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The Gates of the Moon was an astral dominion in the World Axis cosmology model[5] and formerly a celestial plane in the World Tree cosmology model. Prior to its attachment to the World Tree,[6][7] it was Selûne's realm in the plane of Gladsheim/Ysgard, as described by the Great Wheel cosmology model.[9][10][11][3][12] One thing that all the cosmological models agreed upon was that the Infinite Staircase was based here.[13][1][14]

DescriptionEdit

Great Wheel ModelEdit

On the first layer of Ysgard, magic was altered such that most wizard spells required a school-specific rune to be inscribed on the material components, and if a spell had no material component, the rune had to be incorporated into the verbal component. A visiting wizard would have to learn the correct runes from the local inhabitants, or come by the knowledge some other way, in order to cast any spell other than strength or melee combat spells (i.e., enlarge, fly, haste, jump, polymorph, stoneskin, strength, etc. all worked as normal without engraved runes). Another quirk of this plane was that any summon monster spell only summoned einheriar. Divination, necromantic, and wild magic spells were enhanced in Selûne's realm, but weather-related spells that could cause the moon to be obscured failed utterly. Divine spellcasters did not have the runic restriction, but started to lose their higher level spells if their deity was far removed from Ysgard.[15]

It was a misty realm,[3] where the ever-present moon waxed and waned, causing regular tides in the sea surrounding Selûne's palatial hall called Argentil[citation needed] as well as shifts in the personality of the inhabitants. The brighter the moon, the more happy, friendly, and stable were the natives. As the moonlight faded, the locals became sullen, withdrawn, and even angry or hopeless.[15]

The Gates of the Moon was shared by Selûne with Soma, the moon god of the Vedic pantheon. The specialty of his petitioners was, with Selûne's blessing, the creation of a wondrous drink from the nectar of a flower growing in the realm, which supposedly granted visions of the future.[3]

World Tree ModelEdit

This plane was primarily a seemingly endless ocean of luminous liquid light under an equally boundless night sky full of stars and a moon. The moon waxed and waned but was always present. In the middle of the ocean was an island of stone with Selûne's magnificent silver acropolis known as Argentil at its crown.[1]

Travel to the Gates of the Moon could be accomplished in various ways:

  • The usual methods for mortals were by astral projection, plane shifting,[16] or a gate spell.[17]
  • For those with good connections, the celestial eladrins maintained a permanent portal to Arvandor to connect with the other large enclave of their race.[1][18]
  • The upper branches of the World Tree reached this plane and could be used to travel to other Celestial planes if negotiations with the guardians of the Tree were successful.[1][7]
  • The Infinite Staircase appeared every full moon inside Argentil when fog rose from the water. It was said to connect to every city in every plane and perhaps in every time. Traversing this mysterious conduit was known to be quite hazardous and unpredictable.[1][19]

The inhabitants' moods shifted dramatically with the phases of the moon.[1]

World Axis ModelEdit

The Spellplague caused the Gates of the Moon to be cast adrift in the Astral Sea and Selûne shared this plane with some allied deities.[14]

In addition to the island that held Selûne's realm, there were other stony islands that floated in the silver sea and in the sky above as earthmotes. Each was naturally beautiful and contained dwellings from rustic cottages to graceful mansions. Sune's city of romance, Brightwater, was built around Argentil's island. The cycle of day and night was observed here, but the moon was usually visible regardless of its phase even during the daylight hours. It was a world of beauty and happiness.[14]

The Infinite Staircase survived the Spellplague and connected Argentil to cities across the multiverse, but reportedly most of these allowed travel in only one direction. Selûne was known to keep portals to the astral dominions of Arvandor, the Deep Wilds, Green Fields, and Toril's parallel world of the Feywild.[14]

InhabitantsEdit

Many celestial beings inhabited the Gates of the Moon. The angelic servants of Selûne were female planetars known as the Shards.[1] The lillendi, when not patrolling the Infinite Staircase, also made their home here,[1][20] as did the slivers.[2] Many eladrin dwelt on this plane or the attached demiplane known as the Court of Stars.[21][note 1] Most numerous were the petitioners of all the deities that had a realm here. These included the embodied spirits of sailors, female spellcasters, good-hearted lycanthropes, bards, explorers, wanderers, travelers, and mystics. They appeared much paler than they did in life.[1]

Many mortals also lived in or visited the Gates of the Moon. In the Year of Sundered Webs, −339 DR, at the moment of the Fall of Netheril, Selûne rescued the Netherese enclave of Selûnarra by transporting it to this plane, where it resided ever since.[22][23] Over the years, the Selûnarrans interbred with Selûne's servitors and their descendant aasimars inherited the floating city.[23] Mortal lycanthropes occasionally made their way to this plane to be relieved of the burden of their condition. Here, by the grace of Selûne, werecreatures had complete control over their bodily changes and their mental state in any form.[1] Chaos dragons were known to frequent this plane also.[24]

Notable LocationsEdit

RealmsEdit

  • Selûne, Our Lady of Silver, resided in the shining silver hall of Argentil in the center of the Gates of the Moon. Argentil was a place of beauty, quietness, and moonlight. The Gates of the Moon were originally her realm alone, and she remained its ruler.[9][10][11][3][12][25][1][14]
  • Finder Wyvernspur, the Nameless Bard, moved his realm, Fermata, from Olympus[26] to the halls of Argentil. The sound of music filled his chambers and he decorated all of Selûne's walls with artwork made by his petitioners.[1]
  • Gwynharwyf, the Whirling Fury, was known to wander about the Gates of the Moon and Arvandor when not leading barbarian hordes in battle. She did not have a specific realm to call home.[21][27]
  • Lliira, Our Lady of Joy, became an exarch[28] of Sune and moved here from the plane of Brightwater[29][30] with her after the Spellplague.[14]
  • Morwel, Queen of Stars, ruler of the eladrin, and her consort, Faerinaal, made their home in a timeless demiplane attached to the Gates of the Moon.[21][31]
  • Sharess, the Dancing Lady, became an exarch[28] of Sune and moved here from Brightwater[29][32] with her after the Spellplague.[14]
  • Shaundakul, the Rider of the Winds, blew through all the planes, but called this plane home. He had no grand hall however, at least none to Argentil's scale.[1]
  • Sune Firehair created the romantic city of Brightwater here after the Spellplague. It was named after her previous home, the World Tree plane of Brightwater.[29][33][14]
  • Tymora, Lady Luck, also moved here after the Spellplague, constructing seven earthmotes and connecting them by bridges. She named her realm the Great Wheel after her former gambling quarter on the plane of Brightwater.[29][34]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. The Player's Guide to Faerûn does not explicitly state that the Court of Stars exists in the Forgotten Realms, but it does say on page 154 the eladrin had their "faerie court" here and on page 189 that "Queen Morwel resides in the Gates of the Moon with her consort, Faerinaal." It is left as matter of interpretation for the DM how to incorporate the material on page 150 of the Book of Exalted Deeds.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 154–155. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Thomas M. Costa, Ed Greenwood (March 2007). “Volo's Guide: Outsiders of the Forgotten Realms”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #353 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 67–68.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. (TSR, Inc), p. 170. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  4. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), pp. 116–117. ISBN 1560768746.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 257. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 140. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  8. Manual of the Planes Frequently Asked Questions (Zipped PDF). Official D&D FAW. Wizards of the Coast. p. 3. (2002-10-15). Retrieved on 2014-08-31.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 13. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 134. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  13. Monte Cook (1996). The Planewalker's Handbook. (TSR), p. 25. ISBN 978-0786904600.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Monte Cook (1998). Tales from the Infinite Staircase. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0786912049.
  16. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  17. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 234. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  18. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 143. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  19. Monte Cook (1998). Tales from the Infinite Staircase. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0786912049.
  20. Monte Cook (1998). Tales from the Infinite Staircase. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 0786912049.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 189. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  22. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  24. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  25. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 55. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  26. Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  27. James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  30. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 99. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  31. James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), p. 150. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  32. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 105. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  33. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  34. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.

ConnectionsEdit