Cendra is a planet in the Fariah-Lee sector of the Ultima Segmentum. It is currently controlled by the Imperium of Man. The majority of the planet is made up of harsh wasteland, with small pockets of woodland areas dotted very rarely across the landscape. It is the homeworld of the Imperial forces of the Cendran Abolishers.
The population of the planet is 4.5 billion. Its primary export is soldiers, with little else on the planet of value. Those who are chosen to serve in the Imperial Guard are in it for life, never returning to their homeworld. It is a tremendous honour to be selected, and retirement is utterly unknown to even the most venerable officers.
The planet still has a recovering population, and so the men and women of different communities are often forced by the Planetary Government into one of the planet's numerous breeding programs. Agriculture has also been re-introduced with the use of imported flora and fauna from off-world, though the local population have little interest.
Before the Imperium rediscovered Cendra, it was a forest paradise. The climate was warm but sheltered by the huge trees comprising the woodland that stretched on for miles and miles, filled with mild-tempered herbivorous beasts. The trees grew a naturally-occurring fruit named "Prara" that contained the majority of the nutrients an average human required to survive. It was sweet to taste without containing much in the way of sugars. The fruit had a calming effect that placated those who ate it, and so war was utterly unknown in Cendra - most living out their lives in a state of drug-induced stupour.
The Cendran natives coveted this fruit above all else, using it as the sole planetary currency. Not realising its addictive qualities as they cultivated it - the fruit slowly become the only thing the planet realised was edible over the course of hundreds of years. This went on for centuries, the populace blissfully unaware of much of the dangers hurtling around them in space as the Imperial Navy and an Ork Waaagh! clashed in the unseen skies above for control of the sector. Then it happened.
One day, a heavily damaged Ork Rok broke from the Waaagh! fleet and drifted into planetary orbit. Any Orks inside that did not die during atmospheric re-entry were quickly smashed into a pulp by the force of the Rok hitting the ground. The Elders - those few with the biggest Prara plantations and the most workers with which to collect them - were forced to convene for the first time ever in order to evaluate this possible threat. Eventually, they decided there was nothing to be worried about, returning to their estates. The emergence of the feral Orks put an end to that plan.
Nobody on the planet had seen an Ork before, and they certainly knew nothing of their fungal reproduction process. The Rok that had been simply left alone because it was devoid of life was now teeming with savage, primal creatures - chopping down trees and sharpening stones into simple Choppas in order to raid and pillage the locals.
So addicted and warped of the mind were the populace of Cendran that when the stories began to spread of the first settlement falling, their initial thoughts turned out to be nothing more than "more fruit for me". That is, until the plantations started being purposefully razed to the ground.
Any militarily-minded individual would inform you that this was an inspired tactical choice by the enemy - dealing a massive blow to the morale of the planet and depriving them of their one source of sustenance at the same time. Anyone wiser on the subject would simply inform you that the Orks hated the Prara trees, apparently feeling that they tasted like "a squig's arse".
In any event, entire settlements soon began to disappear in the blink of an eye. Hundreds of thousands of refugees began heading to the Elder's plantations, which were steadily becoming the last known sources of the fruit. In response, the Elders breached ancient vaults long-forgotten by all but their predecessors, overseeing the distribution of dusty razorwire and heavy stubbers as they were mounted around the outside perimeter of their estates. At first, these were trained only on the Orks, but as supplies of the fruit dwindled, even fellow survivors were mercilessly gunned down as the settlements struggled for survival.
Growing desperate, one Elder decided to abstain from the fruit in order to keep his family fed. As the fruit's addictive influence began to wain in him, he felt an unfamiliar, almost-primal hunger - one that triggered as the Orks came near. Curious, he ordered one of the beasts dragged back to his quarters after the most recent wave of suicidal greenskins were gunned down by heavy stubber fire.
At first, he thought himself mad - he cut into the flesh of the beast, tasting it hesitantly. He wretched dryly, thoroughly sick. However, he found that once he placed it in the fire, the taste became something else. His tongue was black as he tasted the bitterness - so very different from the sweet fruit he once knew, and yet so much more desirable. As he crunched into the twisted black form that was once the creature's arm, he ordered a feast, so elated was he. The estate's people - having rationed heavily for around two years now - were confused by the announcement, but were so weary and weak from hunger that they made no complaint as the most recent kills were awkwardly butchered and cooked to such a blackened state that no indication of the original taste could be made. This was the first recorded ritualistic eating of the burned, a tradition that would live on for millenia in the form of the Pyre Feast.
With this revelation spreading quickly, the Elders clipped away the razorwire and handed out ancient flamers amongst the people, massive areas of the planet's forestry being decimated by the Cendrans as they inadvertently destroyed the Ork's fungal spores in the process of killing them. It was during this time that their addictive personalities took on another obsession - pyromania. Slowly, they began to revere and - in some cases - even worship fire, especially after it emerged that the Orks were no longer returning after having been burned thoroughly.
With the trees now nearly extinct and the people of the planet realising and hating the influence the fruit had been having on their minds their entire lives, they swiftly began to run out of resources once more. The herbivorous creatures that had existed on the planet were now long dead, either killed by the orks or the starvation of being deprived of the fruit for so long. Meanwhile, the Imperial Fleet above had long finished its battle. Having completed its purging of the other planets in the sector of the ork menace, it now turned its attention to Cendra in order to follow up on an old report of a Rok managing to make it into the planet's atmosphere, tying up loose ends as well as annexing it in the name of the Imperium.
Dropships from the fleet landed, deploying the 22nd Vendoland to the surface and expecting to find token Ork resistance. What they found were massive amounts of barren forestland, as well as the burned-out husks of Ork fortifications. Confused but hopeful that they had encountered humans with whom they could turn to the Emperor's service, the landing party began scouting the area, eventually happening upon the sorry state of the natives.
The Cendrans had devolved into cannibalistic fire-worshiping savages. The Elders - having lost their monopoly and thus their power base - had been swiftly overthrown by the strong and cruel, who hoarded the limited resources and kept the weak as cattle. While the Imperials initially expected hostilities from the barbaric natives, the Cendrans instantly recognised some of the weaponry the Vendoland carried and submitted themselves to the landing parties' will... provided they were given promethium supplies, having run out from abuse of what little flamers they had.
Seeing the value in this, the Imperium took full control of the planet, installing a non-local as the Planetary Governor and forming the planet into a more civilised (or at least more structured) state. Still, despite the Ecclesiarchy's best efforts they could not stamp out some of their more primitive misconceptions and habits, chiefly their ritualistic burning of food before they will even touch it, as well as the natives coming to know the Emperor as the "Torchbearer" - and they were the ones who would bring his burning light to every planet He desired.
Still struck with an ailing population, present-day Cendra is a planet not particularly valuable to the Imperium for anything but soldiers, which even then they have a lessened tithe for in order not to obstruct the breeding programs in place.
It is mostly a waste of a planet. There are allegations that the foreign Planetary Governor and his staff have ignored warnings regarding the fruits and have begun locating and hoarding the last known trees for their own usage, allegations which are swiftly denied and put down.
The wastes are generally dominated by slum cities and nomadic tribes. When regimental recruiters arrive at these locations, everyone rushes into a mad frenzy, offering all forms of bribery in order to get themselves or their family into the Abolishers and away from their current meager existence.
"One shudders to imagine what inhuman thoughts lie behind that mask."
- – A Callidus assassin
Currently, Cendran's armed forces are known as the Cendran Abolishers. Their chief use is in environments where mop-up or complete purging of pockets of a planet's populace is needed, an act the Abolishers are all too enthusiastic to perform. The majority of the time, they are employed against Tyranids, Genestealer Cults, Orks, and in the razing of heretical settlements.
Each soldier - in addition to the standard Guardsman's primer - is issued a list of lifeforms that can be safely consumed after being thoroughly cooked. It is far longer than what would usually be recommended, but the average Guardsman would not touch the state of meat the Cendrans would consider to be edible.
The Abolishers have carved out a fearsome reputation - there are many stories of worlds fearing what comes after an Ork incursion rather than the Orks themselves. They have demonstrated a complete and utter lack of compassion over their years in the Emperor's service, which both worries and intrigues their superiors as they are far more likely to carry out questionable orders even the most loyal Guardsman would raise a brow over - often with a smirk on the burned lips beneath their re-breathers.
The Abolishers are in slight disfavour with the Adeptus Mechanicus due to constant tampering with their weaponry in order to achieve greater temperatures and area of effect, a habit seen most often in their Hellhound crews. A blind eye is turned to this overall, due to the experience with the weapons that the Abolishers have. Many a Commissar has put paid to the idea that this is unnoticed however, bringing swift retribution against those who bring this too far into tech-heresy. Many of the men use their own customised flamers, the cabling hand-cut and many of the numerous chambers rigorously cleaned and maintained. These items are treated as holy throughout the regiment, the oldest and most decorated of which are distributed amongst the veteran squads.
In open warfare, they employ covering tactics with lasgun fire, allowing the mounted heavy flamers on their chimeras to come to bear on enemy squads as their hellish payload dismount and raze the enemies' cover to the ground. Their Hellhound crews are seen as even more pyromanic than the average Cendran, being avoided even by their own brothers and sisters. For anti vehicular support, they rely on Devil Dogs and the cleansing holy fire of Missile Launchers. Their artillery crews like using Thermobaric weapons and fuel air explosives (who likes eating meat with shrapnel in it anyways?), some of which can be modified on site (although it is normally considered to take too long to do so in combat and is thus done en route if they have the intel required, or while digging in) to optimize the explosion for the local atmosphere. There artillery crews are known for sometimes using ammunition that puts promethium onto the target. The artillery crews set fires if they expect them to spread or if a target proves resistant to their thermobarics, in this case if the fire doesn't destroy what survived the thermobarics quite well, they try the thermobarics again, with the hope the fire as weekend the structural integrity, perhaps by making metal targets soft, and just need an explosive nudge to cause them to collapse under there own weight. Between the preferred munitions of the artillery crews and flame throwers used by armor and infantry, they are well equipped for urban warfare.
Notable Regiments of the Cendran Abolishers
1st Cendran Abolishers: Destroyed during the Exterminatus of the Necron Tomb World Vraakin IV. The last transmission consisted of a "Sergeant Lopp" crying in what appeared to be happiness as the planet was purged in holy fire.
2nd Cendran Abolishers: Currently the longest-serving active regiment. The best survivors of destroyed regiments end up here, alongside the most elite of the Torchbearer's warriors. Notable for having a high concentration of customised flamethrowers, many of which have been reported to leave fires that burn for weeks after their owners have departed for another war-zone.
11th Cendran Abolishers: Destroyed by a detachment of the Sisters of Battle after they were discovered to have partaken in eating Chaos-tainted flesh. A mandate was issued afterwards stating that the heretical flesh of traitors was not fit for consumption.
15th Cendran Abolishers: Took part in the purging of the 11th regiment. Has closer ties to the Ecclesiarchy than other regiments, and has taken a much more traditional view of the Imperial Cult after seeing the weapons the Sisters of Battle were issued with. They see the Sisters as the "Torchbearer's Angels", utterly adoring them and holding them above even Space Marines in their awe.
19th Cendran Abolishers: A fully mechanised regiment, the 19th are infamous for utilising a solid wall of flamer-equipped Chimeras and Hellhounds, all moving forward as one wall of fire and approaching the enemy at alarming speed. Known for leaving little else than tire tracks and scorch marks after being deployed.
25th Cendran Abolishers: Part of an infamously delicate situation with the Salamanders chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. After a joint operation against a Genestealer cult uprising with the Salamanders, the 25th were ordered to torch the rest of the major settlement the conflict had taken part in to ensure there were no survivors. The Salamanders took issue with this, stating that there were still uninfected civilians in the ruins. The outcome has been long erased from Imperial records, though since then the 25th have adopted an odd scaled creature not native to their home planet as their regimental banner, revering it with a mixture of fear and respect.
Cendran Planetary Defence Force: Issued with lasguns as standard, the CPDF impatiently awaits the day they are called up to active interplanetary service and given their first flamer.
This Imperial Guard Regiment is probably the Monodominants favorite Imperial Guard Regiment (as Cannibalism can be the best Modus Operandi ever for destroying everything that isn't a normal Human).