St. Photine had five sisters and two sons. She went to Carthage in order to preach the Gospel. She was martyred along with her family in Rome in A.D. 68 under Nero. While all of this information is inspiring, I am most interested in the title that the Church gives her: Equal-to-the-Apostles.
This isn't a moniker given to her in the wake of the equal rights or feminist movements of the the twentieth century. It is one she deserved and has had for almost two millenia. It speaks to the radical equality that can only be found in Christ and reminds us of the vital role women play in Scripture:
- the first person to hear the Good News of the Incarnation: a woman (the Virgin Mary — Luke 1:31)
- the first sign performed by Christ in His ministry: done at the request of a woman (the Virgin Mary — John 2:5)
- those who were brave enough to stand by Christ at the Cross: women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, Salome, the Virgin Mary, etc. — Matthew 27:55, Mark 15:40, Luke 23:55, John 19:25)
- those who were first given the Good News of the Resurrection: women (Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, and Salome and others — Mark 16:6, Matthew 28:6, Luke 24:1)
- the first person to witness the Resurrected Christ: a woman (Mary Magdalen — Mark 16:9)
- the first apostle: a woman (St. Photini the Samaritan Woman and Equal-to-the-Apstles — John 4:39)
- the first European convert: a woman (St. Lydia — Acts 16:14-15)
This makes me want to take stock of women in D&D. At first glance, the world of RPGs seems to be a male sport. Personally, I have only ever played in two groups that included women, and only one where the women playing weren't wives. When I look a little closer, however, I note that the game itself seems to encourage and acknowledge the concept of the female adventurer.
- The example character for explaining character generation in Moldvay's Basic D&D is Morgan Ironwolf, who is not only female but played by a female.
- AD&D has racial min/max ability scores for female characters.
- Pre-rolled characters in modules often included females (including my own personal favorite, Elwita the dwarven fighter from the A-series).
- Apendix N includes the female authors Leigh Brackett, Andre Norton, and Margaret St. Clair.
- Module B3 was originally authored by Jean Wells (and, I might add, was much better than the Moldvay co-authored version that was eventually published).
- I am sure there are plenty more examples...
I am curious. What is your own experience with the feminine side of our hobby?
The Standard of St. Svetlana
This seemingly innocuous and tattered piece of cloth is actually a religious relic. When worn on the back as a battle standard in the Japanese fashion (see the battle sequences in the movie Ran) the Istinite blood drop holy symbol appears upon the cloth and glows with a warm yellow light in a 20' radius. The effective Charisma for determining the number of retainers and retainer morale is moved up one category (9-12 becomes 13-15 etc.). For those with 18 Charisma, they may have 8 retainers with a morale of 11.