The Church of Sune – Forgotten Realms Lore
Posted By Lewis Heart on November 17, 2019
So sweet child, you wish to wear the Lips of Sune? While you do look like you would fit well in the ceremonial robes of Sune’s priesthood, there is so much more that we look for from our initiates. Beauty, after all, is only skin-deep, as Sune taught us. Other faiths may have you think that we Sunites are as flighty, vain and superficial as Lady Firehair herself, but we like to see it as a reflection of our loveliness to serve the Lady of Love. There is more than beauty in the teachings of Sune. There is also love and following one’s heart to our true destiny. If you care to spend an evening of revelry, I can show you our ways. While we mostly accept humans and those mixed with elves, we also accept pure-blooded elves who see the true beauty from their own gorgeousness. Those born with locks of the flaming hue as our Lady Firehair are specially chosen to join her priesthood, but we accept any shade as long as they are kept pristine and flowing. Aside from your natural comeliness, we seek out candidates that demonstrate an alluring or pleasant appeal. Oh, gender is not a hindrance to be a Sunite. Even if females do make up most of the priesthood, that gap has slowly been declining with every passing year. Within the church itself, we have very little need for the stringent hierarchies like those observed in more pompous religions. Usually, it is the most charismatic member who leads the church. But that position can change hands on a whim. There is nothing wrong with a high priest leaving everything behind to answer the call of their heart, especially when it involves pursuing an object or person of beauty. Other ways that a priest can lose their place is if you acquire any physical imperfections. Although no one needs to know that you had to use magic or shape-shifting to conceal those scars and disfigurements, failing to protect your gift from Sune is an intolerable failing as a Sunite. The life of a Sunite priestess begins in the morning with prayers after a scented bath to refresh our spirits. If water is scarce, then a basin for hand washing will suffice, though it is not preferable. Every tenday, we celebrate the Feast of Love; an intimate and quiet affair only by invitation for the faithful. There we indulge in the simple pleasures of sipping liqueurs and nibbling pastries, as we watch lone dancers perform. Sometimes we have readings of romantic prose or songs of courtly love performed by minstrels. Other times, worshipers take their meetings to somewhere more private in the midst of the Feast of Love, but that is certainly a private matter. At least once a month, we hold the Grand Revel; a celebration that lasts from dusk-to-dawn where all are welcome and enjoy all minstrelsy activities from song, dance and recitations. All are invited to join in the Grand Revel, and it is probably where you were attracted to the church while being impressed by our finest objects of beauty on display. On Greengrass and the night of Midsummer, we take our dalliances to the outdoors, as we frolic and run on night-long flirtatious chases through forests or parks. For a priest of Sune, our most private moment in which we commune with her is during the Candle Vigil, where we dress in our ritual garment and stand in a body of water, in front of a mirror lit by natural lights or candles. During this night-long ritual, we offer our prayers to the Princess of Passion for seeking her guidance, entering the faith, or atoning for past sins. If our prayers are heard, Sune will answer us by altering our reflections. Outside of our ceremonies, the duties of a Sune cleric is to pursue a life of aesthetic enjoyment and to seek out beauty and pleasure in all things. Art is the foremost form of beauty in the eyes of the church. As Sunites, we strive to create beautiful works of art such as paintings, sculptures, glass ornaments or tapestries. I’m more of a dancer and that’s fine too. Once we have attained mastery in our craft, we share our knowledge among the clergy so that more in the church will be able to produce even more works of art. For art that we do not make, we buy. Quietly, at least. While Sune does not encourage her church to spend more than we can afford, we do pay our commissioned artisans handsomely with more than what the item is worth. This may seem like a reward for doing the beautiful work of Sune, but there are more material reasons for why we do this. When we pay more than what these items are worth, we create more demand in the market. Only then is there an abundant supply of beautiful works being made by the finest craftsmen. This is all part of Sune’s plan to fill Faerûn with beautiful things. For that, the church of Sune must not be seen doing this, and we have the blessing of Sune to use any means of disguise and subtlety to perform these transactions. In the mean time, we swear to protect and preserve beautiful objects from destruction and we know adventurers are receptive to bounties on vandals that would destroy any work of art. As well as we take care of our appearances, we also help those who wish to burn bright as Lady Firehair. Those who enter our temples or cross our paths are assisted with gifts of clothing, hairstyling, cosmetics and lessons in etiquette that would turn even the most boorish peasant wife into the most attractive lady of the court. Beauty is more than skin deep, it issues from the core of one’s being and shows one’s fair (or foul) face to the world. Believe in romance, as true love will win overall. Follow your heart to your true destination. Love none more than yourself, save Sune, and lose yourself in love of the Lady Firehair. Perform a loving act every day, and seek to awaken love in someone new each day. Respond to love at least once in a day. Encourage beauty wherever you find it. Acquire beautiful items of all sorts, and encourage, sponsor and protect the artists who produce such things whenever and wherever you find them. Keep your own body as comely as possible and as attractively displayed as situations warrant. Let hairstyle and clothing best suit your personal appearance striving to stir and delight others who look upon you. Moreover, hide not away, but always seek to present yourself to those around you in a pleasing variety of garbs and activities so as to move them with love and desire. Love those that respond to your beauty and all beauty, and let warm friendship and admiration flower where love cannot or dare not.