"Few things better serve The Emperor than a keen eye and a steady hand." - Sister Felcia Rayeland
"Faith can remain pure, even when walls crumble and bodies falter." - Sister Auria Eribell
In the year M40.204, A Decree was passed by the highly influential Cardinal Vesur as part of a long-term plan to reinforce the strength of the Imperial Faith in the distant reaches of the Ultima Segmentum.
Vesur's plan involved the construction of great cathedrals and shrines, sweeping across three sectors. Entire regiments of Imperial Guard and fleets of Imperial Navy would receive formal blessings from the Ecclesiarchy, and pilgrimages to reclaim lost Holy relics or sites were put into motion. In the midst of this great triumph of the faithful, the Order of the Crimson Crescent was born.
The Order takes it's name from the terracotta-hued moon orbiting their homeworld of Terremorn - viewed from within the planet's atmosphere, the moon appears a deep, vivid blood-red colour. On nights when it is particularly clear in the sky, it is said to be a clear sign of the Emperor's favour.
Terremorn itself was once a shrine world, whose union with the Imperium dated back to the early days of M36. The planet was lost amidst the ceaseless turmoil of the following centuries, and was thought to have been completely overrun by hordes of traitors.
But in fact, the population of Terremorn remained largely loyal and true to the Emperor. Though their shrines fell into disrepair, and then further lapsed into ruin, the people of the world continued to dedicate themselves to reconnecting with the Emperor.
When the world was reclaimed in M39, the Ecclesiarchy were somewhat dismayed to note that what had once been a thriving shrine world was now much closer in nature to a hive world - teeming populations and vast structures covered the surface of Terremorn.
However, they also saw that the once-proud temples, churches and icons of Imperial faith, though badly dilapidated, remained places of pilgrimage, and so quickly began working to strengthen the faith of the population once more.
"The Emperor protects most those who would protect themselves." - Isaudrea Fiorle, First Canoness of the Order of the Crimson Crescent
At the time of the Order's founding, trials were held on a dozen shrine worlds to find women strong enough of body and soul to represent The Emperor's light in what was viewed as a dark corner of the galaxy.
Out of the thousands selected to take part in these gruelling trials, over three hundred women succeeded. Amongst those first brave souls, one would truly become a legend to her new family: Sister Isaudrea Fiorle, best remembered as the First Canoness of the Order of the Crimson Crescent.
Canoness Fiorle was a giftedly talented strategist, at her best when adapting plans even in the midst of battle. She also had a decided preference for marksmanship and precision over unrestrained agression, using small squads of highly-trained sisters to pick apart isolated or weakened targets without the need to engage them at close range.
Even though she was slain in battle seventy-three years after her appointment to the role, to this day the Order of the Crimson Crescent pay honour to their First Canoness in their prayers to the Emperor, and her tomb is the centrepiece of the Order's headquarters.
On Terremorn, if your firstborn is a daughter, it is considered good fortune to name her Isaudrea, and numerous petitions for Canoness Fiorle's posthumous recognition as a Saint have been made over the years.
Isaudrea Fiorle was also known for her charisma, and her proudly outspoken views unarguably shaped the Order's perception of The Emperor even to this day.
"Through our Faith, we must become both a guiding light and a cleansing flame," - Sister Elsabet Mallor
Rather than percieving The Emperor purely as a saviour and protector, the Order of the Crimson Crescent view Him as a Warrior-God. They worship The Emperor as a peerless, unimaginably lethal master of war who bestows his blessings only on those He considers strong enough to have earned them. In turn, those fortunate and powerful enough to recieve the blessings of the Emperor are charged with the sacred duty to use those blessings to protect those weaker than themselves.
Sisters of this Order will routinely put themselves through trials of great endurance, in order to test their devotion and hopefully prove themselves worthy of the Emperor's blessings in times to come.
Another quirk in the Order's system of beliefs is their view on Space Marines. Largely shunning the commonly held "angels of death" belief found across most of the Imperium, the Order of the Crimson Crescent view them as imperfect aspects of The Emperor, cast off and separated from The Emperor's divine magnificence, that he might become even greater.
Though the Order's attitude towards Space Marines is largely neutral, the Sisters of the Order of the Crimson Crescent are rarely shy in voicing their views concerning the failings of Space Marines, which seldom earns them any friends amongst the Adeptus Astartes.
"Victory in hard-fought battle is the truest way to praise Him." - Sister Melandra Vyne
Since their inception on Terremorn, the Order of the Crimson Crescent has proven to be a stalwart force against all threats to the Faithful. Marching fearlessly into even the most fierce battles to bring the Emperor's strength to those in dire need, the Order has a storied history of conflict with xenos and heretics alike.
In the year M40.884, Warboss Toofpulla and his considerable horde of "Shootin'est Orkz" carved a bloody path through three lightly guarded systems in Segmentum Ultima, slaughtering Imperial citizens and regiments alike with wave after wave of powerful artillery attacks, striking with surprising co-ordination for greenskins. They would routinely destroy their targets before distress signals could even be sent out.
When they crushed Hive Trebalth on the world of Aminast, however, they made the mistake of assuming the collapsing hive had killed everyone within.
Sister Jemila and her squad had been tasked with protecting a Deacon of the Adeptus Ministorum on a hitherto routine visit to Aminast, and though the hive had largely been obliterated by the ork's ceaseless barrages of artillery, the basement of the local Church somehow survived intact, preserving not only the Deacon and three local Preachers, but Sister Jemila's squad, whose first action was to alert the rest of the Order to the presence of the orks.
And so it was that when Waaagh Toofpulla threatened to engulf the world of Korbor, the Order of the Crimson Crescent, working with the planet's own military, caught the greenskins in a most devastating trap. Deploying their own Exorcist artillery, the Order crippled the xeno's own tightly-grouped, mortar-armed vehicles and their crude artillery batteries. The Sisters themselves were then able to ensnare the weakened greenskin formations with a pincer movement, their massed bolter fire and support from Seraphim squads and Immolator tanks on either side tearing through the greenskins with characteristic efficiency, burning away the aliens' remains until only ash remained.
Named by astronomers for the noble Lord Coliver, a planetary governor who famously struck down a heretic using a burning branch, this comet crashed into the Agri-world of Dewart's Gate in late M41.
At the time it was thought a sign of the Emperor's judgement, until mechanical creatures of unknown origin or design climbed out and began attacking civilians, all the while reciting twisted chants of praise to the Dark Gods of Chaos.
The Order of the Crimson Crescent were called in to purge the monstrosities.
When the Sisters arrived, the world of Dewart's Gate had been badly scarred and burnt by the attacking creatures. They had raided settlements and destroyed farms.
More terrifying still, the corpses of the slain marched alongside them, abominable metal contraptions buried into and across their backs. Their heads lolled awkwardly as they walked, their eyes staring sightlessly at nothing. They stumbled along slowly and made for easy targets, but their hands still gripped weapons firmly and they moved as though controlled by the vile, armoured machines that had been inside the comet, joining them in reciting their twisted sermons.
The battle was fiercely fought. Though the enemy's tactics were poor, their puppet-hordes would continue to attack even if set aflame or suffering from lost limbs or gaping wounds - only by destroying the metal devices buried into the dead could they be halted. The leading machines themselves proved highly resistant to flames and most other small arms fire, but the Order's tanks, melta and power weapons were still able to dispatch them in short order when brought properly to bear.
When the main body of the Order returned to the comet to destroy it once and for all, they discovered the controller of these gruesome machines - an injured Magos of the Dark Mechanicum. The 'comet' had turned out to be a large, malformed and withered escape pod of some kind from a heretic's vessel. The mechanised creatures within had either been his creations or his slaves.
For his sins, the Dark Magos was burnt alive at the stake in the ruins of the largest surviving settlement on Dewart's Gate, hearing the Sisters and crowds of the faithful chant hymns of praise to The Emperor as he perished.
Updated for great zeal 10/4/2015
Also, I changed the colours. Blue robes are cool, but didn't really suit the Order too well.
All comments, thoughts, criticism, outright ridicule, insults, random quotes from old films, sage advice and other thoughts, suggestions or ideas are definitely more than welcome!
Edited by Ace Debonair, 17 April 2015 - 08:35 AM.