Adeptus Astartes
Tactical Marine - Taros Campaign
General Information
Name Adeptus Astartes
Other Names Space Marine, God-Emperor's Angel of Death
Origin Warhammer 40,000
Location/Habitat Various planets throughout the Imperium of Man
Height 7-9 ft.
Weight 780 lbs (unarmoured)
Sentient Yes
Language Low Gothic, High Gothic
Psychic Creature Yes (Librarians and Grey Knights only)
Abilities Superhuman strength, Implanted organs
Threat Level Avoid at all costs

The Space Marines are superhuman warriors of the Imperium of Man. Known as the Adeptus Astartes, they are viewed as the greatest of the Imperium's forces. Space Marines are physically stronger, far more resilient and often mentally far removed from the lot of most normal human beings. Most people feel a combination of awe and fear whilst in their presence, and many cultures on more primitive worlds worship them as demigods or angels of the Emperor made flesh.

Many Space Marines feel little compassion for those they have sometimes termed "mortals" in comparison to themselves, seeing the very people they were created to protect as little more than obstacles to a more efficient eradication of the Imperium's enemies. This is an attitude sometimes taken by whole Chapters. They see normal humans as frail, weak creatures given to the follies of temptation, avarice, greed, lust and cowardice - all emotions they rarely feel, if ever. Yet others remember why they were created by the Emperor, who avoid the trap of hubris which the Space Marines are so prone to and which has seduced so many of their number to turn to the Chaos Gods.


The process by which a Space Marine is created is a complex one, though it changes very little throughout the Chapters - the different forces of Space Marines.

  1. Potential recruits, known as Aspirants, are chosen. How the recruits are chosen varies between worlds. Some chapters, like the Space Wolves, recruit from only one world (in the Wolve's case, Fenris), whilst others, such as the Ultramarines, recruit from multiple worlds. Yet others, such as the Black Templars and Dark Angels, don't have a fixed homeworld and recruit from any world in the war zone their fleet is currently in. Potential recruits are male humans with no birth defects, physically or mentally, aged 10 - 16 years of age. 
  2. Aspirants become Neophytes and begin their regimen of training and biological enhancement. Each Chapter has its own traditions regarding the initiation of the recruit into its legends and secrets. This process often runs parallel to the bio-genetic treatments the Neophyte must undergo. As the physical transformation proceeds, spiritual change also occurs. Both are tempered by ongoing experience on the field of battle and the rituals in which the Neophyte must participate. The nature of such rites varies enormously from one Chapter to the next.
  3. The implants that a Space Marine has are implanted into the Neophyte. This happens alongside the training. Each implant has different effects on the body, which are described further down. Furthermore, some chapters don't possess certain implants, thanks to the gene seed - the implant that makes the Neophyte a member of the chapter.
  4. The gene seed is implanted into the neophyte. This makes the Neophyte a member of the chapter in all but form, for each chapter's geneseed is different, even if it shares the same primarch with another (which they generally do). The gene seed is vulnerable to mutations over time, which manifest differently for different chapters. For example, the Blood Angels chapter and its successors all suffer from the Black Rage and Red Thirst - a berserk fury and lust for blood caused both by the chapter's primarch's death and degradation in the gene seed.
  5. The Black Carapace is implanted directally under the skin, covering the chest area. This is the most important of the implants, as it is required to use the marine's power armour at peak efficiency. Please note that, even though the black carapace is used by the Space Marines, it is not required to use power armour. Imperial Inquisitors and members of the Sisters of Battle use power armour themselves, without the black carapace. However, the black carapace provides an increase to protection and combat maneuverability not available to unaltered humans, such as the above examples.

Astartes Organ ImplantsEdit

  1. Secondary Heart - Increases blood supply and pumping capacity and is capable of taking over entirely should the primary heart fail. May also pump steroids and adrenaline into the first, primary heart to give the Astartes an extra "rush" of energy on the battlefield.
  2. Ossmodula - Strengthens and greatly accelerates the growth of the skeleton of a Space Marine by inducing his bones to absorb a ceramic-based mineral administered in every Astartes Neophyte's diet. Rib cage will also be fused into a solid bone plate to provide greater protection from injury for the internal organs.
  3. Biscopea - Massively bolsters skeletomuscular development and muscle fiber density throughout the Astartes' body by unleashing a wave of human growth hormones. Commonly implanted at the same time as the Ossmodula as it is necessary to successfully regulate the Ossmodula's hormonal secretions and will also regulate the hormonal changes caused to the new Astartes' body by many of the other gene-seed implants.
  4. Haemastamen - Alters an Astartes' blood's biochemical composition to carry oxygen and nutrients more efficiently. Also acts to biochemically regulate the actions of the Ossmodula and Biscopea.
  5. Larraman's Organ - Manufactures Larraman Cells, which serve the same physiological purpose for an Astartes as the normal human body's platelets, but act faster, more efficiently and more effectively.
  6. Catalepsean Node - Allows a Space Marine to avoid sleep, instead entering an almost comatose trance where their minds "recharge". Also allows one half of the brain to rest while the other hemisphere remains alert, thus removing the need for the unconsciousness required by normal sleep.
  7. Preomnor - Enables the Astartes to eat normally inedible substances and resist any poisons he may ingest.
  8. Omophagea - Absorbs information and any DNA, RNA or protein sequences related to experience or memory. 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. Over time, mutations in this implant's gene-seed have given some Chapters an unnatural craving for blood or flesh.
  9. Multi-Lung - Third lung that is able to absorb oxygen from environments usually too poor in oxygen to allow normal human respiratory functioning. Breathing is accomplished through a sphincter implanted into the trachea, allowing all three lungs to be used at full capacity. In toxic environments, a similar muscle closes off the normal lungs, thus oxygen is absorbed exclusively by the Multi-lung, which then filters out the poisonous or toxic elements.
  10. Occulobe - Enhances an Astartes' eyesight, granting him exceptional vision and the ability to see normally in a low-light environment.
  11. Lyman's Ear - Renders a Space Marine immune to dizziness and motion-induced nausea, and enables an Astartes to consciously filter out "white noise" or resist other sonic attacks.
  12. Sus-An Membrane - Allows a Space Marine to enter a catatonic or "suspended animation" state. Can allow a mortally wounded Astartes to survive his injuries, and bring the metabolism to a standstill until he can receive full medical care. Only the appropriate chemical therapy or hypnotic auto-suggestion can revive a Space Marine from this state.
  13. Melanochrome - Alters the pigment cells in the skin, which allows the Astartes' skin to shield him from otherwise dangerous levels of radiation and heat.
  14. Oolitic Kidney - Works in conjunction with the Preomnor, filtering the blood to remove toxins that have been ingested or breathed into the body. However, renders the Astartes unconscious once detoxification begins. Under normal circumstances, Also acts as a regulatory organ for the Astartes physiology, maintaining the efficient action of the Space Marine's advanced circulatory system and the proper functioning of his other organs, implanted or otherwise.
  15. Neuroglottis - Allows an Astartes to biochemically assess a wide variety of things simply by taste or smell, biochemically testing various objects for toxicity and nutritional content, essentially determining if the substance is edible or poisonous.
  16. Mucranoid - Causes the Space Marine to secrete a waxy protein substance similar to mucus through his pores that seals his skin. Must first be activated by an external chemical treatment, usually self-administered, before it will activate.
  17. Betcher's Gland - Transforms a Space Marine's saliva into a corrosive, blinding acid when consciously triggered. Also aids in the digestion of unusually difficult or impossible things to digest, such as cellulose.
  18. Progenoid Glands - Serves to collect, gestate and maintain the gene-seed from a Space Marine's body, and to safeguard it for the continuity of a Chapter. Respond to the presence of the other Astartes gene-seed implants in the body by creating germ cells with DNA identical to that of those implants through a process very similar to cellular mitosis. These germ cells grow and are stored in the Progenoid organs, much like sperm cells or egg cells are stored in the testes and ovaries of normal men and women. When properly cultured by the Apothecaries of a Space Marine Chapter, these germ cells can be gestated into each of the 19 gene-seed organs needed to create a new Space Marine.
  19. Black Carapace - Invasive fibre bundles that serve as neuron connectors then grow inward from the implant and interlink with the Space Marine's central nervous system. Points pre-cut into the Carapace before its implantation by the Apothecary are effectively neural connection points, allowing an Astartes to directly interface his central nervous system with his suit of Power Armour so that the suit can provide the enhanced protection and combat maneuverability mentioned above.

Notable ChaptersEdit


The Ultramarines chapter, originally the XIII Legion, is commonly viewed as the model for all Space Marines due to their exemplary discipline and loyalty to the Emperor. This Chapter's elite 1st Company was wiped out by the Tyranids during the legendary Battle for Macragge of the First Tyrannic War; it has taken a century to fully reconstitute that company. Also, their primarch, Roboute Guilliman, was responsible for writing the Codex Astartes, a set of guidelines for how a Space Marine should fight.

Imperial FistsEdit

The Imperial Fists were originally the VII Legion of Astartes raised by the Emperor Himself. They stand out from other Space Marine Chapters since they possess no fixed homeworld, although they are most frequently based on Terra (Earth). Instead, the Imperial Fists rely on their 10,000-year-old mobile space fortress, the Phalanx, to serve as their headquarters.

  • Primarch - Rogal Dorn
  • Homeworld - Terra (Earth)
  • Chapter Master - Vladimir Pugh
  • Chief Librarian - Unknown
  • Reclusiarch - Unknown
  • Chief Apothecary - Unknown

Black TemplarsEdit

The Black Templars are the best-known example of a Crusading Chapter in the whole Imperium; their doctrines, traditions, and organisation reflect their particular approach to prosecuting the Imperium’s wars. The Chapter is divided into a variable number of self-contained and highly mobile forces known as Crusades, each commanded by a Marshal, whose only superior is the High Marshal of the Chapter himself. Under most circumstances, the Chapter is divided into no more than three separate Crusade forces, though during especially calamitous times the number has risen to several times more.

  • Primarch - Rogal Dorn
  • Homeworld - None
  • Chapter Master - High Marshall Helbrecht
  • Chief Librarian - Unknown
  • Reclusiarch - Grimaldus
  • Chief Apothecary - Unknown

Blood AngelsEdit

The Blood Angels were originally the IX Legion before the Legiones Astartes were broken up into 1000 separate chapters. They are well-known across the galaxy for their bloodthirsty nature in battle, and feared for the curse of flawed gene-seed they carry. The Blood Angels are amongst the longest-lived of the Astartes, with some of the Chapter's Space Marines having served the Emperor for over a thousand years. The Blood Angels and their successors suffer from the Black Rage and Red Thirst. These two flaws in their gene-seed causes some Astartes to fight like rabid beasts. Only a rare few manage to survive the effects of the Rage and the Thirst with no ill effects. Those that don't are bunched into a force known as the Death Company, led by the chaplains and apothecaries.

Dark AngelsEdit

The Dark Angels were once the I Legion. They refer to themselves and their successors as the Unforgiven. Their first two companies are elite forces known as the Deathwing and the Ravenwing. Although unknown to most of the Imperium, including the majority of the Chapter, some of the Dark Angels turned to the service of Chaos during the Horus Heresy. These individuals are known as the Fallen Angels, or sometimes the Fallen, and the Unforgiven have vowed never to rest until all of the Fallen have repented or been killed in the Emperor's name.

  • Primarch - Lion El'Jonson
  • Homeworld - Caliban (destroyed)
  • Chapter Master - Supreme Grand Master Azrael
  • Chief Librarian - Ezekiel
  • Reclusiarch - Sapphon
  • Chief Apothecary - Unknown

Space WolvesEdit

This particular chapter, once the VI Legion, is known for following its own path and being highly unorthodox in organization and tactics - often contrary to the Codex Astartes. They are feral in appearance and are often adorned with wolf pelts and wolf tooth necklaces. They are one of the few Space Marine chapters who do not follow any of the rules for chapter organization set out in the Codex. Many Space Wolves suffer from the Curse of the Wulfen, a flaw in their gene-seed that transforms them into Wulfen.

Iron HandsEdit

The Iron Hands, who were once the X Legion, are devotees of the Cult of the Machine of the Adeptus Mechanicus. There is an unusually high incidence of voluntary cybernetic modifications to the bodies of Iron Hands Astartes as a result of their devotion to the Omnissiah. All Neophytes of the Chapter have their left hand removed and replaced with a cybernetic model.

  • Primarch - Ferrus Manus
  • Homeworld - Medusa
  • Chapter Master - None; Kardan Stronos represents the chapter to outsiders
  • Chief Librarian - Madeus
  • Reclusiarch - Unknown
  • Chief Apothecary - Unknown


The Salamaders, once the XVIII Legion, are a technically-adept Chapter with a preference for short-ranged combat, heat-based weaponry, including flamers and melta guns. They are unusually devoted to the welfare of the civilian population of the Imperium because of their own close connections to the people of their homeworld of Nocturne.

White ScarsEdit

The White Scars were the V Legion Astartes. They have a Mongol-based nomadic barbarian culture and prefer fast-attack operations. They are also known for being specialists in the use of bike squads on the battlefield.

  • Primarch - Jaghatai Khan
  • Homeworld - Mundus Planus (also known as Chogoris)
  • Chapter Master - Great Khan Jubal
  • Chief Librarian - Unknown
  • Reclusiarch - Unknown
  • Chief Apothecary - Unknown

Raven GuardEdit

The Raven Guard were once the XIX Legion and specialize in hit-and-run assaults, and they prefer the use of jump packs and lightning claws. They most commonly deploy into battle from orbit using drop pods.

  • Primarch - Corvus Corax
  • Homeworld - Deliverance
  • Chapter Master - Unknown
  • Chief Librarian - Unknown
  • Reclusiarch - Unknown
  • Chief Apothecary - Unknown

Grey KnightsEdit

The Grey Knights are a secret, mysterious chapter of Space Marines specifically tasked with combating the daemons of the Warp. They act as the military arm or Chamber Millitant of the Ordo Malleus, the Daemonhunters who form the oldest branch of the Inquisition. The Grey Knights' headquarters is based on Titan, the largest of the moons of Saturn. The existence of the Chapter is virtually unknown outside of the Inquisition and the highest echelons of the Imperial Adepta, and is a well-guarded secret. Unlike other Astartes, every Grey Knight is a potent psyker. In the 10,000 years of Imperial history, no Grey Knight has ever once been corrupted by Chaos.

  • Primarch - Created from the Emperor's own gene-seed
  • Homeworld - Titan (moon of Saturn)
  • Chapter Master - Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo
  • Chief Librarian - Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo
  • Reclusiarch - None
  • Chief Apothecary - None

Blood RavensEdit

The Blood Ravens' history is shrouded in mystery and are belived to be tied to a dark truth related to the Horus Heresy. This elusive chapter has always been drawn to the pursuit of knowledge and the acquisition of ancient lore and produces an unusually high number of Librarians among its ranks as a high proportion of Neophytes develop psychic abilities soon after their implantation with the Blood Ravens' gene-seed organs. These arcane powers have led to great speculation and some worry about the true nature and origins of this chapter in the rest of the Imperium. It is commonly believed that the Blood Ravens are the loyal remnants of the Thousand Sons legion, thus making their unknown primarch Magnus the Red.

  • Primarch - Unknown
  • Homeworld - Aurelia
  • Chapter Master - Gabriel Angelos
  • Chief Librarian - Unknown
  • Reclusiarch - Unknown
  • Chief Apothecary - Unknown

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