Tales from Elrond
Warrior Maidens of Madarua
The Warrior Maidens of Madarua are warriors and priests that worship the mostly long-forgotten deity, Madarua- goddess of birth, death and the changing seasons. Madarua’s worship, and the Warrior Maidens of Madarua are near-exclusive to the ancient and lost underground city of Cynidicea, and unless the Warrior Maidens are able to bring more followers to Madarua, the barely sustaining deity will cease to exist.
Anyone of neutral non-chaotic alignment can be lesser members of the Warrior Maidens, but full membership is limited to only females of the cleric and warrior classes. All full members must openly wear bronze masks with the visage of Madarua (a beautiful woman) and a green tunic over their armor. All true full-fledged members have a small, sickle-shaped scar on the inside of their left wrist. Lesser members need only openly wear a small golden chain that displays a miniature pendent of Madarua’s face.
The Warrior Maidens believe that neither the bombastic arrogance of the Brotherhood of Gorm nor the deceptive approach of the Magi of Usamigaras (and certainly not the evil ways of the Zargonites) is the way to better Cynidicea. They believe that only a society that operates in a direct, forward and principled manner will thrive. They will work with other societies, though, if the alternative is worse- if they can be convinced the only way to topple Zargon is by joining forces with the Brotherhood of Gorm then they will do so.
Madaura has four holy days, one at the start of each of the four seasons, on these days the life cycle is celebrated. On the morning of these holy days, the Warrior Maidens pay tribute to birth, the bringing of new lives into the world. Also in the morning, consideration is given to the joys of infancy and childhood, before one is introduced to the harshness and inequalities of life. Often a child present at the celebration gives a speech for the adults. As the day goes on, life of those in their prime is celebrated. Contests of strength are held with gifts for the victors. When evening and night come the focus is shifted to the elderly. The oldest and wisest of the Warrior Maidens now give speeches and counsel, tell stories of past glories and impart the rules of morality and the code of Madarua to the young.
Like the Brotherhood of Gorm, the Warrior Maidens of Madarua are rather direct in their approach. They believe the strongest will persevere and because of this they spend a considerable amount of time working on their fighting abilities and ensuring that they can not only hold their own in a fight but win easily against more numerous but less trained opponents.
Madarua instituted a code of justice not nearly as comprehensive as that of Gorm. It was simply two lists that anyone can remember- one of crimes punishable by death and another of crimes punishable by indentured servitude. All the followers of Madarua know these laws by heart and abide by them.
Dream for Cynidicea
The Warrior Maidens say they wish for a day when all Cynidiceans have an equal shot at whatever it is they wish to do with their lives. They wish to see a day when Cynidicea is not victim to treachery or back-handed tactics.