The Sisterhood of the Waves

By Moe Lane


Despite the name, this organization accepts both men and women in its ranks (although the leadership positions are traditionally reserved for females). In its heyday, members of the Sisterhood could be found throughout the British Empire: with the loss of Britain's overseas possessions, the group has retreated to the United Kingdom, with a few cells in Canada (and one beleaguered one in Hong Kong). This has not really affected the Sisterhood's core, however.

Purpose and Goals

To keep the British Isles free of foreign invaders.

Organization and Membership

The Sisterhood of the Waves is fairly small (about 500 active members in the United Kingdom, with another couple of hundred abroad): the organization is based around a group of families that have kept their secret for literally millennia. Recruits from the outside are fairly rare, if only because it's hard for the Sisterhood to recognize likely candidates.

All Sisters (note that this is a genderless designation) must have at least six Forces: the Sisterhood has developed elaborate tests and rituals that can determine suitable initiates. Unfortunately, said rituals are family-specific, which makes it difficult for the organization to expand. As partial compensation, most of the families involved in the Sisterhood have a much higher proportion of six Force humans. Those in Heaven that are aware of the group involve past Grigori involvement; indeed, it may even be true.

The hierarchy is fairly informal: each family has a leader (usually female) who handles local activities. A group of ten of the most influential families is traditionally vetted with supervising national and international affairs: they in turn choose one of their own number to make the final decisions. Currently, the 'leader' of the Sisterhood is one Dame Frances Hodges, a seventy-five year old grandmother who lives quite comfortably in her Glasgow flat with three cats, one dog, two parakeets... and a innocuous-looking button wired to some very illicit high explosives embedded in the Chunnel. She also knits.

The Sisterhood is a very secret organization - if only on the corporeal plane. Unlike the vast majority of secret societies and conspiratorial groups, its members have never been interested much in amassing temporal power or influence; it is possibly the only group of its kind in history to be primarily orientated towards a defensive posture. Its members tend to be wealthy, although not notably so: the men folk of the group gravitate towards the middle-upper ranks of civil and military service, while the women concentrate in the social arena. It's an open question about which sex is more effective.

Abilities and Resources

As mentioned earlier, all active members of the Sisterhood are six Force humans: their initiation rituals also provide Symphonic Awareness. Aside from this, members seem to have access to the Songs of Dreams, Healing, Motion, Shields, Storms, Tongues... and Water. Most Sisters may only perform the Corporeal versions of said Songs, but Sisters with Ethereal Connection are not unknown and one with Celestial Connection has been discovered on at least three separate occasions. How they have accomplished this is apparently clouded by Superior-level ineffability: inquiries to the relevant Heavenly authorities are not answered.

Interestingly enough, the Sisterhood's claim to millennia of continual existence is valid: its ceremonial language is clearly an early variant of Indo-European (with the inevitable loan words) and its archives are a historian's dream. Some of the scrolls and documents held by the Sisterhood only otherwise exist in Yves' Library, and the recorded organizational history goes back for at least two thousand years. Quite a few Sisters have used this advantage to carve out for themselves some very respectable academic positions.

Celestial Relationships


The Sisterhood is quite firmly in Heaven's zone of influence, if not complete control. The Seraphim Council has determined that the organization should be allowed to fulfill its core mission without undue influence or interference. Whether this is due to enlightened policy on the Host's part (as opposed to caution over the ineffability issue) is a matter for some debate.

Sisters are still Soldiers of God, however. They retain contact with Heaven, are aware of the War and will assist the Host in whatever operations take place on their part of the corporeal plane. The Sisterhood usually works with Destiny, Stone and Trade; it took the Sword centuries to work past the institutional prejudice caused by the Anglican schism, and the damage from that is still not completely healed. War has some contacts, but both the Sisters and Michael are tight-lipped about it.


The existence of the Sisterhood is hardly a secret to Hell, of course: if nothing else, the faint trickle of Damned Sisters would take care of that. However, the diffuse organization of the group makes it difficult for Hell to infiltrate and/or destroy it. There is also the earlier-mentioned issue of Superior-level ineffability about the whole situation: this does nothing to aid Diabolical activity. Finally, there is the problem that the Sisterhood is precisely ruthless towards their (rare) Fated traitors as one would expect an organization of worried grandmothers to be: there's been a whisper or two that the punishment for treason involves grim matriarchs, a captured Coffin of Undeath and a large wooden stake...

However, possibly the most potent defense of the Sisterhood is the fact that it seems to have such a narrow focus. After all, when it comes down to it... does anyone besides Baal actually care too much about invading Great Britain? For that matter, the Demon Prince of the War has derived a great many benefits from having an unconquered British Isles present to muddy the waters of European politics. There's even a reasonable chance that he might continue to do so in the future. Why rock the boat?


The Sisterhood can be quite tolerant towards ethereals, all things considered; after all, some of them have been living in the British Isles for millennia, and are willing to defend it at need. This has led to some disputes with the Host, but nothing that can't be worked past. Needless to say, foreign ethereals had better be on their best behavior.

There is one other 'other', as it were. There are a lot of weird things that seem to be associated with the Sisterhood, from their remarkable cultural longevity to the odd haze of ineffability surrounding them to their anomalous access to metaphysical power. There's also a suggestion or two that they might have some sort of access to Oannes' old resources, or possibly an Orphan Servitor or two, or possibly even...

No, it couldn't be: Oannes is Truly dead. There isn't even a chance for a Remnant: everyone knows that soul-killed Kyriotates and Shedim don't leave behind that sort of residue. Surely that's even true for Superiors, right?



The basic story of the Sisterhood is well known to the Host: they are descended from Oannes' first Soldiers. The Archangel of the Waters was always fond of the British Isles: in the days when Superiors could operate more openly, she had the island chain as her primary base. Naturally, the Archangel recruited among local tribes for assistants. Fully one third of the current Sisterhood can reasonably claim descent from those original Soldiers.

The death of Oannes caused these first Soldiers to become dispersed: Heaven was not really prepared for the aftereffects of the Thera explosion, and by the time that anyone thought to look for them, her servants in the Isles had been apparently been destroyed or scattered to the four winds. Heaven eventually stopped really looking for them after a few years.

However, the groups that would later become the Sisterhood still survived, although it took almost a thousand years before a researcher of Knowledge stumbled across a set of interrelated tribes with highly distorted customs. The realignment of these tribes with the forces of Heaven was not particularly difficult: they had retained the essential civility and selflessness over the intervening time period, and were quite prepared to rejoin the War against Hell. They made (and make) quite good Soldiers, which is one reason why Uriel used them extensively during the Roman period. Unfortunately, the Sisterhood did not quite appreciate the honor; both the Republic and Empire were at times not too solicitous of the native population, and the eventual withdrawal of Rome from Britain had disastrous effects on the Isles. The Sisterhood eventually decided that they would have to work to keep England free from similar invasions.

It has gotten quite good at it, too: it is no accident that no foreign army has stood on English soil since 1066. Indeed, the only reason for that particular aberration was that the Sisterhood had not quite recovered from the disruptions of the Roman withdrawal. Even that invasion ended in an essential victory for the Sisterhood: thanks in no little part from their efforts, the Norman invaders were assimilated into the existing framework of the Isles and transformed into Englishmen (and Englishwomen, of course).

Everybody else has frankly had their heads handed to them. The British Isles have always enjoyed the natural protection of the sea, and the Sisterhood is apparently able to improve on those protections at need. The storm that disrupted the Armada was no accident. Neither was the 'Protestant Wind', or a hundred different stormy days that persuaded Napoleon and Hitler to hold off the invasion for just one more day, or the acceptable weather that permitted the D-Day invasions, or a thousand less-publicized examples. For that matter, what temporal power that the Sisterhood has is currently invested in retarding the current integration of both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland into the European Union. They also plan to vaporize the Chunnel at the first sign of real trouble, as well.

Not that they have anything against foreigners, you understand. They just have this thing about foreigners telling the English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh what to do: the bloody Americans are quite enough, thank you - even if they are cousins, of a sort.


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