MidHammer 40,000: Sisters
The Sisters of Battle or "Adeptus Sorritas" is a collective term for the many female orders throughout the imperium. It is important to note that they are not a coherent unified group, instead several organizations within the imperium have their own "Sorroritas"
- 1 The Ancillae
- 2 Founding
- 3 Duties
- 4 Organization
- 5 Orders
- 6 Recruitment
- 7 Ranks of Ancillae
- 8 Daughters of Tarasha
- 9 Non-Aurelian Sororitas
The Ancillae of Tarasha are MidHammer 40k's equivalent to the Sisters of Battle. While they perform many of the same functions as the Vanilla Sisters, the Daughters of Tanasha reflect a separate branch of the Ecclesiarchy rather than a loophole for Foot Soldiers.
The Creation of The Handmaidens of Tarasha begins with Bergenvan (A planet on the Outskirts of Segmentum Solar and Ultima Segmentum) a primitive world under the God-Emperor cult. A crashed ship that turned out to be the Maiden of Espandor. Nearly all of the ship was in perfect condition but was completely empty. A noble exile woman turned destitute scavenger by the name of Avilla Ordinata went to the bridge with her fellow Looters and found the bridge was covered in shining gold with silver statues of all those on the bridge save one. There there was a statue of a woman made of pure blue mineral. The gold statues, all making the sign of the aquilla and were kneeling in praise of the woman in the center. The statue gave the woman two books, one of silver with golden pages and one of Gold with Silver Pages. The Gold Covered book contained the first rules and duties of what became the Ancillae of Tanasha. Avilla and her companions became the first Ancillae and were able to conquer the planet and overthrow the Imperial Cult located there and consequently halt Lorgar's attempt to corrupt the planet to be used as a staging ground.
They alongside of the Migrant fleet of Macragge galaxy travelled through the Segmentum Solar and Ultima and uprooted Lorgar's cults with establishment of the Aurellian cult of Gulliman. The Ancillae were pivotal in the Ultramari Revanche, as the Ancillae rallied the Ultramar citizens to revolt against the cultists that were holding their planets. Especially, Renette Calixte, a companion of Avilla and first Daughter of Tarasha who was able to exorcise the demons from Roboute's possessed sons.
Following the Council of Terra, the Ancillae were permitted to act within the Greater Imperium as a privilege of the High Lords and the Segmentarchs. But this guest rite, along with their entire cult was at the permission of the rulers. Currently they operate throughout the Royum Ultramari, Ultima Segmentum, Segmentum Solar, and Grand Macharia.
The Daughters of Tarasha see the relationship between themselves and the aurelian cult akin to that between Tarasha and Roboute Gulliman. While roboute Gulliman acted as undisputed lord of Ultramar, it was Tarasha that formed his moral compass, guided him from error, and established his education. This understanding of a Supervisory role permeates the entire Order's organization and responsibility.
Relationship with the Aurelian Cult
The Daughters are paradoxically both the most powerless organization in the Aurelian Cult, and its most powerful. On an institutional level, The Daughers can do nothing. They make no edicts, they can clarify no doctrine, their opinions of Aurelian dogma are taken only as scholastic advice and bears no weight in an aurellian council. Additionally each order of The Daughters must be under the control of a spiritual Liege, who they must take orders from.
However, the authority a sister has on an individual member of the Cult is all but absolute. As proscribed in the sacred writings a Daughter of Tanasha acts as the safeguard guide and moral compass of the Aurelian cult. The sister can halt any investigation, force any cultist, astartes, and spiritual liege to answer for their actions. They can veto, enforce, or lift any pronouncement made by the aurelian cult. They can also suspend or remove any member the cult from power. The Sisters can also make judgements and mediate disputes between members of the cult. When acting in this capacity their pronouncements have the force of canon judgement. As such their precedent serves as an indirect way in which the Sisters influence the development of Aurelian cult canon.
Holder of the Sacred Texts
The Daughters of Tanasha are the keepers of the canon code. The "official copies of the codex astartes and all cult texts are preserved by them, and they must authorize every copy, translation, and revision. Every Astartes chapter of the Aurelian codex must register their codex with The Daughters. The have the power to revoke and condemn translations and condemn the glossia or commentaries of a religious leader.
The Rhapsode is a symbol of the absolute judicial authority of a Daughter of Tanasha. The Rhapsode is 3 ft brass baton that separates into 2 parts: The Spike and the hammer. The Spike is composed of a sturdy brass colored metal blessed in the Bridge of the Maiden of Espandor. It will usually penetrate any surface it is thrown at. The Hammer is a retractable brass night stick that is used to strike the Spike.
When the spike is thrown, the space is immediately considered to be A sacred space of Tarasha Juris. All activities must cease within this space, and the authority of the sister who throws it is absolute for the duration of the trial. When the Sister strikes the spike, it produces a loud chime similar to a Tuning fork. All are expected to be silent once the chime is struck, and those who fail to comply, can be executed by the sister should she choose to.
The organization of the Ancillae reflect their role as aids and guides for the Aurelian cult. As such they are as varried and separate as the Aurelian Cult. There are no "Chapters" in the Ancillae like the Astartes. The Ancillaes are divided into Collegio. The Collegio are headquartered with Holy Seats and Minor Seats. The Collegio Ancillae exist to Neither the Ancillae nor the Daughters are divi
The collegio is the base unit of administration for the Ancillae. Each independent Holy Seat has its own Collegio, which governs all Ancillae that answer to this Holy Seat. Each collegio is led by an Servissima who answers to The Spiritual Liege of the Holy Seat. There is no uniform standards for Collegio Ancillae size, orders or equipment. The Ancillae existed to serve the needs of their Holy Seats and as such were tailored to meet the needs and resources of their Cult. There are some minor independent seats, like Assam Bay have less than a few hundred ancillae, while a Holy Seat like SEAU or Laphis has untold millions of Ancillae serving countless planets.
Though several orders actually have Militant Branches, the Ordo Militis is the main "militaristic" branch of the Ancillae. They are the ones who are tasked with safeguarding the Temples and Shrines of the Aurelian cult, as well as crusading for the protection of the faithful and rooting out demons.
The Ordo Grammatacus are the archivist branch of the Ancillae. The ordo grammaticus has a multiplicity of roles. First is linguistic, As their name implies, they are incharge of recording languages, and have the unenviable task of preventing the erosion of High Gothic from devolving into a cacophany of Pidgins and Creoles. Ultimately the authorization and translation of all sacred texts. Additionally, as both the Royum Ultramar and many parts of The Greater Imperium is bureaucratically incapable of performing such a task, they also ensure the integrity of official imperial documents.
Their second, but related role is education. The ancillae govern many of the educational institutions in the Royum Ultramar and Imperium. This is not merely abstract, this also includes the military schools of Ultramar. The Aurelian Mechanicus additionally has its own Ancillae (Though these are called the Fabrikae) who focus on the mechanical and artificial knowledges.
The third are the historians and record keeping departments of the Aurelian Cult. The Ordo Grammaticus sends out individuals to retrieve relics and record histories for the galaxy. The result of their hard work is that the Royume Ultramar is more historically cognizant than most of the Imperium at large, who mostly still resort to half remembered legends. Perhaps their most famous duty is the "Census Mortui" these sisters gather the names of the dead faithful of the aurelian cult and record them out of sacred duty to The Aurelian.
The infamous "Codex Lawyers." The Ordo Codicus are responsible for mediating disputes between astartes chapters.
The Ordo Hospitaller governs many of the Hospitals and places of Healing throughout the Imperium.
Part advocate, part consultant. The Ordo Laboritas are well versed in the arts of management and sciences. They are often brought in to ensure that Forge worlds and industries meet the standards of the The Aurelian cult in the treatment of its workers and equipment. This order was created in response to the Aurelian Mechanicus out of concerns that the cult would attempt start to mimic the Mechanicus too much and transform Konor into the nightmarish hellscape that is a Mechanicus Forgeworld. The Ordo exclusively answer to espandor.
"You kill less heresies with the Fire of the Stake than you do with the fires of hungry followers."
The ordo Numismator governs and administrates the finances of the cult. They also track the banal "Accounting heresies" of other institutions. Despite their seemingly dull office, they are in many ways the Ordos most powerful intelligence service. They have a curious relationship with Rogue and Web Traders, as both seek to out exploit the other.
Unlike the Adeptus Astartes, who prefer to prefer to draw their recruits from early childhood, hoping to find souls of noble character uncorrupted by life, the Ancillae view life experience as part of the recruitment process. The Ancillae have scouts and recruiters through most every major military organization and major court of the Imperium. Because of its abundance of Aurellian faithful, they draw heavily from the Ultramari military orders such as The Imperial Trilileurs, The Espandor Tercios, The Talassar Grenadiers, McCragge Memorial Fleet, Cavaliers of St Konor, and the Zuaves of Masali.
Ranks of Ancillae
When a woman shows exceptional virtue, prowess, and adaptability, the order will announce to the person their interest in their career and offer them the status of Noviate. When a woman becomes a noviate they are met by the order's recruiters, and are informed of their status. Should they accept the status they agree to be tattooed on their right cheek with the outline of the double aquilla and u. This is not filled in unless they reach initiate status. The noviate has a few rules involved, but is less of an order, and more of a very demanding waitlist. There are many women who are a part of this status of Noviate, and for the large majority this is as far as they go. In the Order, Noviates represent little more than the bare minimum for what it takes to become an ancillae, and for most noviates they can live full lives complete with husbands, children, grandchildren and a deluge of commendations before ever being accepted into the order. So for the common of ultramar, the mark of the noviate becomes a more than a stamp of verification: a certification that they are allied with that they are individuals of strong personal character and martial prowess. For those who are passionate about their call to the order, however, the mark is not a sign of complacency but a call. For these they try to excell at whatever institution they are a part of. Some go even farther, abandoning their organization to complete some daring and fantastic deed in the hopes that their bravery and skill is recognized to move farther in the organizaton.
There is, depending on the holy seat, also a way for interested women to apply for noviate status. This only applies to very particular Holy Seats, as most prefer the recruitment method. These seats include Saranoth, Terra, SUEU, and Laphis. What the trials and verification process entails is ultimately up to to the seat itself. Most time the trials to become a voluntary noviate is more strict and selective than the recruitment process.
Ultimately whether or not these noviates move forward is up to the sisters themselves. There is no formal process for admittance for initiate, as it is up to individual sisters to decide to elect a few to the chosen status of Initiate. What makes for a qualified noviate to become an acolyte is up to the sisters themselves: whether or not they need or want apprentices, whether they see some particular trait that is encouraging to them, as well as whether or not they see a woman who could eventually continue their own personal legacy.
To become an intitiate is to enter a unique status among women in the galaxy. It means thhat your skills, devotion, and sacrifice was so impressive, an Ancillae saw fit to take you under their wing. By becoming an initiate the selected woman is now a full member of the ancillae, even if they are of the lowest rank. As an ancillae they are entitled to all of the privileges that are granted to ancillae, including a rhapsode.
When someone becomes an ancillae they are granted the same rejuvenation and genetic treatments offered to most sisters. Which means an initiate has a century or two to prove themselves for the opportunity to advance.
To become a full ancillae is to become a peer of the most influential order in the galaxy. Those who become a full ancillae are no longer mere disciples of a master, but are full authorities in their own right. While they answer to a particular holy seat the amount of autonomy they enjoy is unparalleled. When an individual becomes an initiate they are tapped by the particular sister or Spiritual Liege who wishes to recruit them. There is no choice as to what the preference is. you go where you are selected to go.
Daughters of Tarasha
The Daughers of Tarasha or Sisters of The Aurelian is a rare, and exclusive inner circle of Ancilla. For those who find themselves called to such a path and survive the mentally emotionally and physically exhausting trials have earned the right to call the Astartes "Brother." The number of these exceptional individuals is small, as througout its 10,000 years of existence across the galaxy, the total number of these select individuals numbers less than 50,000.
The process to becomming a Daughter of Tarasha is simple, to successfully integrate at least one Geneseed organ of Roboute Gulliman into one's body. There are no genetic modifications that facilitate this, the Ultramarines apothecary that administers this trial submits the woman to the exact same process as he would a neophyte astartes. Sister must undergo the same procedure which means that apart from the Divine intervention of the Aurelian and Tarasha themselves, there is a 100% rejection rate. Thus to even survive as anything other than a quibbling mass of flesh requires nothing short of the Will of the Aurelian.
The initiation process for the Daughters of Tarasha can be both personally volunteered, or "volunteered" by an official of the order or the Aurelian Ecclesiarchy. Because of the latter part, the initiation process has become something of a "Trial by fire" to remove troublesome or politically inconvenient Ancillae. This unofficial execution is justified by delivering the Ancillae to Gulliman himself. Additionally, this method of eliminating troublesome members has on occasion backfired, as an Ancillae who ascends to Daughter of Tarasha is now more powerful and influential in the cult, and is viewed as an extention of the Spectra Pietas, the sacred will of the Aurelian.
Still Rare, but much more numerous than actual Daughters, some Ancillae survive the bonding process with Roboute's geneseed, but only just. These women have severe physical deformities transforming them into massive monstrous brutes.
Common deformities include:
- Massive Pitch Black Eyes
- Muscle overgrowth that crushes the bones.
- Jaws and mouth Dissolved from acid.
- disproportionate and irregular limbs
- bloated tumor-like growths in the head.
- the Rib cage sealing irregularly, causing severe respiratory problems
- Additional Heart and Lungs growing outside of the body.
- Mucus membrane perpetually excreting casing around body.
- Partial or irregular Hermaphroditism
- Accelerated bone growth leading Proteus syndrome or Osteochondroma
Such Neglectes are not allowed to be killed as they are seen to have been chosen to live by The Aurelian. Individuals who survive in this state are often believed to be made so in penance for past sins. What happens to these neglectes varries with their capability. Those who are able to often choose to fight and die in suicide battles in hopes of reclaiming their honor, others are forced to live their mercifully short lives in the care of the Ordo Hospitaller
Relation with other groups
Throughout the galaxy it seems impossible to have tepid or lukewarm opinions of the Daughters of Tarasha.
- In the Aurelian Cult
- Given the Miraculous nature of their Transformation, the Daughters are considered to be a similar to the Living Saints, a natural extension of the Will of the Aurelian.
- Among the Thirteenth Sons.
- The Daughters of Tarasha are beloved by Sons of Gulliman. The title of "Sister" is one of sincere affection and respect. It is not uncommon for Astartes chapters who serve Gulliman to "adopt" a sister among their ranks. Given the existence of the Daughters as proof of Gulliman's greater designs, It is also not uncommon for New Chapters to be founded with the Sister as their patron saint and Founder.
- Jaghatai Khan and the White Scars.
- Jaghatai and the White scars tolerate the Daughters out of respect for the friendship of the Roboute Gulliman and Jaghatai Khan. However, given their intense zeal for the Aurelian cult bordering on fanaticism, the White Scars are often wary of the Daughters, especially when their beloved Antiquitae beliefs are threatened.
- Vulkan and The Promethean Cult
- Similar to Jaghatai Khan, Vulkan often welcomes and celebrates the Daughters and Gulliman's other sons out of respect for past friendship. Also like Jaghatai Khan, this relationship is often made more tense due to religious differences. Vulkan's "Daughters of Nocturne" have a bitter rivalry with the "Daughters of Tarasha and Ancillae." As the daughters of the XIII see the Nocturne Dragons as vain and insular. While the Daughters of Nocturne see the Sisters as brainless clumsy fanatics, combining the worst of the Ancillae with the Worst of The Ultramarines.
- The Lion and Dark Angels
- The Lion, who had no love for Gulliman, has even less for his daughters. It is a poorly kept secret that Sisters are prone to "Accidents" while in the Segmentum Obscura. Those Daughters with a background in the more intelligence gathering wings of the Aurelian Cult often are playing a game of knives with the Dark Angels.
- Dorn and the Imperial Fists.
- The Imperial Fists chapters opinion on the daughters often varry by chapter. Most of the time they are found butting heads with them because most fist successors devotion to The Imperial Truth. The Daughters represent yet another blasphemous way in which the Aurelian Cult taints and profanes the Emperor's geneseed. Curiously Rogal Dorn himself seems to be relatively amicable with the Daughters, often using them as a conduit to communicate with his old friend.
- Fulgrim absolutely hates The Daughters. Fulgrim himself already hated Roboute Gulliman, but their existence seems to view the Daughters as a personal insult. Fulgrim's III legion is all but annihilated with little to no success in replenishing the legion, and Gulliman is now granting his Geneseed to daughters now.
- Magnus finds the mystical nature of the Daughters fascinating, and potentially sees them as hope for his own legion's rebuilding. Like many of his brothers, he finds the religious zeal of the Daughters irritating.
- Horus Lupercal and The Luna Wolves
- Horus and his Luna Wolves are perhaps the only group that treat the Daughters with disinterest. Given Horus' duties as focusing on the upkeep and fighting strength of the legion, his appreciation for the Daughters only goes as far as their ability to help them in his quest. Horus has, on occasion tapped both the Daughters and the Ancillae for the investigation of corruption in his legion and other legions. The Daughters have also been useful in motivating the Aurelian faithful into doing something he wants.
- Sanguinious and the Blood Angels
- Sanguinious despises the Daughters. To him, the Daughters of Tarasha and The Cult of the Walking Eagle represent everything wrong with Ultramar. Much like Fulgrim, the Daughters of Tarasha is a slap in the face to Sanguinious who has yet to cure his own legion of their horrendous mutation. Additionally, his strong adherance to the Imperial Truth leads him to despise the religious zealotry with which they worship their Genefather Gulliman. The Blood Angels, in their quest to be the absolute best of what the Imperium is, echoes their Father's sentiment. Despite their similar interests in Law, philosophy and the sciences, They too hate the Daughters, and the rest of the Ancillae. In their eyes their religious rooted devotion to the arts and sciences is worse than ignorance, it is regressive teaching.
- Leman Russ
- Russ, in the few occasions he has encountered the daughters, has asked them to accompany him in his quest to kill the wolves. Leman Russ has still not fully eliminated some of his old Fenrisian superstitions, and The Daughters, Grail Knights, and Living Saints remind him of figures from ancient fenrisian legends. Additionally he views the daughters, given their blessing by The Aurelian, as a sort of Good luck charm when fighting in the Warp.
- Given their personal blessing by a Deified Micromanager, the Daughters of Tarasha are the one institution the Inquisition has been unable to infiltrate. This fills the inquisition with both hatred and dread for the Daughters. The Daughters are the reason that the Inquisition has switched to assassinating ancillae, as their attempt to eliminate sisters through the process of volunteering resulted in the creation of Daughter Olga Krepostinya, who during her 5-700 years of work outed and eliminated several inquisitors in the Aurelian Cult and Ultramar. The Daughters represent a walking liability to the Inquisition, as they are effectively champions of a chaos god who are able to walk freely among the Imperium.
- Rogue Traders
- Similar to their view on Astartes, the Rogue traders keep a friendly but distant relationship with the Daughters. Staying on their good side ensures trade with Aurelian-faithful areas goes smoothly. Plus most of these navigators and void captains know better than to anger the servants of the Warp God who makes warp travel safer.
- Grand Macharia
- The Aurelian cult, along with several religions, has a strong presence in Macharia. There are some concerns by Macharia that the Ancillae will turn Macharia into "Ultramar Secundus." Because most of Macharia prefers the Cultis antiquae faiths, relations with the Aurelian cult varries from persecution to endorsement.
Because of the widespread success of the Ancillae, the Armored sister has become a symbol throughout the Imperium of Domestic authority and governance. As such many institutions in the Imperium have followed suit in mimicing The Aurelian's order.
Daughters of Nocturne
Sisters of Silence
The only order on this list that is in fact, older than the Ancillae, the Sisters of Silence continue their work in fighting against chaos.