Today we look at a Space Marine who had to fight to keep his Chapter in good graces with the Imperium, Gabriel Seth of the Flesh Tearers.
Let’s see what this Space Marine did to make it right when he almost lost it all in this week’s Top 30 Space Marine.
Seth has presided over the Chapter for more than 100 years. In his time he has experienced many great victories, but has also seen too many of his battle brothers fall victim to the Black Rage. He has earned a great degree of enmity from most other Imperial armies he has fought alongside. Commanders of the Imperial Guard and of the Adepta Sororitas are often simply ignored, while other Marines grow frustrated with Seth’s impetuous desire to instantly destroy all enemies.When Seth ascended to command of the Flesh Tearers in 815.M41, he was given a grim judgment by the chapter’s Sanguinary High Priest. The Priests predicted that the frequency of the Black Rage, combined with battlefield attrition, had finally overtaken the Flesh Tearers’ ability to replace their losses from Cretacia. The Priests predicted that the Flesh Tearers would be extinct within decades.
Upon hearing this, Seth made a solemn vow: if the Flesh Tearers were to fade away, then they would be remembered with honour, rather than fear. For this reason, Seth has aggressively deployed the Flesh Tearers by mounting pro-active patrols through known enemy territory and responding avidly to distress calls from all Imperial sectors.
Despite the chapter’s continual savagery, Seth has proven to be a competent and hopeful leader, taking new policies to combat the chapter’s grisly reputation. Cretacia has become dedicated to producing weapons and recruits for the Flesh Tearers; and the Flesh Tearers make strikes isolated from other Imperial forces to conceal their savagery from and minimalize collateral damage to Imperial allies. Many who feared the Flesh Tearers are now praising them, although they are still distrusted by many of their allies.
Seth’s hopes of bringing the chapter back into the good graces of the Imperium, and more importantly, saving it from its doom are desperate hopes. Yet his strategy has yet to bear fruit, and only time will tell of what becomes of the Flesh Tearers.
In the latter decades of M41, Seth was one of several Masters of the Blood Angels Successor Chapters who were summoned by Commander Dante to a Conclave on Baal. The Blood Angels had nearly collapsed into civil war because of a plot by the Word Bearers, and urgently needed new recruits in order to survive. Dante requested a tithe of recruits from the Angels’ “cousin” chapters, but Seth refused vehemently, protesting that the Flesh Tearers were already too reduced as a chapter to spare any men.
In private, Seth even suggested to Dante that the Blood Angels be disbanded and allow the Flesh Tearers to take over the rule of Baal. Seth could not help but see an opportunity to rebuild his chapter’s strength using the Blood Angels’ men and resources.
However, Seth and Dante would fight side by side, in defense of the crypt of Sanguinius, when it was attacked by mutants unleashed by Fabius Bile. After the battle, Seth addressed Dante as a true battle-brother, and pledged that the Flesh Tearers would donate the men the Blood Angels needed. Dante was more than a millennium old, but this reversal showed that he was still capable of being surprised. Seth’s support also convinced the other chapters’ Masters to make the same pledge.
Several months later, Seth discovered a random piece of information that aided the Blood Angels in tracking down Bile (or rather, one of his many clones), who had stolen the blood of Sanguinius.
Devastation of Baal
During the Devastation of Baal, Seth was a key Imperial commander and fought alongside Dante. After Dante was wounded by the Swarmlord, Seth led a retreat back to the Fortress-Monastery of the Blood Angels and held out until the Indomitus Crusade arrived. Though he knows that his Chapter would be refilled with Primaris Space Marines after nearly destroying by the claws of Tyranids, Seth was not very satisfied with it, thinking that Roboute Guilliman just turn Flesh Tearers and other Chapters of Sanguinius bloodline into blank copy of Ultramarines, although in red armour. Seth is sure that without their fury, his Space Marines will lose their major distinguishing feature and become something else.