Maiden of Compassion, Handmaiden to the Queen
Michelle Sursce is the Maiden of Compassion of Oros Milav. Human theocratic structure is headed by the Queen of Oros Milav; directly below her are the Three Handmaidens – The Maiden of Arms, the Maiden of Truth, and the Maiden of Compassion.
While the Maiden of Arms sees to the safety of the nation and the Maiden of Truth oversees any and all forms of judicial and legal matters, the Maiden of Compassion has far more varied duties. Maiden Michelle has been called upon at times to be a diplomat, urban planner, mistress of public health, head of education, and overall royal project manager. While in truth each Maiden position is the head of a very large, nation-spanning web of officials of all levels, Michelle prefers a more hands-on approach than many of her predecessors and as such has learned to be something of a jack-of-all-trades. The only thing she doesn’t do – or does very rarely – is accounting. Money is considered a manner beneath Queen and Handmaidens, whose positions are divinely mandated; it is tradition for a separate office to handle the royal treasury (even though said office technically does answer to the Maiden of Compassion).
While the Maiden of Arms came into first contact with the Lilithiul, it was Maiden Michelle who spearheaded inter-racial diplomatic relations. It was Maiden Michelle who listened to the Lilithiul leaders and helped oversee the plans for the restoration and innovation of Salanista. While other races have since followed suit, the Maiden of Compassion remains the public darling for the positive aspects of human-Lilithiul relations.
A seemingly young woman, the Maiden has ocean-blue eyes and bright blonde hair which she keeps in a thick braid over her shoulder. Despite her unfailingly modest sense of dress, many still sing the praises of her beauty. Some consider it a shame that she is a Handmaiden, for the Maidens are sworn to Queen and country above all else; others say it is but a small price to pay for the good she has done the nation already during her tenure in office. While she has so far lived up to her title, and while the nation seems to love her, she is never in public without a royal escort of elite knights – or, in more recent days, a hooded figure known as “The Tin Man”.
Michelle’s ascendance to the position of Handmaiden is a rather nebulous topic among the general populace. Most claim she was simply chosen by the Queen one dark winter night while the rest of Salanista slept. While this technically left her family without a heir, the honor of having his daughter chosen by the Queen was too great for her father to refuse. She still visits the Sursce estate Vieneaux in southeastern Oros Milav on the rare occasion, inspecting the lines of the great Milavian horses for which her family is renowned.