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Index Astartes: Ebon Butchers
 

 

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Ebon Butchers Armorial'

Origins

 

A
t the end of the 37th Millenium, the High Lords of Terra declared the 23rd Adeptus Astartes Founding, later to be known as the 'Sentinel Founding'. As part of this tremendous Imperial undertaking, alongside the Imperial Harbingers, Star Phantoms, and Celestial Lions, a nascent chapter from the Gene-legacy of the Silver Eagles, the line of Guilliman was ordered.

In large part due to the unimaginable amount of bureaucracy involved with founding so many new Astartes chapters, it is no wonder that this nascent Chapter's name was not recorded immediately alongside others of the 23rd founding. However, they are now known as the Ebon Butchers. It is also known that they remain fully operational in the Ultima Segmentum, remaining ever vigil of the threats within the Ghoul Stars.


That is perhaps why Manon Gael, the Silver Eagles' 5th Captain and Master of the Marches, and the Butchers' first Chapter Father, chosen for his steadfast commitment, stationed his nascent Chapter above one of the most vital planets not only in the system but the sector, Caro.

 

Homeworld

 

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Ghoul Stars'

 

C
aro, the Gamma class industrial homeworld of the Ebon Butchers, is geared solely toward food production in the Ghoul Stars. There is an odour that leaches into your skin here that is given off by their vermin infestation numbering in the untold trillions. Clambering on top of one another in an endless wave, scavenging whatever they can find, and consuming one another in an endless survival of the strongest.

Massive hive spires pierce the horizon, built around gigantic slaughterhouse machinery. Droves of these creatures are driven daily into giant grinders for food productiona world with a never-ending cycle of production and consumption. The faecal matter and blood belched out of gigantic chimney stacks and thrown into the air by the grinders that run non stop rains down upon everything and is feasted upon by the swarms surrounding every hive, creating a sustainable source of material for the grinders. It is a delicate balancing act. Dispose of too much waste product at once, and a hive can quickly become overrun. Do not dispose of enough; a backlog of waste material can quickly halt production, and that says nothing of the maggots that can be found under every machine during the sweltering summer seasons. The grinders can also malfunction if too many are allowed to be driven into the grinders at once.
 

The most vital hives on the planet are those with spaceport capabilities, allowing freighters to deliver vital packaging materials and remove products from the surface. Unfortunately, the infestation on the world has grown a taste for the promethium stored at these sites. Reports say that infestations that have managed to reach these stores grow even more feral and rabid, causing a greater need for concern and threat to production.


It is of paramount importance to the Administratum that production does not falter, for if it does, the Ghoul Stars will feel famine and starvation throughout. Industrial accidents are a common occurrence, with Caroins often depicted as missing fingers or limbs. Large portions of the population are assigned to pest control, a gruelling and thankless job to maintain production. A day does not go by without them being required to repel a crashing wave of rodents against the hive walls. It is only made manageable with incendiary weapons provided. Occasionally, these pest patrols are broken into small teams to track and trace outbreaks throughout the spires. They must make their way through and past dangerous machinery and navigate tight corridors and spaces. For perhaps this reason, these patrols so often incorporate children into them. Their nimbleness and small stature allow them to reach areas of the spire only these creatures could reach.

 

There is no inkling of space left upon the planet's surface for burial and without the facilities for cremation within the spires. For those that die in the line of duty, or in the rarest of possibilities die of old age, their bodies are fed into the machines along with everything else, performing one last thankless task. They are feeding the insatiable hunger of the Imperium.

 

Recruitment

 

I
f necessary, aspiring neophytes are taken by force from these bands of infestation repelling squads, as their surroundings have moulded them into ideal candidates. The relentless assault on the lives and homes of these children instils in them a relentlessness of their own, and their physical and laborious upbringing day after day had made them strong. Their duty to feed the Imperium has given them a predisposition to being desensitised to the violence and cruelty they are most certainly going to inflict and witness upon the enemies of mankind. They are also taught the importance of working as a team and conditioned on maintaining their role as a cog that makes up the more extensive Imperial Empire.
 

The lucky few that are unsuccessful in transitioning into fully-fledged Astartes are permitted to become serfs. Some will receive a captive bolt pistol to the back of their head, rendering them unconscious for their bodies to be turned into servitors within the Chapters' foundries by the Techmarines. The rest are rounded up and shuttled back to the surface. There they are hand-fed into a grinder by a member of the Reclusiam as a reminder of the price of failure.

 

Brother Lucien
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Fortress Monastery

B
uilt into the moon orbiting the planet Caro, the Butchers' Fortress Monastery, known as the Abattoir, is constructed deep into the surface. Its pitted surface is studded with arched gunports, lance batteries' squat shapes, and other defences. Upon arrival, aspiring neophytes will walk into one of the pressurised shuttle silos, where servitors lock their freighter in place with large, heavy chains.

They are then driven deep into the bowels to the Apothecarion, where they will walk past the cold stainless steel refectory and witness Butchers' devouring plates of rich fatty meats. Surrounding them further draped upon the cold, sterile walls are the Chapter's campaign banners, and in front of those stands the armour and accoutrements of long-dead heroes and the spoils of war. They will see what is colloquially known as the Macellum or "Slaughterhouse", a combined Reclusium, Penitorium, and Dungeon. Within it, one could see prisoners and brothers serving penance hanging from meat hooks dangling from the ceiling, and one could smell the sawdust used by the serfs to clean the floor.

They will begin their introduction into a legacy of war among these walls. As one part of their initiation, those prisoners within the Macellum will sporadically be slid out on rails on the ceiling for them to beat against. It is also here where Neophytes will undergo gruelling biological and genetic testing before being implanted with the gene-seed that will sustain them through a lifetime of combat.

 

Chapter Cult and Belief System

 

C
aro's influence upon the Brothers of the Ebon Butchers is visibly from the onset of being donned as a neophyte, used to hardship, and uncompromising in their intolerance for failure. This intolerance is seen as a virtue, and the Chapter's daily rituals and cults reinforce this behaviour and belief. They were once conditioned to maintain being an unthinking cog in the Imperium. It is now an unthinking dedication to the Imperial War Machine.

They care little for the sanctity of human life and are willing to go to great lengths and stand by great atrocities, all in the name of defending the Imperium have earned them a dark and brutal reputation, far removed from the temperament of their founding training cadre. While a relatively young chapter, with every passing millenia, their brutality has grown.


The only punishment for failure is death; for this, the Butchers abhor and despise the Chaos powers the most. Those once Imperial citizens that have succumbed to the traitorous forces are especially hated by the Butchers. If given an inkling of an opportunity to punish those that have fallen to the Dark Gods, a Butcher would gladly rip limb from limb and allow none to stand in the way of their sentencing. There are none more abhorrent to the Butchers than Chapters of the 21st 'Cursed' Founding who fell into darkness. They represent everything they despise to their very core.

 

Numerous Imperial observations and Inquisitorial investigations into their behaviour that it is unlikely there is a length that the Butchers will not go to justify their actions and condone any collateral damage they are responsible for.

 

Brother Benoit
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Gene-seed

 

D
escending from the Ultramarines and incurring no known gene-seed mutations, the Chapters gene-seed remains like their forebearers, one of the most stable in the galaxy. However, it is theorized that the Butchers suffer from an extreme form of atychiphobia, which would explain their level of anger, inability to maintain relationships, and unwillingness to accept constructive criticism.

Upon receiving the required technology to ascend to a Primaris Space Marine, Brothers of the Butchers have taken the opportunity in droves. If it were not for the wisdom of their current Chapter Father, Renard Beau, in council with Robert Guilliman and foreseeing the dangers of losing so much of his Chapters combat efficiency at once, the entire Chapter would have likely attempted Crossing the Rubicon by now.

Their desire to become a Primaris most certainly stems from themselves now seeing themselves as a failure and Crossing the Rubicon as a test of redemption. Rumours have begun to circulate that Butchers engage in endocannibalism with the corpses of those who do not survive the procedure, but all investigations have proved inconclusive.

 

Battlefield Doctrine

 

T
hese beliefs are no more evident than on the battlefield of the 41st Millenium. As a fully codex compliant chapter, they maintain their flexibility and tactics; however, the tone they go about eliminating any of those standing in their way is terrifying.

It is not unknown for the Ebon Butchers to commit overwhelming force in times when it is unnecessarysending three companies instead of one to a warzone and committing all available assault teams instead of just a few. Collectively deploying all reserve companies is also not unheard of. However, it can impact the speed at which battle companies can replenish their squads.

 

Brother Corentin
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Alongside their little care for human life, this oversaturation of deadly force regularly results in high civilian casualties and often extreme amounts of collateral damage. It is, of course, understandable then that Imperial Officials have come to regret seeking aid at all. In fact, one planetary governor is on record as saying that the Marines Malevolent would have been more preferable.

Butchers will, too often than not, disregard any of the consequences of their actions. This behaviour has regularly caused tension between themselves and allied Imperial forces. More than once, Magnar Calgar had to step in to censure them for what they had done and deescalate the situation.

However, they do so of their belief that the eradication of the enemy comes first. They do not rest and do not falter when the Emperor's enemies march against them. They will commit every resource they have and every fibre of their being to eradicating all threats they face. They will deploy whatever weaponry is required in a warzone. Still, many brothers have an affinity for wielding incendiary weapons, most likely a leftover habit from their time upon the surface of Caro.

In extreme times of war, and in the Ebon Butchers' case, there is often not a time in which they are engaged with the enemies of the Imperium somewhere. Company Captains can enact a mode operati, known only as 'The Pithing'. This war designation permits all under their command to kill or immobilise absolutely anything on their warpath. It is only declared in the direst of situations, but even still, it is often frowned upon by higher powers for the unwanted destruction it causes.

 

Organisation

 

The Chapter has remained Codex Compliant throughout its existence.Guilliman's return has led them to update their stance on what is required of them. They quickly sort to incorporate Primaris throughout all levels of their organisation. The initial marines were not as brutal and unrelenting as the Chapter had come to be known by. As many Firstborn crossed the rubicon, that reputation soon returned.

Maintaining ten full strength companies has and will likely remain challenging for the Ebon Butchers, given the attrition. It is not uncommon to learn that their 10th company is significantly understrength.
 
Some have questioned whether the regular deployment of all Reserve companies en mass can allow them to classify themselves as codex compliant when operating as a single company. Still, fewer would willingly stand by those words if pressed on the matter by an Ebon butcher.

Edited by Minigiant
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Posted (edited)

The Ebon Butchers Chapter has existed, since April 2022. This post is intended to serve as a repository for the Ebon Butchers as I continue to develop them. For their Index Astartes article, please see above.

 

Ebon Butchers Wiki

  • The Ebon Butchers wiki can be found here

Ebon Butchers Google Doc

  • The Ebon Butchers Google Doc accepting all suggestions and edits

Ebon Butchers Painting and Modelling Threads

  • Minigiant's Ebon Butchers Army Thread (COMING SOON)

Ebon Butchers Graphics

Ebon Butchers Modelling Bits

  • Mk 7 Power Armoured Ebon Butchers Pads (COMING SOON)
  • Primaris Ebon Butchers Pads (COMING SOON)

Ebon Butchers Today

  • My Ebon Butchers are currently undergoing extensive development.
    They are to be:
  • Featured on Homebrew of the Week
  • Included in a Warzone Article
  • Included in a Flashpoint Article
  • Made into an old fashioned Index Astartes book
  • Make an appearance in a fan made Imperial Armour Book
Edited by Minigiant
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A whole butcher planet is quite a thing.

I especially like the final notion in the homeworld section about how some of the people are literally fed into the imperial machine.

 

I'm curious as to why you went for Silver Skulls as their progenitor (Aside from them being cool). It feels like there needs to be some justification for why they don't continue their practices and right now I don't see how that naturally follows from the core ideas you have now.

Wouldn't it be better to just avoid this and go for something more generic?

EDIT: Misread Eagles as Skulls... :smile.:

 

Also, thoughts on Heraldry?

Edited by Codex Grey
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A whole butcher planet is quite a thing.

I especially like the final notion in the homeworld section about how some of the people are literally fed into the imperial machine.

I have taken inspiration from Snowpiercer (The movie) and their protein bars made from insects, Demolition Man where they serve Rat Burgers, as well as certain foods today are allowed up to a certain amount of rat droppings inside; just in this case it is human remains

 

From the name and their homeworld I would imagine their heraldry as black and red with maybe some leathery brown to represent butcher’s aprons?

I think they would be dark metallic ebony brown with black trim, and most likely covered in the soils of war. I still have no idea about their heraldry though, perhaps a cog, honestly no idea at this point

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Definitely a dark theme yet so perfectly befitting the 40K universe! The whole concept of the planet simply being an abattoir of feeding the Imperium at large is wonderfully grim.

In terms of the name, may I humbly suggest adjusting the name to "Ebon Butchers". I find it rolls off the tongue a little better.

There's a few minor typos and flow adjustments in the article to smooth over, I recommend reciting what you've written in your head, it often works in spotting awkward repeats or trips in wording.

These guys definitely give off a bit of a loyal Night Lords whiff to them, how does their primogenitor react or view their erstwhile brutal cousins that make a Marine Malevolent raise their eyebrows upon the brutality unleashed to see the Imperium's will be done?

 

Cambrius

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Posted (edited)

Definitely a dark theme yet so perfectly befitting the 40K universe! The whole concept of the planet simply being an abattoir of feeding the Imperium at large is wonderfully grim.

Thank you. I know I want to add things about Butcher Hooks for Prisoners on the walls of the Fortress Monastery. Stuff about Captive Bolt Pistols for Surfs, and maybe some type of Pithing "formation"

 

 

In terms of the name, may I humbly suggest adjusting the name to "Ebon Butchers". I find it rolls off the tongue a little better.

Good suggestion, and I agree.

 

 

 

 

There's a few minor typos and flow adjustments in the article to smooth over, I recommend reciting what you've written in your head, it often works in spotting awkward repeats or trips in wording

 

I know, every pass through I pick up more, and create more as I expand upon them. I am very aware that the recruitment section is the biggest mess

 

These guys definitely give off a bit of a loyal Night Lords whiff to them, how does their primogenitor react or view their erstwhile brutal cousins that make a Marine Malevolent raise their eyebrows upon the brutality unleashed to see the Imperium's will be done?

 

Cambrius

Good question. I do not yet have the answer to that. I will give it some thought

Edited by Minigiant
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http://bolterandchainsword.com/uploads/gallery/album_1527/gallery_22046_1527_6249.png

 

Something like this?

 

I added a bit of red for that bloody feel. I think that could work for most markings including the chapter symbol.

The black trim is fine, but maybe the chest eagle kinda gets lost and should be another color? Silver/iron? Red? Then again it makes the entire scheme very dark which was the point all along I guess.

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Posted (edited)

http://bolterandchainsword.com/uploads/gallery/album_1527/gallery_22046_1527_6249.png

 

Something like this?

 

 

Yes pretty much exactly what I was envisioning. Thank you very much Edited by Minigiant
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Brainstorming time!

Fortress Monastery - Abattoir

  • Prisoners hanging from meat hooks dangling from the ceiling
    - Penitorium + Reclusium
  • Surfs brush sawdust upon the floor
  • Dining halls - Protein rich diet
     

What else could I describe within their walls?

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On 4/11/2022 at 11:00 PM, Minigiant said:

Those newly recruited into the Chapter are driven deep underground, where they will walk past prisoners strewn from meat hooks dangling from the ceiling.

Do recruits ride the Midnight Meat Train to their new homes?

 

If prisoners are to be eaten, the Ebon Butchers best do this out-of-sight, lest an Inquisitor take offense and then do to them what was done to the Sons of Malice.

 

Typos, with my suggested corrections in brackets:

 
Quote

Built into the moon orbiting the planet Caro, the Butchers['] [f]ortress[-][m]onastery, known as the Abattoir, is constructed deep into the surface.

I replaced a semicolon after "Butchers" with an apostrophe, to indicate possession. I spelled "fortress-monastery" in lower case, and added a dash between the words, as is done in Games Workshop and Black Library publications.

Quote

[For] [t]hose that die in the line of duty or in the rarest of possibilities die of old age[,] [t]heir bodies are fed into the machines along with everything else, performing one last thankless task.

I merged the sentence "Those that die in the line of duty or in the rarest of possibilities die of old age," with "Their bodies are fed into the machines along with everything else, performing one last thankless task," and made the necessary alterations for grammar.

Quote

Caro, the Gamma class ndustrial [w]orld of the Ebon Butchers, is geared solely towards food production for the Scarus sector.

Quote

Massive [h]ive spires pierce the horizon, built around gigantic slaughterhouse machinery.

Some words are needlessly capitalized.

Quote

The lucky few that are unsuccessful in transitioning into a fully-fledged Astartes become s[e]rfs, but for many, they are taken back to the surface and are fed into the grinder by a member of the Reclusiam, as a reminder of what happens to failure.

"Serfs" and "surfs" are two different words.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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420bdbf531f5248533864aa29629e770d1f0d454 A potential chapter symbol

Looks good. I was going to suggest a symbol from the movie The Midnight Meat Train (German review here), but one (seen here) can easily be mistaken for the eight-point Star of Chaos; the other (seen here) can be mistaken for the Aquila, if seen in small scale, e.g., on a Marine model's pauldron.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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What else could I describe within their walls?

How about taking inspiration from Clive Barker's short story The Midnight Meat Train, published in his Books of Blood anthology? The synopsis, from Wikipedia:

Office worker Leon Kaufman has recently moved to New York City, a place that he long idolized as "The Palace of Delights". Since arriving he has become disillusioned and recognized his former illusions as just that, seeing the dirt and depravity in a city like any other. A man named Mahogany is killing people in subway trains, identifying as a "Butcher" in pursuit of "fresh meat." Kaufman falls asleep on a late-night subway train to Brooklyn and awakens to discover Mahogany has killed people in the neighboring car and the train conductor is cooperating with him. After Kaufman kills Mahogany in self-defense, the train arrives at a secret station where ancient, withered humans board and consume the bodies. The creatures, the "City Fathers", are the secret rulers of New York for centuries, the people who founded and initially built the city. They eventually present Kaufman to the incomprehensible "Father of Fathers", who has lived here since before the first humans of America. One of them pulls out Kaufman's tongue, stating that he will "serve in silence", and recruits him as their new Butcher tasked with bringing them fresh meat. Kaufman passes out as the conductor announces the next destination as "home". Kaufman is later awakened by the conductor in a secret, pristine subway station and helped off of the train as cleaning crews come on to cover up the events of the previous night. The conductor states that he has a lot to learn before he begins his job that evening, and presents him to the cleaners who look on him with a sense of reverence. He exits the station onto the streets in the early morning as the city is waking up and coming alive, falls down to his knees, kisses the ground, and swears his loyalty to the city.

Use "Company Father" and "Chapter Father" as a Chapter-specific terms for "Captain" and "Chapter Master", and "Father of Fathers" as a reverential term for their Primarch; have Librarians take vows of silence, so they won't reveal secrets that can corrupt those unprepared for the knowledge; and have human bone (like the femur the hero used as an improvised weapon to kill the Butcher, in the 2008 film adaptation) made into grips for the Marines' weapons, in place of wood and plastic? Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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Those newly recruited into the Chapter are driven deep underground, where they will walk past prisoners strewn from meat hooks dangling from the ceiling.

Do recruits ride the Midnight Meat Train to their new homes?

 

If prisoners are to be eaten, the Ebon Butchers best do this out-of-sight, lest an Inquisitor take offense and then do to them what was done to the Sons of Malice.

 

 

Yeah they are not eating anybody. It would just be part of their interrogation/torture

 

 

What else could I describe within their walls?

Use "Company Father" and "Chapter Father" as a Chapter-specific terms for "Captain" and "Chapter Master", and "Father of Fathers" as a reverential term for their Primarch; have Librarians take vows of silence, so they won't reveal secrets that can corrupt those unprepared for the knowledge; and have human bone (like the femur the hero used as an improvised weapon to kill the Butcher, in the 2008 film adaptation) made into grips for the Marines' weapons, in place of wood and plastic?

 

Hmm I like the name. Need to think as to the extent of which they would deviate from the codex. I had no intention of any deviation.

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Black or Brown?

I personally find black armor more intimidating, but the black butcher knives are difficult to see against the black pauldron. Maybe put the black knives against a red background, or use red knives against a black background instead?

 

If you have the Marines wear black armor, will Chaplains wear red or white armor, to distinguish themselves from their non-Chaplain brethren? If not, maybe reserve black armor for the Honor Guard and other elites, but have the Chaplains handpick the most faithful and loyal among the Marines- practically inducting the latter into the Reclusium- to serve in those units?

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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I like the brown. It's fairly unique, and combined with the black and red details gives you a dark, grimy and bloody leather look to them which is fitting.

The Black one could be any other Chapters I feel.

 

I also vote for red knives/hatchets/axes on dark background for their Chapter symbol.

Edited by Codex Grey
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The vermin reminded me of H. P. Lovecraft's story The Rats in the Walls. How about giving the Chapter planet a "dark past," e.g., it was a planet the World Eaters garrisoned during the Great Crusade- one whose inhabitants were forced to fight in daily gladiatorial battles, the winners allowed to live one more day, the losers turned into "human cattle" the World Eaters would feed to others- and which the Ultramarines seized during the Scouring? The gladiatorial arenas, chirurgery rooms where losers would have their lower arms and legs amputated to convert them into "cattle," the "cattle pens" and slaughterhouses the World Eaters built, are all buried under the hive spires now covering the surface. The Ebon Butchers- forewarned of Caro's true history- keep a close eye upon the planet and its inhabitants, ready to commit any act up to and including Exterminatus, to excise what corruption takes root.

 

I also thought of proposing

the Ebon Butchers' First Chapter Master was an Emperor's Children loyalist who aided the Ultramarines during the Heresy, earning a pardon from Guilliman afterwards.

After his resurrection, Lord Regent Guilliman dispatches an emissary to inspect Caro, and deliver his personal praise of the Ebon Butchers for maintaining faith in the Imperium.

The Primarch, of course, knows the Chapter was founded with Emperor's Children gene-seed; no one else does, though Cawl has some suspicions.
Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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Homeworld, Recruitment, and Fortress-Monastery have now all been updated (Mainly with more vivid descriptions)
 

 

The vermin reminded me of H. P. Lovecraft's story The Rats in the Walls. How about giving the Chapter planet a "dark past," e.g., it was a planet the World Eaters garrisoned during the Great Crusade- one whose inhabitants were forced to fight in daily gladiatorial battles, the winners allowed to live one more day, the losers turned into "human cattle" the World Eaters would feed to others- and which the Ultramarines seized during the Scouring? The gladiatorial arenas, chirurgery rooms where losers would have their lower arms and legs amputated to convert them into "cattle," the "cattle pens" and slaughterhouses the World Eaters built, are all buried under the hive spires now covering the surface. The Ebon Butchers- forewarned of Caro's true history- keep a close eye upon the planet and its inhabitants, ready to commit any act up to and including Exterminatus, to excise what corruption takes root.

I also thought of proposing

the Ebon Butchers' First Chapter Master was an Emperor's Children loyalist who aided the Ultramarines during the Heresy, earning a pardon from Guilliman afterwards.

After his resurrection, Lord Regent Guilliman dispatches an emissary to inspect Caro, and deliver his personal praise of the Ebon Butchers for maintaining faith in the Imperium.
The Primarch, of course, knows the Chapter was founded with Emperor's Children gene-seed; no one else does, though Cawl has some suspicions.

Interesting idea but this chapter is all about me exploring the impact the planets culture has on a chapter. The Praedicators were all about their gene-seed mutation, the Butchers are all about working on an Abattoir planet.

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Interesting idea but this chapter is all about me exploring the impact the planets culture has on a chapter. The Praedicators were all about their gene-seed mutation, the Butchers are all about working on an Abattoir planet.

Fair enough.

 

Typos, with my suggested corrections in brackets:

Built into the moon orbiting the planet Caro, the Butchers['] Fortress Monastery, known as the Abattoir, is constructed deep into the surface.

I replaced the semicolon after "Butchers" with an apostrophe to indicate possession.

They will see what is colloquially known as the Macellum[ ][or] ["]Slaughterhouse,["] a combined Reclusium, Penitorium, and Dungeon.

I thought "Slaughterhouse" was a nickname for the Macellum, and edited the sentence accordingly.

Within it, [one could] see prisoners and brothers serving penance hanging from meat hooks dangling from the ceiling, and [one could] smell the sawdust used by the serfs to clean the floor.

IAs are written like essays, for which a neutral point-of-view should be used, e.g., use "one" in place of "you"; the use of past tense is also advised.
Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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