Sune is the deity of beauty, with governance also over love—typically love base on outward beauty.
Sune is benevolent and sometimes whimsical. She always appears as a radiantly beautiful red-haired woman of incredible charm. She alternates between deep passions and casual flirtations and has been romantically tied to many of the other Faerunian deities. Sune enjoys attention and sincere flattery, and avoids anyone who is horrific or boorish. Lady Firehair loves and protects her followers, who in turn manifest and protect the beauty of the world.
Aside from those who despise love and beauty as a manifestation of weakness, the church of Sune is widely loved throughout Faerun and has many adherents to its teachings. However, as most Sunites are seen as flighty, vain, and superficial but basically harmless, the church of Sune has less influence than its prominence might otherwise suggest. Sunites have an intense rivalry with the followers of Hanali Celanil, the elven deity of beauty.
Sunites are aesthetes and hedonists, who actively seek out pleasure and beauty in all things. The pursuit of aesthetic enjoyment is their life. They created great works of art, became patrons for promising actors, and imported exotic luxuries like satin and fine wines. Whenever Sunite clergy must perform dirty tasks, the use of disguise is encouraged to protect the body as well as to conceal identity. The devout clerics always hires or supports adventurers and others to destroy things who vandalize beautiful creations. Her followers also enjoyed looking beautiful, and hearing tales of romance. The stories ranged from star-crossed love, true love overcoming all else, to following one's heart.
All clergy of Sune also strive to create beauty in a personal way, preferably as a creator of static fine art (blown-glass ornaments, paintings, or tapestries are all fashionable), but as a dancer if one fails at all else. When one of them gains expertise in crafting things of beauty, she or he is obliged to pass on such learning by training others and turning away no one who shows genuine promise. Any money made through such trainings should be given to the church to further the growth of beauty and love everywhere.
Sune's clerics are expected to keep their appearance as flattering as possible and shower others with sweet words at least five times a month. Sunite clerics tend to multiclass as bards or rogues.
Little is thought of a cleric dropping everything and going bounding off into the wild, particularly if the goal is some beautiful object or some beautiful individual, and such behavior creates little scandal in the church.
VestmentsSunites are not bashful about their bodies. The standard ceremonial garb of Sunite clerics is monastic robes for men and habits for women, both cut to show off the figure of the wearer and dyed a deep crimson. Hair is normally worn long and allowed to fall free during rituals. At other times, clerics bind their tresses back with crimson scarves and wear clothing appropriate to the situation but always flattering to the form. While red hair is considered touched by the deity, all shades of hair and skin are welcome, provided they are unmarred and lovely.
HierarchyThe Sunite church's organization is loose and informal, and its leadership changes regularly with the whims of its clergy. Sune's highest priest was known as the Heartwarder, usually being the most handsome/beautiful clergy member both inside and out.
TemplesSunite temples are either stunningly beautiful edifices of fantastic design or classically elegant structures strategically enhanced by sculptured landscaping constructed with numerous picturesque paths and promenades and surprising and enchanting nooks in which to share moments of love, beauty, and passion. Many Sunite temples sport formal gardens with gorgeous flower beds, trellises and bowers of well-trained vines, and carefully pruned trees and topiaries. Fine sculptures and sumptuous fountains that play with soft, magical lighting provide focal points in most Sunite temple gardens. Some of the temples double as social salons, and some of them even had public baths for the local populace.
Her shrines often stood on the corner of busy city streets. They would have a small ornate overhanging roof with a mirror underneath. They were used to check one's appearance while honoring Sune with prayer. Some shrines even held perfume and cosmetic items for those who could not afford such luxuries themselves.
RitualsSune's clerics pray in the morning after a refreshing scented bath (or after at least washing their hands). Greengrass and Midsummer Night are both Sunite holy days, celebrated with a great deal of outdoor frolicking and with night-long flirtatious chases through forests and parks. Individual temples celebrate numerous local holy days as well.
At least once a month, the church of Sune holds a Grand Revel, a large party with dancing, poetry recitation, and heartrendingly beautiful or soulfully rousing music to which outsiders are invited with the intent to attract converts.
A Feast of Love is a more intimate, quiet affair, open only to the faithful, who lie on couches and indulge in liqueurs, appetizers, and sweet pastries while lone dancers perform. These dances are interspersed with readings of romantic verse, prose, and songs of love sung by skilled minstrels. Such rituals always break up into private gatherings, though bards are always on hand to relate tales of courtly love or mysteries of Faerûn for those who do not feel like socializing more privately.
Sunites also offer personal prayers to Sune by standing in a pool or bath and looking into a mirror lit only by natural light or candles. Sune sends guidance to them by visions visible in the mirror, often by altering the reflection of the worshiper in some way. The influx of adventurers into Sune's clergy in recent years has reduced the huge former gender disparity in the church so that now females only outnumber males four to one.
OrdersOrder of the Ruby Rose: A knightly order affiliated with the Church of Sune, made up of bards, fighters, and paladins. Their primary mission was to guard Sunite temples and holy sites, and occasionally accompany clerics doing good works or questing for something important to the Lady of Love. Initiation into the order was done by standing vigil in a temple of Sune for an entire night. If the goddess showed her favor by granting a vision or some other boon, the candidate was accepted into the order.
Beauty is more than skin deep. It issues from the core of one's being and reveals one's true face to the world, fair or foul. Believe in romance, as true love will win over all. Follow your heart to your true destination. Love none more than yourself except Sune, and lose yourself in love of the Lady Firehair. Perform a loving act each day, and seek to awaken love in others. Respond to love at least once in a day. Encourage beauty wherever you find it. Acquire beautiful items of all sorts, and encourage, sponsor, and protect those who create them. Keep your own body as comely as possible and as attractively displayed as situations warrant. Let hairstyle and clothing best suit your personal appearance, striving to stir and delight others who look upon you. Moreover, hide not away, but always seek to present yourself to those around you in a pleasing variety of garbs and activities so as to move them with love and desire. Love those who respond to your appearance, and let warm friendship and admiration flower where love cannot or dares not.
Sune appears as a gorgeous human female with lustrous red hair that drapes down to the ground. She has eyes of shining emeralds and ruby red plump lips. She typically wears a near-transparent gown.
Sune was served by Lliira and also by Sharess. For saving Sharess from her, Shar considered Sune her enemy, resulting in Sune giving her aid to Mystra in her struggle against Shar and the Shadow Weave. She was also allied to Milil and Lathander, as well as Selûne, who once served her much as Sharess does now, but has since gone her own way. Sune was also known to enjoy long-term relationships, and many casual flirtations.
The Lady Firehair disliked the Gods of Fury, as well as Tempus for the destruction they caused to beautiful things. Despite this, she had no true enemies among the gods, as the Gods of Fury dislike all others and Tempus considered her too flighty and therefore irrelevant to be worth the conflict.
Outside of the Realms, Sune was considered a 'backwater power with delusions of grandeur' by her deific peers, such as Freya, Aphrodite and Hanali Celanil, but otherwise they got on well together - Sune of course, believing that she was the most beautiful of all of them.
HistorySune's history is mostly told in myth regarding her various romances and flirtations with other gods. There exist tales of her relationships with practically every god except Talos, Umberlee, Malar, Auril, Tempus and Talona, whom Sune abhorred for their acts of destruction. Despite this, there is no known origin given for the goddess, with the earliest conjecture of her divinity during the Golden Age of Netheril (-2207 to -1205 DR) and her first mention of an established clergy during that realm's Shadowed Age (-696 to -339 DR).
During the Time of Troubles, Sune rescued Sharess from death at the hands of Shar and restored the corrupted deity to her original state before Shar's influence affected her.
During the Spellplague, Sune's plane of Brightwater was destroyed, but Selûne invited Sune and her exarchs to join her in the Gates of the Moon. During this period of transition, it was revealed that many lesser powers of love in the Realms, most notably Hanali Celanil, were all aspects of Sune. Sune, along with Tyr and Lathander was one of the triumvirate of deities who declared that Cyric should be imprisoned for the apparent death of Mystra.