Prince Nuada, Aergethlam, Silver-Hand, The Guardian of Arvandor, The Light of the Elves.
Nuada appears as a very tall tall, blonde Sun-Elf with his right arm all in silver. He is usually depicted as dual-wielding shining swords, and wearing highly polished armor. Elves who can recall their dreams of Arvandor describe him as stern, but welcoming. His personal symbol is a silver palm. Within the Church of Light, he is symbolized by the 5th ray of sunlight coming off the Sun of Pelor.
In the days after The Battle of Baator, Corellon Larethian came to visit the house of his former companion. While residing at The House of the Sun, Corellon chanced to see Aurora bathing with her handmaids in the garden. With the help of Orpheus, Corellon stole Aurora away from The Radiant Palace, and the three of them hid in one of the secret, wild places that only Corellon knew. Lathander pursued then, but he was tricked when Orpheus changed his form, and appeared as Aurora.
Aurora lived in the Fey Wilderness with Corellon for many years, and begat a child whose likeness was that of The Sun. However, the heart of The Summer Prince could not be caged, even for the love of the Dawn Goddess and her son. Before leaving with his bard, Corellon set a star in the sky for the boy, and gave him a crown of silver. Alone in the wild, Aurora took her son, and returned to Pelor’s House.
Nuada grew into a fierce warrior, under the training of his uncle Lathander. From Ilmater, he learned patience and the way of true justice. Eldatha blessed her grandson with the gift of healing. When Nuada was fully grown, Pelor bade him to bring The Light to the Elven people. Fully-grown, Nuada went to his father’s lands. Upon seeing his silver crown, Tatiana and Oberon welcomed the boy with open arms, and honored the star his father had placed in the sky.
In his rest among The Elves, Nuada first heard the cries of those who were lost along the way to Arvandor. Unable to sleep, he found his sire, and rebuked Corellon for allowing the souls of Elvenkind to fall prey to Lolth’s spiders. Nuada took up his sword, and departed to wage battle against the hungry spiders of Lolth.
Spurred by Nuada’s words, Oberon departed for his workshop in the Land of Winter. For a year and a day, Oberon worked to craft the perfect hunter to combat Lolth’s spiders. When he was finished, he gave his creation the name “Sehanine”, set a bow to her hand and ordered her to hunt along the paths to Arvandor for any who did not belong.
However, for a year and a day, Nuada had guarded the gates alone. He sustained grievous wounds, and despite Eldatha’s gift of healing, began to lose his arm to corruption. Nuada remembered the resolve of Ilmater, and dared not back down from the spiders.
Sehanine found him half-crazed with fever, and a spider impaled upon his sword. She carried him away, and brought him to The Summer Court. The corruption had advanced so far that The Summer Queen, who held Life in her hands, could only just sustain the boy’s life. Corellon watched as his son’s arm was cut from his body, and The Summer Prince was confronted with what his inaction had wrought.
Corellon departed The Feywild, and with the help of Sehanine, fully drove the spiders from Arvandor. Nuada received the gift of a silver arm from Orpheus, and the clever Eilistraee. He vigilantly watches the gates of Arvandor, for when his father’s fickle resolve inevitably falters. Nuada is ever-ready to protect the souls of the Elven dead.
Nuada is worshipped differently within and without the Church of Light.
Within The Church of Light, Nuada is regarded as a “The Light of The Elves”, who is destined to become the chief God of the Elves, and eventually bring Elvenkind under the umbrella of Pelor’s Church of Light.
Outside of the Church of Light, Prince Nuada Aergethlam is worshipped as a member of The Seldarine, and as the “Faithful Guardian of Arvandor”. Although it is chiefly Corellon’s duty to guard Arvandor against incursions by Lolth, Corellon cannot be trusted to remain vigilant for all time. Nuada guards Arvandor whenever his father’s heart wanders away from the plight of the elven dead. He is a familiar presence in the dreams of living elves, and regarded as the sire of the Sun Elves. Nuada is the ideal that elves are to strive towards; he is a warrior and philosopher who holds his honor, and the honor of his people, in very high regard.
Protection of the good dead. Destruction of the evil dead. Faithfulness. Courage. Vigilance. Mental and physical perfection. As a guardian of Arvandor, Nuada has some aspect as a fertility God, but that role is usually regulated to Corellon Larethian.
Prince Nuada is a fairly simplistic deity. He is a straightforward elf who wears his philosophies on his sleeve. Elves who have meditated upon Nuada’s teachings, and communed with The Prince during their waking dreams have found a strength and surety of spirit that is unparallelled.
The worship of Prince Nuada is conducted quite differently within The Church of Light, whose adherents are mainly humans and half-elves who do not have the waking dreams of Arvandor. Many of Nuada’s half-elf worshippers believe that, through worshiping Nuada, and living his ideal, they may be accepted into Arvandor and reborn as elves. For them, Prince Nuada is a deity of rebirth.
The Church of the Light considers Nuada to be the “5th ray” of the ever-burning Sun, Pelor. As he is the son of Aurora, Nuada is “Flesh of the Light”, and considered an acceptable deity for worship. Within The Church of the Light, Nuada is seen as the one who is to bring all of Elvenkind under the banner of Pelor’s worship.
Within The Church of the Light, Nuada is most closely allied with Lathander, who taught him to wield a sword.
As a son of Corellon Larethian, Prince Nuada Aergethlam is a full-fledged member of The Seldarine. He is one of the mysterious Fey Princes who can be found at either The Summer or Winter courts of The Feywild. He is closely allied with the rest of The Seldarine, which includes Corellon Larethian, Sehanine Moonbow, Orpheus Latonides, and Corellon’s non-drow offspring.
Among The Seldarine, Prince Nuada is especially close to Princess Eilistraee, because she forged his silver arm. He has a vast collection of arms and armor that she has also forged for him.
Lolth is the primary enemy of Prince Nuada Aergethlam. He genuinely hates her for her predations upon the souls of Elven dead. His anger over the loss of his arm is secondary to his rage when her spiders stalk the paths of Arvandor.
The other great enemy of Prince Nuada are vampires, and by extension, Lord Mephistopheles. Aurora, Nuada’s mother, cursed vampires to flee before her gaze. Nuada shares his mothers hatred of vampires, and others who would unnaturally extend their years by feeding upon the living.
Within The Church of the Light, Nuada’s clergy are almost exclusively Half-elves or Sun Elves. Half-elves strive to live up to Nuada’s example, and be welcomed in to Arvandor after their days have ended. Sun Elves constantly challenge and educate themselves in pursuit of Nuada’s order for physical and mental excellence. The clergy of Nuada are rarely found within his temples, as they are usually quite busy wandering, seeking new challenges, or following up on reports of rising dead. Often, his temples are staffed by priests of related pantheons, and share their purpose with other deities.
Temples of The Light that are dedicated to Nuada follow Elven temple aesthetics. As Nuada is the patron of several paladin orders, a temple dedicated to him would have a barracks nearby where his paladins could find rest. Nuada’s temples often have several areas where physical and mental training can take place.
Nuada’s shrines within a larger, more general-purpose Temple of Light would be an altar with a silver gauntlet upon it. There would be a few seats before it, so that faithful could reflect and meditate before the altar.
Solar eclipses highlight the duality of Nuada’s worship. A solar eclipse is regarded as a day when the house of Pelor are at their most vulnerable, and the enemies of light may strike. They are fearful times for the faithful of The Light. However, for Nuada, a solar eclipse means that his vigil can be relaxed. Sehanine Moonbow is at the height of her power during the eclipse, and Lolth’s spiders dare not show their faces in the weeks leading up to one.
During an eclipse, the souls of Elven Dead leave Arvandor to visit their living relatives. Glimpses of Nuada may be seen, as he walks among his charges to ensure their safety in The Mortal Realm. Offerings to Nuada, Sehanine and Corellon are freely given, in the hope that the spirits will be led safely to their home.
Prince Nuada is a patron of the Curwen Family, and extends his blessing to those among the Curwens who follow his examples of mental and physical perfection.
Prince Nuada has granted each one of his children, his literal sons and daughters, a special blade from among his collection of weapons forged by Princess Eilistraee. These weapons follow the properties of Moonblades in the DMG, however it would be inappropriate to call them such, as they are gifts from a Sun God. Each one of these blades is known by a proper name, which is usually the same name as the family that owns it.
The ability to draw one of these blades forth from its sheath is not only proof of a family's noble heritage, but also proof of that individual’s adherence to Nuada’s ideals. There are currently thirteen known “Sun Elf Blades”, but not all of them are “active” at this time.
One of the more infamous Sun Elf Blades, called “The Brightblade”, is currently wielded by Captain Percivale Brightblade. He is a Sun Elf who commands the city watch of the Capital of the Dragonborn Empire. Captain Brightblade is famous for his ability to root out corruption within the ranks of the city watch, and for being the one who struck the killing blow against Emperor Rex XIX “The Terrible”.
As stated above, there are offshoots of Nuada’s followers who believe that their God is destined to usurp his father’s place as the chief deity of the elves. Nuada himself does not believe this, as he is well aware that his unwavering nature is not considered a virtue by most elves. However, he permits this offshoot to believe what they will about his role in the hierarchy of The Seldarine.
There are also some who fervently believe that Prince Nuada is the son of Orpheus Latonides, rather than Corellon Larethian. Worshippers of Prince Eros and Princess Luame (who feel threatened by Nuada’s primacy) especially encourage this belief, as it would mean that Prince Nuada is not a true member of The Seldarine.
Some sects of elves are uncomfortable with Prince Nuada’s worship, as he is arguably not a full-blooded elf. Depending upon how the texts are interpreted, Nuada’s maternal grandmother (Eldatha) is believed to be an Eladrin, which makes Nuada’s mother, Aurora, a half-elf. It is widely known that the children of a half-elf and an elf are capable of entering Arvandor, and thus technically counted among the numbers of Elvenkind. However, ¾ Elves are regarded as second-class citizens within many Elven conclaves. The idea that a member of The Seldarine is a ¾ Elf, even if they are the son of Corellon Larethian, is uncomfortable for many Wood and Moon Elves.