Next up in the series of Forgotten Realms releases is Moonshae, the home of druids, the earthmother and the first novel in the setting.
Douglas Niles created Moonshae while writing a novel for a TSR UK project that never came to fruition. Some time later, Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb wanted novels to support the Forgotten Realms line but didn’t have time to write them. Hearing about Douglas’ unfinished novel, and given its’ Celtic theme, they felt it was a great fit. Ed Greenwood’s original Moonshae was abandoned in favour of Douglas’ version and Darkwalker on Moonshae was released. Later that year FR2 Moonshae became the next FR series release.
Moonshae is a 64-page stapled book with a card, gatefold, cover and a large colour map of the isles.
Five chapters make up the core of the book:
- An introduction
- An overview of Moonshae
- The deities of the Moonshaes
- Specific locales of the Moonshaes
- Two appendices for using the Moonshaes and magical items of the Moonshaes
This chapter provides an insight into the Moonshae’s make-up in terms of race and class. Likewise, we get useful information on the economy, climate, and wildlife. The common conflicts amongst the peoples of Moonshae are also detailed. These include the obvious such as the issues between the Ffolk and the Northmen. We are also provided with the issues between magic users and both the Ffolk and the Northmen. Finally, we have rules for determining the weather and random encounter tables for each climate/region.
Although the next chapter specifies “deities”, the major religion in the Moonshaes is The Goddess (Earthmother). The majority of this chapter, therefore, is given over to her aims and outlook. Visitors to the Moonshaes have brought the worshop of other deities. However, because of their foreign nature, these are merely tolerated and sometimes cause friction. Finally, details are provided for The Goddess’ “children”. These are her mortal aspects in the Realms: the Leviathan, a whale; Kamerynn, the unicorn; and the Pack, dire wolves. Additionally, as the Goddess believes in balance, we are also given details on Kazgoroth, the beast, and the blood warriors, a type of undead solider.
The final half of the book provides information on the specific communites and regions of Moonshae. Each area is accompanied by narration from the master sage Elminster himself as he tours the isles. Elminster’s narration adds a level of colour that really brings the Moonshaes to life in a way that game mechanics doesn’t. It is easy to see the mental picture that Elminster’s sections paint and even provide a little more insight into Elminster himself.
Finally, we have a page of adventure ideas and just over a dozen magic items specific to the Moonshaes. The magic items are easily convertible to 5th Edition. Indeed, these are the only things in the entire book that require any conversion
This is one of the highest “fluff” to “crunch” supplements I’ve seen and should be in every library. As with most supplements from this era (it was over 30 years ago after all), getting hold of a print copy may be too expensive, but the PDF is available for $5. If you’re looking for something that’s written expressly for 5th Edition, then Baldman Games have released an updated regional guide with all new maps.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links” so if you make a purchase, I will receive some affiliate credit.