Fabius Bile is a Chaos Space Marine Apothecary, originally of the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion, who has repeatedly attempted to use his knowledge of cloning and genetic engineering to create superhuman beings under his control in a quest to match and then exceed the Emperor of Mankind's original scientific achievement in creating the superhuman Adeptus Astartes. Travelling the galaxy more widely than any other Chaos Lord of the Traitor Legions, Bile has earned a number of epithets and aliases from those who have suffered the affects of his vile experiments. On Dimmamar, Bile was known as the "Chem-master", for there he changed the atomic composition of the air until the population was forced to ingest his transformative serums or slowly suffocate. On Arden IX and in the Bray system he is "Manflayer", for there he would wear the skins of those who opposed him as a great stitched cloak, forcing the skinless survivors to carry the garment behind him like a bridal train. To the wretched tribes living among the ravaged hives of Paramar V he is the "Clonelord", for he vat-grew obedient twins of every firstborn child and replaced them with their doppelgangers the better to guide the planet's descent into darkness.
To Bile himself, there is only one title that does his magnificence justice -- the "Primogenitor". He believes that in him is the Emperor's boundless artistry reborn. He claims he has unlocked the secrets of the Emperor's earliest replicae experiments during the creation of the Primarchs and the first Space Marines. Bile's twisted alchemical knowledge and skills at genetic manipulation can be attested to by every planet he has had contact with, for he has left a trail of foul deviants and twisted abominations wherever his ships have landed. His name has become a curse to the High Lords of Terra and those of the Apothecarion who have learned of his legend. Many believe that he has irrevocably tainted Mankind's gene pool, polluting it with hidden growth strains and lurking corruptions. Some scattered cults even worship him as Pater Mutatis, father of all the mutants that skulk in the underbelly of the Imperium. It is a belief that Bile does nothing to dissuade.
Fabius Bile was once an Apothecary of the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion who was corrupted by Chaos in his desire to enhance the physical perfection of the Emperor's Children Astartes. In the latter years of the Great Crusade, Bile's uncanny skills saw him move from the rank of Apothecary all the way to lieutenant commander of the Emperor’s Children. Even as a leader of men, he was rarely away from his surgeries for long. Bile saw his fellow warriors not as comrades or brothers, but as fresh test specimens ready to be experimented upon. Each was but a stepping stone in his great work; a tapestry of genetic information to be unpicked and woven anew in Bile's quest to understand the forbidden sciences of the Emperor himself. Using the knowledge of genetic engineering he had gained from the corpses of the Slaanesh-worshiping reptilian Laer xenos of the world of Laeran that had been conquered by the Emperor's Children during the Great Crusade, Bile developed a series of modified gene-seed organs. These organs were eventually implanted into all of those members of the III Legion who joined their Primarch Fulgrim in turning against the Emperor. This lead to the creation of the first Noise Marines, as well as other types of variant mutant Chaos Space Marines. At the start of the Horus Heresy before the Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V, Bile modified the nervous systems of his fellow Emperor's Children so that all sensations of pain were rewired to stimulate the brain's pleasure centers instead. This meant that even the infliction of truly horrific or even mortal wounds produced unrivaled pleasure in the modified Astartes.
Battle of Terra
During the Horus Heresy, Bile did not follow the path of his fellow Battle-Brothers in their worship of Slaanesh. Instead he distanced himself from his Legion and devoted himself to researching forbidden genetic engineering technology that would unlock the secrets behind the Emperor's creation of the Astartes. The events of the Heresy culminated in the Siege of the Emperor's Palace. The Emperor's Children, by this time a Traitor Legion fully under the sway of the renegade Warmaster, invaded Earth with Horus but took little direct part in the fighting around the palaces. Instead, they descended upon the civilian populations of Terra's Administratum; the mind-bogglingly complex infrastructure of clerks, bureaucrats, curators and menials whose efforts kept the lifeblood of the Imperium flowing. Whole dynasties of staid scribes and strata of haughty prefects were caught as they fled the war zone consuming their world. They were consumed in their turn. More than a million prisoners were rendered down under Bile's supervision and distilled into an array of stimulants and intoxicants for the Emperor's Children to ingest. It was the crowning depravity of their slide into the abyss, and it pleased their master Slaanesh greatly.
Perhaps it was at this time that Fabius Bile committed himself completely to the darkness. He was certainly foremost in the experimentation upon living prisoners, keeping them alive in their torment for weeks at a time and cataloguing every ghoulish result. Even amidst the carnage that followed the breaking of the Heresy, his fascination was with life, not death. Bile guided the Emperor’s Children ever further into the embrace of Slaanesh, the Dark Prince. His surgeries ensured that only one path was left to them; an eternal pursuit of sensual excess that has scarred the stars ever since. Yet Bile himself never underwent the surgeries he so thoroughly inflicted on his so-called brothers.
After the Heresy
As his fellow Space Marines lost themselves in sensuality, Bile moved further and further along his own dark path. He left Holy Terra shortly before Horus' defeat at the hands of the Emperor, accompanied by a handful of his most gifted acolytes. Bile's warband moved through the war-torn Imperium like a shard of glass in an intestinal tract, carving a new legend with every twist and turn of their journey. Wherever he made planetfall, the Primogenetor offered his assistance in exchange for prisoners, genetic samples and ancient technical libra. Many ambitious planetary overlords came to rue the day they joined their fates with Fabius Bile. His atrocities and acts of mass genocide often repelled even those that had ordered the deaths in the first place. Nonetheless, few could deny that the assistance Bile offered was potent. His serums could transform mediocre defence troopers into ravening super-soldiers, and his mastery of the cloning process saw him able to mobilise thousands of "perfect warriors" within months. As a consequence, genocide and genetic debasement marked his path and the Inquisition still strives to eliminate the threat of his genetically enhanced, psychotic, "New Men" from star systems across the Imperium.
Yet for all his twisted genius, Bile could not hold back the furious crusade of loyalists that launched outward from ravaged Terra during the what became known as The Scouring. 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 Salamanders Chapter launched themselves down upon the corrupted world of Arden IX like fiery angels of vengeance. Bile's flesh refineries and cloning vats all burned in a single night as the righteous fury of the Salamanders incinerated all evidence of the Primogenitor's precious experiments. Bile brought low a dozen Space Marines in the battle, his rictus grin illuminated by flickering fire 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 shrivelled ruin, a Crone World of seething madness that echoed to the screams of souls long dead. To Fabius Bile, it became home.
Bile soon discovered that the shattered Traitor Legions making their home in the Eye of Terror had particular need of his skills. His augmented warriors and bio-magicks were useful indeed, and clones and slaves were put to good use on a hundred battlefields. Yet it was the skills Bile had learned as an Apothecary that were most precious to the Traitor Legions. Most of all, they needed Bile's ability to extract precious progenoid glands from the fallen in order to create new Chaos Space Marines. Without these skills, the Long War would slowly dwindle, and the fires that Horus had lit would go out forever. With so much influence at his behest, Fabius Bile negotiated a delicate bargain with the Traitor Legions, selling his secrets to each of them but refusing to aid one any more than any other. In this way, the Primogenitor ensures his position at the heart of a genetic web that spans across the Eye of Terror and beyond.
At some point after the Heresy, the Primarch Horus' body was stolen, for with its potent genetic information and biological secrets, it was a great prize indeed. In a sudden assault, the remnants of the debased Emperor's Children, having grown vastly in power after firmly cementing their terrible pacts with Slaanesh, easily smashed their way through the defences of the Daemon World of Maeleum and into the central chambers of the Sons of Horus' stronghold. They stole the body of the slain Primarch from the heart of its tomb and spirited it away, handing it over to the Primogenitor. Bile cloned Horus, much to the Sons of Horus' disgust. Bile thought that this would, amongst other things, curry the favor of Abaddon the Despoiler. Instead, Abaddon destroyed the Horus replicae, proclaiming it a "blasphemy" (as well as a potential threat to his own control over the Forces of Chaos as Horus's heir), and ordered his newly renamed Black Legion to raze Bile's Laboratoria and destroy his experiments. It is fair to assume that Bile has not been on good terms with Abaddon since then; following these events, Bile left behind the cause of the Traitor Legions and became a "free agent", pursuing his own agenda. He has also successfully managed to clone himself, with several of his replicaes active in various places, as he is said to have secret facilities in a dozen locations across the Milky Way Galaxy. His arrogance and twisted amoral intelligence is more than matched by his sadistic cruelty.
The Thirteen Scars
It is rumoured amongst the acolytes of Bile that the Primogenitor studied the arts of pain under the Haemonculi of Commorragh. These maestros of torture are so skilled in their works that even Bile, with several thousand years of experience in wielding the scalpel, is a mere novice by comparison. Nonetheless, after his eventual capture in 796.M37 in a raid on an Emperor's Children citadel, Bile so impressed the Coven of the Thirteen Scars with his improvisational tortures that he was allowed to visit the inverted spires of their city-dungeons as a guest instead of a victim. There, he aided the Thirteen Scars in the creation of the Tower of Flesh; a living, breathing fortress made from the remains of those that had wronged the Coven in their lives. Without Bile's elixirs and the runes he carved into the fleshy walls of the mobile fortress, the sentient tower may not have lived more than a few days, but it lives on still, dangling from the underside of Commorragh like a fleshy stalactite. Within its blood-dripping walls, Bile was taught many of the Haemonculi's lesser secrets. In the dark circles of the truly evil, the magnitude of such a feat is whispered in hushed tones. No greater honour have the Dark Eldar bestowed upon a member of the lesser races in all of human history. Bile realises this fact well, and has put the lessons he learned there to good use ever since.
The New Men
The Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes are well aware of Fabius Bile's nightmarish actions. In every segmentum, the populations of once-productive Imperial worlds have had to be wiped out wholesale. Once the infections of Bile's black arts have taken hold, the mewling victims must be purged by fire and sword to prevent them fleeing. Only by personal investigation can it be ascertained just how many citizens have fallen to Bile's genetic afflictions. Mostly, the Chapters charged with investigating such worlds find once-civilised planets populated by ragged hordes of debased, shambolic monsters. Not all of these purgation missions are mercy killings. Upon dozens, perhaps hundreds of worlds, the Space Marines have encountered fierce resistance from hardened cadres of enhanced humans who fight with the strength and cunning of devils. These altered half-spawn exhibit strength, speed and intelligence many times higher than the human norm and are depraved, psychotic killers to a man. They are Bile's proudest creations, the New Men he would spread throughout the galaxy. Fickle, selfish, obsessive, aggressive, murderous; they echo their creator in more than just their physique. Each of man's worst traits has been brought to the fore and magnified tenfold, married with the psychology of a tyrant and the strength of a madman. Even the Inquisition do not know how many of these abominations have escaped into the galaxy. Many of them are altered subtly, their corded muscles and crazed minds hidden in plain view until their incipient psychosis sends them on a manic killing spree.
Bile on Baal
Teetering on the brink of oblivion following the near-disastrous Blood Angels Chapter civil war on the Shrine World of Sabien, the fate of the Blood Angels Chapter required the magnanimity of their Successor Chapters. Lord Commander Dante summoned all of the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters for a conclave on Baal. Dante called on the Blood Angels' Successors to aid the Chapter in the protection of their common Primarch's homeworld and his remains from the attack of both the Tyranids and the Forces of Chaos.
While Dante lead the discussion at the conclave, the Apothecaria was working on a radical new procedure to replenish the ranks of the Blood Angels in one swift stroke: the lost art of replicae (cloning). Caecus was the Chief Apothecary or Apothecae Majoris of the Blood Angels. Disturbed by the dwindling numbers of his Chapter, and dreading its extinction, he was involved in fruitless experiments, which Lord Commander Dante ordered stopped, to clone Space Marines, thus eliminating the need to go through the arduous process of the maturation and implantation of the gene-seed in an Aspirant. However, Caecus disobeyed the order and secretly continued the experiments, prodded by an agent of Fabius Bile.
He was tricked into bringing Bile, who was disguised as a well-known Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Biologis, Haran Serpens, to Baal, mistakenly thinking the false "Magos" would help in cloning Space Marines to increase the Blood Angels' numbers. Through Bile's manipulations, Caecus was duped, and only managed to create monstrous, mutant clone-Astartes known as "Bloodfiends" who were consumed by the Red Thirst. These creatures were a shattered mirror reformed in the image of a Blood Angel, but lacked any of the qualities that might be thought of as human. The mutations that cursed the gene-seed of the Blood Angels had been enhanced by the machinations and Chaotic tech-heresy of Fabius Bile, and with each drop of blood they consumed, the thirst that dominated the Bloodfiends grew stronger. The mutants broke free from the confines of Caecus' laboratorium and began to run rampant through the sacred halls of the fortress-monastery of the Blood Angels. During their rampage, Bile managed to steal a glass vial that Caeucus had carried back from the Chapel of the Red Grail -- a measure of the mingled blood of a hundred centuries of Sanguinary Priests and the Primarch, the raw vitae of the Chapter.
During the Bloodfiends' rampage, a small group of the bloodthirsty mutants assaulted the sacred Chapel of the Chapter's fortress-monastery. Brother Corbulo raced to the Chapel to confront the creatures. He knew exactly what it was the beasts wanted, and he bellowed out a denial, charging in a headlong rush to meet such embodiments of corruption. The creatures swarmed Corbulo as the Sanguinary Priest carved into them with his Chainsword Heaven's Teeth. But the largest of the Bloodfiends, a massive brute easily the size of an Astartes in Terminator Armour, threw itself towards its target -- the Red Grail and the precious blood of the Primarch it contained. The Bloodfiend seized the holy relic and then tipped the contents of the cup into its open mouth and drained it to the dregs. Now that the beasts had tasted the blood of the Primarch, they only craved more. In the aftermath of this desecration, Bile had achieved his goal and escaped from the Blood Angels' homeworld with a sample of the precious vitae of their Primarch to continue his experiments.
Having finally secured their homeworld against Bile's mutant-creations, Lord Commander Dante assigned Sergeant Rafen the vital mission of recovering the missing phial that contained the blood of their Primarch that had been secreted away by Bile during the Blood Angels' conclave. Rafen was to recover this most precious of resources and execute the one who stole it for his foul transgressions. Rafen futilely followed the trail of Fabius Bile aboard the Strike Cruiser Tycho for some time, but the trail had gone cold. With the help of Sergeant Noxx of the Flesh Tearers Chapter, the two noncommissioned officers were able to combine their squads and redouble their efforts in tracking and hunting down the elusive Bile. Eventually, the Clone Lord's whereabouts were traced to a powerful Adeptus Mechanicus Magos by the name of Matthun Zellik who had prior dealings with Bile in his usurped identity as the Magos Haran Serpens, the same alias used by Bile to infiltrate the Blood Angels' fortress-monastery on Baal. The joint Space Marine strike force attacked the vessel Archeohort, an ancient and unusual excavation ship solely manned by Servitors and members of the Skitarii.
Rafen and Noxx were able to take advantage of a turncoat within Zellik's retinue, and were able to make their way to Zellik's trophy room. They were able to force the Magos' surrender when they began to smash and destroy the relics he had recovered during his long career. With the vessels Archeohort, Tycho and the Flesh Tearers' vessel Gabriel, Sergeat Rafen and his Battle-Brothers traveled to the world of Dynikas V, a world in the Ghoul Stars region, where Magos Zellik had last had dealings with "Magos Serpens." This unusual world had fallen victim to the predations of a tendril of a Tyranid Hive Fleet, but do to unusual events, somehow the oceans remained intact. Within the oceans of the ravaged planet lurked several aquatically evolved Tyranid bioforms, who were now leaderless without a Hive Mind to control them. Thanks to a captured Zoanthrope Bile "modified", the pheromones produced by the creature were used to confuse the Tyranids and hide the existence of Bile's facility from their senses.
Sacrificing Magos Zellik's ship, Sergeants Rafen, Nox and their men descended upon the planet using a submersible to approach Bile's suspected base of operations. But the mission soon went awry when the Space Marines were forced to battle enormous Tyranid creatures that rivalled the mighty Ice Krakens of the Death World of Fenris. During their nautical battle, Rafen was somehow separated from his allies and managed to float to the surface where he was captured by Bile's enhanced, mutated slaves and brought to the Clone Lord's laboratorium within his bleak fortress complex. Disarmed and strapped to an examination table, Rafen had a strange maggot implanted into his body that bound itself to him and was taken before Fabius Bile himself.
The Emperor Project
The Clone Lord began to espouse his grand scheme to use the highly pure blood of Sanguinius to help him in his most audacious scheme: obtaining the complete genetic code of the Emperor of Mankind and creating a replicae (clone) of him -- that Bile would control -- with all of the Emperor's psychic powers and other attributes, though none of his moral sense. For millennia, Bile had been collecting body parts and genetic material from captured or killed Space Marines to further this project, the ultimate goal of his quest for human perfection begun so long before. Sanguinius' blood, carrying a purer strain of the Emperor's DNA than that of the genetic material reaped from the gene-seed organs of countless Astartes, was a huge leap forward for Bile's ambitions. Though severely wounded and weakened from his recent ordeal, Rafen managed to attack the wretched Bile and tear out his throat with his teeth, killing him.
However, unbeknownst to Rafen, Bile was not actually dead. Following this assassination, Rafen was taken to a bizarre arena where he was forced to take part in a race against mutants and other captured Astartes, lest he be killed. During this contest, Rafen saw Bile in the audience, somehow still alive. During this contest, Rafen encountered the bellicose Tarikus, a captured Doom Eagles Space Marine, and conspired with him to effect an uprising against the Clone Lord. Meanwhile, Sergeant Noxx had taken charge of the joint Space Marine strike force and effected an assault upon Bile's fortress complex. During the ensuing battle Brother Ceris, a Librarian in Rafen's squad, psychically contacted his squad leader and bade him to assault a strange Warp signature to prevent Bile from effecting his escape. This strange Warp signature proved to be a captured Zoanthrope that had been harvested by Bile and bent to his will to create Warp portals and ward away the other Tyranid bioforms on the planet. The Zoanthrope welcomed oblivion at the hands of the Blood Angels Sergeant.
During the battle that ensued, Fabius Bile was killed no less than four times. The truth of the matter was revealed to Rafen and a handful of his allies when they encountered a pair of clones of Bile; apparent copies of the true Fabius Bile who was not even on the planet. Though unfortunate, when confronted, one of the Bile clones did possess the coveted phial of Sanguinius' blood. When Rafen fought the last Bile clone he managed to take it from the clone and inject it into himself, temporarily attaining enormous strength and power from the blood of Sanguinius. Bile had told Rafen that he did not need the blood anymore, as he had analyzed it already, and had grasped its genetic secrets. The Space Marines then effected their escape by teleporting away from Dykinas V while the Tyranid bioforms ravaged Bile's fortress complex in the absence of the captured Zoanthrope who had been keeping them at bay.
Following these events, the presumably "real" Bile is still alive and well on an Eldar Crone World. His knowledge of the Emperor's DNA is intact, but the replicae project has suffered major delays thanks to the Blood Angels and Flesh Tearers' actions. He was offered an alliance with the Daemon Prince Malfallax to take revenge against the Blood Angels, although it is not currently known whether he accepted the offer.
Fabius Bile wears his white hair bound in a long scalp-lock, which only serves to render his already gaunt features more skeletal and emaciated. His eyes are black, having changed to match those of his Daemon Primarch, Fulgrim. Bile wears a floor-length coat of flayed human skin, taken from the bodies of the dead on Istvaan V. Here and there, it is possible to recognise the features of a face, a mouth stretched in an endless scream of agony or eyes wide with horror at the sight of the skinner's knife. Fabius also favours a belt of knotted sinew pierced through with metal loops, from which hang the tools of the Excruciator's art. These include hooks, blades, spikes, pliers and barbs glittering with the promise of excruciating and exquisite pain.
- Chaos Artificer Power Armour - Fabius Bile's Chaos-tainted Power Armour contains multiple devices of his own invention intended to fill his veins with powerful stimulants and pain killers that make him more effective in combat and which transform all the pain he feels into a form of pleasure in the best tradition of Slaanesh.
- The Chirurgeon - Possessed of a darkling sentience of its own, this complex part-sorcerous, part-technological device is attached to Fabius Bile's spine and extends its spidery limbs over his shoulders. It pumps life-giving ichor around his body, charged with the immortal energy of the Warp itself, resulting in vast variations on his strength and other abilities. It often gives him many of the immunities enjoyed by daemonkind whilst boosting his physical abilities to superhuman levels. On the battlefield, he might also bestow the questionable gift of his enhancements to others, with uncertain results. Sometimes the experiment is a success, creating psychotic killers superhuman even in comparison to their corrupted Chaos Space Marine brethren, but sometimes the subject's metabolism disintegrates in the face of the stress, resulting in instant death.
- Rod of Torment - The hell-forged Rod of Torment is a specially-crafted close-combat weapon that was once a sceptre of office belonging to the Daemon Prince Sh'lacqclak, Marquis of Mutilation. Reforged to Bile's own purposes, the Rod amplies the slightest touch into a raging maelstrom of agony. Though Fabius sees the device as somewhat blunt, it always raises a flicker to send a victim screaming for the release of death just by administering a deft rap on the knuckles.
- Xyclos Needler - Bile also employs other obscure or Archeotech weaponry, such as the Xyclos Needler, a specially crafted weapon created so that he could "test" new genetically-engineered serums in battlefield conditions. It fires a thin capillary tube imbued with Bile's latest creation. Even the smallest scratch can induce terrifying psychotic premonitions of the tortures yet to come, cause a living being to mutate uncontrollably, or even to cause the victim to spontaneously combust.
- Bolt Pistol
- Enhanced Warriors - Fabius Bile is known to make use of enhanced warriors drawn from a pool of willing Chaos Space Marines who have been altered through the use of genetic manipulation and specially crafted drug cocktails. These squads of "enhanced warriors" do not always perform as well as he hopes. Sometimes their mutations are stable, enhancing their strength and fortitude on the battlefield beyond the norms of regular Astartes, but at other times become create ravenous, out-of-control monsters.
Notes on Fabius Bile
Inspiration-wise, Fabius is an amalgamation of various "mad scientist" figures from both the real world and fiction, from the Nazis' Josef Mengele to Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The etymology of Fabius Bile comes from the Latin word Fabius, which is the name of a Patrician Roman gens and Bile, from Latin bīlis (“bile”). In biochemistry bile is a bitter brownish-yellow or greenish-yellow secretion produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. The word Bile also means bitterness of temper; ill humour; irascibility.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), p. 63
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 52-53
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), p. 39
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), p. 25
- Codex: Chaos (2nd Edition), pp. 44, 102-104
- Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition), p. 22
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
- Index Astartes I, "Children of the Emperor - The Emperor's Children Space Marine Legion"
- Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (1st Edition)
- Warlords of the Dark Millennium (Digital Edition) - Champions of Chaos, pp. 68-90, 93
- White Dwarf 278 (US), "Heroes & Villains of the 41st Millennium: Fabius Bile"
- White Dwarf 255 (US), "Index Astartes First Founding: Children of the Emperor"
- White Dwarf 227 (US), "Chapter Approved - Fabius Bile: Chaos Lord", pp. 73-80
- Galaxy In Flames (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- The Primarchs (Anthology), "The Reflection Crack'd" by Graham McNeill
- Red Fury (Novel) by James Swallow
- Black Tide (Novel) by James Swallow