|Cardinal World, Shrine World,
Ophelia VII is the site of the Synod Ministra and the Adepta Sororitas' Convent Sanctorum. The world is given over entirely to the worship of the Emperor. Its surface is covered in mile-high cathedrals and bell towers, linked by avenues lined with the statues of thousands of Imperial Saints. Dungeons plunge deep into the bowels of the world, where heretics are made to repent their sins, subject to such methods of soul-cleansing as arco-flagellation, death-masking, soul-scouring and the Trial of Castigation.
Ophelia VII was the centre of the Adeptus Ministorum from the time of Ecclesiarch Benedin IV to Greigor XI and is still one of the main centres of Ministorum power to this day, second only to Terra. It is located far from its sister planet of Terra, in the galactic south.
During the Great Crusade Ophelia VII was the site of a battle for the Imperium's forces; where the Emperor himself, led the charge with one hundred Custodians and ten thousand Legiones Astartes of the Imperial Fists Legion.
Pre-adoption as centre of religion
Ophelia VII was the diocese of Benedin IV as a Cardinal before his ascent to the position of Ecclesiarch and is said to have been the wealthiest planet after Terra and Mars. This made it an ideal world to host the Adeptus Ministorum when Terra became too much of a confining force.[3a]
Benedin IV moved the entirety of the Adeptus Ministorum to Ophelia VII and built vast cathedrals over 90,000 square miles of land and 4,000 metres into the sky. Only the Imperial Palace on Terra dominated them. Ophelia VII was chosen to host the Adeptus Ministorum was because of three factors: Benedin IV's connections with the world, its vast wealth, and the distance it placed between the High Lords of Terra and the general governance of the Adeptus Ministorum. It allowed them to raise vast tithes to replenish and invigorate the Ministorum's funds, and encouraged competition between Cardinals on other worlds to build the biggest and most impressive cathedrals and monuments to the worship of the Emperor. Cults which posed a threat to the Ministorum were rooted out and destroyed by zealous Cardinals, Preachers and Confessors throughout the Imperium and the Ministorum's control grew rapidly.[3a]
Almost three hundred years after their arrival, Greigor XI decided it was time that the Adeptus Ministorum returned to Terra. It took twelve years and a good deal of the Adeptus Ministorum's funds, however the doors to the Ecclesiarchal Palaces on Terra were opened again and refurbished. Ophelia VII would no longer be the centre of the region of the Imperium, however it would still be one of their most holy sites.[3a]
Vandire and the Age of Apostasy
Goge Vandire rose to power as head of both the Ministorum and Administratum, gaining almost absolute power in the Imperium as no other institution could rival the might of the two united powers. Vandire brought his iron fist down on the Cardinals of the Ministorum and eventually his enemies decided it was time to escape; they chose Ophelia VII as their destination; however their ship never left the warp.[3b]
Reforms of Sebastian Thor
After the fall of Vandire, Sebastian Thor was elected (some would say forcefully) to Ecclesiarch. He initiated a series of reforms and created the Synod Ministra on Ophelia VII. It was to act as a secondary governing body far from Terra. It would disseminate the laws and actions of the Holy Synod on Terra but also provide a defence against other forces, or even a single Ecclesiarch, attempting to gain control of the Ministorum. Also, the Astra Ministra, administrators of the Ministorum functionaries aboard ships of the Imperium is based on Ophelia VII and makes up the Synod Ministra.[Needs Citation]
After the Thirteenth Black Crusade, Ophelia was enslaved by the Greater Daemon Tyrant of Blueflame, but was freed during Guilliman's Indomitus Crusade and the Black Templars. However the Tyrant himself escaped justice. In the aftermath of the attack Guilliman stationed Black Templars under Marshal Armond Montfort on the world. However they were drawn away due to the events on San Leor, and the Tyrant of Blueflame returned on Ophelia IV to begin a Warp ritual to allow for another mass attack on Ophelia VII, this time with Alpha Legion and Cultist allies. However they were again defeated in the Battle of the Ophelia System.
Sisters of Battle
The Sisters of Battle, founded during the reign of Vandire, are split between Terra and Ophelia VII, so that no one person can gain control of the whole organisation. There are extensive facilities for the Sisters on both planets, but each Order has a home on both worlds if need be. Two of the most famous Sisters are said to come from Ophelia VII, Saint Praxedes and Helena the Virtuous.[3d] Ophelia VII became a main base of the Adepta Sororitas' Order of the Sacred Rose.[5b]
- The planet's name was Ophelia 4 or Ophelia IV in 40k's original background.
- 1: Warhammer 40,000 4th Edition Rulebook, pg. 98
- 2: Codex Imperialis (Background Book), pg. 39
- 3: Codex: Sisters of Battle (2nd Edition):
- 4: The Horus Heresy Book Three - Extermination, pg. 61
- 5: Imperial Armour Volume Two (First Edition)
- 6: Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 20
- 7: Our Martyred Lady (Audio Drama)