Church of Selune
Selûne is worshipped 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 lycanthropes, those who work honestly at night, those seeking protection from Shar, the lost, the questing, and those curious about the future. Couples look to Selûne 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.
Selûne'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 Selûne, 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 Selûnites, however, tend toward smaller shrines and individual worship, since "Anywhere the full moon shines is the place for Selûne." Selûnites 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).
Selûnite priests use a wide variety of titles, but novices (not yet fully priests) are always known as the Called, and human females tend to dominate the ranks of the more powerful clergy. Typical Selûnite titles (in ascending order) include:
- Rank 2: Touched Priestess
- Rank 3: Enstarred Priestess
- Rank 4: Moonbathed Priestess / Moonmaiden
- Rank 5: Silverbrow Priestess / Moon Mistress
- Rank 6: Lunar Priestess / High Moonmistress
- Rank 7: Initiate Priestess
- Rank 8: High Initiate Priestess / High Moonmaiden
- Rank 9: Priestess of the Moon
- Rank 10: Priestess of the High Moonlight
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.
Selûne as Lucha is worshipped 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: Selûne'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 Selûnites should be aided freely, as if they were one's dearest friends. "May Selûne guide your steps in the night, and bring them to the new dawn" is the common blessing of priests of Selûne 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 I will be your true guide."
Day-to-Day Activities: Priests of Selûne spend their time wandering Faerûn reaching out to the faithful and to potential worshipers of the moon goddess, since Selûne 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 Selûne for real guidance. In this way, Selûne steadily gains worshipers from the ranks of those who look to the night sky for guidance.
Members of the Selûnite 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. Selûne'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 Selûne 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 Selûne is also gaining favor among eccentrics, adventurers, and mavericks of all sorts, including outcasts. Many sages expect Selûne to rise again to great might among the powers, perhaps within their lifetimes.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Selûnite 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 Selûne 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, Selûnite 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 Selûne via mental visions. This ritual causes a mortal ld12 points of damage as it is so draining, but this damage heals normally through rest or the use of healing magic.
When the goddess is pleased, she causes moonlight to bathe the wine or milk poured out on her altar, which transforms it into moonfire: an opalescent, glowing, soft-as-silk, ambulatory fluid mass the consistency of custard. The moonfire flows down from the altar to touch or envelop beings and items. Its touch destroys undead, enchants objects to make them magical items for the use of Selûnite clergy, and confers special powers on creatures. Moonfire vanishes when Selûne wills and bestows power as she wills. Those who steal it gain nothing, and there is no known means of forcing it to yield up a specific power.
Typical magical items Selûne creates with her moonfire include bracers of defense, mooncloaks, moon motes, potions of moon-healing, rings of shooting stars, and various magical shields. Moonfire-created bracers of defense in addition to working as other such bracers, allow their wielder to dimensional door once a night from one moonlit place to another. A mooncloak is a silvery-gray cloak that combines the powers of a cloak of protection +1 with water walking and levitate at will. A moon mote is a round, smooth stone that can become dancing lights upon command under the directional control of whoever is holding the mote; range and duration for the effect are as if dancing lights were cast by a 22nd-level wizard. Potions of moon-healing restore 4d8+4 points of damage to injured mortals and can be split into four doses that cure 1d8 points of damage each. To natural and infected lycanthropes, potions of moon-healing restore 8d8+8 points or yield four doses that cure 2d8 points of damage each.
Major Centers of Worship: The greatest and most beautiful temple to Selûne 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 Selûne 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 infravision 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 Selûne). Selûne usually manifests in the temple from out of this wand. It was created and blessed by Selûne herself in memory of the battle with Shar she had in Waterdeep. This holy duplicate is identical in form to the wand that Selûne 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 Selûne'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 Selûne's Hallowing, a yearly Waterhavian 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 Selûnite worship is Myth Lharast in the heart of Amn, one of the legendary cities surrounded by a mythal. Founded as a city of Selûnites 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 Selûne yet hope to restore it to her care.
Affiliated Orders: 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, specialty priests, and mystics. They tend to act rapidly in response to threats from Shar and her priesthood, although the public often views their behavior as bizarre at large. Among other groups, the church of Selune is also affiliated with the 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 Selûnites varies from place to place. Selûnite 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 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 Selûnite church dress practically for the task they are undertaking. They tend dress fashionably, but not gaudily, in day-to-day life. The preferred weapon of the clergy of Selûne 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 Selûne.
- 1 In Waterdeep
- 2 The Church of Selune
Church of Selûne in Waterdeep
The church of Selûne is one of the city’s oldest faiths, as followers of the Moonmaiden have worshiped on the slopes of Mount Waterdeep since the Year of the Half Moon (390 DR). During the time of Bloodhand Hold, the church was known as the Cult of the Howling Moon, made up of good-aligned lycanthropes who gathered at what is now the Dancing Court. The cult was driven from the city by Nimoar the Reaver, but subsequently returned.
In the Year of the Gleaming Crown (1097 DR), two years after donating the Plinth (T38) to the Lords of Waterdeep, Selûnites began worshiping at the newly constructed High House of Stars (see Vault of Stars, page 120). The temple stood until the Year of the Tomb (1182 DR), when it was attacked and burned by infiltrators from below. The Moonmaiden’s followers began worshiping at the House of the Moon ($56) in the Year of Soft Fogs (1188 DR), where they have remained ever since, having foiled an arson attempt in the Year of the Saddle (1345 DR) on the “Night of Temple Fires.”
Led by the charismatic Priestess of the High Moonlight Naneatha Suaril, the church of the Moonmaiden has waxed in strength since the Time of Troubles, when the church of Selûne foiled the dark plots of Shar and her followers. Naneatha lent strong backing to the effort to found the Order of the Blue Moon after the Time of Troubles, and High Moonknight Xale and other knights of the order are in regular attendance at the House of the Moon.
Former Base of Operations: High House of Stars and the Plinth (T38).
Church of Selûne (Standard Religious): AL CG, CN, NG; 15,000 gp resource limit; Membership 240; Mixed (humans 153, werecats 24, half-elves 24, elves 12, halfl ings 12, gnomes 8, others [mostly good-aligned lycanthropes] 7); Dues 5 gp/month (none to join).
Authority Figure: Naneatha Suaril
Requirements: You must adhere to the tenets of Selûne’s faith. You must also spend an average of 10 hours per tenday engaged in charitable work among the poor, sick, and needy.
Favored in Guild Fringe Benefit: Your faith is strengthened by your observances. Once per character level you can call upon the power of the Moonmaiden to grant you a +5 sacred bonus on saving throws for a period of 1 minute, provided you call upon her between sunset and sunrise and you are beneath a moonlit sky. In addition, all members of the order who are afflicted lycanthropes receive a +2 sacred bonus on Control Shape checks.
Special: Admittance to the Church of Selûne usually requires demonstrable understanding of the church’s teachings (2 ranks in Knowledge [religion]) and a vow of devotion to the Moonmaiden.
Most members of the clergy are instructed in the Initiate of Selûne feat and select the Lunar Magic feat, once they qualify. Senior members of the order usually adopt the silverstar prestige class.
The Church of Selune
They can sometimes be found in the temples of Selune: Abbey of Tharynd, Abbey of the Moon, Dancing Place, Hall of Reflected Moonlight, High Altar of the Moon, House of Moonlight, House of the Four Moons, House of the Lady (Immersea), House of the Moon, Lighthouse of the Moon, Maidens Baths, Moonflame, Moonhall, Moonmaidens Hall, Moonrise House, Moonshadow Hall, Moonsilver House, Moonwater, Protectors House, Rising Moon, The Rising Moon, Selune's Smile, Temple of Silver Stars, Temple of the Half-moon and Thentia Temple of Selune.
Occupations/Classes/Creatures associated with the Church of Selune: High Moonmaiden, High Moonmistress, Maid of the Waning, Moon Mistress, Moonhand, Moonmaiden, Oracles of the Moon, Priestess of the Moon, Sailor, Silverstar, Swords of the Lady
Depictions of Church of Selune
No depictions of Church of Selune found.
Clergy of Selune
Temples to Selune
All Worshipers of Selune
No Campaign Appearances found for Church of Selune
Areas of Activity
Active in: Abbey of Tharynd, Abbey of the Moon, Archendale, Dancing Place, Daren of Selune Residence, Dezlentyr Villa, Elmwood, Greatgaunt, Hall of Reflected Moonlight, Helmfast Villa, High Altar of the Moon, House of Moonlight, House of the Four Moons, House of the Lady (Immersea), House of the Moon, Iriaebor, Irlingstar Villa, Lighthouse of the Moon, Maidens Baths, Minsor Vale, Moonflame, Moonhall, Moonmaidens Hall, Moonrise House, Moonshadow Hall, Moonsilver House, Moonstar Villa, Moonwater, Murann, Northern Light, Phull Villa, Piqaz Drudach, Protectors House, Raventree Villa, Rising Moon, The Rising Moon, Sammaresh, Selune's Smile, Silverymoon, Temple of Silver Stars, Temple of the Half-moon, Thentia Temple of Selune, Waterdeep and Wavesilver Villa
Church of Selune Events
|Event Type||Venues||Orgs||Event Time||Appearance||Material Component|
|Conjuring of the Second Moon||Festival||Church of Selune||Every 4 years on Shieldmeet||A rite that summons celestial servants of Selûne, who arrive to do good deeds or fight the enemies of the temple. These servants, called Shards, always take one female worshipper, laity or clergy, to become one of them when they depart.|
|Feast of the Moon||Ceremony||Selune's Smile||Church of Selune|
Church of Kelemvor
Church of Tempus
|Annually between Uktar and Nightal||Graves are blessed, and the Ritual of Remembrance is performed|
|Full Moon Revel||Ritual|
|House of the Moon|
Church of Selune
|Monthly at the full moon|
|Open-air dances and prayers under the moonlight with sacrifices of milk poured out upon the altar||Milk|
|New Moon Revel||Ritual|
|House of the Moon|
Church of Selune
|Monthly at the new moon|
|Open-air dances and prayers under the moonlight with sacrifices of wine poured out upon the altar||Wine|
House of the Moon
Church of Selune
|Annually on the last Full Moon in Uktar||celebrating the moon, stars, and navigation (the major ceremony of this is a parade of worshipers leaving the House of the Moon at moonrise and moving down to the harbor, with the high priestess carrying the Wand of the Four Moons before her) in addition to the festivals during the upcoming Feast of the Moon|
(Waterdeep Presence 9)