The Revered Maiden
The most sacred icon of The Citadel.
The Revered Maiden is a woman, often a young woman, who is brought up separately from all other children from birth. She is taught many things, far more than the average child, and if she crumbles, then The Citadel knows that it does not have a proper Revered Maiden. The tests to gain the position are of a rigor that cannot be compared to any, even the ones that The Slayers face. However, if she passes all of these trials, she becomes The Revered Maiden, and has the most authority of The Citadel.
The ideal Revered Maiden does not speak often. She will hold her tongue until absolutely necessary, and then, only when needed, give commands. The reason for her silence is simple: Any command she gives must be obeyed. It overrides the word of all the Pánov together. She has absolute authority over The Citadel, and all who inhabit it.
Though the Revered Maiden is extremely powerful, her life is full of restriction. She must remain a virgin for her entire life, or her title is stripped. She must never lie, or command anyone to lie. She must never give a command that leads to her own personal gain. She may never break any of the rules of The Citadel, even once. If she is found guilty of a single one of these crimes, she is stripped of her title.
When The Revered Maiden enters the room, you are not allowed to stand until she commands otherwise.
In reality, the Revered Maiden will never disobey The Citadel. She is part Spirit.
The tenth ring of The Citadel contains Nádej, one of the most powerful Spirits to ever live. Long ago, when The Citadel was first founded, Nádej was the one who favored the humans, and allowed them to build here. It protected them from outside threats and, true to its name, gave them hope.
Now, Nádej is fused with The Revered Maiden. This fusion does a few things. First, the Spirit’s power constantly works to keep The Citadel alive and functioning. Second, it gives The Citadel something to hold it together. And third, it secretly makes The Citadel far more powerful than Majak or Svatyne ever were. It also does things to the Revered Maiden herself. For one, she cannot perform any evil action, as Nádej is by nature a good spirit. For another, she will usually die before she reaches the age of thirty. Keeping Nádej in her body is physically taxing beyond belief. And, finally, the Revered Maiden cannot take a mortal lover. Nádej is her only lover, and this is the way it must stay.
From birth, The Revered Maiden is trained to handle The Spirit in her body without losing her own mind and personality. It is a toilsome, painful process, and many girls are found unfit for it upon their deaths. The priests who train the revered maiden are a secret sect within the High Priests, who perform their duties as normal, but hold onto these secrets, and pass them on to the next generation. This is written, but it is kept in a secret archive that is actually inside of the tenth ring.
Why does the Spirit help humanity? Why do most Spirits hate humanity?
It’s because we’re special.
No other creature is capable of surviving direct fusion with a Spirit, under any circumstances. Humans are the only ones who are capable of living through that. And it isn’t because of any magic or mysticism: it is because of the human will. The human will that allows us to survive in places where we shouldn’t, that pushes us forward and makes us succeed when there should be no hope. No other creature can match this will. The elves, the dwarves, the fey, in comparison they have nothing like it. Most of The Spirits are terrified of it. They see in humanity the only thing that could possibly threaten them. But Nádej loves the humans, and will defend them until its destruction, because this will represents hope in its purest form.