Sehanine Moonbow is the elven goddess of death, dreams, heavens, journeys, moon (full moon to be precise), moon elves, stars, and transcendence as well as the most powerful female member of the Seldarine. She actively opposes the drow and their gods.
The Lunar Lady is a very protective deity towards elves. She sends omens to keep her people from danger, crafting illusions around elven hideouts, and organizes the journeys for elves to other elven lands.
Sehanine's faithful view life as a series of mysteries veiled by Sehanine herself. The spirits of elves discover new mysteries once they transcend their mortal existences. Sehanine unveils the next step through dreams and visions revealed during the elven reverie. Worshipers of Sehanine revere the moon, claiming to feel it's pull in their souls like tides in the ocean.
The church of Sehanine is clouded in mystery, and little is known about its secretive hierarchy. Sehanine's clerics are the seers and mystics of elven society. They serve as the spiritual counselors to elves and half-elves who seek to embark on journeys in search of enlightenment so as to transcend their current state of being. As shepherds and protectors of the dead, Sehanine's clerics organize and administer funeral rites and guard the remains of the fallen. They seek out and destroy undead creatures, for Sehanine holds such creatures--with the notable exceptions of baelnorns and other good-aligned undead beings who voluntarily prolong their existence in order to serve their kin--to be blasphemous. As defenders of elven homelands, Sehanine's clergy are responsible for weaving and maintaining the illusions that guard those sanctuaries that remain and for divining potential threats to their continued existence. The prime task of adventuring clerics is the retrieval of lost arcane and magical knowledge, especially if it pertains to illusions or divinations. Other seek out isolated elven enclaves, bringing them news of the world outside the forests.
VestmentsMembers of Sehanine's clergy favor silvery-white diaphanous gowns (for the priestesses) and togas (for the priests). A silver diadem is worn on the head, oftentimes with a moonstone pendant dangling above the brow. Simple sandals are worn on the feet, and a silver lace sash is worn around the waist. The holy symbol of the faith is a moonbar crystal carved in the shape of a small flat disk (approximately three inches in diameter), and such devices are often worn around the neck on a delicate looking silver or mithral chain.
When traveling or adventuring, priests favor mail over leather armor, and most carry round shields whose unadorned, reflective fronts are polished mirror bright. Such armor is typically fancifully adorned, emphasizing the grace and bearing of the wearer. Senior priests are well known for the elaborate suits of elven chain mail or elven plate mail they favor, although many such suits were lost with the fall of Myth Drannor. Sehanine's clergy favor missile weapons, particularly short and longbows, and staves. Staffs of the moonlight and rings of shooting stars are particularly prized.
HierarchyNovices of Sehanine are known as the Mooncalled. Full priests of the Daughter of the Night Skies are known as the Heavenly. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by Sehanite priests are Stargazer, Moondancer, Sky Seer, Vision Seeker, Omen Teller, Dream Walker, Transcendentalist and Reverent Dreamer.
TemplesSehanine's temples are soaring monuments open only to elves and a few pious half-elves. Most such temples are constructed of white stone (often marble) and shaped so as to suggest imminent flight. Symmetry and circles are highly prized by the faith, reflected in the architecture of Sehanine's houses of worship.
The central chapel is always perfectly circular and is usually open to the night sky or covered by a retractable or transparent dome. Great gardens and hedgerow mazes often encircle the main structure, their formations imitating the paths of the heavenly bodies in the night sky above. Near long-standing temples, megaliths form great stone circles for use in tracking the position of the moon, fixed stars, and wandering stars by elven astrologers.
RitualsClerics of Sehanine pray for their spells whenever the moon is fullest during the day.
Sehanine's faithful celebrate a wide variety of holy days, all of which are tied to the position of various heavenly bodies, particularly the phase of the moon and various types of eclipses. Many of these celebrations occur once per decade, once per century, or even once per millennium.
The most frequent celebrations of Sehanine's faithful are held monthly beneath the light of the full moon. Lunar Hallowings, as such holy days are known, are marked with personal meditation and collective entrance into a communal trance. On occasion, Sehanine manifests through her assembled worshipers, knitting together their spirits in a true sharing of minds. Such holy days are concluded with a joyous freeform dance beneath the most visible manifestation of the Goddess of Moonlight (the moon) that lasts until the first rays of dawn.
Once per year, Sehanine's faithful gather on the night of the Feast of the Moon for the Mystic Rites of the Luminous Cloud. Similar in many ways to the monthly Lunar Hallowings, the Mystic Rites of the Luminous Cloud are notable for the visible manifestation of the Lady of Dreams whereby the assembled worshipers are enveloped in a mantle of shimmering, silvery light that then rises up and darts across the heavens. During such mystical flights across the sky, the sacred mysteries of Sehanine are revealed to the participants, with each participant learning secrets appropriate to his current level of spiritual development. The ceremony concludes when the nimbus of light returns to the earth and the forms of Sehanine's worshipers coalesce.
Death and Funeral RitesWhen the time comes for an elf to leave the ordinary lands of mortals and pass on to Arvanaith, it is common for the individual elf to spend several days in vivid daydreams and waking reverie. Exactly when this happens is unknown to any elf, even to Sehanine's own priests. It is usually obvious to other elves when one of the Tel'Quessir is undergoing this change, but two marker events are definitive indicating that the Transcendence has begun. First, Sehanine sends the elf a vision where she or he must go to begin this journey from the world. Second, within the lens of the elf's eye appears a telltale opaque milky crescent, the moonbow of Sehanine's honorific name. When the time comes for an elf great in wisdom and accomplishment to depart, an accompanying full moon may display the moonbow as an event in nature. On rare occasions at such a rime, other elves join with the one about to depart in a shared trance state, sharing memories and knowledge in a direct telepathic communion known as the Circle of Transcendence. In some elven cultures this departure is a physical one, that is the elf walks off alone into the wilderness and his or her body is never found. In other societies, the elf's spirit departs its material body, leaving behind a lifeless husk.
In cases of violent or accidental death where the spirit is not utterly destroyed, Sehanine's priests serve in the stead of the departed spirit in the ritual of Transcendence. A Ceremony of Recovery involves one or more days of meditation and mystic communion with the natural and spiritual worlds. If successful, the priest channels the lost spirit through his or her own link with Sehanine, enabling the spirit to transcend to Arvanaith. During such ceremonies, after contacting the lost spirit, Sehanine's priests display the characteristic moonbow within the lens of their eyes, but such manifestations of the Lady of Dreams vanish immediately upon the ritual's conclusion.
Elven funeral rites vary widely from community to community and from individual to individual, reflecting the nature of the departed spirit. If the elf has simply answered Sehanine's call, as opposed to death by accident or violence, death rituals are more often a celebration that the elf has achieved the joys of Arvanaith than a time of mourning. In either case, if the body remains, the method of disposal varies as well. In some communities, the assembled mourners gather with great pomp to watch the body be interred in the ground, with examples of the late elf's artistry and passions displayed and speakers expounding on the merits of the deceased. Other elven societies bury the body immediately, regarding it as a mere husk from which the life force has departed. After disposing of the shell, they celebrate the spirit of the elf who once resided there. Still other elves believe that burning is the only way to truly rid the spirit of its earthly ties. Not only does it free the spirit for Arvanaith, it also prevents anyone from using the body for nefarious purposes.
Elven cultures that bury the bodies of the fallen with great ceremony leave the most durable archeological evidence of their funeral rites, and thus the practice of interring the bodies of elven dead in formal tombs is less widespread than commonly perceived. Of all the elven subraces resident in Faerun, the remains of gold elves, and to a lesser extent moon elves, are most commonly interred within burial vaults, but that practice is by no means universal within those subraces, nor is it restricted to them alone. Elven tombs are typically hewn from bedrock and warded by powerful magic. Whereas the Stout Folk typically trust in mechanical traps to ensure the sanctity of their fallen kin, the Fair Folk weave protective mantles into the construction of tombs and eschew false tombs and extended gauntlets of traps. The Luminous Cloud is said to gather elven tombs to her bosom, and most are cloaked in enduring illusions designed to obfuscate their location and to mislead grave robbers who would violate the sanctity of the elves interred within.
Elven tombs are typically subdivided into three chambers, each of which is of circular or rectangular shape with an arching dome-shaped or semicylindrical ceiling, respectively. The first such chamber represents the world from which the elf has departed and is dominated by carvings of the natural world including plants and animals from sylvan settings. Commonly a pool of crystalline water, enspelled so as to prevent evaporation or stagnation, is set in the center of the first chamber. The second chamber is dominated by a stone bier on which rests the body of the fallen elf. The Fair Folk rarely place their dead within a sarcophagus unless the body is badly mauled, as they feel to do so restricts the freedom of the spirit in Arvanaith. The walls of the second chamber are adorned with examples of the fallen elf's gifts, and the ceiling is carved with a depiction of the heavens as they were at the time of the elf's death. (By analyzing such records, sages are sometimes able to date the age of a particular elven tomb.) The third chamber represents Arvanaith, the destination of the elf's spirit. The walls of the chamber are carved with depictions of the Seldarine (as the pantheon is perceived in the culture that created the tomb). The ceiling is carved with a stylized depiction of a crescent moon within a full moon, symbolizing the combined role of Corellon and Sehanine (or Angharradh) in overseeing the passage of the spirit to Arvanaith. The third chamber is otherwise empty, but all who enter are overwhelmed with a feeling of great peace. This is not a magical effect but a collective manifestation of the Seldarine. Violent action or thought is impossible within the third chamber of an elven tomb. Items of magic and other riches are rarely entombed within an elven tomb when they could be better used by those elves who have not yet journeyed to Arvanaith. Nevertheless, ancient elven tombs are sometimes filled with artifacts of elven artistry, including examples of magical items or spells developed by the elf interred within the tomb.
Sometimes the elves of a single house are interred within the same crypt. In such cases the first chamber may be shared by the individual tombs, with the second and third chamber housing the body of the fallen and representing the destination of the spirit.
OrdersThe Knights of the Seven Sacred Mysteries are well known for their service in defense of elven homelands from N'Tel'Quess invaders as well as their ongoing efforts to retrieve tomes of long-lost elvish lore and items of elven artistry from the ruins of fallen realms. The order is composed of elves and a few half-elves, most of whom are of moon elven or gold elven ancestry, and it includes many crusaders, as well as a handful of clerics, fighters, and rangers, in its ranks. The order's entrance requirements are kept secret from nonmembers, but it is generally known that there are seven tiers in the order's hierarchy and that it can take a century or more of faithful service to Sehanine before the next mystery is revealed. Knights of the First Mystery are the lowest ranking members of the order, while Knights of the Seventh Mystery are some of the most powerful agents of Sehanine in the Realms. No half-elf has ever risen higher than the rank of Knight of the Fourth Mystery, but it is not known if that fact indicates the difficulty of ascending the order's rarefied ranks and the small representation of half-elves in the order or if it is a manifestation of a bias against those who have some degree of N'Tel'Quess ancestry. The order's preeminent chapter houses are found in the city of Ruith on Evermeet, the Vale of Evereska, and amidst the Tangled Trees settlement of the Elven Woods.
The Sentinels of the Moonbow are a small fellowship of rangers pledged to the service of the Goddess of Moonlight. Sentinels watch over animals that may hold the reincarnated spirits of elves of ages past and that may once again assume elven form. These rangers in the service of Sehanine are also pledged to the tracking and destruction of undead creatures whose existence is a blight upon the land.
The Veiled Choir is a mysterious sisterhood of elven mystics whose very existence is obscured by a veil of legend, mystery, and rumor. Sisters of the Veiled Choir are renowned for their prophetic ability, and their visions are revealed in an unending chorus of song. Only a handful of these ancient elven seers are believed to exist, residing in ancient temples of the Lady of Dreams whose very existence has long been forgotten by even the Fair Folk. Young elves in search of adventure often attempt to find the sisterhood's oracular redoubts of which, curiously, none are located on the Green Isle. On rare occasions a lucky and persistent elf discovers a Veiled Cantoria, but those who seek to simply follow in their footsteps always fail in their quest. The reward for reaching a sanctuary of the Veiled Choir is always the blessing of the Luminous Cloud and a mysterious prophecy, the unraveling of which may consume the rest of the recipient s life.
Life is series of mysteries whose secrets are veiled by the Luminous Cloud. As the spirit transcends its mortal bounds and new mysteries are uncovered, a higher form is achieved and the cycle of life continues. Through contemplation and meditation, communion with the Lady of Dreams is achieved. Through dreams, visions, and omens revealed in sleep or the reverie, the Daughter of the Night Sky unveils the next step along the path and the next destination on the endless journey of mystic wonder that is life and death and life.
In her avatar form, Sehanine Moonbow looked like a 5ft. tall youthful, ageless, female elf clad in a diaphanous gown, that looked like it was made of moonbeam and dropped moonbeam drops every 10 minutes, that could be bottled as potions of invisibility.
Another depiction of Sehanine was as a male elf. This depiction portrayed the Protector and Sehanine as lovers. Characteristic about Sehanine's willowy male form were his eyes. They showed a sense of melancholy and tenderness when he was depicted with Corellon.
Sehanine Moonbow is a member of the Seldarine and has good relationships with the other members. She is either the daughter or wife of Corellon Larethian and has at least one son, Tethrin Veraldé with him.
She is an aspect of Angharradh alongside Aerdrie Faenya and Hanali Celanil. However, she is the primary aspect and the others merely secondary ones.
Sehanine Moonbow was an ally of Baravar Cloakshadow, Cyrrollalee, Dumathoin, Kelemvor, Leira, Lurue, Milil, Mystra, Oberon, Savras, Segojan Earthcaller, Shaundakul, Selûne, Titania, and Urogalan.
EnemiesSehanine Moonbow was an enemy of Cyric, Gruumsh, the Gods of Fury, Myrkul, the Queen of Air and Darkness, Shar, and Velsharoon.
Sehanine Moonbow was an enemy of the Dark Seldarine. She opposed Lolth and was specifically hated by Vhaeraun for escaping his prison. The one exception to this rule was Eilistraee, whom she considered an adopted daughter, but had a strained and distant relationship with.
She hates undead and her followers make it their duty to destroy these beings. She is intolerant towards necromancy in general.