PDA

View Full Version : Sisters of Battle Fluff



jma037
03-10-2005, 03:51
I'm seeking background stuff on the sisters of battle. I understand that they don't have the black carapase stuff that the SM have, so they don't get any strength bonuses from their power armours. Is that true? Does that mean that they can take their armour off?

Are they geneticall enhanced like the SM? ie extra organs and stuff?
Also, why woman? Why don't the church get regular SM to do the sister's job?
Any other info?

Cheers!

Randallw
03-10-2005, 04:28
Most of the information you seek would be in Codex:Witchhunters and the 2nd Edition Sisters of Battle Codex. I can answer your questions though.

1. SoB do not have the black carapace. Their armour is simply normal power armour. They do not have extra organs as a result they are basically normal people who get better training, power armour and bolters. They can take off their armour, but then so can SM, their black carapace just gets them a better link with their armour.

2.They are women because the Adeptus Ministorum are using a loophole in their rules. After the head of the ministorum went all megolamaniac and used the church armies to do his bidding, and he was defeated by Saint Thor and the Daughters of the Emperor (who became the SoB) the Ministorum was forbidden to have any "Men under arms". So they instead have "Women under arms". Besides SM don't get on with the Ministorum. They are more independent and don't consider the Emperor a god.

Brusilov
03-10-2005, 06:18
Indeed the legal loophole used by the new Ecclesiarch Sebastian Thor to allow the Ministorum to keep armed forces despite the Decree Passive that completely disbanded the Frateris Templar is that the Ecclesiarchy should not maintain "men at arms." Thor followed the letter of the law, but not its spirit. The decision was however sanctioned by the Inquisition and the newly created Ordo Hereticus (it is my personal belief that Ordo structure as we know it did not exist before the Apostasy, and it is quite clear the Hereticus did not exist), who made the newly created Adepta Sororitas their Chamber Militant.

Space Marines and the Ministorum have indeed never had a good relationship, especially not since Vandire tried to replace their chaplains by preachers of the Ministorum. The situation went as far as several Chapters besieging the Palace of the Ecclesiarch on Terra with the aid of the Mechanicus.

Sai-Lauren
03-10-2005, 08:31
Does that mean that they can take their armour off?

Of course they can, and so can marines.

As for why they don't use marines, as Brusilov said, they don't really get on, mainly because the ecclesiarchy holds the emperor as the supreme being, so far above all others you can't see him, while most chapters have their own rites and rituals utterly unrelated to the imperial faith, and at best revere the emperor only as a very powerful man, and their primarch as second to him.


The decision was however sanctioned by the Inquisition and the newly created Ordo Hereticus... ...who made the newly created Adepta Sororitas their Chamber Militant.
I think it's more a case of "We know what you're doing, give them to us when we want them".

Mother_Mercy
03-10-2005, 11:23
The sisters are also recruited at a very young age from the Schola Progenium (am I spelling that right?), the Imperium-wide orphanage that takes care of the children of dead Imperial servants. Since the Sisterhood has first call on all female children, this might explain why there are very few (if any) women among the other organisations also recruited from the Schola, such as Commissars and Stormtroopers.

Brothergrimm
03-10-2005, 18:02
If you can take a look at the 2nd edition sister's of battle codex seem's G.W went borrowing the other order's of the sororities (sp) smack of Frank Herbert's Bene Gesserit (sp)

Xhalax
03-10-2005, 21:37
Your best bet for information is 2nd Ed Sisters codex....as well as the Witch Hunters codex, though to a much lesser extent.

I always thought that the best female candidates were chosen from the orphanages and Schola for training in the various avenues, not just the Sisters. It just seems that in fluff, most of the woman that appear in it are Sisters.

Though I'd imagine more woman end up in the Imperial Guard more than the Sisters. As it takes utter devotion first to be even considered for the Sisterhood. All the physical training would come afterwards.

jma037
04-10-2005, 00:15
I own the current witch hunter codex, where can I get a 2nd edition one? Why isn't there a 3rd edition one?

How closely related are the witch hunters to the imperial church? I would think that it will be pretty close considering how they "hunt" heretics. But doesn't it defeat the purpose of the witch hunters as they are also tasked to provent the rise of a internal tyrant that want to take over?

Also, how rare are inquisitors? Would you find one or two on a planet? or a whole bunch working on different things? Would the arrival of a inquisitor be a big thing?

Cheers!

GamesmasterZ
04-10-2005, 00:25
where can I get a 2nd edition one?

Ebay.


Why isn't there a 3rd edition one?

Cause they didn't make one.


How closely related are the witch hunters to the imperial church?

I'd say quite close...as they do worship the Emperor.


But doesn't it defeat the purpose of the witch hunters as they are also tasked to provent the rise of a internal tyrant that want to take over?

They're multi-taskers.


Also, how rare are inquisitors?

I would think they're pretty rare. Most of the Alcolytes don't make it because they bite the bullet/claw/laser/shrapnel/demon.


Would you find one or two on a planet?

Maybe.


or a whole bunch working on different things?

They work to gather from time to time...everyone always needs help sometimes...


Would the arrival of a inquisitor be a big thing?

YES! Of course it is!

jma037
04-10-2005, 00:35
What I meant was does a witch hunter report to the church? or to the Ordo? or to the Emporer himselve(as in, "what would the emporer do?")?

If they report to the church, what's stopping a high ranking cardinal from starting a religous war? Which I don't think will be the case. Is there a modern dat equivilant? I don't think they are the "spanish inquisition" type of inquisitors. They have more of Soviet Internal Service kinda feel to them. Maybe a cross between the two? THe demon hunter's job is much more clearly defined in my opinion.

I just find it weird how the sisters are the militant arm for two different organisations. Surely there will be a comflict of interest if they are not ONE singlular organisation. I see why the church need woman, why don't the witch hunter create a equivilant of the grey knights?

Cheers!

Psiweapon
04-10-2005, 04:27
I'ts Empire, not Emperi.
I'ts Imperium, not Impuriem.
I'ts Imperial, not Impariel.

It's emperor, not "emporer" ! >:(

Sai-Lauren
04-10-2005, 08:29
What I meant was does a witch hunter report to the church? or to the Ordo? or to the Emporer himselve(as in, "what would the emporer do?")?

If they report to the church, what's stopping a high ranking cardinal from starting a religous war? Which I don't think will be the case. Is there a modern dat equivilant? I don't think they are the "spanish inquisition" type of inquisitors. They have more of Soviet Internal Service kinda feel to them. Maybe a cross between the two? THe demon hunter's job is much more clearly defined in my opinion.

I just find it weird how the sisters are the militant arm for two different organisations. Surely there will be a comflict of interest if they are not ONE singlular organisation. I see why the church need woman, why don't the witch hunter create a equivilant of the grey knights?

Cheers!
Witch hunters are the slang name for inquistors of the Ordo Hereticus, as one of their jobs is to hunt down rogue psykers.
The reason the Adepta Sororitas is the chamber militant of the Ordo Hereticus is three-fold - part of its the fact that having the Sororitas only pays lip service to the "no men-at-arms", plus the Sororitas are very well trained, utterly loyal to the emperor and virtually unshakable in their faith - making them superb troops for the inquisition.
The third part is that it also (IMO) keeps a power limit on the Ordo Hereticus themselves (the question of who watches the watchers) - they have no chamber militant of their own, and the Sororitas are likely to notice if the Inquisitor leading them is heading towards becoming a renegade, and either inform the OH or deal with it themselves.

Minister
04-10-2005, 08:31
The Witch Hunters report to the Ordo, the Adepta Sororitas reports to their own seperate heirachy and from there to the Council of Cardinals and the Ecclesiarch. They may be seconded to a Cardinal or the like, but will still have their task to watch him in case of deviation, simmilar to the Commissars of the Imperial Guard.

Mother_Mercy
04-10-2005, 09:19
Exactly. The Sisters are a part of the Imperial Church, not of the Inquisition. But the Ordo Hereticus has the power to request the aid of the Sisterhood at anytime. This means that, yes, individual Cardinals can declare Holy Wars of their own and pour oogles and oogles of Sisters into it, but only as long as the Ordo Hereticus approves.

precinctomega
04-10-2005, 09:36
A point to note: there have been references in BL novels to Witch Finders who are a part of the Ecclesiarchy, not the Ordo Hereticus.

Of course, I suppose that in a sense this would conflict with the letter of the Decree Passive. But if the Witch Finders are mercenaries, employed by the Church on a casual basis, then I suppose it could circumvent the issue. Whilst the Church is technically subordinate to the Inquisition, the devoutness of most Inquisitors provides a high degree of spiritual influence to the Church. So the occasional corner can be safely cut.

The Adepta Sororitas is, of course, fiercely devoted to the Ecclesiarchy as an organization. However, they also act as the internal police force of the Ecclesiarchy (q.v. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - an approximate equivalent in the RC Church, albeit without the guns). So if a Cardinal wanted to declare a Crusade, the first people who would have to approve would be the Sororitas. In their capacity as the Order Militant of the Ordo Hereticus, they could feasibly remove from appointment a Cardinal suspected of abusing Church resources for personal gain.

R.

Brusilov
04-10-2005, 09:48
The Ecclesiarchy has indeed the power to declare holy wars on its own, without the support of the rest of the Inquisition. These are called Wars of Faith and are crusades in the old medieval sense of the term, that is the religious hierarchy calling upon each and every one of the faithful to unite into an makeshift army and reclaim some holy land, relic or whatnot. Wars of faith are very difficult for the Ministorum to stage because they lack military assets in any significant numbers (the Sisters are not numerous enough to wage war on a large scale on their own) and fleet assets, especially warships. However they can count on millions if not billions of people driven into a religious frenzy by the call to war...

On the matter of the Ministorum not having men at arms, we run not only into the issue of so called Witch Finders (another glaring mistake by Mr Abnett if you ask me, but nevermind that), but rather the Pontifex Guards, refered to in the Apostate Cardinal entry in the Witch Hunter Codex (those guys were probably around before the Cardinal went apostate).

precinctomega
04-10-2005, 10:37
Of course, the Church can get around that by either having them as mercenaries (so not belonging to the Church) or by ordaining them and giving them nominal parishes to administer - thus they become priests, not soldiers.

R.

Sai-Lauren
04-10-2005, 10:46
Of course, the Church can get around that by either having them as mercenaries (so not belonging to the Church) or by ordaining them and giving them nominal parishes to administer - thus they become priests, not soldiers.

R.
Indeed, roving priests charged with maintaining the church's tenets, touring outlying diocese, travelling with guard armies/the navy etc. The fact they're in charge of an archo-flagellant or two is neither here nor there. ;)

The pontifex guards could also be ordained, or simply classed as bodyguards. It depends on whether you determine "men-at-arms" as any one trained for combat (which would basically prohibit an ex-soldier who's been ordained), or as trained soldiers within a military structure. I'm personally tending towards the latter definition.

Lastie
04-10-2005, 15:39
If 'men-at-arms' refers to soldiers trained specifically for living a life of combat, then armies of basic Imperial citizens roused for a holy crusade by the oratory of an Ecclesiarchal member are not 'men-at-arms' but temporary militia.

It's surprising that the Ecclesiarchy was allowed to get away with such blatant rules-bending concerningt he Adepta Sororitas, but then common sense does not seem to have a place in the 41st millennium.


Originally Posted by Brusilov
On the matter of the Ministorum not having men at arms, we run not only into the issue of so called Witch Finders (another glaring mistake by Mr Abnett if you ask me, but nevermind that) ...

Care to give further details for someone with a open mind?

bertcom1
04-10-2005, 17:39
Men-at-arms

As I understand things, the Ecclesiarchy are not permitted to have a standing battlefield force, or space fleet. I.e. They are not allowed to have under their sole command, anything that performs any of the roles of the Imperial Guard or the Imperial Navy.

They are able to partially get around this in the form of the Sisters of Battle, who are a standing battlefield force, because the SoB do not fall into the category of "men-at-arms"

The word of "men-at-arms" is the translated term of the relevant portion of the Decree Passive. This is in High Gothic, since that is the official language of the Imperium. However, High Gothic is not used much outside legal documents so translation is necessary. The Ecclesiarchy are using a translation loophole to justify the SoB.

Translating into High Gothic:

Standing battlefield force of male human soldiers = "men-at-arms"
Standing battlefield force of female human soldiers <> "men-at-arms"

The Decree Passive uses the High Gothic term of "men-at-arms". It fails to use appropriate High Gothic terms to cover all eventualities.

The likes of the Pontifex Guard may be permissable under the terms of the Decree Passive, because they also do not fit the term "men-at-arms", because they are not a battlefield force, instead more of paramilitary law and security enforcers.

If it was not for the xenophobia of the Ecclesiarchy, they could also use this argument to have a standing battlefield force and space fleet made up of alien mercenaries, since they would also not fall under the strict High Gothic term of "men-at-arms"


Essentially the Ecclesiarchy are a bunch of power-gamers using the defence "It doesnt say I cant so I can". :cheese:

jma037
05-10-2005, 00:08
Just how good of a fighter are the sisters? From what I gather, the sisters are just normal girls with power armour and better training. If you look at the training timetables for a SM, and the amount of extra goodies that they have implanted. This just don't compare well.

What would be the role of the sisters? Similar to SMs? Or are they more suited to small scale raids policing tasks?

Also, game mechanics wise, the players can custome build SM chapters. Is the same freedom extended to SoB? Can I make up my own Mission and make it fluffwise possible?

Cheers!

bertcom1
05-10-2005, 00:34
The Sisters of Battle are some of the most highly trained soldiers in the Imperium. Individually they are not as strong as a Marine, but the SoB can afford to take more losses, since their recruitment rate is much faster. No implantation means training time is far less, and no geneseed to recover means the Sisters can be far more aggressive and go full out attack, since they do not have to worry about being able to recover the bodies of the fallen.

The SoB can take on a wider range of missions than Marines because of superior numbers and greater expendability. Battle sisters can perform missions where Marines would just get bogged down.

On their own, the Sisters do not have the numbers to carry out large scale operations like subduing an entire planet, but they do have numbers to make substantial raids. Instead of squad sized raids like Marines, the SoB can carry out company sized raids.

As a supplementary force to the IG, the Sisters would be most useful for things like street fighting, or other close terrain, where the short range of most Sisters weapons does not matter. The Sisters would most likely be used as shock troops to spearhead assaults.

You can create your own Order of Sisters with its own colour scheme, no problem.

Nazguire
05-10-2005, 02:10
I'm seeking background stuff on the sisters of battle. I understand that they don't have the black carapase stuff that the SM have, so they don't get any strength bonuses from their power armours. Is that true? Does that mean that they can take their armour off?

Are they geneticall enhanced like the SM? ie extra organs and stuff?
Also, why woman? Why don't the church get regular SM to do the sister's job?
Any other info?

Cheers!

The power armour of the Sisters of Battle is different to the walking tank suit that the Space Marines wear. Due to them not having any black carapace, large bone and muscluature and living in it, they don't receive a lot of the benefits of the armour. As such it doesn't grant them as much protection. It's a lesser suit of power amour so to speak.

Sisters of Battle are not genetically enhanced. They are not psychologically enhanced. They are indoctrinated like Space Marines to a certain extent. They are trained from as soon as they are recruited (when children) to fight in their armour, fight with their weaponry and fight with their faith.

They are women as they are, as other people have said, exploiting a loophole. Following the rule "no men under arms" to the letter, not the spirit.

Also Space Marines and the Ecceleisarchy do not get along. Some worse than others (the Space Wolves have a sincered disdain for them) so if a Confessor or Priest or whoever requested Space Marine assistance, unless it was absolutely vital, it'd go unheeded.

jma037
05-10-2005, 02:47
In the witch hunter codex, the Orders of Sisters are seperated into two different colums on the chart. One under the church and another under the Ordos. Does that mean that when a witch hunter requests some sisters, they will be mostly likely depatched from one of the chapters under the ordos? ie the order of our martyaed lady is under the church side, would they be likely to fight for a inquisitor? If there's no difference, why the distinction?

Minister
05-10-2005, 06:34
There are two Covenants of the Sororitas, Sanctorum (on Ophelia VII) and Covenant Prioris (on Holy Terra). Both answer to their own Prioress and to the Abbess of the Adepta Sororitas (although that post has remained open for some time to the most recent holder's dissappearance). From there both will answer to the Ecclesiarchy heirachy and hence the High Lords. The presence of the Ordo Hereticus on that chart is... wrong. The Hereticus does not have as strong a command as does the Ecclesiarchy and their positon as a Chamber is secondary only, that and the Inquisiton does not answer to the High Lords.

Sai-Lauren
05-10-2005, 08:18
Due to them not having any black carapace, large bone and muscluature and living in it,
Just an aside, marines do not live in their armour either, although their recycling systems do allow them to wear it for longer periods of time. Otherwise the only point I want to make is :-


They are indoctrinated like Space Marines to a certain extent
To a certain extent? ;) I would say they're indoctrinated into the imperial faith to a point that even marines would go :eek:

Nazguire
05-10-2005, 09:25
Just an aside, marines do not live in their armour either, although their recycling systems do allow them to wear it for longer periods of time. Otherwise the only point I want to make is :-


To a certain extent? ;) I would say they're indoctrinated into the imperial faith to a point that even marines would go :eek:

I believe that they do live in their armour as much as possible. I'm sure I've read that somewhere too. Only where it is wildly impractical would they not wear it, e.g. the few hours of sleep they actually undertake

Brusilov
05-10-2005, 11:15
Personally I would believe that when in transit and not in training or within the Fortress Monastery, Space Marines do not wear their power armour. There have been repeated occurances in novels of Space Marines dressed in simple monkish robes. Space Marines would wear their armour on the field of battle and during the religious ceremonies of the Chapter, as well as training, but IMHO that would be all.

bertcom1
05-10-2005, 16:51
I think that the Sisters and the Marines both spend the vast majority of their time out of their armour.

When "Off Duty", they would wear simple clothes.

Putting on the armour, in preparation for battle, is likely to have significant religious and spiritual meaning for the Marines and Sisters. They probably have special ceremonies and rituals for wearing each piece, possibly reciting a chant or prayer as they put them on.

This would also help them focus mentally and psych them up for combat.

My armour protects my body, my faith shields my soul and so forth.

jma037
05-10-2005, 23:14
Is there are reason that the sister mostly have white or black hair? Would it be wrong if I paint their hair in different colours?

Minister
05-10-2005, 23:53
Nope, it is the choice of the painter as to whether this is done. The white hair aspect is a new addition, and represents a single preceptory (possibly honouring a fallen Cannonness on Armageddon).

My own probably have a disproportionate number of redheads, but the majority are black or brown.