Order name: Order of The Jaded Ember
Home planet: Alwinter; Frontier/Ice World
Name of its Founder: Superior Alastine
The sisters of the Order of the Jaded Ember was founded during the turbulent times of the Suppression of the Macharian Heresy, although its members were put together as a token force for the Ecclesiarchy’s involvement in the Macharian Crusade. Originally of the Order of Our Martyred lady, the Commandery of sisters began to distinguish itself from their fellow sisters after an event forever known as the Martyrdom at Alwinter.
The sisters were assigned to a cold Frontier World, recently brought into compliance by Macharius’s generals. The planet had sided with one of the seven traitorous generals, and resistance was expected to be minimal. Not considered valuable enough to send Astartes during this turbulent time, the Ecclesiarchy assigned the Adeptus Sororitas in the reconquest in the hope of receiving concessions during the war. A full two hundred sisters were assembled for war.
What was supposed to be a small response team crushing a minor insurgent force turned a long and grueling affair. The rebel army was much larger than anticipated, and the ice world’s environment was the enemy’s greatest boon. The enemy had superior numbers, yet Sister Superior Alastine was not deterred. Her mission was to defeat her enemy, and she would not hesitate.
Alastine knew that a full confrontation would not act in her favor, as so planned to use the enemy’s numbers against them. She ordered a quarter of her forces to directly attack the enemy. With the element of surprise, this initial force managed to destroy most of the heavy armor the rebels had with melta weaponry. The enemy counter attack was fierce, and the retaliation was enough to force the sisters into a fighting retreat. Confident that they could swiftly dispatching the entire sister force following such success, a large majority of the rebels were goaded into chasing the survivors. Just according to Alastine’s plan.
The survivors of the initial strike retreated into a steep mountainous valley, and were followed by the rogue army. Once the enemy entered the valley, Alastine separated the remainder of her force into thirds. One third was to stay in the center of the valley with her, while the other two were split into the sides hidden. The enemy army charged into the survivors and the center of the Sister force, brutally ravaging their lightly fortified position. Bravely did those sisters hold there ground, but almost all sixty of them perished within minutes.
However, this defiant last stand did provide enough time for the third part of Alastine’s plan. As the renegade infantry army was completely committed towards the assault with the center group, they were completely vulnerable to a flanking attack from the other two groups. With pure zeal and determination, the sister host used a pincer movement to eradicate surprising amounts of traitors. Confused and directionless, their enemy were massacred.
But even this victory was not enough to turn the tide. Although the two flanks of sisters took out many times their number, it was impossible to slay them all. The sisters had over-extended their lines, and blocked the enemy of their exit. Driven to a panic by the holy warriors, the remaining guard fought with a frighted savagery, scrambling for a retreat. The now unruly mob had turned the tide once again, and fled back towards their initial entry. The sisters were given no respite for their victory. Even though they had succeeded in defeating a much larger force, only a few dozen remained to witness the battle’s conclusion. With possible enemy reinforcements, the sisters faced no other choice, to retreat far into the mountains of the frozen world.
Trail by Fire and Ice
Heat is kept alive by the spark of righteousness and the kindling of heretics.
The sisters were on the brink. Reduced to a small percentage of their size, they were unable to complete their mission, although many suggested a desperate last stand to redeem themselves for their failure. Sister Alastine, miraculously alive despite several wounds, including a severed eye, stated that to die now was to throw away the sacrifice of their fallen and to spit their names into oblivion. She spoke that only by surviving can their dead be remembered, and perhaps one day the Emperor will find them and allow them to purge the rebels.
Survival on the ice world was exceptionally difficult. It was below freezing most of the day, and allowed only a few precious hours for sunlight to be bright enough to see clearly. These conditions were made worse on the mountains, where little grew in the way of food or resources. Alastine began a great march, to cross around the mountains and into the low lying hills and plains, far away from the settled areas of the enemy. Many died from the blizzards or the cold, but Alastine pushed the remains of her sororitas on-wards.
Their greatest aid in this hostile environment was the rare volcanic hot pools that lied in seemingly random areas. They were warm and allowed for brief rest, and around them some vegetation lived for substance. Once they had gone done past the most inhospitable land, these become more common lower in the frozen deserts. The sisters had become survivors and scavengers.
Fire was the only way of survival for the sisters. It allowed them to seal wounds, warm themselves, process potentially dangerous foods and water, and allow minor repairs and construction without significant materials. It was not long before the sisters adopted a great admiration and even spiritual connection with the use of fire. Flame was an essence of the Emperor, to save the sisters from a cold and harsh world. Alastine at first merely tolerated these beliefs, but as the days become months and months became years, she openly embraced these deviant ideas of the Emperor. The beliefs were further enforced when the sisters met with a small populace of natives, who lived long before the recolonization of the Imperium. They were never completely pacified or brought into full compliance. They shared many beliefs, and discovered that these worships were not incompatible with the Emperor. To this day the sisters protect these local people.
It was never fully discovered why no reinforcements were provided to the sisters following their mission. Perhaps the fleet that had escorted them had to be relocated to provide for the greater war, the sisters assumed dead, or the fleet destroyed in a naval battle. Whatever happened has been lost to the vast bureaucracy that is the Imperium.
It took over 50 years before the Imperium regained contact with the sisterhood. The war raged on without them, to many honors to other forces, especially the space marines. Alwinter was a minor world, with a relatively minor garrison, and one force had already failed in taking it. Alwinter was recovered during the conclusion of the Suppression of the Macharian Heresy. The space marines of the Emerald Avengers chapter were assigned to take command on the reclamation of Alwinter, as one of their final missions. They used a tactic know as drop assault to quickly take the enemy stronghold.
The remaining sisters, who now numbered only a dozen, rallied a local militia of the people who had never been under the rebel’s influence, and commenced a great battle against the soldiers who had occupied the land. The battle was swift and bloody, with vengeance that had brewed for decades. The elderly sisters formed the first start of a bond with this noble chapter. Although they had regained contact with the Imperium, these sisters were different from when they first arrived.
Following the renewed compliance of the Alwinter, the remnant of the Commandery of the Order of Our Martyred lady regained contact with the wider Ecclesiarchy. Although they were reconnected with some of their Order, and welcomed with a heroes welcome, these sisters were not the same as the before. Feeling a disjointed bond with the Order, Sister Alastine, the most venerable member to have survived the Martyrdom, requested to the Ecclesiarchy that she and her sisters were to found a new Order on Alwinter. Although this was a bit of a shock to the organisation, with praise she was blessed with her request. The Order of the Jaded Ember was born.
The spark is bright
Present is light
Into a flame
Matures to fire
But fire needs fuel
The fire fades
And we know
That the heat remains
Needing only a spark
To light the ashes
And to fight the dark
The sisters of the Jaded Ember believe that death is not the final form of life. They believe that great warriors and the most pious among them will be reborn into another form, so that they may continue to serve the Emperor until the end of all things. In battles with high casualties it is believed that the souls of the fallen will be able to reinforce the spirit of the living and make them much more powerful in order to prevail. Perhaps one of their strangest beliefs is the practice of self-immolation. Often after the conclusion of a taxing campaign or of times of great mourning the order would sprinkle themselves with water, and walk over fire. They believe that this ‘fire-walk’ allowed them to purify their bodies and souls from taint and allow the spirit of fallen martyrs to leave their body in hope of finding a new host. Fire, to them, is the purest manifestation of the Emperor’s will. The swift recovery of the order’s strength after the Martyrdom at Alwinter showed that the spirit of their greatest martyrs were evident once again in many of the youths who joined the order. As of such, these sisters do not feel sadness for their dead. Instead, they rejoice in knowing that future warriors shall be blessed again with their spirits.
They traditionally loathed the Imperial Guard, seeing them as weak, easily manipulated and straying too easily from the Emperor’s light. Recently however circumstances have forced them to work together under Inquisitor Kell Pace, and alongside the space marines of the Emerald Avengers chapter have begun to defend Alwinter from a myriad of threats during the Alwinter Campaign.
The small native population of Alwinter often told of the sisters of a great Phoenix. Most of the order’s member are descended from these natives, and not from the off-worlders who have been put into the planet for colonization. They tell that the world was once much hotter than now, and in that time the Phoenix flew around this world. The phoenix represents the greatness of the past, and the sister believe that this legend was around the time of the Emperor’s Great Crusade. Lately the natives believe that the world will soon warm again, and the sisters believe that this is a sign that the Emperor will revive himself once again.
Martyrdom is not about dying. It is about willing to risk your life, so that others may prevail.
Favoring small deployments, the order depends on small, surgical strikes by its highly trained and determined warriors to prevail in most missions. Never again shall the entire order be deployed at once, except in the gravest circumstances. To do so would be invite disaster and a repetition of the Martyrdom. As such they prefer to deploy only a handful of squads, of about 5 members, to handle their foes. Mobility and redeployment is greatly favored over a static gunline, and as such use fewer Retributors but a large number of Dominions and Seraphims, particularly with flamers and melta weaponry.
Significant battles joined:
- Macharian Crusade
- Suppression of the Macharian Heresy
- Martyrdom at Alwinter
- The Alwinter Campaign
Canonness Mortella was slain in battle against Chaos Space Marines of the Word Bearer’s legion. She held her ground by herself for a full minute against a Chaos Lord and ten others before her death.
Seraphim Superior Anayen is the only sister to have survived the invasion of hive Sephiroth by the Word Bearers legion. She witnessed the death her squad and of their beloved canoness at their hand. At the close of the battle she famously survived a direct plasma shot from the Chaos Lord, and led the remnants of the imperial forces in a brutal counter attack that decimated the enemy. She was elevated to Canoness for her efforts after the battle’s conclusion.
Edited by Delta E.T, 23 April 2015 - 05:14 AM.