40K Lore: Saints of the Adepta Sororitas

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Bow your head Loremasters, for today we delve into the paragons of virtue, the Saints of the Adepta Sororitas.

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Alicia Dominica

Alicia DominicaPatron Saint of the Sisterhood, Bearer of the Grail of Ages, Founder of the Order of the Ebon Chalice, is renowned throughout the Imperium as both the founder and patron of the Adepta Sororitas and as the Sister who ended the Reign of Blood when she beheaded the High Lord Goge Vandire.

During the Age of Apostasy, Alicia Dominica was the leader of Goge Vandire’s bodyguards, the Brides of the Emperor. At the height of the Reign of Blood a small contingent of Adeptus Custodes made their way into the heart of Vandire’s domain, only to be confronted by Dominica and her fellow Brides. The Custodes Centurion called for truce and parley; laying down his arms, he made impassioned pleas for the Brides to revoke their oaths to Vandire, arguing that they were serving evil rather than the Emperor. The Brides, however, were not swayed by his oratory; so leaving his men as hostages, the Centurion led Dominica and five of her companions (Katherine,SilvanaLuciaMina and Arabella) through the tunnels below the Imperial Palacetowards the most sacred place in the galaxy – The Golden Throne, the resting place of the Emperor himself.

What occurred before the Emperor remains unrecorded but when Dominica and her companions emerged from the bowels of the palace they renounced the name Brides, returning to their original title, Daughters of the Emperor. The Daughters marched to Vandire’s throne room, finding him in the midst of a bloodthirsty tirade; pausing only to condemn Vandire for his crimes, Dominica cut the head from the traitor High Lord’s shoulders.

In the aftermath of Vandire’s tyranny, Sebastian Thor reformed the shattered Adeptus Ministorum. Following Thor’s instructions, Dominica formally established the Sisterhood – the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas, with the Sisters divided between the Convents on Terra and Ophelia VII and with Dominica herself as both founder and overall patron.

Over time the Adepta Sororitas numbers grew to over 10,000 Sisters and Sebastian Thor’s successor, Ecclesiarch Alexis XXII, divided the Convents’ forces into two Orders each – the Order of the Ebon Chalice and the Order of the Argent Shroudon Terra and the Order of the Valorous Heart and Order of the Fiery Heart on Ophelia VII. Of these four groups, the Order of the Ebon Chalice was established as Dominica’s own personal Order.

Dominica led her sisters for several centuries, overseeing the early years of the Adepta Sororitas and leading her Sisters on many crusades, before finally falling in battle at the Scourging of Frideswide’s World. It was recorded that she survived literally hundreds of wounds before one lasgun blast finally found a weakness in her armor and pierced her heart in 650.M36. At some point before her death, Dominica was declared a Living Saint.

The symbol of Dominica’s Order is the skull-filled and flaming Ebon Chalice that represents the terrible knowledge imparted to Dominica when she was brought before the Golden Throne, though few know the significance of the symbol.

Saint Katherine

Katherine Elysius (later canonized as Saint Katherine), also known as the The Shield Bearer, was the founder of the Order of the Fiery Heart.

Regarded as Alicia Dominica‘s second-in-command, Saint Katherine is said to have been the bearer of Dominica’s Praesidium Protectiva, and was well known for her determination and avenging spirit, seen always at the brunt of any conflicts and leading many wars of faith against heretics and witches in the name of the The Emperor. As member of the Brides of the Emperor, Saint Katherine was one of the six sisters who was brought before the Golden Throne at the climax of the Age of Apostasy, and was present when Vandire was executed.

Subsequently, she founded the Order of the Fiery Heart, named due to her fiery persona. She led her order in countless battles across the galaxy, and was declared a Living Saint, becoming a legend in her own lifetime. Some time before her death, Katherine visited the world of Sanctus Lys, and in a hidden crypt beneath a shrine interred the golden power armour of Saint Katherine and The Ardent Blade.

Katherine was killed by the Witch-cult of Mnestteus, and her order was renamed as the Order of Our Martyred Lady due to the deep mourning of her sisters.

 

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Saint Celestine

Saint Celestine is a legendary member of the Adepta Sororitas.

Little is known of her life and battles before she was proclaimed a Living Saint – presumably they were suppressed. What is known is that she was a Sister Repentia of the Order of Our Martyred Lady and that she was but one warrior fighting at the prolonged Palatine Schism, against thousands of heretics. Celestine was thought to have been killed in battle before the capital city of the planet Eurytion, and was said to have killed over one hundred schismatics before she fell. Her body was retrieved by her sisters, and was found to have life still in it. Believing her touched by the Emperor himself, the Sisters cleansed her body and found her to be free of wounds. The next day, the assault resumed with Celestine at its head. The battle lasted mere hours. Celestine became the figurehead of the Palatine Crusade, leading the forces of the Imperium to countless victories. At last, the Crusade’s commander, Lord Ansgar wanted to assault the sector’s capital world, but Celestine instead ventured to a backwater world called Sanctus Lys, which was home to an ancient shrine once visited by Saint Katherine. There she entered a hidden crypt, alone, forbidding any present to follow.

At the first light of dawn, Celestine rose from the crypt changed. Clad in the Armour of Saint Katherine and wielding The Ardent Blade, she had become a vessel of the Emperor’s divine radiance; she was declared a Living Saint by Lord Ansgar and his Thorian compatriots. Hailed as the ‘Hieromartyr of the Palatine Crusade’, Saint Celestine led the warriors of the Imperium to victory in a multitude of Wars of Faith, dispatching tens of thousands of heretics and enemies of the Emperor. The Adepta Sororitas venerated her, and her sisters would have followed her into the Eye of Terror, had she asked them to.

Saint Celestine was lost on Forrax, as the treacherous Warmaster detonated an atomic failsafe in his fortress, annihilating everything for miles across. When news of her death reached Holy Terra, the Tower of Heroes tolled once to mourn her loss, but the Sororitas in their halls in Convent Prioris were comforted with the thought that Celestine would be at the side of the Emperor.

She appeared unexpectedly in 980.M41 at a crucial moment of the Promethean War on Heletine, where the Order of the Ebon Chalice and the Salamanders Space Marines were engaged with forces of the Black Legion. There she turned the tide against the Chaos Space Marines and drove a spearhead directly to the Daemon Prince Lord Gralastyx, and ultimately slew him. When the dust of the victory had settled, however, there was no sign of her. It remains unclear if this happened during her life or after she had been declared dead on Forrax.

 

Saint Mina

Saint Mina was an Imperial Saint. During the Age of Apostasy she was one of the commanders of the Brides of the Emperor and accompanied Alicia Dominica to the Golden Throne. She had a reputation for being fierce, mysterious and deadly in battle. She was murdered by a blood cult, whose agents had attacked her while praying. Her body was found along with the shrine, covered in the blood and the corpses of twenty of her attackers. Her symbol, the red rose, represents her strong character and her final death. Thus, the Order of the Bloody Rose was created to honour her spirit and her martyrdom.

 

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Saint Praxedes

Saint Praxedes of Ophelia VII was the Canoness of the Order of Our Martyred Lady. At the start of the Second Tyrannic War, she reinforced the Caladenian Regiment of the Imperial Guard on Okassis. She led the forces in a defence of the Cardinal palace and sent a gallant counter-attack when the Tyranids reached the palace. She led from the front and managed to kill a Hive Tyrant, throwing the rest of the attack into disarray. This allowed many refugees to flee the planet and left Praxedes and her forces on the world.

She proceeded to press deep into the heart of the Tyranid forces and led a guerrilla war against the Tyranids. The disruption she managed to cause meant that the attack on the space port by the Tyranids was nowhere near as effective as it should have been which allowed the remaining civilians to flee the planet. All contact was lost with her forces once the last shuttle had taken off and she became known as the first martyr to Kraken. Her name is revered across the Ultima Segmentum but some claim she fights on still against the hordes of Tyranids from within. She was finally confirmed killed in action in that battle on Okassis, where she succumbed to mortal wounds after slaying a Hive Tyrant in 991.M41 while buying time for the evacuation.

 

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is an Imperial Saint who originally led the Order of the Valorous Heart. During the Age of Apostasy she was the youngest of Alicia Dominica‘s companions that was brought before the Golden Throne and known to be the most pentient. She was martyred after her capture by a cult that tortured her before her death. Without Lucia’s knowledge, a group of her fellow sisters were also captured, but not one of them gave into the pain. Their silence, along with Lucia’s, who was under the greatest torture, gave the order their name.

Lucia is commonly depicted with a drop of blood running down her cheek. Sometimes, she is represented with Vandire‘s severed head, which they received after Dominica executed him. All of this reinforces her image of the ideal Battle Sister.

Learn More of Imperial Saints

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~ Blessed is the one who gives all for the Master of Mankind

  • euansmith

    I always tend to imagine the Sisters of Battle as being the true poster children for the Grim Darkness. Hideous, xenophobic fanatics, clad in baroque armour and toting flamers.

    For me, they embody the crazy, prog-rock opera, spirit of the early iterations of the setting; back before layer upon layer of glum Space Marine lore plastered over the settings satirical and comical cracks.

  • sethmo

    I wish they would bring back or create a similar character to Pradxedes. She was a monster slayer in second ed….

    WS 6, BS 7, S 4, T 5, W 3, I 6, A 4, LD 10, Sv 2+
    And she had a power maul that was master crafted and a rosarius.

    • Gabor Fazekas

      well Celestine wasnt that bad in the e-book 2 big flaw was lack of EW and ap2, it had an Archons Stat line which was pretty solid for her point cost and overal okayis rules

    • Aaron

      thats not much better than a guard commanders stats in 2nd ed, 2nd ed followed different stat boost formulas than anything 3rd ed+

  • Hedwerx

    Definitely an army I’d be interested in if they get a full re-release.

  • 6Cobra

    No Saint Sabbat? There’s been more written about her than all these others put together.

    • memitchell

      Sabbat was not a Sister of Battle. She died before the Adepta Sororitas was founded.

  • Grumpy Scot

    Saint Silvana. She was a Living Saint in life, though only declared afterwards.