Order of the White Maiden is one of the oldest lesser Order Militant of the Adepta Sororitas. Order of the White Maiden was found from the Order of the Argent Shroud in 121.M37 in honor of Saint Seren the Lightbringer.
After the tumultuous events of the Age of Apostasy, the handmaidens of the Mad Lord Vandire were formed into a new military might of the Imperium called the Sisters of Battle. The Order of the Argent Shroud was later formed in honor of Sister Silvana from the Order of the Ebon Chalice as part of the Convent Prioris on Terra.
Strong in their faith and altruistic by nature, the Order of the Argent Shroud influenced many smaller missions of the Ecclesiarchy's Missionaria Galaxia and non-militant orders of the Adepta Sororitas. Many missions were created in the following years and the numbers of the Order swell alongside the other orders. Soon smaller Orders were split from the original four Orders Militant, among them, the Order of the White Maiden.
Priory of the White Maiden was located on the cardinal world d'Anglos Primus from the beginning of 6th century of 36th millennium. Serving the will of the Arch-Cardinal d'Anglos, the Priory's canonesses chose one after another to stay out of the local politics. Of even those that directly affected them. For long, the priory stayed as a training area for Schola Progenium Heios graduates who were incorporated into Adepta Sororitas. The Priory greatly valued silence and among its members it became customary to swear vows of silence.
When the millennium began to run out, the politics between Guberniya of Carollon and Remicles sector became extremely tense and inviduals such as Ludoviko, Andreas I and Andreas II Carollon drove the idea that Guberniya should be separated from the Remicles. Few Priory-related missions were situated on the worlds of Hadranoh III, Heios Prime and Ras Alhague, but they were called back by the new Canoness Commander Seren who mustered the whole strength of two commanderies of the Priory on d'Anglos Prime. Missionaria Noctus Litoria took its course towards the infamous Nightshores, starting the countdown towards Guberniya's independence from the Remicles sector. However, the long-awaited mission soon became nothing but a lost dream and cause, when the Bassenheim Star went supernova in an event known as the Fall of Remicles.
Victor Bassenheim - a venerated inquisitor during his time, now a man lost in censorship and propaganda of the Imperium - called for the Chamber Militant of his Ordo after the Supernova of Bassenheim Star and the first to answer was Canoness Seren of the Order of the Argent Shroud. After hearing the inquisitor's reasons, Seren took up her arms and mobilized the long idle Priory of hers to counter the forces of corrupted cardinal Engelbert Hadranoh. After crippling the armies of that false idol of faith, the Priory's forces took their arms against the fallen worlds of Remicles sector within the Nebula and fought with the inquisitor until the change of the millennium and his death. Having suffered heavy losses on years long campaign, the Order of the Argent Shroud decided to not only reinforce, but to strengthen the Priory on d'Anglos Primus. Instead of two commanderies, the Priory now encompassed a whole preceptory.
Crusade for Nightshores
After the Bassenheim Treaty was published and the High Lords of Terra silently agreed its contents, the remnant worlds of the Remicles sector were situated under the rule of Guberniya. Among them was the fabled cardinal world d'Anglos Primus, which cardinal was not at all pleased having been put under the cardinal-house Hadranoh's influence. However, Alois Carollon with his cousin Eremias Hadranoh made their long weighted moves after the death of late Lord Carollon in 020.M37 and set the wheels to form the crusading army in motion. Soon rumors about the collaboration of these two powerful houses were snuffed out by the emissary of the High Lords of Terra who announced Lord Carollon Alois as the Warmaster of the Crusade for Nightshores. Effective commander, and Imperial Guard veteran officer, Alois began to build up his armies and the closely located Adepta Sororitas preceptory was not left unnoticed by him. The Ecclesiarchy was however unpleased with the Carollon family, mostly because of the failure with the Purge of the High Spires few decades earlier and when the warmaster called, Ministorum did not answer. Utilising their own hierarchic systems unknown to those outside the Ministorum, warmaster's request to assist him in the crusade was passed from division to sub-division to cardinal to deacon and the request just whirled around. It was Cardinal d'Anglos, who loathed his superior Arch-Cardinal Hadranoh who was tightly part of the crusade's planning departments, who refused to answer Warmaster's call even knowing it might be the end of him. Now the Cluster Lords of the Ver Cluster looked closely to Warmaster's actions, for if a petty Cardinal could deny his will, the Cluster Lords would not comply either. Warmaster Carollon did not hesitate to make a call for the pupils of Victor Bassenheim, to whom he had been introduced after the death of inquisitor himself. In 026.M37 Warmaster Carollon played his cards by raising 250 regiments, almost one million guardsmen, of the d'Anglos Flame Bearers leaving the priory to be. Canoness Seren was furious to find out how her Cardinal could pass the glory of participating in an Imperial crusade, and stormed the Cardinal's palace with her troops and confiscated the cardinal of his duties. Temporary control of d'Anglos Primus fell to the hands of Arch-Cardinal Hadranoh who gladly granted the Preceptory a right to join the campaign. Year after that, Canoness-Preceptor Kanya Metharom joined with the sisters of the Priory of the White Maiden.
Sisters of the Priory of the White Maiden gained striking reputation throughout the crusade. From the beginning, the White Maiden was attached to the first theater Gules under direct rule of the First Gules Army Group and Lord Marshal Milenko Lorcar who was experienced with the Sisterhood's methods of war. Lord Marshal Lorcar of the First Gules Army Group had access to majority of the theater's mounted infantry and was capable of performing heavy, fast and precise attacks with his forces. Only the superhuman warriors of the White Tigers, who were attached to the Gules Theater in 039.M37 could rival the effectiveness of the sisterhood.
Troops of the White Maiden participated in the most desperate battles on Phase Violet before the Vert Theater joined the war on Seroon system. The infamous Seroon Savagery was only a bit more savage when the Sororitas executed deserters of the regiments who fought with them. Some records claim that the sisters created a great pyre of living deserters while preaching the Emperor's words to their allies. Sisters of White Maiden were resituated with other battlegroups when the Crusade emerged from Seroon system victorious and the Gules took its own route southwards. When leaving on their own course southwards, Gules Theater encountered Raxoni and Eldar fleets and was forced to fight space battles with the evasive forces. When finally cornered, the Eldar forces of the Blinking Sun corsair fleet fled to the Webway leaving their xenos allies alone. The sisterhood, Astartes and Navy troops assaulted Raxoni ships and destroyed them to the last completely eradicating the void-bound race. Canoness Seren proved herself and her troops again on Yaleida's Exodite world by forming a great defencive bulk against the psychic attacks of the Eldar forces. So great, in fact, that they were again resituated to fight with the Super Heavy Detachment which Baneblades managed to bring down three Eldar titans.
After being rescued by the Azure Theater on Yaleida, Grand Marshal Filippe Gauhart directed his forces towards the very end of the Nightshores leaving the rest of the crusade behind. In 8111047.M37 Filippe Gauhart decided to split his forces by sending Lord Marshal Aram ud-Din and his Third Gules Army Group northwards only to be caught in fierce war on Gamma Rhada. He personally led two other army groups into the system 1911. The Nineteen-Eleven Catastrophe began in the minute the army groups entered the system. Grand Marshal ordered his troops to make planetfall, when number of his fleet elements were destroyed by overwhelming enemy forces. Ground Zero secured by the valiant efforts of the White Tigers and Hossa Helldivers drop regiments, the Sisterhood quickly descended on ground and formed an adamant spearhead which punched through the defenders' positions. However, the machinery utilised by the defenders was too much for the Sororitas' short-ranged weaponry and they were forced to retreat in a matter of days. Three years the Imperial forces managed to fight on the planet even if severely outnumbered and mostly cut off of their orbital supply providers. The Sororitas cleansed the toxic earth with their holy promethium and led the Imperial troops ever onwards. Canoness Seren, with her personal retinue, was killed in early 051. The mourning sisters suffered extreme casualties while trying to cremate their fallen members after the failed assault and Seren's, as many other sisters', bodies were left to rot in the toxic realm of 1911. Of the 1000 sisters only 200 stood in 051 and they were spred thin in the lines to boost morale. Palatine Felicia of the Priory of the White Maiden took the fallen Canoness' position.
It was the fallen Canoness who finally led the other elements of the Crusade in to system of 1911. Palatine Felicia, and the finally surviving 86 sisters witnessed the revelation of Saint Seren and how she cleansed the toxic earth, polluted skies and poisoned seas of 1911. In her honor Litt Tenebras was written.
The Priory of the White Maiden was instantly widely recognised for giving birth to an Imperial Saint. Canoness Preceptor Kanya Metharom of the Argent Shroud brought the news of the successfull crusade to Terra and was arranged an appointment with the Prioress of Convent Prioris. After her reports, Prioress set wheels in motion in order to fully recognize the Priory of the White Maiden's efforts and value. The bureaucracy of the Imperial Senate and Adeptus Ministorum made this project to last long. The political concerns of the Guberniya of Carollon's state and the possible outcome of the War of Faith in the sector greatly affected to the decision whether the Priory would be granted a right to become an independent Order.
The fabled Eighty-Six of the Priory joined the War of Faith as messengers of the Saint Seren for they truly believed they had witnessed the manifestation of the Emperor's divinity on 1911. The infamous world 1911 was soon dubbed as Saint Seren's Hope and stories of the crusade and its success were spred among the men and women of war of faith. The Pilgrim's Passage was overwhelmed by the zealots of Imperial Church. Influence of the 86 sisters of the Priory of the White Maiden was widespred and each one of them became well known as recognised figures of the War of Faith. By the request of the Arch-Cardinal Eremias Hadranoh, Canoness-Preceptor Felicia joined him in 107.M37 and was one of the men and women who signed the Edict of Hadranoh. War of Faith was concluded and the Eighty-Six, of which 11 remained, retired on their Priory on d'Anglos.
Sister Felicia, who joined the Crusade for Nightshores in 028 as Seraphim-Superior, was promoted to the rank of Palatine after the death of Palatine Tegan in 043 in Yaleida system war against the Exodite Eldar, took command of the Priory's troops and was recognised as Canoness-Preceptor in 051 after the death of Canoness-Preceptor Seren, was given the rank of Canoness-Superior of the Order of the White Maiden in 121 at a venerated age of 115 years. Sister Felicia passed away two years later in 4081123.M37 leaving a legacy to live up to for the next generations of the Order's sisters.
Order of the White Maiden has maintained its strength of 1600 sisters throughout the millennia. They have active missions on the worlds Saint Seren's Hope, which is also their homeworld, Hadranoh III and Siracia.
Order of the White Maiden controls few sub-parish estates which all hold an autonomous position within the parishes' hierarchic structure.
Abbey of Saint Seren
Located within the Shrine of Saint Seren, Abbey of Saint Seren is vast monastery complex. Surrounding most of the shrine itself, the abbey has capacity to host two whole preceptories of the Order's sisters and lay-sisters, serfs and servitors, as well as administrative members of the Order. The Abbey of Saint Seren is also the home of the Order and acts as the Order's headquarters. Hidden behind the white-painted brick-facade are plasteel walls and adamantine doors protecting the relics and artefacts of the Order. Thousands of the holy Godwyn-De'az pattern bolters are cleansed with the holy oils every day by chosen lay-sisters who may one day become full members of the Order. Thousand artisans carve the bolter rounds for the Order every day so they may wage the eternal war against the enemies of mankind for all eternity.
Abbey of Saint Seren has well preserved training grounds all-around the world to ensure its sister's readiness to war at all times. Official head of the Abbey is Canoness Superior of the Order of the White Maiden.
Hermitage of Theodore's Summit
Theodore's Summit is one of the peaks of the great mountain range on Saint Seren's Hope. The story goes that during the Crusade for Nightshores all hope seemed lost and the assault on Saint Seren's Hope almost failed, admiral Theodore Rostholt directed his vessel towards their enemies and halted their attack taking five cruisers with him before the mighty vessel of his, the Firedrake, was lanced into pieces. Some members of the Heios Hydras drop troops, who got carried off their landing zone, claimed that they could see the heroic acts of admiral Rostholt from this particular summit, and when the world was conquered, the summit was named after the admiral.
Hermitage itself, built around 300.M37 by Cardinal Stein II of Saint Seren's Hope, is relatively small and ascetic monastery completely cut off the rest of the world. It stands 6500 meters above the sea level just beyond the northern polar circle. Summers are cold but winters are freezing, most of the food in the hermitage is produced below the monastery in its hydro-culture. Hermitage is officially governed by the Order of the White Maiden, and ruled by an experienced sister of the Order. Many see the Hermitage of Theodore's Summit as the end of their road, if the battles don't claim them before, and it is common practice to take a pilgrimage to the hermitage and die on the way and get mummified by the cold, dry climate of the mountains.
Priory on the Clearing of Cleansing
Located, as the name suggests, at the Clearing of Cleansing on the world Hadranoh III. Order of the White Maiden has a permanent mission established within the monastery complex that surrounds the grand plaza which serves as the heart of the planet itself. While the presence of the White Maiden is quite small, usually hosting no more than 20 members, this particular priory is important for number of lesser Orders Dialogous and Hospitaller that act throughout the Bassenheim Triangle. Order of the White Maiden is honor bound to act as "a big sister" to those non-militant Orders that reside their offices at the Clearing of Cleansing.
Priory of the Blessed Eighty-Six
Great shrine of Siracia, one of the missionaries that brought the planets of the Pilgrim's Passage within the caring hem of Imperium of Man and Ecclesiarchy, is guarded and protected by a mission of 200 sisters of the Order of the White Maiden on world Siracia. Shrine was built after the Pilgrims' War and Edict of Hadranoh in third century of the 37th millennium by the command of High Cardinal Iox. After the shrine was finished, the Order of the White Maiden offered a mission to protect the shrine, after all the planet was important to the Order as well for being the final standing place of their Blessed Eighty-Six sisters of the Pilgrim's War. Priory was built near the shrine after its completion somewhere after 500.M37 but the exact founding date is unknown. Today it is home to 200 sisters of battle.
Priory of the White Maiden
Located on cardinal world d'Anglos Primus, Priory of the White Maiden was the first monastery of the Order. It was destroyed 491.M41 during the d'Anglos Incident when the whole world was caught in Warp storm and transformed into a daemon world. Its current status, if any, is unknown and it is assumed that all 148 sisters stationed in the Priory were destroyed during the incident.
Canoness-Superiors, matriarchs of White Maiden's sisterhood:
- Seren - leader of the Order before and during the Crusade for Nightshores
- Felicia - successor to canoness Seren after the Crusade for Nightshores
- Judith - matriarch in 552.M39-578.M39
- Amelia Exonos "the Pure" - matriarch in 452-491.M41
- 028-051.M37 - Crusade for Nightshores - where Order of the White Maiden, alongside its founder order Argent Shroud, deployed 1000 Sisters of Battle in crusade's spearhead.
- 561-562.M40 - Smothering of the Lothringen Heresy - where superior canoness Judith raised two preceptories from Saint Seren's Hope and with almost 600 Imperial Guard regiments Order of the White Maiden triumphed over the upstart empire of Lothringens.