Savlar is an infamous Imperial Penal World and the homeworld of the Savlar Chem-Dogs regiments of the Astra Militarum. It is an inhospitable world populated by Traitors, thieves, murderers, Heretics, profaners and other criminal elements of Imperial society, all under the overwatch of the Adeptus Arbites.
The Savlar System, just over a hundred light years from Armageddon in the Segmentum Solar, is a desolate place, little valued by the Imperium save for the rich chemical deposits found on the volcanic moons of Savlar Penitens.
Within three solar decades of its settlement, the chemical production of Savlar was supplying three Civilised Worlds and two Forge Worlds in the surrounding sub-sectors. The population of the moons was subsequently swelled by regular influxes of criminals from across the Armageddon Sector.
The high mortality rate in the poisonous mines of Savlar became notorious among the criminal fraternity, leading to it being known as the "Dead Dog Moons" and phrases like "Dead as Savlar."
Savlar was once a simple Mining World useful only for its rich chemical deposits. It was only converted into a penal settlement by the Imperium when the planet failed to meet its expected Imperial tithes in the 39th Millennium. The Imperial authorities began shipping in criminals who had been captured during the recent Bokur Rebellion along with special detachments of the Adeptus Arbites to ensure productivity.
Since that time, Savlar has become a hellhole populated only by Traitors, criminals and the Adeptus Arbites troops assigned to watch over them. Outside the great manufactoria-cities, criminality runs rife and Savlar's society is marked by frequent and bloody gang-wars. In particular, crimes such as rape are so common on Savlar that it is generally believed that only one out of four Savlar-born knows the identity of his father.
The Chem-Dogs were initially formed into a fighting force by Judge Callistar, an Adeptus Arbites senior Judge and magistrate, in response to an armed uprising on Savlar itself. Judge Callistar discovered that such an assortment of desperate cut-throats could be forged into an effective fighting force with the addition of but a few simple directives to keep them in line. The distrust towards the people of Savlar by Imperial officials is so great that each and every officer of a Chem-Dogs regiment will be drawn from the Schola Progenium rather than from Savlar itself.
The Imperium regards the troops of the Chem-Dogs as utterly disposable and frequently employs them in some of the bloodiest conflicts fought by Mankind, such as the Third War for Armageddon in 998.M41.
As the dregs of Imperial society, the Chem-Dogs are also frequently employed against enemies too vile for Imperial defenders to survive, yet such is the Chem-Dogs' ingenuity and resourcefulness that many have survived such suicide missions. Like a moth drawn to a flame, these die-hards return to Savlar, clandestinely teaching their hard won experience to future generations of Chem-Dogs.
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pg. 26
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 60
- Chapter Approved - Third Book of the Astronomican (2003), pp. 25-27
- Baneblade (Novel) by Guy Haley, pp. 147-149