Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
From what I understand, within the fluff of the 40K universe, founding a new Chapter of Space Marines is a pretty big deal. (I'm ignoring the fact that in the present-day universe there must be about a dozen a day starting up.)
But what about founding a new Order of Sisters? Would this be equally rare?
Also, what would be the catalyst for such an event? A miraculous act performed by a solitary sister, leading to her being declared a living Saint and having an order founded in her honour? A sudden influx of Sisters for some odd reason, necessitating a new Order?
Finally, if a new Order was founded, who would be the one who makes this decision? The Ordo Hereticus? The Ecclesiarchy? The Abbess of the Adepta Sororita? Or even the Council of the High Lords of Terra?
I ask because, at some point in the future, I intend starting a Sisters of Battle army, and I tend to get ahead of myself and have already begun bashing out some background for the army. I had thought it was finished, but now I've started questioning it because it deals with the founding of a new Order. And if the basis for my entire fluff is something as unlikely as the founding of a new Order of Sisters, it probably needs a bit more work!
Hopefully these aren't impossible questions; Thanks in advance for any and all answers!
There are hundred is not thousands of lesser orders to my knowledge even from the militant wing. The lesser ones likely could start from just about anything. A disagreement between sisters over some ideological truth or even over a specified mission. I am working on my own lesser order and have a pretty good background for them so far.
Things to think about would be why would your order exist?
What is their purpose? (This is a big one in the imperium because everything has a purpose and reason for being started even if it makes no sense to keep it around)
Do they have a good reason not to be bound to a single world? (Remember most lesser orders guard shrines or holy sites and never leave their post)
Once you have those answers you can figure out things like why/how they go to the different battlefields?
Privateer hit it right on the head. Sisters form convents and orders for a wide range of reasons and have many lesser orders. Many of the lesser orders are actually represented by the average 1500 point army since they tend to be small, with a single goal in mind. This is usually guarding a specific site.
Once you have a reason for your order's existance (mine is to hunt down traitors to the sororitas) you have the seed of their story.
'An open mind is like a fortress with its walls unguarded and its gates wide open' -Blood Ravens
Here is one I am creating recently.
Order of the Clensing Fire
The order of the Clensing Fire was first founded by Sister Dena in the year 48 000 as a group of volunteer Sisters, dedicated to land on a heretic planet, moments before exterminatus was peformed. There goal was to secure any relics that would be of use to the Imperium.
Not a complete back story I know but If seemed good to me.
According to the official fluff, most Orders Minoris are supposed to have come into existence out of a specific mission. Especially throughout the first two millennia of the Adepta Sororitas' existence, the six Orders Majoris have established small garrisons throughout the Imperium at sites of importance to the Ecclesiarchy - and with time, many of these subsidiary convents have split from the Orders that spawned them.
You have pretty much already listed a number of good reasons for an Order Minoris to be founded. It could begin with something as simple as a temporary mission, for example a Crusade. During said war, a Living Saint could have been risen and martyred, inspiring great admiration and devotion amongst some of the Sisters. And whilst the Crusade's main army might move on or disband, some Sororitas stay behind to assist with mop-up operations ... and eventually end up never leaving the planet again, instead opting to expand their base and build a shrine for the Saint. Fast forward a few hundred years, and you have an Order Minoris centered around the legend of the Living Saint who was martyred on the holy soil which now houses a temple protected by the Sisters of Battle.
And this is just one of many possible examples.
It is of note, though, that the Orders Minoris do keep contact to the major Orders that spawned them. And at least in theory, the Canoness of said Order Majoris has command authority over the "daughter organization". Given the Imperium's size and traveltimes, however, this rarely is of any importance.
"Do you want your heretic rare, medium or well done, Lord Inquisitor?"
Thanks for all your input everyone! I'm now reasonably confident (I'm rather non-committal at times) that there are no major flaws in my background.
I may review my fluff one last time, and pop it up here if no one minds. It is a tad long, though (4 pages or so worth of word document...) so I may put it somewhere else and just post a link here. Unless you think it's fine to have it here...
Last edited by Deadstar_MRC; September 30th, 2008 at 01:31. Reason: Hew, what do you know? 'now major flaws' is a lot different to 'no major flaws'
So, I mentioned posting my background, and then have been forgetting to do so. But now I'm remembering, so here it is.
I'll apologise in advance; it is four pages (in a word document) long, so quite a substantial read. If you don't have the time or inclination to read through it then look away now!
For those that do, I hope you enjoy it!
* * * *
Index Astartes - The Order of the Prophyra Flames
Name: The Order of the Prophyra Flames
Inspiration: Seaweed? Conversion opportunities from Crusading Marines ideas, Purple
Homeworld: Lahderon IV
Heraldry/Colours: Black Armour (white trim), Purple robes/tabards (white edging), White Gloves
Name: Lahderon IV
Diameter: 11,874 km
Mass: 5.17e24 kg
Orbiting Distance: 0.96 AU
Agri-World (Aquaculture - surface 98.820% water)
Population: 2 million (approx)
Notes on Lahderon IV
Lahderon IV is an aquatic world, with 98.820% of its surface consisting on oceans. It has only one major land mass, which shares its name with the planet itself (Lahderon: Area 5 224 836 km2) and houses the entire population of the world. The continent is vaguely elliptical in shape, a diagonal slash of greens and browns interrupting an endless blue when viewed from orbit.
The world is not industrialised (the only imperial development being Adminstratum Offices, a spaceport and a rail transport system) as land is scarce and the natives prefer to live in harmony with their environment. Each family owns a small plot of land where they grow crops, fruits and vegetables to supplement their diet of fish. The technology level of the world is also somewhat lower than usual, the inhabitants living a rustic life and preferring manual labour to automated processes. Practically the entire male population works as fishers, while the women tend their gardens and act as housewives.
In fact, the planet's only major industry is Aquaculture. Large fishing vessels (oddly enough, the only Imperial technology the inhabitants have accepted) spend many months at sea; upon returning, the majority of their catches are transported via the rail network to the space-ports, where shuttles ferry the frozen goods to freighters waiting at orbital platforms around the planet. These orbital platforms also provide a defence network for the planet, although the planet itself holds only small strategic value and is unlikely to be ever targeted by invasion.
Despite the fact that the inhabitants of the planet are mistrustful of Imperial soldiers and weapons, they are a peaceful people. There is next to no unrest or crime to police and only a token defence force is stationed on the planet’s surface (at the spaceport, so that they are well away from the native inhabitants).
The Order of the Prophyra Flames
The Sisters of the Prophyra Flames were founded by Sister Cherelyn on Lahderon IV after she miraculous survived a fiery shuttle crash into the planet's massive ocean. As she recovered she formed a bond with many of the young women who cared for her and, wanting to repay them, she began to educate them and instruct them in the way of the Sisterhood.
Soon, with ample assistance from an Inquisitor and other Adepta Sororita, her small order was officially recognised and was actively serving the Ordo Hereticus. But tragedy befell their homeworld, and though the Sisters managed to prevent the complete corruption of their world, they still felt they had failed their people and were unworthy to call Lahderon home.
As such, they set out on a crusade of their own, tirelessly hunting the witch and the mutant in the hope that their deeds will one day restore the honour of their Order, and make them worthy of their homeworld.
The beginnings of the Order
The night when Sister Cherelyn arrived on Lahderon IV is still vividly remembered by the locals. A heavy storm blanketed the south-west coast of the continent, not an uncommon occurrence, but the howling death-knell of a crashing shuttle and the furious inferno that marked the craft’s descent woke many from their beds.
A similar sight woke many high on the eastern coast, although here the fireball descending from the sky never reached the ground, a fine ash the only remaining sign of this craft’s descent.
On the south-west coast, however, the falling shuttle remained predominantly intact until it pitched into the sea several kilometres from the coast, within reach of rescue. But even the experienced sea-men of Lahderon were unwilling to sail to the shuttle’s aid in such a storm, and though many prayed that those on board would be blessed with the Emperor’s protection, few expected any would survive.
Over the next few days, amongst the tangle of seaweed that constantly washes onto the shores of Lahderon and stains the sands of its beaches purple, several pieces of wreckage and even several bodies began to wash to shore. Those who recovered the dead alerted the Imperial authorities as appropriate, also handing over any wreckage recovered, but it was not until close to three weeks had passed that the most remarkable discovery was made.
After another heavy storm, a young woman was found on the beach. Her hair, skin and robes had all been stained purple as her body had been dragged by vicious currents through the masses of seaweed stirred up near the coast during such storms. She was bedraggled and emaciated from her time at sea, but to the surprise of those who found her she was alive, a symbol of the Emperor still clutched tightly in her palm despite her unconsciousness.
Nursed back to waking by the women of Lahderon, the young woman revealed herself to be Sister Cherelyn, an acolyte of the Adepta Sororita, a former Sister of the Ebon Chalice serving under Inquisitor Dalius. The women informed her that her Inquisitor and in fact the rest of his retinue had all been accounted for, their lifeless bodies recovered from the beaches. As to her survival, they proclaimed it to be a miracle, a blessing from the Emperor Himself.
As she recovered, never short of care from the various young women within the fishing village, Sister Cherelyn began to believe that her miraculous survival had indeed been guided by His hand. Through her conversations with the young women, she began to realise there was really little for them here on Lahderon IV. Their only dreams seemed to be that they would one day make a fine wife and bear their husband’s children, and Sister Cherelyn could not help but believe she had been sent to give meaning to the lives of these women.
Eventually Sister Cherelyn had recovered enough to travel, the villagers believed, the purple stain fading from her skin but remaining in her hair. The villagers contacted the Imperial authorities to this time inform them that they had rescued a survivor of the crash, and that she was now fit enough to return to them. By the time the authorities arrived with another Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor in tow, however, Sister Cherelyn was already teaching the young women of the village the very lessons she had been taught when she first entered the Adepta Sororita.
The Inquisitor, Malchius Renevon, had once been Dalius’ mentor and was seeking to recover the body and career of his former student. He offered Sister Cherelyn a place in his service, but she told him instead of her intent to stay on this world, to found a convent and to open the eyes of the young women of Lahderon to the wonders of knowledge and faith.
Seeing the strength of her conviction, Malchius promised to make the necessary arrangements on her behalf and bade her farewell. Sister Cherelyn led her faithful on a pilgrimage south, to the rocky beaches and harsh grey cliffs she had been told of, and had been drawn to in a dream. She knew she had reached her destination when she found her suit of power armour and her bolter, which she had left in the water in order to save herself from drowning, washed up on the beach.
The bolter was no longer functional but surprisingly, though all the paint had been washed from the suit to reveal the golden sheen beneath, the power armour still worked and became yet another miracle upon which Sister Cherelyn's companions could affirm their faith.
There on the beach, Sister Cherelyn and her faithful followers took their oaths, and the Order of the Prophyra Flames was born.
The Order's Penance
Interest in the order from various young women around Lahderon who had heard of Sister Cherelyn's remarkable survival ensured a steady flow of recruits, and Sister Cherelyn led them all in the building of their convent, taking stone from the rocky mountains to craft their new home. By the time the convent was complete other Sisters from the Adepta Sororita had arrived to train and teach the young women in the ways of the Sisterhood.
It took many years but when their training was finally complete and the Sisters had been ordained as full members of the Adepta Sororita, issued their armour and weapons and primed for battle, Inquisitor Malchius returned to Lahderon.
Having followed what he had salvaged of Dalius' notes and investigations, Malchius had located a black market ring trading psy-enhancing drugs, mutagens and other unspeakable chemicals. He passed his information on to Sister Cherelyn and the Order of the Prophyra Flames and together they began the hunt to eliminate this threat.
They were ultimately successful, but as is so often the case, not without great cost.
For many years as they gradually tore this illegal trading ring to shreds, the convent of the Prophyra Flames stood empty, and in their absence their world fell to pieces.
Though Sister Cherelyn's fiery descent to Lahderon had not been forgotten, the fate of the other shuttle that had burnt up in the atmosphere that same night had. The cargo of this shuttle, the very same mutagens and psy-enhancers the Sisters from Lahderon were destroying, had been working on those dwelling high on the eastern coast of their planet's only continent for several years.
Polluted for close to a decade by these chemicals the tainted Lahderonians finally struck out, their attack taking the meagre defenders of the spaceport completely by surprise. Now armed with practically every weapon on the planet, the tainted horde stormed southwards in an unstoppable tide, meeting little resistance.
Somehow, word of the corruption of Lahderon reached the Order of the Prophyra Flames, and they begged Malchius to release them from his service so that they may return to defend their planet. Malchius consented, even requisitioning a ship for the Sisters so that they may make their frantic dash to save what little was apparently left of their planet.
By they time the Sisters made planet-fall, most of the population had been corrupted or killed. Those five thousand or so civilians that still survived had taken shelter in their convent or the cliffs beyond, though they had no weapons with which to defend themselves against the horde that was inexorably making its way south.
The Sisters knew their homeworld was lost, and their guilt at having abandoned their home to such a fate almost overwhelmed them. But there were still people to save, giving them a faint glimmer of hope that their planet may yet be redeemable.
As the mutated horde drew closer day by day, the Sisters worked tirelessly to evacuate the innocent and shore up their defences. They were still shuttling civilians to the orbital stations around Lahderon IV when the crazed, mutated tide broke against the walls of their convent, sheer weight of numbers threatening to end the Order's defiance.
But they held. The weapons of the attackers were useless against the armour of the Sisters, while the Sisters reaped a terrible toll. Still the horde pressed ever onwards, giving the exhausted Sisters little respite.
Eventually the civilians had all been evacuated, and Sister Cherelyn began to order her companions to fall back. A few squads at a time retreated to the single shuttle, each taking a few sacred items from the convent as they left. Soon only Sister Cherelyn, her faithful Dominions and a single, idle Immolator, the Order's one relic yet to be removed, remained on Lahderon IV. Braced in the entryway of their convent, the Dominions used their flamers to create an impenetrable wall that the attackers could not overcome.
The sheer scale of death, however, was almost to be their undoing. Attracted by the incredible slaughter on the world that day, a denizen of the Warp possessed one of the former Lahderonians who had manifested psychic powers and charged the convent.
Its infernal weapon sent stone crashing down around the Dominions and Sister Cherelyn, and the horde pressed their advantage. The Sisters were soon in full retreat, still able to dispatch the mutants but powerless against the daemon charging after them.
All looked lost when the daemon hammered its blade into the midst of the Sisters, its aim poor but the force of its blow scattering them in all directions. Sister Cherelyn was flung atop the Immolator, very nearly passing out as she slammed into the unforgiving metal.
From the day this Immolator had arrived it had, for some reason, never functioned, though the Sisters had kept it in their convent all the same. Now, as Sister Cherelyn struggled to hold on to consciousness atop the war machine, she thought she felt the powerful engines rumbling beneath her, thought she saw the hint of life in the myriad indicators within the vehicle's turret.
As the daemon roared its challenge and charged, Sister Cherelyn reached for the Immolator's armament.
Searing heat and light bathed the daemon and washed over the attacking horde, cleansing all in its path. Bolstered by the defeat of the daemon, the Sisters rallied and pushed back their attackers, holding them at bay until the shuttle could descend once more to carry them to safety.
Upon reaching the orbital station, Sister Cherelyn once again encountered Inquisitor Malchius. He had completed his mission and come to Lahderon’s aid, a full Preceptory of Sisters of the Ebon Chalice in his wake to assist in cleansing the planet.
Though he requested her assistance, Cherelyn and her fellow Sisters felt themselves unworthy of returning to Lahderon IV. They had abandoned their planet and in doing so had almost allowed it to be destroyed.
Instead, with Malchius’ blessing, they took the ship he had claimed for them and set off into space, determined to pledge their lives to defending the innocent and purging the witch and the mutant wherever they may be found. Theirs would be a never-ending crusade, a mission of penance to attempt to redeem their Order’s failings.
The Order, in honour of their founder Sister Cherelyn, dyes their robes purple and likewise uses this colour to denote rank. Sister Cherelyn's hair is completely purple, though whether this is natural or a strangely lingering effect of her exposure to the seaweed in Lahderon IV's oceans is known only by her.
Sister Superiors will often dye the tips of their hair purple, and a forelock may often be dyed to denote heavy or specialist weapons training.
A white forelock is customarily awarded for acts of bravery, as purple dye (the next stage of recognition) will more easily colour the bleached hair.
Sisters of the Order of the Prophyra Flames treat their Immolator as a sort of mobile shrine because they feel it has inherited the spirit of their convent (they believe it was this, or the divine touch of their Canoness, that brought it to life) and also because of the miraculous role it played in protecting both their planet and their Canoness when it finally awoke.
The Order of the Prophyra Flames has a strong belief in defending the innocent, born from the experience on their home world. They also heavily favour flamers, but are not averse to reverting to other weapons if the situation so demands.
Being a small order, they are also cautious to preserve their own numbers where possible. Though not afraid to give their lives in service of the Emperor, they will always aim for a tactical attack that exposes them to minimal risk, so that they may endure to further His service.
They are a highly mechanised and self-sufficient Order. Their vehicles carry all that they need even for extended campaigns, although it is more common for the Sisters to find themselves striking in a one-off raid once their investigations have given them a target.
The Sisters travel constantly, lending their service to Inquisitors, Planetary Defence Forces or whatever other authorities require their aid. As well as removing troublesome witches or cleansing outbreaks of mutation, they can provide reinforcements to quell riots or quiet uprisings, or provide armed escorts for valuable artefacts or personnel.
Inquisitor Malchius also retains a close friendship with the Order, and often calls upon them whenever he requires a more heavily armed force than his usual retinue can provide.
The Sisters who now garrison Lahderon IV in the Order of the Prophyra Flames' absence still recruit and train candidates from Lahderon and forward them on to the Prophyra Flames where possible. Many Lahderonian Sisters chose to stay on their homeworld and protect their own people, but a few are sufficiently inspired by Sister Cherelyn’s story that they seek to join the Order of the Prophyra Flames.
Great fluff man, makes me inspired to go write my own ... I`m just too lazy ..
Sisters Of Battle "Order of the Holy Flame"
Nids "Splinter Fleet Bestia"
Very good background! After having read everything, the story is consistent and does make sense. Also, the thought of purple hair is quite nice and ... well, melikes.
And, of course, the Immolator-part is kinda funny, too. *g*
The only things I would remark:
- 'Index Astartes' is only used for Marine Chapters. For Sororitas Orders, maybe use something like Ecclesiarchal Registratum or anything like that (afaik there is no official term here).
- Maybe mention a few Sisters having stayed back at the convent during the purge, but that they were just not enough to be of significance ... It's just that the Sisters wouldn't normally send novices onto long-term campaigns. A convent being left completely empty without at least some novices and a 'skeleton crew' of a couple teachers is rather irregular.
- What does 'Prophyra' mean? Is it just latin for purple? I tried using Google, but did not really find a definite explanation ... Given that this term is (at least imho) highly exotic, maybe exchange it with something more traditional (read: English)? "Order of the Purple Flame" does sound just as nice. You could also use "Order Prophyra" as an official byname to accompany a purely english one (I've done that with my own Sisters as well, giving them both an english and a latin name). But this is of course a matter of personal taste, so don't let yourself be influenced too much by my comments!
"Do you want your heretic rare, medium or well done, Lord Inquisitor?"
Porphyra I believe comes from the Greek language (Latin root is purpura which I didn't like so much). Its also the family (species?) name of a bunch of seaweeds, some varieties of which were used to make purple dyes back in the day. So I stole the purple seaweed bit, and worked that into the story and the name of the order.
I gotta go now but if anyone else has any questions or comments feel free to throw them at me!