Mayaheine is the demigoddess of Protection, Justice, and Valor. She was originally a mortal paladin of Pelor, brought to Oerth from another world during the Greyhawk Wars to help fight the rising tide of evil. Her first recorded sighting was in 583 CY.
Mayaheine's followers are mostly humans, although a few dwarves, gnomes, hobbits and half-elves are devoted to her. Most of her followers are of modest origin and her faith is also popular with regular soldiers. All of Mayaheine's followers are of good.
Mayaheine's faith is a young one, still growing and very much tied to the church of Pelor. Her worshipers see her as a savior come to rescue them from the darkness that threatens the world in these grim times.
Priests of Mayaheine are often guided by and always defer to priests of Pelor. Her clerics are often relatively young. Mayaheine priests are constantly training in the arts of war and training there regularly. However, they also spend a lot of time learning how to heal injuries and illnesses. These two teachings are given within worship. Apart from these almost daily tasks, the priests also spend a lot of time patrolling the territories they administer and make very frequent visits to the communities in their charge. They even aid communities in building walls and other defensive structures. A very small number of Mayaheine priests are wanderers. During their travels, these priests try to help the villages they meet to build defenses and to protect themselves in case of attack.
The priests of Mayaheine are honest and direct people. In general, of modest social origin, they are often close to the people and their concerns. They are kind people and very appreciated for their physical as well as moral benefits. "Until the Lady calls us" is the expression that best characterizes them. It is an encouragement before combat by which the priest indicates his intention to fight until his death or that of his enemies. This act also marks the priest's determination to die for those he elected to protect.
VestmentsPriests of Mayaheine wear white robes with a gold trim. Paladin's often dress in ceremonial silvered platemail, with a white tabard emblazoned with Mayaheine's symbol. They carry a shield bearing her symbol and usually wield a longsword.
Sacred Shield of Mayaheine: The sacred shields are shields of exceptional qualities which have been dedicated specifically to the worship of Mayaheine. They are invariably white and all bear the symbol of Mayaheine. They may or may not be magic, but they are rarely used in combat because of their extremely sacred nature. Some are said to have special protective powers.
HierarchyThe hierarchy within the church is very well established and sanctioned by titles, an currently split into two main branches: the Western Shield and the Eastern Shield. Each branch protects a specific area in Flaneasss. Only priests and paladins can climb to the highest levels of responsibility. Others cannot go beyond the title of Brother or Sister of Mayaheine. Only one Protector Lord (typically at least level 12) is at the head of a shield. He is not necessarily the highest level priest in the shield and his appointment depends on Mayaheine herself. Below him are the Arms of Mayaheine (levels 9 to 11). The Shields of Mayaheine (levels 7 to 8) are the heads of temples and leaders of war units. The Soldiers of Mayaheine (levels 4 to 6) are under their orders and direct small chapels or units. The Brothers and Sisters of Mayaheine (level 2 to 3) are under the Soldiers; the majority of common tasks are assigned to them, such as patrolling, carrying messages, etc. The Acolytes (level 0 to 1) are priests who have not been confirmed. Acolytes have to fulfill a mission, after which they are generally promoted to the rank of Brother or Sister.
TemplesThe temples and churches dedicated to Mayaheine are usually built in areas where there is danger of imminent attack. They always have a perimeter wall built with the best building material you can find in the area (commonly granite). These constructions always have at least two floors and the only entrance is at the front. A statue of the goddess in warlike dress with her long bow and her sword in hands typically stands in the antechamber. This place can be used as a prayer room when the heart of the temple is not accessible, that is to say when the priests of Mayaheine are not there. This room has a single, very solid door that is narrow enough to allow only one person to pass at a time. This leads to the center of the temple which is both a prayer hall and trophy room. The number of trophies is a sign of the power of the temple and its priests. In this room sits a large altar with a sacred shield of Mayaheine resting on top, which is engraved the symbol of the goddess. It is flanked by two candlesticks, permanently lit so as to symbolize the benevolent light of Pelor who gave life to Mayaheine. Behind the altar is always an immaculate white banner with the symbol of Mayaheine. The priests live on the first floor where they maintain an armory for the faithful. There are mostly long bows, bastard swords, armor and shields. This floor has access to the roof, which is normally crenelated, and on which there is usually a bell or gong to alert the surrounding area in case of attack. Believers are buried in the basements of the temple.
Most temples or chapels dedicated to Mayaheine maintain a troop of well-equipped and well-trained guards. This troop protects both the temple and the rest of the communities in the area. These guards generally wear chain mail (at least) and a pike, long bow or sword. A small part of these men will be mounted on medium warhorses.
OrdersPaladins of Mayaheine are known as Valiants. Their motto is "Fortitude within and valor without." They are few, as their order has only existed since the 580s CY. Most of them have emerged from existing Pelorian knighthoods. As many as three in five of them are female. The Valiants dedicate themselves to the protection of the innocent, downtrodden, and good. They typically wear flowing tabards cinched with a golden cord or girdle at the waist, usually with the symbol of Mayaheine emblazoned on them. They favor light blues, greens, and tans.
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Protect those who need it. For good to survive it is necessary to defend the weak and innocent. Bravery, strength of mind, and perseverance in times of hardship or danger are virtues, and adherence to the concepts of justice, fairness, and righteousness are essential. Obedience to Pelor the Sun Father is as important as devotion to the Shield Maiden. Just as Mayaheine traveled a long way to aid our world, it may be necessary for the faithful to travel far to uphold her word.
Mayaheine is portrayed as a strikingly tall woman (6'4") with blue eyes and auburn-gold hair. She is garbed in silvery plate mail. Her shield, Hope's Champion, turns back evil magic upon its source, and her bastard sword Triumph stuns fiends and tyrants with a touch.
Mayaheine is a servant and paladin of Pelor, and her faith serves as a more strongly martial complement to Pelor's church.
Her relationship with Heironeous is more uncertain, but most of their respective clergy sees their roles as complementary, Mayaheine as protector and Heironeous as the one who marshals the hosts to battle.