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Murbella was a promising young Honored Matre who was captured by the Bene Gesserit and trained in the ways of the Sisterhood. She later became both the Mother Superior and the Great Honored Matre, uniting the bitter enemies.
Murbella was raised as an Honored Matre from an early age. She was deemed to be a trainee of particular promise when it was revealed that she possessed physical and mental abilities far above average. Among these abilities were almost unimaginable reflexes, which ran independent of her central nervous system. As was common of females of Honoured Matre heritage, she also possessed the ability to amplify sexual ecstasy to near unimaginable levels.
During a stay in the city of Ysai, Murbella captured a Duncan Idaho ghola and attempted to imprint the Bene Gesserit loyalist. However, thanks to powerful abilities the Tleilaxu have secretly built into him, he was able to partially resist her, and instead imprint himself onto her psyche. Thus the pair became sexually addicted to one another.
When the pair later fell under the custody of the Bene Gesserit, the Sisterhood made good use of Idaho's new-found abilities (and addiction to Murbella) to extract some information from the vulnerable young Honored Matre, and later start her training as one of their own.
Later, as the Honored Matre attacks intensified, Duncan Idaho and Murbella were living together in continued confinement on Chapterhouse. The intense sexual bond created by their mutual imprinting in has made them somewhat reluctant lovers.
Darwi Odrade, the new Leader of the Sisterhood, had decided to accelerate Murbella's training as a Bene Gesserit, despite some's belief in the organization that she intended to steal their secrets and escape back to the Honored Matres, who are now based near Junction, and have just completely conquered Gammu.
Murbella's training with the Bene Gesserit was protracted and often confrontational. However, their shrewd methods such as "word weapons" to undermine her earlier Matre identity, and use of her bond with Idaho enabled them to slowly turn her to their collective will. During this entire period, Murbella provided the Sisterhood with four daughters, uniting the genetics of Idaho and the Honored Matres into a powerful combination. As time went by, Murbella understood fully that she was an admirer of and wanted to be Bene Gesserit, and began to see her former Matres as ignorant. The words of her initiation are repeated with an emphasis on Bene Gesserit.
Finally it was decided that Murbella was ready to become a Reverend Mother. Odrade relaxed the strictures, and for the first time ever, a man — Duncan — is allowed to watch a spice ceremony. Duncan was filled with trepidation, first because he feared Murbella would not survive the ritual, and second because he wondered whether she would still love him after going through such a life changing experience. Odrade watched with equal trepidation because Murbella was vital to her plan to deal with the Honored Matres, and to reform the Sisterhood. Odrade believed that the Bene Gesserit made a mistake in fearing emotion, and that in order to evolve, the Bene Gesserit must learn to accept emotions. Murbella, Odrade is pleased to find, took and survived the hard path to becoming a Reverend Mother.
Murbella went through a manic phase after becoming a Reverend Mother, and her feelings for Duncan were not the same — a fact that worries Odrade as much as Duncan. Whether it is a temporary effect of the experience or a permanent one was unknown.
Union of the Bene Gesserit and the Honored MatresEdit
Odrade called a Convocation (a meeting of all the Bene Gesserit), and announced her plan to attack the Honored Matres on Junction. She told them that this attack would be led by Bashar Miles Teg. She also announced candidates to succeed her as Mother Superior, those being Sheeana and Murbella, and shared with them before she left.
The attack seems headed for failure, and Murbella saved as much of the Bene Gesserit force as she can and they began to withdraw. The potential failure of the Bene Gesserit attack was planned for by Odrade, who left Murbella instructions for a last desperate gamble, if a last stand situation should come. Murbella piloted a small craft down to the surface, announcing herself as an Honored Matre who has managed to escape the Bene Gesserit in the confusion of war. She claimed that she wants to share all of the Gesserit secrets that she has learned. When she arrived on the planet, she immediately announced her intentions by killing an overeager Honored Matre with a blinding speed enhanced by Bene Gesserit training. This makes her faster than any Honored Matre before her, as she has successfully fused the best abilities of both organizations.
Murbella was taken to the newest Great Honored Matre, Logno, and immediately declares herself hostile. Logno could not help herself and attacked, Murbella killed her, and many of her allies. Odrade was killed in the melee. Before Odrade died, Murbella shared with Odrade and took charge of the Honored Matres, who are awed by her physical prowess, and her ability to see into Other Memory.
Murbella's ascension to the leadership of the Honored Matres and, by necessity, the Bene Gesserit as well, was not accepted as victory by all of the Sisterhood. Some feel that she will suborn the spirit of the Bene Gesserit and many worried that her plan of merging the two orders into a New Sisterhood is doomed to failure. Some then decided to escape, notably Sheeana, who has a vision of her own. They asked Duncan and Teg whether they wish to join them, and they flee Chapterhouse in the giant no-ship, with the Tleilexu Scytale and the Jews from Gammu still aboard.
Murbella recognized their plan at the last minute, but was powerless to stop them, and realized at the same time that Duncan's departure solved many problems for her new role as leader.
Development of MurbellaEdit
Although Murbella is not the central character in Heretics of Dune, she is instrumental in plot and character development.