The Order of our Martyred Lady
(A collection of gathered and mostly copied informations + House Rules)
I will die when the Emperor is ready to accept my soul, and not a moment before.
– Sister Repentia Aemillia, Order of Our Martyred Lady
Founder: Alexis XXII
Honoured Saint: Katherine
Convent: Convent Sanctorum (Ophelia VII)
Founding: 36th Millenium
The Order of Our Martyred Lady was founded in honour of Saint Katherine by the Ecclesiarch Alexis XXII (the long-lived successor of the great reformer, Sebastian Thor) in the 36th Millennium when the location of the Adepta Sororitas’ primary convent was split between Terra and Ophelia VII, creating, among others, the Order of Our Martyred Lady. Katherine was regarded as Alicia Dominica’s second-in-command. Her order was originally titled the Order of the Fiery Heart, in reference to Katherine’s fierce persona, but so deeply did the Battle-Sisters mourn her death that they renamed themselves the Order of Our Martyred Lady, and for many centuries thereafter they wore only black. The red cloth of their livery was later adopted by the majority of the Order’s Preceptories in remembrance of the losses the Sisterhood sustained during the Third War for Armageddon in 998.M41.
Even amongst the devout warriors of the Sororitas, the Sisters of Our Martyred Lady have a reputation for incredible determination, inspired by their desire to avenge the deaths of their fallen. This inner fire drives them to destroy their enemies utterly, and those not consumed with cleansing flames are ruthlessly put to the sword.
The Order once operated a convent on the desolate, wind-swept world of Sanctuary, known as Fortress-Sanctuary 101. In 897.M41 the convent and all the Sisters of Battle within were destroyed by the awakening of the Necrons who had made Sanctuary one of their Tomb Worlds. Twelve years later in 909.M41, Canoness Sepherina made a pilgrimage to the site of the massacre. Her task was to reconsecrate the hallowed ground of the former convent, which still bore the scars of the Necron attack. She erected a single statuette of their patron saint Katherine for each slain sister, to stand eternal vigil over the site of her sisters’ martyrdom. By the time of Sepherina’s pilgrimage, the bodies of the slain Battle Sisters had yet to be returned from Inquisitor Hoth, who was studying them to learn more about the Necrons’ weaponry, much to the chagrin of their Order.
The Order of Our Martyred Lady primarily makes use of black coloured Power Armour and red vestments. Their weaponry is also often painted a distinctive red.
The iconography of the Order is that of a red-coloured ankh, with a white skull placed in the center on the upper portion of it.
The Order in Battle
If you want to field the Order of our Martyred Lady and make them feel more unique to their sisters, feel free to use the following rules for Order Tactics and Stratagems. As usual, these are only house-rules, but are mostly copying the rules of various 40k Armies.
Order Tactics – Grim Resolve
Stratagem – Cleansing Flames [1 CP]
Notable wars of the Order
897.M41 – The Massacre at Sanctuary 101
On a world in the Vidar Sector located in the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy, the Order of Our Martyred Lady had founded a fortress-convent designated Sanctuary 101. The isolated convent had the misfortune of being the Imperium’s first recorded contact with the Necrons, where the Battle-Sisters were massacred by Necron Raiders. Video logs recorded a furious battle between the valiant Sisterhood and the Necron Warriors, but little of worth was displayed as there appears to have been an artificial disruption introduced into the recordings. Subsequent investigations into the site of battle revealed nothing more than the mutilated corpses of the Adepta Sororitas, eviscerated in a hideously surgical manner. No signs of the true nature of Sanctuary 101’s undying attackers were ever found.
991.M41 – The Martyrdom of Praxedes
Canoness Praxedes of the Order of Our Martyred Lady reinforces the Imperial Guard on the cardinal world of Okassis, soon after the start of the Second Tyrannic War. As the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken assault the Ecclesiarchal Cathedral, the combined fire of Retributor squads and Exorcist tanks obliterates the first wave, but the second manages to breach the Cathedral’s fortress-walls. As Tyranids pour through, Praxedes confronts a monstrous Hive Tyrant. During the fighting, the Canoness is dealt a mortal wound, but even as her blood pours onto the floor, Praxedes summons the strength to land one final blow, caving in the Hive Tyrant’s skull with a thunderous strike from her power mace. With the Tyrant’s destruction, the Tyranid swarm looses all direction. The Battle Sisters waste no time in pressing the assault, determined to avenge the death of their beloved leader. Such is the fury of their counter-attack that the remaining aliens are swept aside, buying the time needed to evacuate the Ecclesiarchy’s priests from Okassis.
998.M41 – The third War for Armageddon
The Order maintained a strong presence within the Armageddon System, with its base of power at the Sanctorum of St. Katherine, which was built within the high walls of Hive Tempestora on the world of Armageddon. Then the largest Ork WAAAGH! ever raised, led by the Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, assaulted the planet and began the Third War for Armageddon. In the initial Ork assault, the Battle-Sisters’ positions were attacked by large Ork submersibles which emerged from the Boiling Sea. Caught unawares by the audaciousness and sheer ferocity of the Greenskins’ attack, many of the Battle-Sisters were slain. The Battle-Sisters were the front line of defence for Hive Tempestora, but their battle lines soon were overrun. This enabled the vile Greenskins to take control of the hive city’s underhive within only a few hours. With each successive wave of Ork attacks, the Sisters were continuously pushed back, until finally they found themselves with their backs to the great armoured doors of their Sanctorum. It was there that the Battle-Sisters made their final heroic (but futile) stand against the encroaching Ork hordes. This day became one of the darkest within the Order’s history as their battle lines crumpled and they were scattered. Those few Sisters that survived the final assault attempted to form their lines again but were cut down by the massive green tide of Orks. After an hour of savage fighting, no humans were left alive as the vile Orks took Hive Tempestora and the Sanctorum. After this defeat, the Order could barely field three whole companies. The loss of their Sanctorum and the many valiant Sisters who had fallen was acutely felt throughout the rest of the Order — many Novices began questioning their faith in the Emperor. Those Battle-Sisters that remained recovered quickly, swearing mighty oaths of vengeance against the foul Greenskins and vowing to retake Hive Tempestora, no matter the cost. But before they could do so, the surviving Sisters of the Order were spread across the rest of the planet to help solidify key Imperial positions. Their presence proved pivotal in preventing the Orks from overrunning several areas of Armageddon.
Unknown.M41 – The Purging of the Saint Garrat Scriptorum
It is believed that it was the Order of Our Martyred Lady, acting in concert with the Witch Finder Inquisitor Tannenburg of the Ordo Hereticus, who descended upon the Saint Garrat Scriptorum, dragging hundreds of Adeptus Terra scribes screaming to the excruciation chambers of Nemesis Tessra and burning down the scriptorum. When the Adepts lodged a formal complaint with the High Lords of Terra, they were silenced when Inquisitor Tannenburg produced three hundred specimen jars; each contained the preserved remains of a scribe, their previously hidden mutations uncovered for all to witness.
Notable heroes of the Order
Palatine Ariel led her Sisters through the Warp-Gate and into the fallen Jericho Reach at the behest of Cardinal Cal. However, shortly after arriving she had a dream. In it she saw flesh-masked daemons cavorting atop fallen statues of the Emperor. Beyond them, a beam of light illuminated a tall mountain covered in interlocking aquilas. Beneath the mountain, a foul black cloud swirled. Even as she watched, the daemonic hordes grew closer to the mountain, and she knew that if they were to discover the evil beneath it, the consequences would be catastrophic. When Ariel awoke, she was convinced the Emperor had revealed her real duty. Following their Palatine’s vision, her commandery braved the warp storms around Eleusis and found the mountain she had seen. No one knows precisely what the Order of Our Martyred Lady found on Mount Sifr, but they are singularly devoted to protecting it from the unfaithful. Ariel has sworn a vow to allow only the confirmed faithful of the God-Emperor to pass through the gates of the Lethean Abbey, though her vision has made her suspicious of all who seek entrance. Since the construction of the defences around Mount Sift, Palatine Ariel has allowed no one to cross the threshold into the Abbey, not even the Cardinal himself.
Saint Katherine is the patron of the Order of Our Martyred Lady. Originally, she was the founder of the Order of the Fiery Heart. She was one of five companions of Alicia Dominica, the patron and founder of the Adepta Sororitas. Known as the Shield Bearer, Katherine was regarded as Alicia Dominica’s second-in-command having been the bearer of Dominica’s Praesidium Protectiva – a large shield said to contain a shard of the Emperor’s own personal Power Armour, and said to be impervious against physical attacks. Katherine was well known for her fiery determination and vengeful spirit, ever leading her Sisters at the forefront of innumerable battles and leading the prosecution of numerous Wars of Faith against Heretics in the name of the Emperor of Mankind. She was the founder of the Order of the Fiery Heart. Her Sisters reflected her vengeful and fiery nature. Leading her Order for many decades, she was declared a Living Saint within her lifetime for performing legendary acts. Eventually, Katherine met her end at the hands of evil men, when she was murdered by the Witch-Cult of Mnestteus. So deeply did her Sisters mourn Katherine’s loss that they renamed their Order the Order of Our Martyred Lady. Unknown to her fellow Sisters, sometime before her untimely death, Saint Katherine visited the world of Sanctus Lys in the Palatine Sector. Beneath an Imperial shrine, in a hidden crypt, she interred her golden Power Armour and her legendary sword, the Ardent Blade. These powerful artefacts were found centuries later and retrieved by another Living Saint, Saint Celestine.
Born on the world of Jove’s Descent, Sister Piety was an early convert to the Imperial Creed, and as a young girl (recently graduated from the Schola Progenium) served the Ecclesiarchy’s mission throughout her home system. The mission’s preacher took the pious girl under his wing and blessed her with a new, more befitting name. Eventually he sponsored her admission into the Convent Sanctorum, and Piety has proved a most devoted Daughter of the Emperor. Piety bears the heavy title of Ward Sentinel; see the description of Javar’s Watch for what this entails. Sister Piety’s duties have made her a shrewd and insightful woman. While her faith in the God-Emperor is unwavering and she trusts Palatine Ariel implicitly, the Ward Sentinel does not disdain the help of the Ecclesiarchy or the Inquisition as her Palatine does. In fact, Sister Piety has been in contact with Inquisitor Deschaine for several years—a fact that she has not shared with Palatine Ariel. In the course of her duties as Ward Sentinel, Sister Piety has permission to leave the Lethean Abbey and is encountered among the shrines of Vermillion’s Grace far more frequently than any other member of the Adepta Sororitas.
Known as the Thrice-Born and the Daemonifuge, Ephrael Stern had been promised by her parents before her birth to the Adepta Sororitas. She was raised on the planet Antigone’s Harbour by the Saint Sabbat Schola Progenium. The Arch Drill-Abbot of the school submitted the young Ephrael for induction within the Sisterhood and was accepted by Sister Patricia from the Order of the Holy Seal. The Novice Stern excelled at her new monastic duties as a Battle-Sister-in-training. She eventually completed her training and along with 500 other Novices took her sacred Oaths of Adherence at the Ecclesiarchal Palace on Terra. Sister Stern was then chosen to become a member of the Order of Our Martyred Lady. Shortly after her induction into the Order, she was sent to the Ecclesiarchy Cardinal World of Ophelia VII. Whilst stationed there, her exemplary service record helped elevate her to the esteemed ranks of the Order Seraphim within record time. Only three years later she would be ordained as a Sister Superior. Sister Stern was eventually sent on a mission on behalf of the Order, to investigate a lost convent of Sisters of the Orders Pronatus on the world of Parnis. There, Stern and her Sisters discovered what had become of their fellow Sisters. A powerful Greater Daemon of Slaanesh, a Keeper of Secrets named Asteroth, had been freed from its bonds and destroyed the convent. He then took the ruined bodies of 700 Battle-Sisters and forged them, body and mind, into a terrifying construct of living flesh known as the Screaming Cage.
Though the fallen Sisters were forced to share their torment and suffering, the daemon failed to take into account that they were also able to inadvertently share their faith as well. As the daemon sought to kill the remaining Sisters sent to investigate the convent, Ephrael Stern fell in battle. Seizing this one chance, the fallen Sisters within the Screaming Cage used their combined powers to bring her back to life — filling her with the full might of their combined faith in the God-Emperor to combat the Forces of Chaos. Once returned to life, the resurrected Stern was told to flee as the fallen Sisters hid her presence from the daemon and its Chaotic servants. Stern’s memory of these events was erased. She was the only one who managed to return to her Order on Ophelia VII, being the sole survivor of the expedition to Parnis, her sanity stretched to the limit. Her seemingly unnatural power made her the object of suspicion amongst members of her Order, with many of her Sisters viewing her as having been corrupted by the Ruinous Powers. Stern was placed within a holding cell for four years until her exact nature could be determined. At this time she was attacked by a Sister who was being controlled by a daemon of Slaanesh to silence her. But the enraged Ephrael managed to defeat her attacker with her bare hands. This set new events into motion. An Inquisitorial investigation, under the command of Inquisitor Silas Hand, was sent to the Order on Ophelia VII to investigate the sole survivor of the Parnis Expedition. Whilst at the Sanctorum, Stern underwent numerous trials to test her purity and her soul for corruption. Not found wanting during these trials, Sister Stern was declared uncorrupted and was reinstated within the ranks of her fellow Battle-Sisters, and granted her former position of Seraphim and rank of Sister Superior. Inquisitor Hand, not fully trusting Sister Stern, nevertheless took her with him to investigate the former convent on Parnis. During the investigation the fallen Sisters of the Screaming Cage finished their holy work — pouring all of their remaining knowledge and power into Sister Stern to fight the corruption of Chaos. Inquisitor Hand sacrificed himself to defeat Asteroth and banish the daemon back to the Warp. Sister Stern went missing after this second expedition, once again being the sole survivor. Hunted by both the Imperium as well as the Forces of Chaos, Stern remains aloof from both. She even sacrificed herself, stabbing herself in the heart, to escape the foul machinations of the vile Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion. Resurrected once again by the power of the faith within her, Stern finally embraced her power and used it freely for the first time. She has even been able to use her newfound abilities to defeat a Culexus Assassinthat had been sent to kill her by the Inquisition. Her current whereabouts remain unknown.
Miriael Sabathiel was a former Sister-Superior of the Order of Our Martyred Lady and is the only acknowledged Battle-Sister to have willingly chosen to serve Chaos in the history of the Imperium of Man. Canoness Olga Karamanz tried to apprehend Miriael, proclaiming a desire to help her, but was murdered by Miriael for her troubles. Miriael now serves as a servant of the Pleasure God Slaanesh and is one of his finest and most prized Chaos Champions.
Miriya was a Celestian Elohim (equivalent to the rank of Sergeant) who was originally tasked with passing judgment upon a newly rediscovered world of Hollos, which had been lost for two millennia, due to being cut off by a Warp Storm. During initial investigation she uncovered that Hollos was once a research colony that studied Replicae technology (cloning), and that Replicaes were utilised as soldiers to defend their world from incursions by the Forces of Chaos during the time Hollos was cut off from the rest of the galaxy. But over time, the chemical processes within their bodies that gave them red coloured skin and made them subservient, dissipated, until they developed free will. They rebuilt Hollos to be a pacifist society, shunning their role as soldiers in which they had been designed and forced to fulfill. Initially, Miriya was going to turn over all Replicaes to the Adeptus Mechanicus, per Imperial decree, which stated Replicae did no hold citizenship, therefore they had no civil rights. But she also uncovered a plot by the human citizens of Hollos who wished to overthrow the Replicae.
These revolutionaries proved to be a cult of Tzeentch, who ended up staging a revolt. Declining to utilise orbital bombardment that would see the death of millions, Miriya instead ordered the Adeptus Mechanicus representative to release the chemical agent within the Replicae’s neural chemistry that would make the them subservient and denied of free will once more. Unfortunately this process would be irreversible. Once this process was completed, the Replicae were ordered to stop the revolt, and did so without hesitation, fighting alongside Miriya and her fellow Battle-Sisters. Following these events, Miriya would later be assigned to bring the psyker, Torris Vaun, to justice. When he escaped her custody and murdered one of her comrades, Lethe, and tortured another, Iona, Miriya pursued him to the world of Neva. There, she and her remaining comrades discovered a greater plot threatening the entire Empire, and ultimately saw Vaun and his compatriot, Viktor LaHayne, defeated. Through interrogation, they learned of an even greater plot — that Vaun was actually a product of experimentation of psykers. Miriya, her assistant Verity, and Battle-Sisters Cassandra and Isabel later uncovered and destroyed this plot. However, due to the methods utilised by Miriya and the ordeal with Vaun, she was relived of and stripped of her position as a Celestine elite and reduced to the rank of a line Sister of Battle by Canoness Galatea. Following this event, she later accepted a post as part of a mission to reclaim the abandoned Adepta Sororitas fortress-convent on Sanctuary 101, which had the misfortune of being the first to have contact with the marauding Necrons, who subsequently massacred all the Battle-Sisters that were present. Her assistant Verity agreed to accompany Miriya to help reconsecrate the convent.
Blackest of Ages, Saddest of Times. Let none give name to he that laid us low…
– The Chant of Days, Scrivener Obyss Mak