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The Omophagea, also called the Remembrancer, is the 8th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new superhuman Astartes. The Omophagea is implanted into the spinal cord and then wired into the central nervous system so that it is directly attached to the cerebral cortex and to the stomach. While situated in the spinal cord, the Remembrancer is actually part of the brain, consisting of four nerve bundles connecting the spine and the stomach wall.

It allows the Astartes to gain part of an individual person's or creature's memory by eating its flesh. This special organ is implanted between the thoracid vertebrae and the stomach wall and is designed to absorb genetic information and any DNA, RNA or protein sequences related to experience or memory. This implant thus allows a Space Marine to literally "learn by eating." The Omophagea transmits the gained information to the Astartes' brain in biochemical form as a set of memories or experiences.

This enables the Space Marine to gain information, in a survival or tactical sense, simply by eating an animal indigenous to an alien world and then experiencing some of what that creature did before its death.

It is the presence of this organ that is responsible for the various flesh-eating and blood-drinking rituals for which certain Space Marine Chapters are famous, as well as giving names to Chapters such as the Blood Drinkers and Flesh Tearers. Over time, mutations in this implant's gene-seed have given some Chapters an unnatural craving for blood or flesh.

Blood Angels

The Blood Angels' gene-seed has always expressed an overactive version of the organ. This led during the IX Legion's early days to the development of a number of flesh-eating and blood-drinking rituals. The mutations in this implant that characterised the Blood Angels are the most likely cause for the cravings for flesh and blood experienced by many of its own recruits and those of its Successor Chapters, and prior to the mental conditioning and training begun by the Primarch Sanguinius after he was rediscovered on Baal by the Emperor in 843.M30, these urges took a firm hold on the IX Legion's character.

The effects of the omophagea allowed for new recruits to be inducted and granted a basic competence with extreme rapidity through the flesh of the newly fallen. This ghoulish practise was commonplace during the earliest years of the Legion's existence, allowing the swift replacement of battlefield casualties. For this reason, the Apothecaries of the IX Legion were known to carry large stocks of gene-seed into combat zones, ready for the harvest of new souls that followed both glorious victory and ignominious defeat alike.

Sources

  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 10-11
  • Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pg. 10
  • Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), "The Making of a Space Marine," pg. 11
  • Index Astartes I, "Rites of Initiation - The Creation of a Space Marine" by Rick Priestley and Gav Thorpe, pg. 5
  • Warhammer 40,000: Compendium (2nd Edition), "The Origins of the Legiones Astartes" by Rick Priestley, pg. 8
  • The Horus Heresy - Book Eight: Malevolence (Forge World Series) by Neil Wylie and Anuj Malhotra, pg. 117, "The Remembrancer"
  • White Dwarf 98 (UK) (1988) "Chapter Approved: The Origins of the Legiones Astartes" by Rick Priestley, pg. 14
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