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The House of the Moon was a temple of Selûne in the city of Waterdeep in the mid–14th century DR.[2][3][4][5][1][6][7][2][3] It was one of the largest temples in the city.[3]

HistoryEdit

PrecursorsEdit

One of Waterdeep's oldest faiths was the worship of Selûne, with Selûnites recorded to have worshiped on the side of Mount Waterdeep as early as the Year of the Half Moon, 390 DR, before there even was a city. Later, when Bloodhand Hold dominated the area (482882 DR), goodly Selûnite lycanthropes formed the Cult of the Howling Moon and assembled in what was later known as the Dancing Court. Though the cult was expelled by Nimoar the Reaver (reigned 482936 DR), it later returned.[3][9]

Later, local Selûnites worshiped at the former wizard's tower known as the Plinth, making it the center of their faith in the city. Around the Year of the Dawndance, 1095 DR, they donated the Plinth to the Lords of Waterdeep, after which it became a shrine to all small faiths in the city.[3][10]

Meanwhile, they built the High House of Stars, and commenced worship there in the Year of the Gleaming Crown, 1097 DR. However, in the Year of the Tomb, 1182 DR, it was infiltrated by the Dark Army of the Night, who killed most of the priests, looted the vaults, and burnt it down.[3][11]

Early HistoryEdit

The House of the Moon was opened for worship in the Year of Soft Fogs, 1188 DR.[3]

It became the target of another arson attempt by the Dark Army on the Night of Temple Fires in the Year of the Saddle, 1345 DR, but the priests managed to thwart the attack.[3][11]

The House of the Moon was well established in Waterdeep by the 1350s DR.[12]

The Time of TroublesEdit

House of the Moon - entrance

At the main doors, the goddess is welcomed, as Naneatha and her guards stand by.

One night during the Time of Troubles of the Year of Shadows, 1358 DR, a purported avatar of Selûne arrived in Waterdeep and summoned the faithful to the House of the Moon. High priestess Naneatha Suaril was there to greet her, and temple guards assembled at the temple doors. The avatar promised the faithful her grace and protection. However, one did not believe her: Luna, the true avatar of Selûne, who'd come with her friend Vajra to see for herself. Vajra had already snuck in and out of the temple to find the Wand of the Four Moons, but with no success. As the mob of worshipers and then the temple guards overwhelmed and subdued Vajra, Luna confronted the avatar and the two engaged in a battle of spells on the steps of the temple. Finally, the priests gave the false avatar the Wand of the Four Moons and she used it to knock out Luna. The temple guards took Luna prisoner at the avatar's direction.[13]

House of the Moon - cell

Onyx and Timoth discover Luna's former cell.

Uncertain of this supposed goddess, the Lords of Waterdeep kept the temple under constant surveillance.[14] Her true identity unknown, Luna was kept as a "special guest"—prisoner—at the House of the Moon for a dozen days. The false Selûne had her completely under her control.[15] Learning of this, Luna's friends Vajra, Kyriani, Onyx, and Timoth resolved to rescue her from the temple.[14]

Hell hounds DC Comics

Caught as spies, Timoth and Onyx are left to the hell hounds, who are probably not meant to be there either.

Onyx and Timoth first infiltrated the temple to find Luna. The dwarf snuck in through a secret hole and a grating, and let the centaur through the door, and they overcame the temple guards. After stealing their priestly robes, the pair tried to pass themselves off as new converts to Uton and another priest. They found the room where Luna had been held, but she was gone. They were then confronted by Naneatha Suaril and the priests; not believing they were friends of Selûne, she accused them of being agents of Shar, goddess of darkness and foe of Selûne, and she left hell hounds to deal with the intruders instead. Onyx and Timoth fought them off and escaped. Continuing on, they eavesdropped on Naneatha and the avatar, before they were ambushed by the Lunatics, elite but insane temple defenders. Smashing a window, the Lunatics took the fight outside, and battled Onyx, Timoth, Vajra, and Kyriani before the temple. The heroes unmasked one of Lunatics, expecting the dark goddess Shar but finding instead a brainwashed Luna![15]

House of the Moon - silver dragon

A shapechanged silver dragon outside the walls of the House of the Moon.

Witnessing the battle outside, Naneatha began to question the false Selûne, who soon revealed her murderous intent. Learning that Luna was truly Selûne and that the false avatar was in fact Shar, Naneatha defiantly shoved her off the temple balcony, falling over herself. However, both were saved by Shar's featherfall spell. Shar took out her rage on Naneatha, hurling a meteor swarm; Naneatha somehow diverted the spell, but not before both were knocked unconscious. Her near self-sacrifice bought time for Luna and her friends to escape the temple.[16][11] Later that night, Luna transformed fully into an avatar of Selûne, and famously battled Shar over the streets of Waterdeep, her light blasting away Shar's darkness.[7][17][18][19] It became a local legend of the faithful that during the Time of Troubles Selûne battled Shar in Waterdeep[17] hurled her down amongst the spires of Waterdeep.[7]

Recent HistoryEdit

In the aftermath of the Time of Troubles, the clergy grew in strength. To atone for being tricked by Shar, Naneatha launched a crusade against Shar's followers[3] and had driven them out of the city by 1372 DR.[11] Naneatha had also firmly supported the establishment of the Order of the Blue Moon, dedicated to both Selûne and Mystra.[3]

MembersEdit

The Church of Selûne in Waterdeep in the mid–14th century DR was led by Priestess of the High Moonlight Naneatha Suaril.[4][5][12][6][7][3] She was head of the temple by 1358 DR[12] and maintained this position through 1369 DR[7] and 1372 DR.[3]

The temple was staffed with regular priests and priestesses[13][7] and defended by temple guards, as well as the fanatical Lunatics.[15] During the Time of Troubles, when the false avatar resided there, hell hounds were also kept to deal with intruders.[15][note 1]

Circa 1372 DR, the church had 240 members, with 153 humans, 24 half-elves, 24 werecats, 12 elves, 12 halflings, 8 gnomes, and 7 of other races, mostly good lycanthropes. They were clerics, bards, druids, rangers, and sorcerers and wizards. Senior members often became silverstars.[3]

Members of the Order of the Blue Moon regularly attended the church in the early 1370s DR and made it their base of operations.[3]

Joining the church required a demonstration of understanding of its teachings and a vow of devotion to Selûne. Though there was no fee to join, there were dues of 5 gp per month. Members were expected to follow the tenets of the faith and perform charity work among the needy, poor, or sick, for about 10 hours a tenday.[3]

Abilities of ClergyEdit

Members practiced skills in diplomacy and understanding motive, healing, religious lore, and spellcraft and concentration.[3]

Those of strong faith could receive a blessing from Selûne, saving them from harm for a minute, when under a moonlit sky between sunset and sunrise. Those who were afflicted lycanthropes could better resist changing shape.[3]

Many spellcasting members were initiated into the magical secrets of the church and learned the arts of lunar magic.[3]

LocationEdit

The House of the Moon stood in the Sea Ward district of Waterdeep.[2][3][4][5][1][6][7]

DescriptionEdit

House of the Moon - detailed

A close-up view of the domes and towers of the House of the Moon. Inset: The high priestess's quarters.

The four-story[1] temple complex[4] was constructed of creamy gray stone, with a central hall ringed by lesser domes and tall slender towers of circular or hexagonal plan. Every dome and tower-top was gilt with gold.,[17][7][13][15][19] Sometimes, the whole temple could appear entirely golden. Every dome and corner was topped by a spire bearing a crescent moon. A wide stairway led up to the huge double doors under an arch adorned with more symbols of the moon, and flanked by smaller arches. Many balconies and large windows looked out over the streets.[13][15][19]

After the events of the Time of Troubles, it had new gates of ornate design. These depicted a triumphant Selûne throwing a defeated Shar down amongst the spires of Waterdeep.[7]

InteriorEdit

House of the Moon - hall

The main hall, where a thief wonders at the extravagance.

The main doors led directly into the main hall. Inside, the temple featured creamy white and gray stone walls with arched doorways connecting the chambers. It was lavishly decorated, with pale pink and blue tapestries hung on the walls and carpets of matching hues. Large urns stood in some corners and on plinths and tables, and. The moon and its phases were depicted everywhere, from over the arches to along the walls and even in gratings.[15]

One room was set aside for "special guests", but was in effect a prison cell, with bare stone walls and spartanly furnished with wooden bed, desk, and bench. During the Time of Troubles, Luna was an unwilling guest here, and drew the phases of the moon above the bed to mark off the days.[15]

The high priestess's quarters lay on the highest floor of the temple, in a tower atop the main dome. It was a furnished with an elegant chaise longue. During the Time of Troubles, Naneatha gave up this room to the supposed avatar of Selûne.[15]

RelicsEdit

The temple housed the original Wand of Four Moons, the weapon of Selûne, by 1358 DR. It was stored in a large sky- blue case adorned with pale-yellow images of the phases of the moon.[13] However, by 1369 DR, it had been replaced with a replica.[13][7][17] This replica had been created and blessed by Selûne herself to commemorate her battle with Shar in the city during the Time of Troubles in 1358 DR. Identical in appearance, it levitated within a glass case guarded by a silverstar priest and radiated a soft, silvery-blue light. It had no other powers, but some lucky pilgrims saw it drip Selûne's essence or heard the goddess whisper inspiring or helpful words. When Selûne manifested in the temple, she emerged from this replica.[7] It was said to contain some of her power.[17] It was claimed by some that Naneatha could, with a plea to the goddess, summon the real Wand of Four Moons in place of the replica and wield it with its full power.[7] Selûnite pilgrims came to the temple to see this holy relic.[17]

DressEdit

The House of the Moon was known to have the most grandiose ceremonial vestments of Selûne's church.[12][20] Naneatha Suaril presided over ceremonies in a majestic gold-hued dress with a wide-bottomed hooped skirt and a great fan-like collar ascending from the back of her neck, both stiffened with whalebone, all set with clusters of pearls and precious stones.[12][20][13][15][19] Even lesser priestesses wore robes of silver.[7]

Timoth and Uton

Regular priests of the temple, and Timoth.

Regular priests wore pale-blue robes with short capes circling back and chest with a circle-design around the edge. These priests wore silver crescent moons on their foreheads.[15]

For armor, the temple guards wore chainmail vests and leggings with plate shoulder guards, armbands, bracers, breastplates, greaves, belts, and waist-guards, in silvery and golden hues. Their heads were protected by conical helms with chainmail neckguards. Helms, bracers, and waist-guards were adorned with a crescent moon symbol. With their armor, they wore red cloaks, but they could also don a priest's pale-blue robes over their armor. For weaponry, they carried unique polearms topped with crescent-moon blades.[13][15]

ActivitiesEdit

Here at the temple, priestesses played odes to the moon upon their harps. Others sold healing draughts and potions that bestowed various benefits, such as granting infravision from dusk to dawn or keeping the imbiber alert throughout the night while receiving the benefits of a good sleep.[7] The temple also provided cures and healing.[8]

The annual temple holiday of Selûne's Hallowing celebrated the moon, stars, and navigation. The main ceremony was a parade of the faithful, which left the House of the Moon at moonrise and journeyed through the streets down to the harbor. High Priestess Naneatha Suaril bore the replica Wand of Four Moons at the head of this parade.[7][21]

The temple also held a festival on the Feast of the Moon.[21]

ReputationEdit

House of the Moon - side

A side view of temple. Vajra has no trouble getting in and out with Luna's guidance.

The House of the Moon was known to be the greatest, and certainly the most opulent and beautiful, of the temples to Our Lady of Silver.[12][22][7] It was the center of much moon-related activity in and around Waterdeep.[12]

Notable MembersEdit

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. It is unclear where the hell hounds in the comic "Lunatics" came from, and whether they were briefly summoned with a spell or were permanent fixtures at the temple. It is also unknown why evil hell hounds are used at the temple of a good deity. It seems most likely they were brought there by the evil goddess Shar during her stay.

AppearancesEdit

Comics

Further ReadingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 43. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 238. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 38,44,92. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), pp. 23,29. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), pp. 12,34. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Who's Who in Waterdeep”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 136. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Adventurer's Guide to the City”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 37. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  9. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 7–9. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  10. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Dan Mishkin (June 1990). “Selune Rising”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #19 (DC Comics).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Dan Mishkin (July 1990). “Dark of the Moon”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #20 (DC Comics), pp. 8,24.
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 15.12 Dan Mishkin (August 1990). “Lunatics”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #21 (DC Comics).
  16. Dan Mishkin (November 1990). “Lawyers!”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #23 (DC Comics), p. 1.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Adventurer's Guide to the City”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  18. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Dan Mishkin (September 1990). “Total Eclipse”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #22 (DC Comics).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 137. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Adventurer's Guide to the City”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  22. 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.
  23. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Who's Who in Waterdeep”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 88. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.