Selûne

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Selûne
Game background
Title(s) Our Lady of Silver,
the Moonmaiden
Home plane 2E: Gates of the Moon (Ysgard)
3E: Gates of the Moon
Power level Greater
Alignment Chaotic Good
Portfolio Moon, stars, navigation,
navigators, wanderers,
questers, good and neutral
lycanthropes
Domains

Chaos, Good, Moon, Protection, Travel [1]

alias=
Superior Lord Ao
Design details

Selûne (/sɛˈln/ se-LOO-nay[2]) is a fictional goddess in the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons, the Faerûnian goddess of light, the moon, stars, navigation, navigators, wanderers, questers, and goodly lycanthropes.

Publication history[edit]

Ed Greenwood created Selûne for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, set in Greenwood's Forgotten Realms world.[3]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

Selûne first appeared (as Selune) within Dungeons & Dragons as one of the deities featured in Ed Greenwood's article "Down-to-earth Divinity" in Dragon #54 (October 1981). Selune is introduced as Our Lady of Silver, goddess of the moon, stars, and navigation, a chaotic good lesser goddess of the plane of Gladsheim. The article described Selune as "Revered by witches (a few may worship her) and by all who navigate or must work at night, Selune is continually either growing to full glory or dying. Selune is linked to Mystra; children born under a full moon often exhibit magical ability. Lycanthropes who enjoy their condition (rare though they may be) usually come to worship Selune, for she governs their powers. Selune has been said to aid devout worshippers of her Mystery of the Night by sending aid to those lost by trails of “moondust” (small motes of light similar to Dancing Lights or tiny will-o’-the-wisps that produce moonlight where none would otherwise be, to give sight to someone engaged in a delicate task,-guide the way through treacherous ground or back to a known trail, and the like). The “night-stalk,” or solitary moonlit walk, is the occasion and ritual of worship to, and Commune with, Selune. Clerics of Selune seek and prize “drops fallen from the moon,” the offerings of the goddess, for with this precious substance they can make many potions and unguents." The article notes Selune's position within the cosmology: "Lliira and Selune serve Sune," and "Mystra and Selune have a mysterious connection ... and Mystra often works with Oghma and his gods." Selune is commonly worshipped by chaotic good illusionists, thieves, and clerics, and characters employed as sages, astrologers, and sailors; Selune is placated by lawful evil and chaotic evil thieves.[3]

Selûne later officially appeared as one of the major deities for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set's "Cyclopedia of the Realms" booklet (1987).[2]

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

Selûne was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990),[4] the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet,[5] and Faiths & Avatars (1996).[6] Her clergy was further detailed in Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996),[7] and Prayers from the Faithful (1997).[8]

During this time, an incarnation of Selune appeared as a supporting character in DC Comics' Advanced Dungeons & Dragons series, masquerading as "Luna", the proprietor of an inn called "Selune's Smile". Appearing mostly as a background character and occasional deus ex machina for the main story, her true identity was eventually discovered by all of the series' primary characters. In the series' finale, Luna fully reclaimed her godly might (hidden behind an attic door within "Selune's Smile"), and ascended to the realms of the gods, bequeathing ownership of her inn to one of the series' leads.[9]

The Anauroch supplement notes that Selûne is known to the Bedine as Elah, their moon goddess.[10]

Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[11]

Selûne's role in the ancient history of the Realms is described in Netheril: Empire of Magic (1996).

Her relationships with the nonhuman deities in the Forgotten Realms was covered in Demihuman Deities (1998).[12]

Selûne is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).[13]

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

Selûne appears as one of the major deities of the Forgotten Realms setting again, in Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[14] and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[15]

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

Selûne is one of the "Greater Gods" of the revised 4th edition Forgotten Realms pantheon. She and her clergy are detailed in both the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide and the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (2008). She remains Shar's antithesis, and it is revealed that all of Toril's lunar deities are but aspects of her. Selûne's chief commandments are to hold back evil and stop the spread of lycanthropy.[16] A Paragon Path, the Silverstar, is open to arcane or divine players who worship Selûne.[17] She rules her astral dominion, Gates of the Moon, from her magnificent hall, Argentil. Sune and her exarchs, as well as Tymora, have relocated to the Gates of the Moon.[18]

Description in the Forgotten Realms setting[edit]

In the Forgotten Realms universe, Selûne is also known as Our Lady of Silver and the Moonmaiden. Clerics of Selûne are a very diverse group, including sailors, nonevil lycanthropes, mystics, and female spellcasters. Her church's main objective is to fight evil lycanthropes and summon the Shards (blue-haired female planetar servants of Selûne) to battle the minions of her nemesis (and twin), Shar. The temple also performs fortune-telling, healing, and practices self-reliance and humility.

Selûne was created, along with her twin sister Shar, from the primordial essence that was left over after the Forgotten Realms over-god Ao created the Forgotten Realm's universe. Together, they created Chauntea (the embodiment of the world of Abeir-Toril) and some other heavenly bodies and infused these areas with life. The two goddesses then fought over the fate of their creations. From these struggles emerged the original deities of magic, war, disease, murder, death, and others. Selûne reached out of the universe and from a plane of fire, brought forth a flame and ignited a heavenly body in order to give warmth to Chauntea. This greatly enraged Shar, and she began to erase all light and warmth in the universe. Desperate and weakened because of Shar's actions, Selûne hurled some of her divine essence at her sister. Selûne's essence tore through Shar, bringing some of Shar's essence with it. This magical energy combined to form the goddess Mystryl, the original goddess of magic.

"Selûne" is also the name given by Faerûnians to Aber-Toril's natural satellite. This celestial body is tidally locked and has phases, very similar to Earth's moon. A set of Trojan asteroids, called the "Tears of Selûne", trail and precede the moon in its orbit.

Orders[edit]

Swords of the Lady
One order of fanatic Selûnites is known as the Swords of the Lady, who are often referred to colloquially as the "Lunatics." Its members are led by a few Selûnite crusaders who tend to act rapidly in response to threats from Shar and her priesthood, although their behaviour is often viewed as bizarre by the public at large[who?].
Oracles of the Moon
The Oracles of the Moon is a group of female diviners who worship the Night White Lady. They perform fortune-telling rituals and are some of the highest bards and priests in the faith.
Pact of the New Moon
Consists solely of lycanthropes sworn to Selûne, carrying out the most secretive and violent aspects of Selûne's work. Selûne grants these lycanthropes abilities other lycanthropes lack, such as an ability to speak in wolf form, also allowing her followers to invoke prayers and cast spells, rapid shapeshifting and increased strength. Was once declared heretical and anathema for espousing the Heresy of the New Moon but was renewed by Selûne's direct order in a vision to one of her lycanthrope priestesses.

References[edit]

  • Don Bassingthwaite & Dave Gross. "The Priests: Mistress of the night" (Wizards of the Coast/Forgotten Realms, 2004)
  1. ^ Boyd, Eric L., and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  2. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Jeff Grubb and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-472-7. 
  3. ^ a b Ed Greenwood, Dragon magazine #54 - "Down-to-earth divinity" (October 1981)
  4. ^ Grubb, Jeff and Ed Greenwood. Forgotten Realms Adventures (TSR, 1990)
  5. ^ Ed Greenwood (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. ASIN B000K06S2E. 
  6. ^ Martin, Julia, and Eric L Boyd. Faiths & Avatars (TSR, 1996)
  7. ^ Terra, John. Warriors and Priests of the Realms (TSR, 1996)
  8. ^ Greenwood, Ed and Stewart, Doug. Prayers from the Faithful (TSR, 1997)
  9. ^ Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #1-36 & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Annual #1, DC Comics, December 1988-December 1991
  10. ^ Greenwood, Ed. Anauroch (TSR, 1991)
  11. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  12. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998)
  13. ^ Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven (TSR, 1999)
  14. ^ Ed Greenwood et al. (2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5. 
  15. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  16. ^ Cordel, Bruce R., Ed Greenwood and Chris Sims. Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  17. ^ Heinsoo, Rob, Logan Bonner and Robert J. Schwalb. Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  18. ^ Cordell, Bruce R., Ed Greenwood and Chris Sims. Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)

External links[edit]