- "This symbol I wear upon my shoulder and I bear upon my banner. He who defiles it defiles me, and shall be damned for all eternity."
- — Brother Ukadi, Adeptus Astartes Flesh Eaters, prior to the conclusion of the Alvatine Suppression
The Flesh Eaters is an infamous Loyalist Space Marine Successor Chapter of the Blood Angels, created during the 3rd Founding in the 32nd Millennium. This ruthless Chapter's unsavoury reputation is notorious across the Imperium of Man, as are the bloody deeds purported to have been enacted by its Battle-Brothers upon the fields of battle. So divorced have the Flesh Eaters become from the rest of Mankind that most Imperial Commanders embrace the Chapter's offers of assistance only in the direst of circumstances.
- "They vilify us for our methods, yet nobody questions the results. We are the chosen Scions of Sanguinius, tempered weapon of the Emperor Himself. Our enemies quake with fear even before we strike first blood. They will soon know it is a fear well founded! Let them fear the Angels of Death, let them fear what is left of their short future; let them pray for death. Brothers, we will answer those prayers."
- —Force Commander Isiah of the Flesh Eaters during the Golance War, 987.M41
The Flesh Eaters is a Successor Chapter of the Blood Angels created during the 3rd Founding (approximately 001.M32). Despite their sobriquet of "Flesh Eaters" it has only been rumoured that the Chapter's Astartes actually practice cannibalism. This can most likely be attributed to the Flesh Eaters' inherited genetic flaw from the Blood Angels in the Omophagea gene-seed organ -- one of the 19 additional organs that are implanted into a Neophyte during the creation of a Space Marine. This implant allows a Space Marine to "learn by eating". By consuming genetic material, the Omophagea organ transmits the gained genetic information directly to the Space Marine's brain as a set of memories or experiences. It is the presence of this organ which is responsible for the various flesh-eating and blood-drinking rituals for which certain Space Marine Chapters are famous (or infamous), as well as giving names to other Chapters such as the Blood Drinkers. Over time, however, mutations within this implant's genetic structure have given some Chapters an unnatural craving for blood or flesh.
Following the dark days of the Horus Heresy, many of the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters were created during the Second Founding before the grim truth concerning their flawed gene-seed came to light. Because of their reputed flesh-eating rituals, the Flesh Eaters are strongly distrusted by most of the armed forces of the Imperium, with some Imperial Guard regiments and fellow Space Marine Chapters refusing to fight alongside them due to their ruthlessness and brutality, disregard for human life and the fact that they (supposedly) ritually devour their slain enemies.
It has been rumoured that the Flesh Eaters were fatally undone by their gene-seed. But what exactly this means is merely conjecture at this point. The current status of the Flesh Eaters as a fully active Space Marine Chapter is unknown at this time. There have also been persistent rumours that the Chapter suffered from some sort of internal conflict arising from heresy and treachery where an untold number of the Chapter succumbed to the dark lure of Chaos, particularly the corruption of the Blood God Khorne, although the truth of this cannot be ascertained, for the secrecy and seclusion of the Flesh Eaters have made any investigations by other Imperial authorities futile so far.
- The Pentarchy of Blood (860-940.M33) - During the War of the False Primarch, a dark and bloody episode of the Imperium's history, now largely lost to myth and purged from the record, which plunged the Segmentum Pacificus into anarchy, the Pentarchy of Blood was convened by the High Lords of Terra to enact their judgement. Five Chapters (the Flesh Eaters, the Carcharodons, the Charnel Guard, the Death Eagles and the Red Talons) were used to systematically destroy eleven Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes judged Traitoris Perdita and lay waste to their home worlds, finally drawing the eight-solar-decade-long conflict to a close.
- Golance War (987.M41)- The Flesh Eaters Force Commander Isiah was in charge of the campaign on the world of Golance to prosecute a war against encroaching Eldar. Unable, after numerous attacks, to rid the planet of the troublesome xenos who had gained control of the world's secret arsenal, the Chapter was at its lowest ebb, having suffered the loss of 350 Battle-Brothers and officers at the hands of the manipulative and treacherous Eldar. The Flesh Eaters finally received relief in the form of five Astartes of unparalleled skill from the Mentors Chapter to deal with the vile Eldar scum and change the course of the war.
- Alvatine Suppression (Date Unknown) - This was an unspecified incident that occurred on the desert world of Alvatine that was spearheaded by the Flesh Eaters.
Though originally formed within the dictates of the Codex Astartes, the Flesh Eaters have been ravaged by the Blood Angels' dual gene-curses of the Black Rage and the Red Thirst. Currently, it is not known how many effective Battle Companies, Veterans, or vehicles remain within the Chapter.
Chapter Combat DoctrineEdit
Like some of their fellow Successor Chapters that show a tendency towards brutality, the Flesh Eaters have also become a dedicated assault force. Those who have witnessed their bloodthirstiness report that the Chapter displays savagery and cruelty on an unparalleled scale. A Flesh Eaters force in battle seeks nothing more than to rush forward towards the enemy as quickly as possible to get to grips with them in bloody hand-to-hand combat; tearing their foes apart with Chainswords, combat knives and their bare hands and teeth. Once unleashed, the Flesh Eaters will permit nothing to stand between themselves and the gratification to be found by rendering their enemies asunder. This ruthless Chapter is known for taking no prisoners as well as its vindictive assaults on entire planetary populations if that world has been designated in rebellion against the Emperor.
Like their fellow Successor Chapters, the Flesh Eaters are strongly bound to their primogenitor Chapter, the Blood Angels; united by blood and tradition in a way difficult for outsiders to understand. To attack any one of these Chapters is to invite the wrath of all, for whatever differences and rivalries might exist between them, they are all the Scions of Sanguinius, whose unquestioning loyalty to their Primarch's memory transcends all other duties and concerns.
Born as they were from the Blood Angels' gene-seed, the Flesh Eaters also carry their Flaw, although some Blood Angels' Successor Chapters feel its taint more than others. Most harshly affected are those Successor Chapters founded from the Blood Angels' gene-seed in later centuries, at times when the Blood Angels Chapter Council had thought the flaw eradicated from the gene-stocks. In reality, it had merely degenerated into new and worrying forms and, as a result, the Battle-Brothers of those Chapters founded in such times did not suffer slight lapses of control, but teetered on the border of full-blown insanity.
The Flesh Eaters wear dark red Power Armour. Often, their elite assault elements paint their helmets with snarling maws and sharp, blood-dripping fangs. A single white vertical stripe is painted on the helmet as well. Apothecaries of the Flesh Eaters have both of their shoulder guards painted white and a vertical white stripe painted down the front of the helmet. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is white. Like their progenitors, the Flesh Eaters also display their company designation on the right shoulder pauldron utilising the same unique heraldry common to most Blood Angels Successor Chapters. Squad designation is done in the form of the same unique symbols utilised by most Blood Angels' Successor Chapters in lieu of the common Low Gothic number designations utilised by most Codex Astartes-compliant Chapters.
The Flesh Eaters' Chapter badge is a stylised, white, monstrous jaw centred on a field of dark red.
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pg. 54
- Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition), pg. 34
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 17
- White Dwarf 103 (US), "Rampaging Rhinos"
- White Dwarf 98 (US), "Index Astartes: the Mentor Legion"