undead creatures, for Sehanine holds such creatures — with the notable exceptions of baelnorn and other good-aligned undead beings who voluntarily prolong their existence in order to serve their kin — to be blasphemous.

Worshippers[edit]

Clergy[edit]

As cloaked in mystery as Sehanine's church is, little is known of its secretive hierarchy.

Clerics of Sehanine are mystics and seers, acting as spiritual counselors to those elves and half-elves before they begin journeys in search of transcendence or enlightenment. Clerics of Sehanine also officiate over funerals and guard the material remains of the dead. They weave illusions and cast divinations to guard elven lands and strongholds. When they adventure, it is often with the goal of uncovering lost knowledge of illusions and divinations.

Sehanine's clergy favors silvery-white diaphanous gowns for the priestesses, and togas for the priests. They wear silver diadems on their heads, simple sandals, and silver lace sashes on their waists. Adventuring clerics are known for their elven chain mail and mirrored shields.

Temples[edit]

Sehanine's temples are situated so that they are bathed in moon light when it is full, with open ceilings that reveal the night sky. They often adorned with moonstones, silver and surrounded by a garden of night blooming flowers.

Rituals[edit]

Clerics of Sehanine pray for their spells each night when the moons are fullest.

When the time comes for an elf to leave the mortal world and travel to Arvanaith, the elven afterlife (identical to Arvandor, the home of the elven gods), the elf will commonly spend several days experiencing vivid waking dreams and reverie. The lens of the elf's eye manifests a milky crescent at this time, the "moonbow" of Sehanine's name. During this time, Sehanine sends the elf a vision of where they must go to reach the otherworld; the most important of these secret places in the Flanaess is currently Lendore Isle.

If the elf dies violently without suffering utter spiritual destruction, Sehanine's priests perform the Ceremony of Recovery for several days, meditating and communing with the goddess and the two worlds. If successful, they channel the lost spirit through Sehanine's grace, enabling it to transcend to Arvanaith. During these ceremonies, the moonbow appears in the eyes of the priests, but vanish immediately upon the ceremony's conclusion.

Holy days[edit]

Sehanine has a wide variety of holy days tied to the positions of the heavenly bodies, particularly the phases of the moons and various eclipses. Many of these holidays occur once per decade, once per century, or even once per millennium, but the most frequent are the Lunar Hallowings, held monthly beneath Luna's full moon. They are marked with personal meditation and a communal trance, and concluded with joyous freeform dance until the break of dawn. Once per year, the faithful gather for the Mystic Rites of the Luminous Cloud, when the participants are transformed into shimmering, silvery light that darts across the heavens, learning sacred mysteries according to their level of spiritual development.

Myths and legends[edit]

Creation of the elves[edit]

During the battle with Gruumsh, Sehanine's tears mingled with Corellon's blood, forming the first elves.

Seldarine[edit]

In many campaign settings, the elven pantheon of gods (also known as the Seldarine) consists of the leader Corellon Larethian, as well as Aerdrie Faenya, Deep Sashelas, Erevan Ilesere, Fenmarel Mestarine, Hanali Celanil, Labelas Enoreth, Rillifane Rallathil, Sehanine Moonbow, and Solonor Thelandira[citation needed]. Other elven gods may be present in different campaign settings.

Sehanine in the Forgotten Realms[edit]

In the Forgotten Realms, with the rise of humanity and its rapacious expansion into traditional elven homelands, Sehanine has found her energies increasingly occupied by thwarting the destructive ravages of gods such as Auril, Cyric, Malar, Talos, and Umberlee. Sehanine is said to be one of the three faces of Angharradh, the Queen of Arvandor, the other two being Aerdrie Faenya and Henali Celanil. The clergy is divided over whether the triune goddess appeared when the three goddess merged to combat the evil of Lolth, or if the three goddesses were also one.

Following the changes wrought by the Spellplague, Sehanine is revealed to be the fey aspect of Selûne. Angharradh, however, continues to exist independently.

Sehanine in Greyhawk[edit]

In the World of Greyhawk, Sehanine's following is strongest on the mysterious Lendore Isles.

Sehanine's high priest on Lendore Isle is Anfaren Silverbrow. There are also priests of Sehanine in Oakvein in the Welkwood.

Sehanine in 4th edition[edit]

Sehanine is the Unaligned goddess of the moon, autumn, and love. Elves, halflings, thieves, and lovers venerate her. Arcane magic users are also associated with her, as she is the chief patron of witches (a wizard subclass), and her daughter, the Lady of the White Well, is a patron of Hexblades (warlock subclass). Sehanine urges her followers to seek their own destiny, preferably upon a shadowy path that avoids "the blazing light of zealous good and the utter darkness of evil."[12] Sehanine's astral dominion is Arvandor, the Verdant Isles, which she shares with Corellon. Her favored weapon is now the Moonbow (shortbow), which is easier to hide than the longbow and is less insidious than the crossbow (one of Lolth's weapons).[13] Sehanine is something of a trickster in 4th edition, and her symbol is a silver crescent moon, studded with sapphires.

Sehanine was the eldest of the three fey gods, the others being Lolth and Corellon, who in some legends are described as brother and sisters, but are variously paired romantically in others. Sehanine supported Corellon in his early battles with Gruumsh, and came to his rescue when Lolth rebelled and attempted to kill him. During the Dawn War, Corellon and Sehanine developed an appreciation of the mortal world and the other planes, and thus accepted worshippers from many other races.[14] Sehanine worked with Melora to create the halflings, though the new race was abandoned for unspecified reasons. Sehanine, along with Pelor, led the charge against Khala when she attempted to elevate herself above the other gods in the War of Winter.

In 4th edition, Sehanine is one of the "Four Free Gods" the others being her close allies Avandra, Corellon and Melora. She is also on amicable terms with Pelor and the Raven Queen. Sehanine's closest association is with Corellon, and she is frequently described as his bride. Gruumsh, Lolth and Asmodeus, (because his tyranny prevents people from forging their own paths) are her enemies. Her antithesis is not Pelor, but Zehir, whose followers use the night as a time to commit acts of evil; Sehanine would have the night used as a time of refuge and recovery.

References[edit]

Additional reading[edit]

  • Living Greyhawk Journal no. 3 - "Gods of Oerth"