Imperium of Man: Founders, Adeptus Astartes (Chapters, Characters, Primaris Marines), Astra Militarum, Adepta Sororitas, Inquisition, Mechanicus, Other factions
Forces of Chaos: Chaos Gods, Chaos Primarchs, Heretic Astartes
Xeno Races: Aeldari (Asuryani, Drukhari) | Necrons | Orks | T'au Empire | Tyranids
In Warhammer 40,000, the Adepta Sororitas are an organization of zealous nuns within the Ecclesiarchy. While many of their Orders provide services such as administrative support, education, and health care, their most famous Orders are the militant ones, known as the Sisters of Battle, power armor-wearing warrior nuns whose fanatical faith in the Emperor pulls them through impossible odds.
Their origins go back to the Age of Apostasy, where they were a minor but devout order of warrior women called the Daughters of the Emperor. High Lord Goge Vandire deceived them into believing that he was favored by the Emperor by using his empowered Rosarius to stop a bullet being fired at him, claiming that it was by the grace of the Emperor that he survived. He then turned them into his own personal army, renaming them to the Brides of the Emperor. As Vandire's Reign of Blood intensified, the rebellion known as the Coalition of Light rose and fought its way to Holy Terra itself, with the mad High Lord holed up in the Imperial Palace. Thinking that Vandire's army consisted only of fanatical but untrained mobs, the Coalition stormed the palace expecting it to fall easily. To the surprise of many, the well-entrenched Sisters proved more than a match to the Coalition, which included the Imperial Fists chapter and its successors, the premier siege-specialist force of the Imperium. Seeing this stalemate, the Emperor's Praetorian Guard, the Adeptus Custodes, arranged for Alicia Dominica, the leader of the Brides, to meet the God-Emperor. What happened during the meeting is unknown, but Alicia, now full of righteous fury after emerging from the Emperor's chambers, wasted no time in executing Vandire, ending the Age of Apostasy. After that, they were reorganized as the Adepta Sororitas, and continue to serve as the Ecclesiarchy's militant arm through a loophole in the Decree Passive (no "men" under arms)note .
As of the 41st millennium, the Adepta Sororitas consists of six Major Orders and numerous Minor Orders:
|Order of||Armor color||Honoured Saint||Faithully||Specialties||Convent|
|The Argent Shroud||Silver armor, white cloaks with red linings||Silvana||Selfless||Seraphim, Assault||Prioris|
|The Bloody Rose||Blood red armor, black cloaks with white linings||Mina||Aggressive||Dominions, Fast Attack||Sanctorum|
|The Ebon Chalice||Black armor, white cloaks with red linings||Alicia Dominica||Traditional||Jack-of-All-Trades||Prioris|
|Our Martyred Lady||Black armour with dark red cloaks||Katherine||Determined||Total extermination of all enemies||Sanctorum|
|The Sacred Rose||White armour, black cloaks with red linings||Arabella||Disciplined||Retributors, Heavy Support||Prioris|
|The Valorous Heart||Black armour, black cloaks with white linings||Lucia||Atoning||Sisters Repentia||Sanctorum|
The Sisters of Battle were the last faction to receive a codex during the 2nd Edition of Warhammer 40,000 and were then combined with the Inquisitions Ordo Hereticus for 3rd Editions Codex: Witch Hunters. 2011 saw the publication of a Chapter Approved White Dwarf Sisters of Battle army list for the games 5th Edition. During the 6th Edition of Warhammer 40,000, the Sisters were officially renamed the Adepta Sororitasnote and received Games Workshops first ever digital-only codex sourcebook, before being included alongside other Imperial sub-factions in 2016s Codex: Imperial Agents for 7th Edition. The 8th Edition beta version of of their rules were included in the Chapter Approved 2018 rules supplement released in December 2018, with the full Codex: Adepta Sororitas given an early release as part of a limited edition Army Box in November 2019 before the full release in January 2020.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The blessed Blade of Admonition is a relic of the Adepta Sororitas and is the very sword used by Saint Dominica to remove the head of Goge Vandire. The silver blade of this sacred weapon is razor sharp and has taken the lives of countless heretics since. The 8th Edition Chapter Approved rules for the Blade of Admonition represent this by giving it superior Strength and Damage compared to regular power swords.
- Amazon Brigade: The Sororitas have been an all-female Order of religious warriors since their founding as the Daughters of the Emperor on San Leor. Following the end of Goge Vandire's Reign of Blood the Decree Passive barred the Ecclesiarchy from fielding "men under arms", resulting in the Order, now renamed the Adepta Sororitas, official becoming the main military force of the Adeptus Ministorum.
- And I Must Scream: After they captured every last member of the recidivist cult that tortured their founder and countless innocents to death in an attempt to break the former's spirit, the Order of the Valorous Heart then contracted a contingent of Sisters Hospitalier to use their knowledge of life extension and pain enhancement to extend the cultist's punishment for as long as possible.
- The Atoner:
- The Sisters who seek to atone for their sins against their Order and the Emperor will take the path of the Sister Repentia. Stripped of their armour, branded with symbols of their faith, and wearing items of mortification, Sisters Repentia charge fearlessly into battle so that they can wash away their failures with the blood of heretics. While it is possible for them to find absolution and return to their Orders, redemption most often comes through martyrdom.
- Of all the Orders Militant, the Order of the Valorous Heart are the most ashamed of their predecessors' actions during Goge Vandire's Reign of Blood, and even those Sisters who do not become Sisters Repentia are driven by their desire to seek atonement for the sins of their forebears.
- An Axe to Grind: The blessed relic weapon known as the Axe of Retributionnote is a mighty double-bladed battleaxe studded with razor-sharp jewels that rip and tear at the flesh of those struck, doing considerably more damage than a regular power axe.
- Badass Cape: The Mantle of Ophelia is an ancient cloak that that has been anointed with the blood-like tears gathered from countless weeping statues of the Emperor. This blessing is said to protect the wearer and while the exact in-game rules vary depending on the edition all increase the survivability of the character wearing the Mantle.
- Badass Long Robe: When not wearing their Powered Armor, Battle Sisters will wear ecclesiastical or training robes. Some background material mentions that Sororitas training robes are made out of the same material as Imperial flak armour so as to prevent accidental injury while training with live ammunition.
- Badass Normal: The Adepta Sorortias are counted as one of the elite fighting forces of the Imperium, fighting against the many enemies of mankind without the bio-enhancement of the Astartes. The Battle Sisters make up for this with rigorous training, high quality equipment and a fanatical faith in the Emperor.
- Bayonet Ya: The Sarissa, from the 3rd Edition rules, is a vicious spiked blade that Sororitas attach to their bolt weapons to turn them into effective close combat weapons. In game terms these combat blades gave the wielder a re-roll to wound when they charged.
- Berserk Button: While this can vary from order to order and sister to sister, their indoctrinated zealotry makes them very eager to purge heretics.
- The Berserker: The Order of the Thorn, an offshoot of the Order of the Bloody Rose, have abandoned the controlled fury practiced by their parent Order in favour of entering a berserk state that will only end when either the Sister or every enemy within reach has been slain. The Sisters of the Order believe that by unleashing their fury in this way they are recreating the martyrdom of Saint Mina. In gameplay terms, however, this berserk state simply uses the same close assault orientated rules that the Order of the Bloody Rose uses in 8th Edition.
- Blinded by the Light: The Quicksilver Veil, a relic of the Order of the Argent Shroud introduced during 8th Edition, is made from advanced nano-fibres and reflects the ambient light of the battlefield to dazzle the wearer's opponents, who receive a penalty on their hit rolls when they attack them.
- Bodyguard Babes: They were this to Goge Vandire during the Age of Apostasy, until they finally turned on him. While they still perform this role on occasion, especially for important Ecclesiarchy clergy, they don't look back on its part in their history with much fondness.
- Boobs of Steel: Literally and figuratively; the design of their armor is made to highly accentuate the female form (possibly to remind naysayers that they aren't men under arms, but women) and as such often features a pair of prominent breast cups, and aside from the Astartes and Custodes, they are quite possibly the most effective fighting force that the Imperium has.
- Celibate Hero: A popular image of the Sisters of Battle is that their are chaste warriors, cloistered together and fully devoted to the Emperor to the exclusion of anything else, including physical desire. However, this isn't always the case; Sandy Mitchell points out that though the Sisters are supposed to be above base desires, they do not technically take oaths of chastity, though the kind of lifestyle they keep typically precludes intimate relations and having one exposed would be considered an embarrassment. In his retirement Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) works alongside a senior Sister who drinks, gambles proficiently, and whom he discovered was involved with the schola progenium's bursar.
- Chainmail Bikini:
- Church Militant: The primary reason for the Sisters of Battle's existence, and one of the more blatant examples of this trope in a setting where it is almost ubiquitous. The reality is slightly more complex than that though, as not every Sororitas is necessarily a Battle Sister. In addition to the Orders Militant, there are the Orders Famulous, the Orders Dialogous, and the Orders Hospitaller. Regardless of vocation, each Sororitas is expected to draw strength and courage from her faith and lay down her life if need be in the Emperor's name.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Some sources interpret the Acts of Faith as this: the Sisters' intense belief allowing them to perform superhuman feats. It's also hinted in places that the Living Saints are effectively the Emperor's equivalent to Daemons.
- Deadly Doctor: While their primary focus is on healing, Hospitallers can also turn their hands to torture. The Ecclesiarchy sourcebook for Dark Heresy states that Inquisitors are taught to never trust medical care for imprisoned traitors or heretics to Hospitallers. No matter how much an Inquisitor may insist their captive needs to be kept alive for the moment, Hospitallers are so zealous that they are far too likely to "accidentally" lose the patient's life.
- Death Seeker: Should the sins of a Battle Sister be truly terrible, they may become the pilot of a Penitent Engine. Surgically altered to continuously feel the guilt and pain of their crime, the Sister is fanatically driven to seek death as atonement.
- Deflector Shields: High-ranking members of the Sororitas and Ecclesiarchy are often presented with a Rosarius, a religious icon incorporating a powerful Conversion Field designed to convert the energy of an attack into a blinding flash of holy light. Ironically, it was this very item that Vandire first used to convince them he was sent by the Emperor to begin with.
- Determinator: The Order of the Valorous Heart is famous for its sisters' intense resolve and for their refusal to back down or concede ground, something that goes hand in hand with their tendency to charge into the worst and most brutal battlefields they can find. Its sisters determinedly fight and grind on no matter how may wounds they have taken, how bad the casualties are, how hostile the battlefield or how powerful the enemy, slowly pushing against the enemy until either the battle is won or they're all dead.
- Distaff Counterpart: Since women cannot become Space Marines, the Sororitas are the closest thing we have to female Astartes. Both organizations are fanatically loyal to the Imperium and are power armor-clad badasses that make the average Imperial Guardsman look like kids playing with nerf guns comparatively. The only major differences among them besides gender are the fact that Space Marines get their power through their gene-seed and augmentations, whereas the Sisters of Battle get theirs through sheer zealotry.
- Drop the Hammer: The Dogmata weilds a large, two-handed maul.
- Epic Flail:
- Some Mortifiers and Penitent Engines are equipped with penitent flails consisting of multiple lengths of chain with a weighted censor attached to one end and fitted to a motor. These weapons thresh their opponents with multiple blows, doing multiple hits for each successful attack.
- The Flail of Chastisement is a blessed weapon of the Adepta Sororitas from early editions of the game. This weapon is fitted with barbed and hooked chains that dig into the flesh of the victim, binding their limbs and making it more difficult for them to attack.
- Exact Words: The Sisters of Battle were established after the Ecclesiarchy were banned from having men under arms.
- Expy: The Orders Famulous are terribly similar to the Bene Gesserit. They are peerless diplomats, advisers, and negotiators, but they are also heavily involved in maintaining the bloodlines of the Imperial households they associate with, both through record keeping and facilitating arranged marriages.
- Fanatical Fire: The Adepta Sororitas, and the Imperial Cult as a whole, have a near obsession with fire, installing burning braziers on their armour and vehicles, as well as wielding multiple flamer weapons as part of their holy trinity of weaponry. Many pieces of artwork for the Sororitas will also incorporate fire in some way, whether it is multiple burning brands and torches, or the smouldering corpses of heretics.
- Flaying Alive: The Order of the Wounded Heart, a splinter Order of the Order of the Valorous Heart, ritually flay the skin from their right hands in imitation of the wounds suffered by Saint Lucia. By performing this act, the Sisters of the Order believe that they share the pain of their beloved Saint.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Can be considered this to their enemies. They were originally just a secretive cult on an obscure, backwater world. As a result of Goge Vandire deciding to recruit them, they ended up being one of the most elite forces fielded by the Imperium.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: Aside from their lack of clothing, Sisters Repentia are also known for carrying the enormous Eviscerator model chainsword as their only weapons. If you're looking to die in battle, might as well try to puree some heretics while you're at it.
- Gun Kata: Seraphim are trained in an ancient style of combat that enables them to wield their twinned pistols in close combat with a fluid grace. Fighting with them as easily as other warriors wield a blade, Seraphim use their pistols to parry their opponents weapons before delivering a point-blank shot to a vital region.
- Guns Akimbo: Seraphim usually wield two bolt pistols, but they can also dual-wield hand flamers and inferno pistols.
- HeelFace Turn: After being brought before the God-Emperor himself, the Brides of the Emperor discovered the lies and evil perpetrated by Vandire and quickly turned on the mad High Lord, with their leader, Alicia Dominica, personally removing the tyrant's head to end the Age of Apostasy.
- Heroic Spirit: Their Shield of Faith is this. Their belief in the Emperor's protection is so strong that they can shrug off the most severe wounds and resist psychic attacks.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Aside from specialists like the Grey Knights, Sororitas are one of the few forces that are trusted to fight daemonic entities, thanks in large part to the strength of their faith bolstering them against the influence of the Warp. Unlike the Grey Knights, they have absolutely nothing augmenting them to do this. They did have one of their order fall to Chaos, but compared to the vast amounts of Space Marines and Imperial Guard regiments that have done the same, that is not really saying much. The Ciaphas Cain book Cain's Last Stand features a few Battle Sisters who serve as Warmaster Varan's bodyguards, but they had their minds overwritten by his Chaos-powered Compelling Voice and immediately kill themselves when his hold is broken and they realize what happened to them.
- Internal Affairs: Early editions has them being exclusively this for the Imperium, which the later editions toned down. They still have this role within the Ecclesiarchy itself.
- Iron Maiden: An upgraded Mortifer, called an Anchorite, entombs the pilot in a thick metal casing rembing the iron maiden. Unlike the torture device this doesn't physically harm the Sister, but instead puts her into total isolation.
- Irony: The Ecclesiarchy and Sororitas, for all of their faith and zeal, are guilty of a minor act of heresy and treason by their own laws, as they have deals with the Mechanicus on the side for the production of Exorcists and Immolators exclusively for their forces, which is in direct violation of the Treaty of Mars created between the Emperor and the Mechanicus in pre-Crusade times.
- It's Raining Men: Seraphim are equipped with highly ornate jump packs that they use for fast aerial assaults from high altitude, allowing them to unleash their plethora of close-ranged weaponry as soon as they arrive on the battlefield. The Chapter Approved 2018 beta test rules represent this with the Sky Strike ability that allows them to deploy during a game almost anywhere on the battlefield.
- Jeanne d'Archétype: If the whole fleur-de-lys, fire and Martyrdom Culture didn't give it away at first...
- Kill It with Fire: Aside from the Salamanders Space Marine chapter, few other Imperial forces are more associated with flame weapons than the Battle Sisters.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Generally averted in works where they appear, although they tend to get this portrayal in the Ciaphas Cain books. Cain himself is of the opinion that the closest you can get Sororitas to follow any actual battle plan is to point at the enemy, yell "Heretic!" and get the frak out of the way.
- Legendary Weapon: The sacred plasma pistol known as Martys' Vengeancenote was carried by Saint Valpurgis and is said to unleash the divine light of the God-Emperor himself. Only carried by the most blessed sisters of the Order of Our Martyred Lady, this holy weapon is far more reliable than other plasma weapons (to the bafflement of those Tech-Priests who have studied it) and has superior in-game characteristics.
- Loophole Abuse: In a ruling that's either rather sloppily or very precisely worded, the Decree Passive bans the Ecclesiarchy from maintaining any men under arms. So, they raised an army of women: the Adepta Sororitas. It is heavily hinted that the writing was intentional, as Sebastian Thor realized that having no militant arm would result in the Ecclesiarchy's dissolution very rapidly and chose to ignore their loophole abuse.
- Macross Missile Massacre: The Exorcist missile tank is the main dedicated armoured vehicle. The tank is equipped with an ancient and temperamental missile launcher that can fire swarms of armour piercing rockets that can destroy entire squads of heavy infantry, or squadrons of vehicles in a single volley. In every edition of the game, these massed missile volleys are represented by the ability to fire a random number of shots each turn.
- Man in the Machine: A Penitent Engine is a Chicken Walker-type Mini-Mecha usually piloted by a fallen priest or disgraced Battle Sister whose crime is deemed grievous enough to deserve this fate. They are physically fused with the machine through invasive cybernetics and crucifixion, and only considered forgiven after dying in battle.
- Martyrdom Culture: Highly devout and fanatical warriors, the Battle Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas will gladly give their lives for the God-Emperor and the Imperium. The deaths of their Sisters and leaders only strengthens their resolve and drives them to greater acts of devotion, as expected from some of the Imperium's most fanatical warriors. During the 6th and 7th Editions of the game, this was represented by Canonesses and Saint Celestine having the Martyrdom special rule that allowed the player to automatically use Acts of Faith for the reminder of the turn. The 8th Edition Chapter Approved 2017 rules meanwhile has the Martyrdom Stratagem that allows the use of an extra Act of Faith when an Adepta Sororitas Character dies. In particular, the sisters of Our Martyred Lady are so devoted to the idea of dying a glorious death in the Emperor's service that to outsiders they often appear to have an active death wish.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The miracles and Acts of Faith. Downplayed in that we know some of them are indeed magic (this is a Clap Your Hands If You Believe setting after all), but plenty of them could just be the Sisters pushing themselves further through sheer willpower and devotion.
- The Medic: The Sisters Hospitaller are the order of Sororitas dedicated to the practice of healing the Emperor's devoted servants. They approach this with as much religious fervor as the Battle Sisters do combat, and become just as good as healing as their equivalents are at killing. They are one of the most widely beloved orders for this reason.
- Music for Courage: Sisters of Battle are well known for singing during battle, loudly enough to be heard over the chaotic din. They all sing Imperial hymnals in unison, often timing their shots with the song such that their bolters themselves form an instrumental backup to their lyrics. Needless to say, the sound of the Sisters chanting during a firefight has a huge positive effect on the morale of other Imperial forces in earshot.
- My Greatest Failure:
- The Sisters, and the Order of the Valorous Heart in particular, are really sorry about their role in the Age of Apostasy.
- Invoked through Penitent Engines. When not in battle, their mechanisms bombard their pilots with mental images of guilt and pain, never allowing a respite from the sin(s) that led them to that fate.
- Not So Different: There's quite a bit of parallel that can be drawn between the Sororitas and the Chaos forces they're fighting. They're both ultra-fundamentalist zealots to their own respective beliefs, and go into battle decked in religious sigils, icons and artifacts, with prayers and hymns to their gods in their mouth. Most disturbingly, there's the implications that the Living Saints are basically the Imperium's equivalent to Greater Daemons or Daemon Princes. About the only difference is the direction of their belief; Chaos towards suffering and corruption, the Sororitas towards the God-Emperor and purity.
- Of Corsets Sexy: While not an actual corset, the front torso plates of Sororitas power armor are designed to resemble a metallic bustier, drawing on the trope's imagery to give the impression of the female form while still providing fully covering protection. Given the reasons for the Sororitas' existence, projecting the image of female warriors could be quite justified for reasons of doctrinal adherence.
- Off with His Head!: Alicia Domenica beheaded Goge Vandire.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: Prioris pattern Exorcists are modelled after pipe organs. Doesn't get any more ominous when said pipe organ not only sings your doom, but also delivers a Macross Missile Massacre to make sure it is.
- The Penance:
- If Battle Sisters fall short of the strict codes and edicts of their Order, they will seek repentance by becoming a Sister Repentia. These extremely fanatical Sisters seek to atone for their sins through self-mutilating flagellation and death in battle.
- The Order of the Valorous Heart's collective guilt complex often leads its sisters to make heavy use of mortification of the flesh during prayer, such as by praying with their hands over flames or by pressing the teeth of chainswords into their flesh.
- Powered Armor: Along with the Space Marines, the Sisters of Battle are one of the few forces in Imperial service to equip their standard infantry with powered armor, offering them substantially more protection than most other human forces. Additionally, and distinct from other unaugmented humans that wear power armor like Inquisitors or particularly affluent Rogue Traders, the updated Sisters Repentia models show that they have jacks in their skin not too dissimilar from a Black Carapace, meaning that they are physically connected to their armor like a Space Marine is.
- Praetorian Guard:
- During the Age of Apostasy, the then Brides of the Emperor served as the personal guard of Goge Vandire. The Brides used their highly developed martial skills saving the mad High Lord from a number of assassination attempts while also acting as Vandires most elite troops on the battlefield and his personal executioners off it.
- Detachments of Sororitas are often used in this role to guard important Ecclesiarchial shrines or high-ranking Ecclesiarchial personnel.
- The most devout and skilled Sisters of an Order, the Celestians, often act as bodyguards for more senior members such as Palatines or Canonesses. In-game, these elite warriors have a superior stat line and, in 8th Edition, are able to intercept attacks aimed at nearby characters.
- The Quiet One: Silvana and the Sisters of the Order she founded, the Order of the Argent Shroud, don't talk much, letting their actions speak for themselves.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Whilst the Order of the Bloody Rose is characterised by its aggression, the Sacred Rose is known for being cool-headed and logical.
- Rejection Ritual: The novel Faith and Fire describes the ritual through which a Battle Sister chooses to be cast out of her Order and become a Sister Repentia. The Sister announces herself as bearing a great sin and desiring this fate as her means of absolution as her fellow Sisters strip her of her armor and weapons, clothe her in rags, and use a knife to cut off her hair, announcing their rejection of her until her sin is forgiven.
- Religion Is Magic: In the official Warhammer YouTube channel, the video Warhammer 40,000 The New Edition Cinematic Trailer has the Sororitas beaten back by an onslaught of Necrons and one Sister has her arm zapped by a Gauss weapon before making her way to a chapel. Her ceramite gauntlet distintegrates and the underlayer is crackling but she kneels and prays. This dispells the Gauss effect with an orange light and when a Necron breaks in, she kills it with an assist from an Ultramarine Sergeant.
- Resurrective Immortality: Ephrael Stern the Thrice-Born got this through Super Empowering from the 700 Sisters trapped in the Screaming Cage, which shares the pain they suffer with each other. Due to the Cage's nature, it also allowed them to share faith, and the trapped Sisters used this fact to get back at their daemon jailer by transferring their Faith to the recently-killed Stern, who then got revived, and much later got killed again only to get up again, hence the nickname.
- Retired Badass: Sisters can and do transfer between orders, and it is not uncommon for a Battle Sister who, through Career-Ending Injury or age, determines the remainder of her service would better be served off the battlefield. That elderly woman from one of the more scholarly orders could well have personally purged scores of heretics in her time.
- Rousing Speech:
- Many leaders of the Adepta Sororitas are talented orators, able to inspire their warriors to even greater acts of bravery with rousing sermons delivered in the heat of battle. The 8th Edition rules represent this with the Inspiring Orator Sororitas Warlord Trait that boosts the Morale of nearby units.
- It is the duty of the Sisters of the Order Dialogus to give inspiring sermons and grand speeches that praise the glory of the God-Emperor and encourage their Sisters to perform miraculous acts on the battlefield. The exact effect of these speeches varies with the edition, with the 8th Edition rules allowing a Sister Dialogus to change the number on a Miracle dicenote used by a nearby unit.
- Sacred Scripture: The Ecclesiarchy and the Adepta Sororitas hold countless books, texts and scrolls written by saints and martyrs to be sacred. While some Sororitas Orders will dedicate themselves to a single work (the Order of the Valorous Heart's obsession with the Passion of Saint Lucia for example), there are some texts, like the Litanies of Faith and the Book of Saint Lucius, that are revered by all Sororitas and reading from these works, available as wargear or relics in many editions of the game, can have in-game effects such as re-rolling certain dice or increasing the effect/range of other abilities as they inspire those around them.
- Salt the Earth: The Order of the Valorous Heart's traditional tactics, once the enemy is locked into battle, is to systematically destroy the infrastructure of the contested battlefield, draining water supplies, destroying fuel and food reserves, venting pipelines carrying noxious substances and burning down every field and forest that could provide sustenance until nothing is left but a barren desert the enemy cannot draw sustenance from.
- Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Most Sisters seem to have this. Averted, though, for the Sisters Repentia, who have their heads shaved as part of their being cast out of their Orders.
- Skip the Anesthetic: Sisters of the Valorous Heart very rarely accept or make use of painkillers, even after suffering the severe wounds their fighting style tends to throw at them or when requiring surgery or amputation, as they believe that physical pain brings them closer to their matriarch and that using painkillers is a denial of faith's power to overcome all suffering.
- Staff of Authority: Some Canonesses carry a rod of office, a short staff topped with a haloed fleur-de-lis that represents her position as a commander of her Order. Introduced in the 8th Edition codex rods improve a Canoness' aura of command, increasing the range of her special ability to enhance her Sisters.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Retributors, squads of Battle Sisters equipped with heavy weapons who are the equivalent of Space Marine Devastator squads. Thanks to their power armor, they can carry, brace, and fire weapons that would typically be mounted on gun carriages or tripods and crewed by at least two people. With an Ammunition Backpack, she does not even need a loader to help her.
- Starfish Language: The angelic Zephyrim veterans are said to experience a direct connection with the God-Emperor and as a result are only speak in a strange, incomprehensible language that many of their Sisters believe can only be understood by those with absolute purity of faith.
- Stripperiffic: Sisters Repentia, when they're not clothed only in purity seals and scrolls, deliberately dress in tattered scraps of clothes that are essentially the inverse of normal Sororitas armor. This look is reflected in their models◊.
- Taking You with Me: Sororitas Battle Sisters will fight to their last breath to bring down the enemies of the Emperor, expending their lives in a last attempt to bring death to those responsible for their martyrdom. How this is represented depends of the edition, with the 8th Edition Codex: Adeptus Sororitas rules including the Spirit of the Martyr Sacred Rite that gives slain Battle Sisters the chance to make a single attack before being removed, and the Martyr's Immolation Stratagem that causes an Immolator transport to automatically explode when it is destroyed.
- Warrior Monk: Highly trained warrior women who are fanatically dedicated to the Imperial Cult, the Adepta Sororitas are the primary military arm of the Adeptus Ministorum. The Battle Sisters of the Sororitas fight the enemies of the God-Emperor while chanting prayers and hymns, and are able to literally wield their faith as a weapon, creating miracles, known as Acts of Faith, that have the in-game effectnote of enhancing their battlefield abilities or giving them additional chances to attack their enemies.
- Weapon of Choice: The Adepta Sororitas consider bolters, flamers and meltas to be sacred weapons and almost all their squads are able to equip themselves with some combination of these three types of weapon. The Chapter Approved 2018 beta test rules reinforces this even further with the Holy Trinity Stratagem that gives squads a bonus to their wound rolls if they fire at least one of each type of weapon at a target.
- Whip It Good: The Mistresses of Repentance wield a pair of neural whips that deliver a psycho-shock to the target, damaging their nervous system. How these weapons work in the game varies depending on the edition with most versions making neural whip more powerful the lower the target's Leadership characteristic. Visually, the whips also add to the flagellation theme of the Sisters Repentia.
- White Magic: Depending on the Writer. While codex fluff heavily implies that their Acts of Faith are a result of their intense belief pushing them to greater feats, some other works such as Dawn of War portray Acts as outright magical.
- Witch Hunt: The Sisters often assist Ordo Hereticus Inquisitors in hunting heretics, to the point that some people think that the Sisters are part of the Ordo Hereticus. They also ban psykers from their ranks. Sometimes, this can come back to bite the Inquistion in the ass, as in their zeal, the Sisters frequently tend to kill targets the Inquisition would rather have brought in alive.
Celestine, the Living Saint
Celestine is one of the Living Saints, a handful of extremely important people in the Imperial faith who have displayed miraculous powers and have been canonized by a conclave of the Ecclesiarchy and the Inquisition. Formerly a Sister Repentia of the Order of Our Martyred Lady, she was killed during the Palatine Schism but was apparently resurrected. After undergoing a holy transformation on Sanctus Lys, Celestine was declared a Living Saint.
- Achilles' Heel: It's strongly implied that Celestine is the Imperial equivalent of a Daemon Prince. As such, anything that disrupts the presence of the Warp leaves her weakened and mortal.
- Back from the Dead: She has the ability to bring rather faithful and brave sisters of battle back to life if they are slain, as shown with Genevieve and Eleanor.
- Badass Cape: Her old model had a cape held up by cherubs, looking like Cape Wings with an angel motif.
- Body Guard Babes: Since the battle of Kasr Kraf and the Fall of Cadia, Celestine has often been accompanied by the Geminae Superia Genevieve and Eleanor, twin Canonesses of the Order of Our Martyred Lady who were resurrected by the Living Saint during the battle.
- Chained by Fashion: In the artwork, Celestine has chains dangling from her legs with spiked balls attached to them. Her old model had her legs apparently shackled together, with a censer hanging off a chain attached to the shackles.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: She can add her name to the very short list of people who have seriously wounded Abaddon The Despoiler in close combat. Granted, she still needed the aid of Creed, Greyfax and Trazyn's collection of historical forces and she did take a rather brutal beating before managing to impale him through the spine, but still.
- Flaming Sword: Celestine's sword, The Ardent Blade, is wreathed in the flames of the Emperor's wrath. In most editions of the game, the Living Saint is able to unleash these flames in a wave of fire equivalent in power to a heavy flamer.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Saint Celestine had often been depicted in artwork and fan conversions with a great pair of angelic wings, instead of the spread cape that her original model wore, in order to enhance her pure and holy image. When her model got redesigned in 2017 these wings were incorporated into her jump pack.
- Holy Halo: The Armour of Saint Katherine incorporates an elaborate ornamental halo. Given Celestine's status as a Living Saint, the imagery drives that point home even more.
- Logical Weakness: Being cut off from the Warp. Only logical in a meta sense, as in universe her powers are believed to be granted by the favour of the Emperor. However, whatever the origin of her powers, it's fairly clear the actual source of them is the daemonic Warp, so Emperor-granted or not, the loss of Warp presence leaves her mortal.
- Off with His Head!: In the novel Shroud of Night, Khorne is one skull richer thanks to a fight between Kharn the Betrayer and Celestine. It didn't go well for the beloved saint.
- Resurrective Immortality: Saint Celestine can rise from the dead and continue fighting (and until the 6th edition there was no limit on how many times she could do it). There is a suspicion from skeptics that either the Sisters are doing an elaborate masquerade for the sake of morale, or worse, Celestine is actually a daemon.The Fall of Cadia confirms that it's the same Celestine, but her ties to the Material plane are getting severed more and more with every death. The novel Celestine: The Living Saint, shows how these resurrection happen. Each time Celestine dies, she then wakes up atop a pile of bones in the Warp, has to find her armour and sword and pass several trials before she's allowed to come back to life.
Junith Eruita, Canoness Superior of the Order of Our Martyred Lady
Noted for possessing such an intense faith that even the drill-abbots at her Schola Progenium found remarkable, Junith Eruta had been marked for greatness since her youth, and eventually rose to become the martial and spiritual leader of the Order of Our Martyred Lady during the Indomitus Crusade. A passionate and inspirational leader, Junith inspires absolute faith in the Emperor in all those around her and has put countless heretics, mutants and xenos to the touch in the years since her ascension.
- Carry a Big Stick: Junith wields the Mace of Castigation. A sanctified relic of the Order of Our Martyred Lady, the Mace is a power maul of great power that, in the 8th Edition rules, does more damage than a regular weapon of its type.
- Hover Board: Junith rides into battle on the Pulpit of Saint Holline's Basilica, the last remains of the once magnificent place of worship that has been fitted with anti-gravity motors and a pair of heavy flamers.
- Rousing Speech: Junith's fiery sermons are able to inspire all true servants of the Emperor to fight to the best of their abilities, no matter how beaten and blooded they may be. One of her most famous speeches was delivered after Canoness Superior Somnatioan was killed during the fighting in Saint Holline's Basilica. The wounded Junith gave an address of such passion that it rekindled the faith of her disheartened Sisters and inspired them to defeat their Iron Warriors enemies, and led to her being named the new Canoness Superior. This ability to inspire her followers is represented in the 8th Edition rules by the Fiery Conviction ability that grants friendly units from her Order re-rolls for their attacks.
Arch-Confessor Kyrinov, Spreader of The Word.
Arch-Confessor Kyrinov is renowned across hundreds of worlds for his fiery speeches and ruthless pursuit of heresy. Kyrinovs impassioned oratory and flamboyant preaching hides the mind of a master manipulator who is totally dedicated to the destruction of the Ecclesiarchys foes.
- Demoted to Extra: Although he is no longer a playable character, Kyrinov's background is still detailed in the most recent Codex and the Mace of Valaan is available as a wargear option for Ministorum Priests.
- Hat of Authority: Kyrinovs aquila-decorated miter shows his high standing amongst the Ecclesiarchy.
- Rousing Speech: Kyrinov is renowned as a brilliant orator who can whip entire planetary populations into a religious fervour.
- Put on a Bus: Kyrinov was removed as a playable character as of the 6th Edition Digital Codex.
Uriah Jacobus, Protector of the Faith
Uriah Jacobus was a missionary in the Segmentum Tempestus who received renown for converting more than 20 worlds to the Imperial Cult. He also uncovered a Genestealer cult on the planet Solstice and led the army that eventually defeated it.
- Badass Bandolier: Jacobus' model has two large bandoliers of cartridges for his shotgun that hang almost to his feet.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Jacobus trusty shotgun, the Redeemer, is the most powerful shotgun in the game with the range of a bolter, greater penetrating power and, in the 8th Edition rules, has a chance of doing double damage.
- Posthumous Character: Although the 2nd Edition Codex says that Jacobus is dead, this isn't mentioned in the more recent releases. In the current codex he is an HQ choice for Sororitas detachments.
Veridyan is a Canoness of the Order of Our Martyred Lady. A fearless and devout warrior with a keen tactical mind, she has led her Order to victory time and again in countless battles, cutting down all who stand against the light of the Emperor with precision strikes of her bolt pistol and power blade.
- Ascended Extra: An extreme case, as Veridyan's model is a recreation of the central figure on the Battle Sisters' first codex.
- Captain Morgan Pose: Upon a pile of bones topped with the skull of a heretic.
- Demoted to Extra: When the Warhammer 40,000 rules were updated for 8th Edition, Veridyan's special rules were left out of the Index: Imperium 2 sourcebook that included the rules for the other Sororitas characters and units but she can still be used as a generic Canoness.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The targeter over her left eye allows her to aim with inhuman precision. The 7th Edition rules for Veridyan represented this by giving the Canoness, and all friendly units of Battle Sisters within 12" of her, the Precision Shots rule, allowing them to wound specific models when shooting.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Veridyan's armor is heavily decorated with skulls; even her targeter is connected to a skull on her armor's power pack.
- Sword and Gun: Veridyan wields a bolt pistol and power sword.