Friday, 28 August 2009

By The Authority Of The Immortal Emperor...

Okay, here we go. Background for my Sisters of Battle. Please let me know what you think...
Index Sororitas – The Order of the Merciful Tear
The Sisters of Mercy

"We weep for those who know not the Emperor’s light."

“Nothing is certain. Only death is absolute, and thus only in death can forgiveness be found. Only the Emperor has the power to grant that forgiveness, we merely show mercy and purge the unclean in order for him to do so.”

By the 41st Millenium the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas were already well established. It was in the year 978999.M41 that the Order of the Merciful Tear was declared, an offshoot from one of the six original Orders Militant; the Order of the Ebon Chalice founded by Alicia Dominica.

The origins of the Order began on the world Quintarn where the Order of the Cleansing Water were working tirelessly in a search and rescue mission for the civilians. Their world was locked in skirmishes against the Dark Eldar, with numerous men fighting on all fronts. The women and children were put into encampments for their safety, as well as some of the women aiding the Sisters Hospitaller while they worked to treat the men injured in the fight.

They had been working on the planet for many months without serious incident when the Hospital encampment was ambushed under cover of nightfall. Raiders from the attacking Dark Eldar force struck quickly before any reaction could be taken. Of course the camp was made up of the wounded and the non-combatant Sisters Hospitaller, who were powerless to stop the aliens from taking the children away for slaves, and cutting down the mothers who protected them. Many Sisters lost their lives in an attempt to withstand the attack, and those who remained had only their prayers to help them. As suddenly as they had appeared, the Dark Eldar left, leaving only bloodied corpses in their wake. Leading the remaining stricken women in prayer, the Sisters of the Order of the Cleansing Water appealed to the Emperor. And what came to pass that night was nothing short of a miracle.

The women and Sisters delved deep in their prayer, their grief and belief in the Emperor causing his light to fill each and every one of them. Time appeared to stand still inside the simple hospital tent of the encampment, and unearthly voices were said to be heard filling the air in divine chorus. All the young women there had lost someone, a brother, a son, a father, a husband, or a lover. One woman had lost all of these at once that night, her son taken from her and her brother and father killed in the raids. Her lover lay stricken in bed with a high fever, and little hope of recovery. Her mind was filled with visions of the Emperor and holy righteousness, bright as a star and as dangerous as a flame. She wept as she witnessed this, her tears of joy mixing with the salted trails left by the tears of her grief. The moment passed, and then she along with all the other women there took up the arms of their fallen heroes and went to tracking their enemies. She led the women out into the night; a simple women named Bellona, and came to be the first Canoness of the Order of the Merciful Tear.

By the light of their faith, the path of their attackers was revealed to them and the women followed the tracks till they came to the settlement of Dark Eldar. In the night, their fortunes were reversed and the ambush attack they had carried out was brought back to haunt them as the women attacked them with the same surprise and vigor they had shown. While being devastating in the first few moments of the attack, the Dark Eldar soon returned fire once they had organized themselves and the women began to fail. Bellona refused to give up, declaring the Emperor’s great name and bringing faith to her faltering friends. Unable to match the tactics of the Eldar, the women soon found themselves surrounded.

All had seemed lost, but with one last defiant call to the skies Bellona seemed to summon the Order of the Ebon Chalice to their aid. The Sisters appeared on time to surround the otherwise engaged Eldar and opened fire on them from the rear. The result devastated the aliens, and those who were not cut down and purged by the cleansing fires of the Sisters retreated to their hidden Webways, and escaped.

Enlightened by Bellona and the other women of the camp, and having been in discussion with the Sisters Hospitaller, the Order of the Ebon Chalice decided to petition for the women in the camp to become their own Order, bolstered by the inductees of the Ebon Chalice, as such righteous courage should not be ignored. And so the Order of the Merciful Tear was born, so named for the tears the women had wept to see their loves struck down as well as the tears of joy at their Canoness’ vision, and Bellona was named as that Canoness and the first of the Order.

The Order of the Merciful Tear resides as part of the Convent Prioris on Terra, the Fortress Monastery is small in comparison to the other Orders, though none the less resplendent, a highly detailed monument to the glory of the Emperor. It lies nearby to the Order Hospitaller, and the Monastery of the Order of the Cleansing Water where the two Orders have a strong bond to this day. In fact the Sisters of the Cleansing Water often serve as the Order of the Merciful Tear’s personal apothecary’s and hospital staff.

+++ Datafile: Power Armour of the Order of the Merciful Tear.
+++ Ref. Inquisition Databanks.
+++ Further access restricted

All Sisters of the Merciful Tear wear bone coloured power armour, alike to the bleached colour of their enemy’s bones once they have been stripped of flesh by their flamers, decorated with a droplet of blue to show the ‘tear’ motif of their Order, rather than the usual Fleur de Lys or wings of the Sisters. Their robes are royal blue and the colour is echoes through the Order’s
imagery of tears and purity. Even the Sisters Repentia are clothed in the Order colours, though
their armour is significantly less than their Battle Sisters. Those who wear helms to battle use the standard Sabbat pattern, however those who do not often choose to tattoo their faces with a single black tear upon their cheek in symbolism of their ‘merciful tears’ and the lives lost in their initial founding. All Sisters carry the standard issue Godwyn De’Az Pattern Bolter, usually painted with yellow and black hazard stripes.

+++Datafile: Helm Variations of the Order of the Merciful Tear.
+++ Ref. Inquisition Databanks.
+++ Additional: Godwyn-De’Az Pattern Bolter...
+++ ...
+++ Data Currently Unavailable

Sisters Superior are adorned with a great many more purity seals, and many choose to go without helms knowing the Emperor will protect them. Variations of gothic scripture, and prayers are often engraved onto their armour as extra blessing and signs of their faith.

+++Armoury Files: Eviscerator.
+++ The name for the weapons used by the Repentia comes from the word, Evisceration meaning to remove infernal material from the eye. The Eviscerator is a massive two handed weapon weilded by these exiled Sisters, as ceremonial as they are dangerous.

+++ They are usually gold coloured, and polished to a high sheen as an act of purificication before battle by the Repentia. Many seals and prayers to the Emperor adorn them, fastened into place by purity seals.

+++ Each sword is obscenely large, often being a head larger than the Sister who weilds it. Occaisionally Eviscerators are fitted with a small flame-thrower called an Exterminator, which makes the weapon almost impossible to avoid. Whilst being a low-tech weapon by comparison to newer technologies released by the Imperium and Inquisition, the Eviscerator has come to symbolise religious wrath making it a fitting weapon for the Sisters Repentia in their quest for absolution

Unlike their Brothers the Astartes, they do not use the helm colour variations, choosing to detonate rank by white embroidered trims on their blue robes. Sisters have no trim, Superiors have one band of white. Celestians and the Canoness will have two bands of white. Celestians of the Order will also edge their armour in gold, rather than the standard plain bone colour of the rank Sisters.

Quintarn is an Agri-World close by to the Ultramarines Home and Training Worlds. Having taken their founders from here and the remaining women abandoned from the Dark Eldar Raids, the Sisters of Mercy began firmer foundations on Terra. The taint of the raid left its mark on each Sister present, and there is still great grief among current members for what had befallen their Sisters in their founding. Such is their sadness, the Dark Eldar are hated and feared in equal measure though this only fuels their crusade across the stars to rid Mankind of the xeno, witch and heretic.

The Sisters take in the women from Quintarn before all others, though any willing devotee of the Emperor is welcomed into the ranks of the Order of the Merciful Tear. Due to the nature of their relationship alongside the Order of the Cleansing Water, the two Orders will often trade novice members should the novice decide she is better suited to one role than another.

Currently standing at around 1000 Sisters, the Order of the Merciful Tear is equivalent to an Order of Adeptus Astartes, lead by their Canoness Superior, who answers to the Abbess and any Inquisitor who asks for assistance. The Order currently work closely with Inquisitor Lord Eleanor Atalanta, and Canoness Beriana and many other Sisters Superior have formed strong bonds with her. Often the whole Order will go to war in the aid of the Inquisitor Lord.

The Order of the Merciful Tear is arranged much like the Index Astartes, with companies ranging from the Veteran 1st Company, to the Battle Companies of the 4th to the 6th.

The Veterans of the 1st Company are the five woman strong Celestians, who serve as a body guard to the Canoness. Sister Necia is currently the longest serving Celestian, and leads the group into the thickest of battles using her passionate nature to whip her Sisters into a feverent purge. She is proud to have witnessed many deeds the Order has accomplished, and to have the longest chaplet second only to the Mistress of the Repentia.

The 2nd Company consists of the specialist Seraphim who serve as the Order’s assault force. Seraphim Sister Aleda is the Superior of the squad and has been gifted one of the Orders oldest jump packs – a holy relic from the founding of the Sisters of Mercy. These Sisters form the speartip of the Order when called to war, striking hard and fast in the heart of the enemy before retreating in order to reform and perform a series of such attacks. The result is often crippling, since the Seraphim appear like Angels of Death, and the imagery alone results in the total freeze of most enemy forces through physiological means.

The Sisters Repentia make up the 3rd Company of the Order of the Merciful Tear, under the careful direction of Sister Solus. The elite force behind the Order, and commonly the most devastating, with their ability to smash through ranks of even hardened troops and slice flesh from bone. However they can be unruly and dangerous so it is because of this the Inquisition ordered the Priest Isaac into the Order, and he is the only serving male. Without his presence and direction the Order is unable to field the Repentia, keeping them from the absolution they crave.

+++ Report – To Inquisitor Lord Eleanor Atalanta
+++ Canoness Beriana
“Our Repentia number among the finest servants the Emperor could ask of us. They are silent and thus they strike fear into the hearts and unnerve our foes, they are willing and thus focused to their task, and they are humbled, knowing their failure to purge the heretic will keep them alive and further from the absolution they so desire.”

Three squads of Standard Battle Sisters are the core troops of the Order and each is led by a Sister Superior. Sisters Candra, Eleanor and Bennett hold nine other Sisters under their command and each equipped with two assault weapons usually flame-throwers or the newer multi-meltas. These are the faithful followers of the Emperors Light, and without the steadfast discipline displayed by each Sister the Order would soon crumble.

7th Company led by Sister Ursula are the Retributor squad, and the heavy weapons specialists. Alike to most Sisters of Battle, the Order of the Merciful Tear prefer to use fire type weapons, meltas and plasmas for the purifying effect the flames represent. They have in stock a number of heavy bolt gun specialists, as well as experts with storm bolters should the situation arise for the need for such weapons. The Retributors of the Merciful Tear pride themselves on being able to adapt to any situation, and the fact they are prepared for anything.

Penitent Engines are true works of fear, as well as being the height of discipline and engineering. The 8th Company is made up of two of these machines, each containing a heretic whose name has been wiped from the datafiles, their crimes against the Emperor so heinous they could never be recalled, and that not even arco-flagellation was enough. The Nameless have a haunting quality when immobilised, but upon the battlefield fuelled by combat stimms the Engines come alive, powered only by the frantic urge of the heretics who desperately seek forgiveness. While not always the first choice of the Sisters of Mercy, as they prefer to leave judgment to the Emperor, only these two cases have been recorded as so terrible to demand entombment in a Penitent Engine.

+++ Sister Solus – Mistress of the Repentia
“I do not fear death. If it should be the Emperor requires me for some higher purpose, then I shall welcome death as an old friend and wrap mine arms about it.”

[Dropcap]L[/dropcap]ike all Sisters, the Order of the Merciful Tear’s battle cry states their devout faith and unshakable nerve in the face of the heretic, the daemon and the witch. Variations on this are cried as they enter battle, with the addition of their own cry.

“For the Emperor!”
“Show them mercy, take them to the Emperor!”


  1. Looking good so far. I like the idea, and you were very thorough with your fluff, though some of the sections could have flowed better.

    Oh, and kudos for the name of your blog! :D

  2. Thank you very much! =)

    And any pointers for the 'flow'? That's only a draft version for now, maybe more to be added or refined, so any help is much appreciated!

  3. Let's see. With the last section, you seem to be trying to both describing the Order's organisation and your army list. It might be better to represent them as part of an ongoing conflict - a force assembled at the behest of Atalantis for a specific image. Describe how the canoness selected this force from her available companies and for what purpose. That way, you give an indication of the Order's structure while at the same time describing your force and their purpose. I was getting a bit confused, being given a description of a company that consists of a single 5-woman squad.

    I'm also not too sure about the Repentia being classed as "in" a company - they are fluff-wise outcasts seeking to atone for their sins. Maybe make them the 10th Company - as in the scout company for the Astartes, which is rarely up to full 100-man strength. By their nature, the Repentia's numbers would vary greatly over time.

    As for the fluff, I can only suggest you re-read it on a sentence by sentence basis and see if you can be more economical with words - try and rephrase them and see how it sounds. Maybe read it out loud to yourself (if you can do that in a time and place where you won't get heckled by unbelievers... :D) and see how it sounds.

    Apologies if I come across as over-critical or anything - it isn't meant to.

    Looking forward to what you come up with!

  4. That's fine! I wanted comments and critique so it could be improved, and that's nothing but helpful. So time to have another draft then. Thanks again!