Battle Sisters of the Order of His Sanguine Tears and the Faith Militant

The Order of His Sanguine Tears

The Order of his Sanguine Tears
Sanguine Tears Site
Faction:   Imperial
Homeworld:   Nilvalis
Disposition:  400 Battle Sisters with
~500 Support Staff
Leadership:  Canoness Asenath Dinah

The details of the foundation and nature of the Adepta Sororitas as a whole can be found here. This section focuses upon the Orders Militant, the power-armoured ‘Battle Sisters’ who represent the most renowned members of the Adepta.

The Orders Militant are some of the most elite troops available to the Imperium. Their training makes them superior to almost all mortal soldiers of the Imperium, and combined with their unique status as the only mortal forces of the Imperium fully equipped with power armour and the deadly bolt guns, they are the only mortal force reliably able to match the God-Emperor’s transhuman Angels of Death, the Adeptus Astartes without staggering casualties.

Guardians of the sacred places of the Imperial Cult, and the mailed fist of the faith bringing His light to those who would resist and refuse to be converted, a fully deployed Soror Battle-Convent is a terrifying sight to witness; a maelstrom of death and devout destruction, bellowing battle-prayers as they advance upon their foes.

The Order of His Sanguine Tears

An Order Minoris of the Order of our Martyred Lady, the Order of His Sanguine Tears still wears the black armour and red vestments and trim of its parent Order. Though it was not officially founded until recent years, the Priory that formed the Order first came to the Prosperitas Sector during the leadership of Warmaster Fassir, and was vital in the consolidation of Imperial control over the Cadian Corridor and Subsector Tertius.

The Order’s Greatest Champion, Saint Nafisa, was a Prosperitas-born Soror. Through her ascension upon her martyrdom against the Archenemy in battle in the Cadian Sector was born a desire amongst the Sorors who followed her to return to the Prosperitas Sector. It received blessings to do so via the support of the Cardinal-Emissarius Grulge, who led the reinforcement of the Ecclesiarchy presence in the Sector.

Deployed to suppress riots on the Shrine World of Nivalis after religious celebrations there were interrupted by heretics, the Sorors witnessed a dire omen, as every statue of the Emperor seemed to weep tears of blood. With the permission of the Convent Primary on Ophelia IV and the Cardinal-Emissarius, the Soror commander, Canoness Asenath Dinah was granted the right to found a permanent Convent-Garrison on Nivalis, and found a new Order Minoris to staff it.

As young as the Order is, the Battle Sisters have made themselves a formidable presence on Nivalis. The failure of the planetary government and the Priesthood to bring about order led to both Canoness Dinah and Cardinal-Emissarius Grulge forcing the Planetary Governor to abdicate their position in favour of the Cardinal-Emissarius taking over as the Governor of Nivalis, with the Order engaging in several years of ongoing counter-insurgent operations on the planetary surface.

As the conflict on Nivalis has settled, and the new Fidelis Militia raised by the Cardinal and trained by the Sorors has grown, the Order has been less conservative about retaining its forces solely upon the Shrine World, and has began to deploy them further afield. They now support Crusade Operations as well as, in some cases, the Holy Ordos.


The Faith Miliant

Under the terms of the Decree Passive, the Ecclesiarchy was banned from maintaining military forces; with the exception of the loophole that permits the existence of the Adepta Sororitas, it largely follows the decree in the 41st Millenium. However it would be misleading to suggest that it does not possess other fighting forces, if irregular ones. While they are less formalised and do not remotely approach the quality of even the most junior Soror, the irregular militias and combat-trained fanatics of the Faith Militant are not to be dismissed out of hand.

This is no truer than in the Prosperitas Sector where the Ecclesiarchy has long-sought to raise an army of the Faith and take leadership of the Prosperitas Crusade as a Holy War governed under their auspices. The forces that follow are not representative of the Imperium at large, but rather unique to the Prosperitas Sector – as tracking the myriad potential violations of the Decree Passive across the Imperium would take considerably more time.

Priests Militant

Within the Ecclesiarchy, there are a vast number of Priests who began their lives as soldiers. Many assigned to the Missionarius Galactica, Chaplaincies of the Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy, Arbites and other organisations, and the Drill-Abbots of the Schola Progenium, are trained warriors either by prior profession or by the necessity of their posts. That many of these retain their weapons and armour from their former lives, or are equipped with them for their own protection, is not considered a violation of the Decree Passive – it is simple practicality; there is no such thing as a non-combatant as far as the Imperium is concerned.

However there are Orders of the Priesthood who give worship to the God-Emperor in Their aspect as the Master of the Imperial Military, that venerate the forms of war, that study it and preserve great tomes on accumulated tactical and strategic knowledge or fighting styles to ensure it is not lost to the Imperium. It is not uncommon now, in the dark years of the 41st Millennium, for these Orders to practice what they preserve and preach, adorning themselves with weapons and armour preserved within Ecclesiarchy vaults and taking to the battlefield in Her Name.

Within the Prosperitas Sector, these Warrior-Priests come under a myriad of guises. The Crusaders of the Priory of Their Golden Shield are favoured heavily by the Cardinal-Emissarius to serve as bodyguards to high ranking Ecclesiarchy where Sorors would be wasted. Meanwhile, the War-Preceptors of the Conclave of the Doctrine of Her Holy Warfare are often found advising the Commanders of the Prosperitas Crusade, or organising the ranks of the Fidelis Milita. There is one title that the Ecclesiarchy is always quick to disown, and that is ‘Templar’ – for that title has dark connotations of the Faith before the Decree Passive was enacted.

Fidelis Militia

In the Imperium at large the term Fidelis Militia refers to the irregular armies of the faithful raised out of desperation to slow the advance of an enemy until conventional forces can be brought to bear. To most it is synonymous of ravening hordes of poorly armed fanatics armed only with civilian-grade weaponry and their faith in Them on Terra. It is a citizen levy, raised when even Planetary Defence forces are not enough to stand in the way of a threat.

Within the Prosperitas Sector this comparison may have held true, until the rise of Cardinal-Emissarius Grulge. Grulge’s agenda has always been to raise an army of the faith to make up for the shortcomings and bickering amongst the leadership of the Prosperitas Crusade, and to this end the Fidelis Militia that ostensibly serves as the Planetary Defence Force of Nivalis is surprisingly well armed. Equipped with the equipment of the former PDF of Nivalis, as well as equipment donated by the Cardinal’s allies amongst the Imperial Nobility, the Fidelis Militia of Nivalis are comprised of a growing number of well-trained soldiers, either raised from the local population and trained by the Sorors of the Order of His Sanguine Tears, or pilgrims to the world who once served as warriors of the Imperium.

This might not be as controversial as it is, if the Cardinal had not actively used units raised in this manner to defend Ecclesiarchy interests and supplement the Sorors of the Order. It has been his argument that as Governor of Nivalis AND the ruling Cardinal of the Sector it is his right to send these soldiers to defend the holy territories of his Priests. So far this has not courted much controversy, but should an army of the Faith be deployed en-mass it would be a flagrant violation of the Decree Passive that would potentially not go unchallenged.

The Faithful of the Fidelis Militia tend to be rag-tag in their appearance. Mixed availability of equipment and uniforms means many of them have patched together their gear from whatever might be available at the time. The one universal way to identify them is the wearing of a red arm-band or brassard with a white fleur-de-lisse invoking their gratitude to the Order of His Sanguine Tears for their training.

Death Cults of the Prosperitas Sector

While the existence of Death Cults is not hidden from the Imperium, they are equally not widely known or accepted, so knowledge of these is discouraged for characters who have no reason to have previously encountered or heard of them.

The Imperial Cult has strong relationship with themes of death and righteous killing. Skulls feature prominently in Imperial designs, the bodies and bones of the heroic dead are preserved for all to witness, and it is not uncommon for weapons, armour and personal relics to contain elements of the remains of a hero, or a personal ancestor. Death is everywhere in the Imperium, and in the shadow of this relationship form cults that give their worship to the Emperor more freely through the medium of Death and Killing, seeing it as the purest way to communicate with their distant God-Emperor; these are the Death Cults of the Imperium.

The majority of these sects are simply barbaric and rarely dangerous, having peculiar death rituals or mortuary practices. However, a minority actively bring about death, seeking to commune through arts of murder and assassination. These latter, shrouded, sects often train children from birth to be killers and accept death into their lives, turning out incredibly talented murderers and assassins who are totally and fanatically devoted to the Imperial faith.

Within the Prosperitas Sector there are no more than a handful of such cults. There are rumours some exist within direct service to the Cardinal-Emissarius; however to openly foster such cults would be an extreme move, even for Grulge, as the Ecclesiarchy barely tolerates their often extreme deviations and barbaric practices. To break bread with their leadership would speak of an extreme break with Ecclesiarchy policy. Three Cults stand out from a myriad of minor ones:

 

    • The Kindly Order is perhaps one of the most widespread and feared of the Death Cults. Fanatics, who have been at times rumoured to be in the service of the Holy Ordos, the Order operates from several hidden facilities where it trains and indoctrinates its ‘assassins’ or Moritoi. One is not born into the Order, rather it prefers to find its chosen killers in the course of its work.

      Of all the Death Cults the Order is the one that the faith finds most palatable, as it practices less barbaric practices then the other well-known cults. The Order has a very simple creed: they believe that it is their holy duty to keep the souls of other Imperial citizens clean, by taking the sin of murdering those enemies who come from within humanity upon themselves.

      The Order mainly focuses on purging the corrupt, the unfaithful, and the mutant, though this latter target does create tensions as they do not differentiate between mutants, abhumans and psykers. So long as the Order believes that a task is ‘just’ in their own morality, then they will commit themselves to it like the Imperium commits to a Crusade, and will not stop until the given target is ‘purged’. The Order possesses no identifying costume or symbology, preferring to remain anonymous in a belief that it preserves the ‘innocence’ of the average Imperial citizen.

 

    • The Shafarat Alnasyan formed in the holds of the refugee-ships that fled before the tides of the Warp that swallowed the now-lost Imperial Colonies of the Tenebris Subsector. In the desperate depths, cannibalism became common as people starved and the situation beneath the decks became hell. Through this hell the first members of the Cult were reborn, claiming to have discovered a method of communion through the consumption of the dead and having been granted a sacred task by the God-Emperor to kill in Her name.

      If the Kindly Order represents the palatable face of the Death Cults, then the Shafarat Alnasyan are the most controversial. They are fanatics, and some of the best melee fighters in the Imperium; most are born into the Cult, but they draw on the blackest depths of void stations and hives, and from the tribes of Morghul, for recruitment. They kill as ‘justly’ as the Kindly Order, but their ritualistic cannibalisation of their kills – and of the bodies of their close-knit cult members who pass on – while not illegal, is stomach-turning to most civilised Imperials.

      The Cult has a concept of the worthy kill, who should be consumed to show honour to a worthy opponent. It also recognises the concept of an unworthy and tainted kill, which prevents its killers from consuming the tainted flesh of warp-corrupted beings. So intrinsic to its way of life is cannibalism, that many of the inductees of the Cult undergo significant augmentation to line their mouths and throats with augmetic tools that allow them to cannibalise nearly every form of flesh, even that of Xenos. There will always be rumours that the Cult has dark ties to the Priesthood; of all powers of the Sector, it is the Priesthood who have the most control of Morghul, and perhaps through them the Order recruits from that world – but these have never been substantiated.

    • Les Tueurs are unique amongst the Death Cults of the Prosperitas Sector in that they are not found skulking around in the shadows, but rather in the lofty heights of the Imperial Nobility. They have their origins in the duelling societies of the Nobility, and were once simply that, an exclusive club for those who practiced the art of the sword. Over time duellists associated with the Society gained a reputation as the best in the sector, and Les Tueuers became wealthy off of a flood of memberships and finder’s fees for House Champions.

      In 409.M41 the club’s then-chairman began to change the Club towards a more religious outlook. The art of killing was to no longer be restrained to the duelling arena, and no longer would it be exclusively for a price. Behind closed doors, the Club changed, taking on all manner of mortuary practices; it became a Death Cult dedicated to refining death into the most civil of arts.

      Though fears of association with such fanatics would lead it to sit in the shadows of the Noble houses, it has maintained its place as a place for deadly Scions of the Nobility to learn the arts of death, and even enjoys regular patronage from several major houses.