Blessing: +2 divine bonus to Spellcraft checks at 1st level, +2 divine bonus to Knowledge: Arcana checks at 3rd level, Magical Talent trait at 5th level, Detect Chaos/Evil/Good/Law 1x per day at 7th level, Any one Metamagic feat at 9th level (must meet prerequisites), all skill bonuses increase to +3 upon reaching 12th level
The kiss of sunlight on one’s face. The power to bend Merisyl’s mystical energies to one’s will. To seek balance in all things. These are the facets of Nuvria, the goddess of the sun, magic and balance. She appears as a resplendent Imperial Dragon with an inner glow reminiscent of the sun itself and a crackling aura of magical energy surrounding her. Though her most ardent followers are those that seek to follow the mystic arts, she also numbers those who revel in the life sustaining warmth of the sun. Be they farmers who rely on the sun to help generate bountiful harvests, those who combat creatures of darkness that shun the light, or simply hedonistic types that worship the sun for its own sake. Her least vocal followers are those who concern themselves with maintaining as much balance as is possible in the world. These people seek to make sure the scales don’t tip too far in one direction or another whether it be law versus chaos, civilization versus wilderness, country versus country, or any other situation where two extremes vie for control.
Though her followers are generally of a more neutral disposition, they do not necessarily have to be. Many a power-hungry wizard or sorcerer of evil temperament has been a worshipper of the Lady Mage. However, Nuvria herself maintains a strictly neutral outlook on her dealings with the beings of Merisyl. This is in part to her normal disposition, but also due to her being the gatekeeper to the magical power that flows through the world. If she were not to allow all interested parties equal access to the magical energies that envelope Merisyl, she knows that she would be forced to combat those beings that would seek to sway her one way or another to gain control of the very essence of magic itself. As it is, Nuvria only involves herself when one party or another seeks to dominate the flow of magic for their own ends, and only then if their doing so would somehow interfere with the ebb and flow of Merisyl’s magic in and of itself.
Though her neutral disposition might indicate that Nuvria remains aloof and out of touch with her mortal followers, this is not always the case. There are numerous reports that she manifests on Merisyl as a dazzlingly attractive female morphic. In fact, legend has it that Nuvria’s dalliances with non-draconic mortals are what led to the first draconic sorcerer bloodlines as she gave birth to divince progeny in the dim recesses of Merisyl’s past. Some whisper that these scions of Nuvria wander Merisyl still, steeped in ancient mystic lore and more powerful than many of the dragons that walk the planet. The dragons themselves of course scoff at such stories. Nuvria herself has not deigned to answer one way or another.
Centers of Worship
Temples to Nuvria are spread far and wide, from the largest cities down to small villages. Not only do many pay homage to her aspect of Mother Sun, but even non-magical types worship her for the gift of magic, as it is so intrinsically tied to many different aspect of life on Merisyl. Those blessed with magical boons of the land often see Nuvria as the giver of these gifts and pay her thanks accordingly. Mortals and agents of Nuvria that seek her wisdom in maintaining balance usually offer their worship in more subdued forms, as their workings often go counter to what might be popular in a given location. After all, if one’s country is ascendant through political manipulation or warfare, Nuvria’s agents might be working against it to keep it from becoming too popular. Thus, even those that worship Nuvria’s aspect as a goddess of the sun and magic can find themselves at odds with those that follow her philosophy of balance.
Nuvria’s church is most organized around the magical arts. By far, the majority of her teachings have to do with mastering magic and the various applications thereof. The power of the sun is self-evident and though thankful for it, her worshippers do not require instruction in how to benefit from it. The concept of balance in all things does take some learning to truly understand, but the teachings regarding it are more subdued and less pursued than those regarding the ways of magic. Though most of the top positions in the church are filled by divine casters, a goodly number of the hierarchy is comprised of various types of arcane casters. The church teaches about both forms of magic and offers studies in the comparisons and contrasts thereof. Practical demonstrations of simple spells, most often illusions, are given during services so as to make even common folk more comfortable around the magical arts.
Temples and Shrines
Nuvria’s temples are always brightly adorned. Whether with lighter colors of paint, shiny precious metals or even gem stones. Anything that can capture the sun’s light and reflect it brilliantly and allow the temple to stand out as a radiant beacon is employed, up to and including magical arts. Many of her temples in the larger cities with more powerful spell casters to call upon employ magic to capture the sun’s light during the day and radiate it at night, so that the temple acts like a miniature sun even during the darkest hours. Many of the Arcane One’s temples also employ magical illusions or other spells to enhance their appearance above and beyond anything that can be achieved through mere mundane artifice. A good number of the more elaborate temples use either a series of mirrors or magical means to direct the light of the sun to shine down in the main cathedral so that worshippers are bathed in the sun’s light during services. Smaller temples that can not afford such things usually have at least a large skylight or even an open roof to allow the sun to shine down inside during services.
Many of Nuvria’s temples in larger cities also double as schools for the magical arts. Given her aspect of balance, Nuvria requires that all magical arts be taught within the confines of her temples, even those that most goodly folk would frown upon, such as necromancy or diabolism. This is not to say that all magical academies are connected to the church. In fact, a fair number are not, though they often employ instructors that are followers of Nuvria, even if they are not tied directly to the church and its hierarchy. These independent schools may teach the forms of magic that they so choose and often will eschew the “darker arts” of magic. The same can be said of magically inclined folk that take on individual apprentices.
Shrines to Nuvria can be found in many different places. From independent magical academies, to spas catering to the rich and powerful with pools designed specifically for frolicking in the sun, to the homes of commoners. Many common folk, in particular farmers, have small shrines dedicated to Nuvria so as to pay homage to the sun and the bounty it can help bring about as well as the protection it offers during the day from the depredations of creatures of the night. These shrines most often depict either Nuvria’s holy symbol, or Mother Sun in her draconic form, sometimes with a sunburst emblem behind her.
A Priest's Role
Nuvria’s clergy spend the majority of their time teaching about the magical arts and how they apply to the everyday lives of the common folk of Merisyl. A number of them also serve as magical instructors at the temples that double as mystical academies. In more rural settings, a member of Nuvria’s clergy may be the only one in the area that can take a young sorcerer under wing and help him or her master their abilities in a safe and structured manner. Even when divine casters, Nuvria’s clergy have enough of a practical understanding of magic that they can instruct arcane casters in at least the basics of their craft.
Clergy members that lead general worship services also preach about the power of the sun and the various ways in which it helps protect and sustain life on Merisyl. From helping to grow crops, to the warmth it brings, as well as its power to banish the undead and other creatures of the night, they teach that Nuvria’s gift of the sun is one that enriches all beings on Merisyl, whether they appreciate that fact or not.
The most sedate of Nuvria’s followers are those that preach the ways of balance. Theirs is not a calling followed by many, but for those that do follow these teachings, they are often quite dedicated to maintaining balance in whatever aspect of life on Merisyl draws their attention as being out of equilibrium. That being said, Nuvria also teaches that to maintain their neutrality and balanced minds, these agents must from time to time attend to regular duties of the clergy so that they do not become too obsessed with balancing one side or the other in whichever “conflict” they are monitoring.
Seeking to maintain balance, Nuvria’s church does not divide its clergy into different orders as other religious institutions are wont to do.
Nuvria of course finds her most ardent adventuring followers amongst those that practice arcane magic in some form. From wizards to alchemists, any that draw upon arcane knowledge or power to further themselves at least pay some lip service to Nuvria. Correspondingly, she has very little to no adherents among the more physically capable adventuring classes. Fighters for instance have little need to thank Nuvria for the good steel that constitutes their weaponry. No, that would be more Ator’s purvue.
Nuvria’s followers dress in brightly colored clothing in shades most reminiscent of sunlight. They often adorn these clothes with mystical runes or symbols which are usually merely for decoration, but occasionally have some practical application, depending on who created them.
Arcanis Concordat is Nuvria’s primary religious text. It espouses all the virtues of the magical arts, warns against its abuse and lays out general teachings and practical applications and knowledge so that even a non-magically inclined individual can learn how magic works if they are of a mind to. Anyone spending a week reading the book can gain a +1 divine bonus to Knowledge: Arcana.
The Balanced Way teaches that it is not good for Merisyl to teeter too far in one direction or the other as regards general concepts like good/evil, law/chaos, as well as why it is better for no one country or other political entity to dominate all of the others.
The Arcane is Divine. This saying, mostly used by Nuvria’s clergy and most ardent followers, is used to remind others that arcane power is a blessing bestowed by Nuvria’s stewardship over the magical energy of Merisyl.
A balanced mind is a peaceful mind. This saying reflects the idea of certain followers of Nuvria that a mind in harmony with itself is more capable of achieving its full potential because it is not struggling too mightily against any one thing.
Nuvria’s Light Shine on Thee. May your endeavor/journey/task/undertaking meet with success as Nuvria watches over you.
Nuvria Protect and Keep Thee until morn. Most often used amongst those that live in areas with known night time creatures that go marauding.
Relations with Other Religions
Nuvria maintains a goodly distance in her relationships with other deities so as to maintain her neutrality as the keeper of Merisyl’s magic. This attitude is reflected in her church’s interaction with the churches of other deities. Though her agents of balance do sometimes find themselves at odds with the followers of other deities depending on what said followers are seeking to perpetrate.
According to the lore of her followers, Nuvria is rarely seen upon the draconic plane itself. While certainly capable of traveling there, it is thought she resides on the material plane so as to keep a close eye on the magical energies of Merisyl. It is most often posited that she actually dwells within the sun itself, though whether this is true or not is unknown.
Krans’fa’laxis: A gold dragon with levels in wizard. He is her most seen servant upon Merisyl as he often takes on humanoid form to spread new magical teachings amongst Nuvria’s followers.
Esfelder: A kobold inquisitor that is rumored to be Nuvria’s most effective agent in maintaining balance. Those that know of him know that when he appears in an area, there’s a good chance that whomever or whatever is in ascendance at that moment in time is in for a precipitous fall. He often travels with a morphic summoner named Arndragor whose eidolon appears as a miniature imperial dragon.