Demon Lord of Darkness and Lust
Nocticula (pronounced nok-TICK-you-lah),3 the Redeemer Queen, is a goddess of artists, midnight, and exiles, and a former demon lord who concerned herself then with the metaphysical qualities of darkness and lust. She excelled in seduction, beauty, cruelty, and sadism.45
Nocticula originated as the first succubus in the Outer Rifts, eventually ascending to become the demon lord of assassins and ruler of her former kind. When Nahyndri, demon lord of gems, prisons and slavery, tried to enslave her, Nocticula killed him in self-defence and discovered that she had the power to kill other demon lords. During her time as a demon lord, Nocticula seduced and killed numerous rivals, effectively serving as a check against their proliferation. With each death, her power grew, as did her conviction to turn against her demonic nature; she eventually made it her goal to become a full goddess and abandon evil alltogether.678 Some time after aiding a group of adventurers that later defeated Deskari and closed the Worldwound, Nocticula vanished from the Outer Rifts and achieved her goal, leaving her demonic nature behind and becoming a full goddess.75
Nocticula's unholy symbol consisted of a crown with many points wrapped with prickly vines. She was also symbolised with a demonic rune.6 Since ascension, her holy symbol is a moon with a pair of smirking lips and a seven-pointed crown.5
Nocticula once dwelt in the House of Silken Shadows within the Abyssal realm known as the Midnight Isles, an island realm shrouded in sensual immorality and eternal darkness.9 One of her first acts as a full deity was to form a new realm, the Midnight's Palette, in the Boundless Azure Ocean of Elysium near the border with the Maelstrom.5
When she was still a demon lord, Nocticula appeared as a succubus who wore her dark hair in a complex style. Her eyes were devoid of pupils, her fingers were tipped with talons, and her feet ended in stony hooves that exuded red-hot, liquid iron. Her batlike wings were covered with glowing runes, and three stinger-tipped tails completed her demonic visage. Like her brother, Socothbenoth, she often shifted her form to meet the deepest, darkest desires of those observing her.41011
As the Redeemer Queen, Nocticula has blue or purple hair and a gentler expression. Her new outfit is more complex and less revealing, although she retains her batlike wings and triple tails ending in blades.1213
Nocticula is a master at seduction, so much so that even the other mighty demon lords were not immune to her persuasive charms. Her greatest triumph was the seduction and murder of Vyriavaxus, the former demon lord of shadows. His essence was used to form the largest of Nocticula's Midnight Isles.14 As a result, most demon lords treated her with extreme caution. Despite their stern forbearance, her unearthly beauty also inspired lust and obsession, which tempered their fears.911
The only exception to Nocticula's distrustful relationships with other demon lords was that with her brother Socothbenoth, with whom she once maintained a relatively friendly, and more disturbingly, frequently incestuous relationship. Socothbenoth eventually grew jealous of his sister's power and attempted to assassinate her, only to be humiliated as she left him broken on the steps before his realm, the Cathedral Thelemic. Socothbenoth was infuriated by how Nocticula disdained his actions and refused to acknowledge him, and feared that he might become her next victim, but this occurrence had not happened before her ascension.118
Some believe that Nocticula served Lamashtu as her personal assassin in clearing the Outer Rifts of undesirables, but this theory holds no merit when one takes into account that she never threatened Lamashtu's archenemy Pazuzu. Indeed, Lamashtu's cult had recently become far more hostile towards Nocticula's interests, as Lamashtu rightly predicted that Nocticula would follow her as the second demon lord to ascend to godhood.118 Baphomet is enraged by Nocticula.15
Nocticula once regarded the nascent demon lord Shamira as both a valued lover, companion, and minion, as well as the closest thing she had to a rival. Nocticula tasked Shamira with governing the city of Alushinyrra on her behalf, answering only to Nocticula and informing her if she needed to intervene in important events.16 Since her ascension, she left her old realm under the oversight of Shamira. Shamira holds no ill will toward her former mistress, but other demon lords and their cults are eager for vengeance, lest they stray from evil like she did.5
Church of Nocticula
As a demon lord
A cruel sadist on one hand and a seductive beauty on the other, as a demon lord, Nocticula was patron to traitors, assassins, and succubi (both literally and figuratively).4 Assassins' guilds in her service were established in many cities4 and were constantly at odds with other guilds, especially the feared Red Mantis, often leading to protracted shadow wars. She was particularly popular amongst the drow of Golarion, and was taken on as the patron of House Misraria.18 She was also worshiped in places of decadence such as Katapesh, Nex, Geb, and certain River Kingdoms.911 Nocticula was also venerated among the Lamyros, a group of Pharasma-cursed creatures that loathe all the gods, and take pleasure in confounding and destroying their mortal servants.19
As the Redeemer Queen
Nocticula's followers included a once-heretical sect named the Cult of the Redeemer Queen, whose members rightly believed that their patron was seeking to leave behind her demonic nature and become a goddess of artists, outcasts, and midnight.620
This was believed by others to be a ruse on Nocticula's part; although these skeptics agreed that Nocticula sought true godhood, they believed that the demon lord sought to become an assassin of gods and seeded rumors of her quest for redemption to hide her true intentions.6 Likewise, the cult has faced opposition and assassinations from more orthodox worshippers of Nocticula.20 Nocticula herself seemed to enjoy the strife caused by these disagreements, and granted her once-heretical followers the same magic that she granted to her traditional evil worshippers.6 In the end, the Cult of the Redeemer Queen was ultimately proven right.5
Since Nocticula ascended and left her evil ways behind, her followers found themselves faced with a predicament, as she stopped granting divine magic to chaotic evil worshippers. Some followed her into redemption and sought to cast off evil as well, but many more cannot abandon their murderous or hedonistic ways and turned their worship to other demon lords, most often Socothbenoth, Shax, and Zura. In the meantime, the Redeemer Queen's cult has spread quickly, particularly in New Thassilon, and especially among artists, eccentrics, and those who exult in the darkest nights.215 She counts Sorshen, queen of New Thassilon, among her devotees.13
Nocticula's following has also become established in western Varisia and has developed purchase in Nidal, where it has gained popularity among rebels seeking an opposing expression of darkness and the night than the pain and loss embodied by Zon-Kuthon.22 She is also seeing a growing number of worshippers in Mendevian towns, such as Egede.23
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- Nocticula (Dungeons & Dragons character) on Wikipedia