The Brides of the Emperor would stand at Vandire's side wherever he went, and they were both his bodyguards and his executioners. Word of their dedication spread across the worlds of the Imperium, and none who entered the High Lord's presence would so much as look at him askance under the silent, watchful gaze of the Brides of the Emperor. Countless millions soon burned in the fires of Vandire's Reign of Blood.
It was during this dark, forbidding time that a reformist sect known as the Confederation of Light emerged and denounced Vandire as a Traitor. Led by the preacher Sebastian Thor , the Confederation of Light spread its message of a church dedicated not to politics and the secular rule of the Imperium but to the compassion and mercy of the Emperor to a brutalised people only too ready to throw off the yoke of oppression.
An orator of supreme skill, Sebastian Thor swayed whole worlds to his cause and turned the tide against Vandire. As Thor's crusade smashed aside those who remained loyal to the Ecclesiarch, the Space Marines and the Adeptus Mechanicus, both of whom had remained largely on the defensive during the Age of Apostasy, were finally able to join forces with Thor and close on Terra. Vandire's answer was to dissolve the Senatorium Imperialis and declare both the Mechanicus and the Adeptus Astartes Heretics and Traitors to the Imperium.
This affront made the Space Marines reconsider their neutrality toward Vandire and the Reign of Blood in general, and at the height of the Age of Apostasy in The Space Marines, believing Vandire to be only protected by legions of zealous but ineffective Frateris Templar troops, launched one of their trademark lightning Drop Pod assaults.
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However, once on the ground, the Astartes found to their dismay that they had grossly underestimated the opposition. Facing them were a corps of superbly trained warrior women, clad in Power Armour and wielding Bolters , who fought with a passion remarkable even to their Astartes opponents and stood their ground to the last woman, fearless and fanatical in the belief that they were protecting the Emperor Himself.
The Space Marines' assault bogged down as they were pushed back with casualties, and the attackers were forced to resort to a long, grinding and bloody siege of the Ecclesiarchal Palace complex with quarter neither asked for nor given. For solar months, Vandire's army withstood every assault.
The madness only ended when the commander of the Adeptus Custodes -- the praetorian guard of the Emperor Himself -- sought out Alicia Dominica and her most trusted companions, the leaders of Vandire's bodyguard. The Custodes took them before the Golden Throne and the God-Emperor, and though no written histories tell of what transpired there, it was evident that some great truth was passed to Dominica and her fellow warriors.
When they emerged from the bowels of the Imperial Palace they marched with barely-controlled fury to Vandire's audience chamber. There, they found him in the midst of yet another insane tirade, pausing only to condemn him for his crimes against the Emperor. Reportedly, Vandire's final words were "I don't have time to die -- I'm too busy! It is said that at the moment of truth Vandire's Rosarius, which had protected him upon San Leor, now failed him, its gleaming form cleaved in two by Alicia's blow. The Reign of Blood was over. In the wake of Vandire's downfall, Sebastian Thor was declared the nd Ecclesiarch and the Imperium began the long process of rebuilding.
Perhaps the most sweeping of changes Thor instigated affected the military forces over which the Ministorum held sway. What remained of the Frateris Templars was disbanded, under the terms of the so-called Decree Passive , which forbade the Adeptus Ministorum from controlling any "men under arms. Never again would the Ecclesiarchy threaten the continued rule of the Administratum.
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The Brides, after resuming their original title of Daughters of the Emperor, were at a loss as to what their purpose should be after this event, and so the Ecclesiarchy took the opportunity to recruit and indoctrinate them into the ranks of the Minostorum's military forces. Due to their all-female membership, the Daughters of the Emperor did not technically break the ban and thus, the Ecclesiarchy was able to circumvent the Decree Passive's strictures, even if the spirit of Thor's decree was rather blatantly disregarded.
This newly formed military force was renamed the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas. The Sisterhood became true defenders of the faith and a very physical reminder of the power of the Ecclesiarchy.
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Trained to the highest levels possible for normal humans and possessed of a phenomenal faith in the God-Emperor of Mankind, the Sisters would go on to engage in Wars of Faith , bringing the light of the Emperor to parts of the galaxy that had fallen into darkness. During the first years of the Sisterhood's existence, Alicia Dominica, who founded the Orders Militant at Thor's behest, led wars of faith against the alien invaders that had exploited the Imperium's weakness during the Reign of Blood.
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Under their combined leadership, the Sororitas were filled with a righteousness of purpose that the Imperium had not witnessed since the legendary days of the Great Crusade. Countless enemies fell as the armies of the Sororitas brought the divine judgement of the Ecclesiarchy to the farthest corners of the galaxy, and to this day, the Sisters of Battle have stood as faithful and loyal defenders of the Ecclesiarchy, and the Imperium. During Thor's Reformation, another organisation came into being at the end of the Age of Apostasy -- the Ordo Hereticus.
Formed initially to ensure that such a calamity as the Age of Apostasy could never again befall the Imperium, its remit soon expanded to cover not just doctrinal heresy, but genetic and psychic divergence as well. Soon after the formation of the Orders Militant, the masters of the Ordo Herericus and the highest ranked of the Adepta Sororitas signed the Convocacion of Nephilim , a document that bound the Sisterhood to the Ordo Hereticus as its Chamber Militant.
The exact details of this agreement have never been revealed, but some believe it to be linked to the knowledge imparted to Dominica and her companions before the Golden Throne. That such knowledge could be so dire as to bind the two organisations so formally is testament to the weight of the task with which the Adepta Sororitas and the Ordo Hereticus are burdened. Others believe that the Convocation was intended to curb the power of the Ecclesiarchy, exploiting the fact that the Sororitas are a loyal and zealous force that could be used to enforce the agendas of the newly formed Ordo, thus turning a blind eye to the naming of the spirit of the Decree Passive.
Whatever the truth, those who seek it without the blessing of the highest-ranking members of either organisation will find only a slow and painful death in the deepest excruciation chambers of the Ordo Hereticus, or a fiery, yet equally painful end at the hands of the Adepta Sororitas. In the 41st Millennium, the Adepta Sororitas is part of the Ecclesiarchy and is divided into two Convents.
The overall commander and spiritual leader of the entire Sisterhood and all its myriad Orders is the Abbess Sanctorum, the leader of the Convent Prioris on Terra. As the recognised leader of the Adepta Sororitas, the Abbess Sanctorum is sometimes elected to join the ranks of the High Lords of Terra , while other times she is subservient to the commands of the Ecclesiarch.
The Convents of the Sisterhood are organised into several Orders. Each Order follows the same basic hierarchical structure:. Unlike the many Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes , the Sisterhood is united into a single organisation with a centralised ruling body. The head of the Adepta Sororitas holds the rank of Abbess, and is elected from and by the leaders of all the Orders. Beneath the Abbess are two Prioresses, one leading each Convent, and below these, the Canonesses Superior of each Order.
There exists a hierarchy of sorts amongst these leaders, though to outsiders it is highly arcane and ritualistic and based on a system of precedence. Orders that were established by "Ecclesiarchal Writ" are ranked higher in the order of precedence than those that were formed by a group splitting off from a preexistent order.
This is especially visible in the six Orders Militant, each of which has spawned dozens of far smaller Lesser Orders Militant, the Canonesses of which rank lower in the order of precedence than those of their parent organisation. The Canonesses are aided in their duties by their Order's Palatines. These are highly experienced and capable officers, from whose ranks the next Canoness will be drawn.
It is the Palatines that often lead missions in the field, whether the Order is an Order Militant fighting the enemies of Mankind, or an Order Hospitaller establishing a hospital at the front lines. Below the Palatines are the Sister Superiors, who lead or supervise groups of their sisters in whatever tasks the order in question is focussed upon. Members of the Adepta Sororitas can and do transfer from one Order to another, depending on their own unique skills and experience.source url
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In particular, a sister of an Order Militant may eventually transfer to a non-militant order to carry on the Emperor's work should age or injury render her less effective a warrior. Furthermore, it is not unheard of for a senior member of the Sisterhood to transfer to another organisation entirely; several Canonesses are known to have become Inquisitors , one a Cardinal Palatine and one even a Rogue Trader. The majority of recruits into the Adepta Sororitas are drawn from the Schola Progenium , having been identified by the Drill Abbesses as suitable candidates from an early age.
A few may be transferred from outside organisations, in particular the ranks of the servants of the Inquisition, although this is relatively unusual and only undertaken following lengthy consideration. Having been identified as a candidate for membership, the individual is shipped to one of the two convents, where she will be subjected to a lengthy and arduous regime of testing intended to gauge her suitability to join the sisterhood and to identify which of the orders she would be most suited to.
Regardless of which order she will eventually join, all candidates undergo extensive instruction in the traditions of the Adepta Sororitas, and most receive at least a modicum of military instruction. Once a sister is judged worthy to join the sisterhood and has received her basic training, the candidates are gathered in the great hall of the convent before the Canonesses and Palatines of the orders to which they will be assigned. Tormented by her peers and sheltered by her religious mother, an awkward teenager unleashes her hidden, telekinetic powers after a sick prank at her senior prom pushes her over the edge.
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