The founders were from three different orders?
Yep. All three were either healers or shape shifters. Two of the individuals involved were operating covertly, which meant they had to appear sane, which meant they had to be sane. Thus, they were able to create a system of psi - centered on life forces - where sanity was possible.
So how come the Chaos Sorceress got to write the Book of Change?
Well... According to legend, the Calidus Assassin was assassinated. The leading Sisters of Battle were purged as heretics. The Chaos Sorceress kept the Ladies far enough from the Eye of Terror to avoid challenges from most Demon Princes.
So it was possible to avoid the Eye, but not the Imperium?
The Ladies of the Night are played as a Chaos army of Tzeentch under Warhammer 40K rules. Few of the models used are standard, but every attempt is being made to keep the Ladies easily recognizable. The following units are either in play or being painted.
Note, most units cost 180 points. This allows quick switches in the order of battle, as units can be swapped in or out without recosting the list. Also, many units have 9 models, the number of Tzeentch and the Lady of Change.
The units are listed roughly in the order of training. The Ladies of the Night prefer to recruit women with potential psi talent. Those without such talent, or who choose not to develop such talent, never become more than Streetwalkers or Vengequan. Those with talent and discipline advance from squad to squad, potentially to Marine, 1000 Daughters, Succubi, Veil Dancer to Lady or Princess.
Streetwalkers : Played as chaos cultists with lasguns and demagogue. For 180 points, one can field 40 cultists including 4 heavy stubbers. Models include Foundry "street girl" models from the Street Violence line, Demonblade "Southern Belles", a few western and politburo guard models from Shadowforge, the Necromunda House Escher heavy stubber figure, and an Imperial Guard commissar.
Streetwalkers are novices, first learning themselves and their bodies. They have not yet learned to call the Fires of Change as a weapon, thus they carry lasgun. Those with psi talent who have been with the unit for a while may have minimal healing skills, enough shape shifting talent to have healthy athletic bodies. They might also chose to have well developed sexual appetites, or supplement their income working as morale agents for allied Imperial Guard forces. As their psionic skills are very weak at best, they are not expected to be a decisive force in battle. They are used as a screening force and distraction. Their major active role is to screen the havocs. They also lay down massive amounts of inaccurate fire. It is understood that they should withdraw if they take even a minor wound. They should concentrate on movement and use of cover rather than rapid or accurate fire. (I would rather play them under Imperial Guard rules, but the Chaos List doesn't provide the option.)
The original streetwalkers were camp followers working behind and under Imperial Guard. Since that time, many other Streetwalkers have been recruited, mostly human, often from urban Imperial worlds. Heretics are apt to come from the most poor and desperate elements of the population. Thus, a large number of streetwalkers are indeed former sex industry professionals. However, not all streetwalkers are whores. Those that are tend to become demon proud and demon insolent. Those that aren't are often not pleased to be treated as whores.
Not all new recruits are able to learn and use psi. Those who can find demonic healing and shape shifting abilities handy in several ways. Not all streetwalkers have taken the oath of sisterhood. They are not required to return joy for joy, respect for respect, and trouble for trouble. However, if one goes seeking joy from a LotN streetwalker, treat her with respect or expect trouble.
Vengequan Exodites: Played as chaos cultists with pistol and close combat weapons. Models are Demonblade "Quan" models, with a six armed Dark Haven lady with halberd as demagogue. For 180 points, one can field 45 exodites with a demagogue.
The Demonblade Vengequan models wear Native American style clothing, carry a sword and close combat weapon, and have pointed ears. It would seem they must be primitive Eldar Exodites, trained in a style of combat derived from Banshee Aspect. Thus, some time after the Ladies of the Night left their home world, they apparently encountered and joined with a primitive Exodite Banshee cult. Thus, while the Ladies' style of psi originated from merging Chaos and Sister of Battle techniques, some Eldar methods are also involved. (If you don't like this story, sorry, but I didn't notice the pointed ears until after I'd mail ordered a half ton of Vengequan.)
While both Streetwalkers and Exodites are cultists, the exodites are not at all involved in the human sex industry. Human males who treat Exodites as human sex industry professionals are apt to lose a hand, or possibly some other appendage. While some exodites are learning psi, and may grow from cultist status into one of the regular units, the exodites are somewhat proud and aloof from the rest of the LotN. They are definitely aloof from human males who visit LotN camps for a little fun.
Marines : After spending a few years as a Streetwalker or Vengequan, one might develop enough psionic skills to become a Marine. While marines use no overt psychic powers, healing and shape shifting abilities are used to increase their size and strength. Thus, an ordinary woman with no marine gene seed can match the speed, strength and toughness of a Marine.
There are risks. If one fixates on killing and maximizing one's power in battle, one will inevitably become corrupt, insane, and a demon in the worst sense of the word. A woman who does not maintain discipline and perspective is apt to end up as a pink horror, a near mindless slave to some Eye of Terror Demon Prince.
LotN discipline avoids this by emphasizing human interactions, joy, companionship, and sex. One uses shape shifting abilities to become beautiful, not to take a shape that scares one's enemies. If one later grows wings or learns to fly discs, it is for the joy of flight. Most training is played as a joyful game. Anger and bloodlust are shunned. At this stage, one is required to be human, required to look human, required to act human, required to be a good companion. Beauty is required, both of external form and character. This beauty must be visible to both sisters and outsiders. One is not trained into higher orders without beauty and joy, inside and out.
At this level, the student has mastered healing and shape shifting to the point where they have children only by choice, where the medial risks of working the sex industry are minimal, and where the student can consciously inhibit or enhance sexual appetites. Thus, many sexual taboos common to females on Imperial worlds are discarded. Many males find LotN adepts uninhibited, aggressive, or even predatory.
There are several types of marine squads. Sword squads travel in groups of nine, including a leader with power sword and one melta gun operator. Bolt gun squads also have a power weapon equipped leader, but their heavy weapon is a lascannon. Havoc are generally fielded in squads of five or six, including three lascannon. Sword and Boltgun squads wear tan skirts and sleeves. Havocs wear black skirts and sleeves.
The Thousand Daughters : While in battle the Daughters act very much as Thousand Sons, the basis of their power is very different. As they walk gracefully, with perfect posture, they can fire on the move accurately. As their self-healing abilities are great, minor wounds can be disregarded. This healing ability gives them such confidence that they seldom retreat from combat. However, they are not inanimate suits of armor, but flesh and blood women whose abilities are just further advanced than the more junior marines.
The Thousand Daughters wear red skirts and sleeves.
Succubi: Played as demon cavalry. Dark Haven succubi figures (bat winged scantily clad ladies) are used in the evening. Assorted GW figures mounted on disks of Tzeentch are used early in the day when kids are around. Succubi are summoned into battle, have 5+ invulnerable saves and 12 inch attack moves. Succubi and Disk Riders operate in units of nine.
While Streetwalkers and Vengequan are novices or not-psi, and Marines are intermediate, Succubi have mastered healing, shape shifting, board riding and warp riding. Their mastery of psi is equal to many lesser demons. They are summoned into battle through the warp. Their healing ability is such that they can ignore some wounds which would disable an ordinary mortal. Their healing ability is also such that they are not quite mortal. They can subdue the effects of aging.
In the tradition of the Ladies of the Night, growing from cultist to Marine to 1000 Daughter is slow and tedious. There is a great deal of meditation, class work, and psi boosted weight training. One is learning to touch the energies of the warp without badly distorting mind or body.
Succubi have reached the level where they can embrace the warp, flying through normal space or warp space with freedom and abandon. It is very important that a succubi's training remains fun. They must summon energies in a spirit of joy and comradeship, rather than in a spirit of hatred or destruction. Succubi can still loose the path, can become pink horrors rather then quiddich champions. Still, so long as a group of sisters play together and grow together, the risk can be minimized.
The use of succubi in battle is also limited. It is hard to fight day in and day out without leaning hate. It is tempting for a commander to overuse succubi. If the true name of a succubi leader is taught to many people, that unit can be summoned instantly, anywhere, the entire squad riding the warp to reach the battle field. If this is done occasionally, battle can remain a game, a variation on the eternal quiddich matches. Most wounds are healable, and true grief seldom touches the sisters. If a unit is called into battle too often, if the joy of battle is replaced with hatred or fear, the risk to the succubi's soul becomes grave.
There are two schools of succubi. The true succubi have shape shifted, have grown wings. The board riders are telekinetics. They fly upon "candy discs" or "Discs of Tzeentch," essentially surfboards that ride on air. Once training is complete, either form of succubi are equally capable. True succubi, by developing their shape shifting abilities, are often better healers. Disk riders can carry greater weight sooner, but suffer more bruises from falls. Their difficulty is less with power than staying on the very tricky boards.
Veil Dancers : Played as obliterators. Reaper dancer models are used.
While succubi ride in either the physical world or the warp, Veil Dancers learn to summon the destructive power of the warp into physical reality. Veil dancers work in small groups of three to six. An experienced teacher monitors the students, always ready to intervene should a student lose control. While an experienced Lady or Princess might summon the Flames of Tzeentch with the point of a finger, Veil Dancers, both student and teacher, often make wild large gestures in an effort to keep the energies summoned under control. At best, these gestures are coordinated and graceful. The dance can be beautiful as well as deadly. At worst, if one of the students looses control, it is clear to even ignorant observers that something is very wrong.
In battle, the energies summoned by the dance protect the dancers. No matter how dire the battle, all the dancers cannot strike with a maximum effort. One or two dancers will strike hard. Others maintain the defense and are ready to restore control of the summoned energies should something go wrong.
Veil dancers generally maintain a fully human shape, but they are shape shifters. If they skilled enough to summon the Flames of Tzeentch, their shape is precisely as they desire it. They have no need for clothing for warmth, no shame in their appearance, and no fear of any desires they might induce in males. By tradition, when performing their training dances, they wear nine veils, burning a veil each time they summon energy from the warp. The public training exercises are a mix of test, competition, dance, fireworks display, and battle training. When they run out of veils, to limit the amount of warp energy that is summoned, the dance is over, and it is time for other activities. Some dancers maintain the tradition of veils in battle. However, do not anticipate a cease fire when dancers run out of "ammunition."
Time spent as a veil dancer is limited to a few years. It is not prudent to have too many students calling too much energy out of the warp. Students become addicted to the power, or burn themselves out. Extensive Veil training also gathers attention from the males in the Eye. Thus, the number of Veil Dancers active at any time is very limited. After years of cooling off, a student might try again to gain the rank of Lady or Princess, or a Lady might return to the dance as an instructor. In a battle emergency, former Veil Dancers might come together to form a troupe. Still, the veil dance is for the very few on the cusp of high rank.
Unicorns and Centaurs : Played as Juggernaughts. Reaper models are used.
Once one has mastered shape shifting, and avoided the traps of hatred and fear, some choose to forgo human shape. Larger shapes are effective in battle. However, by tradition and prudence, the Ladies of the Night require enjoyable and beautiful shapes be used. Many take shapes not useful on the battle field. Eagle and porpoise are common choices. However, for those with a love of nature who take a joy in the wild, unicorn and centaur shapes are worthy.
The Wee Folk : Played as nurglings. Reaper familiars, halflings and foal models are used.
Lady of the Night shape shifting is slow. It might take years to grow wings strong enough to bear a human's weight. The procedure can be made faster and safer by growing small, changing shape, then enlarging the shape. Thus, there are often a number of house cats wandering about the LotN who have ambitions to become tigers. There are sometimes baby dragons who were once succubi, but might someday be very dangerous.
Not a few adepts decide small is beautiful, and decide to never grow up. They fill a useful role to the Ladies as scouts. The wee folk have a simpler and less risky life than humans. They find ways to amuse themselves. (The Wee Folk are renowned for their mischief.) Thus, many a hedge witch or healer, on retiring into civilian life, goes home with a familiar far older and wiser than the witch.
The Wee Folk, in their small bodies, cannot safely summon large energies from the warp. They are not very effective in battle, and only occasionally take part. Their primary role is as a distraction, holding up enemy forces for a time, then vanishing into the warp.
Ladies and Demon Princesses : Played as Chaos Lords and Demon Princes.
There is little inwardly different between Ladies and Princesses. Ladies retain human shape and thus can use weapons. Demon Princesses have shape shifted, most often into dragon form. Both have likely worked up through the ranks from Streetwalker or Vengequan. Ladies are more apt to be former board riders, while Princesses are more likely to be former succubi. Either have likely danced then taught in veil groups.
Nine thousand daughters in front, six havocs in the center, four rhinos, and two tanks. Trudy stands tall in the left rear, with one red biological wing, and one cyborg black wing. Draca, all biological, mostly red, is just below Trudy. Candy Khaine's black wings partially hide the Land Raider. Note, the four Rhinos have black, red, blue and violet insignia, as do the shoulder insignia of the squads carried. Immolator hatches and front pieces were used to customize all six vehicles.
Four rhinos available, extra armor, smoke. Generally only two rhinos are played to carry the sword and mace marine squads.
Land Raider, two pair of twin linked lascannon, heavy bolter.
Tank with autocannon, two side sponsoon heavy bolters, storm bolter.
Trudy the Dragon. Trudy is by rule a VDR demon possessed dreadnought, modeled as a Ral Parta "dragon of the month" cyborg dragon. She is based on the close combat dreadnought used as an example in Codex Chapter Approved. She has two close combat weapons, inferno cannon breath, walker, agile, skimmer and smoke. At 273 points, she is very expensive, but fast, tough, and hard hitting.
Candy Khaine is by rule a demon princess, modeled as a Ral Parta "dragon of the month" succubi dragon. She has wings, barbed tail, sticky bits, Eye Tzeentch, Staff Tzeentch, Mark Tzeentch, and Flame Tzeentch. The model is rated R. Candy is the legendary "Primarch" of the order, author of the Book of Change. She is also known as St. Candice when the Ladies are pretending to be loyalist Sisters of Battle. While she is revered as the eldest and ranking individual within the order, her power is only that of an ordinary Demon Prince. The title of "Primarch" is sometimes used within the community, but her power in battle is no where close to the legendary primarchs.
Draca. A demon princess nearly identical to Candy in ability, but smaller, new to her rank, less well known. The model is a Reaper dragon. (As Candy's model is distinctly rated R, an alternate demon princess model for matinee performances seemed prudent.)
Next : Tactics