The Adeptus Custodes had their work cut out for them during the Age of Apostasy trying to convince the Sisters of Battle of the treachery around them.
The Orders Militant are the armed wing of the Adepta Sororitas and are known as the Sisters of Battle. They serve as the standing army of the Ecclesiarchy, but it wasn’t always for the best…
Via our good friends at Lexicanum
The Orders Militant are the armed wing of the Adepta Sororitas and are sometimes known as the Sisters of Battle. The Sisters of Battle serve as the standing army of the Ecclesiarchy. The Adepta Sororitas (also known as “the Sisterhood” or “Daughters of the Emperor”) are an all-female subdivision of the religious organisation known as the Ecclesiarchy or Ministorum. The Sisterhood’s Orders Militant serve as the Ecclesiarchy’s fighting arm, mercilessly rooting out corruption and heresy within humanity and every organisation of the Adeptus Terra. The terms “Adepta Sororitas” and “Sisters of Battle” are commonly assumed to mean the same thing, but the latter title technically refers only to the Orders Militant – the military arm of the organisation which is the largest and the best-known part of the Sororitas. The Sisters of Battle, like the rest of the Adepta Sororitas, trace their history back to the troubled times of the Age of Apostasy. On a backwater world named San Leor an all-female cult dedicated to the worship of the Emperor, known as the “Daughters of the Emperor”, were discovered by members of the Ecclesiarchy. Goge Vandire, the High Lord of the Administratum (and also Ecclesiarch of the Adeptus Ministorum), decided to visit San Leor and recruit the Daughters into his own private army. The Daughters were then renamed the “Brides of the Emperor” and became Lord Vandire’s most loyal followers.
As the events of the Age of Apostasy progressed the Adeptus Custodes, the Praetorians of the Emperor himself, tried to approach the Brides and convince them of Vandire’s treachery. In a last ditch effort to convince them, the Custodes took Alicia Dominica, leader of the Brides, and her chosen bodyguards deep into the Imperial Palace where they stood before the Emperor himself. What happened there remains unknown – Dominica and her companions were sworn to secrecy – but it became clear that the Brides, who then reverted to their original title of Daughters of the Emperor, had been awakened to the evil that Vandire represented. Marching into his audience chamber, Dominica paused only to condemn Vandire for his crimes before she beheaded the power-crazed dictator. Following these events the Adeptus Ministorum as a whole was re-organised, including the forces of the Adepta Sororitas. Along with the establishment of the non-militant Orders, the Orders Militant were divided between the two Convents on Terra and Ophelia VII with Alicia Dominica as the the Head of the entire organisation.
In 378.M36 – Ecclesiarch Alexis XXII divided the Orders Militant of the Convent Sanctorum and Convent Prioris into four Orders:
- Order of the Ebon Chalice
- Order of the Valorous Heart
- Order of the Fiery Heart
- Order of the Argent Shroud
In 878.M38 – Ecclesiarch Deacis VI founded two more Orders Militant in honour of the remaining two saints who accompanied Alicia Dominica to the Golden Throne:
- Order of the Bloody Rose in honor of Sister Mina.
- Order of the Sacred Rose in honor of Sister Arabella.
The Battle Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas are the mainstay of the Adeptus Ministorum’s armies. Equipped and trained to the highest Imperial standards, the Sisters of Battle specialize in waging Wars of Faith and purging heresy wherever it may be found. Because of this, its duties often overlap with the Ordo Hereticus of the Inquisition and as a result the Sisters of Battle maintain a close alliance with the Witch Hunters. The Sisters of Battle themselves are divided into six Orders, each numbering tens of thousands of Battle Sisters, and many Orders Minoris, each containing thousands of Sisters themselves. These forces are rarely deployed in full-strength, rather being assigned to waging Wars of Faith, aiding the Inquisition, or protecting Ecclesiarchy buildings, property, and relics.