Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
Good morning everyone! I'm curious (in a Slaaneshi way), do you think Sisters of Battle should be chaste and virginal?
Now, I know I've heard people say that Sisters of Battle do -not- take vows of chastity. So what I'm after is whether you think this was well thought out or not.
Obviously, well, at least to me, St. Joan of Arc played some part in the creation of the Adeptus Sororitas. Many, many people refer to the Sisters of Battle as 'nuns with guns' as well. Both sources have the virtue of viriginity and chasteness as part of the powerful mystique that surround them.
Now, I could argue that sublimated sexuality has long been touted as a key to spiritual power, but I guess that's not really relevant. I guess with all the self denial, complete obsession with the God Emperor and such, fornication doesn't strike me as logically being the norm for Sisters of Battle.
Anyhow...not trying to argue whether sex is good or bad, just, whether you think it's appropriate for the Adepta Sororitas?
Might depend on the Order in question...I'd say that, in general, the Sisters don't have any obvious rules or vows regarding sex. However, what they do have is a manic zealotry and devotion to the Emperor. This would definitely override a great deal of the natural human sex drive, to the point where rules governing sexual relations probably aren't necessary because it's just not an issue.
The Emperor set a fire in their hearts that they might burn the iniquitous and the impure from his sight. And the light of that flame shall be as a beacon to the faithful, a light that shines in the darkest places.
I'd say no. Now, I don't have anything factual to back it up with, but I'm wagering that whatever time isn't spent on the battlefield or aiding the other organizations of the Imperium is spent in meditation, prayer, and training (for war and religion). I doubt they have social lives of any kind. I see them mostly as the female answer to the Space Marines, though they have a different spirit about them of course.
On the whole, GW usually avoids talking about this kind of thing (probably wise on their part), even when describing Slaneesh-esque horrrs the worst they do is lead you to imagine and assume (from what I've read anyway).
So, I guess my final answer is that in thoery the Sisters could possibly mate/love/whatever but I'd wager they haven't the time or desire, it's possible that they might be taught in a way similar to actual nuns, that their mantle as an Adeptus Sororitas prevents such a union.
"If you can wait til I get home, then I swear we can make this last."
They do typically take many vows of abstention and self denial however (each bead on the cord holding the inquisitorial symbol traditionally represents one such vow IIRC)
As others have said, although not required to be chaste I think almost all would be. The combination of fanatical devotion to the God-Emperor, living fairly secludedly in fortresses, many battles and preparing for battles, meditation and hypnotic suggestion, normal humans being scared of or revering them and not wanting to fall the Slaanesh, cybernetic upgrades and leading short bloody lives, would mean most sisters either don't want, don't need or can't have sex.
While I can't cite a source, I believe I have read something regarded as an official GW source that sisters don't specifically take a vow of chastity. As Dawnrunner pointed out, though, it may depend on the order. Some may take such a vow, for some reason, while others may not.
That said, they don't really strike me as romantic types. I'm not sure what kind of lunatic would attempt a relationship (even simply a physical one) with a Sister of Battle, although that could be an interesting avenue to explore.
And don't forget the lesser known orders - the Order Hospitalers and Dialogus. Is there another one I'm forgetting? A slightly less hectic life away from the battlefield may be just a tiny bit more conducive to partnerships forming, although I imagine it would still take a lot for that to happen.
Well in my mind i can kinda see an inquisitor (depending on who he is what he's like blah blah blah) getting close to a leading sister aftr long periods of serving together you know like love and friendship forged in the heat of battle but then again i dont know if all inquisitors are mindless manly men screaming heresey at everyone that doesnt do what he wants. Im sure theres some level headed inquisitors out there tho i mean if theres a guy like Ciapias cain on the Commissar list surely theres a guy like him for the inquisition.
I love 40k fluff- it's the whole reason I play the game. One of the greatest sources for my Ecclesiarchy/ Sisters/ Arbites force has been the original Sisters of Battle Codex; I just got my hands on a copy in December, and I've read it cover to cover three or four times over, so here's a bunch of stuff for you:
First Deadstar, the main order you're missing is the Famulous; these are the sisters who deal with the nobles, brokering alliances, arranging marriages and mediating disputes. White Dwarf issue 292 has information on a few other minor non military orders; one is involved with the restoration of Imperial relics- I forget the name of the order, and I left my copy of the dwarf in Alberta when I moved. The second of these lesser orders is the order Sabine; I don't remember if they're from the dwarf or from the Dark Heresy game. They were explorers who worked closely with the Missionary Galactica of the Ecclesiarchy.
Now to the original post, regarding the chastity of sisters.
SOB Codex (OOP, 2nd Ed rules) Pg 35:
"Part of the puritan lifestyle of the Sisterhood is its isolation and it is generally only the Canoness and her most experienced Sister Superiors who will have dealings with outsiders- even Sisters of another Order. The Sisters are utterly dedicated to one task or discipline and brook no distraction from their studies."
This refers specifically to the sisters who live at one of the two convents; obviously the sisters of the Orders Hospitaller, Dialogus and Famulous are required as part of their duties to interact with others, but even then it would only be the very experienced who did so. So for sisters who live in the Convent Prioris or the Convent Sanctorum, they would never have the opportunity to fraternize with men. Sisters who are away from the convents and in a position that requires them to interact with others would have the opportunity, but their devotion to their tasks, heavily inculcated during their formative years, and certainly the primary source of their personal identity, may interfere with their desire to fraternize.
hotspike18 also talked about the way GW insinuates things rather than states them openly. Here are some exerpcts from the same OOP Codex relating to what happened to the sisterhood during the Age of Apostasy; some of this material also found it's way into the Witch Hunter Codex.
First, both Codices firmly establish that when Goge Vandire tricked the original sect of the Daughters of the Emperor into service as his personal guard, he changed the name of the sect to the Brides of the Emperor. The implications are fairly obvious, but to add fuel to the fire:
SOB Codex (OOP, 2nd Ed rules) Pg 11:
"The Brides not only served as Vandire's bodyguard, but also as servants and companions. They tasted the High Lord's food, fed him when he fell weak with illness, nursed his frail body and entertained him with singing, dancing and other, more exotic, skills."
SOB Codex (OOP, 2nd Ed rules) Pg 14:
"Their leader, Alicia Dominica, spoke of the treachery of Vandire and his depraved corruption of the Ecclesiarchy, but most of all she spoke of his twisted perversion of their order. Burning with shame and anger, they renounced the name of Brides and once again became the Daughters of the Emperor."
It's clear that Vandire's subversion of the sect that would eventually become the Adepta Sororitas involved sexual contact, and the impact of that subversion is something that would echo throughout the order for centuries and millenia to come. While not expressly forbidden, there are always going to be negative connotations associated with sexual contact; it will always be associated with that original subversion.
Having said all of that, a lot of people have made the excellent point that this question does owe a great deal to the particular Order to which a Sister belongs. By order here, I don't mean type of order (ie. militant, dialogus, etc.) but rather the specific order (Martyred Lady, Argent Shroud, Sacred Oath or your order's name). When I built my army, I chose to stick with an order from GW source material, the Order of Our Martyred Lady, specifically the Commandery of St. Katherine's Aegis; every unit in the commandery is a faithful unit, as befits the sanctity of the Chapel itself. Being an important piece of Imperial history, it was deamed critical that the Chapel of St. Katherine's Aegis be defended only by the faithful. And while fraternization with outsiders is not forbidden by the convent on Ophelia VII, it is forbidden by Canoness Commander Mirella Therrin.
But then, that's my commandery, not yours. Cheers
Hello all! Wow, these are wonderful answers, very thought provoking and wise I think!
IofRaw, thank you for sharing those excerpts, (I hope quotation for purpose of review and discussion is allowed here), from the earlier source material, it's very intriguing! You make a very strong case, and like you and the other posters here (may you know the blessings of whatever deities you favor ) agree that the very aggressive, obsessively dedicated mindset associated with the sisters makes it seem rather unlikely that casual sexuality would be a norm.
That being said, I can understand why GW is leaving the door open so fanboys and fangirls can daydream about romance. Doubtless such relationships would be rare and exceptional, kind of like Tolkien's elves and mortal men. Almost never, ever happening, but once or twice in the ages...
Thank you all for your very mature and insightful comments and observations!
--- Dreg Warpspawn
So far from every Inquisitor is necessarily an unthinking firebrand of Imperial faith. Some are, but they've reached that decision themselves. So as far as jumping into bed with a Sister is concerned, it may well be up to the individual. But, I'm sure, hardly a good idea.However, we cannot in all faith dictate to or indoctrinate our agents in this respect, for it is this very individuality, strength of mind and belief, and sense of personal responsibility which enables them to perform the dire tasks we ask of them. The Inquisition does not need unfeeling machines, it needs reasoning men who have the courage to enforce their convictions.
The sisters, however, are a completely different ballgame in my understanding, although the question of chastity etc is up for debate if you read God-Emperor of Dune, as that has a fanatical female order who are emphatically not chaste in any way, shape or form. However, as said, the Sisters are nuns with guns. Does that archetype seem like it implies anything but chastity? IofRaw has given some lovely reasons from their history as to why they're chaste, I'd argue that it would break a fundamental part of their "feel" if they did so. It'd be like insisting that Tau have an order of ninjas hidden somewhere tha are somehow uber in close combat. It just doesn't seem right.