Sanctuary 101

A nun about to get massacred by a cron.

Sanctuary 101 was a Sisters of Battle Fortress-Convent in the Vidar Sector on the Eastern Fringes, and the location of the first battle between the Imperium and the Necrons to be known to the public at large. Unknown to the sisters, their convent was built upon a Necron Tomb World, which, at the time, the Imperium didn't know was a thing (minus the higher-ups). The sisters were caught with their panties down when the Necrons woke up in 897.M41. The Sisters battled the Necrons, but were inevitably defeated and slain to a woman, and the battle came to be known as the "Massacre at Sanctuary 101". However, (SPOILER ALERT) if you count James Swallow's books as canon, and there's nothing that says it isn't, there was a single survivor hiding in the desert (END SPOILERS). Video picts from the battle only showed the sisters being slain by shadowed figures. While those who reviewed the footage couldn't make out the attackers, the recordings, and the battle itself, were the Imperium-at-large's first solid evidence of the Necrons' existence.

Sanctuary 101 was based off a battle report debuting the Necrons when they were first released. The Necrons literally killed them all, to the last model. This battle is the first instance of the Sisters of Battle being killed en masse, and arguably the start of the trend. The battle actually ended with a single Sister still alive, but she was alone and the Necron army was within charge range. However, unlike every other instance, it was not intended by the writers - just the natural consequence of poorly balanced tabletop rules (Debatable - the Sisters had literally half the points allowance of the Necrons, and technically won still lost on victory conditions (as they didn't manage to activate the distress beacon), but it's the slaughter that was immortalised). The report took place back in the days of your dudes, when the outcome of battles could actually have a dynamic affect on some portions of the fluff. Having all the sisters wiped out was simply a consequence of losing to the original Necrons, who were homicidal killing machines, rather than the sick and cruel joke that they have now become.

The novel Hammer & Anvil, a.k.a. Round 2, did explain much about the battle (except it got several pretty key facts wrong; where was Sister Purity for one?), including the fact the Sisters were never the Necrons' real target; it was really just two dynasties fighting each other, and the Sisters got caught in the cross fire. Even though that would mean the Necrons had no reason to attack the Sisters or their Convent in the first place so clearly they are just lying to make the Sisters feel better about themselves. Then Sister Miriya blew up the nearby Necron Tomb Moon with a handful of Krak grenades to the power core, destabilising it enough to rip the entire place apart and destroy the Dolmen Gate that lay within the Obsidian Moon. Yes, blowing up a moon with hand grenades, which is either the stupidest or most awesome thing the Sisters have ever done.


  • The High Lords, Alienhunters, and AdMech had already known about the existence of Necrons for decades; it's just that every other encounter was possible to cover up due to a lack of solid evidence.
Timeline of Warhammer 40,000
The Times of Old Wars of Secession - War in Heaven (60.000.000 BC) - Fall of the Eldar (M30)
Pre-Heresy Age of Terra (M1-M15) - Dark Age of Technology (M15-M25) - Age of Strife (M25-M30)
Great Crusade (M31) The Last Church - Rangdan Xenocides - Interex - Faash - Council of Nikaea
Horus Heresy (M31) Battle of Isstvan III - The Burning of Prospero - Drop Site Massacre - Thramas Crusade
The Battle of Phall - Battle of Calth - Signus Campaign - Imperium Secundus - Siege of Terra
Time of Rebirth (M31-M32) The Great Scouring (M31) - Start of The Long War (M31) - The Legion Wars (M31)
The Battle of Skalathrax (M31) - Creation of the Codex Astartes (M31) - Second Founding (021.M31)
The Forging (M32-M34) The War of The Beast (544.M32-546.M32) - The Beheading (546.M32)
Nova Terra Interregnum (M34-M36) 21st Founding (M36)
Age of Apostasy (M36-37) Plague of Unbelief (310.M36)
Age of Redemption (M37-M38) Abyssal Crusade (321.M37-121.M38)
The Waning (M40-M41) Gothic War (143-151.M41) - The Macharian Crusade (392-399.M41) - The Macharian Heresy (400-470.M41)
Wars for Armageddon (444.M41, 941.M41 and 991.M41) - Damocles Crusade (742.M41)
Time of Ending (M41) The Vaxi Atrocity (731.M41) - First Tyrannic War (745-746.M41) - Sabbat Worlds Crusade (755.M41-780.M41)
Siege of Vraks (813.M41-830.M41) - Massacre at Sanctuary 101 (897.M41) - Badab War (901-912.M41)
The Vaxhallian Genocide (926.M41) - Second Tyrannic War (990.M41-993.M41) - Third Tyrannic War (997.M41-999.M41)
Octarius War (999.M41) - 13th Black Crusade (999.M41-M42)
Age of the Dark Imperium (M42-ongoing) Indomitus Crusade (999.M41-111.M42) - Ultima Founding (M42) - War of Beasts (001.M42-025.M42) - Plague Wars (~111.M42) - Psychic Awakening (M42)
The Planets, Systems, Regions and Sectors of the Galaxy
Imperial Homeworlds: Holy Terra - Sacred Mars
Primarch Homeworlds: Baal - Barbarus - Caliban - Chemos - Chogoris - Colchis
Cthonia - Deliverance - Fenris - Inwit - Medusa - Nostramo
Nocturne - Nuceria - Olympia - Prospero - Ultramar
Planets: Armageddon - Bakka - Cadia - Catachan - Ganymede
Hydraphur - Krieg - Kronus - Sacris - Sanctuary 101
Scelus - Tanith - Tartarus - Vigilus - Vraks - Zayth
Daemon Worlds: Plague Planet - Sortiarius
Systems and Regions: Ghoul Stars - Halo Zone - Jericho Reach - Kaurava System
Solar System - Stygius Sector - T'au Septs - Taelus System
Types of Worlds: Agri-World - Craftworld - Daemon World - Death World - Eldar World
Forge World - Fortress World - Hive World - Tomb World