Author Topic: Sister Sorcha Valero, Order of the Sacred Fist  (Read 992 times)

Offline Koval

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Sister Sorcha Valero, Order of the Sacred Fist
« on: February 11, 2020, 11:52:37 AM »
Partly inspired by GW giving us plastic Adepta Sororitas and partly because I've been bitten by the INQ28 bug, here's the starting point for a cell in the Abraxis Sector. Sisters Oblatia only seem to appear in Dark Heresy: The Inquisitor's Handbook, at least by my understanding, but that doesn't make them any less interesting and so here's my attempt at one.

I'm working alongside Marco and Charax to flesh out both the cell and the sector; watch this space.

Comments and constructive feedback welcome!

---

NAME: Sorcha Valero

RANK / AFFILIATION: Sister Oblatia / Order of the Sacred Fist

BACKGROUND:
The Order of the Sacred Fist is somewhat of an oddity among the Adepta Sororitas. An offshoot from the Order of the Ebon Chalice, the Order does not take Alicia Dominica or any of her companions as their patron Saint. Rather, owing to an incident shortly after the Order's founding involving two Battle-Brothers of the Imperial Fists 1st Company and a particularly vain Keeper of Secrets, the Order has instead come to venerate Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists, as their spiritual liege. The Order of the Golden Sword therefore abandoned their former name and took up a mantle more befitting of this clear and obvious sign from the Emperor. To the Order, the Imperial Fists and their successor Chapters deserve particular reverence. Songs of praise are dedicated to the many victories the Order has won alongside the sons of Dorn (with other victories not involving them being quietly glossed over), and the Order wears yellow and black power armour in emulation of their honoured paragons. For their part, the Imperial Fists seem content to politely humour the Order, although other Sisters more openly consider them "weird".

Sister Sorcha served among the Order's Commandery on Sanctum, a shrine world in Sub-Sector Abraxis, and when the Great Rift opened, she fought against heretic uprisings all across the coreward edges of the Abraxis Sector, from Sanctum on the trailward border, all the way to the edge of the Howling Stars. On Koroneia, bordering the Howling Stars in Sub-Sector Kauket, Sorcha's squad was blessed by the arrival of Sword-Brother Beroldus of the Black Templars, and the Sisters' renewed fervour gave them the strength to defend the capital, Port Ulysses, against an incursion by void pirates. Alongside Brother Beroldus, Sorcha's unit led a counter-charge against the void pirates' base of operations outside the city, but the void pirates were in league with a Chaos sorcerer, whose powers of mental dominion overwhelmed the mighty Sword-Brother. So enslaved, Beroldus turned against his former comrades, against the loyal servants of the Emperor, and unable to overcome the sorcerer's control, severed the head of Sorcha's Sister-Superior with his power axe. A burst of fire from Sorcha's bolter ended the sorcerer's life, but the psychic feedback of the sorcerer's death killed Beroldus as well; and by the time the battle was over, six Sisters of Battle lay dead or dying at the Black Templar's hand.

Moved by the Sacred Fist's losses on Koroneia, Sister Sorcha took up the Oath of the Penitent on her return to Sanctum; not for herself, but for the slain Brother Beroldus, one-time hero to the Order but now on a broken pedestal. Her intent was judged to be pure, and as a symbolic end to her past life, Sorcha surrendered her weapons, armour, and most of her belongings to the care of the Order as her former Sisters added her name to the prayers for those who fell at Koroneia.

Through the influence of Inquisitor Dagan, the Black Templars sent a representative to Sister Sorcha when they came to take away their fallen Sword-Brother. Dagan informed the Templars of Sorcha's oath and her reasons for taking it, and after a lengthy period of negotiation and compromise, Chaplain Eadric allowed Sorcha to take Beroldus' power axe -- enormous for a human, but easily wielded in one hand by a Space Marine -- on the grounds that she return the weapon after slaying a thousand servants of Chaos with it, and in so doing, honour Beroldus' memory. Inquisitor Dagan has every intention of making sure Sorcha sees her oath through.


WS BS S  T  I  Wp Sg Nv Ld
67 61 58 64 63 76 59 80 55


(Planned base model: "Mother Morrigan" from Hasslefree Miniatures)

Handedness: Right

Equipment: Emperor's Glory, sanctified light carapace armour, Litanies of Faith

Skills and Talents: Compassion (Imperial Fists and their successors), Hatred (Heretics), His Will Be Done (refer to Carthax Wiki)

Special: Cowards Die In Shame, Innocence Proves Nothing


Emperor's Glory: This is a power hammer power axe. As it was designed for a Space Marine, Sister Sorcha's melee attacks suffer a -20 penalty to hit and -4 to her damage roll, and she incurs an additional -20 parry penalty, if she wields the Emperor's Glory one-handed.

Sanctified light carapace armour: Inquisitor Dagan believes that Sister Sorcha will fulfil her oath much more easily, and find a far more fitting death in the Emperor's service, if she is properly equipped as a warrior. Sorcha has painted the armour in the colours of her Order and, in her spare time, engraves it with lines of sacred scripture.
This armour provides AV6 to the chest, AV5 to the abdomen, legs and groin, and AV4 to the arms. The armour is "sanctified" in name only and the engraved lines of scripture provide no in-game effect.

Litanies Of Faith: One of the few personal effects Sister Sorcha kept from her old life was an abridged copy of the Litanies of Faith, containing only sections of the Creed approved for everyday and battlefield use by the Canonesses of her Order.
Sister Sorcha may spend actions reciting the Litanies; this can be a single or extended action. Friendly characters that can hear the Litanies gain Hatred (Heretics) and His Will Be Done for one turn per action spent reading. Hostile characters and heretics must pass a Nerve test or spend their next action recovering their wits (note that they should only test once, regardless of how many actions Sister Sorcha spends reading).

Compassion (Imperial Fists and successors): Sister Sorcha counts as having the Heroic special ability when within 10 yards of an Imperial Fist or successor, or if the GM deems it appropriate (the other character is wounded, and needs saving from the hands of an enemy, for example).
This carries with it the caveat that Sister Sorcha must pass a Sagacity test to correctly identify less obvious Imperial Fists successors (IE. not Black Templars or Crimson Fists)

Hatred (Heretics): Sister Sorcha may re-roll one failed To-Hit roll per turn against a heretical character, or a character belong to a heretical group or faction. Additionally, if she is able, and not restricted by her orders or the judgment of her superiors, she must dedicate at least one action per turn to eliminating a heretical character, or at least taking them out of action. Note that this action must be only declared, not necessarily achieved.
As "heretic" can be applied very broadly, apply this only to those Sister Sorcha would legitimately consider heretics, rather than simply "someone on the opposing team".

His Will Be Done: If Sister Sorcha is taken out of action before her mission or decree is fulfilled, she gains the True Grit special ability.
Note that this does not cover her Oath of the Penitent, or her overarching mission to kill heretics and servants of Chaos.

Cowards Die In Shame: If Sister Sorcha fails a Fear, Terror or Pinning test, and is Aware of the character that caused it, she gains Frenzy and Furious Assault specific to the character that caused the test. This lasts until she no longer has a target (dead / off the table), or passes a Willpower test at the end of her next turn to snap out of it. Furthermore, Sister Sorcha may not voluntarily fail a Pinning test, but may (subject to GM approval) voluntarily fail a Fear or Terror test, or the Willpower test to snap out of her Frenzy.
Note that this completely overrides the usual results of failing Fear, Terror and Pinning tests, so the normal effects do not apply.

Innocence Proves Nothing: While under the effects of Cowards Die In Shame, if Sister Sorcha is forced to move through a character that is not her target (for example, because going around them would take too long), she may choose to charge through the intervening character. The intervening character must test Initiative. If successful, they dodge out of the way and Sister Sorcha may proceed normally. If failed, they are knocked back D3 yards to either the left or right (Sorcha's choice).
If this is not possible and Sister Sorcha ends up in combat with them anyway (for example, because they're too bulky or heavy to barge past), they are counted as an additional target of Cowards Die In Shame.
If the intervening character wanted to get in Sister Sorcha's way, both characters make opposed Strength tests. If Sorcha wins, her opponent is knocked back as described above; but if she fails, she will enter close combat with them (with no bonuses for charging, nor the free attack from doing so), and will consider them an additional target of Cowards Die In Shame. As a result, she may have to change her actions.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 07:55:14 AM by Koval »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Sister Sorcha Valero, Order of the Sacred Fist
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 05:33:40 PM »
Emperor's Glory: This is a power hammer. As it was designed for a Space Marine, Sister Sorcha must wield this weapon in both hands.
Although the great weapon rules in Inquisitor are a little demanding by default (demanding the character be 75), it might be more practical to adopt a slightly toned down version?

In some ways, it will play better if she takes heavy penalties if it's wielded in only one hand rather than is completely forbidden to do so. (Particularly as it seems to be her only weapon - a bad arm injury could stop her fighting at all).

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Cowards Die In Shame: If Sister Sorcha fails a Fear, Terror or Pinning test, and is Aware of the character that caused it, she gains Frenzy and Furious Assault specific to the character that caused the test. This lasts until she no longer has a target (dead / off the table), or passes a Willpower test in the Recovery phase to snap out of it. Furthermore, Sister Sorcha may not voluntarily fail a Pinning test.
To note from our previous chat, you had previously said that you wanted the Wp test to occur at the end of her normal turn, so that she would always be affected for at least one turn (as if a slower character causes it, she will have a recovery phase before her next turn).

A few other questions though:

- Is this supposed to override the normal reaction to the test failure?
Technically if she's charging a Fearsome character and fails, she then stops in her tracks. Or, for a bad fail against a Terrifying character, legs it the other way. (Note that Frenzy doesn't itself provide pinning/fear immunity).

- She can't choose to fail Pinning tests, but what about Fear tests?
This potentially ties into the above. If she's presumed to ignore the normal Fear reaction, then deliberately failing a test could be beneficial to get Furious Assault (albeit at the cost of her becoming Frenzied and uncontrolled). I kind of like this though, as it does encourage hurling her at dangerous targets in the vein of Dwarf Slayers.

- Can she choose to fail the Wp test?
If she's already committed to charging a target, suddenly regaining her senses when she's a few metres from them might not be characterful and/or desirable.

~~~~~

Another thing you possibly mentioned was the possibility of some take on the Shoulder Charge rule for if someone gets in the way of her righteous smiting? Is that gone from the concept, or are you still planning on that?
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Koval

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Re: Sister Sorcha Valero, Order of the Sacred Fist
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 06:59:48 PM »
Emperor's Glory: This is a power hammer. As it was designed for a Space Marine, Sister Sorcha must wield this weapon in both hands.
Although the great weapon rules in Inquisitor are a little demanding by default (demanding the character be 75), it might be more practical to adopt a slightly toned down version?

In some ways, it will play better if she takes heavy penalties if it's wielded in only one hand rather than is completely forbidden to do so. (Particularly as it seems to be her only weapon - a bad arm injury could stop her fighting at all).
I looked up the penalty for firing a Basic weapon one-handed, but it scales with Weight vs. Strength, so that's not a good sign as melee weapons, by default, don't appear to have a Weight value. In Dark Heresy, it's a flat -20 to hit; would that sound sensible if we translate it to melee weapons here? (EDIT: Added to Emperor's Glory.)

Quote
Quote
Cowards Die In Shame: If Sister Sorcha fails a Fear, Terror or Pinning test, and is Aware of the character that caused it, she gains Frenzy and Furious Assault specific to the character that caused the test. This lasts until she no longer has a target (dead / off the table), or passes a Willpower test in the Recovery phase to snap out of it. Furthermore, Sister Sorcha may not voluntarily fail a Pinning test.
To note from our previous chat, you had previously said that you wanted the Wp test to occur at the end of her normal turn, so that she would always be affected for at least one turn (as if a slower character causes it, she will have a recovery phase before her next turn).
This is true, but I also couldn't think of how best to phrase that so that the rules flowed nicely. I'll give it another go in just a moment. (EDIT: Reworded CDIS.)

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A few other questions though:

- Is this supposed to override the normal reaction to the test failure?
Technically if she's charging a Fearsome character and fails, she then stops in her tracks. Or, for a bad fail against a Terrifying character, legs it the other way. (Note that Frenzy doesn't itself provide pinning/fear immunity).
Yes, and I'll make that clearer. (EDIT: Worked this into CDIS.)

Quote
- She can't choose to fail Pinning tests, but what about Fear tests?
This potentially ties into the above. If she's presumed to ignore the normal Fear reaction, then deliberately failing a test could be beneficial to get Furious Assault (albeit at the cost of her becoming Frenzied and uncontrolled). I kind of like this though, as it does encourage hurling her at dangerous targets in the vein of Dwarf Slayers.
To be honest, I wasn't aware Fear tests could be voluntarily failed, so I didn't even consider it as a mechanic. (EDIT: Worked this into CDIS.)

Quote
- Can she choose to fail the Wp test?
If she's already committed to charging a target, suddenly regaining her senses when she's a few metres from them might not be characterful and/or desirable.
Again, this wasn't something I considered, but I may write it in. (EDIT: Wrote this into CDIS)

Quote
Another thing you possibly mentioned was the possibility of some take on the Shoulder Charge rule for if someone gets in the way of her righteous smiting? Is that gone from the concept, or are you still planning on that?
That was something I forgot about -- I will write it in. (EDIT: Made a new rule, Innocence Proves Nothing)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 07:28:05 PM by Koval »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Sister Sorcha Valero, Order of the Sacred Fist
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2020, 07:34:44 PM »
In Dark Heresy, it's a flat -20 to hit; would that sound sensible if we translate it to melee weapons here?
-20 is certainly a possibility, as is a damage penalty. (Great Weapons halve damage if the character isn't strong enough, which is potentially a bit extreme, but a flat penalty could be applied - perhaps dropping it back to 2D10 rather than 2D10+4)

Quote
To be honest, I wasn't aware Fear tests could be voluntarily failed, so I didn't even consider it as a mechanic.
It's not a strict rule, but GMs will generally allow most tests to be voluntarily failed (although you might sometimes have to test to fail in the right way).

It is sometimes a roleplay point that although a character can succeed, they don't want to (or the player thinks it just doesn't seem like they could - for example, a character might pass a Sagacity test to know something that the player doesn't think they'd reasonably know).

~~~~~

I'll need to come back to your edits (and possibly backstory) later when I've got more time, but I'm not immediately seeing anything out of place.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Sister Sorcha Valero, Order of the Sacred Fist
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 09:52:41 PM »
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Rather, owing to an incident shortly after the Order's founding involving two Battle-Brothers of the Imperial Fists 1st Company and a particularly vain Keeper of Secrets
Is this intentionally a noodle incident, or is there any more to the story? (After all, it's quite something for a daemon to be superlatively vain.)

Quote
For their part, the Imperial Fists seem content to politely humour the Order, although other Sisters more openly consider them "weird".
One thing to ask is what sort of politics and frictions has it resulted in? Are there difficulties with other Orders? What exactly do the Imperial Fists do for their end of the relationship?

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Sister Sorcha served among the Order's Commandery on Sanctum, a shrine world in Sub-Sector Abraxis, and when the Great Rift opened, she fought against heretic uprisings all across the coreward edges of the Abraxis Sector, from Sanctum on the trailward border, all the way to the edge of the Howling Stars.
I have to say, it's nice to see more exploration of the developing Abraxis sector. I do still need to think through how to handle an Abraxis Wiki, because we really could do with better documenting it.

Couple more rules questions:

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Hatred (Heretics)
What specifically counts as a heretic? Is it something she defines, or are there particular guidelines?

Quote
Note that this does not cover her Oath of the Penitent.
I assume by "Oath of the Penitent", you mean her quest to kill heretics?

Quote
Innocence Proves Nothing: While under the effects of Cowards Die In Shame, if Sister Sorcha is forced to move through a character that is not her target (for example, because going around them would take too long), she may choose to charge through the intervening character. The intervening character must test Initiative. If successful, they dodge out of the way and Sister Sorcha may proceed normally. If failed, they are knocked back D6 yards to either the left or right (Sorcha's choice).
If this is not possible and Sister Sorcha ends up in combat with them anyway (for example, because they're too bulky or heavy to barge past), they are counted as an additional target of Cowards Die In Shame.
One question that can come up with the Shoulder Charge rules is "What if another character wants to get in the way?" An opposed Strength test seems like it might be a fairly good basis.

Other than that, I'd probably drop it down to D3 yards, because she's not some huge Space Marine who can easily hurl people, but it still gives the idea that she's barged them out of the way.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Koval

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Re: Sister Sorcha Valero, Order of the Sacred Fist
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 10:23:08 PM »
Quote
Rather, owing to an incident shortly after the Order's founding involving two Battle-Brothers of the Imperial Fists 1st Company and a particularly vain Keeper of Secrets
Is this intentionally a noodle incident, or is there any more to the story? (After all, it's quite something for a daemon to be superlatively vain.)
Deliberate noodle.

Quote
Quote
For their part, the Imperial Fists seem content to politely humour the Order, although other Sisters more openly consider them "weird".
One thing to ask is what sort of politics and frictions has it resulted in? Are there difficulties with other Orders? What exactly do the Imperial Fists do for their end of the relationship?
All good questions, and when I come to do a write-up on Sanctum, I'll be better able to explore those, but some thoughts:
  • Firstly, I'd imagine "weird" is just the polite version, and that relationships with the Ebon Chalice, Our Martyred Lady, and more than likely Sacred Rose are a little frosty, not to mention any Orders Dialogous who have to put up with the Sacred Fist doing their thing.
  • As far as the Imperial Fists are concerned, I imagine relations have varied from "cordial" to "...okay, look, we really appreciate the effort, but we're just going to go over here and build a fortress to hide in"
  • There would no doubt have been battles and campaigns they'd have fought together, but such things deserve more text space than a character bio.
  • In their very earliest incarnation back when I first put ideas to text, they actually received some ridicule from a Black Templar. Perhaps some of them just find the whole thing to be rather amusing.

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Sister Sorcha served among the Order's Commandery on Sanctum, a shrine world in Sub-Sector Abraxis, and when the Great Rift opened, she fought against heretic uprisings all across the coreward edges of the Abraxis Sector, from Sanctum on the trailward border, all the way to the edge of the Howling Stars.
I have to say, it's nice to see more exploration of the developing Abraxis sector. I do still need to think through how to handle an Abraxis Wiki, because we really could do with better documenting it.
I guess we could bounce it off of the Carthax Wiki, especially if we add in a blurb about the Arch Worlds? We've got enough house rules and expanded stuff in the one place anyway that duplicating it onto a second wiki would be a bit self-defeating.

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Couple more rules questions:

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Hatred (Heretics)
What specifically counts as a heretic? Is it something she defines, or are there particular guidelines?
Yep, I should've thought that one through a bit better. It'll probably be defined by Sorcha herself, although there is a world of difference between "someone on the opposing team" and "an actual heretic" so we'd need to make that nuance clear. I'll see if I can word it better.

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Note that this does not cover her Oath of the Penitent.
I assume by "Oath of the Penitent", you mean her quest to kill heretics?
More or less. The Oath of the Penitent is a broader "must repent" sort of thing, so I wanted to make clear that we can't use the excuse that "she's on a holy mission" to enable His Will Be Done. By that point, she may as well just have True Grit straight-up, and IMO that would detract from the theme of the character.

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Innocence Proves Nothing: While under the effects of Cowards Die In Shame, if Sister Sorcha is forced to move through a character that is not her target (for example, because going around them would take too long), she may choose to charge through the intervening character. The intervening character must test Initiative. If successful, they dodge out of the way and Sister Sorcha may proceed normally. If failed, they are knocked back D6 yards to either the left or right (Sorcha's choice).
If this is not possible and Sister Sorcha ends up in combat with them anyway (for example, because they're too bulky or heavy to barge past), they are counted as an additional target of Cowards Die In Shame.
One question that can come up with the Shoulder Charge rules is "What if another character wants to get in the way?" An opposed Strength test seems like it might be a fairly good basis.

Other than that, I'd probably drop it down to D3 yards, because she's not some huge Space Marine who can easily hurl people, but it still gives the idea that she's barged them out of the way.
Good suggestions, and I will work those in.