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Maatby Marco Dalmonte
Patroness of Honour and Justice, Patroness of Honesty and Purity
Level, Alignment, Sphere: 30th (Eternal), LG, Matter
Symbol: a white plume
Portfolio: justice, honour, virtue, honesty, order, integrity, loyalty, redemption, fighting evil and chaos
Worshipped in: Alphatia, Isle of Dawn (Helskir, Thothia), Hollow World (Nithia), Known World (Darokin, Northern Reaches, Thyatis, Ylaruam)
Appearance: a beautiful woman with a noble and determined figure, long black hair that covers her shoulders, hazelnut eyes dyed with black lines that shine with magnetic strength and disarming sweetness at the same time, clad with an elaborated white Nithian robe that highlights her statuary physique, wearing an emerald amulet in the shape of a scarab on her heart, a scale with a white ivory plume on one of the two plates in her left hand and a sword in her right hand (a khopesh or a katana, according to the culture), ready to mete out justice and stand for the cause of Law and Good.
LIKELY THEORY: during her mortal life at the beginning of the Nithian civilisation, Maat was a paladin renowned for her beauty, her courage and her virtue. She was a brave warrior-leader of a small tribe that dwelt near the springs of the river Nithia, and her faith in justice and respect for traditions served as leading example to many during her life, bringing order and civilisation among the savage Nithians. Her passionate defence of justice and life were so strong that she never let herself be overcome with rage or spite. She always respected her oaths, refused to kill babies, women and innocent animals, and gave mercy to all those who surrendered (something very odd for the savage Nithians of those times). Many Entropics tried to lure them away from the cause of good with tricks, temptations and false promises, but she never abided her principles. Her virtue and goodwill was so striking that she deeply impressed Terra, and the immortal chose to test Maat one more time, to understand if she was worth embarking on the path of the Polymath.
During Maat's stay in the Delta region, a harsh famine hit the area, followed by a devastating disease that decimated the families living there. No matter how hard she tried to put an end to both disgraces with her powers and cooperating with the local clerics, Maat could not succeed. The local sages pleaded then the most important oracle for a solution to their affliction. The Sphinx gave them a clever riddle that eventually Maat solved: the gods were testing their worshippers, and only if they had given Mother Earth (Mut) the purest and most innocent thing they possessed, this purity would have healed both the land and its inhabitants from their diseases. The high priests met and they convened that they had to sacrifice a newborn child, whose pure soul would have been offered to appease Mut. Aghast by this decision, Maat proposed to switch place with the baby, since she was still a virgin and had always acted on behalf of the cause of Good. The high priests however were too terrified to fail and they refused Maat's proposal. During the public ceremony however, Maat interfered and paralysed the clerics with her magics, sacrificing her life on the altar to save the region, the afflicted and the newborn child. Great was the astonishment among the people when they saw a huge vulture (Mut's symbol) hovering down from the sky and catching between her massive claws Maat's corpse. Then it took off flying westwards, and wherever Maat's blood fell the plants grew and the diseased were healed. The people of the Delta celebrated Maat's sacrifice that renewed their world and they started worshipping her as Mut's daughter.
Sufficiently convinced of Maat's goodness, Terra reincarnated her erasing her memories and pushed her onto the Path of the Polymath, with the task of retrieving each time the Ivory Plume, a powerful artifact of Matter. Maat never failed Terra's expectations, and all his epic deeds in various part of the Nithian basin resulted in creating a true cult that worshipped Maat as patroness of Justice and Purity, associating her to the Ivory Plume. When Terra gave her back all the memories of her past lives, Maat understood she was near attaining immortality and set out for her last quest: the unification of the tribes living in the Nithian valley.
On her path she stumbled on Chardastes and freed him from his slavery. After hearing his story, she vowed to help him reclaim his lost throne seeing an opportunity to reach her goal. They allied with the mighty Pflarr, and after a brutal war against Apophis they were able to unite the various duchies of High Nithia under the banner of the Kingdom of Nithia ruled by Chardastes. After building the Pyramid of Light, a towering monument to the glorious Justice of Ra she embodied, Maat was struck down by a ray of sunlight in the middle of the night and she ascended to the heavens after completing the path of the Polymath in BC 1530. Following Chardastes's orders, the Nithians created elaborated rituals to worship Maat, who became the embodiment of divine Justice. Maat became thus a ground figure in the Nithian pantheon (goddess of honour and justice, mother of Nithia), broadening then the base of her followers when the Nithians expanded their influence to the four corners of the world.
At Nithia's downfall (which she helped to cause after assessing the corruption that had almost devoured the heart of her nation) her cult survived in different areas. She's currently worshipped on the outer world mostly by secret cults that have the duty of guarding ancient forbidden Nithian mysteries and of preventing Chaos and Evil to spread on Mystara.
Personality: Maat is patroness of justice and noble ideals, sacrifice and goodwill, honour and loyalty, and of all those who use their talents for the cause of Good, fighting against Evil and Chaos with virtue and bravery. The way of Maat consists of strict moral and honour codes, celibacy and prayer, charity and respect of laws. Because of her passionate defence of the cause of Matter, Law and Good she became the fierce enemy of all the Entropic and Chaotic forces who want to subvert the natural order for sheer pleasure or malice (including Korotiku and Eiryndul).
Patron: unknown [likely: Terra]
Allies: Chardastes, Terra, Paarkum
Enemies: the Entropic Immortals, Korotiku, Eiryndul
Classic D&D Stats:
Followers' alignment: Lawful or Neutral; clerics must be Lawful
Favoured weapons: khopesh and bastard sword or katana (allowed all bludgeoning weapons)
Clerics' skills & powers: +1 bonus to Strength and Wisdom, bonus "Detect Lies" skill. Cleric are obliged to respect Maat's Code (the most important points of this Lawful code are: always issue a challenge before attacking; give a swift and honourable death to a fellow brother if he demands it; never reveal the order's secrets nor betray the cult; always fight injustice respecting the laws; offer sacrifices at the end of each successful battle).
Paladins' skills & powers: lay on hands, bonus "Detect lies" skill, obliged to follow Maat's code (see above).
D&D 3E stats:
Domains: Matter, Law, Good, Justice
Preferred weapon: khopesh or bastard sword
Sources: Master e Immortal set, WotI