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Warhammer 40K: The Most Infamous Blood Angel Successor Chapters

6 Minute Read
Dec 15 2020

The Blood Angels are a chapter with a dark curse in their blood – and their successor chapters share their shame and not all of them handle it very well.

When your Primarch dies and it leaves a psychic echo that scars your geneseed for the ages, there isn’t much you can do about it. You’ve got a cursed legacy that typically ends in bloodshed. Some chapters fight against the curse, others embrace it. These are the Chapters that have managed to make a name for themselves and it’s not because they avoid their bloodlust.

Flesh Tearers

Of all the Second Founding Blood Angels chapter, this one is perhaps the most well known. Partly because of their own book series, partly because of their inclusion in the last few editions as part of the Blood Angels, and partly because of their bloody reputation. They have served in many campaigns, notably the War of the Beast, The Third War for Armageddon, and more recently the Devastation of Baal. But what makes them infamous is their extra-mutated genetic flaw according to the Lexicanum:

“The Flesh Tearers suffer an abnormal mutation in their Gene-Seed, which makes them more susceptible to the Red Thirst and Black Rage that plagues all the sons of Sanguinius. There were numerous incidents in their past where they lost control on the field of battle and turned on their own allies. It happened so often that under Gabriel Seth they now only work alone as they don’t trust themselves around others. Furthermore, the Chapter struggled to maintain its numbers due to losses to the flaws and was expected to go extinct.” 

The good news for the Flesh Tearers is that Primaris Marines have entered their ranks to refill their numbers. The bad news is they aren’t entirely trusted by Gabriel Seth:

“The introduction of Primaris Marines to the Flesh Tearers greatly stabilized their gene-seed. The Red Thirst and Black Rage are still present, though they are far less problematic — so much so that Gabriel Seth questioned whether their new Primaris recruits deserved to be call Flesh Tearers. The Red Thirst and Black Rage define their identity and culture and now that the flaws have been brought under control, their Chapter will never be the same.”


Blood Drinkers


Of all the Sons of Sanguinius, this chapter has pretty much fully embraced the whole “Space Vampire” thing to the point of where they have adopted their most well known practice into their name. Yes, they drink blood, no that’s not Kool-Aid. It’s done in a ritualist manner but that really doesn’t make it any less creepy. Why do they drink blood? Well it’s got something to do with their Omophagea – the organ known as the “Remembrancer” which allows them to “learn by eating.”

That’s the story anyways but the real question is if they have really just given in to their Red Thirst. They have relatively low incidences of the Black Rage within their chapter so, from the outside, it seems like maybe that’s paying off for them. And, in fact, the truth is a bit more insidious.

By M37 the Blood Drinkers were a dying chapter, brothers succumbed to the Black Rage as soon as they were fully initiated. A battle-brother named Holos, against the orders of the Chapter Council, followed a dream that told him to ascend to the top of Mount Calicium. At the peak he supposedly met an angel, some claim it to be Sanguinius, who told him how to save his dying Chapter. The Rite of Holos as it came to be known is a gathering of marines, rank is suspended in these meetings apart from Chaplains and Sanguinary Priests, where the marines drink blood from serfs who provide it freely, and sacrifice an unwilling victim. “Blood given, blood taken.” This balances the ritual and calms the Thirst.

But even that’s not the whole truth. That “Angel” turned out to be a daemon – the implication is that it was Kairos Fateweaver. Why would he do this? Because now the chapter is teetering on the brink of becoming slaves to chaos.

“In exchange for the blood drinking Rite that would save thousands of brothers from the Death Company, Kairos would gain the ability to change the visions of a select few Death Company marines from the normal visions of Sanguinius’ death to those of Holos and the daemon itself. As of M39 eighteen brothers had witnessed it, and Kairos has spoken through the memories to each battle-brother, tempting them with the power of Chaos. If one even so much as thinks of accepting Kairos’s offer the entire Chapter will be damned and fall to Chaos. Thus far all have refused Kairos, but the Daemon cares not as only a single “Yes” is necessary for the Blood Drinkers to be damned forever. Only the Reclusiarchs know the truth behind the Rite, though it is unknown if they wish the Chapter to fall.”


You can’t really expect us to do a list of the most infamous successor chapters and NOT bring up the most infamous one of all – the Lamenters. For starters, part of the 21st Founding – so naturally they are cursed even BEYOND normal Blood Angels. On top of that, they just keep ending up on the wrong sides of conflicts. The most well known is the Badab War where they sided with the rebel forces against the Imperium. They were “lucky” enough to have been granted the Emperor’s forgiveness and NOT the Emperor’s mercy because it was clearly all a misunderstanding…or something.


But it’s not JUST their reputation, they really do have some seriously awful luck.

“Their self-imposed crusade was curtailed when the chapter was once again relocated en masse, this time on the order of the High Lords of Terra. The Lamenters – along with a number of other fleet-based chapters – were tasked with repelling Chaos incursions from the Eye of Terror. During one such defence against the Black Crusades the Lamenters’ status as a Cursed Founding chapter worked against them once more, when the Mortifactors chapter refused to associate with them and abandoned the Lamenters during the defence of Corillia from the Black Legion. The Lamenters elected to remain and defend the populated Imperial world despite this change in situation, and suffered heavy casualties as a result. By the time a relief force made up of elements from the Ultramarines and White Scars made it to the planet to rescue them, barely 200 battle-brothers of the Lamenters were left. In an early demonstration of the kind of serious misfortune that would come to plague the Lamenters, the survivors of this campaign were immediately caught in a warp-storm and vanished, with the entire chapter swiftly being declared lost in the warp and presumed destroyed.”

Eventually they do make it out of the warp. But then they bounced into the whole Badab situation. After that, they bounced right into the “jaws of Hive Fleet Kraken.” They managed to survive with 3 companies…

All of these trials has made them an infamous chapter if nothing else. They also don’t seem to suffer from all of the effects of the Red Thirst and Black Rage. Now if only the Blood Angels could manage to take a closer look at their successor chapter to see what the heck is going on…



Flesh Eaters

Look, we’re keeping this one short and sweet.

“The chapter’s name refers to their unnatural craving for blood and flesh. This chapter was almost labeled heretic because of their cannibalistic rituals.”


So yeah. CANNIBAL Space Vampires. What else can you say?

Death Wardens

And finally we have the Death Wardens. Why are they Infamous? Well not for the reason you might think. You see, these guys were created by Wade Pryce who runs the Warhammer Community Podcast for the shows 12th Episode.  It’s not the first time a GW employee got to add to the mystique and lore of the Blood Angels. See: Tycho’s True History. Hell, the White Dwarf Team got to create an entire chapter. I guess when you work for the manufacture you get to turn your own fanfic into official canon – but that’s one of the perks I suppose!


Man, the Blood Angels do have some pretty dark and vicious successor chapters. But I guess that’s what happens when your Primarch dies and drink his blood.

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