Sorry it’s taken me SO long to get back to you and I hope my absence hasn’t dampened your inquisitive spirits, cause today we have more of the mystery of the Shattered Queen, also known as The Queen of Air and Darkness.
And, now, we delve into what could be the second runner up to Auril. Also spoken of in hushed whispers among the courts of the Fey and found in that amazing tome, MONSTER MYTHOLOGY, Cegilune, the Hag Queen, may prove to be another shard of the Shattered Goddess.
Touted as creator of the Hags, Cegilune stands as an ancient power in the D&D mythos. Spoken of as ‘allegedly a dark sister to Titania’, as early as 2nd Edition, Cegilune stands at the diametric opposite of Titania, Queen of the Seelie Court. Just as Auril represented winter’s wrath opposing Titania’s summer, Cegilune is described there as an ‘ancient lunar goddess’. This pits her against Sun or Summer deities like Titania.
Monster Mythology also goes on to say that if either Cegilune or Titania were destroyed that the other would also cease to exist. This causes the good gods to have’ their hands tied’ in dealing with her much like Titania ties the hands of the Seelie Court in relations to her vaunted enemy, The Queen of Air of Darkness. The Queen of the Seelie Court stays her hand because sources say the dark ruler of the Unseelie court is her sister. Is this the same reason Cegilune cannot be stopped? Because she is a ‘dark twin’ to the bastion of good? Either their both sisters and/or twins who Titania will NOT step against OR they are irrevocably joined to a point that the death of one will be the death of both.
[One thought that we will HAVE to discuss later is the possibility that Titania and the Queen of Air and Darkness were, at one time, one being who was violently split by the Dark Diamond, therefore, their fates are still merged. Let’s shelve that for now.]
Back to Cegilune. Even Monster Mythology says that some part of the stories about Ceguline and Titania ring of falsehood. Is it because they are not related? Or is it because she is simply a shard of either the Queen of Air and Darkness or Titania herself?
Cegilune is the patron goddess of all Hags. She resides in another of the lower planes, the Grey Wastes of Hades, in a desolate pit called Hag’s End on the lowest level of that plane. But, much like Auril and the Queen of Air and Darkness, she did not begin this way. According to the article, The Ecology of the Annis Hag, printed in the 2006 Dragon Magazine #345, Cegilune began as a beautiful moon goddess. Slipping in her position as deity, she began to loose her followers to competitor gods.
This was the end of her beauty as she began to lose power and grew older. This caused her to lash out and lose more. Her youth left and she became…well…a hag. Her closest priestesses, called the Songs of Cegilune, grew aged also. Their sole purpose in life became to gain power, regain youth and make those mortals that dare not worship her pay! In the end, Cegilune was driven deep into the Grey Wastes and the few followers, protectors and clerics were transformed into the first Sea Hags, Green Hags and Annis Hags.
As the Fey courts despise ugliness, Cegilune and her Hag followers abhor beauty and work to destroy it wherever they can. The hatred definitely stems from their lost youth and the mortals they blame for it. But, if Cegilune IS a facet of the Queen of Air and Darkness, she possibly still hates her sister, Titania, for still being something she can never be.
Strangely enough, many think that D&D’s Cegilune was created with the ancient British Isle goddess, Cailleach Bheur, in mind. She was known in legend and lore as a divine hag who held sway over the weather; especially winter storms! And to make this study more twisted and intertwined, Auril herself, being the Queen of Winter’s Wrath, is serviced by none other than the dreaded Bheur Hags as handmaidens. And the Bheur Hags were cold hearted ice queens who were personifications of the destructive aspect of winter storms.
Not only that, but the Cailleach has two forms; a young beauty and a hag. Could Cegilune just be the hag visage standing opposite to the young beauty that was the original Queen of Air and Darkness? And is this idea of many facets of one goddess really that outlandish? Just look up the legend and lore of the Morrigan who appears as the maiden, the mother and the crone, as well as a battle hardened collector of souls. Just like many of our myths, like the fates and the Norns, the idea of the many faceted goddess is a reoccurring theme.
But where will it lead to next? There are so many goddesses across the multiverse that appear in many visages and MANY of them have connections to the Queen of the Unseelie Court. But do tell me what YOU think in the comments below. Some of you Deep Delvers of Lore have been at this a lot longer than I have and have your own theories. And seeing that this IS a multiverse and that all DMs come at this type of lore like a salad bar, all theories are valid. What comes next is just mine…