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Luna was a female human who managed the Selûne's Smile tavern in Waterdeep in the 1350s DR.[1] However, in truth, Luna was an avatar of the goddess Selûne, the Moonmaiden, who dwelled among mortals occasionally.[3][4] For a long time, Selûne had chosen to live her life as the mortal Luna.[5][note 1]

HistoryEdit

The Song of SelûneEdit

Imgig Zu and Luna 1

With the wand of power, the goddess Selûne and a disguised Imgig Zu ride to Toril.

Luna's past was a part of legend, told in the Song of Selûne. The story began with Selûne as a youthful and beautiful goddess, residing in a mystic realm populated by deities. Turning aside from a life of ease, she was impulsive and grew tired of life in her own plane. Thus, she "borrowed" a wand of power from a god known only as "her father" and used the wand to fly away in a bubble of force, so that she might experience life in other realms.[6][note 2]

In time, she traveled to a plane with a forbidding blood moon palely glowing over a barren land. There, Selûne was smitten by a mysterious and attractive warrior, a lord of his people. The stranger persuaded her to use the wand to transport him and his followers to Toril, where they planned to settle. She did so, riding with them upon winged beasts. However, once they landed, he revealed his true form and intentions—he was the monstrous Imgig Zu. He and his people were hideous shapechanging monsters, set on conquest and ruin. He seized her father's wand of power and intended to kill the deceived goddess.[6][note 3]

Fortunately, help arrived in the form of a young wizard, Ostus Agrivar, who rode to her rescue, hurling a spell at Imgig. Although he was not powerful enough to defeat the monsters, he was able to cause enough confusion and chaos that Selûne could escape, climbing onto his horse. The goddess, now freed from her subjugation, used the only thing she had left: her own life force. Draining her life force away, she imprisoned the monsters inside a pocket dimension within a gigantic moonstone, which should contain them for all time. She reduced the gem, now known as Selûne's Eye, in size and gave it Ostus for safe keeping.[6]

However, the price of victory had been great. By using her life force, Selûne had weakened herself and sacrificed her immortal youthful vitality and beauty, aging thousands of years. This was a fact she kept hidden from the young wizard. The story had a few alternate endings. In some, Selûne learned her lesson and went back to her home, and brought the young mage with her. In others, Selûne died because of her sacrifice, but was resurrected come the next full moon. Still others told that the young mage loved her, but she rejected his advances because she was no longer young or beautiful.[6][note 4]

Aiding Conner and the CatlordEdit

In the late 1340s DR, the conman and thief Conner had attempted to rescue the young Vajra Valmeyjar from slavery to Pasha Abon Duum in the Arena of Blood of Manshaka. He failed, and Duum's men beat him and left him for dead in the desert. As he lay dying beneath a desert moon, Selûne healed him through divine intervention. He survived, but continually tried and failed to rescue Vajra.[3]

At some point in the 1350s DR, known only as a mysterious woman, Selûne appeared to Conner. She foretold certain signs and sent him into the midst of a vicious battle between the Catlord and the god Malar, the Beastlord, to rescue the kittenlord from the grasp of Abon Duum. Conner claimed to be on a mission from a god to protect the child. The Catlord agreed, and bought time for Conner to carry the child away. He was guided by the foretold signs. Thus Conner became the guardian of the heir to the great cat lord.[3]

The Selûne's SmileEdit

Vajra and Luna

Vajra reuniting with Luna.

Luna managed the newly established Selûne's Smile tavern in Waterdeep in the 1350s DR. An older Vajra Valmeyjar, now a free woman, took work as a bouncer there and became friends with Luna, with the two developing a good working relationship. Even after she left her employment, Vajra remained friends with Luna, who sometimes contacted her with unusual jobs that suited her abilities.[1][7]

In the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, Cybriana (the daughter of Ostus Agrivar), Timoth Eyesbright, and Onyx the Invincible had been seeking the paladin Priam Agrivar (son of Ostus) when they finally arrived at Selûne's Smile. Luna summoned Vajra to help them and introduced them. Vajra led them to Priam—the drunken beggar outside, whom they rescued from thugs. They all stayed in the tavern's common room that night, as Luna mused on the destiny of the five adventurers, and that of the world, before meeting with her "father" and saying she was "ready".[1]

Not long after, Selûne caused a shaft of moonlight to transport Conner and the kittenlord away from an attack by dire wolves. They appeared in the street outside Selûne's Smile, where Luna was there to greet them.[8] Luna put the boy to bed, but he was still afraid of the wolves, so she told him a bedtime story, the Song of Selûne, which Luna and Conner found rather personal.[6]

Meanwhile, Vajra, Priam, Cybriana, Onyx, and Timoth had become caught up in Imgig Zu's schemes. Imgig had escaped Selûne's Eye and now plotted to release the rest of this people to conquer the Realms. As the heroes battled through Imgig Zu's minions and confronted him, Luna looked on from the Smile via a magical image of events, hoping they would succeed against her nemesis. When they were overwhelmed and subdued, threatened with death, Luna sent the moon to help. The roof of the cavern tore open and the brilliant light of the full moon shone through, blinding the ogres. Priam slew Imgig Zu and Cybriana merged into Kyriani to trap Imgig's people back within Selûne's Eye. The victorious adventurers returned to the Selûne's Smile, where Luna placed the powerful Selûne's Eye gem on a shelf over the bar, then bestowed treasures on the heroes.[9]

Later that year, Duum's bounty hunters caught up with Vajra and the kittenlord, kidnapping the both of them from Selûne's Smile. The hunt to rescue the boy led Vajra and Conner back to Manshaka, meeting the Catlord, and ultimately thwarting Pasha Abon Duum's schemes and leading Vajra and Conner to reconcile. They returned to the Selûne's Smile, where Conner thanked Luna for all she'd done, professing he'd deduced her to be the goddess Selûne months before. He thanked her for giving him a chance to redeem himself, but she admitted she hadn't done it for him. Instead, she'd done it for Vajra. Her experiences of betrayal had hardened her heart, shutting out much personal pain, but also chances to feel love or joy. Luna had worked to open her heart again.[3]

The Time of TroublesEdit

At one point in the Year of Shadows, 1358 DR, Luna cut off Onyx's bar tab, again.[10] Shortly after, Luna felt a foreboding of danger, a secret that shook the heavens, and prayed to her father for answers. Just then, an interdimensional wormhole (from the Great Door) opened in the darkened skies over Waterdeep, disgorging a swarm of gargoyles and kenkus. Vajra and Timoth battled the flying creatures until they were overwhelmed; Luna urged them back into the Smile. As they watched the City Guard and Khelben Arunsun hold them off, Luna noted that this was not the danger she'd sensed.[11]

Luna and Wand of Four Moons

Luna struck down by her own Wand of the Four Moons.

During the Time of Troubles, rumors abounded of gods walking the world and magic went awry. Refraining from using her divine powers, Luna did not know the cause of the divine upset. One evening, Kyriani inadvertently created a monstrous flower monster; Luna tried to dispel it, but without success, and Vajra burned it. Afterward, Onyx reported the appearance of an avatar of Selûne in Waterdeep—one who was not Luna. As it turned out, all but Onyx knew Luna was really Selûne. Luna was shaken by the news of another avatar of herself, stating she could not be in two places at once. Deciding to use her divine abilities to investigate the impostor, she found she could no longer access the inner room of her tavern and its power. Therefore, Vajra and Luna went to investigate the other avatar themselves. First, on Luna's instruction, Vajra snuck into the House of the Moon to find the Wand of the Four Moons, but couldn't find it. Luna began to doubt herself, wondering which of them was the real goddess, but Vajra believed in her. They then went to see the false Selûne for themselves. Luna confronted her, the other called her deluded, and used a sink spell to trap her, but Luna escaped with blink and flew. However, her prismatic spray failed and the false Selûne produced the Wand of the Four Moons to knock Luna out. The temple guards took Luna prisoner, and the false Selûne declared she would drive her mad before killing her.[5]

Her true identity unknown, Luna was kept as a "special guest"—prisoner—at the House of the Moon for a dozen days, marking the nights by chalking the phases of the moon on the wall. The false Selûne had her completely under her control, [12] using her stolen identity to confuse Luna and make her doubt herself. She broke her spirit and bent her to her will. Forgetting who she really was, Luna was reinvented as a faithful servant of Selûne and a member of the Lunatics, a fanatic Selûnite order.[2]

She led a squad of Lunatics against Onyx and Timoth when they broke into the temple to rescue her, using the spells telekinesis, forcecage, and dig to trap them. Vajra and Kyriani came to their rescue, caught Luna thinking she was Shar, Selûne's divine rival, and unmasked her, shocked to find Luna.[12] Continuing to fight, Luna shapechanged into a silver dragon and blew away Kyriani's glitterdust, before Vajra tackled her and convinced her of the truth, realizing that the false Selûne was in fact Shar. They escaped, thanks to high priestess Naneatha Suaril's sacrifice. The heroes found the streets wrecked, tangled with night riders, which Luna disabled with a heal spell, and observed the Celestial Stairway rising from Mount Waterdeep. Returning to Selûne's Smile, they found the inn in ruins and were ambushed by the avatar of Shar, armed with the Rod of Oblivion, determined to revenge herself on the heroes and slay Selûne. Powerless, Luna fell victim to the rod. Then Timoth and Vajra noticed that the dimensional doorway to Luna's inner room was still present and ajar, even if the physical door and inn were gone. As Kyriani fought Shar as a distraction, Timoth, Vajra, and Onyx climbed up and opened the door fully, released Selûne's godly power to Luna. She transformed into the true avatar of Selûne and with her light blasted away Shar's darkness, reminding her of their unceasing battle and the balance they must uphold, a balanced restored by her friends. Shar vanished, and Selûne became Luna once more. The companions reunited, Luna vowed to rebuild her inn.[2]

AftermathEdit

On the hottest day of summer, 1358 DR, Vajra and Timoth arm-wrestled in the Smile as Luna watched on and Onyx collected bets. Little did they know that their contest was magically enhanced, releasing Aviss and Fellandar from their extra-dimensional prison to wreak a path of destruction through the city, beginning and ending at the Smile. Khelben Arunsun suggested Luna use her "special powers" to thwart the villains, though Luna feigned ignorance. Still, in the end, she reflected moonlight from a silver dish into their eyes, dazzling them long enough for Khelben to hurl the villains back into their prison. Khelben thanked Selûne for their good fortune.[13]

DescriptionEdit

Luna appeared to be a short, plump woman with long, curly gray hair.[1] She was of middling years but fair, with a matronly aspect.[4]

The young goddess Selûne depicted in the Song of Selûne was a slender, beautiful young woman, also with long curly gray hair, wearing a purple dress.[6]

PowersEdit

To live a mortal life as Luna, Selûne stored her godly powers away in an inner room in the Selûne's Smile tavern. She could also use it communicate with the godly realms.[1][5][2] She refrained from using these powers, at least when she could help it. Nevertheless, she still commanded an array of spells.[5]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Although she is but an avatar of the goddess Selûne, Luna has a history and personality distinct from the deity and is a regular character of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comics series. Thus, this article chooses to treat Luna as an independent being to maintain focus on Luna and avoid overwhelming the main Selûne article. It also includes actions taken as Selûne in the comics while not appearing as Luna. The deviations from the standard story of Selûne support this approach.
  2. The idea that Selûne has a father seems at odds with other depictions of the goddess and the conventional creation myth of the Realms, in which Selûne is said to have coalesced out of the primordial essence of Realmspace (e.g., Faiths & Avatars page 141 and Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition page 260) and no "father" is mentioned. However, since these sources also say Lord Ao created Realmspace, it is possible that this "father" is Ao. On the other hand, it is possible that this father is strictly the father of Luna, Selûne's mortal avatar.
  3. It seems unlikely that a being like Imgig Zu could so easily kill a goddess. It may be that the wand of power gave him this ability.
  4. Luna closely resembles an aged version of the Selûne depicted in the Song of Selûne, implying this is the same avatar.

AppearancesEdit

Comics

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Michael Fleisher (December 1988). “The Gathering”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #1 (DC Comics).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Dan Mishkin (September 1990). “Total Eclipse”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #22 (DC Comics).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Dan Mishkin (March 1990). “The Last Betrayal”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #16 (DC Comics), pp. 2, 23–24.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 135. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Dan Mishkin (June 1990). “Selune Rising”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #19 (DC Comics).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Michael Fleisher (February 1989). “The Secret of Selûne's Eye”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #3 (DC Comics), pp. 7–9, 25.
  7. Michael Fleisher (January 1989). “The Bounty Seekers Of Manshaka”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #2 (DC Comics), p. 25.
  8. Michael Fleisher (January 1989). “The Bounty Seekers Of Manshaka”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #2 (DC Comics), pp. 9–10.
  9. Michael Fleisher (March 1989). “Sorcerer's Moon”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #4 (DC Comics), pp. 14, 16, 22–23.
  10. Dan Mishkin (April 1990). “The Ostus Legacy”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #17 (DC Comics), p. 6.
  11. Dan Mishkin (May 1990). “Day of the Darkening”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #18 (DC Comics), pp. 1–5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Dan Mishkin (August 1990). “Lunatics”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #21 (DC Comics).
  13. Dan Mishkin (September 1991). “Summer in the City”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #33 (DC Comics).