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Original Dune
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Dune Chapterhouse book cover

The Honored Matres were a powerful all-female group who emerged from uncharted space to become formidable rivals and a sinister reflection of the Bene Gesserit, some two thousand years after the death of the God Emperor Leto Atreides II.

History[]

Origins[]

During the departure of countless people during the Scattering, the Bene Gesserit sent out many exploration and colonization teams from within their own ranks. Nothing was heard of the groups again. However, it was later discovered that some did survive, and indeed thrived in numbers and power. However, the experiences of this group, and their interactions with other groups from the Scattering, triggered fundamental changes in their beliefs, customs and objectives.

According to the evidence of Reverend Mother Bellonda, the Honored Matres were formed in the Scattering by the Sisterhood's Reverend Mothers who had been sent out in these groups and the Fish Speakers that used to serve Leto II in extremis.

Return to the Old Empire[]

The Matres eventually fled back into the Old Atreides Empire from the Ones of Many Faces who hunted them. Around ten years into their flight from the Enemies, they established base on Gammu. After two years on Gammu, the Matres were taking over control of an increasing number of planets. In the meantime the loose economic federation kept together by CHOAM slowly fell apart as a side effect.

War with the Bene Gesserit[]

After thirty years on Gammu, the Honored Matres attacked the Bene Gesserit Keep there in an attempt on the life of a Duncan Idaho ghola who was designed by the Bene Tleilax as a weapon against them, initating the War of the Sisterhoods. Meanwhile, the Matres attempted to kill Mother Superior Alma Mavis Taraza and Supreme Bashar Miles Teg, but failed. During the following period, one of their number, Murbella, joined the Bene Gesserit.

The Matres ultimately attacked the planet of Rakis using the Weapon (which they had stolen from the Ones of Many Faces), killing Taraza. Miles Teg led his troops out on a last suicidal defense of Rakis, designed to attract the rage of the Matres. They decided to destroy the planet and the sandworms.

Customs and Ideologies[]

While some Bene Gesserit ideologies remained a part of the Honored Mater identity, they incorporated outside customs and philosophies that made them very distinct from and often at odds with their ancestral origins. Key to these was their general opinion of control. While the Bene Gesserit used subtle and often-deceptive methods to retain their power base within an existing balance of power, the Honored Matres sought to supersede the status quo and gain absolute control over all other groups.

This aggressive strategy required the enslavement or destruction of all other power brokers, and consequently demanded the group possess powerful control mechanisms. The most effective method used by the Honored Matres to infiltrate and overwhelm other groups was a form of "sexual enslavement." During their evolution in uncharted space, the Honored Matres perfected sexual intercourse into a narcotic process.

By using carefully crafted skills, an Honored Mater practitioner learned how to coerce an outsider, typically of the male gender, into total subservience. This action, performed often, and upon the right individuals, allowed them to conquer many other groups in uncharted space, and build a formidable military and resource base.

The Honored Matres hungered for intimidation and violence, a trait that encompassed their entire culture. Evidence of this was visible in their frequent use of assassination to gain power.

Leadership of the Honored Matres was executed via the absolute control of one member, who typically rose to the top by killing the previous leader and any other colleagues who got in her way. This method was the established rite of ascension. Thus, the title of "leader" changed frequently, and loyalty between Honored Matres was conditional at best.

Seeking Bene Gesserit skills such as cellular-control, the Matres continued on in violence, and destroyed planets and civilizations with their stolen Weapons. The Matres returned to the core of the Old Atreides Empire, during the leadership of Bene Gesserit Mother Superior Alma Mavis Taraza. They wrought havoc in an attempt to instill fear and gain absolute power over all. After conquering many planets, they made Junction their capitol in their war of conquest.

Though most groups of the Old Empire were conquered or infiltrated (including the Bene Tleilax), the Bene Gesserit mounted strong resistance, thanks in no small part to their immunity to the Honored Matres' enslavement-skills and the efforts of Miles Teg and one of the Duncan Idaho gholas.

Images[]

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