The so-called “raving ones” were once human, but they have been transformed into fey creatures to serve more powerful beings. Maenads resemble beautiful female satyrs, but they are unkempt, and their frenzied demeanour betrays their true nature. These agents of chaos now follow the gods and arch-fey of madness, lust, and pleasure. All aspects of the maenad’s previous personality are replaced by mania and desire. Maenads often successfully use their allure to lead unwary travellers to their filthy dens, where they and their sisters fall upon them with murderous passion.
Humans rarely become “raving ones” by choice. Instead, the transformation is thrust upon them by powerful chaotic entities, often in the guise of mentors or teachers. The magic used to create a maenad typically comes from a strong bond to a lover, friend, or trusted elder. In the most common ritual, innocent young women are tricked or forced into consuming the flesh of a loved one. Others have become maenads after prayers to cure a dying loved one were cruelly answered. One particularly sadistic method of creating a maenad is to charm a victim and force her to beat a loved one to death with a fennel staff. The most benign method of transformation is as a punishment for the sins of another—when a loved one refuses to worship a god of madness or pleasure.
Loathed by the Fey.
Despite being fey creatures themselves, maenads are largely reviled by other fey due to the taint of mortality they carry. Maenads also frequently succeed in wooing satyrs away from less debauched fey lovers by pandering to their penchant for hedonism. These unions lead to the production of monstrous Goatling offspring, who are as disliked as their mothers because of their relative weakness and connection to mortals. Maenads are especially abhorrent to non-evil fey due to the depraved and gruesome rituals that create them. Pursuit of Pleasure. Maenads embody all-consuming hedonism and have little patience for anything else. They are absolutely dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure in all its forms, including sadistic bacchanals of wild excess. Though eager to engage in any type of revelry, some maenads may have a preferred indulgence, such as food or wine. Clever individuals who find themselves confronted by maenads may be able to use their individual tastes to turn the creatures against each other. That might allow for an escape. Otherwise, the maenads will gleefully tear apart hapless trespassers