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The Shrine of the Tear was the secret hiding place of the Tear of Selûne between the Dawn Cataclysm and the mid-to-late 14th century DR, after which the shrine was opened by adventurers and the Tear fell into the hands of the Zhentarim.[2]

Description[]

The sole purpose of the shrine was to safely conceal the Tear of Selûne. It had no openings or obvious doors, and was carved from a single chunk of rock into a clean oval covered in intricate engravings and glyphs. When bathed in Selûne's moonlight, a large door with a single keyhole appeared. The interior of the shrine was large enough to hold six people, but the only thing inside was a small, velvet-lined silver chest that contained the Tear.[3]

Geography[]

The shrine was located in the West Galena Mountains on the Vaasan side, southwest of Mirror Lake.[1] It was hidden in a small valley that was difficult to find without guidance from Selûne herself.[3]

History[]

The shrine was built by Selûnite priestesses from the Moonsea to conceal and protect the Tear of Selûne after it fell to Toril following the Dawn Cataclysm. The Selûnites retrieved the sacred meteorite from its resting place in Thar and used a shard of it to craft the Staff of the Tear, which channeled Selûne's power and guided them north to a concealed site in Vaasa where they constructed the shrine. The key to the shrine's secret door was crafted from fragments of iron that were said to have fallen alongside the Tear.[2]

To protect the Tear further, the Selûnites magically divided the shrine's key into two pieces, one of which was sent back to a Selûnite temple in the Moonsea for safekeeping while the other was to stay with the shrine's guardians. The first half of the key was stolen by bandits during its journey southward, and the other half was stolen around the same time by a band of ogres who raided the site of the shrine shortly after its completion.[2][4]

For many years, Selûnite priestesses stood vigil over the Shrine of the Tear, and the Staff of the Tear was held by specially selected priestesses of the faith. By the mid–14th century DR, these priestesses had left or been driven away from the shrine, the Staff was lost in the Marsh of Chelimber, and both halves of the key remained missing.[2][3]

The shrine was rediscovered and opened in the Year of the Sword, 1365 DR.[3][5] An elven cleric of Selûne named Esta Starchild received a vision from the goddess guiding her to the Staff of the Tear, which in turn led her and her party, known as the Seekers, to find both keys and to retrieve the Tear itself.[3][6][7] However, the party was tracked by a force of Zhentarim agents as well as a group of orcs. These two forces fought a bloody skirmish at the entrance to the valley, trapping the Seekers inside. After the Zhentarim defeated the orcs, they attacked the Seekers, killing at least two of them and capturing the rest to take back to Zhentil Keep along with the Tear.[8]

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