|Behind the Scenes|
Selûne (pronounced /sɛˈluːneɪ/ sel-LOON-ay) is a fictional goddess in the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons. Also known as Our Lady of Silver and the Moonmaiden, she is the Faerûnian goddess of light, the moon, stars, navigation, navigators, wanderers, questers, and goodly lycanthropes.
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 archnemesis (and twin), Shar. The temple also performs fortune-telling, healing, and practices self-reliance and humility.
As the goddess of the moon, "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.
Publication history Edit
Ed Greenwood created Selûne for his home Dungeons & Dragons game, set in Greenwood's Forgotten Realms world.
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.
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).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999) Edit
Selûne was described in the hardback Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990), the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993) in the "Running the Realms" booklet, and Faiths & Avatars (1996).
The Anauroch supplement notes that Selûne is known to the Bedine as Elah, their moon goddess.
Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).
Selûne's role in the ancient history of the Realms is described in Netheril: Empire of Magic (1996).
Selûne is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999).
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), and is further detailed in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).
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. Her chief commandments are to hold back evil and stop the spread of lycanthropy. A Paragon Path, the Silverstar, is open to arcane or divine players who worship Selûne.
Selûne was created from the primordial essence of the universe, along with her twin sister, Shar. 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.