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Shar (pronounced: /ʃɑːrshahr[1][5][6] pronounced: /ˈʃɑːrSHAHR[4]), also known as Mistress of the Night and the Lady of Loss, was the goddess of darkness and the night in the Faerûnian pantheon and the malevolent twin sister and counterpart to the goddess of the moon, Selûne. In the 14th and 15th centuries DR, she held the portfolios of darkness, forgetfulness, loss, and night[1][2][17][4][10][11][5][6][9] and after she slew the underground god Ibrandul she claimed the portfolios of caverns, dungeons, and the Underdark.[4] In the time of ancient Netheril, Shar also held the portfolios of hatred, sleep, nightmares, illusions, lies, trickery, hiding places, betrayal, treachery, seduction, thieves, thievery, murder, winter, before she lost these to other deities.[10] She was the goddess of darkness, not only as the absence of light but also as the metaphorical darkness that dwelled in one's heart, mind, and soul.[9] The domain of the Mistress of the Night was not only that of dark places, but of deeds done under darkness, of secrets, loss, hidden pain, and wanting to forget.[4] She was also the creator of the Shadow Weave, a dark counterpart and attack upon the Weave of Mystryl and her successors, before both of the Weaves fell into ruin during the Spellplague.[5][6][29]

Blessed Nightsinger, witness our adoration. See how we serve you, only you. We have emptied our hearts of falsehoods. We have vanquished your foes. In darkness, we see your truth. Embrace us, your loyal warriors. Cloak us in your shadow. Guide us to your victory. Shar's will shall be done. As sure as night will fall.
— Shadowheart's prayer to Shar[30]

Description[]

Avatar of shar

An avatar of Shar.

In religious artwork, Shar was depicted as a darkly beautiful human woman with long raven-black hair and clad all in black, swirling attire.[1][17][4][6] In Netheril, she also had black- or purple-hued skin and was shown with a cowled cloak that flowed into shadows.[10] Her eyes were large and haunting, and were solid purple with pupils as black as coal and reflecting the void at the dawn of time, and when she smiled it was cold as night.[4][10][6] When visiting mortals in dreams, her dark hair would move and swirl regardless of gravity or outside forces, such as wind.[31]

An alternative image was that of a simple black sphere limned in rushing purple flames; these were typically magically animated.[4][6]

Nightsinger avatar of shar

The Nightsinger avatar of Shar.

When she appeared in person, Shar had two avatars that she favored. The first was the Nightsinger,[4][6] a figure standing over 10 feet (3 meters)[6] or even 12 feet (3.7 meters) tall,[4] shrouded entirely in a vast cowled cloak that disguised her figure and flowed into all shadows and areas of darkness around her. She wore a mask of feathers of every kind, which concealed her face and disappeared into the dark depths of her cowl. Never simply speaking, she sung her every word with sounds of sorrow and loss, forming a song that was at once heartbreaking and hauntingly beautiful.[4][6] It compelled listeners to obey her every command or else to stand helpless with despair.[10]

Her other avatar was the Dark Dancer, appearing as a human woman 7 feet (2.1 meters) in height and with a lithe, dancer's build and divinely beautiful. With little attire, her skin was black as jet but sparkling with starlight, while her eyes were dark and hypnotic, capable of projecting magic that could help or harm in equal measure. Her dance was graceful and beguiling, even erotic, and her sensual performance and suggestive stares were enough to make any mortal fall down and obey her.[4][6]

Personality[]

A force of destruction and darkness, the very existence of Shar was paradoxical; the Nightbringer was brought into existence by the creation of Realmspace, but was the living embodiment of the void, the perfect nothing that existed before she was born. The emptiness that she originally reflected had itself been erased at the start of time, and she longed to return to the ancient calm of nonexistence. And so she would disrupt order, bring down established systems, and undo everything.[6]

By her very nature, Shar was defined by loss, the foolishness of hope, and life's inherent emptiness. She was a goddess of pains and wrongs kept hidden yet never forgotten, of concealed hatred and unnatural desires that lurked in one's heart, of nursed grudges and hungered-for revenge cultivated in secret for any slight or offense, however old and cold it was. She enjoyed concealing things and keeping secrets for their own sake, so they never saw the light of day.[17][4][10][11][5][6][7][8][9] Her tools were temptation, subterfuge, trickery, clandestine deals,[6] schemes, and manipulations and, to her, the means were always justified by the ends.[10] (Despite some similarities, Shar and Leira had a subtle yet distinct difference: Shar was a goddess of secrecy and concealment; Leira was a goddess of deceit and disguise.) [4]

The depths of Shar's evil were too extreme to be described by words. She was deeply twisted and perverse, a being of ceaseless, petty hate and jealousy. She plotted from the shadows to undermine all creation. Though she was not chaotic herself, like her sister was, Shar nonetheless sought to destroy all order. [4][5][6] Even her own devoted worshipers were simply pawns in her overarching scheme against everything there ever was and ever would be.[6]

Dahl told me once you worship Shar when grief overtakes you. You give her a little honor so that she eases the sadness through your life. That the evil of Shar is that she'll try to pull you down into that darkness, to make you stay.

Although Shar purported to be a healer, soothing the grief-stricken by letting them forget their woes, she was in truth a sadist, and enjoyed inflicting the pain of loss on her worshipers. Her alleged help was not release from that pain, but numbness to it, the acceptance of it as normal and the removal of any expectation otherwise. The Lady of Loss did not truly believe in healing grief, not even her own, but in harnessing it, in nurturing spite, nursing indignity, and reinforcing regret until minor slights, at least in one's own mind, become transgressions worthy of bitter vengeance.[1][17][4][11][6][9][33] She taught her faithful to be cynical, that they could not look for any good in the world, nor in themselves.[11]

Abilities[]

Selûne vs Shar

Selûne battling Shar, while her Shards swoop overhead.

When manifested as an avatar, she could cast a wide variety of magical spells from her eyes, bar those that primarily produced light (spells of fire or heat were acceptable). As the Nightsinger, she could conjure darkness or continual darkness as often as desired with but a thought and fought with the strike of her hand.[4][10] Her very touch could instill a sense of solace or cause momentary forgetfulness, or even complete amnesia. She moved amongst shadows, carefully sculpted in her path.[10] Her dirgeful song could cause chilling harm, drain a listener's wits or their memories, or slay outright. As the Dark Dancer, all her charm spells, such as charm person and those from the charm sphere, were thrice as strong in all respects and just as hard to resist. But most devastating was her kiss; a touch of her lips compelled one to become her loyal and faithful servant, or else risk die that very moment—all they could do was choose. One who accepted Shar was charmed, their goals and beliefs swayed to hers, and they would even gladly kill or be killed for her. Only a wish or limited wish could dispel this charming effect.[4][10]

However, Shar rarely deigned to manifested an avatar in Faerûn.[6] Instead, Shar most often manifested as ever-writhing, swirling tendrils of shapeless darkness, even in places where no shadow should exist, which bore a purple aura. On occasion, a single, unblinking purple eye could be glimpsed at their center, and, eye or not, all who stood amongst the dark tendrils felt they were being watched and coolly considered. These tendrils might be used to deliver a message directly into the minds of the faithful with only a touch, or they could be used to point out something important or a direction to take. A touch from one of these tendrils could also cause numbness and the capacity to tolerate pain; rather than heal, it drove the followers of Shar to push on and on until they died or their injuries or exhaustion.[4][10]

To act as her messengers or guardians or to enact her will, Shar would send darktentacles or undead beholders known as doom tyrants,[note 1] or mysterious monsters of shadow.[4]

Most notable among her array of powers was the ability to perfectly perceive every thing, every person, and every deed of betrayal or nihilism that was hidden or done in the dark.[4][5][6] She could also instantly create any magical item that concealed or obscured what was true or that conjured magical darkness.[6]

Activities[]

She reigned over the darkness between the stars and over the shadows in places so deep that even Mask feared to tread there.[3] She was also patron of the Shadow Weave, a force of magic she created out of nothingness and disturbing secrets that would corrupt those who used it. Because she created it, she could deny its power to any being, mortal or deity.[6]

Shar was in constant conflict with Selûne, her sister and the goddess of the moon.[8][21] Their war was the eternal drama of the sky, vital to the balance of nature: the dark of the night devouring the light of the moon, before the moon was renewed and the cycle repeated.[34] In their never-ending struggle across the sky, Selûne was slain by Shar at every new moon.[1] They fought incessantly to undercut the other.[11] Shar spent most of her energy and attention on this eternal conflict,[5] but rather than assault Selûne directly, she preferred to target what her sister loved, such as her faithful.[6]

Against other rival deities, she adopted a subtle approach, working to sway and subvert their own mortal followers to turn to her faith.[5] However, sometimes she would strike outright, such when she slew Ibrandul, but only because she'd had the opportunity.[6]

Divine Realm[]

Shar's divine realm was originally the Palace of Loss,[4][10][11][35] which in the Great Wheel cosmology was found in Niflheim, the second gloom of the Gray Waste of Hades,[4][10][11] and in the World Tree cosmology stood on the Plane of Shadow.[35] Wherever it was, it was a tower that had no obvious entrances nor exits. She would trap those who enjoyed their freedom inside, savoring their despair at their loss, though she would allow petitioners and visiting worshipers to freely come and go (perhaps to further torture the trapped ones).[4][11][35]

When she created the Shadowfell, Shar created a new realm in the Astral Sea, larger than any of the others there. Among the dark scenery, with its black sand and shadowy natural features, lay the Towers of Night. Her new abode, a more palatial one than her old home, was built atop the tallest mountain of this realm. Access to the Shadowfell was easy from here and she shared the realm with Talona, Sseth, and Zehir. Her former home became the Foundation of Loss, which formed a passage to Towers of Night.[36]

Possessions[]

In battle, Shar fought with twin +5 keen unholy wounding short swords, dual-wielding them with great finesse. She also had her disks of the night, which were +5 returning speed chakrams that she threw with ease.[6]

Relationships[]

Shar won't bother us here. She's far too busy writing poetry and crying about how much people prefer her sister.
— Auntie Ethel a hag insulting Shar[30]

Her eternal enemy was her sister Selûne, goddess of the moon, a war that had been waged since before all other Faerûnian gods existed, before time was recorded. They fought constantly in all realms of existence, across the sky at night and in other planes, waged through their mortal followers and their servitor beings, and in person. Selûne labored always to thwart Shar's dark plots. They would never forgive and never forget.[1][2][17][4][10][5][6][11][37]

The first goddess of magic, Mystryl, bore no hatred for her "mother" Shar, but did not trust her either. Shar had long tried to gain control over her.[38] The creation of the Shadow Weave made Shar the eternal enemy of the later goddess of magic, Mystra. This resulted in the brewing of a terrible war between these two powerful deities.[6] This fight escalated shortly before the Second Sundering, when Shar sought to usurp the Weave, and thus become the new Goddess of Magic.[39]

By her very nature, Shar was of course opposed to all the gods of light and fire, namely Lathander, god of the morning (her crushing of creative spirit also put her counter to his emphasis on creativity[11]), and Amaunator, the god of the sun, at least while they were together in the Netherese pantheon. She also was an enemy of Ibrandul, god of the dark underground, whom she later slew, and the unsecretive Shaundakul, god of travelers [4][10][5][6][40][41] Shar was in turn opposed by Helm, god of guardians;[42] Gargauth, the ascended archdevil;[43] and Hanali Celanil and Sehanine Moonbow of the elven pantheon.[44] Shar also saw herself as an enemy of the Cerilian goddess Nesirie, who worked to heal grief, which was anathema to the Lady of Loss. Rumor had it that even some of Shar's proxies sought refuge in Nesirie's realm, the Waves of Grief, further antagonizing the Dark Lady.[11]

She harbored a cold fury at Mask, god of shadows and thievery, out of jealousy at him holding what she thought ought to be hers, and at Hoar, god of retribution, so she might claim the portfolio of revenge.[6] Yet she tried to corrupt Hoar into a being of blind and bitter revenge[45] and Mask would ally with her except that he feared losing what was left of his power to her.[11] She had also been a foe of Tyche, goddess of fortune, during the time of Netheril.[10][46]

Shar counted as an ally Myrkul, the god of the dead,[47][4][48] and after Myrkul's death, she briefly considered an alliance with his successor Kelemvor, but this seemed unlikely given their moral differences.[11] Her only regular ally was Talona, goddess of poison and disease.[4][5][6][49] Their alliance was a recent one as of 1370 DR;[49] it's possible Talona would one day serve Shar fully in order to keep her own rival Loviatar at bay, even to have Shar slay her for her.[5][6] During the time of the Netherese pantheon, Shar had been an ally of Jergal, the then god of death and the dead, who at the time admired her seductive grace and unspeakable evil and even formally courted more than once, though he knew full well she only tried to manipulate him.[10][50] Meanwhile, she had also been an ally of Kozah, god of destruction, and Moander, god of rot and decay; both were of similar mind to her.[10][51] Targus, the god of war, was infatuated with Shar for her beauty and grace, believing her to be perfect and foolishly defending her honor against all evidence otherwise, so she could easily persuade him to do as she desired.[10][52] Even after he became Garagos, he wouldn't let his battle-hungry faithful attack those of Shar, though he wouldn't let them ally either.[53]

Shar enjoyed a working relationship with Vhaeraun.[54][55] Vhaeraun was the drow patron of shadow magic[56] and Shar was the owner of the Shadow Weave.[57] They worked together in projects that concerned this magic, like the School of the Shadow Weave, which had followers of both Vhaeraun[58][59] and Shar among them.[60] When Vhaeraun died, Shar was also one of the prime choices to whom his followers might convert.[61]

Even the elven god of vengeance Shevarash had grown close to Shar, her with soothing touch giving him some small solace. This worried the other elven deities greatly.[62]

Symbol[]

Shar symbol BG3

The holy symbol of Shar.

Her holy symbol was a black disc ringed with deep purple.[1][2][17][4]

In the time of ancient Netheril, Shar had two different holy symbols. One was a glistening eye, purple with a black pupil and outlined in black. The other was a cowled cloak designed for hunting, black and plain and spread out flat.[10]

Worshipers[]

Main article: Church of Shar
Mother of Night, darken my step as I walk among the light. Hear my prayer.
— A basic prayer to Shar.[30]

People turned to Shar's dark embrace in order to forget, whether it was pain at the loss of a loved one or bitterness at a betrayal.[1][17][6][9] Those who were blind, particularly blinded later in life by the cruelty or carelessness of others, would also pray to her for guidance. The mentally ill and the mad, and the anarchistic and the nihilistic, might also turn to her if they had a natural affinity for her ways.[6] Those sunk deep in depression would also pray to Shar.[9] Though they all knew her to be dark and vindictive, they came to her anyway in the desperate belief that she and her clergy would give solace, not thinking they would use their feelings to corrupt them. Good priests, especially those of Selûne, Mystra, and Lathander, warned them away, but often in vain. In this way, the clergy of Shar grew.[6] Ultimately, they were simply consumed by bitterness, loss, and vengefulness.[8] She was also venerated, or at last paid lip service, by beings who avoided or despised light, those who operated at night like thieves and killers, and those with something to hide or bury.[1][17]

Of course, there is no reason to try to hide anything from the Mistress of the Night—once one has realized this, and has opened one's self to her cold, comforting embrace, there is no going back... For the Dark Lady rewards loyalty with power beyond imagination.

However, folk who only had to work at night or in the dark, such as miners, would offer prayers to Shar to keep dangers at bay. Even those who'd simply lost something might beg her help finding it.[9] So, she might be worshiped by people of any morality, whether lawful or chaotic or even good, but most often by those of evil nature,[4][10][11] such as villainous thieves.[1]

Although she was a human deity, Shar was also commonly worshiped by goblinoids and other creatures who abhorred light, whether it was because they lived underground or they acted at night. Either way, they paid her homage when working in the dark.[2][17][6]

Under her stolen alias as Ibrandul, the Lurker in Darkness, Shar was also worshiped by the Ibrandulin. She still granted spells to their priests.[4]

The clergy of Shar were a secretive organization that pursued subversive tactics rather than direct confrontation with its rivals. In many cities where worshiping Shar was barred, these churches and temples were hidden because of their illegal nature. In addition to her clerics, Shar maintained an elite order of sorcerer monks, the Order of the Dark Moon, who could tap Shar's Shadow Weave. [6][64]

In the time of ancient Netheril, Shar was among the deities venerated by the lower classes.[65] Among her worshipers were the Shadovar of Thultanthar, who fled into the Plane of Shadow before Karsus's Folly and devoted their whole society to her.[66][9] In their restored Empire of Netheril in the 15th century, the Shadovar made worship of Shar the state religion and the basis for their law, with all other faiths forbidden.[7][67] Their fanaticism and tyranny, and their crimes for the glory of Shar, caused much loss and grief and led to widespread bans on her faith by the late 1400s.[9]

Shar was also venerated by many of those who used the Shadow Weave.[68]

Heresies[]

Those who believed in the Dark Moon heresy believed that Shar and Selûne were two faces of the same goddess.[69]

The She-Spider Cult of Thay tried to combine the faiths of Shar and Lolth, but both goddesses ultimately rejected them, leaving them no divine aid.[70]

History[]

Creation[]

Shar vs Selune

The goddesses Shar and Selûne locked in their eternal battle of dark and light.

According to one of the most ancient myths of the creation of the world and the heavens, after the universe and its crystal sphere were created by Lord Ao, there was naught but the primordial essence, the protoplasmic raw stuff of existence. Described as chaos and timeless nothingness, the sphere was filled with no more than dim misty shadows, neither light nor dark, for such things had not yet separated. (All that moved here were the shadevari, the thirteen lords of shadow, whose origin, whether from elsewhere or from the shadow itself, is unknown.[27]) In time, Shar coalesced from the primordial essence, alongside her twin sister, Selûne. The goddesses were beautiful, identical but polar opposites, raven-haired and silver-haired, one representing the dark, the other the light in the manner of yin and yang. Yet they were so close they saw themselves as one being, known later as the Two-Faced Goddess or the Sisters-Who-Were-One. They complemented each other[5][27][71] and brought order out of the chaos.[21]

Together, they created from the cosmic ether Abeir-Toril and the other heavenly bodies and infused these worlds with life. In the process, they formed the goddess Chauntea (at that time, the embodiment of all matter in Realmspace, later only of the world of Abeir-Toril), whom they worked with to bless the worlds with life.[5][72][27][71][21] This universe was darkened by the hair and welcoming embrace of Shar and illuminated by the cool radiant face of Selûne. However, there was no fire or heat on any of these bodies. Desiring to nurture life on the worlds that formed her body and limbs, Chauntea asked the Two-Faced Goddess for warmth. Then, for the first time, Shar and Selûne were divided, being of two minds on whether they should let there be more life on the worlds or not.[72][27][71]

The War of Light and Darkness[]

The two goddesses then fought over the fate of their creations. From the residues of these struggles emerged the original deities of magic, war, disease, murder, death, and others.[5][72][27][71] Seizing an advantage, Selûne reached out of the universe altogether and into a plane of fire and, though it burned her painfully, brought forth a fragment of ever-living flame. She ignited a heavenly body—the Sun—in order to give warmth to Chauntea.[72][27][71][note 2]

In the twilight of battle, one sister falters,
But Selûne hurls magic in desperate power.
From two sisters, one child the balance alters—
Mystryl's aid to Selûne ends Shar's dark hour!
— An excerpt from a ballad by Veseene the Lark[73]

This greatly enraged Shar; she renewed her assault on her injured sister and began to blot out all light and warmth in the universe, or the lights of Selûne, gravely weakening her. To protect the early life, Selûne tore out some of her own divine essence, though it nearly killed her, and hurled it at her sister. Selûne's essence tore through Shar, bonding with some of Shar's essence and pulling it loose. This magical energy combined to form the goddess Mystryl, the original goddess of magic. Although Mystryl was composed of both light and dark magic, she initially sided with Selûne, her first mother, giving her the upper hand. Mystryl balanced the conflict and mediated an uneasy truce.[5][72][27][71] Shar was cast into her darkness for centuries, enabling light and warmth to bathe Abeir-Toril and the other worlds.[72]

The battle left Selûne deeply wounded, and thereafter her power would wax and wane with the ages, though she would gain strength from alliances with her daughters and sons, as well as interloper deities from other planes. Meanwhile, Shar, who'd retained much of her might, once again grew strong, and was aided by the shadevari. Consumed with bitterness and loneliness, she vowed revenge and lurked in the darkness until her time to strike. The war between the sisters would go on forever more, but life struggled and flourished on the worlds, watched over by Chauntea.[72][71]

The Dawn War[]

When the primordials began to attack the newly born worlds of Realmspace, Shar and Selûne set aside their differences temporarily and moved to defend those worlds against the threat. Other gods were born from the conflict or were summoned from other universes to aid the native gods in their struggles against the primordials and their servants. This conflict was later known as the Dawn War.[74][75]

Early History[]

Once, Shar schemed to remake the whole world of Toril to suit her desires. She was aided in this by the shadevari, the Lords of Shadow, who themselves preferred darkness to the light they found blinding, and they roamed the Realms turning darkness and light back into the primeval shadow and chaos. They threatened to extinguish life on Toril. But their efforts were thwarted when the god of mages Azuth, consort to Mystra, created an illusory realm of shadows and lured the shadevari in to investigate. Before they realized they'd been fooled, he'd trapped the shadevari in the Shadowstar, a key of shadows forged by Gond containing a crystal sphere no larger than a pocket. This he threw outside Realmspace and into the farthest parts of the universe.[27]

After the Dark Diviners of Windsong Tower found the Book of the Black, which contained Augathra the Mad's secret Black Chronology, they compiled the Leaves of One Night, a tome that revealed many of Shar's own secrets. In the Year of the Sundered Crypt, 684 DR, both books were stolen by Sharrans and remained lost for centuries.[76]

Some time after the early 8th century DR, the goddess Bast started to explore the darker pleasures, and so came to be swayed by Shar. In the teachings of the Sharrans, they were closely entwined, called the Maidens of the Forbidden Fruit. Bast became known as Sharess, a goddess of lust who led the way to inevitable loss and despair. Over her time, her faith declined and her beauty and delight faded.[77] By the mid–14th century DR, Sharess was commonly seen as merely an aspect of Shar and seemed set to be fully absorbed by her.[47][77][78]

The Time of Troubles[]

During the Time of Troubles of the Year of Shadows, 1358 DR, magic went awry and the gods were forced to dwell in the mortal world. The avatar of Shar came to the city of Waterdeep in the guise of her sister Selûne. One evening, she called the faithful of Selûne to her. The next, she descended from the sky and onto the steps of the House of the Moon temple, greeted the faithful, promised her grace and protection, and encouraged them to proclaim her to be Selûne. Priests and common folk alike did so eagerly. When Luna (the true avatar of Selûne) and Vajra Valmeyjar approached, she called them unbelievers and roused the mob against Vajra while Luna confronted her. The false Selûne called her deluded, and used a sink spell to trap her, but Luna escaped with blink and flew. However, her prismatic spray failed and Shar used the Wand of the Four Moons (given to her by the temple priests) to knock Luna out. The temple guards took Luna prisoner, and Shar declared she would drive her mad before killing her.[79]

This is the battle you and I must fight forever, Shar—night devouring the light of the moon, the moon replenishing itself. That is our place in the balance of nature. The fragile, eternal balance Lord Ao has charged us gods to uphold.
— Selûne to Shar during their battle over Waterdeep.[34]

Now posing as Selûne, Shar became mistress of the temple and enjoyed its hospitality, residing in high priestess Naneatha Suaril's own quarters. Meanwhile, her true identity unknown, Luna was also kept as a "special guest"—prisoner— for a dozen days. Shar had her completely under her control,[80] using her stolen identity to confuse Luna and make her doubt herself. Shar 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.[34]

Later, a party was held at Castle Waterdeep in honor of the supposed avatar of the goddess Selûne. It was attended by Lord Piergeiron, Khelben Arunsun, Tertius Wands, Mirt and Asper, and Fenn Estelmer and Kyriani, a friend of Luna who came to investigate the avatar. However, a trio of the Dark Army of the Night—ironically, a cult devoted to Shar—crashed the party and attempted to kidnap the avatar, believing she was Selûne.[note 3] She freed herself and caught them with a bind spell before they were arrested by the City Guard. Afterward, Shar retired to the kitchen to compose herself and be alone, but Kyriani confronted her, declaring she would expose her and save Luna. Shar attacked Kyriani with minute meteors, lightning bolt, and magic missiles, while Kyriani fought back with her ring of telekinesis. Lord Piergeiron intervened and, though Kyriani was overcome, she'd revealed the avatar's reckless temper, sowing doubts among the nobility. Piergeiron ordered Kyriani arrested by the City Guard, but later escaped.[81]

Selune v Shar DC Comics

Selûne's light blasting Shar's Rod of Oblivion, during their battle over Waterdeep.

One night, Luna's friends Timoth Eyesbright and Onyx the Invincible infiltrated the temple and eavesdropped on the false avatar speaking with Naneatha and assuaging her doubts and concerns, before they were surprised by the Lunatics. Vajra and Kyriani came to their rescue, caught Luna thinking she was Shar, and unmasked her, shocked to find Luna.[80] Luna continued to fight until Vajra tackled her and convinced her of the truth. Meanwhile, Naneatha also began to question the false Selûne, who soon revealed her murderous intent. Learning that Luna was truly Selûne and that the false avatar was in fact Shar, Naneatha defiantly shoved her off the temple balcony, falling over herself. However, both were saved by Shar's featherfall spell. Shar took out her rage on Naneatha, hurling a meteor swarm; Naneatha somehow diverted the spell, but not before both were knocked unconscious. Her near self-sacrifice bought time for Luna and her friends to escape. Armed with the Rod of Oblivion, Shar went ahead and destroyed Luna's inn, the Selûne's Smile, and ambushed the returning adventurers. Shar was determined to revenge herself on the heroes for ruining her scheme to break Selûne's spirit and to finally slay Selûne herself. Powerless, Luna fell victim to the rod. Kyriani pleaded with Shar to leave Luna alone, and hurled an ice storm at the goddess when she could not, but Shar deflected it with a wall of force. Kyriani valiantly held Shar off while Timoth, Vajra, and Onyx struggled to open the dimensional doorway to Luna's inner room, where her godly power was stored, and released Selûne's godly power to Luna. She transformed into the true avatar of Selûne and with her light blasted away Shar's darkness and Rod of Oblivion, reminding her of their unceasing battle and the balance they must uphold, a balance restored by her friends. Shar vanished, and Selûne became Luna once more.[34]

Also during the Time of Troubles, Shar happened upon Ibrandul, a lesser deity of subterranean spaces, in a deep chasm in a lost level of Undermountain, and killed him in outrage at him swaying those who revered the dark away from her grasp. From him, she seized not only the portfolios of caverns, dungeons, and the Underdark, but also his church and very name. To her secret joy, she used his faith as a puppet church with which to subvert that of her sister, Selûne.[4][6][82][83]

However, Shar missed the opportunity to also kill Sharess, whom she had been slowly corrupting. Sharess had adopted as her avatar the favored concubine of Syl-Pasha Rashid el Djenispool in Calimport, and was enjoying a life of debauchery in his harem when Shar came to kill her and completely claim her. But the goddess of love Sune appeared and purified Sharess with the waters of Evergold, giving her back her beauty and her confidence with which to defy the Dark Dancer.[77][82]

Shadowstorm[]

On Eleint 20 in the Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373 DR, the Leaves of One Night was recovered by Shadovar agents. From the empty spaces in its text, they learned a ritual for summoning the Shadowstorm, catastrophic magic that could place Shar over all other deities. On Nightal 1, the priestess Elyril Hraven completed it and opened a planar rift above the city of Ordulin in Sembia. Out of the Plane of Shadow, a piece of that plane called the Adumbral Calyx emerged, obliterating Ordulin. From it came a being known as Volumvax the Divine One—in fact, Kesson Rel, the First Chosen of Mask—at the head of an army of undead shadows and shadow giants, who raised the slain as yet more shadows.[84]

Spellplague[]

In the Year of Blue Fire, 1385 DR, with the support and assistance of Shar, Cyric infiltrated Dweomerheart and brutally murdered Mystra. This caused the collapse of the Weave, the reshaping of the planes, and the cataclysmic event known as the Spellplague.[29][85] But Shar, who had planned to seize control of the Weave for herself, found that it collapsed so completely that she lost not only the Weave but her own Shadow Weave, leaving her with neither.[29]

Instead, Shar combined the Plane of Shadow with the remnant death energy of the Negative Energy Plane to create the Shadowfell, where she ruled over darkness ever since.[36]

Shar's plots were defeated but she did absorb most of the divinity of her son Mask,[86] but not before he managed to secret a portion of this power to his Chosen, Erevis Cale, using the Black Chalice. This portion was, however, absorbed not only by Erevis but also by Rivalen Tanthul and Drasek Riven.[87]

Second Sundering[]

Attack on Cormyr[]

Around the Year of the Nether Mountain Scrolls, 1486 DR, the Shadovar attempted to conquer the nearby kingdom of Cormyr. Shar's agents infiltrated even some noble ranks, such as the then-princess Raedra Obarskyr's husband Lindon Huntcrown, and her lady-in-waiting, Sulue Thundersword. The combined efforts of the War Wizards, Harpers, and Farideh lead to many an agent's capture or demise.[88][89]

A Shadovar army led by Yder Tanthul laid siege to Arabel, and succeeded in relieving Wheloon, a prison city that was once cordoned off due to its many Shar worshippers.[90] [91] The same army marched on Suzail, rumored to be accompanied by the fabled black dragon Thauglorimorgorus. Murders and explosions rocked the city, enacted by the Shadovar looking to weaken the defenses and ruin morale. With the Shadovar at their doorstep, King Irvel Obarskyr mounted a charge, in which he perished. The subsequent charge led by Raedra and her allies was highly successful, routing the Shadovar and cementing her popularity as the new Monarch.[92]

Draining of Mythals[]

On the cusp of the Second Sundering, in the Year of the Rune Lords Triumphant, 1487 DR, Shar acted through her servants in the Netherese empire of Thultanthar and its vassal state Sembia. She sought to usurp the Weave before the Tablets of Fate could be renewed, an act that would forever seal her as the new Goddess of Magic. She manifested herself before Telamont Tanthul, whose Shadovar agents spread across the land, hunting Chosen of all other gods, and draining locations where the Weave held strong.[33]

This put her at odds with Elminster and his allies, who were likewise looking to strengthen the Weave. The conflict came to a head when Elminster infiltrated Candlekeep, looking for instructions left by Khelben Arunsun for repairing the Weave. He discovered that several monks had been replaced by agents of the Shadovar led by the highly skilled Maerandor. By an error of judgement, Elminster helped Larloch drain the mythal of Candlekeep. Even so, Shar's plans here were thus foiled, and all her agents at Candlekeep perished.[93][94]

Meanwhile, the Shadovar assisted by mercenaries hired with Sembian coin were laying siege to Myth Drannor. The elves therein were powerful and, assisted by their mythal, their magical prowess was fearsome as well. But the deluge of mercenaries and Shadovar arcana slowly but surely wore them thin. Their defensive line was pushed back with each passing day. Another skilled agent of Telamont, Helgore Ulitarathulm, infiltrated the crypts below the city. He destroyed several baelnorn, draining the tombs of magic before being slain by the Srinshee. The concerted efforts of the Chosen of Mystra and elves of Myth Drannor inflicted significant casualties onto the mercenaries and Shadovar, even if it was at the cost of the city.[95] [96]

Telamont brought the floating city of Thultanthar to Myth Drannor and, after a failed attempt on his life by a Thultanthan rebel, rallied several arcanists to collectively drain the mythal of its power. Soon after, Larloch crippled their minds, and set to work to draining the mythal himself. His attempt was foiled when Elminster accepted that, in order to preserve the Realm, this last remaining mythal had to be sacrificed. As the elves escaped via portals, the floating city was dragged off course by Elminster and brought to crash upon the ruins of once-mighty Myth Drannor.[96] [39]

Shar attempted to intervene in person, but retreated when Mystra manifested to stop her. The aftermath of these events left Shar shorn of some of her greatest assets: Thultanthar, control over Sembia, most of the Tanthuls, and a large number of Shadovar.[39]

New Chosen[]

In the late 1400s DR, Shar crafted a plan to shape a daughter of Selûnites to become her next Chosen. A begrudging Mother Superior Viconia DeVir and the goddess' other servants were commanded to abduct the half-elf girl Jenevelle from her parents Emmeline and Arnell Hallowleaf, both devoted servants of Selûne. As part of Shar's plot, Arnell and Emmeline were imprisoned within the Chamber of Loss in the Cloister of Sombre Embrace in Baldur's Gate, where an avatar of the goddess herself would appear. Meanwhile, the girl now named Shadowheart was raised in the cloister as a Sharran, and her memories were stripped of her. In the Year of Three Ships Sailing, 1492 DR, the cleric Shadowheart was sent on a perilous mission for Viconia, along with four other agents of the cloister. They were bidden to steal the Astral Prism and return the artifact to the House of Grief. During her adventures as part of the Absolute crisis, Shadowheart was led to the Gauntlet of Shar by her goddess, in order for her to pass its trials and become the first member of a new order of Dark Justiciars.[97]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. Faiths & Avatars p. 140 says "doom tyrants", but no such creature is known. Instead, this is presumed to be an error for the death tyrant or doomsphere.
  2. Faiths & Avatars page 141 has Selûne create the Sun after the beginning of the war with Shar, while Faiths & Pantheons page 56 has this as the trigger for the war with Shar.
  3. The irony of the Dark Army kidnapping their own goddess is unmentioned in the comic, but it is possible this was a ruse to lend credence to Shar's disguise as Selûne and draw attention elsewhere. Khelben is briefly more inclined to accept she is Selûne, while the heroes are convinced other opponents are really Shar. This is supported by the Dark Army only kidnapping, not trying to kill, Shar.

Appearances[]

Gallery[]

References[]

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Connections[]

The Faerûnian Pantheon
Major Deities
AzuthBaneBhaalChaunteaCyricGondHelmIlmaterKelemvorKossuthLathanderLoviatarMaskMielikkiMyrkulMystra (Midnight) • OghmaSelûneSharShaundakulSilvanusSuneTalosTempusTormTymoraTyrUmberleeWaukeen
Other Members
AkadiAurilBeshabaDeneirEldathFinder WyvernspurGaragosGargauthGerronGrumbarGwaeron WindstromHoarIstishiaIyachtu XvimJergalLliiraLurueMalarMililNobanionThe Red KnightSavrasSharessShialliaSiamorpheTalonaTiamatUbtaoUlutiuValkurVelsharoon
The Netherese Pantheon
AmaunatorJannathJergalKozahMoanderMystrylSelûneSharSuneTargusTyche

Deities of the Post–Second Sundering Era
Ao the Overgod
Faerûnian Pantheon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
The Morndinsamman
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
The Seldarine
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Yondalla's Children
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Orc Pantheon
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Mulhorandi pantheon
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat



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