"They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give of themselves to me. Like clay I shall mould them and in the furnace of war I shall forge them. They shall be of iron will and steely sinew. In great armour I shall clad them and with the mightiest weapons shall they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease; no sickness shall blight them. They shall have such tactics, strategies and machines that no foe will best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines...and they shall know no fear."
— The Emperor of Mankind
The Space Marines or Adeptus Astartes are foremost amongst the defenders of humanity within the Imperium of Man, the greatest of the Imperium of Man's warriors. They are barely human at all, but superhuman; having been made superior in all respects to a normal man by a harsh regime of genetic modification, psycho-conditioning and rigorous training. Space Marines are untouched by plague or any natural disease and can suffer wounds that would kill a lesser being several times over, and live to fight again. Clad in ancient Power Armour and wielding the most potent weapons known to Man, the Space Marines are terrifying foes and their devotion to the Emperor and the Imperium of Man is unyielding. They are the God-Emperor's Angels of Death, and they know no fear. Many have noted the irony in the Second Multiverse War when it was split between those who sided with the Imperialist and those who remain loyal to the Alliance, which sadly become one of the many symbols used to describe the civil war that ripped the Imperium of Man apart during the Second War.
The Astartes are physically stronger, far more resilient and often mentally far removed from the lot of most normal human beings. In the presence of the Astartes, most people feel a combination of awe and fear, and many cultures on the more primitive worlds simply worship them outright as demigods or angels of the God-Emperor made flesh. They should feel so, for 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 there are some Astartes who 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 serve the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. They are the final guardians of Mankind, the saviours of last resort.
Post-Fop'lla treaty Edit
The Loyalists Edit
The Loyalist Astartes were inducted into the Alliance's military, but still served under their primarchs. Many battles of the first multiverse war were won thanks to the Astartes might. Their Geneseed is comparatively stable, and not prone to mutations.
The Traitors Edit
The Traitor Astartes, however, after the mysterious disappearance of their Warmaster, Horus Lupercal, became Marauders, carving a bloody path through both the Alliance and The Axis, in the name of their Dark Gods. In direct contrast to their Loyalist cousins, Their geneseed has a high rate of mutation. This fault is seen as sacred by the traitor marines, as they are perceived as proof of the Dark gods favour.
Combine Astartes Edit
During the First Multiverse War, the Axis, mainly the Combine, saw the potential and the power of the Astartes, and began secretly abducting Astartes, ranging from stray squads to even entire chapters. The abducted would then be placed into the Combine's Synth program, and then re-indoctrinated to serve the Combine. After the First Multiversal War, most of these marines would be purged, but some are still out there, propagating.