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The Flesh Tearers are a Second Founding chapter, created when the Blood Angels legion split up after the Horus Heresy in accordance with the Codex Astartes. They suffer from a mutation in their gene-seed, making them far more prone to suffer the Black Rage than other chapters with Blood Angels gene-seed. If no cure is found the chapter is likely to be extinct within the next two millennia. The Flesh Tearers are also ill-famed for their savageness and thirst for blood in battle.
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The Flesh Tearers Chapter was created in M31 when Roboute Guilliman decreed in his Codex Astartes that no longer should a single individual control the might of an entire Space Marine Legion. Thus the Blood Angels were divided into several Successor Chapters; one of these being the Flesh Tearers. Their reputation for blood-letting quickly spread in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, indicating that the extensive flaw in their gene-seed was already present at their creation. Instead of checking the rumours of entire populations wiped out, the High Lords of Terra simply looked at the long list of worlds pacified and dismissed the accompanying casualty lists as inconsequential.[Needs Citation]
After thousands of years as a crusading chapter the Flesh Tearers eventually settled on an extremely hostile Death World known as Cretacia. A lost colony of primordial humans proved perfect recruits for the chapter, being pure of taint and extremely strong. The world lies deep in the galactic west.
The chapter has since become more and more dependent on the easy access to recruits, as their gene-seed mutation gradually worsens. More and more marines succumb to the Black Rage, with few marines older than two centuries. As of late M41, the Flesh Tearers only have 4 full Companies of marines, less than half of the normal number. If the degradation of their gene-seed continues at the same rate they will count no more than 200 marines within a millennium.[Needs Citation]
Over the years several Imperial bodies have questioned the combat doctrines and sanity of the Flesh Tearers. Many have refused to fight alongside the chapter, disgusted by their savagery in combat or fearing they would get caught up in the bloodshed along with the enemy. The chapter has been under Inquisitorial investigation since the Kallern Massacres of M36.[Needs Citation]
- 799.M41. The Flesh Tearers, along with nine regiments of Imperial Guard and elements of the Astral Knights, assisted the Grey Knights in defeating the daemonic incursion of M'kar the Reborn on the world of Acralem. M'kar would eventually fall to a young Kaldor Draigo
- 813.M41. The Flesh Tearers participated in the Achilus Crusade, appearing unheralded at Herisor, to buy time against Hive Fleet Dagon in the Orpheus Salient so the Imperial forces could prepare defences. Taking heavy losses they are now rearming in their strike cruiser stationed in Eleusis, although there are reports of several squads hunting a hidden enemy in the depths of shrine cities.
- 820.M41. The chapter responds to an unfolding conflict in the Adeonis Sector and battle against a tide of Tzeentch Daemons. Ultimately sealing off the Warp Rift, the victory is not as simple as it first seems when the scheming Changeling is revealed to be laying at the heart of the conflict. Manipulating the strands of fate, the Changeling has plans afoot to not only strike a blow against Khorne, but to also tempt the Flesh Tearers towards damnation.
- 837.M41. Flesh Tearers under the command of Gabriel Seth once again massacred innocents, much to the chagrin of the Space Wolves, leading to the battle known as Honour's End, where brother fought brother over the Flesh Tearers' uncontrolled bloodlust.
- 910-911.M41. The Flesh Tearers took part in the Siege of Hypnoth against the Necron Sautekh Dynasty. Despite fierce resistance, the world ultimately fell to the xenos invaders.
- 991.M41. The Flesh Tearers would take part in the Stromark Civil War alongside the Angels Encarmine and terrify the worlds of the Stromark System into submission.[5a]
- 998.M41. The Flesh Tearers took part in the Third War for Armageddon, in which five Companies were deployed in the Fire Wastes alongside the Sisters of Battle of the Order of the Argent Shroud. Their combined force was fighting against Warlord Rukglum's artillery unit, deployed within the settlement of Gaius Point. Civilians in the area had formed a rabble militia to help the Imperial forces and to protect their homes. The Flesh Tearers deployed behind the Orks and pushed them onto the waiting guns of the militia and Sisters. After wiping out the main body of the Orks, the Flesh Tearers proceeded to mount the barricades and slaughter the militia in their insatiable bloodlust. The Sisters withdrew rather than having to fight their former ally. The leader of the Order of the Argent Shroud has since reported this incident to the Inquisition, demanding the destruction of this Chapter.[Needs Citation]
- 999.M41: The Flesh Tearers are the first to heed Commander Dante's call for aid in defending Baal from simultaneous invasions by Hive Fleet Leviathan and a daemon army led by Ka'Bandha, dispatching their entire chapter without hesitation.[5b]
- The Acata Uprising
- The Flesh Tearers initially declined the tithe of initiates proposed by the Blood Angels on Baal during the recent conclave meeting of the Sanguinius bloodline, called by Chapter Master Dante to discuss the fate of the Founding Chapter. However, after assisting in the defeat of Fabius Bile's Bloodfiends the Flesh Tearers agreed to lend their support to the Blood Angels.
The Flesh Tearers was originally a standard Codex Chapter, but has over the millennia evolved into a pure assault force. Being obsessed with bloodshed often mean that they will close in on the enemy with utmost speed and engage in close combat. Flesh Tearers operations therefore have large numbers of assault marines and transport-mounted squads.
The low number of marines has also led to an unexpected diversity in skills among the Flesh Tearers, with each marine being proficient in tactical, devastator, vehicular and assault roles. The chapter has few vehicles apart from Rhinos and Razorbacks (a few Whirlwinds and one Baal Predator are also present).
- 1st Company - White Skull[5c]
- 2nd Company - Yellow/Gold Blood Drop[5c]
- 3rd Company - White/Silver Blood Drop[5c]
- 4th Company - Green Blood Drop[5c]
If the Chapter regains strength, the Company markings will progress the same.[5c]
Squad Number designation is Low Gothic numerals on the right knee pad.[5c]
The Flesh Teaers fleet is small, with only one Battle Barge, the Victus currently service. The Victus is an ancient vessel, having been in service possibly since the Great Crusade. However they also have seven modified Strike Cruisers with an extended transport capability.
Notable Flesh Tearers
- Nassir Amit, former Captain of the Blood Angels' 5th Company, founder and first Chapter Master of the Flesh Tearers, declared Right of Conquest on Cretacia[Needs Citation]
- Chapter Master Gabriel Seth, Guardian of the Rage - Current Chapter Master.
- High Chaplain Carnarvon, leader of the Death Company and Watcher of the Lost 
- Reclusiarch Carnaevon
- Captain Gorn, deployed on Kallern with the so-called Kallern Massacres
- Sergeant Noxx, assisted the Blood Angels in recovering the stolen blood of Sanguinius from Fabius Bile 
Earlier editions of the Flesh Tearers' history states that they spent thousands of years as a Crusading Chapter after their formation and that it was a Chapter Master named Amit who finally settled the chapter on the world of Cretacia.
However, Amit appears as a Captain of the Blood Angels Legion in the Horus Heresy series. Amit has a vicious and savage reputation, even by the standards of the World Eaters and his oath brother, Kharn. Indeed it was during his frequent fights in the World Eaters gladiatorial pits that Amit earned his nickname the "Flesh Tearer".
During the Blood Angels assault in the Signus system, Captain Amit of the Blood Angels served as captain of his personal battle barge, the Victus. This battle barge would later find service in the Flesh Tearers as their only known battle barge, and is rumored to have been in their possession since the Heresy and their founding. It is unknown if this is a coincidence or if there is a connection.
- 1: Codex: Armageddon, [Needs Citation]
- 2: Index Astartes I Flesh Tearers
- 3: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition - Pg. 47
- 4: Games Workshop Website (accessed 2010.03.16)
- 5: Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition)
- 6: Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1987) pg. 168
- 7: Red Fury (Novel) by James Swallow, [Needs Citation]
- 8: Black Tide (Novel) by James Swallow, [Needs Citation]
- 9: Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pg. 19
- 10: Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pg. 38
- 11: Deathwatch: Rites of Battle, pgs. 62-63
- 12: Butcher's Nails, 1:11:11, by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- 13: Fear to Tread, Part 2, Chapter 7, by James Swallow
- 14: Codex: Necrons (5th Edition) pg.26
- 15: Black Library
- 16: Codex: Chaos Daemons (6th Edition) pg.37
- Armageddon Website - Details of the Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign. (accessed 2007.02.17)
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition)
- pg. 71
- pg. 80