Dark Heresy - Paths of Faith
“You may not be clad in the blessed flak armour of the Imperial Guard. You may not bring the Emperor’s wrath through the barrel of the righteous Lasgun. What you lack in the Imperium’s most blessed weapons of war you replace with fervour and faith. No army forged can stand before the might of the Emperor’s judgement, wrought by our hands.”
The Frateris Militia are the masses of the Imperial Cult’s most zealous faithful who have gathered to fight wars of faith against the enemies of the God-Emperor and Mankind. They constitute the unofficial and generally ill-trained troops of the Adeptus Ministorum who fight in the interests of the Ecclesiarchy. Although most such mobs consist of no more than faithful Imperial citizens drawn from a broad walk of life, some “Brothers” have had military experience in the Imperial Guard or a Planetary Defence Force (PDF). They make up for this general lack of military training with selfless fanaticism
In times of great need (such as wars of faith or during Imperial Crusades) the Ecclesiarchy arms its male servants, both from the clergy and the mass of lay followers. A great mass of clerks, Deacons, Pardoners and other minor functionaries swarm from the great temples and cathedrals, armed with whatever weapons they can lay their hands upon. To some, they are nothing but a disorganised rabble, a greater threat to themselves than to any opposing force, but on many occasions the Frateris Militia have been known to perform tremendous acts of courage and valour in the name of the Emperor.
In battle the Frateris Militia are barely organised and operate in huge mobs consisting of any number of brethren. Members of the Frateris Militia are not professional soldiers, and receive no training to carry out their role. However, their faith is strong, and they often go on to perform great and terrible deeds in the name of the Master of Mankind. Mobs vary from ordinary Imperial citizens incensed against Heretics or xenos by Confessors, to those truly faithful individuals who pursue zealous self-sacrifice, to the already fanatical members of extreme Imperial religious sects. Such is the brethren’s devotion and willingness to self-sacrifice that the more dangerous and desperate the fighting, the more likely they will fight to the death.