Originally founded during the time of the Three Emperors as the bodyguard of the would-be Emperor, the Elector Count of Stirland, the Order of the Black Rose have a long and chequered history, famously changing allegiance no less than three times in the fragmented wars in which they were founded. Though they still carry the emblem of their progenitor, their loyalties are as shifting as the sand, for their Grand Masters have ever sought to cultivate political power from the military might at their command.
The heavy cavalry bodyguard of Ottilia of Talabecland are justly famed throughout the land. Recruited from the best warriors of the land, their ranks are always kept to one hundred men. It is a mark of great honour to be-chosen, and each man is paid and equipped at the states expense. Every knight brings his own fighting expertise and knowledge with him to teach his compatriots. In this way, the fighting prowess of the men is well rounded and unique. It is the knight's sworn duty to stay with the Countess and protect her from harm.
Their armor is stained black in a reference to their name, except their gauntlets which are red, signifying the spilt blood of their enemies. They carry-heavy lances, maces, swords and kite shaped shields emblazoned with a rose and thorns entwined around a bleeding heart. What makes the knights unique is their horses armor. The barding of the knights steeds suggests the affiliation of the order with the god Morr: skulls, dreaded Morr himself and other motifs are all prevalent. Such a reminder of a man's mortality coupled with the dread nature of the imagery upon the barding is a terrifying sight for any enemy.
- Warhammer Armies: Empire (7th Edition) -- p. 40 - 42
- Warhammer Armies: Empire (6th Edition) -- p. 12
- Warhammer Armies: Empire (5th Edition) -- p. 52