Sisters of Battle

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"Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity."

– H.P. Lovecraft

"Thou shalt not refer to the Adepta Sororitas as 'Bolter Bitches,' nor shalt thou go anywhere near our sisters during the time of their 'Red Rage,' lest thou wish to be the first human to enter orbit without the aid of a shuttle."

– Space Marine Guideline 1, Page 13, Codex Astartes

"Praise be the Emperor and pass the ammunition, for what one doesn't cure the other will"

– Dark Heresy Inquisitors Handbook

Sisters of Battle are essentially Warhammer 40k's female equivalent of Space Marines Black Templars, warriors devoted to the Emperor. Although they lack the genetic modification of their beefier brethren, they also wear their iconic specially made power armour and are armed mainly with the ubiquitous Bolter and Chainsword, though they also have a particular fondness for Flamers. The Sisters of Battle are also known as the "Daughters of the Emperor", and officially as the "Adepta Sororitas", though the Adepta Sororitas refers to their entire organization, while the term Sisters of Battle refers only to their militant branch (that said, each Sister is a fully trained special forces soldier regardless of specialty). They are more colloquially known by players as "bolter bitches/babes" or "nuns with guns", almost always resulting in an awkward boner. They are not to be confused with Female Space Marines, though they were the Marines Military Police in the olde Rogue Trader.


Lusty Marine.png

The Sisters of Battle are part of the Ecclesiarchy, the religious arm of Imperial government, and sometimes work with the Inquisition's Witch Hunters. In the 36th millennium, the Ecclesiarchy's pope, a guy called Goge Vandire, attained the dual position of Ecclesiarch and Master of the Administratum, effectively giving him control over everyone in the Imperium, including nearly all of its armed forces. With the exception of the Space Marines and Adeptus Mechanicus, pretty much everyone had to do what he said or face a slow and agonizing death. Unfortunately for everyone who wasn't lucky enough to be a Space Marine or Tech-Priest, he was also completely insane, and his rule was so devastating that it came to be known as the Reign of Blood, leading to untold billions of deaths across the Imperium, which in turn led to violent warp storms the likes of which wouldn't be seen again until the formation of the Great Rift 5,000 years later. During this period, Vandire discovered a force of warrior-nuns living on the feudal world of San Leor known as the Daughters of the Emperor. Although they initially didn't want anything to do with him, he convinced them that he was the Emperor's chosen by having his bodyguard shoot him while he was protected by the force field of a rosarius. Because the relatively primitive Daughters of the Emperor had never seen a force field before, they assumed that this meant Vandire was protected by the Emperor, and happily joined him. Rechristened as the Brides of the Emperor, they served as Vandire's personal bodyguards, shock troops, servants, and concubines. With a force of hyper-loyal Battle Sisters at his command, Vandire became effectively untouchable, proven when he had the Sisters execute all of the High Lords of Terra, which he quickly replaced with his cronies. Suffice to say, things looked pretty bleak.

Of course, this state of affairs couldn't last forever. Late in his reign, a preacher known as Sebastian Thor rose to prominence in the Imperium, leading a massive crusade to Terra to take down Vandire once and for all. Agreeing that they too were sick of the High Lord, the Space Marines and Adeptus Mechanicus joined forces and launched an assault on Terra, matching themselves against Frateris Templars and the Daughters of the Emperor. Unfortunately for them, the Daughters numbered around 10,000 women by this point, and they were battle-hardened, motivated, and armed to the teeth. The siege dragged on interminably, with no end in sight. Getting desperate, the Space Marines contacted the Adeptus Custodes, who had remained neutral for most of the siege, but agreed to help the insurrectionists out. Using secret passages to avoid the fighting, the Captain-General of the Custodes presented himself to Alicia Dominica, the leader of the Brides of the Emperor. After debating with her for some time, the Captain-General realized that she wasn't going to budge, and resorted to an extreme course of action; he took her and her five closest compatriots to the Imperial Palace and into the throneroom of the Emperor himself. No one knows what happened in there, but when the six women re-emerged, they went straight to Vandire, declared him a heretic of the highest degree, and beheaded him.

In the aftermath of this conflict, the Imperium underwent a substantial political restructuring known as the Reformation, designed to prevent another Reign of Blood from ever occurring. As part of this restructuring, the High Lords decreed that the Ecclesiarchy was no longer allowed to maintain "men under arms." Of course, while this meant the Ecclesiarchy had to disband their fleet and standing armies of Frateris Templars, the Sisters of Battle were technically allowed to remain, being women under arms and not men. While many point to this as an example of the idiocy of the High Lords of Terra, this easily-circumventable wording was likely intentional, as unlike the other Ministorum forces, the Sisters of Battle had proven that their loyalty was to the Emperor first and the Ecclesiarchy second, meaning that they could be relied upon to police the Ministorum as well as protect it.

In combat, Sisters of Battle have something of an obsession with the purifying effects of flame, and generally choose equipment that allows them to cover heretics with as much holy promethium and thermal lances as possible. This philosophy is most obviously exemplified by the Immolator tank, essentially a rolling steel crate with giant flamethrowers or multi-meltas stuck on it. They also have the Exorcist, a mobile pipe organ that shoots missiles. Less accurate than the Whirlwind Missile Launcher or any Imperial Guard artillery, but who cares, the thought of organs launching missiles while playing epic mass complete with High Gothic is fucking awesome, dammit.

Brief overviews of the six main Orders. For a long time, this was basically the only lore that most of them had.

There are six main Orders, divided between the two Convents that were separated during the Reformation in the 36th Millenium: Prioris, based on Terra, and Sanctorum, based on Ophelia VII. All minor Orders are descended from one of these six. In general, Prioris behave like an actual military force, while Sanctorum is made up of Fanatical Sado-Masochists.

Convent Prioris Orders:

  • Argent Shroud: The Lawful Goods. Are a rarity among Imperial factions, in that they are described as being famous for selfless heroism, as well as altruism. For this reason, /tg/ likes to fluff them as noble space Paladins and she-bros to the Salamanders. Probably waiting for their husbando Lamenters to return. They wear Silver.
  • Ebon Chalice: The vanilla Order. These Sisters haven't changed a whole lot since they were first created, preferring to stick to their tried and tested methods. The most dedicated to Flamers and psyker-killing. They wear Black and White.
  • Sacred Rose: Cool, calm and collected. The most tactical Sisters. Enjoy gunning their foes down in a more disciplined manner. If they were to get their own rules, their Rets would have slow and purposeful their rules are dedicated to the new 8e mechanic for the sisters in Miracle Die, and its accumulation. The most defensively minded of all. They wear white.

Convent Sanctorum Orders:

  • Bloody Rose: Aggressive as fuck. Aim to kill off their enemies as quickly as possible, as they see no reason to let the heretic live any longer than necessary. They wear red.
  • Our Martyred Lady: The postergirl Order, probably the ones who come to mind when people think of Sisters. The amount of favouritism they receive from GW is slightly disturbing. Just take a look at the Notable Sororitas Characters table below to get an idea of how they dominate SoB fluff. The Order itself is reputed as being determined even for SoBs, which is saying something. Will not stop until their enemies are utterly destroyed. They wear black and red. They originally wore all-black armour to show their mourning for St. Katherine, but changed the cloth to red to honour their losses during the Third War for Armageddon.
  • Valorous Heart: Repent! These Sisters feel the guiltiest about that whole Age of Apostasy thing, and as a result have an excess of BDSM berserkers. Likely on constant lookout for the slightest sign of weakness in themselves or any allies serving alongside them. They wear the most black.

Sororitas Orders Non-Militant[edit]

As mentioned in the opening, not all of the Adepta Sororitas are actually Sisters of Battle. A number of Orders exist which officially serve non-combat-related roles in Imperial Society, although they tend to receive even less attention than their combat-fighting sisters. The largest source of info on these Sororitas thus-far is the Blood of Martyrs sourcebook for Dark Heresy, which specifies the three most important Orders and mentions the existence of others. The latest 8e codex also covered the non-militant orders in some level of depth, as well as expanding on a few of the lesser known orders that were originally mentioned in Blood of Martyrs.

  • Orders Dialogous: These Sororitas are dedicated to the studying of language, with tasks ranging from interpreting long-lost texts to accompanying Imperial diplomats on contact missions with intelligent xenos species. Thanks to their training, even the most average Sororitas knows several hundred everyday human dialects and dozens of secret cants, ciphers, even xenos tongues. Sororitas of these Orders are some of the few individuals judged worthy (and capable) of actually understanding the Eldar tongue, a linguistic talent shared only by some Ordo Xenos Inquisitors and the occasional Rogue Trader, diplomat or Astartes.
  • Orders Famulous: Figuratively the Bene Gesserit, without the kung fu skills from perfect body control. These Sororitas serve intimately with the upper echelons of Imperial society, acting as chamberlains, counselors, and consuls to the nobility. Their focus is on the spiritual and genetic purity of the human race, so they concern themselves with not only seeing to the education of nobles, but also secretly arranging alliances and marriages, in the hope of preventing corruption and inbreeding from taking root. They are particularly involved in tracking the manifestations of saints, which makes them a popular ally for Thorian Inquisitors. This order very openly runs imperial aristocracy through a eugenics program, which is one of the prime reasons imperial nobles not only survived for milleinas without dying from inbreeding problems, but are actually in most ways superior to most of the rest of Mankind (and would remind you of their superior breed at any opportunity). However, considering the sheer amount of idiotic and despotic nobles that end up causing heretical uprisings throughout the Imperium, they clearly need more funding.
  • Orders Hospitaller: Healers and medics, these Sororitas are amongst the most skilled and compassionate surgeons in the Imperium, meaning they are commonly found attached to the Imperial Guard. Given their mission, they are one of the more beloved orders by the common citizenry of the Imperium. Of course, this being the Imperium, they're also expert torturers often called upon for that purpose by the Ecclesiarchy and the Inquisition, though Inquisitors are cautioned against using Hospitallers to keep important heretics alive; they have a bad tendency to forget about the future gains and instead "take the Emperor's justice into their own hands". Handing them over after the interrogations is fully encouraged.
  • Others: Scores, perhaps even hundreds, of minor non-militant Orders exist within the Adepta Sororitas.
    • Orders Fenestrus: Maintain the armaglass windows of Imperial shrines and cathedrals. Now, you may say "WTF!? That is such a waste of manpower!", but you should think about the fact that the divine power of Big E keeps Chaos influence away and the Imperium makes sure that its places of worship are able to brainwash you into the soul protecting doctrine as much as as possible, and fabulous windows are an easy eye-catcher.
    • Orders Madriga: Compose the temple choirs. Again, they are here to brainwash the population into compliance with the soul protecting Imperial Cult.
    • Orders Sabine: Sub-orders of the Famulous. Infiltrate newly rediscovered worlds and prepare them for the Missionarius Galaxia by religious subversion, producing fake evidence that the local head god and the Emperor are one and the same and if polytheistic assigning the lesser gods as local personifications of Imperial Saints. Within a generation, a human infant born on such a world can be found killing his grandparents Xeno friends, and it only takes that long if the Sabine are working without any support. When the time comes, the populace (even if previously politically divided) welcomes Imperial compliance with open arms and rejoins the greater mass of humanity.
    • Orders Planxilium: Leading processionals on holy days. Once again, they are here to indoctrinate the massess.
    • Orders Pronatus: Specialist Sub-Orders of the Dialogous. Retrieving, repairing, and guarding holy relics from around the Imperium.
    • Orders Vespila: Sanctifying the dead and forensic specialists. Probably Hospitaler specialist sub-order as there is a good bit of overlap.

Ranks of the Adepta Sororitas[edit]


  • Novice: The lowest ranks among the sisters, they are raised so that their faith burns hotter than flame and they are trained to be capable of enduring hardships and practice self denial so that they may be pure. The vast majority come from the Schola Progenium and they are picked from notably talented and zealous female Progena. Coming from here, they are already fanatically indoctrinated to the Imperial Cult and are capable of basic weapons maintenance, legible in both the local variants (Sector wide minimum) of Low Gothic and in High Gothic and also familiar with the Imperium of Man on an institutional level. Some Orders may recruit from promising children who are made to undergo trials like the Adeptus Astartes do to their recruits.
  • Constantia: Sisters in the final stages of basic training, they learn to use the sacred weapons of the Order, principally the holy Bolter and to deny the deceits of heresy.
  • Cantus: A Cantus, having mastered basic combat skills, now learns specialized abilities so that they may be multi purpose tools in the Emperor's service: To cure, learn, counsel or kill. Only after this may Sisters be assigned their final places in their Order.
  • Novitiate: A novitiate has completed her training as a Novice, Constantia and Cantus. She only has to take her final vows to the Emperor to take her place as a full Sister. Of course, it takes a fair bit of service in Novitiate Squads to earn the right to take said vows.
  • Sister: Sisters have taken their vows to the Emperor, and are ready to be deployed to the field.
  • Sister Superior: NCOs who lead squads into battle, Sisters Superior are veterans who can guide their Sisters in battle.
  • Legatine: Legatines are Sisters who are among the greatest of warriors, healers and spiritual leaders in an Order. They inspire devotion and have political power. Most usually go on to become commanders.
  • Palatine: Palatines are junior officers who are experienced and fierce warriors who lead their Sisters to battle. Promoted to...
  • Canoness: A Canoness is an overall senior commanding officer of one of the Orders Militant, each a veteran warrior of hundreds of battles. Their leadership, tactical and strategic acumen and faith in the Emperor is second to none in their command. This rank has the following sub ranks:
    • Canoness Commander: Leads a Commandery of sisters.
    • Canoness Preceptor: Leads a Preceptory of multiple Commanderies.
    • Canoness Superior: The overall commander of an Order Militant.
  • Prioress: One of two Cannonesses in charge of the convents. The Prioress of Convent Sanctorum is on Ophelia VII and the Prioress of Convent Prioris is on Terra.
  • Abbess Sanctorum: The Prioress of the Convent Prioris on Terra, and a High Lord of Terra. She is the overall Commander of the Adepta Sororitas and is assisted by her fellow Prioress of the Convent Sanctorum. Sister Morvenn Vahl of the Order of the Argent Shroud is the current Abbess. The position is necessarily political (as opposed to a Legatine, Palatine and Canoness having political power they can use), being part of the Senatorum Imperialis, the galactic government of all law abiding humans - though the current holder is more keen on having her secondaries handle those duties while she fights on the front lines.

Orders Militant Tactical Specializations[edit]

  • Battle-Sister: The rank and file of the Orders Militant, Battle Sisters have completed their training and taken their vows in the Emperor's service.
  • Militant: The first rank achieved beyond the most basic after they have begun combat operations.
  • Elohiem: The next rank after Militant, displaying they have shed blood in the Emperor's name by their own will.
  • Dominion: The most aggressive warriors of the Order, equipped with special weapons like Storm Bolters, Flamers and Meltaguns.
  • Retributor: The Sisters who believe the Emperor guides their shots become the Retributors, the heavy weapons specialists of the Orders. Most frequently carry Heavy Bolters, Heavy Flamers and Multi-Meltas.
  • Seraphim: Only the best of the Sisters can join the elite jetpack assault teams, equipped with double Bolt Pistols, Hand Flamers or Inferno Pistols.
  • Zephyrim: Some Sisters achieve direct and personal connection with Emperor's divine might, and can only speak in a tongue that the Sisters believe only the purest of soul can understand. Being fanatical even by Order Militant standards, Zephyrim Sisters are given jetpacks like Seraphim but also use melee weapons rather than multiple pistols.
  • Celestians: Celestians are Sisters who have proven themselves above and beyond their fellows, veterans of hundreds of battles. They are assigned as elite shock troops or honor guard. The best among them, Celestians Superior, assist Canonesses in the day-to-day affairs of their orders.

Orders Famulous and Dialogous Ranks[edit]

  • Famula Advance: A rank common to the sisters of the Orders Famulous, who devote themselves to diplomacy and the fine arts of negotiation. They are experts at dealing with the different Adepta of the Imperium and broker alliances and agreements between fractious power blocks, guilds and noble houses of many different Imperial worlds. Their primary goal is to preserve the Imperium's order and stability and ensure that those who rule or uphold the sinews of Imperial commerce are also working towards this goal. Their task, however, enables them to covertly monitor those they serve for signs of corruption or heresy.
  • Dialogus Advance: A dialogus advance is a rank of the Orders Dialogous, the sisters who focus their attention on the arts of the scholar, serving as translators and expert advisors for Imperial and planetary authorities in many fields. The armour of their faith makes them far less subject to petty corruption or hubris than others. The arts of the Dialogous are of obvious use to both the Adeptus Ministorum and, most particularly, the Ordos of the Inquisition, as they are expert at unlocking hidden codes and obscure references, dragging the faintest hint of heresy into the light.
  • Nunciate Advance: The rank of nunciate or "messenger" is afforded to those among the Orders Famulous and Dialogous who excel not only in their crafts, but who are also noted for their skills in leadership and experience at dealing with the Imperium's hierarchy. Such individuals are often entrusted to act on their own to represent their Order, or are tasked as close advisors to highly important individuals such as Inquisitors and Imperial military officers and civilian administrators.

Orders Hospitaller Ranks[edit]

  • Hospitaller Advance: A rank of the sisters of the Orders Hospitaller, who serve as physicians and offer palliative care at the frontlines of the Imperium's many war zones and disaster areas. To the common citizenry, they are saintly figures beyond reproach, but they are no more forgiving nor compassionate than the battle-sisters of the Orders Militant if confronted by heresy or the works of the Ruinous Powers.
  • Curia Advance: A senior rank of the sisters of the Orders Hospitaller. The Curia Advance has been forged in the crucible of war and catastrophe, honed by faith and discipline. These sisters' skills encompass not only the healer's arts, but also personal survival and the stewardship of those under their care in the harshest and most deadly of circumstances. These Hospitallers must know when to heal, when to give the final mercy and when to watch for the hidden enemy.
  • Almoness Advance: This is the senior-most rank of the Sisters Hospitaller. These sisters are as hardened to the horrors of the battlefield as any war veteran. Many of these experienced Hospitallers are called upon by both the Inquisition and the Astra Militarum to put their extensive skills and knowledge of medicae to darker ends in the service of the Imperium.

Daily Rituals[edit]

  • 04:00: Reveille: The Sisters are roused from their beds on the hard stone floor.
  • 05:00: Grooming: The Sisters shower, comb their hair, and brush their teeth. This is the point where roughly 80% of all activities involving the Sisters is imagined.
  • 06:00: Matins: A light prayer session of two hours in total silence.
  • 08:00: Breakfast: A light meal of flavorless gruel, as anything more enjoyable is an indulgence of the flesh and thus not to be tolerated.
  • 08:10: Morning Target Practice: The Sisters assemble for target practice, with roughly 50% more praying than other target practice sessions.
  • 11:00: Physical Training and Self-Mortification: The Sisters train their bodies, before whipping themselves and eachother. This is where the other 20% of Sisters Smut Happens.
  • 12:00: Ritual Abstention from Lunch.
  • 12:05: Meditation: The Sisters are encouraged to reflect on the weaknesses of flesh, and the unnecessary nature of midday meals.
  • 13:00: Midday Hike: The Sisters indulge in a scenic hike, in full power armour.
  • 15:00: The executions of Guardsmen found: to show insufficient faith in the God-Emperor, harbour excessive sympathy for mutants, be in possession of improperly shined boots, be equity with improperly maintained lasrifles, and to have insufficient faith in the God-Emperor, for good measure.
  • 16:00: Battle Practice: The Sisters gather to practice fighting with their extremely lethal weapons, sparring combat with each at full power is mandatory.
  • 18:00: Vespers: A light prayer session of two hours, in slightly louder silence.
  • 20:00 Surprise Inspection: The Sisters are inspected to ensure proper faith and equipment maintainence.
  • 20:30: A Second, Even More Surprising Inspection.
  • 21:00: Evening Meal. A flavorless meal of light salad, water and baked chicken breast(low fat).
  • 22:00: Compline and bedtime.

Sisters Snuff[edit]

Back in 1st Edition, they were present fluff only as an order that was essentially the Inquisition for everyone including the Inquisition (like an Inquisition Internal Affairs branch; a "who watches the watchmen?" deal) and Space Marines. This would change in later editions, when they eventually get their own codex.

In 1997, when the Necrons were launched, Games Workshop had them face the Sisters in a Battle report, which the Sisters lost. The results of this battle report then became the Sanctuary 101 fluff. Games Workshop liked the result so much that they decided the Sisters of Battle should get slaughtered all the time. Unless they are falling to Chaos, obviously. Some fans blame popular GW whipping boy Matt "Spiritual Liege" Ward for this tendency, but it was there long before he got here and it continues to exist after he left.

One way of looking at this is that it's the 'Worf Effect' (A.K.A.: Avatar of Khaine effect) in action - GeeDubs needs someone to take it up the ass to sell how powerful/crafty the BBEG of the week is, but stomping the Guard isn't all that impressive because of their eternal 'cannon fodder' shtick, stomping the Space Marines would make the posterboys of the franchise look weak, and the Skitarii are fairly obscure next to the prior two as well as being the AdMech Imperial Guard in almost all their books. The Sisters, by comparison, fall into the spot where they're theoretically powerful enough to sell the antagonist as a credible threat without making a majorly popular faction look weak, and without needing much in-universe justification as to why they're around (as would be the case with the Skitarii and Marines).

The other, of course, is that GW can't into good writing.

Please note that while fa/tg/uys masturbate furiously to fanfics of Sisters engaging in BDSM fetish sex with the likes of other Lesbian sisters, servitors, children, Schola Progenium cadets, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Half-Eldar or even the likes of Nurgle, all of the below actually, canonically fucking happened. (It should also be worth noting that they're getting stomped by their own fucking allies in most of these.)

Heroic Lesbian Space Nuns + Evil BDSM Space Elves = Shut up and take my money! FAP !FAP! FAP!

Some highlights include:

  • Some of a Dialogus Order and some Battle Sisters turned to Chaos by a Slaaneshi Keeper of Secrets.
  • A whole Order Mind Controlled by one Chaos Psyker. Fucking Goto (This happened again in the Ciaphas Cain books, although it was only a tiny convent with a couple of squads of sisters, not a entire Order, and said psyker was also a direct lieutenant of the Despoiler himself who was capable of controlling entire planets).
  • An Order is present in another Ciaphas Cain book, wherein they're tricked into exterminating the workers of a mining outpost and sheltering a rogue Inquisitor. In an unrelated matter, they nearly cost the Imperial Guard a crucial battle against the Tyranids because they couldn't keep their bloodlust in check (Only Ciaphas Cain calling them out for leaving countless civilians to be slaughtered in their temples as they pushed forward made them reconsider). That said, it's one of the kinder portrayals in this list, because the Sisters in that battle do manage to make it back to the defence lines, and the entire Order dies in a later battle covering the Commissar's exit in repentance.
  • A strike force of Celestians and an Inquisitor being killed, cannibalized, and sacrificed by the Sons of Malice Astartes chapter for disturbing their victory rites and falsely accusing the chapter of heresy. (To be fair, a small force of sisters against an entire Chapter? Still doesn't excuse the cannibalism, though.)
  • A whole shrine-world of Sisters killed by a Daemon Engine powered by rage. It shrugs off meltas, meltabombs and multiple Exorcist volleys, and the efforts of a number of Salamanders in Terminator armour. A Living Saint even gives up her divinity (not to be confused with virginity) to stop it by speaking the bound Daemon's true name (her order had a vow of silence, probably so the audio recording team could save costs on the speaking roles for the audio drama), therefore weakening it after her aura of peace causes it to calm down and shrink down to the size of a man instead of a massive daemon walker. The daemon is then destroyed when its shell is broken after a Space Marine decides to throw a Thunder Hammer at it. We are not making this shit up.
  • A detachment of Sisters killed by Grey Knights, their bodies sliced open and their blood applied to the Grey Knights' armour, so the Grey Knights can be immune to the Bloodtide's effects (though some of the Sisters were immune with faith alone, make of that what you will). The Bloodtide was retconned in the most recent Grey Knights Codex to instead go down holding the line long enough for their Grey Knight allies to finish off the Daemons. Still losing, but at least this time they die with dignity.
  • In another instance of Grey Knight-on-Sororita violence, during the climax of the first novel of the Grey Knight series, a detachment of Sisters led by Cannoness Ludmilla is tricked by a Chaos-turned Inquisitor into thinking that the Grey Knights pursuing it are Chaos Space Marines. A few pages later, said detachment gets kamikaze'd by said Grey Knight Strike Cruiser, which itself was shot down by Imperial Navy ships fooled into thinking that it was Chaos - starting to see a pattern here?
    • Surprisingly, the only dudes that die from the crash are Imperial Guard and PDF - the Sisters survive but only to get the ever-Emprah-lovin' shit beaten out of them by the surviving Grey Knights. The sisters pull no punches, however, and do manage to take out a few of Alaric's squadmates, so power to them. BUT WAIT. Seeing as this was written by a much more competent author, unlike the ambiguous piece of shite-fluff written by a certain spiritual liege, both sides figure out that this was part of an elaborate case of JUST AS PLANNED, they stop fighting - even more shockingly, the person who ends it is Cannoness Ludmilla, after noticing the FUCKHUEG books bolted on the GK's mighty pauldrons, and team up to take down the Big Baddy.
  • In the campaign for Dawn of War: Soulstorm, Sisters under the command of Canoness Selena Agna were one of three Imperial factions involved in the Kaurava Conflict who failed to get on the same page and ended up being slaughtered by the Orks under the command of Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter. At least this time was an embarrassment for the Imperium all-around; the Blood Ravens Space Marines lost three companies in this conflict because they were led by a bald idiot with an over-fondness for Drop Pods who was put in charge by their traitor Chapter Master who wasn't discovered until it was almost too late later and the Imperial Guard took Ork boots so far up their asses that they all died tasting squig leather while their leader slunk out of the system with his tail between his legs. But what really stings about this is that the Sisters were hostile to the Guard because they suspected them of causing the Warp Storm that instigated the conflict and they were entirely right, as the Chaos ending reveals that the storm was triggered by an Imperial Guardsman who turned out to be a latent psyker. Oops.

The Sudden Yet Inevitable Betrayal[edit]

WardSymbol.pngThis article or section involves Matthew Ward, Spiritual Liege, who is universally-reviled on /tg/. Because this article or section covers Ward's copious amounts of derp and rage, fans of the 40K series are advised that if they proceed onward, they will see fluff and crunch violation of a level rarely seen.
The reaction of Sisters and SoB players everywhere to the codex update.

On August 1, 2011 Games Workshop finally decided to attempt to "revamp" the Sisters of Battle with a White Dwarf codex, much to the aggravation of about two thirds of the Witch Hunters' remaining playerbase. It was by no means a horrible update; initial worries on /tg/ suggested it to be akin to a biblical plague in terms of disaster-level, when in truth it was simply sub-average. The update had its fluff written by your SPIRITUAL LIEGE. In spite of this, it was squarely in-level with another bad codex update, because the rules were clearly written by committee.

Gone were the various inquisitorial units that got gobbled up by the Grey Knights codex update. This meant that many of the classics, like Lord Inquisitor Krazypantzoff and Temple Assassins, were gone, though they were replaced with Ecclesiarchy characters like Uriah Jacobus and Arch-Confessor Kyrinov. The Sisters did get some of Grey Knight units, namely Death Cult Assassins, Arco-Flagellants, and Crusaders, though their usefulness was questionable at best. Immolators took a nasty nerf-bat to the face, being unable to fire on the move and losing all fire-points, which basically made them more-cost-effective Razorback Transports). Who would have thought that Games Workshop would update an army by nerfing the one model every player had a couple of so that they all have to go out and buy new models?

Faith was functionally changed to a game of roulette, with randomized dice rolls deciding how much (if anything at all) you get. Units were given very specific faith powers on a squad-by-squad basis now, and whilst several were powerful, others were meh at best.

Heavy armor in an update? We fucking wish.

Whereas before you had a nice general army that could use faith points to adapt to different situations, in the Dwarf-dex system you had mostly weaker powers that were unreliable. Powers that most other units for similar points get permanently.

Sisters Repentia were originally purportedly nerfed, but in the end they were vastly better, boasting a 6++ invulnerable save, Fleet, and double their original number of attacks with a faith act to do more on death - meaning they stood a good chance of fucking up a lot of units they wouldn't pre-update... So now instead of paying ridiculous prices for a sick joke, you're just paying ridiculous prices for a suicide squad. At least they'll rape shit while they're there now. Progress!

Sadly, things were muddled by a spree of fake releases as part of an April Fool's Prank. Original reports of genuinely useful units to offset the loss of the Stormtroopers and inducted forces thus turned out to be false. There was also talk of a new heavy transport/assault vehicle called the Repressor, but it turned out to be part of the same fucking April Fool's Prank and is still Forgeworld-only (which sucks because it would be an improvement). Of the new characters, Kyrinov was semi-useful, and Jacobus was near-mandatory if you wanted to do anything with Acts of Faith. So in summary, about a third of the Sisters' armory is now gone without being replaced by anything. (The knights feel your pain now.)

The biggest kick in the cunt for the Sisters, aside from the obvious loss of utility units, was the loss of ally rules and inducted unit rules. One of the biggest advantages the Sisters had was the ability to, courtesy of the Ordo Hereticus, requisition allied forces. A time-honored method of getting around the relatively weak Sisters of Battle vehicular lineup was to take some Inducted Guardsmen for a Leman Russ or two, or Space Marines for a Predator. The loss of Inquisitors also came with the loss of Land Raiders as dedicated transports, which was another stab at their vehicular capabilities.

The Eternal Vigil[edit]

She waited for so long, and finally found what she needed. Last seen burning heretics in battle with tears of joy streaming down her face.

For years many members of /tg/ were violently, gleefully convinced the sisters were on their way to be squatted, while a tiny contingent of the faithful kept a candle burning, waiting for the day that their beloved bolter bitches will rise again (tiny bubbles and all). After 23 years of metal pewter and 3rd party conversions, their prayers were finally answered and the Emperor delivered onto them genuine GW plastic bolter bitches!

  • 0172008.M3: The Sisters are released as a playable faction in Dawn of War: Soulstorm. While it is poorly designed and built, it still drums up some enthusiasm for the Sisters. Many conflicted feels are had.
  • 0583011.M3: The Destroyer and The Cruddace release a playable White Dwarf codex for the sisters, hinting at a similar treatment to the Blood Angels heretics fuck you.
  • 0608012.M3: The sisters are retained for the 6E allies system and given a new flyer via Forge World. An unconfirmed leak shows a line up of new Sisters characters in development.
  • 0569013.M3: Faithful pilgrims supplicate themselves before the great and powerful Jervis Johnson asking for news on the Sisters. They are told that all armies are being worked on and there are no plans to discontinue support for the sisters. The Kelly adds that modeling issues prevented their release previously.
  • 05611013.M3: Rumors begin swirling about an official digital codex release for the Sisters. A leaked and subsequently confirmed White Dwarf advert later confirms this, and promises an updated version of the 5e codex. A later interview with The Cruddace indicates that the codex will include tweaks to Faith and points cost, and that if it sells well enough it may get a physical release. The release date for the digital codex was set for October 19th. Later comments on the GW Digital Editions facebook page confirms a Warlord Traits Chart, Ecclesiarchy Relics and an Altar of War, in addition to some updates, new fluff and artwork and changes to faith and points costs. It appears that the Sisters prayers have been at least partially answered. A physical release however is still very much dependent on the sale of this eBook however. Also during all this GW changes the name from Sisters of Battle to Adepta Sororitas most likely because it sounds cooler and is easier to maintain copyright on. The reactions are mixed when the Codex is released, with such changes like making all Acts of Faith usable only once, maximum twice, per battle and many buffs and nerfs around the board, leaving many arguing whatever the Sisters got better or majorly screwed. However, this mixed reception is better than the universally negative reception of the White Dwarf codex.
  • 09999015.M3: Escalation is released, alongside Stronghold Assault. While Stronghold Assault slips by unnoticed, the Sisters of Battle receive no Lords of War choices in an otherwise controversial and poorly thought out expansion. It then falls to Forge World to release a downloadable sheet a few days later saying that Sisters armies can take Warhound & Reaver titans, as well as Marauder Bombers & Destroyers as Lords of War. The Sisters have yet to comment on how overkill these choices might be if they can ever deploy them. The Reaver is at least far too expensive for normal games.
  • 0914016.M3: The Adepta Sororitas digital codex finally gets a physical release as part of Codex: Imperial Agents. Like the digital codex, the new one has a mixed reception, as it removes Saint Celestine from the army (leaving the Sisters with a single named character) and comes with a formation that called the Vestal Task Force that isn't great. However, it also allows for Ministorum Priests to be taken independently, and separates the component units of the Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave, though these units are not given any buffs to make them useful on their own. Not much, but it was something.
Guess who's back, bitches?
  • 0999016.M3: The Warhammer TV team, after the initial hint in the video which saw Magnus announced, releases a compilation of 2016 launches. At the end of said video can be seen clearly several launches of January, including no other than a new plastic kit of the Living Saint Celestine, supposedly tied to the release of The Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia. The internet, and specially /tg/ and the SoB players go nuts shortly after that, which only gets worse after the confirmation in a Twitch live few hours later.
  • 0019017.M3: Fall of Cadia releases and Sisters are starting to return to the limelight. Not only do the Nuns With Guns play a substantial role in the 13th Black Crusade, but Saint Celestine is one of the key characters of the story, bringing reinforcements, rallying the beleaguered Imperial Forces, and facing off with Abaddon himself. She also gets updated rules which turn her into a powerhouse, capable of calling orbital strikes, chopping tanks in half, buffing nearby Imperial units, and becoming nearly impossible to kill. The book also comes with additional Ecclesiarchy Relics, causing much rejoicing among SoB fans.

The Return[edit]

A fully painted sneak peak of things to come. Amazingly, GW has taken the time to learn how to sculpt female models that don't look hideous, though they still haven't learned that using CAD to sculpt in zillions of fiddly details makes life hell for novice painters. And she finally has a name! Sister Superior Amalia Novena.
  • 0233018.M3: In the [Adepticon XVI of 018.M3], the team disclosed a plethora of information of future releases: Knights Castellan, photos of the Idoneth Deepkin for AoS, a TCG of AoS and more. One of these announcements is the confirmation that THE RENOVATION IN PLASTIC OF THE SISTERS OF BATTLE IS HAPPENING. This is due to the overwhelming support of the fanbase during the Great Survey, which convinced the high-ups to give them what is due. The release date was unconfirmed, but temporally was "Emperor's willing, 019.M3" and in the meantime the whole process of designing, creating and bringing them back will be made public. The Sisters would not be going the way of Bretonnia, the space Dwarves, Kislev and Nehekhara after all. PRAISE THE EMPRAH!!
  • 0999018.M3: GW releases beta Adepta Sororitas rules in Chapter Approved 2018. Despite an insane amount of hype, the rules end up being rather lackluster, and are met with a mixed reaction from the community. Although the beta rules help Sisters in some ways, such as buffing Exorcists and making Uriah Jacobus worth his point cost, they also include a series of inexplicable nerfs which drastically reduce their overall utility as an army, such as removing eviscerators from Canonesses, splitting up Celestine and the Geminae Superia, and completely removing wargear options from Ministorum Priests. Worst of all, they reworked Acts of Faith into a points-based system which was both more confusing and less useful than the Index Acts of Faith rules, effectively giving Sisters an army-wide nerf. Fortunately, this was just a beta codex, and GW is listening to the community's response.
  • 0659019.M3: During the Nova open a new box set for the sisters was revealed, with new models for the Penitent engine and the Mistress of Repentance as well as confirming November to be the release month for the Sisters new range. The end of the Eternal Vigil is in sight.
  • 0877019.M03: The Sister of battle boxset is released..... and then instantly sells out, leaving many Sister fans without a box. GW addresses this saying there will be another chance to get the box in stores on November 29th. Almost as if this was planned. It's also announced that the proper release for Sisters with the multi-part kits will actually drop during January 2020, so Sister player will have to wait a little longer for the actual release.
  • 0050020.M03: The first actual wave of new Sister models drops, along with the codex, with the next waves of new Sister models being released over the next few weeks. After 23 years, the Sisters of Battle have new, proper plastic model sets. The Eternal Vigil is finally over.
  • 0394020.M03: During the "Big 40k Preview", GW revealed the next edition of Warhammer 40k, and in the animated trailer for the edition it shows off the Sisters fighting Necrons along side Space Marines. Further more the Sisters got their Focus for the new edition very quickly. Both of these facts seem to suggest that GW has realised the popularity of the Sisters and is pushing them to be the Imperiums #2 faction, usurping the Imperial Guard from this position (though the Imperial Guard is finding itself in the same position as the Sisters were). How far they have come in such little time.
  • 0245021.M03: As of April 2021 Sisters are now officially in the top tier of the competitive scene, with the recent updates making them a solid and flexible army capable to engage and win in nearly all situations.

Getting Started With The Nuns[edit]

You can buy the official models.

Or you can look around other 3rd party miniature stores as most will have extras for your army or alternatives to the normal Sister models. Feel free to uses these to further customise your army or create more unique characters (You can't play in GW stores but there are plenty of LGS out there so meh).

The James Swallow books: SoBs can win too![edit]

Sister Miriya from Hammer & Anvil; yes, Black Library artists can draw pretty sisters too.

Among Black Library, there are two books, specifically starring the Sisters, that are widely considered to be some the finest portrayals of SoBs in all of 40K fluff. Both were authored by James Swallow, who decided that Sisters needed some attention and got to work. The first, Faith and Fire, has the Sisters battling with what are basically terrorist psykers on a shrine world while trying to uncover the reasons behind the attacks. Then there's the sequel, Hammer and Anvil. Remember reading about Sanctuary 101 up there? This book has them going back there and trying to figure out what happened. While saying too much would be spoiling it, it can be said that shit hits the fan hard and that the final battle is very epic stuff. Also, if you're feeling extra faithful, Swallow wrote an SoB audiobook called Red and Black. A prequel to Faith and Fire, it has the Sisters being sent to a recently rediscovered planet as representatives of the Imperium, and ultimately to judge it. Needless to say, things get complicated. Also features a Scottish SoB. So, you can help the Sisters by getting the above books so that Games Workshop and Black Library may decide to change their minds and give some love to these girls. Or at least give them some additional badass portrayals.


The Sisters of Battle employ a costly yet simple tactic whenever they're called out for battle:

1. Bring thousands of sexually deprived Sisters of Battle into the field.
2.Arm them all with Melta and flame-based weapons. Small squads of Storm Bolters also encouraged.
3.Tell them they can shlick to the image of the Emperor if they triumph over the foul enemies of the Imperium. HERESY. *BLAM*
4.Set them loose, hope you are not fighting slaaneshi cult, hope you're fighting Dark Eldar wyches (although they do seem to be doing that just fine in one of the artworks on this page).
5.If they do win, all remaining Imperial troops, save for the SoBs, are ordered off the field.
6.No other accounts can be heard of, as remembrancers and all other Imperial journalists are sworn to an oath of silence on whatever events transpired (one theory is it would look like a mix of "Soldier of Fortune" and "Girls Gone Wild")

(Yes we do have a real tactica, its here.)

Notable Sororitas Characters[edit]

Name Order Description/Current Status Image Model
Canoness Veridyan Order of Our Martyred Lady The canoness from the cover of the 2nd Edition codex. A steadfast, calculating woman who operates with a high degree of precision. Veridyan Portrait.jpg Veridyan Model.jpg
Ephrael Stern Order of Our Martyred Lady Also known as the Thrice-Born and the Daemonifuge. A living weapon against Chaos with incredible supernatural power, she traveled to the Black Library with an exiled Harlequin in order to better understand and harness her powers. She eventually reappeared during the Indomitus Crusade and proved vital in dealing with the Necrons in the Pariah Nexus as due to her powers being faith based and not psychic they could not be suppressed. Ephrael Stern Portrait.jpg SternMini.JPG Ephrael Stern and Kyganil-2020.png
Miriael Sabathiel Order of Our Martyred Lady (formerly) Former Sister Superior of the Order of Our Martyred Lady and one of the very few Sisters who fell to Chaos (specifically, Slaanesh worship). Miriael Sabathiel Portrait.jpg None
Miriya Order of Our Martyred Lady Celestian Superior of the Order of Our Martyred Lady and protagonist of Swallow's Sister of Battle books. Best known for her independent, headstrong attitude as well as her creative interpretation of orders. While this frequently gets her into trouble with her superiors, it also makes her uniquely qualified for handling situations that require quick action and outside-the-box thinking. Mirya Portrait.jpg None
Saint Celestine Order of Our Martyred Lady (formerly) A sister who became one of the most famous Living Saints in the Imperium. Best known for her angelic presence, relentless optimism, and resurrection

powers, the latter of which makes her nearly impossible to kill. She's also heavily implied to be the Imperial equivalent of a daemon prince *BLAM* HERESY!

Celestine Portrait.jpg Celestine 7e.jpg
Canoness-Errant Setheno Order of Piercing Thorn (Minoris) After completely eradicating her own order on suspicion of corruption, she became Canoness-Errant, a vaguely defined position that involves a lot of asskicking.

Inquisitors wish they were as scary as her. Allied with the Black Dragons and Commissar Yarrick. Also she can apparently move fast enough to cut bolter fire, and block lasfire.

None None
Saint Katherine Order of the Fiery Heart A living saint and whose death caused her order to rename themselves to the Order of Our Martyred Lady. Also, it's her armour and sword that are now wielded by Saint Celestine. None Sisters The Triumph of Saint Kathrine.jpg
Canoness Superior Junith Eruita Order of Our Martyred Lady A new Canoness revealed for the new SoB lineup. After the cathedral she was fighting in collapsed on her, she punished the cathedral for trying to kill her by turning its unbroken pulpit into her personal weapons platform. None Sister JunithEruita.jpg

See Also[edit]

/tg/-Created Orders[edit]

  • Order of the Anointed Arrow: Divergent order of stealthy snipers who smite the enemies of Mankind with fuel-air explosives, laden with the ashes of martyrs. Also loves telling war stories.
  • Order of the Armoured Heart: Melee specialists who wear specially constructed strength-enhancing carapace armor instead of power armor.
  • Order of the Blinded Martyr: Proud warriors who believe the Sororitas should be excellent soldiers first and foremost. They kick a lot of ass, but also have a bad habit of not retreating when they should, which has brought them to the brink of extinction.
  • Order of the Guiding Light: Defenders of the solar archeotech on the planet Pasiphae alongside their Cult Mechanicus allies. Sworn enemies of Tzeentch and his minions who seek to take the world for probably nefarious purposes.
  • Order of the Martyred Heart: Aztec-themed sisters who utilize holy blood rituals to empower their warriors with the Sun-Emperor's might. Close allies with the Blood Jaguars space marine chapter.
  • Order of the Obsidian Mirror: A rare fusion of an order dialogus and an order militant, the sisters of the Obsidian Mirror are experts in covert and psychological warfare who wage a deadly secret war throughout the Ultima Segmentum.
  • Order of the Pointed Word: Guardians of the vital trade world of Dar-al-Rashid who prize wisdom and intellect above all. The sisters of the Pointed Word are master strategists who utilize a highly mobile form of warfare to secure victory.
  • Order of the Waning Dawn: Genetic purists who hate the mutant and the alien even more than most Sisters of Battle, but are weirdly okay with Psykers. Rather than having a homeworld, they're based out of a warp-capable space fortress called the Fist of Purity. Currently engaged in a brutal four-way war on the Black Sentinels recruiting world of Derosk XII against T'au, Ork, and Dark Eldar forces.

External Links[edit]




New Models[edit]

Painting pretty Sisters of Battle faces (so they don't look like manly marines)[edit]



Well I guess you simps were expecting promotions right?...


PROMOTIONS-small.pngThis article contains PROMOTIONS! Don't say we didn't warn you.


Famous Sisters of Battle and Members of the Ecclesiarchy
Living Saints: Geminae Superia - Saint Anais - Saint Celestine - Saint Gerstahl
Saint Katherine - Saint Lozepath - Saint Sabbat
Ecclesiarchs and Sororitas Abbi: Goge Vandire - Sebastian Thor - Morvenn Vahl
Canonesses: Canoness Selena Agna - Prioress Helena
Canoness Superior Junith Eruita - Saint Praxedes
Canoness-Errant Setheno - Canoness Veridyan
Ministorum Priests: Cardinal Armandus Helfire - Arch-Confessor Kyrinov - Pious Vorne
Taddeus the Purifier - Uriah Jacobus
Other notables: Aestred Thurga - Ephrael Stern - Gotfret de Montbard
Miriael Sabathiel - Miriya - Sister Superior Amalia Novena
Forces of the Sisters of Battle
Command: Triumph of Saint Katherine - Canoness
Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave - Imagifier
Ministorum Priest - Palatine - Dogmata
Sororitas Command Squad
Troops: Avenging Angel - Arco-flagellant - Battle Sister Squad
Celestians - Crusaders - Death Cult Assassin
Dominion Squad - Novitiate Squad - Retributor Squad
Seraphim Squad - Sisters Repentia - Zephyrim Squad
Vehicles: Castigator Tank - Exorcist - Immolator
Paragon Warsuit - Penitent Engine
Repressor - Rhino - Mortifier
Special Vehicles: Pulpit of Saint Holline's Basilica
Mobile Cathedral
Flyers: Avenger Strike Fighter
Spacecraft: Aquila Lander - Drop Pod
Saints: Living Saint - Geminae Superia
Non Militant: Orders Dialogous - Orders Famulous - Orders Hospitaler
Orders Pronatus - Hagiolater
Allies: Black Templars
Orders of the Sisters of Battle
Orders Militant: Order of Our Martyred Lady - Order of the Argent Shroud
Order of the Bloody Rose - Order of the Ebon Chalice
Order of the Valorous Heart - Order of the Sacred Rose
Orders Non Militant Orders Dialogous - Orders Famulous - Orders Hospitaler
Imperial Eagle.png Institutes within the Imperium of Man Imperial Eagle.png
Adeptus Terra: Adeptus Administratum - Adeptus Astra Telepathica
Adeptus Astronomica - Senatorum Imperialis
Adeptus Mechanicus: Adeptus Titanicus - Explorator Fleet - Legio Cybernetica - Skitarii
Armed Forces: Adeptus Arbites - Adeptus Custodes - Planetary Defense Force - Sisters of Silence
Imperial Army: Afriel Strain - Adeptus Astartes - Gland War Veteran
Imperial Guard - Imperial Navy - Imperial Knights - Militarum Tempestus
Imperial Cult: Adeptus Ministorum - Adepta Sororitas - Death Cults - Schola Progenium
Inquisition: Ordo Chronos - Ordo Hereticus - Ordo Malleus - Ordo Necros
Ordo Sepulturum - Ordo Sicarius - Ordo Xenos
Officio Assassinorum: Adamus - Callidus - Culexus - Eversor - Maerorus - Vanus - Venenum - Vindicare
Great Crusade: Corps of Iterators - Legiones Astartes - Remembrancer Order - Solar Auxilia
Unification Wars: Legio Cataegis
Other: League of Black Ships - Navis Nobilite - Rogue Traders - Ambassador Imperialis
Abhumans & Denizens: Beastmen - Caryatids - Felinids - Humans - Nightsiders - Troths - Neandors
Ogryns - Ratlings - Scalies - Scavvies - Squats - Subs - Pelagers - Longshanks
Notable Members: God-Emperor of Mankind - Malcador the Sigillite
The Perpetuals - The Primarchs - Sebastian Thor
Erda - Ollanius Pius
Playable Factions in Warhammer 40,000
Imperium: AdMech: Adeptus Mechanicus - Mechanicus Knights
Army: Imperial Guard - Imperial Knights - Imperial Navy - Militarum Tempestus - Space Marines
Inquisition: Inquisition - Sisters of Battle - Deathwatch - Grey Knights
Other: Adeptus Custodes - Adeptus Ministorum - Death Cults - Officio Assassinorum - Sisters of Silence
Chaos: Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines - Lost and the Damned - Chaos Knights
Xenos: Aeldari: Dark Eldar - Eldar - Eldar Corsairs - Harlequins - Ynnari
Tyranids: Genestealer Cults - Tyranids
Others: Necrons - Orks - Tau - Leagues of Votann