"Steel your hearts! Let the Emperor guide your arm and let faith harden your sinews. These heretics have abandoned any right to live by turning from His light. They stain His realm by their continued existence. Tear them down, in the name of Saint Mina!"
- — Aujula Kaerton, Canoness Preceptor of the Order of the Bloody Rose
The Order of the Bloody Rose is one of the major Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas, or the Sisters of Battle, founded in honour of Saint Mina by the Ecclesiarch Deacis VI in the middle of the 38th Millennium. They are based on the Cardinal World of Ophelia VII within the Convent Sanctorum.
The order also operates a full preceptory of battle-sisters at the Shrine of the Seventeen Martyrs near the Hive World of Malfi in response to brewing religious conflicts in the Drusus Marches, a sub-sector of the Calixis Sector located in the Segmentum Obscurus.
Though the Order of the Bloody Rose has committed a significant contingent of its sisters to war zones along the Great Rift since the dawn of the Era Indomitus, the majority of its forces are battling against incursions coming from the galactic south.
They have also fought a series of harrowing battles against the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion's Cult of Duplicity, combating the sorcerous machinations of the Tzeentch-worshippers with bolt, blade and faith.
The Matriarch of the Order of the Bloody Rose is Saint Mina, who was as renowned for her dark, brooding nature as she was for her deadly skill in battle. What few records survived through the Reign of Blood suggest that she served as Alicia Dominica's champion, and that when the reformer Sebastian Thor's armies descended upon Terra she slew some of the mightiest invading warriors in hand-to-hand combat.
One account -- albeit riddled with inconsistencies -- suggests that she duelled with the leader of the Custodians who entered the Ecclesiarchal Palace during the siege, and that the two fought to a standstill before words of an alliance were finally spoken.
Whether true or not, the sisters of the Bloody Rose revere Mina as the epitome of the martial virtues laid out by the Daughters of the Emperor, and dedicate themselves to emulating her violent prowess.
Mina had been one of the five companions of Alicia Dominica, the founder and patron of the Adepta Sororitas. Mina was known as a dark and brooding sister, quick to anger and deadly in combat.
None of her sisters were present, but it is said that when they came upon her body the entire shrine was covered in the blood of her assailants, a score of at least twenty, which lay dead around her own blood-drained form.
The Order of the Bloody Rose first existed as a small group of sisters who provided a bodyguard for the Abbess of the Adepta Sororitas, and it was from this group that the new major Order Militant was formed.
From their first War of Faith, the sisters of the Bloody Rose made a name for themselves as brutal executioners. They were despatched to the Nephilim Sector to put down the Slaaneshi pain cults that had transformed many Imperial Shrine Worlds into planet-spanning torture chambers.
Hospitallers of the Order of Serenity and Dialogi of the Order of the Quill followed in the wake of the Sisters of Battle, where they were to tend to bodies and souls of the faithful after the afflicted worlds had been liberated by the Bloody Rose.
But when the non-militant orders arrived in the war zone, they found only death. The Militant Sisters had moved from planet to planet, mercilessly butchering the cultists they encountered without stopping to free the imprisoned. Many Adeptus Ministorum Adepts, as well as several captured sisters of the Bloody Rose, had been left to languish in the cults' hellish dungeons while the order hunted down the Heretics.
When the last of the Slaanesh-worshippers had been eradicated, the Canoness Superior of the Bloody Rose -- who upon her death would become canonised as Saint Mari -- penned the Thorn Treatise, using the blood of those sisters who had fallen to record the teachings of this war.
In the treatise, Mari outlined that the path of least evil lies always with the swift extirpation of those who oppose the faith, and therefore mercy in any form must come after the meting out of righteous anger.
- Therrix Suppression (085.M41) - The entire order (over two dozen squads of battle-sisters) participated in the Therrix Suppression, the purging of the blasphemous Chaos Cult Epicurean on the Hive World of Therrix. Additional support during the suppression was provided to the sisters by a delegation of the Adeptus Ministorum. Led by Inquisitor Lord Scallen and Battle Group Purgator, the Imperial forces were also composed of three separate Space Marine Chapters (the Mentors, the Novamarines and the Subjugators) as well as a regiment of the 808th Mordant Regiment of the Imperial Guard. The sisters of the order were instrumental in scouring the Hive World of all Heretics.
- Defence of Dimmamar (858.M41) - Dimmamar, the birth world of the reforming Ecclesiarch Sebastian Thor, came under attack from the Aeldari of Craftworld Ulthwé in 845.M41 without any warning or reason. Seraphim Superior Amelda of the Order of the Bloody Rose retaliated, leading her squad of Seraphim in a daring attack to slay the enemy commander, the Farseer Kauerith. The Seraphim's pistols blasted a bloody path through a score of black-clad Aeldari before the sisters were engulfed in a hurricane of psychic lightning. Though many of her companions fell, Amelda refused to yield and defiantly advanced through the eldritch storm, slaying the Aeldari Farseer with a single bolt round to the head.
- 13th Black Crusade - Defence of Hive Superior (999.M41) - During the dark times of the 13th Black Crusade, the Order of the Bloody Rose sent forces to the long-ignored Trail of Saint Evisser, which had been increasingly troubled by Chaos-inspired uprisings and cultic activities linked to Ghargatuloth, the Prince of a Thousand Faces, a powerful daemon of the Chaos God known as Tzeentch. Following the orders of Cardinal Recoba, the temporal and spiritual power on Vulkanis Ultor, the Sisters of Battle were deployed near Hive Superior, the world's capital, to man its outer defences on the shores of the great Lake Rapax. Unknowingly manipulated by one of Ghargatuloth's agents, the Renegade Inquisitor Gholic Ren-Sar Valinov, the Sisters of Battles fought against the Grey Knights despatched by the Ordo Malleus to stop Ghargatuloth's rebirth. Only through the brave actions and misgivings of Canoness Ludmilla, the Sororitas forces' commander, did the Sisters of the Bloody Rose recognise that they were fighting loyal agents of the Emperor and serving the interests of Chaos. Joining forces with the Grey Knights, the sisters battled the daemonic servitors of the powerful daemon, thus enabling Brother-Captain Tancred and Justicar Alaric to banish the reborn Ghargatuloth.
- The Threshing Fields (Date Unknown.M41) - En route to Ultramar, a fleet of Sororitas comprising multiple preceptories of the Bloody Rose stopped on the lone planet in the Thresh System. The halt in their progression was in response to a divine vision received by Sister Assumpta, a sister who had yet to see combat. The Sororitas arrayed themselves for war on the utterly lifeless world, and held their positions for a solar day while the canonesses of each preceptory prayed for guidance. Their holy duty was made clear when a tendril of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Ouroboris spewed into the system. The xenos creatures honed in on the Bloody Rose's position and descended upon the planet in great waves. Swarms of skittering predators were butchered by the sisters, squads of Sororitas were devoured by ravenous monstrosities, and before long the barren world was drenched in blood and ichor. Knowing that the Tyranids feed off biomass, the warriors of the Bloody Rose ensured that every corpse -- Human and xenos -- was burnt to ashes. After six solar months, the influx of Tyranids into the system ceased, and after six more the last xenos creature was finally slain. Sister Assumpta was the only member of the Sororitas force to survive.
Order Combat Doctrine
The Bloody Rose's precepts of anger have truly brutal results when unleashed upon the battlefield. The sisters advance with disciplined manoeuvres, using weight of fire to gain advantage over a flank or employing cunning feints to draw their enemy into overcommitting.
Then, as soon as the foe is at close range, the sisters charge, striking at the moment they crash into the enemy lines, and screaming wrathful praise as they give vent to their hatred. Gun stocks are swung with enough force to shatter helms and the skulls within. Chainswords are driven messily through torsos, then wrenched out and thrust again before the spilt innards hit the ground.
The power-armoured warriors deliver murderous kicks, punches and elbows that crack bones and burst organs. But in this flurry of carnage, each sister attacks with practised precision, her rage only manifesting in the instant of impact before it is once more reigned in.
After the initial devastating onslaught, the Sisters unleash a barrage of point-blank bolt pistol shots into any enemies still standing.
From the moment a sister joins the Bloody Rose, she is taught to foster and harness her most violent impulses so that they may be unleashed upon the enemies of the faith. Litanies of heretical deeds are intoned as novitiates engage in combat trials, the tales of spiritual traitors and vile apostates filling the trainees with hatred.
Prayers that would be whispered in silence by other orders are bellowed loudly within the Bloody Rose's sanctuaries. In place of contemplative meditation, the sisters learn to light the fires of rage within themselves, even when they are not faced with provocation.
Alongside such practices they also train to focus their anger, for they are taught that to allow oneself to be overtaken by apoplexy is as great a sin as indulging in notions of clemency. Through constant drilling they learn to unleash their inner hatred only when it is most effective, channelling it with the explosive force of a shotfired from a bolter.
The Order of the Bloody Rose believes sheer martial ferocity to be a manifestation of the Emperor's will. They pray to be granted the skill, alacrity and outrage of their Matriarch in battle. Often, a sister facing down a hulking Chaos Champion or xenos monstrosity will glow with rage.
Rivulets of energy gather around her into a crackling nimbus, her eyes become a deep red and tears of blood streak down her checks. She moves with lightning speed, dodging and parrying numerous deathblows from her hated foe before landing her own immaculate killing strike.
Such miraculous transformations are met with cries of exaltation by the recipient's fellow warriors, for they know that Mina's soul is inhabiting the body of that blessed sister.
Notable Sisters of the Bloody Rose
- Saint Mina - Saint Mina is the patron of the Order of the Blood Rose. Although this long-dead martyr never led her Order in battle, it was founded in her name. She was one of five companions of Alicia Dominica, the patron and founder of the Adepta Sororitas. In mid-late M36, Saint Mina was martyred by a sanguinary cult whilst at prayer in a shrine on Hydraphur. When her body was found along with the shrine, she was surrounded by the corpses of twenty of her attackers - her body covered in their blood. Her personal symbol, the red rose, represents her strong character and her final death.
- Canoness St. Aspira - Saint Aspira, 18th Canoness of the Order of the Bloody Rose, led her Sisters against the Heretic Denescura and liberated almost a hundred worlds from his power with only a thousand warriors. The Cloak of Saint Aspira, worn by the Canoness in life, remains a holy relic of the order. Although she did not die there, Saint Aspira, the Saviour of a Hundred Worlds, was entombed on the distant world of Ero, in the Caradryan Sector of the Segmentum Tempestus. Over millennia, her tomb became a towering monument, the Reliquary Tower. Following the destruction of the Reliquary Tower, the bones of Saint Aspira have recently been transferred to the order's Convent on Ophelia VII.
- Canoness Ludmilla - Ludmilla was the commanding officer of the powerful detachment of Sisters of Battle during the events of the Defence of Hive Superior during the 13th Black Crusade. Like other Imperial forces, Canoness Ludmilla had been purposefully misled by the Ordo Malleus Inquisitor turned traitor, Gholic Ren-Sar Valinov. The Canoness and her fellow sisters were duped into fighting the Grey Knights detachment, under the command of Justicar Alaric, that were sent to stop the rogue Inquisitor from summoning the Daemon Prince Ghargatuloth, the Herald of Tzeentch. Fortunately for the Grey Knights, Canoness Ludmilla had heard legends of the silver-clad warriors and recognised them as loyal servants of the Emperor that they were. Canoness Ludmilla led her fellow battle-sisters alongside the Grey Knights in an attempt to atone for her previous error by slaying the traitorous Valinov. Unfortunately, the rogue Inquisitor was protected by a Conversion Field, which absorbed Ludmilla’s shot, and the Canoness was slain in the subsequent hand-to-hand combat that followed.
- Severita - Formerly a Battle Sister of the Order of the Bloody Rose, for her failures, Severita has become a Sister Repentia. In an unusual move for one of her status, she chose to leave her order behind and link her fate to that of Inquisitor Covenant.
Relics of the Order
- Beneficence - This fearsomely savage chainsword is lauded amongst the Order of the Bloody Rose for its perfection of weight and the deepness of its pious bite. As the deep-red armour of its wielder plunges ferociously into dense knots of faithless idolaters, Beneficence sends arterial sprays across the battlefield with each cut of enemy flesh. Terrified mutants and witches fall before its blessing, as ground won for the Emperor is consecrated in sweeps of viscera.
- Cloak of Saint Aspira - Canoness Saint Aspira of the Order of the Bloody Rose led her battle-sisters in a War of Faith that liberated nearly one hundred worlds from the grip of the blasphemous tyrant Denescura. At the inception of the war, Aspira was presented with a magnificent cloak blessed in the Ecclesiarchal Palace of Terra. Whilst this in itself marked the cloak as a treasured relic, small shards of the Emperor's own armour were woven into it to ward away the blows of the enemy, elevating it to a sacred garment of incomparable spiritual significance. Saint Aspira wore the cloak throughout the War of Faith, striding into the fray heedless of her own safety, secure in her unwavering knowledge that the Emperor protects.
The Order of the Bloody Rose's vestments and power armour is primarily a bright, blood red with black vestments on the outside and pure white within.
The Bloody Rose's weapons are the same black as their vestments.
The badge of Saint Mina and her followers is a red rose, with prominent thorns, representing her nature.
Behind the rose are crossed two knife blades dripping in blood, symbolic of the circumstances of her martyrdom.
- Apocalypse, pg. 123
- Codex: Adepta Sororitas (8th Edition), pp. 22-23, 32, 39, 106, 109
- Codex: Adepta Sororitas (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 13, 15, 17-18, 74
- Codex: Sisters of Battle (2nd Edition), pp. 19, 35, 43
- Codex: Witch Hunters (3rd Edition), pp. 6-7
- Dark Heresy: Blood of Martyrs (RPG), pg. 76
- The Inquisition (Background Book), pg. 65
- White Dwarf 293 (UK), "Liber Sororitas - Matriarchs of the Sisterhood," by Andy Hoare, pg. 56
- Grey Knights (Novel) by Ben Counter, in The Grey Knights Omnibus, pg. 198
- The Horusian Wars: Resurrection (Novel) by John French
- The Bloodied Rose (Novella) by Danie Ware (Cover Photo - Gallery Picture)
|Adepta Sororitas Orders Militant|
|Orders Majoris||Order of the Argent Shroud • Order of the Bloody Rose • Order of the Ebon Chalice • Order of Our Martyred Lady • Order of the Sacred Rose • Order of the Valorous Heart|
|Orders Minoris||Order of the Black Sepulchre • Order of the Blue Robe • Order of the Crimson Oath • Order of the Bleeding Heart • Order of the Fiery Tear • Order of the Glowing Chalice • Order of the Thorn • Order of the Iron Veil • Order of the Ashen Shrine • Order of the Wounded Heart • Order of the Golden Light|