Selene, goddess of the Moon
Selene (pronounced SELL-uh-nee) is the subtle goddess of the night, bearer of hope for those in darkness, and Mistress of Secrets. She rides across the night sky in her radiant silver chariot, drawn by twenty-one snow-white swans, bringing light to the darkened land. Like her brother Erdhon, she is the daughter of Malbor and Shorral, and is the firm foe of her father and his works.
A tale of Selene and Caravok.
Selene holds much of the beauty of her mother, and is fair in both form and voice. In the ancient days between her birth and the Second War, when Malbor had slain Shorral and taken the twins Selene and Erdhon to his palace at Azhran, no fairer thing could be found upon Theeurth. Therefore, when in the pits of Azhran she was espied by the lustful gaze of the evil god Caravok, he was consumed with desire for Selene and swore that only he and no other would possess her.
Then with honeyed words he wooed her, but she was repelled and spurned him. Thereupon he flew into a rage, saying that if he could not have her, no one could. Almost, he killed her, but she was the daughter of Shorral and possessed the changing nature of fire. As she strove with Caravok, she assumed many forms, seeking to escape him. And thus it is today that she still assumes many forms, and judges none by their form alone. At last she escaped the assault of her would-be suitor, and was rescued by creatures of the Infernal Host who were her father’s minions.
For twenty-eight days she lay near death and though the arts of the Infernal Host were sufficient to restore her to health, she bears with her still the scars of that assault and her beauty, though still great, is forever marred. Thus it is that Selene and Caravok are enemies, and his followers the were-beasts are driven mad when the moon is full. Also, because of her wounds which have never fully healed, she is not constant in her going across the sky, but tarries often in the daylight sky, or races on ahead, even occasionally blocking out the light of her brother, Erdhon. And every twenty-eight days her light waxes and wanes, in memory of her time in Azhran.
Selene is beloved by all the divine races, who see in her the reflection of their mutual ancestor, Shorral. "Sister Selene" is a common name for her, as is the Silver Maiden, and Mistress of the Night. She is most loved by the elves, among whom she often walked before ascending into the sky. She is the patron of lovers, bards and all who work for good in secret. There is also a secret sisterhood of female wizards and sorceresses dedicated to her worship.
Selene is Chaotic good.
Selene is usually portrayed as a young woman with long white hair wearing silvery robes or armor, and usually accompanied by white swans or by the moon itself. But she takes many forms. Her followers bear moon-disks, circles of beaten silver, sometimes depicting the surface of the moon. South of the Valesian sea, she is represented as a swan.
Selene was born of the rape of Shorral by Malbor. Though she was rescued by her foster-father Thandor as a result of the Second War of the Gods, Selene still bears the scars of her time in the pits of Azhran. Where her brother is fiery and intense, Selene is cool and patient. But like him, she works for a time when her father and his lieutenant Caravok will be ruined, and all their evil come to naught. Though she is constant in her travels and in her enmity to evil, she is ever-changing, and is said to be "constant in her variability".
Her silvery passage through the night sky is a constant reminder to the things of evil that the gods are watching, and that the day of reckoning shall come. She is also the especial foe of all were-beasts, save only the very few that seek out her aid and protection.
Unlike the Great Church and most of her fellow gods of the Chalice, Selene does not perceive the savage races as irredeemably evil. She believes that in all things there is the hope for salvation.
Selene employs few servants, though she is friendly with many of the Celestial Host, particularly Vacamiel, known as the Liber Exaltus, who serves her nephew, Borlamnos.
THE CHURCH – The Fanes of Selene
The Argent Order is dedicated to watchfulness and protection. It provides aid and spiritual advice to those who live in the night, including lovers, thieves, prostitutes, night watchmen, bards, poets and astrologers.
The Order’s members are ever vigilant, looking for hidden evil and those who would use the night for evil ends. It maintains a loose affiliation with many local groups and individuals across Vatheria who supply it with information, funds and even adventurers when needed.
The Church is a loose hierarchy, centered around the local temples, known as the Lunar Fanes. Each fane is administered by a senior priest with the title of prelate. Many local fanes and prelates are united under a single regional authority known as a hierarch. The authority of the hierarch is more moral than temporal, but is powerful nonetheless. The hierarchs report to no central authority, but instead remain in contact with each other where possible and occasionally convene conclaves to enact important business. The fanes vary widely in appearance and in the temperament of their worshippers, ranging from white marble temples in great cities to rough-hewn edifices open to the sky.
Within the Fanes of Selene are two orders. The Moon Circle is the larger, quieter group of priests and priestesses who tend the fanes and administer to the faithful. A smaller, more active organization is called the Watchmen. Nearly all adventuring Selenite clerics and all of Selene’s holy warriors are members of the Watchmen.
Shine Light Into Dark Corners – Long ago, Selene ascended into the heavens to light the skies when her brother Erdhon drew beneath the earth each night. This was a sign to the creatures of Malbor that there was no time when the gods were not watching. Just so, it is the duty of all good persons to reveal corruption and evil wherever it hides.
Do Not Judge a Scroll by its Cover – Just as the goddess takes many forms, so too do the children of the light. Judge no creature by its appearance, but by the content of its heart.
Respect the Balance – Balance your work with play. Balance your zeal with wisdom. Balance civilization with wilderness, and duty with pleasure.
Lunarius – Each full moon (which occurs on the fourteenth of every month in Theeurth) is a holy day of rest for Selenites. The full moon of Berlas is Lunarius, and is the holiest day of the year for Selenites. Lunarius is attended by a night-long festival of games and feasts. These are usually accompanied by costumes and is often a time of passionate abandonment of social strictures, depending upon the local population. It is a festival often happily attended by the followers of Ilion and Eristemus.
Selene’s favored weapon is "Quickshaft", a silvery composite shortbow.