Cult of Myrmidia
The Cult of Myrmidia is the organised worship of the Goddess Myrmidia.
Myrmidia is the patron goddess of soldiers and strategists, representing the art and science of war and is worshipped by both the upper and lower echelons of armies.
The head of the cult is La Aguila Ultima. [3a]
Her cult is friendly with those of her parents, Verena and Morr, and her sister Shallya. There is a rivalry between the worshippers of Ulric and those of Myrmidia. This rivalry generally remains competitive, as followers of the two gods usually try to outdo each other against the common enemy rather than fight among themselves. Many of her cult are openly hostile to followers of Ranald.
Very popular in Estalia and Tilea, in The Empire she is less popular than either Ulric or Sigmar, who better represent the Imperial ideals of strength of combat and the frenzy of battle. Priests of the goddess favour white robes with red edging and blue cowls, her symbol worn as a cloak clasp or sewn over the left breast. [3a] The cult is gaining a excellent reputation as a opportunity for the off spring of the aspiring middle class to begin their way in the world. Whilst the military connection is emphasised, worshippers receive a well-rounded education and the instilling of self-discipline that promises to stand students in good stead for the rest of their life.
The strictures of Myrmidia emphasize and sanctify military professionalism, such as sparing enemies who have surrendered, and never questioning the orders of a military superior. Followers of Myrmidia may enter battle only when strategies and tactics have been developed for all conceivable eventualities to ensure victory with minimal casualties.[5b]
Members of the cult who break its strictures are, by Imperial law subject to the rules of the cult and obligated to endure any penalty that the cult imposes upon them. Any penalty or punishment the cult decrees is supported under law, and the individual will usually have no other recourse to justice, although like that of Verena, the cult of Myrmidia favour formal trials with pomp and circumstance. [5c]
In Tilea and Estalia it is told how she came amongst the people of those lands in the form of a mortal woman and led their armies to victory against many invading hordes. Before she could be crowned queen however a mysterious assassin slew her mortal body, and she ascended to become a goddess once more. [5d]
During the crusades of the 1450s (Imperial Calendar) the Knights of the Blazing Sun adopted Myrmidia as their patron deity after she granted them a momentous victory in a battle fought around her temple. Upon returning home, the knights dedicated a shrine to the goddess in Talabheim introducing her to the Empire. [5a]
There are no fixed holy days, although it is common to honour the goddess with a sacrifice at the start and end of a campaign and before and after a battle.
In Tilea and Estalia her main sacred day is called the Day of the Spear, falling on 8th Jahrdrung, it commemorates Myrmidia’s greatest victory wherer she vanquished a great army of daemons. Her followers mark this day with solemn prayers and recitals from her holy books. The event culminates with displays of martial prowess by Myrmidia’s most devout followers. [5d]
One festival that is unique to the Empire is the Day of Sanctuary (7th Sommerzeit): It celebrates the founding of the Knights of the Blazing Sun, and as such is celebrated in every city that the goddess has a temple. Kinghts of the Order, resplendent in their battlegear wind through the streets, ending at Myrmidia’s altar where her priests then bless the knights’ weapons. [5d]
All temples of Myrmidia are subordinate to the temple in Magritta where the Archecclesiastium (the governing council of the cult) is located. In addition, each temple is the diocesan seat of the cult of Myrmidia. Her temples are located in the citadels of most cities of any size throughout the Estalian kingdoms and the Tilean city-states. Some cities in southern Bretonnia and The Empire (Nuln and Talabheim) also have temples to Myrmidia. Smaller temples and shrines can be commonly found in areas where southern mercenaries are employed.
The architecture of the temples of Myrmidia traditionally follows the styles of Tilea and Estalia, where her religion is most established, with elaborately domed and spired roofs covering square or rectangular halls. Shallow reliefs of outsized weapons and shields seemingly hang on the exterior walls of the temple. In some temples the goddess is depicted clad only in scarves about her waist, to the horror of some followers of Sigmar. Shrines often take the form of miniature temples with either statues of the goddess or free-standing sculptures of stacked weapons, shields, and armour. [3a]
- Altdorf: A great blue marble statue of the goddess stands proudly in front of the walled and barracks-like domed temple, throughout there are signs of martial activity as initiates, the picture of youth and prowess spar, duel, and joust to improve their skills and hence worshiping Myrmidia. [5b]
- Nuln: The Bergo Academy is the military school of Maestro Clemente di Bergo set in a spectacular cliff -top location overlooking the Reik road to Nuln. A tall, single tower, it is only reached by a narrow rope bridge. Bergo has become one of the most respected proponents of what he calls the Martial Art of Warfare in the Empire, based on fundamental Myrmidian principles. [5b]
The position of High Priest is determined by a ritual duel. [5c]
- Katrina Volkova: A devout follower of the goddess, duelist and lady's fencing tutor in Altdorf]]. [5b]
- Order of the Blazing Sun: The oldest Myrmidian Order in the Empire and one of the most prestigious templar orders in the Empire. 
- The Order of the Eagle is based in Nuln, led by the Eagle of the North. [3a]
- The Order of the Righteous Spear has a chapterhouse at each temple. [3a]
The role of mercenary is as honourable to a Myrmidian as any other sort of soldier and so Myrmidian mercenary companies do their business openly in the name of the goddess. This works as a sort of mark of quality, giving employers confidence that they are getting the right sort of mercenary for their coin. In return, a good proportion of a company’s bounty is offered up to the cult’s coffers. [5e]
As might be expected of a warrior goddess, her fighting (and most of her other) priests are skilled fighters from whom the very act of battle is a prayer to their deity. They practice and perfect techniques, skills, tactics and strategies. Mastering the art of battle is doen both for its own sake and to glorify Myrmidia and her followers of Myrmidia are obsessively dedicated to the physical and mental skills that underlie all combat. Death, should it occur is not failure but simply their final ledge to the goddess. [5e]
Priests of Myrmidia aspire to have the discipline to keep their emotions in check during combat as anger or passion in a fight is an exploitable weakness. Consequnetly they often have a reputation for being aloof, dispassionate, or even cold-blooded. However followers also impeccably observe the established conventions of warfare, such as accepting the surrender of a ohnourable foe and humanely treating prisoners of war in a civil conflict. Abusing these strictures is a grave crime that can lead to dismissal from the order. [5e]
As the the symbol of the cult is the shield and the spear, the goddess's favourite weapons many follow her lead but some Myrmidians are equally skilled with a sword, seeing a well-forged blade as a noble weapon worthy of their dedication and mastery. [5e]
- Act with honor and dignity in all things. [3a]
- Respect Prisoners of War, never kill an enemy who surrenders. [3a]
- Show the enemies of humanity no mercy. [3a]
- Obey all honoruable orders. [3a]
- Only disobey a command if it forces you to break another stricture. [4b]
Much significance is taken from the sighting an eagle and each element, the time of day, direction of flight, height and if it had prey in its talons, was it combating other birds, or was part of a pair, all mean something to her cultists. They consider it a messenger sent directly from Myrmidia herself , so its message will always be heeded, especially on the eve of a battle. A proud eagle holding its prey or diving for the kill is a most auspicious omen. A dead or bleeding eagle portends disaster and defeat. The keenness and cleanliness of weapons are also important signs. [5e]
|Show me the eyes of the eagle that I may see my enemies, Show me the strength of the eagle that I may persevere, Show me the wings of the eagle that I may strike in good time, Show me the heart of the eagle that I may not fear.
~ Prayer to Myrmidia .[5f]
|The gods & goddesses of the Old World|
|Old Faith - Rhya - Taal - Ulric - Manann - Morr - Verena - Myrmidia - Shallya - Ranald - Handrich - Stromfels - Khaine - Sigmar - Lady of the Lake - Lucan & Luccina - Ursun - Dazh - Tor - Esmeralda|
- 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st Edition), 1988, p. 197
- 2: Sword of Vengeance (Novel) by Chris Wraight, Chapter Sixteen, pg. 626
- 3: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (4th Edition) Rulebook
- 3a: The Cult of Myrmidia, pg. 207
- 4: Tome of Salvation
- 5: Signs of Faith