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Fabius Bile

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Fabius Bile[4]

The only real crime for those of superlative intellect and great prowess is to allow one's self to become shackled by mediocrity. The crime is to let your grasp be less than your reach. To aim low.[6]

Fabius Bile, originally just Fabius and also known as the Spider and the Primogenitor is a Chaos Space Marine. Prior to the defeat of the Horus Heresy, he was a Lieutenant-Commander and Chief Apothecary of the Emperor's Children. He is now an infamous mad scientist, specializing in genetic manipulation and the creation of Enhanced Warriors.[4] Unlike most of the Emperor's Children, Bile does not follow Slaanesh, instead he devotes himself to science, and research into the creation of Space Marines.[1]


Early Life

Fabius was born on Terra to Europan nobility. As a child, he learned the art of fleshcrafting from one of his families servants. Among his first experiments was modifying mice to duel each other in elaborate garb and was inconsolable when they disobeyed his orders and killed one another. Shortly after, he was inducted into the III Legion.[22b]

Great Crusade

Fabius was the sole member of the original Legion's command structure amongst the Two Hundred survivors of 'the Blight' that caused organ degeneration in the Emperor's Children as a result of a Selenite plot. Despite this he did not seek promotion, being instead dedicated to his work to reverse the disease. He was nicknamed the Spider by other members of the Legion.[12]

By the end of the Great Crusade, Fabius had risen to Chief Apothecary of the Emperor's Children and was known for his reclusive and inquisitive nature. As the Heresy and betrayal of the Emperor's Children loomed, Fabius managed to convince Fulgrim that he could improve upon the Legion's gene-seed and finalize their quest for perfection. To this end Fabius began experimenting on both Emperor's Children and Blood Angels wounded or slain in the War on Murder. This began Fabius' descent into corruption and madness, as his experiments became ever-more extreme.[10]

Horus Heresy

Bile as he once was; Apothecary Fabius of the Emperor's Children[Needs Citation]

Once the Heresy began and the Imperium became divided, Fabius was held in high esteem by both Horus and Erebus for his skills in genetic research. Omegon was told by Horus to give Fabius the stolen Data from the Primach project. However the Data Omegon gave Bile was purposefully flawed, so that the traitors would waste manpower and resources, while it would be impossible to gain any benefit from it.[3]

Following the Drop Site Massacre Fabius trawled the ancient choral conclaves on Isstvan V, scavenging knowledge left there by the warsingers of the Isstvan System.[21]

Fabius joined several Emperor's Children commanders such as Lucius and Marius Vairosean in using extreme torture to exorcise the Daemon that was inhabiting Fulgrim.[11]

At his Primarch's demand, Fabius produced his first cloned Primarch, creating a replica of Ferrus Manus which Fulgrim tried to again convert to his cause and killing him after he refused. Fabius created multiple clones of Ferrus, all refusing Fulgrim before being killed.[13] Fabius proved vital for the Emperor's Children during the Heresy, reviving both Eidolon and Lucius at the demand of their Primarch. As the war ground on his experiments became more and more depraved, torturing captive Space Marines of both allied and enemy Legions to give birth to his first generation of Terata.[14]

During the end of the Heresy Fabius took part in his legion's attack on Terra, although neither he or his Legion were actually involved in the siege of the Imperial Palace; instead, they attacked the general population. In the Legion's unrestrained fervour, millions of Earth's civilians were murdered. Bile used the opportunity to perform horrific experiments on captives. Human victims were rendered down to create special drugs which heightened the Legionnaires' feeling of ecstasy. It is possible that Earth served as the first example of Fabius' subsequent atrocious experiments on entire planetary populations.[5] During the Siege of Terra, Fabius had an epiphany, seeing the uselessness of what the traitor Legions were trying to accomplish he left Terra before the death of Horus, along with a retinue of altered followers. The act incensed Fulgrim, who put a bounty on his head.[18e] Bile was meanwhile hunted by the Salamanders, and narrowly escaped their wrath.[24]

Legion Wars

For all his twisted genius, Bile could not hold back the furious crusade of loyalists that launched outward from ravaged Terra. Retribution finally caught him in the Arden System, where he was supporting the excesses of the renegade Lord Tyrell in exchange for foetal material. The Adeptus Astartes launched themselves down upon the corrupted world of Arden IX. Bile’s flesh refineries and cloning vats all burned in a single night as the righteous fury of the Salamanders Chapter incinerated all evidence of the Primogenitor’s precious experiments. Bile brought low a dozen Space Marines in the battle as his once-brothers died agonising and inventive deaths. Yet he barely escaped the battle. He was forced to flee for his life, and his ship was crippled by an Imperial Gothic class cruiser as he fled for the dubious refuge of the Warp. Whether by accident or design, Bile’s vessel was slowly drawn into the Eye of Terror. He drifted there for an age, constantly experimenting on those few acolytes he had left until the hand of some dark god guided his ship into the gravity well of a Daemon world. Once, the planet had been one of the scintillating jewel-worlds of the Eldar civilisation before their own debaucheries saw their civilisation torn apart. Now it was a shriveled ruin, a Crone World of seething madness that echoed to the screams of souls long dead. To Fabius Bile, it became home.[9]

Bile took up command of the remaining Emperor's Children and regrouped at at Canticle City, the fortress of the Emperor's Children on the Daemon world of Harmony.[18e] Bile went about continuing his work from before the Heresy, attempting to unravel the secrets of gene-seed and the Emperor's science in creating the Primarchs. To that end, Bile continued to clone Primarchs as he had Ferrus Manus earlier. After capturing Horus' body on Maleum, Bile created a clone of Horus. This confused creature was found by Abaddon, and killed by him in the Battle of Harmony. During the battle, it was revealed that Bile had attempted to clone several Primarchs from samples he had gathered over the ages. The result however were a collection of adolescent monstrosities and deformed creatures, which were all subsequently wiped out by Abaddon and his forces. Annoyed, Bile stated that Abaddon had set his work back considerably and fled.[16]

The other Emperor's Children considered Bile's retreat from Canticle City with the remnants of his work as a betrayal.[18e] After the fall of Canticle City, Bile found himself pursued by multiple foes, including Chaos Marines, eldar, the Dark Council, and even Fulgrim himself.[18h]. He eventually settled on the Crone World of Urum.[18d]

The Long War

In the centuries following the Heresy, he traveled the galaxy offering his services to various planetary lords or rebel leaders, in return for prisoners (the "Flesh-Tithe")[19] or ancient technical libra. Many of these ambitious overlords came to regret allowing Bile's experimentation's on their people, as the results of his atrocities became apparent.[1] His creations have also infiltrated many Imperial planets, helping to hide evidence of his activity and redirect potential enemies.[19] Despite his infamy, Bile still adheres to a twisted version of the old Imperial Truth, believing that only the foolish and weak seek the comfort of gods and seeking scientific understanding above all else.[18h]

Bile eventually ended up leading a group of affiliated apothecaries from various Legions known as the Consortium based on Urum.[18a] Looking for a key to stop the decay of his body and achieve immortality, he was a key participant in the Shattering, the attack by the Emperor's Children on the Eldar Craftworld Lugganath in 764.M34. . During the attack it became apparent that his former acolyte Oleander Koh and a group of Harlequins engineered the events to try and convince Fabius to lead the Emperor's Children once more. However Fabius refused to become a warleader and instead insisted that his work would continue.[18g][20]

For a time, he was tutored in the dark arts of manipulating the flesh in the Tower of Flesh, a Haemonculi stronghold of the Coven of the Thirteen Scars.[2] This eventually led to him tutoring his fellow Emperor's Children in these dark arts, which led to Bile coming into conflict with the Thirteen Scars at the Battle of Belial IV in 993.M37. The Coven slaughtered those who Bile tutored, and surgically ensured that Fabius himself could never speak of what he had learned.[7]

Due to his original genetic flaw, Bile's body quickly deteriorates and dies. He has managed to sustain his life over the centuries by creating clones of himself and transferring his own brain into them.[18h]

Equipment and abilities

Creations and Experimentations

Enhanced Warriors during the Horus Heresy
  • Cloned Primarchs- Fabius styles himself 'Primogenitor', claiming he has unlocked the secrets in the creation of the Primarchs and the Space Marines.[1] This is possibly due in part to the Raven Guard's research on the Primarch genetic code, which was stolen by Alpha Legion operatives.[3] His fondest desire is to harvest the genetic bounty of the reborn Primarch Guilliman himself.[15] Fabius has created clones of all twenty of the Primarchs,[22a] including matured clones of:
  • Eidolon- As well as his early work using Laer technology to give the Lord Commander the ability to emit a nerve paralysing shriek,[10a] following Eidolon's execution Fabius managed to reattach his severed head to his body and revive him.[14]
  • Terata- His experiments on others bring uncertain results. Sometimes the experiment is a success, creating psychotic killers, superhuman even in comparison to their corrupted Chaos brethren, sometimes the subject's metabolism disintegrates in the face of the stress, resulting in instant death.[Needs Citation] He has become fascinated with the new Primaris Space Marines, and has obsessively dissected and studies whatever specimens he has captured. He has pledged to create his own twisted versions of the Primaris.[15]
  • Kakophoni- The original Noise Marines.[18f]
  • New Men- The pinnacle of his art is the "New Man", creatures who possess strength and intelligence superior to any human, as well as the worst traits of mankind. As Fabius leaves behind planets of corrupted human abominations, the Adeptus Astartes and the Inquisition strive to purge these creations, and are forced to destroy entire populations.[1]
    • Gland-hounds- Made by partial gene-seed implantation, designed to hunt Space Marines in packs and retrieve their gene-seed.[18a]
  • Vat-born- Initially only created through growth in vats, but later generations were able to reproduce amongst themselves.[18c]
    • Melusine- The first and greatest of the vat-born, created from multiple genetic templates before Fabius' experiments on the cloned Warmaster.[19]
  • Thralls- Fabius is attended by bonecrafted thralls of his own creation, existing as a mixture of human, mutant, and Neverborn.[16]
    • Witches- Psykers created by introducing genetic flaws into the abhuman population.[21]
    • Overseers- Tall, grey creations implanted with psych-dampners and other implants to protect them from the witches' powers.[21]
  • Mind-worm — Resembling a centipede with a metal segmented carapace and several fibrous antennae. Once implanted could copy the host's thoughts, memories, and dreams and download them for transfer to a data-spike.[18d]
  • Splices — multiple species of mutant created from mixing human and animal DNA. Identified types are described as canind, simian, bovine, rodentine, arachnoid, ophidian, minotal, and many more.[23]
  • Self-experimentation- He experiments on himself just as readily as on any of his victims, resulting in vast variations on his strength and other abilities. With his physical form frail, Bile has managed to create many clones of himself and implants his own brain into them to extend his life.[18h]


The Chirurgeon
  • The Chirurgeon- a warp-tainted mechanical device attached to his spine. It pumps daemonically charged black ichor around his body giving him unnatural resilience. Spidery limbs tipped with vicious saws, blades and other twisted variations of medical devices extend over his shoulders, which act as both the tools of his experimentation and a means of attack.[Needs Citation]
  • Rod of Torment- a daemon-forged once belonging to the daemon prince Sh'lacqclak[18a], when it strikes it is able to incapacitate almost any enemy with unbearable pain.[1]
  • Xyclos Needler- a gun that fires virulent poison darts[1]


In the years following the Heresy, he commanded the Lunar Cruiser Pulchritudinous at the Battle of Harmony.[16] Later his personal vessel was the captured Gladius Frigate Vesalius.[18b] He also commands the custom gunship Butcher-Bird.[18c]


  • "If a man dedicates his life to good deeds and the welfare of others, he will die unthanked and unremembered. If he exercises his genius bringing misery and death to billions, his name will echo down through the millennia for a hundred lifetimes. Infamy is always more preferable to ignominy."[1]
  • "Unlike you, whelp, I once walked the same ground as your Idol . I breathed the same air as him. And I tell you this, without lie or artifice. He never wanted to become what you have made him! He did not wish to be your god-thing. He abhorred such ideals! The slavery of your crippled, blind Imperium would sicken him, if he had eyes to see it."[6]



Fabius is a major antagonist in the third and fourth volumes of James Swallow's Blood Angels (Novel Series), and also appears peripherally in Swallow's short story The Returned and his Horus Heresy series novels The Flight of the Eisenstein and Fear to Tread.

At the 2012 Black Library Weekender, Swallow confided that he lobbied hard with Black Library and Games Workshop to let him "kill" Fabius at the end of Black Tide (Novel) (because of the sheer evil of Fabius's actions), but was refused.

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