The Moonstar (pronounced: /ˈmnstɑːrMOON-star[2]) family was one of the oldest and most prominent members of the nobility of Waterdeep by the mid–14th century DR. They made their fortunes as caravan masters and by leveraging their skills as explorers, cartographers, and guides.[3]

Organization[edit | edit source]

As of the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, the patriarch of the family was Lord Helve Moonstar with his consort Wylynd. The designated heir was Helve's nephew, Rober. At this point in history, there were thirty-three living members of the Moonstar clan.[2][3] The mastermind behind the family's success was actually Lady Wylynd.[5] She never had children of her own, but she outlived most of her contemporary relatives and took up the mantle of matriarch in her waning years. By the Year of Three Ships Sailing, 1492 DR,[note 1] she was approximately a hundred and forty years old and quite senile. Before her infirmities overtook her, she designated her half-drow grandnephew Helion Moonstar as her heir.[4]

Activities[edit | edit source]

When not engaged in the family businesses of caravan mastering, cartography, and related ventures, the Moonstar nobles were strong backers of the church of Selûne.[6] After Lord Vanrak Moonstar renounced Selûne and embraced the church of Shar, the family was split into two factions, and Vanrak and his sister Lady Alathene became obsessed with defeating each other for the cause of the goddesses they worshiped.[7][8] Over the centuries that this family feud raged, House Moonstar and the Lords of Waterdeep hired many adventurers to seek out Vanrak's secret base in Undermountain or to thwart the machinations of the followers of the Lady of Loss.[4][9][10]

Base of Operations[edit | edit source]

The Moonstar family villa (labeled $57) circa 1372 DR.

The Moonstar family had a walled compound of two- and four-story buildings on the west side of the Street of the Singing Dolphin in the Sea Ward. It only abutted one other building on the corner with Diamond Street.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18] The rest of the villa and grounds were surrounded by what the locals called Moonstar Alley. The alley and compound were the former site of the High House of Stars, a temple to Selûne that was said to be destroyed by followers of Bane in the Year of the Tomb, 1182 DR.[19] In truth, it was Lord Vanrak and the followers of Shar that razed the temple.[20] The undercroft, known as the Vault of Stars, survived the attack and eventually became Lady Alathene's research laboratory. The Moonstar villa was built on the ruins above it in the Year of the Dusty Throne, 1256 DR.[7][19][21]

By the 12th century DR, the Moonstar clan had a villa on Net Street in the Dock Ward,[15][17][22][23][24][25][26][27] but after the family split into two factions, Lord Vanrak and his cadre moved to Undermountain, eventually settling in Vanrakdoom. Over a century later, the family moved to a new home in the Sea Ward and converted the old villa into the Blushing Mermaid festhall.[20]

The former Moonstar villa became the Blushing Mermaid festhall (labeled D36).

Possessions[edit | edit source]

In addition to the family villa in the Sea Ward, the Moonstar clan maintained ownership of the Blushing Mermaid festhall in the Dock Ward and Lady Alathene was the proprietress as of 1372 DR.[5][28]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

The legitimate part of the family were Selûnites and the sister of Lady Wylynd Moonstar was the leader of the church of Selûne in Waterdeep.[6] Ties to the Surveyors', Map-, and Chart-makers' Guild and the Master Mariners' Guild were also long-standing.[9] The illegitimate portion of the family—those that followed Vanrak Moonstar—were fundamental in the establishment of the church of Shar in Waterdeep.[20]

History[edit | edit source]

The Moonstar family was of Tethyrian stock and one of the oldest noble families in Waterdeep, having been ennobled in the Year of Bright Nights, 985 DR.[3] They were explorers and cartographers and used those skills to become sought-after guides through the wilderness of the Sword Coast. Caravan-mastering was a lucrative profession at which they excelled.[1][2][3]

That same year, Lunaven Moonstar (the half-elven grandfather of Alathene[7]) dedicated an altar and small chapel at the top of his tower to the goddess Selûne. At the time, his residence was just north of the city walls, but about fifty years later the walls were moved to encompass what was then known as the Plinth of the Moon and Stars. In the Year of Slaughter, 1090 DR, Lunaven was killed in an ambush by followers of Malar and they used what they found on his corpse to gain access to, desecrate, and burn his tower. After the Selûnites meted out retribution with a horde of lycanthropes led by three Shards, the Moonstar family donated the ruined tower and its grounds to the city in exchange for a plot of land, again outside the north wall.[note 2] The city restored the tower and it became an all-faiths temple merely called the Plinth. Around the same time, construction of a new temple began on the acquired lot, and the High House of Stars was completed in the Year of the Gleaming Crown, 1097 DR.[6][29]

In the Year of the Restless, 1099 DR, a young Lady Alathene founded the Maids of the Midnight Moon, an organization of female sorcerers dedicated to Our Lady of Silver.[7]

In the Year of the Dark Dawn, 1104 DR,[20] the young Lord Vanrak was on an expedition to the Black Jungles on the Chultan Peninsula when he and his companions stumbled upon an ancient temple from the Serpentes empire. They were driven screaming into the jungle by what Vanrak described as "a swarm of fluttering nightmares from the Mouth of Dendar", and his mind was assaulted by terrifying visions thereafter. Prayers to Selûne gave him no relief, so he turned to the Lady of Loss and found some respite.[30] He returned home a chastened husk of his robust former self. Shortly thereafter, his father, Lord Andvarran, contracted a mysterious wasting disease that defied all manner of curing, magical or otherwise. He died a few tendays later and Vanrak became the patriarch of the Moonstar family. Blaming the priests of the High House of Stars for his father's death, Vanrak broke with the church and led those that would follow down the dark path of Shar. Those that still venerated Selûne followed Lady Alathene.[7]

By the Year of the Howling Moon, 1130 DR, the two family factions were openly at odds, with Lady Alathene's followers residing in the High House of Stars and Lord Vanrak's followers holding the family villa in the Dock Ward. On the 1st of Summertide,[note 3] Lady Alathene appeared before the Lords of Waterdeep and presented evidence of her brother's criminal behavior, including slave trafficking, arson, theft, and murder, as he amassed wealth and extended his influence over one of the world's busiest harbors. She pleaded for them to rescind his title and banish him from the city. The Lords acted immediately and sent the City Watch to arrest Vanrak, but upon forcing entry into the villa, he and his followers had vanished.[7][20][31][32] Lady Alathene became the officially recognized head of the Moonstar family and moved back into the villa on Net Street.[7]

The escape of the Vanrak faction was accomplished through a secret portal into Undermountain. They were strong enough to survive and for decades they explored the vast underground complex until finally, in the Year of the Dark Mask, 1171 DR,[note 4] they conquered a secure location that became known as Vanrakdoom. This became the base of operations for the church of Shar in Undermountain and Waterdeep for centuries.[20][31][32]

During the fifty-two-year reign of Lady Alathene, House Moonstar's fortunes increased greatly. At the same time, she and her Maids of the Midnight Moon never stopped looking for her brother and they battled the agents of the church of Shar wherever they were encountered. But in 1182 DR, forces breached the cellars of the High House of Stars from below and most of the inhabitants were slain before the altar was desecrated with a symbol of Bane[7][19] and the temple was set ablaze with magically resistant darkfire.[31] Lady Alathene quickly stepped down as the matriarch of the family, allowing her grandson Hormuk to take control, and dedicated herself to rebuilding the razed temple. She eventually learned through divination that her brother Vanrak was behind the heinous act and that the Bane symbol was placed just to throw investigators off the scent. She informed the Lords of Waterdeep of her discovery, but the revelation was not made public.[7] Meanwhile, the wealth looted from the temple funded Lord Vanrak's transformation into a death knight in the following few years.[20][31][32]

After the new temple, the House of the Moon, was completed in the Year of the Soft Fogs, 1188 DR, Lady Alathene withdrew from the priesthood, public life, and even her family. She took up residence in secret underground chambers known as the Vault of Stars that survived the razing of the former temple. The church declared the desecrated ruins off-limits to Selûnites and Lady Alathene spread rumors of ghosts in order to keep average citizens away. Lord Hormuk announced her death in the Year of the Midday Mists, 1195 DR, but in actuality she had transformed herself into an archlich in order to continue hunting for her brother and thwarting the efforts of the Sharrans.[7] The family and the Lords knew of her continued existence, but kept it quiet.[33]

In 1256 DR, the Moonstar family got permission from the church of Selûne to build a new villa on the site of the desecrated High House of Stars (directly above the Vault of Stars). They maintained ownership of the old villa using proxies and turned it into the Blushing Mermaid festhall.[7] Lady Alathene became its proprietress when she was not doing research in the Vault of Stars.[5][8][21][28]

Although Vanrakdoom was very defensible and hidden, Lord Vanrak and his army of krinth[10] were hounded over the centuries by parties of adventurers hired by the Lords of Waterdeep, the Moonstar clan, the church of Selûne, and Lady Alathene. Halaster Blackcloak also thought it amusing to incite other denizens of Undermountain to attack Vanrakdoom occasionally. All this opposition eventually whittled down Vanrak's forces enough to severely limit his ability to cause havoc in the city. He and the priests of Shar tried to exploit the shadow dragon Umbraxakar and shift Vanrakdoom into the Plane of Shadow, but achieved only minor success. After centuries of setbacks and failures, Lord Vanrak repented in the Year of Silent Shadows, 1436 DR, begged forgiveness from the Moonmaiden, and destroyed himself with a sun blade. Thus, the conflict that had split the Moonstar family for generations finally came to an end.[4]

Members[edit | edit source]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Canon material does not provide a year for the events described in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, but Christopher Perkins answered a question via Twitter and stated the year was 1492 DR. Corroborating this, Dragon Heist page 20 refers to events of Death Masks (set in 1491 DR) as being "last year". Unless a canon source contradicts this assertion, this wiki will use 1492 DR for events related to this sourcebook and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (which is referenced on pages 5 and 98 of Dragon Heist).
  2. There is a discrepancy in the date of the Plinth exchange. Powers & Pantheons (page 154) indicates it was the same year as the Malarites' defeat (1090 DR), whereas City of Splendors: Waterdeep (page 44) states the House of the Moon was completed two years after donating the Plinth, which puts it at 1095 DR.
  3. It took place on the "seventh full moon of the year" which was 1 Flamerule if one counts the moon on 30 Nightal 1129 to still be full on 1 Hammer 1130. If not, then the seventh full moon falls on Midsummer, which is a major holiday and not a likely date for court to be in session.
  4. The City of Splendors: Waterdeep sourcebook misprinted the Year of the Dark Mask as 1181 DR, but it is correct in several other publications.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Who's Who in Waterdeep”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Eric L. Boyd (2005-09-28). Noble Houses of Waterdeep (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 6. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 232. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  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 Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 156. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 157. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Eric L. Boyd (2005-07-12). Vanrakdoom (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  11. Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (September 1988). City System. Edited by Karen Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 11. ISBN 0-8803-8600-2.
  12. Map 4/10 included in Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb, cartographers Dennis Kauth and Frey Graphics (September 1988). City System. Edited by Karen Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-8803-8600-2.
  13. Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 24. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
  14. Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 238. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Map included in Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  16. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 43. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Map included in Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). City of Splendors. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-1560768685.
  18. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 92, 95, 99. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 69–70. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  22. Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (September 1988). City System. Edited by Karen Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 13. ISBN 0-8803-8600-2.
  23. Map 7/10 included in Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb, cartographers Dennis Kauth and Frey Graphics (September 1988). City System. Edited by Karen Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-8803-8600-2.
  24. Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 26. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
  25. Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 193. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  26. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 55. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  27. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 105, 106. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 194. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 154. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  30. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 Eric L. Boyd (2005-07-12). Vanrakdoom (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 231. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  33. Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 196. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  34. slade, et al. (April 1996). “Cities & Civilization”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), p. 55. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.

Connections[edit | edit source]

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