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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Chaos Space Marine warband; for the Codex Supplement, see Crimson Slaughter - A Codex: Chaos Space Marines Supplement.
Crimson Slaughter
CrimsonMarine.jpg CrimsonSlaughterDV.jpg
Origin: Crimson Sabres[6a]
Leader: Kranon the Relentless[6a]
Homeworld: Rhoghon (originally), now the Space Hulk Lost Hope[6a]
Colours: Dark red with gold trim[Needs Citation]
Chaos Dedication: Chaos Undivided[6a]

The Crimson Slaughter are a Chaos Space Marine Warband.[1]


Formerly a loyalist Space Marine Chapter known as the Crimson Sabres, the Crimson Slaughter were declared to be a Renegade Chapter in M41 following signs of psychological instability and overly-zealous activities during their campaigns. They were ultimately excommunicated from the Imperium after the events on the world of Umidia. There, they purged the planet's entire population after coming under the belief that they had been tainted by the Ruinous Powers. However subsequent intelligence indicated that Chaos Cults on the planet were indeed in the process of summoning a powerful Daemon of Khorne. Khorne, either as a reward or revenge for massacring his followers, cursed the Crimson Sabres to be haunted by the voices of all those they killed. Only further bloodshed could silence the voices, and even that was temporary. Thus the Chapter Master Sevastus Kranon led his followers into the Eye of Terror to gain a temporary peace among the realm of Chaos rather than remain in Imperial space and risk harming further innocents.[2]

The Crimson Sabres

One of the Crimson Sabers Space Marines, before falling to Chaos

The renegades who call themselves the Crimson Slaughter were once the Crimson Sabres Chapter of Space Marines. It is unknown from which founding the Crimson Sabres were created, or which Chapter served as their progenitor. The earliest mentions of the Crimson Sabres that have been have been uncovered are battle records that list them as participating in campaigns at the dawning of the 36th Millennium. That the Chapter’s founding is unknown seems tied to two events – the Amalgamation Schism and the destruction of the planet Rhoghon.[6a]

Following the Amalgamation Schism, the chapter was rebuked by the greater Adeptus Astartes for its breach of protocol. Angered, Chapter Master Nigellus was determined to shed his Chapter’s growing self-doubt and make a statement. In a bold move, he declared the Crimson Sabres would sever all ties to their brother Space Marine Chapters, including their founders, while still remaining loyal to the Imperium. All ties to their founding chapter were erased. Chapter Master Nigellus was slain a hundred years later during the Fornstadt Rebellion, but he laid the foundation of the Chapter's new creed: accomplishing each mission with faultless efficiency.[6a]

During the Imperium's Age of Redemption, the Crimson Sabres saw the multitude of ongoing Crusades as an ideal opportunity for the Chapter to prove itself. However despite proving themselves in many battles, Chapter Master Drabek became increasingly convinced that the reputation of his Chapter was still in question. Many allies became frustrated with the highly suspicious and overly-critical Space Marines. Moreover while they were away on the Crusade, the Chapter's home of the Brakatoa System fell to Daemonic onslaught. When the Chapter returned, their homeworld of Rhoghon was in ruins and many worlds of the system fell to Imperial Exterminatus. The devastation of their star system and the loss of their home world struck the Crimson Sabres hard. While they would soon resettle the Chapter on Drogsh, the third world of the Brakatoa System, the loss of Rhoghon was a blow to the Chapter’s pride.[6a]

Massacre At Umidia

For over a millennium after resettling their Chapter upon Drogsh, the Crimson Sabres continued to do their duty. But everything changed at Umidia. After receiving a distress call from the Jungle World, the Crimson Sabres were en route to the world. Escalating calls for support eventually summoned all available warriors from the entire Chapter onto the fateful planet. With each new location their augers scanned, they found more corruption, so that it was not long before they went from localized assaults to genocidal cleansing. In their methodical manner, the Crimson Sabres purged Umidia, seeking nothing less than to eliminate every single one of the world’s inhabitants. Much later, when questioned about the deed, members of the Crimson Sabres claimed that all of Umidia’s citizenry were given over to Chaos worshiping Balethu Cults. In the wake of their purge, teams of Inquisitors from the Ordo Hereticus were sent to investigate. The Inquisitors found no evidence that the Balethu Cults were worshipers of the Dark Gods. The Inquisition report was damning to the Space Marines, determining that The Crimson Sabres’ action went well beyond the eradication of some hidden cult, it had been an act of butchery.[6a]

Meanwhile, the Crimson Sabres began to experienced bizarre symptoms. their multiple hearts racing to peak levels for no purpose, or the onset of a growing sense of foreboding, as if some unseen fog was closing in all around them. A rising pressure weighed heavily upon their minds. Even before the mission was fully complete and the Crimson Sabres returned to their orbiting fleet, some of their members were already feeling the first effects of what they would later call ‘the haunting’. Individual members of the Chapter found that they could not properly clear their minds. The Crimson Sabres failed in attempt after attempt to reach the peaceful meditative state Space Marines used as a substitute for sleep. Rather than being able to relax, they visualized instead the faces of those they had killed, living over and over again their massacre. In an ever growing state of unrest, the most agitated of the Crimson Sabres began to hear voices, the whispered words of the slain. Since he had watched the slaughter on Umidia unfold, Chapter Master Sevastus Kranon too felt a growing unease.[6a]

But despite the voices that attempted to alter his perception, Kranon at last made a resolution. They would halt their Warp travel and steer back towards Umidia, setting their course instead for her sister planet — Demetra. There, they would seek clues of contamination. If, as he suspected, the Crimson Sabres uncovered further spread of the Chaos-worshiping Balethu Cults there, then he could offer them up as proof of the righteousness of their cause. It also gave the Chaplains, Librarians and Apothecaries some time to assess the mental malady that enshrouded the Chapter. However the short trip to Demetra saw the Chapter's paranoia and insanity grow. It was not the Crimson Sabres that made planetfall upon Demetra, but instead raving madmen. In an instinctive attempt to burn away the harrowing memories that haunted them, the red-armored Space Marines arrived forgetful of all their plans, now intent upon only a single undertaking: slaughter. They viciously butchered the planets populace with Bolters, aircraft, and orbital bombardment. To the Chapter's astonishment, the tormenting voices in their heads vanished after the massacre.[6a]

Fall to Chaos

Shortly after the massacre upon Demetra, the Crimson Sabres had been declared Excommunicate Traitoris. They were now named as renegades, a standing order for all forces of the Imperium to open fire upon the Crimson Sabres on sight. Calling for Librarians, Kranon dictated an urgent message to be sent to Drogsh. In essence, it read "flee if you are able" – to remain on the planet or the old moon bases of Rhoghon, or to be affiliated in any way with the Chapter, was a death sentence. Whether they escaped or some other fate befell them, Kranon never knew. Bereft of sanctuary, the Crimson Sabres would now be hunted without mercy. After the message, Kranon gathered his Chapter aboard the vast flagship Red Honour. He declared that only through battle and death could the Crimson Sabres rid themselves of the voices that haunted them. It was Sevastus Kranon’s plan to steer a course into the Eye of Terror.There, they could attack the hell-spawned traitors within that forsaken region and no further innocent lives would be lost. They might be branded as traitors, but Kranon knew they were not. It would be a noble end. After battling through a blockade of Imperial Fists Cruisers, the Crimson Sabres were able to enter the Eye.[6a]

The Crimson Slaughter battle inside the Eye of Terror

So it was that the Crimson Sabres descended upon the Eye of Terror with the unequaled fury of both the righteous and the psychotically enraged. Whether witch or abhuman, mutant or renegade Chaos Space Marine — all fell before the scythe that was the Crimson Sabres. During what became known as the Renegade Wars, there was no single moment that marked the Chapter’s turning to Chaos, rather it was a gradual evolution. The flowing powers of the Warp and the heightened fears and desires of each Space Marine combined to morph the Crimson Sabres into the Crimson Slaughter. However the chapter was slowly becoming hideously mutated, and already two hundred Marines were dead. With aid out of the question, doom seemed imminent for the chapter. At that moment, at that low point of despair and utter failure, Kranon Sevastus decided that he no longer wanted martyrdom. Instead, he wanted to live.[6a]

Corrupted Crimson Slaughter Space Marine

Kranon gathered his chapter once more and announced that he no longer served the Imperium. Instead, he would seek a cure to halt the madness that had grown in his mind. The Crimson Sabres were dead, he told them, claiming the very name the Imperial agents had pinned upon them for their acts on Umidia and Demetra. From now on, he would lead the Crimson Slaughter. What followed was brief, but bloody. To some score of Space Marines this was a final blow. They heard the words of sedition and, looking around them, saw that which they had foresworn to destroy. Kranon’s war council had already earmarked who the likely loyalists would be and stationed their own supporters nearby, with guns already aimed. Less fought than expected, and the action was swiftly over. However Kranon faced another challenge, this time from his own friend Captain Barkman, commander of the 6th Company. Barkman insisted he was fit to lead the Crimson Slaughter, and the two dueled and Kranon emerged victorious.[6a] Amid the infighting, however, one group successfully managed to escape Kranon's control. Led by Captain Dzarton, the remants of the Chapter's 4th Company captured the Pride of Rhoghon and fled from the Eye of Terror. Before parting with their traitor brethren, they declared that they were still loyalists and continue to honor the Crimson Sabres' name.[6d][6e]

Now Chaos Space Marines and with the Space Hulk Lost Hope as their base of operations, the Crimson Slaughter launched a series of bloody campaigns in the Eye of Terror and Imperial space. Mutants, exiles, and hive gangsters in their millions have set off in quest to pledge themselves before the most fearsome of the Renegade Chapters. The Cult of the Red Disciples, the Bloodbathers and Dirtdogs make up but a few of the thousands of different cultists that serve the Crimson Slaughter. However Kranon still knew the Crimson Slaughter had no way of sustaining themselves, so he made a deal with the infamous Fabius Bile. Bile agreed to create new Space Marines for the Chapter if Kranon provided body's, and the new Chaos Lord handed over Battle-Brothers who had refused to join him, condemning them to grisly fates. But with help from Fabius Bile, great laboratories had been set up aboard the Lost Hope. Row after row of chem-vats grew the organs that would be transplanted into aspirants to transform them into initiates.[6a]

When the Crimson Slaughter’s numbers began to wax strong once more, Kranon knew it was time for a large scale foray into the Imperium. Thus began a rampage across a dozen worlds near the Veiled Region. These were not raids, but full-scale invasions that viciously swept over planets.[6a]

Confrontation with Angels

Again and again the Crimson Slaughter materialized out of the Warp and wreaked havoc, yet Kranon was no closer to finding his true goal, the Hellfire Stone. This relic, he believed, could cure the Crimson Slaughter of the maddening voices that plagued them. After capturing the Fallen Angel Turiel (and failing to capture the infamous Cypher), the former Dark Angel said he would give the Crimson Slaughter the location of the Hellfire Stone in exchange for his freedom. Kranon was more interested in wreaking revenge on those who had besmirched his Chapter so long ago during the Amalgamation Schism: the Dark Angels. Kranon instead had Turiel give him the location of more Fallen, who Kranon mercilessly hunted down and slaughtered. The dead Fallen were left in the open on the worlds of Stern's Remembrance, and the Crimson Slaughter sent a message to the Dark Angels that he knew of their secret past. In doing so, Kranon hoped to lure the Dark Angels into a trap.[6a]

Soon enough, the Dark Angels appeared. Kranon sprung his trap and in the ensuing fight the outnumbered Dark Angels retreated. During the battle, the captain of the Dark Angels 5th Company Zadakiel was slain. His grudge repaid, Kranon now had the Crimson Slaughter resume the search for the Hellfire Stone. However he had made a vicious new enemy for the Crimson Slaughter, as the Dark Angels swore retribution and were determined to erase any who knew of the secret of the Fallen. During the Battle of Bane's Landing the Crimson Slaughter was hunted down and defeated by the vengeful Angels just as they were about to acquire the Hellfire Stone. Kranon was forced to flee back to the Eye of the Terror, his prize so close. In a furious state, he struggled with rage and, above all, the manifold voices. In the midst of battle, after bloodletting granted him a rare moment of clear thought, Kranon experienced an epiphany. He was being used, and badly.[6a]

The Crimson Slaughter at the Battle for Bane's Landing

It had been a near thing on Bane’s Landing. As they had attempted to wash the Hellfire Stone with the blood of a captured Space Marine, he had felt the skies grow black, he had felt the twitching agitation from the inner voices that were now a part of him. It was not fear they were feeling about the ritual, but a fierce joy. The words that had risen unbidden from Kranon during the height of the ritual had not been his own, nor even in a language that he knew – but it came to him that he had heard similar words before. On Umidia, the Balethu Cults had screamed those words. They sought to summon daemons from their patron, Khorne, but were denied the completion of their ritual by Kranon and the Crimson Sabres that slaughtered them. The ancient magics of the Hellfire Stone were not meant to eradicate the inner daemons, but rather to make them stronger. They were intended to usher in a dark new age. His mind reeling with the implications, Kranon returned to the Lost Hope to prepare for a new plan.[6a]

Kranon knew what the next target for the Crimson Slaughter must be. His new Marines implanted with the organs developed from Fabius Bile’s creations, however, were turning into monstrosities, wild and uncontrollable. But he needed more warriors – many more – and there was only so much gene-seed that could be farmed from his own followers. To gain the more stable matter he would need to seize it. After recent clashes and the vendetta the Crimson Slaughter had developed, Kranon knew exactly which Chapter he would steal it from. He raided the Ice World of Numarc, a recruitment world for the Dark Angels. Emerging victorious, all the Dark Angels on Numarc were slain and he plundered the Angels' fortress of its gene-seed stock. Following the battle, it was revealed that the warband's chief Sorcerer Mannon had become possessed by the Lord of Change Tzax’lan-tar. Revealing to have been manipulating Kranon, the Lord of Change vanished. Kranon vowed to hunt down the daemon. He again failed to slay Tzax’lan-tar in the Battle of Myrmidrax.[6a]

However the Dark Angels had not forgotten about their vendetta against the Crimson Slaughter. 5th Company Master Balthasar pursued the Crimson Slaughter, eventually running Kranon to ground on an unnamed moon, where the Chaos Lord was finally defeated and had his head taken as a trophy by the Dark Angels.[5b]

The Black Crusade

Somehow, Kranon survived his ordeal with the Dark Angels (it is not clear if this is simply a case of conflicting sources or some trick on his part). But by this point, the Crimson Slaughter had garnered the attention of Abaddon the Despoiler, Lord of the Black Legion. Upon meeting the Warmaster of Chaos Kranon vowed to join the Black Crusade, but he would do so only on the condition that the Daemon Tzax’lan-tar was his to kill, whether they be on the same side or not. Thus the Crimson Slaughter joined in the 13th Black Crusade, striking the Hive World of Regallus.[Needs Citation]

Later, Kranon led the Crimson Slaughter in an alliance with the Black Legion Sorcerer Xorphas in the Diamor Campaign in 999.M41. The Crimson Slaughter believed that the key to curing their spectres could be found within the Diamor System. However, they were largely used as cannon fodder by their allies.[8a]

Other Engagements

Other Facts

It is known that one of the Crimson Slaughter Champions has slain an Imperial Saint.[8b]




The Crimson Slaughter fleet consists of six vessels.[6b]

Known members

Former members

Factions and warbands

Affiliated Chaos cults


Draznicht and a squad of the Crimson Slaughter.[3]

See also