“With Faith and Fire.”
— First Maxim of the Sororitas
To be a sister of the Adepta Sororitas is to have a holy and divinely ordained calling to do the Emperor’s will, to lead the faithful by example and to punish and destroy the heretic wherever and whenever it is found. The Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas (or the Daughters of the Emperor to give them their archaic title), are a powerful and largely independent collection of religious orders that form the militant wing of the Imperial Ecclesiarchy, protecting its domains, enforcing its will, destroying its enemies and defending the faithful. Each member of this all-female sisterhood is sworn to the Imperial Creed, relentlessly trained to excel and is utterly devoted to her Order, her work and the Imperial faith.
The Sororitas is formed into two divisions: the great Convent Prioris on Terra and the Convent Sanctorum of the shrine world of Ophelia IV. The Sororitas is further subdivided into several component Orders. The principle task of the Orders Militant or Sisters of Battle is to persecute the Ecclesiarchy’s wars of faith and serve as a fighting arm of Ordo Hereticus. Members of the Orders Famulous specialize as councilors, diplomats, teachers and investigators. The Orders Dialogous serves in translating and understanding ancient, xenos or heretical texts, ciphers and history. Finally, the Orders Hospitaller provides skilled surgeons and physicians to the Imperial military. Regardless of her Order, each Sororitas sister is a highly trained and adaptable agent of the God-Emperor. Each is willing to lay down their lives for Creed and mankind: strong of will and firm of purpose. They are also armed with one of the greatest of weapons in humanity’s arsenal---faith.
The origins of the Adepta Sororitas lie in the dark days of the Age of Apostasy and perhaps even before. Their modern form took shape in the Reformation of Sebastian Thor that ended the wars of religious schism and gave birth to Ordo Hereticus. They owe their power in no small part to Thor’s great Decree Passive that prevented the Ministorum from raising permanent bodies of “men under arms”. Following the disbanding of the Ecclesiarchy’s standing armies and fleets, the Sororitas were given the task of defending the Ecclesiarchy and Imperial faith from direct threat. They also form the Chamber Militant of Ordo Hereticus of the Inquisition, a zealous and utterly fanatical force of elite soldiers, learned savants and skilled physicians who are an invaluable part of the Hereticus’s war on unbelief, witchery and, of course, heresy.
The Sororitas of the Calixis SectorEdit
The Adepta Sororitas have several holdings in the Calixis Sector, most famously the Abbey of the Dawn on the strifetorn planet of Iocanthos. The fortress-abbey stands nominally as a commandery of the Order Famulous of the Opening Eye under the Canoness Goneril, and specializes in training novices to operate within the machinations and intrigues of the Scintillan courts. It also houses a mission from the Order of the Ebon Chalice, which serves as an operational base for a force standing ready at the behest of Ordo Hereticus, under their Palatine Rhiannon.
Less well known holdings of the Sisterhood include the Sainted Encarmine Hospital on Tranch, the library-keep of the Sanctum Dialogous on Solomon (whose contents are forbidden on pain on death to those without Inquisitorial clearance), and the Shrine of the Seventeen Martyrs on the agri-moon of Gallowglass in the Malfi system which houses a commandery of the Order Militant of the Bloody Rose. The Battle Sisters based here have seen extensive combat in recent years at the request of the Holy Ordos and the Ministorum. This lead to Canoness Livia petitioning her superiors on Ophelia VII to reinforce the shrine into a full preceptory of the Order, which was granted despite quiet opposition by the authorities on Malfi. The enlargement of the commandery has made it very clear that the Ecclesiarchy is preparing for larger endeavors. The Order of the Bloody Rose maintains a small cloister on Abandoned Hope. An outpost of this size might only house a handful of Adepta Sororitas tasked with maintaining the quarantine of the world, however the small fortress has a good quantity of Battle Sisters. Prol IX and the Library of Knowing on Fenksworld each house a small contingent of Sisters Dialogous. The Adepta Sororitas inhabit the Abbey of Saint Elena’s Mount on the shrine world of the Piety of Seth, offshore of [[Port Calling].
It is unknown why Palatine Rhiannon was sent from the Convent Prioris to the Calixis Sector. Her mission’s arrival on Iocanthos was initially considered a slight on the Canoness General and brought with it many questions. Only the influence of the Ordo Hereticus has managed to smooth things over. As yet, the fifty Battle Sisters have not seen much combat action, but their presence is reflected in the more aggressive role that the Order Famulous has recently taken on Iocanthos, possibly preparing the Nobility for some Ecclesiarchal goal.
The Adepta Sororitas of the Calixis Sector are governed by the Convent Sanctorum on Ophelia IV. While the Convent Prioris has opted to stay out of the daily machinations of Calixis politics, the leaders of the Convent Sanctorum has taken a different approach. When they receive word of false cults taking root, they instruct the Sisterhood to engage and destroy them. In the Calixis Sector, this has made the Sisterhood a widely recognized and influential force. It has also given the Inquisition additional well-trained forces to call upon when needed, and the Tricorn has frequently put the additional forces to good use. Among many other interventions, a trio of Sisters Dialogous aided Inquisitor Drahc Ireel in his purge of a Council of Six recruitment cell on Sophano Prime, and several squads of Battle Sisters from the Order of the Valorous Heart in quelling a series of mutant riots on Sepheris Secundus.
The religious wars brewing in the Drusus Marches have led to increased Sisterhood activity and recruitment in the sector, particularly in an expanded presence of the Orders Militant. Escalation began with the mission of the Order of the Ebon Chalice on Iocanthos having its dormitories built and filled nearly over night.
The Orders Militant are not the only ones increasing their influence in the Calixis Sector. The Order of the Opening Eye has offered its services to most of the noble houses on Scintilla and Sepheris Secundus and has even returned to Malfi in limited capacity. Virtually all the members of House Krin have a Sister Famulous at hand when negotiating and handling trade, prompting other trading families, such as the Cestelle Alliance, to do the same. Thus far, no Sororitas sisters have been seen with members of the DeVayne Incorporation nor with the Machenko Dynasty, though the aides for those merchant entities have been no less skilled. The discussions between DeVayne and House Krin in 813.M41 regarding the purchase rights of generations of Sepheris Secundus’ serfs was said to be almost hostile in tone as the advisors almost broke protocol to speak directly to each other.
Legatine Christal, from the Abbey of the Dawn, is often away from her Iocanthos fortress and has been spotted in recent years re-establishing a mission on Malfi and arranging a marriage between Friedrich Krin of House Krin and Josi Cestelle of the Cestelle Alliance on Scintilla. It is rumored that the Legatine even officiated at the actual ceremony and blessed the union on behalf of the Order.
Seraphim have traditionally been in short supply in the Calixis Sector due to the demand for them to fight in holy wars elsewhere in the Imperium. The Calixis Ecclesiarchy has placed great faith in the Frateris Militia to manage alone, but with holy wars brewing in Protasia and 47 Kapella, this issue may be revisited. Only two of the Orders Militant currently have ready Seraphim squads: the Order of the Bloody Rose and the Order of the Valorous Heart.
If the stories and rumors are accurate, Celestians have accomplished many of the more miraculous events in the history of the Sisterhood. From the Last Stand on Gallowglass to the Purifying of Lind, stories of the Celestians are found everywhere, each one telling nigh-impossible tales of divine feats of bravery and honor. In more recent times, many of these same acts of selflessness have been repeated by the Celestian squads, so there is evidence to support the stories. One of the more interesting things that has gone unnoticed outside of the Sisterhood itself is that the majority of the new Celestians in the sector come from the Order of the Valorous Heart. While there is no apparent explanation for this, Canoness Constance has used her Celestians to great effect in the escalating conflicts on Protasia and 47 Kapella.
While the majority of the Sisters Repentia in the Calixis sector have traditionally come from the Orders Militant, an increasing number from the non-militant Orders are willingly taking up the oath to atone for information they have seen or heresies they have witnessed but failed to prevent. It has been speculated that the recent activity of the Tyrant Star may have something to do with it, but these rumors have been largely discounted. As more and more Sororitas are pressed into service, an increasing number of Sister Repentia are serving alongside acolytes of the Ordo Hereticus as a means to fulfil her vow.
The Order Sabine is a minor Order of the Adepta Sororitas in the Calixis sector, mostly populated from the ranks of the Order Famulous. It works hand in hand with the Missionarius Galaxia to prepare worlds long lost to the Imperium for re-integration. This Process can take generations as Sisters Famulous arrange royal marriages and act as court advisors. When the Missionarius Galaxia arrives on the world the leadership is primed to simply accept the coming of the Imperial Creed without struggle.
The sisters of the Order Vespila have earned the name ‘dark sisters’ because of their association with the death of beloved Ecclesiarchal clergy. Cardinal Kregory Hestor petitioned the Order Hospitaller to populate this Order within the Calixis Sector. Tasked with the internment of bodies, the Order Vespila’s grey shrouded ceremonial robes are synonymous with the death of priests. It is unknown why Cardinal Hestor felt it so important to be certain that the bodies of the faithful were properly buried, but rumors abound that he has secret knowledge of a prophecy regarding a long dead saint. When an Inquisitor needs the Sister’s macabre skills he calls upon the Ecclesiarchy to provide him with the graveyard guards of the Order Vespila.
Tasked with the care of holy relics reclaimed from the clutches of renegades and heretics, the Order Pronatus is subtly influential within the Ecclesiarchy of the Calixis sector. They can be found on many shrine worlds, tireless working to purify the stain of the Warp from artifacts recovered on crusades. Inquisitors will occasionally recruit the skills of an Order Pronatus sister when they feel their acolytes may need to deal with unholy devices.
The Role of Sororitas AcolytesEdit
Owing to the close ties between Ordo Hereticus and the Adepta Sororitas, it is not an uncommon practice for Sisters to serve the Holy Inquisition for some part of their vocation. Inquisitors, for their part, value Sororitas Acolytes for their skills, the power of their faith and for their incorruptibility---particularly when confronted by the spawn of the warp and their debased servants. Sororitas chosen by their superiors for independent or detached service in this way are often among the most capable and self-sufficient of their noviciate class, deemed strong enough to endure the rigors and perils of such duty. Often returning to the Sororitas even firmer in their convictions and honed in their skills. During any “downtime” between deployments with the Holy Ordos, an Acolyte Sister will return to her Order to spend time fasting, meditating and training. She will also offer a full report under examination to her superiors. Sororitas that survive long-term duties with the Inquisition are a very valuable asset for the Adepta in their war against heresy and faithlessness, and are often destined for high rank.