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The Painted Lady

The Painted Lady is the magical priestess, for the lack of a better word, of Aureia . The term Painted Lady is a rough translation, and in Aureian the exact words have a slightly different definition. The Aureian word "painted" could also be translated as appointed, chosen or destined, while the term "lady" is never used for human females, but only for female deities. 
The Painted Lady is viewed in similar light as an actual goddess; admired and respected by all, and even prayed to under certain circumstances. It is believed that the Painted Lady is the reincarnation of Geom Aurea, the creator of life. In truth, this is not really the case, but instead she is the destined listener and messenger.   

Aurea’s court

The Painted Lady is a title not given to a single person, but to multiple. When the Painted Lady passes away, a new one will arise. The identity of the next Painted Lady cannot be entirely certain until the moment she arises, but assumptions can be made. Firstly, the Painted Lady is always female. Secondly, the Painted Lady is gifted in the magical arts. Thirdly, the Painted Lady is clairvoyant to a certain extent, and the current Painted Lady will have an intuitive feeling on the matter.
All girls with the potential of arising as the next Painted Lady are taught in the way of the wings. These girls are also known as Caterpillars. Caterpillars who turn out not to be the Painted Lady, will join her court instead and become Aurea's Maidens. They will protect the Painted Lady and aid her in every way possible. The Painted Lady, also known as Aurea Reincarnated or Aurea's Chosen, together with Aurea's maidens form Aurea's court.  

Societal role

The Painted Lady has a special role and function in Aureian society. Her clairvoyant abilities grant her the powers to predict the country's welfare, and thus she performs an advisory role to the country's monarch. 
Being the reincarnation of the great Geom Aurea also makes her the head of religion. While most religious practices are daily and personal rituals, and mainly performed at home or personally at a shrine, bigger festivities are led by the Painted Lady. For one of these festivities the Painted Lady does not only lead the ceremony, but is the only person who can perform it. This is the ritual of Crossing, the last day of a person's life cycle. During this ritual, the Painted Lady guides the souls of the diseased to the afterlife. It is believed that the soul of a diseased person is unable to cross over to the afterlife if it roams the land of the living for more than a year. To ensure every soul has enough time to say their goodbyes, but crosses over before the first anniversary of their death, this ritual is performed twice a year on the days of vernal and autumnal equinox. It is believed that on these days, the veil between the world of the living and the afterlife is the thinnest and spirits can cross easily without trouble.  

Abilities

The abilities the Painted Lady possess are clairvoyance, conjuring and enchantment. The Painted Lady possesses a staff, passed down from the previous to the next Painted Lady, through which she channels magic. The magic staff of the Painted Lady is a most peculiar magical object, as it seems to be alive and part of the Painted Lady herself. When not carried around, the staff is stored, and summoned upon need, from within.

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