- "You may cleave to your courage but that will fail you, look to your weapons but you will find them not enough. Run, fight, hide, pray, cry out or cower -- it does not matter, for we are come."
- — Fafnir Rann, Patriarch and first High Executioner of the Executioners Chapter
The Executioners was one of four formerly Loyalist Space Marine Chapters that rebelled against the Imperium of Man's authority during the Badab War and joined the Secessionist cause led by the Renegade Astral Claws Chapter and its Chapter Master, the self-proclaimed "Tyrant of Badab," Lufgt Huron.
The Chapter was believed to have found itself on the wrong side of that conflict through little fault of its own, and was eventually permitted by the High Lords of Terra to continue in its service to the Imperium after a suitable penance. The Executioners is a 3rd Founding Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists created according to Imperial records in the first year of the 32nd Millennium.
The Executioners is an ancient and proud Chapter whose origins are found in the chaotic centuries following the Horus Heresy. This Chapter's Astartes are the proud scions of the Imperial Fists Legion. Their patriarch was reputedly one of Primarch Rogal Dorn's most ruthless captains, by the name of Fafnir Rann. Aside from an unbreakable sense of honour and a history of unparalleled skill at arms, they share little in common with their forebears' culture and traditions, nor do they maintain any strong ties to any but their own successors within the Adeptus Astartes.
Some of their fellow Space Marines view the Executioners as little more than ill-disciplined primitives and gore-splattered headhunters, little better than Renegades. Yet, far from being a Chapter composed of nothing more than a barbarous horde in Space Marine guise, one must consider that the Executioners have a high degree of blood-bought battle wisdom and possess a certain deliberate cunning that has enabled them to attain a record of unwavering success in their service to the Imperium during some of the darkest periods in its history.
The Executioners Chapter was based on the Imperium's fringes along the desolate void-wastes to the galactic south-southwest, between the borders of the Segmentum Tempestus and the Segmentum Pacificus, although in its long history it has been accustomed to great voyages and forlorn quests, having fought the width and breadth of the Imperium in the past. Since the closing years of the 37th Millennium the Chapter had made its home on the twin worlds of Stygia and Aquilon; both infamous planets of fire and ice locked in a perpetual orbit ellipsing around a giant, slowly-dying sun.
The Chapter's fortress-monastery was a huge armoured asteroid base known as the Darkenvault which is gravitationally trapped in the Lagrange point between these two worlds. It was from this bleak and foreboding bastion that the Executioners' skull-prowed warships sallied forth into the galaxy in search of targets to destroy. That was until the Executioners mistakenly sided with the Secessionists during the Badab War.
After that conflict they were judged by the Imperium and ordered to undertake a hundred-standard-year-long Penitent Crusade during which they could not take in any Aspirants to replace their losses. The Executioners' twin Chapter worlds were given over in trust to the Salamanders Chapter and their own Successors rather than forfeited entirely, to be returned to them should they endure their hundred standard years of contrition and survive. Their future survival or destruction was left then in their own hands, subject only to the grace of the Emperor.
- The Invasion of Nova Sulis (302.M36) - During the wars that marked the beginning of the Apostate Cardinal Bucharis' Plague of Unbelief, the Executioners were amongst the first Space Marine Chapters to take up arms against the power-mad Cardinal at Galthamor, notably fighting alongside the Space Wolves, Angels of Absolution and the Raven Guard at various points during the conflict. For their role in combating the apostates and traitors of the Plague of Unbelief, the Executioners were granted the rare honour of having a new Chapter, the Iron Champions, raised from their gene-seed in a later Founding.
- Siege of Darkenvault (Unknown Date.M39) - In what is now a largely forgotten episode of the Imperium's history, the southern fringe of the Segmentum Tempestus was assailed by wave after wave of Ork nomad fleets, xenoform migrations and strange psychic phenomenon which themselves caused a near epidemic of Witch Cults, alien infestations and daemonic incursions. Seen now by some sources within the Ordo Xenos as a precursor to the coming of the Tyranids, these events were largely unrecognised at the time as forming a pattern, as the eyes of the Imperium were focused on threats elsewhere. Suffering severe attrition in a series of campaigns defending the Imperium's borders against invading Orks, Enslaver outbreaks and worse, the Executioners Chapter had been reduced to less than 300 Battle-Brothers when its own twin Chapter worlds of Stygia-Aquilon came under siege. The attackers were a nightmarish xenos species of worm-ridden, writhing charnel-feasters never before encountered by Mankind. Again and again they struck without warning, their strange disk-like ships all but undetectable to the defences of the Executioners' Fortress-Monastery, Darkenvault, until the last moment of their attack when their ghostly energy rays seared through tens of metres of ferrous asteroid mass in an instant to spill a tide of horror into the fortress' lower levels. The resulting battles in the catacombs at the heart of the Executioners' Fortress-Monastery were unceasing and terrible, and in a short span of time few Space Marines remained to defend the inner sanctum and the Chapter stood on the brink of extinction. It were the Astral Claws, supported by the Cruisers of Battlefleet Tempestus, that broke the siege of Darkenvault; their arrival came just as the last of the Executioners were gathering for a final stand. Many Astral Claws died in breaking the siege, and among their losses they counted their Chapter Master, Acas Seneca. The handful of Executioners that endured owed a blood debt to the Astral Claws for the salvation of their Chapter, and swore that should the Astral Claws ever be so threatened they would respond in kind. It would be almost a century and a half before the Executioners returned again to full strength as a Chapter, and they would never forget their oath. When the time came over two thousand standard years later, they would heed Lufgt Huron's call, siding with the Tyrant of Badab and the Secessionists during the infamous Badab War.
- The Pursuit of Hektor Revvokan (137.M40) - The last in a withered but still powerful line of Rogue Traders stretching back to the Age of Apostasy, when death came for him at the end of an unnaturally long life eked out through forbidden xenos lore and dark science, Hektor Revvokan turned to the Dark Gods to grant him immortality and in doing so was forever damned. Turning his guns on the Imperium's frontier worlds in order to satiate his masters' appetite for sacrifice he became a curse upon the southern sectors of the Segmentum Tempestus. This fifty-seven year reign of terror lasted until his ramshackle fleet was finally chased down and cornered in the Myr System by a combined force of Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators, the Imperial Navy and the Executioners Chapter. In the middle of a grand and thunderous star battle, the Executioners assault rams managed to land boarding parties on Revvokan's flagship, the Night Hag, before it escaped to the Warp. The Executioners on board, cut off with no hope of rescue or help, were heavily outnumbered and forced to confront both Revvokan's ghoulish slaves and a warband of World Eaters Berserkers sworn to his service. With no option of retreat the Executioners fought with insane zeal, and chamber by chamber they brought the ancient warship under their control until they finally slaughtered Revvokan and his cannibalistic get and crashed the ship back into Realspace in a blaze of Aetheric fire. In the aftermath of the battle, the Executioners took the Night Hag as their prize. With the assistance of the Archmagos masters of Gryphonne IV they successfully purged the mighty warship of taint and refitted it to the Chapter's purposes. In return the Magi were allowed to remove certain relic-technologies from the vessel and were granted free access to the ancient and unique lore stored in its data-tabernacle.
- The Battle of Carrion Deep (899.M41) - Responding to a series of frantic astropathic distress calls from several Imperial deep-range outposts, the forces of the Executioners' 2nd Company, led by Lord High Chaplain Thulsa Kane, found themselves in a desperate struggle against an awakened threat stirring on the Dead World of Carrion Deep, near the Veiled Region on the edge of the Segmentum Tempestus. Upon investigation the Executioners discovered nothing but a trail of shattered ruins and empty bastions where Imperial watchposts should have been. The 2nd Company was ambushed in the wreckage of the frontier base on Carrion Deep. Surrounded and outnumbered by metallic foes that would not die, it was only by the dauntless leadership and wise cunning of Kane that they were able to survive. Leading the 2nd Company in a furious counter-assault, the Executioners came to grips with their foes, taking advantage of their inherent speed and ferocity only possessed by an Astartes. Kane himself sought and confronted the enemy leader, and after a titanic clash of arms, he struck the metallic creature down, though the battle left Kane's Crozius Arcanum broken and his right eye withered in his skull. Though his Battle-Brothers wanted to fight on to the bitter end, the High Chaplain's will prevailed. Less than a third of the Executioners' force succeeded in breaking out of the deadly trap of their undying foes. The Battle of Carrion Deep represents one of the first confirmed and detailed Imperial battle reports against the ancient alien menace later identified by the Ordo Xenos as the Necrons.
- The Badab War (904-911.M41) - The Executioners Chapter was one of four Astartes Chapters that rebelled against the authority of the Imperium during the Badab War. Their involvement in Lufgt Huron's cause was the result of a blood debt the Chapter owed the Astral Claws from more than a millennium before. By 904.M41 the Executioners had fully joined the rebellion on the side of the Astral Claws and the Secessionists. Soon after the discovery of the heretical intent of Lufgt Huron and his Chapter, Inquisitorial missions were despatched to the homes of the Mantis Warriors and the Executioners Chapters to examine them for any evidence of complicity in the heresy, as well as genetic tampering and moral deviance of any kind. The Inquisition's mission to the Executioners' binary homeworlds of Stygia-Aquilon was allowed full access when it finally arrived after a five-standard-month-long journey fraught with peril to the southern fringe of the Maelstrom Zone. Despite some concerns over the individualistic and somewhat fractious tendencies of the Chapter, the Inquisition's investigation found both their gene-seed and faith uncorrupted, and the visit also shed some light on the causes of their involvement in the conflict on the Secessionist side. During the war, the Executioners steadfastly refused to operate under the direct control of the Tyrant of Badab, operating only as the Astral Claws' uneasy allies and never as subordinates. While nominally allied with the forces of the Tyrant, it became immediately apparent that the Executioners fought on their own terms, and apparently looked at their allies with contempt. The Chapter refused to garrison troops, claim territory, or attack non-military targets. Despite this, its forces soon gained a fearsome reputation, especially among the Howling Griffons, to whom the Executioners dealt catastrophic damage at Khymara's lunar outposts in 907.M41, and the supply convoys of the Loyalist forces, whom they mercilessly hounded with their powerful Cruiser, the Night Hag. This resulted in much ire within the ranks of the Secessionists during the war. The Chapter had a tendency to leave survivors of their attacks behind once their military objectives were met, even allowing the surrender of defeated foes with honour. This incensed Lugft Huron to no end. Because of the Executioners' perceived lack of resolve, the Tyrant of Badab instituted the policy of having his forces shadow theirs "to do what must be done" and to keep the Executioners Chapter as distant from his own machinations and actions as possible, particularly as he fell ever further into heresy and Chaotic corruption. But as the war worsened for the Secessionists, Huron was forced to rely heavily on the Executioners' forces to contest the Maelstrom Zone. This would prove disastrous and resulted in the Executioners turning on the Astral Claws after the events surrounding the surrender of a Battle Barge of the Salamanders Chapter. The forces under Astral Claws Arch-Centurion Commodus attacked the Salamanders Battle Barge Pyre of Glory, intent on pillaging its gene-seed stores and armoury, despite the fact that it had peacefully surrendered to the Executioners. Incensed at this breach of honour, the Executioners turned on the Astral Claws, not stopping until all the oath-breakers were dead. This furious battle was named the Red Hour for the vast amount of blood shed in such a short period of time. From that point on, the Chapter would become a rogue element in the war, attacking both Loyalist and Secessionist forces alike, although supply convoys were surprisingly left alone. The Executioners would conduct their own private war with their former allies until they negotiated a surrender to the Loyalist forces and a withdrawal from the war zone in 911.M41. Through the intercession of Captain Pellas Mir'san of the Salamanders, who felt that he owed the Executioners a debt of gratitude for their intervention during the attack on the Pyre of Glory, the Chapter was allowed to peacefully exit the hostilities, despite some misgivings from the Loyalists. The entirety of the Executioners force in the Badab conflict, led by Chaplain Thulsa Kane, was escorted back to the Salamanders homeworld of Nocturne, where they would remain until the end of the war. Of all those that were caught up in the Secessionist cause, the Executioners Chapter emerged from the conflict the least scathed and the least tainted. They had fought honourably and had lived and died by their oaths. One year after the destruction of Badab Primaris, in 913.M41, the remaining Secessionists from the Astral Claws, Executioners, Mantis Warriors and Lamenters Chapters were put on trial before a specially convened Consistorial Court of their peers in the Adeptus Astartes. The very existence of these Chapters was at stake. Despite the attempts of the Inquisitor Legate to have the matter placed fully under Inquisitorial remit, a conclave of five Space Marine Chapter Masters, whose forces were not part of the conflict, was convened in judgement in accordance with Astartes tradition. The Consistorial Court found all those Chapters that had taken part in the Badab Secession guilty in breaking with both the Codex Astartes and the ancient covenant with the Emperor that it represented. The Executioners had not rebelled against the Imperium out of treachery but because of a preexisting blood-debt between themselves and the Astral Claws Chapter, a debt they had felt that they no longer needed to honour due to the Tyrant's dishonourable actions during the conflict and turn towards the Ruinous Powers. Because of their honourable conduct throughout the conflict, the Salamanders themselves stood as guarantor of the Executioners' compliance and conduct, although there remained those on the Loyalist side who, though bound to obedience in the matter, would never forget the bad blood between them. The Executioners were granted a measure of comparable clemency by the court of their peers. Granted the Emperor's forgiveness by the High Lords of Terra, the court determined that the Executioners had mistakenly sided with the Traitors as a result of deception, though they remained subject to undertaking a hundred-year-long penitent Crusade to atone for the Loyalist blood spilled and were forbidden from recruiting new Initiates during that time, much like their fellow penitents, the Mantis Warriors. The Executioners' twin Chapter worlds were given over in trust to the Salamanders Chapter and their own Successors rather than forfeited entirely, to be returned to them should they endure their hundred standard year act of contrition and survive. Their future survival or destruction was left then in their own hands, and subject to the grace of the Emperor.
- The Corcyran Massacre (910.M41) - This is considered by some as a "lost tale" of the Badab War whose true facts will never be known. What became known as the Corcyran Massacre was discovered by a Loyalist naval patrol in 910.M41. The wreckage of a smugglers' base was discovered in the dust wastes of the forlorn world of Corcyra II. What was found within the base was a nightmarish scene of carnage and destruction never before witnessed. A bloody battle had been fought between sub-company-sized forces of Space Marines composed of the Executioners and the Carcharodons Chapters. These two Chapters, both famed in their own right for being savage and unyielding, had fought each other to mutual annihilation. The base around them was ripped apart, trampling its former inhabitants into the dust. Many of the bodies of both sides showed signs of having fought on despite suffering horrendous wounds, severed limbs and massive trauma that should have felled even an Astartes, and several were found locked in deathly, gore-splattered embraces, striking at their foes with their last ebbing strength. It is not known which Chapter's sole-remaining fighter breathed last to claim a bitter victory. Neither Chapter has acknowledged any survivors of the massacre living to tell of the battle.
- Steel Unbound (919.M41) - Following their alliance with Lufgt Huron during the Badab War and their subsequent voluntary internment under license to the Salamanders Chapter, the Executioners were released to begin their century long penitent Crusade. In the first decade of the Crusade, a dozen recidivist cults were purged from the Telamon Cloud and three minor xenos strains infesting the Garya Rifts were exterminated. The most glorious of many action fought during the opening years of the Crusade was against a previously unknown pocket empire deep within the galactic core, entirely in the sway of the Ruinous Powers and maintaining pacts with at least three Traitor Legion warbands and one Traitor Titan Legion. The Executioners earned countless honours far from the glaze of the Imperium, the only witnesses, the agents dispatched by the High Lords of Terra to track the penitent Chapter's progress through the lawless void.
- Sire of Methusa (965.M41) - Fifty-two standard years into a one-hundred year long Penitent Crusade imposed upon them for their part in the Badab War, the Executioners Chapter encountered a region near the galactic core no Imperial force was known to have visited for many millennia. In an area of high stellar density, the Executioners encountered a compact empire seemingly entirely isolated from the Imperium and ruled by a caste of leaders descended from a Rogue Trader dynasty thought long dead. The Executioners made war upon what they declared was a Secessionist enclave -- a heresy punishable by death. It was during the fighting for the pocket empire's capital world that a Land Raider Achilles was fielded against the Chapter's warriors, costing the lives of several of the Executioners' 1st Company Veterans. When at length the Executioners defeated the secession they claimed the Achilles as a spoil of war, renaming it the Sire of Methusa and granting it pride of place in the Chapter's fleet-bourne arsenal.
- Death Quest (998.M41) - Over eight decades into their century-long Penitent Crusade and having battled relentlessly across the vast swathes of the Imperium and beyond, the Executioners Chapter came upon the ruins of the Orpheus Sector. Discovering a realm decimated by war, the bones of countless heroes being picked over by the verminous Necron xenos, the Executioners vowed that their death quest will be completed upon the battlefields of Orpheus. Unheralded, the Imperial task force assigned to track the Executioners on their Crusade arrived in the region several days later, and a series of high level astropathic transmissions were directed at Terra and the Inquisitorial Representative on the Senatorum Imperialis.
The Executioners adhere very strictly to the tenets of the Codex Astartes despite their barbaric and unsophisticated reputation. The Chapter's structure and organisation follow the Codex closely, with only a few minor changes in orthodoxy which largely reflects a tendency towards close-range fire fights and brutal hand-to-hand combat.
These tactics are preferred by the Chapter's Battle-Brothers so as to more rapidly prove themselves in such decisive combats rather than using hit-and-run tactics and long range firepower in their operations. Within the Chapter's Battle Companies this tactical bias is represented by the replacement of one of the standard Codex-compliant Devastator Squads for Sternguard Veteran squads of the company's finest warriors.
The use of Assault Bikes and Attack Bikes is disdained by the Chapter, who have a preference for the use of Land Speeders for scouting duties, and heavy armour wherever possible for assaults and reconnaissances in force.
The Executioners maintain an unusually high number of Chaplains compared to the typical Astartes Chapter, with three Chaplains, or "Death-Speakers" as they are known to the Executioners, assigned to each company by tradition.
They report to the overall High Chaplain of the Chapter, known to the Executioners as the "Lord Speaker of the Dead." As part of their duties the Death-Speakers are responsible for maintaining precise records of the Chapter's battles, so that the lessons provided by both victories and defeats are never lost to the future warriors of the Chapter.
Each Executioners Company-Captain is treated as a "Warlord" in his own right, with greater independence of action afforded to them in how they administer their companies than is typical in most other Chapters. The captains, the Chapter's Chief Librarian, the Master of the Forge and the Lord Speaker of the Dead (High Chaplain) form a war council which the High Executioner (Chapter Master) must heed despite possessing ultimate authority.
This war council may, by unanimous assent, overthrow the High Executioner should he prove unfit or unworthy in their eyes. Unlike the traditions of most Space Marine Chapters, contests for leadership are quite bloody in the extreme; each company captain has the right to challenge for the title of High Executioner in trial by combat should they wish to do so.
This strike force organisation represents the deployment by the Executioners Chapter of a pursuit force committed to Khymara during the Badab War. It contained elements of the 2nd, 7th, 8th and 10th Companies, under the command of Captain Belloch of the 2nd Company. Each company provided its own Rhino transports and Razorbacks, whilst the 7th Company provided all the Land Speeder variants and many of the crew for the vehicles drawn from the Armoury.
Compiler's Note: The Executioners Chapter were at the time of this deployment engaged in the Secessionist uprising that overwhelmed the Maelstrom Zone in the early years of the 41st Millennium's final century. The Chapter's assault on the blessed Howling Griffons Chapter on the world of Khymara Elipsis had nearly cost the Executioners the Grace of the Emperor, a sin for which they have yet to complete their penance:
- Warlord Belloch - Master of Blades, the Unconquered
- 2nd Company
- 7th Company
- 8th Company
- 10th Company
- 2 Apothecaries
- 6 Servo-meds in Rhino
- 4 Codicier
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Executioners prefer to engage the enemy as closely as possible. This ensures victory and glory for their Astartes. They are unafraid of battles of attrition or mutual destruction, relying on the abilities of their Battle-Brothers to overcome and endure anything the enemy can throw at them. At times this has proven to be a flaw, as the Chapter has a predilection to fight on once engaged where its better strategic judgment might have otherwise prevailed before its bloodlust was roused.
The Executioners believe that their Chapter was created for the sole task of seeking out and slaughtering Mankind's foes rather than undertaking any more defensive or strategic purpose. This Chapter is bellicose and almost barbarous in nature, and disdains martial trappings and the ordered obedience of other more stalwart Codex-compliant Chapters such as the Ultramarines and their own forebears the Imperial Fists. The Executioners have made up for this "flaw" by gaining a fearsome reputation for sheer undaunted endurance and destructive wrath. Their primary goal and purpose as a Chapter is a simple one: to extinguish the lives of those that would have the audacity to contest the Imperium's manifest destiny or threaten humanity. The Executioners literally see themselves as the Emperor's chosen headsmen, and His judgement theirs to enact on His behalf.
This Chapter's ancient ways and beliefs are rooted in the Feral Worlds from which it has long recruited its Neophytes. By the laws and traditions of their Chapter, each Executioners Battle-Brother is expected to forge his own path to glory and become worthy of remembrance in the great chronicles that have been kept by successive generations of the Chapter's Chaplains, or "Death-Speakers" as they are known amongst the Executioners. It is the Death-Speakers' task to recount the slaughter-tallies of the Chapter's honoured dead during holy feasts and memorial ceremonies held deep within the Darkenvault's catacombs. Their second, but equally important, task is to keep order within the ranks of the often fractious Chapter. Consequently, the Executioners maintain an unusually high number of Chaplains, with three Death-Speakers assigned to each company by tradition. They report to the overall Reclusiarch, also known as the Lord Speaker of the Dead. As part of their duties the Death-Speakers are responsible for maintaining precise records of the Chapter's battles, so that lessons of both victories and defeats are never lost for future warriors of the Chapter.
It is only by right of bloodshed, by taking the lives of the Emperor's enemies, that an Executioners Battle-Brother can be granted the honour of a place in the Chapter chronicles, and thereby earn the respect of his fellow Space Marines and so attain rank and honour within the Chapter. The Battle-Brothers of this Chapter have an intractable and ambitious nature. Quick to anger, Executioners Astartes are taught to avenge slights to their honour with blood, even amongst their own, but unlike the few other Chapters where such behavior is tolerated or even encouraged (such as the Space Wolves or Marauders for example), there is little that passes in the way of brawling or boisterous competition amongst the Executioners Astartes, for all such battles are to the maiming or the death of those involved. In their extreme view, honour demands no less.
Another disturbing eccentricity of the Chapter to outside observers is the tendency for the Executioners' Astartes to carry trophies from the battlefield, taken from particularly noteworthy victims, and including such items as skulls, heads, and enemy weapons. They do not take these trophies for any ritual purpose but rather for the tally of the Death-Speakers after the battle. They are then promptly discarded after serving their purpose unless judged to be particularly significant, in which case they are preserved as relics, often adorning the Space Marine's armour or wargear for a time.
The Executioners' spiritual beliefs have also been called into question, but have endured since before the rise of the Adeptus Ministorum. These beliefs primarily take the form of animism and ancestor worship, and while they ascribe to the worship of the divine God-Emperor, the Executioners have little use for the Ecclesiarchy and its trappings and "petty" superstitions, save for as a useful tool of social control to bind together the scattered multitudes of the Imperium.
- High Executioner Fafnir Rann - Fafnir Rann was a ruthless and bellicose Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. By the opening days of the Heresy, Rann had risen to the esteemed rank of Seneschal. When Rogal Dorn mustered the Retribution Fleet to be sent to assist the beleaguered Loyalists on Istvaan III, which initiated the Battle of Phall, Seneschal Rann's Chapter participated in the Blade of Perdition's hit and run action against the Iron Warriors' Heavy Cruiser Sire of Sabaktes, teleporting into the warship's central armoury and planting a Melta charge that, when it detonated, set off a chain reaction and destroyed the entire vessel and its crew. By the time the survivors returned to the Blade of Perdition, Fleet Master Alexis Polux had issued the order to withdraw and it was characteristic of Seneschal Rann and his warriors that the Blade was one of the very last to obey. Following the tragic events of the Horus Heresy, the Space Marine Legions were broken down into smaller Chapters, each with their own unique name, heraldry and traditions, with the originating Primogentor retaining the original name and heraldry. Rann would continue to serve in the Imperial Fists Chapter until the Third Founding which occurred in 001.M32. Rann was selected to become the patriarch and first High Executioner (Chapter Master) of the newly founded Executioners Chapter.
- High Executioner Arkash Hakkon - Current High Executioner (Chapter Master) of the Executioners Chapter.
- High Executioner Acas Seneca - The former Chapter Master of the Executioners during the late 39th Millennium. He was slain during the Siege of Darkenvault when their Chapter homeworld came under attack by an unknown xenos race. With less than 300 Battle-Brothers remaining within the Chapter due to constant campaigning against both Orks and Enslavers, the Executioners were slowly overwhelmed by the encroaching xenos, which resulted in the death of High Executioner Seneca. As all seemed lost for the nearly extinct Executioners, the timely intervention of their fellow Chapter, the Astral Claws, augmented by a force of Imperial Navy Strike Cruisers, enabled the Executioners to turn the tide of the battle. This resulted in the Executioners pledging their loyalty to Chapter Master Lufgt Huron, promising that they would come to the Astral Claws' aid if they were ever called upon. This debt would later be called in, during the internecine conflict known as the Badab War, which would find the Executioners on the wrong side of the conflict.
- Warlord Belloch - Belloch was a Warlord (Captain) of the Executioners' 2nd Company. Known as "The Unconquered," he also served as the Chapter's Master of Blades. During the internecine conflict known as the Badab War, he led his company during the Battle of Khymara as a Pursuit Force.
- Warlord Jahnu Marut - Jahnu Marut was a Warlord (Captain) of the 6th Company. Marut was mortally wounded on Belvasa while fighting Lebbeous Sacar, a Chaos Lord of the Empyrion's Blight Chaos Space Marine warband that is dedicated to the Plague Lord Nurgle. Though Marut was infested by Sacar's Nurgle-gifted plague while in combat with the Plague Marine, he still managed to finish off the Chaos Lord once and for all. Before receiving the Emperor's Peace from Death-Speaker Agrata or fighting his sergeants in ritual combat for command of his company, Marut convinced Agrata to lead the 6th Company until a worthy candidate for the position of Warlord could be found.
- Warlord Vanir Hex - The Warlord (Captain) of the 3rd Company. Hex commanded an augmented 3rd Company aboard the Cruiser Night Hag that entered the Badab War in late 904.M41. It was deployed to attack Loyalist shipping, as it was sufficiently armed to take on Loyalist Imperial Navy Cruisers one-on-one whilst remaining fast and agile enough to escape any trap set for it. The Night Hag accounted for more kills and captured vessels than any other starship in the Seccessionists' fleet. Its victories included the capture and scuttling of the High Conveyor Ar'saban Queen and the destruction of the Lunar-class Cruiser Vengeful Hand.
- Lord Speaker of the Dead Thulsa Kane - The one-eyed Thulsa Kane is the current Reclusiarch (High Chaplain) of the Executioners, a role of singular importance within the Chapter which also carries with it the titles of High Mortiurge (or Supreme-Judge) and Lord Speaker of the Dead, responsible for recording the deeds of the Executioners Space Marines in battle and overseeing all of the Chapter's other Death-Speakers (Chaplains).
- Death-Speaker Xuthol - Death-Speaker Xuthol serves as the Chaplain of the Executioners' 2nd Company.
- Death-Speaker Klarkash - Death-Speaker Klarkash is the Chaplain of the 3rd Company and also serves as both Confessor and Sub-Commander of the Executioner's flagship, the Night Hag.
- Death-Speaker Agrata - Death-Speaker Agrata was one of the three Death-Speakers who led the ceremony of recounting of Warlord Jahnu Marut. Before receiving the Emperor's Peace from Death-Speaker Agrata, Marut had regained his conscious and convinced Agrata to lead the 6th Company until a worthy candidate for command could be found.
- Death-Speaker Devak - Death-Speaker Devak was one of the three Death-Speakers who led the ceremony of recounting the deeds of Warlord Jahnu Marut.
- Death-Speaker Karan - Death-Speaker Karan was one of the three Death-Speakers who led the ceremony of recounting the deeds of Warlord Jahnu Marut.
- Epistolary Arkan Karnasha - An Epistolary of the Executioners Chapter, he was killed in personal combat with a Dark Eldar Archon of the Kabal of the Sundered Veil when he was overcome by the psychic momentum of a repeating astropathic message that pierced the Immaterium near where the two combatants were fighting.
- Apothecary Kharola - Kharola serves as an Apothecary of the Executioners' 2nd Company.
- Terminator-Brother Heltak - A Veteran Brother of the 3rd Company, Heltak was Chronicled for his "Remorseless Slaughter" during the Battle of Khymara, one of many battles during the Badab War conflict.
- Veteran Sergeant Hadrakar - Veteran Sergeant Hadrakar was a squad leader of Vanguard Squad Hadraker, 6th Squad, 3rd Battle Company. During the Badab War conflict he served as the Strike Leader of the Boarding Assault Forces of The Phaeton's Wrath.
- Sergeant Chandak - Chandak is a sergeant of the 6th Company.
- Sergeant Prasad - Prasad is a sergeant of the 6th Company.
- Vanguard-Brother Amon - Vanguard Brother Amon was a member of Vanguard Squad Hadraker, 6th Squad, 3rd Battle Company, serving as a part of the Boarding Assault Forces of The Phaeton's Wrath. During the Badab War, he was chronicled to have seized the dorsal gun vault of the Astral Claws' vessel Hyrcania, and slain all he found there during the bloody event known as the Red Hour.
- Vanguard-Brother Dunwych - Vanguard Brother Dunwych was a member of Vanguard Squad Hadraker, 6th Squad, 3rd Battle Company, serving as a part of the Boarding Assault Forces of The Phaeton's Wrath. During the bloody event known as the Red Hour he was recorded as having taken the head of the traitorous Astral Claws Centurion Mendak.
- Vanguard-Brother Osric - Vanguard Brother Osric, who was also Stigmatun Majoris, served during the internecine conflict known as the Badab War and was present during the lamentable massacre known as the Red Hour. He was a member of Vanguard Squad Hadraker, 6th Squad, 3rd Battle Company, serving in the Boarding Assault Forces of The Phaeton's Wrath.
- Vanguard-Brother Skaran - Vanguard Brother Skaran was a member of Vanguard Squad Hadraker, 6th Squad, 3rd Battle Company, serving as a part of the Boarding Assault Forces of The Phaeton's Wrath. During the Badab War conflict he was slain during the lamentable event known as the Red Hour.
- Sagor - Axe-Brother Sagor is a Tactical Marine of the 3rd Company who served aboard the Executioners' flagship, Night Hag during the Badab War.
- Castigar - Axe-Brother Castigar, known by his battle-brothers as "The Taker," was a member of the 6th Company Chapter Tactical Reserve. Though little is recorded in official Imperial records, it is noted that his sundered armoured was recovered following the bloody events of the Corcyran Massacre.
- Venerable Lashko - An Executioners Chapter Dreadnought whose remains were interred within a Mark V Chassis, fire support configuration. Venerable Lashko took part in the Badab War conflict.
Little is known about the make-up of the Executioners' Chapter fleet, though the following vessels have been confirmed to belong to the Chapter:
- Night Hag (Cruiser, Unknown Class) - The Night Hag was originally the flagship of the Renegade Rogue Trader Hektor Revvokan. It took part in his fifty-seven standard year reign of terror as he ravaged Frontier Worlds in the southern reaches of the Segmentum Tempestus to appease the Dark Gods for granting him immortality. Finally, in 137.M40, Revvokan was brought to justice by the Executioners. They captured the Night Hag intact and, with the aid of the Adeptus Mechanicus Archmagi rulers of Gryphonne IV, successfully cleansed it of its Chaos taint. The Mechanicus took certain relic-technologies as payment for its assistance, along with access to the information stored in the voidship's data-tabernacle. The Executioners then proceeded to refit the Night Hag to serve in their Chapter fleet. The Night Hag, carrying an augmented 3rd Company led by Captain Vanir Hex, entered the Badab War in late 904.M41. It was deployed to attack Loyalist shipping, as it was sufficiently armed to take on Loyalist Imperial Navy Cruisers one-on-one whilst remaining fast and agile enough to escape any trap set for it. The Night Hag accounted for more kills and captured vessels than any other starship in the Secessionists' fleet. Its victories included the capture and scuttling of the High Conveyor Ar'saban Queen and the destruction of the Lunar-class Cruiser Vengeful Hand. In 838.912.M41 the Night Hag and the Executioners Battle Barge Phaeton's Wrath were hunting a pair of damaged Sons of Medusa Strike Cruisers in an asteroid field on the edge of the Eridayn Cataract when the Salamanders Vanguard Cruiser Obsidia suddenly interposed between the two sides and requested a ceasefire. After a tense stand-off, the Sons of Medusa withdrew and the Executioners agreed to parley with the Loyalist command. The Night Hag accompanied the Obsidia to Crows World, where the Executioners agreed to withdraw from the Badab War and await trial. As a gesture of good faith, the leader of the Executioners in the conflict, High Chaplain Thulsa Kane, gave himself, his chosen Honour Guard and the Night Hag over to the Salamanders to be interned at their homeworld of Nocturne until the end of the war. The Night Hag is swift and heavily-armed with weapon batteries, Lances and fighter launch bays. However, its primary weapons are Macrocannons, which fire large fusion charge shells. They can saturate an area in atomic blasts, but only have a short range. The Night Hag possesses an unusual drive system that creates a disruptive effect with the potential to confuse enemy targetting scanners and protect the Cruiser from direct weapons fire.
- Phaeton's Wrath (Battle Barge)
- Blade of Perdition (Battle Barge)
The Chapter's original colour scheme for its Power Armour was a blue and grey camouflage pattern. In older canon using the original colour scheme, a single shoulder pauldron was often times painted to denote the various squad designations: green (Tactical Squads), yellow (Assault Squads), purple / blue (Devastator Squads) or red (Scout Squads).
The Executioners' contemporary colour scheme is metallic, blue-tinted gunmetal grey, with the faceplate, backpack and sometimes the left shoulder pauldron being bronze. One shoulder pauldron (which might include the helmet) can be yellow to denote senior status as a Veteran Marine. Additionally, squad specialty markings are etched onto one of the armour's poleyns (knee plates), while the Astartes' designated company is displayed on the opposite one. The squad markings can also be displayed on one of the shoulder pauldrons.
The Executioners' original Chapter badge was an axe on a red background. The contemporary Chapter badge is that of twin ebon axes facing away from one another on a red shield. This ancient Astartes symbol was commonly used by the ancient Space Marine Legions, especially the Executioner's Progenitors, the Imperial Fists, to denote a battle honour for triumph in Zone Mortalis operations. It also entered use during the opening days of the Horus Heresy as a particular badge for those who had served with the famed (then-Seneschal) Fafnir Rann. This symbol was often painted on the Boarding Shields of members of Legion Breacher Siege Squads.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet), pg. 42
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 47
- Deathspeakers (Short Story) by Andy Smillie
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines & Forces of the Inquisition, pg. 35
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 22, 39
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 24, 26, 40-41, 50, 51, 56, 119, 127
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 10, 19, 30, 42, 44, 46, 54, 57, 59-61, 78, 84-93, 99, 109, 171, 175
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost & The Damned, pg. 24
- The Horus Heresy - Book Three - Extermination (Forge World Series), pg. 69
- Warhammer 40,000 Compendium (1st Edition), "The Badab War", pp. 33-35
- White Dwarf 101 (UK), "Index Astartes: From The Imperial History Archive - The Badab War: The Uniforms and History of the Badab Uprising" by Rick Priestley, pp. 71-73
- Legends of the Space Marines (Anthology), "The Trial of the Mantis Warriors" by C.S. Goto
- Salamander (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- Angels of Death: Death Speakers (Short Story) by Andy Smillie