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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 forge them.
They shall be of iron will and steel sinew.
In great armour I shall clad them and with the mightiest weapons they will 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 can 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

Introduction

They shall be pure of heart and strong of body, untainted by doubt and unsullied by self-aggrandisement. They will be bright stars on the firmament of battle, Angels of Death whose shining wings bring swift annihilation to the enemies of Man. So it shall be for a thousand times for a thousand years, unto the very end of eternity and the extinction of mortal flesh.
~ Opening passage of the Codex Astartes

The Adeptus Astartes, called The Angels of Death, and more commonly known as The Space Marines, are the poster-boys of Warhammer 40,000 and by far the Verse's most popular characters. They are armies of genetically-enhanced transhuman warriors who dedicate their lives to the protection of mankind and the conquest of the Galaxy. Clad in Power Armour which further enhances their already preternatural physique, and wielding the most potent weapons known to man, the Astartes are humanity's finest warriors, the bulkwark of the Imperium against its countless foes.

The Astartes were created by The Emperor of Mankind Himself at the twilight of the 30th Millennium, forged through arcane technologies in His hidden laboratories within the Himalazian mountains, utilizing the genetic inheritence of His twenty godlike Primarch sons. Made and trained for the conquest of the stars, the Astartes followed their Emperor in his Great Crusade to reunify mankind's empire, and establish their supremacy over the Galaxy. Divided into 20 Legions of 100,000 warriors each, under the leadership of their Primarch fathers, the Space Marines forged the Imperium.

This period of glory and conquest did not last, however, and with the dawning of the 31st Millennium, the Warmaster Horus Lupercal, Primarch of the Luna Wolves and the Emperor's most beloved son, was corrupted by the Dark Powers of Chaos, and started a galaxy-splitting rebellion that would forever be known as the Horus Heresy. Half of the Primarchs and their Legions followed the Warmaster, and the galaxy burned in the ensuing conflict. Ultimately, the Imperium was victorious, but at a heavy price: The Emperor was mortally wounded, and had to be bound to stasis in the Golden Throne, suspended between life and death. Following the conflict, the Primarch Roboute Guilliman, then Lord Commander of the Imperium, wrote the Codex Astartes, a tome which defined how the Space Marines would operate for the millennia to come: The remaining 9 Loyal Legio Astartes were split apart, divided into far smaller Space Marine Chapters, as to prevent any potential future rebels from having enough numbers as to start a Galactic civil war.

Through the following 10 millennia since, the 1,000 Adeptus Astartes Chapters have fought for the protection of mankind, standing as their last line of defense against the forces of Chaos.

The Following is a collection of Adeptus Astartes feats, designed to show the capabilities of the average Space Marine:

Strength

  • An Astartes topples a stone tower large enough to have three Astartes fighting atop it:
“Blocks had sunk into the floor of the arena, lined by the towers between which the Space Marines had been leaping. Dirty water had rapidly seeped up through grilles in the block-bottom of the large pit and filled it to a reasonable depth. Montalbán watched the weapon fly across the water’s expanse and clatter to the ground on the other side. Instead of waiting for Alighieri to join him on his tower, the Imperial Fist dropped down the side of the column, sending a quake through the dark stone as he landed. The Black Templar wouldn’t have been able to make good on his bold opening since Kersh had come back at him with a lunge that had every right to gut the Castellan. Somehow the nimble Alighieri managed to arc his palsied form about the sword’s stabbing path. The tower suddenly bucked. Kersh initially assumed that the blocks were once more on the move, but a second impact convinced him otherwise. The giant Montalbán was throwing his bulk at the tower base like a beast of the plains felling titanwoods. The third slam of superhuman shoulder against stone took out the base block and toppled the tower. As the column shook and tipped, Kersh lost his footing and went down in an ugly fashion. Striking his chest against the block edge he felt the shell of his fused ribs crack. He clawed at the smooth surface of the dark stone, allowing his gladius to tumble from his grip and into the filthy water below. The unsuccessful Scourge followed the weapon and was in turn followed and buried by the falling blocks of the collapsed tower.”
Pg.162 Legion of the Damned
  • Even deprived of his Power Armour boost, a Space Marine nearly breaks free from being bound to a pillar:
“They had done this to him, his so-called brothers. The killing, the slaughter – it had to continue. The craven Angels of the corpse-Emperor failed to see this. Dastards all, they had mobbed him like cowards, holding him down and prising the steaming sword from his hand. Not before the Scarioch-Thing had broken a few more jaws and noses with his brow and flailing knuckles. When he would not soothe to the lullaby of their weakling words and fraternal entreaties, they cut the cable-fibres of his armour and stripped him of his pack power-plant. They stretched his arms behind him and bound his wrists behind a cloister-pillar, using the bent length of a nearby railing bar. The berserker thrashed against the deadweight of his plate. The pillar groaned. The metal of his bindings squealed and contorted. The raging Angel strained and struggled against his captivity. His teeth clenched and his gums oozed blood. The whites of his eyes were thread-shattered and deep red while his Adeptus Astartes flesh ruptured with the mosaic distension of bruising and exertion.”
Pg.535 LotD
  • A Marine fights against hundreds of blood-crazed servants of Khorne:
“The full weight of the advancing Cholercaust was behind the thick metal, with row upon blood-crazed row charging forwards against each other and the Mausoleum door in an effort to earn the Blood God’s favour and end an Adeptus Astartes. The Scourge and Brother Novah continued in their desperate, marble-grazing efforts. Ishmael turned his unseeing eyes on his brothers. Novah was nearest, so Novah died first. Ishmael spun around and buried a crackling claw all the way up to the knuckle in the Fifth Company standard bearer. The standard itself jangled to the floor, and as Ishmael retracted his devastating talons, the butchered Excoriator followed it. Kersh immediately felt the effect on the door as hundreds of the Blood God’s servants lent their weight to an irresistible entrance.
Scrabbling beneath the warpstream, Skase joined his corpus-captain on the door. Launching their armoured frames at the adamantium alloy with renewed fervour, the Excoriators slammed it closed, shearing off the twitching limbs of slave-soldiers clawing their way through. As Skase held the great door closed, Kersh hauled at the pinion mechanism that drove a heavy adamantium bar across the portal and into the wall.”
Pg.717 LotD
  • A Techmarine can lift a Drop Pod, which weights 14 tons:
“Several of the pod’s ramps had managed to open fully, while others, like Nemiel’s, had been blocked by piles of debris. Brother-Sergeant Kohl was braced against the side of the pod and helping free Brother Vardus and his cumbersome heavy bolter. Brother Askelon came around the side of the pod closest to Nemiel. His powerful servo arm deployed above his shoulder with a faint whine as he placed his feet carefully among the rubble. ‘Stand clear!’ he called, then opened the gripping claw of his arm and extended it against the side of the pod. Servo-motors hummed with gathering power. Askelon slid backwards a few centimetres; Nemiel stepped forward and tried to help brace him. Then, with a grating of powdered masonry and a groan of metal, the pod shifted slowly upright. ‘Well done, brother,’ Nemiel said, clapping the Techmarine on the shoulder as the pod’s ramps fully deployed. ”
Pg.159 FA
  • Space Marines fodderizing Imperial Guard soldiers corrupted by Chaos and slicing a corrupted Ogryn in half:
“Hanging from the ruined wing by a single hydraulic pintle and belt feed was one of the Impunitas’s twin-linked heavy bolters. Cutting through the gunship impulse cabling with his blade and shearing away the tensioned piston-trigger, Kersh sank his gauntlets into the firing mechanism, clutching at rods, pins and levers. Pulling at a robust lever, the Scourge was rewarded with a kick from the right-hand heavy bolter. The round blasted up into the wing’s armour plating. Angling the bolters around on their hydraulic pintle and clutching both levers like the brakes on a bike, Kersh unleashed the devastating weapon on the storming mob. The twin-linked heavy bolters bucked like beasts of burden reined in and under control. The barrels breathed flash-fires from their gaping muzzles, and two streams of blistering, brute-calibre firepower reached across the battlefield for the enemy. As Kersh angled the monstrous weapons around, lines of cultists disappeared in a bloodspittle haze of sweeping death. Assassins of ‘The Covenant’, so lithe and barbarically graceful, were mercilessly turned to chum before the gunship-mounted weapon. The Volscani Cataphracts’ armour was nothing to Kersh’s firepower and droves of the traitor Guardsmen were cut down in a furore of clot-splashing eruptions. The feral ogryn, Kersh simply cut down to size by scything straight through the thick muscle and bone of his legs and watching the limbless giant crash to the ground.
Pg.613 LotD
  • Astartes can carry two other Power Armoured Astartes with ease:
“Kohl grabbed the Techmarine’s arm and draped it over his shoulder, then took hold of Askelon’s waist with his left hand. ‘I could carry two of you without breaking a sweat,’ the sergeant growled. ”
Pg.475 FA
  • A Marine leaps multiple yards a slices a giant metal pillar with his sword:
  • “Ahead of him, the traitors had rallied behind a pillar. He could see the fear on their gaunt faces as he emerged unscathed from the billowing fire. Harahel heard the distinctive click of las power packs locking into place. It was insulting they thought the pillar offered any protection from his wrath. The huge Flesh Tearer growled, the metallic resonance of his helmet’s audio amplifier lending the sound a bestial quality. The stench of ammonia wafted on the air. He smiled, one of the traitors had pissed himself. Harahel rushed them. He leapt the last few yards, swinging his Eviscerator through the pillar as he landed. The blade showered him in sparks and pulped organs as it chewed through the metal of the column and into the bodies of the two traitors closest to it. The men died screaming, flesh ripped from their bones and tossed into the air by the churning, adamantium teeth.”
Pg.10 H&B 15 – Beneath the Flesh
  • A Marine casually crushes a person's skull:
“A scarred traitor screamed at him, lunging at him with a bayonet. Harahel sidestepped the attack and backhanded the man across his face, smashing his skull and sending chunks of his teeth spearing into the face of a heavy-set warrior who was fumbling with the activation stud of a shock maul. The man cried out in pain, dropping his weapon and clutching his ragged face. Harahel clamped his hand over the man’s head and squeezed, crushing his skull. ‘Cowards,’ he snarled, throwing the twitching body into the press of traitors as they scrambled away.”
Pg.10 H&B 15 – Beneath the Flesh
  • Terminator Marines can send both Necrons and regular Astartes flying with a literal flick of the wrist:
“Crackling with energy, his fingertips passed through the gaps of the necron’s ribcage, and with a flick of his hand he sent the corpse-machine flying.
With a dismissive flick, Kol Badar sent Ashkanez crashing into the Icon Bearer, momentarily taking him out of the fight. * *The force of his attack knocked Kol Badar back a step, but the Terminator- armoured warlord did not fall. Burias’ clawed feet sank into Kol Badar’s chest, and he squatted there like a hellish primate. With one clawed hand holding him in place, he punched several holes in the Coryphaus’ chest with his free hand before Kol Badar sent him flying, swatting him off with a backhand blow of his power talons. Burias-Drak’shal spun in the air then landed hard, snarling, his powerful leg muscles bunched beneath him. ”
Pgs.522+545+553 DC
  • Another example of the massive difference between Terminator Marines and regular Astartes:
“The First Acolyte’s face was pale from blood loss, and red foam bubbled at the corners of his mouth. The four terrible bloody wounds in his chest were leaking his lifeblood, but they would close soon enough. Still, Marduk was surprised that the Icon Bearer was still alive, let alone fighting on. With a roar, bloody spittle spraying from his mouth, the First Acolyte stepped forward and brought his power maul crashing down towards Marduk’s crown. The Dark Apostle caught the blow in his gauntleted hand, holding the crackling weapon at bay. Electricity ran up and down the length of his arm, but still he held on. The veins in the First Acolyte’s neck bulged as he exerted all his considerable force to bring the maul down upon Marduk’s, but his strength was fading, and they both knew it.”
Pg.549 DC
  • Astartes dragging vehicles through sheer strength:
“A fuzzy image swam into focus; grey blobs became the distinct shapes of Adeptus Astartes in Maximus-pattern armour, moving to block the path of the monorail. As the Callidus watched, they dragged the husks of burned-out vehicles across the line, assembling a makeshift barricade.”
Pg.636 Nemesis
  • Marine dents a Rhino tank with a punch:
“We are the Gal Vorbak.’ Argel Tal crashed a fist into the Rhino’s flank, denting the armour plating.”
Pg.725 TFH
  • A Space Wolf punches a man and rips out his spine, and another reduces enemies to bloody pools:
“For example, just before the robusts’crew-served weapon had turned him into bloodsmoke and a rattling drizzle of armour fragments, Hjad had carried over two of the Quietude’s big fighting units by rushing them bodily. One had been too crippled to pick itself up again. The other had attempted to claw at Hjad, its face hologram blinking as it tried to reload into something more threatening. Hjad had punched his right fist through its torso and pulled out its spine.
Adthung Greychin had cleared an entire deck level of the graving dock structure with his chainsword after a lucky shot damaged his bolter. He went through robusts and graciles alike, making them scatter. No one actually saw him take the two gravity penetrators that killed him, but Thel saw his body on the ground just after it dropped, and told Hawser that Adthung’s famous grey beard had been dyed almost indigo by the spatter of the enemy’s pseudo-blood. He had died well.
Stormeye went to the Underverse destroyed by beam weapons. Blinded, his face all but scorched off by damage, his mouth fused shut, he had still managed to split a robust from the shoulder to the waist with his axe before falling. Hawser had seen this feat for himself. A dead man pulling another down in death with him. ”
Pg.259 PB
  • Space Wolf arm strength:
Jormungndr Two-blade entered the courtyard. He came in over one of the cloister roofs where Outremar bodies had collected like autumn leaves. True to his name, he had a blade in each hand, a matched pair of power swords, shorter and broader than Longfang’s hissing frostblade. He uttered the loudest roar of all, and landed hard on the tiles in front of the charging super-robusts. The impact made a sound like a dropped anvil, and pavers cracked under him. He met their united attack aggressively, hammering aside the super-robust with the tulwars with his right blade, and then blocking the hammer with his left. The super-robust with the tulwars re-joined without hesitation, hacking at him. Two-blade blocked and parried with matching speed, allowing neither of the tulwars to slip past his guard. Simultaneously, his left-hand weapon fended away the follow-up swing from the super-robust with the hammer.”
Pg.378 PB
“Jormungndr Two-blade did not pause to enjoy the satisfaction of this advantage. He had to jerk his head back hard to avoid the hammer again. The evasion was whisker-close. The hammer-wielder had thrown such bodily force behind the latest blow that the swing had described an almost complete circle. The hammerhead, missing Two-blade on the downward half of the orbit, ended up striking the ground of the yard and creating, with a painful, plosive bang, a radiating crater in the tilework that looked like a bullet hole in a mirror, or the ripple of a stone hitting the surface of still water. Two-blade struck the super-robust with his left-hand sword. The super-robust deflected the slash with the long haft of its hammer, bringing it up level in front of its face like a stave, before swinging it up higher for another downward, post-setting blow. Two-blade managed to get his swords up and crossed against each other, and caught the neck of the hammer in the V formed by their blades. Even so, the impact drove him down onto one knee.”
Pg.380-382 PB
  • Unarmed and unarmoured Astartes vs Mortals:
“Where ambushes were laid, Severian would strike from the shadows. Where attacks came upon them without warning, Tagore and Asubha would counterattack with furious strength. Where men with guns filled the passages with fire, Kiron would drop them with pinpoint shots that boiled brains within skulls before bursting them like overfilled balloons of blood and brain matter. When barriers were erected to bar their path, Gythua would wade through hails of gunfire to batter them down, shrugging off the shots of his enemies as though they were of no more consequence than insect bites. Dried blood slathered the Death Guard’s chest, and a charred crater the size of Kai’s fist had been bored in his side. Armoured doors presented no obstacle to them, for Atharva possessed a golden ring, like that worn by Saturnalia, which unlocked every portal closed against them.”
Pg.447 OD
  • World Eater marine throws a human so hard he cracks every bone of his body:
“Subha dispensed with any pretence of courtesy and picked Kai up as though he were a recalcitrant child. The World Eater sprinted towards the open hatchway as the rest of the Outcast Dead climbed aboard. ‘Atharva!’ shouted Subha. ‘Catch.’ Kai yelled as he sailed through the air, but Atharva caught him without difficulty and swung him around to plant him in a crew seat bolted to the fuselage. Kai felt as though every single bone in his body had been battered, and bit back a vulgar insult as Atharva pressed him into his seat.”
Pg.450 OD

Speed

  • Astartes dashes through 10 meters and vaults a console table in the time it takes for a human heart to beat once:
“‘Sire, I believe we should save them for–’ The human said nothing more. The front of his face came free with a sickly crack, the flesh and jagged bone crunching in the Night Lord’s fist. Talos ignored the body as it toppled, spilling the insides of its halved skull onto the decking. No one had even seen him move, such was the prophet’s speed, clearing ten metres and vaulting a console table in the time it took a human heart to beat once.”
Pg.93 Void Stalker
  • An Astartes reacts to, and slaps a hypersonic Bolter round away:
“The sorcerer stood at the edge of the marble disc, aiming a bolt pistol. He fired from almost point-blank range. Sabtah had no choice. He slapped the round away. His left hand exploded in a concentric swirl of blood and armour fragments.”
Pg.229 Blood Gorgons
  • An example (Of many) of Space Marines reacting in a nanosecond:
“He took a brief moment or two to unconsciously alter his carriage; the design of the power armour necessitated a change in posture after time wearing his shipboard clothing. His back straightened and the servos at work in the armour adjusted to his movements after barely a nanosecond’s delay.”
Pg.90 Gildar Rift
  • A Marine runs 300 meters in 18 seconds
“‘He’s sent the pulse,’ Nemiel told the squad. ‘Brother Marthes, take point. Sergeant Kohl, help me with Brother Askelon. Let’s move!’ The Astartes sprang into action, charging down the tunnel behind Marthes, who advanced with his meltagun held ready. Kohl and Nemiel brought up the rear, dragging the limp form of Askelon between them. Three hundred metres down the tunnel, the passageway fed into a large, square structure that echoed the permacrete blockhouse they’d entered at the manufactory. The plasteel rungs of another ladder climbed upward, presumably into the foundry’s assembly building. Sitting at its feet, just as Nemiel suspected, crouched a matte-black sentry gun. Armed with a turret-mounted twin-linked lascannon, the automated unit crouched on four stubby legs like a hungry spider waiting for prey. Nemiel could hear the hum of its power unit as they approached. Its twin guns were aimed straight down the tunnel at the approaching Astartes. A single shot would cut through their armour like tissue.
Nemiel consulted his internal chrono: they had just twelve seconds left. He looked to Kohl as they reached the bottom of the ladder. ”
Pg.394 FA
  • An Astartes dodging Plasma Gun blasts while running towards his target, also Bolter shell vaporizing the target:
Barbelo was the last to advance into the chamber. He moved straight forwards, sighting a traitor in a heavy overcoat wielding a plasma pistol. The man fired. The sergeant dropped his shoulder to avoid the shot. The plasma round burnt through the air to melt the wall where his head had been an instant before. The man fired again. ‘In the name of–’ Barbelo, dodged left and fired, his round vaporising the man’s head and shoulders before the traitor could finish his sentence. ‘We will not hear the name of your heathen god, heretic,’ Barbelo fired again; his plasma round obliterating what remained of the treacherous commissar’s corpse in a crackle of blue energy. ‘Sanctum secure.”
Pg.18 H&B 15 – Beneath the Flesh
  • High Chaplain Astorath casually swipes Bolt-rounds with his sword:
“Combat reflexes took over and Rafen drew his bolt pistol in a fraction of a second, his other hand snatching at the hilt of the battle knife resting in a sheath along the line of his spine. He fired a single shot at the High Chaplain, aiming low, aiming to wound, to slow him down. But he might well have called out his intentions in a shout. Astorath swept his blade aside and intercepted the bolt mid-flight with a crack of sound, the round blasting harmlessly into the dirt. Rafen dodged to one side as the weapon’s fast, fluid arc bisected the space where he had been standing, and he rolled, tumbling over red dirt and half-buried rocks.”
Pgs.231-232 H&B 16 – Redeemed
  • Marine swatting Bolter Rounds:

“He pulled the haft-trigger, and his spear’s underslung bolter cracked off a stream of rounds on full-auto. Argel Tal saw it coming. The swords of red iron smashed the first three bolts aside, their power fields strong enough to detonate the shells as they streaked towards the primarch’s heart. The explosions threw the captain to the ground, his grey armour scraping along the stone with the shriek of offended ceramite.”

Pg.383 The First Heretic
  • Astartes are faster than the human eye can track:
“‘Control your emotions, and move aside,’ Argel Tal growled, ‘or I will kill you.’ ‘You cannot mean that, lord!’ Faster than human eyes could follow, the swords of red iron came free in hissing rasps. The tips of both blades rested against the fat priest’s three chins before he’d even had time to blink. Apparently, the lord did mean it. ‘Yes,’ the deacon stammered. ‘Yes, I…’ ‘Just move,’ Argel Tal suggested. ”
Pg.264 TFH
“The captain had no time to react – a blur of dark grey shoved her aside. Before she’d even blinked, Arvas was kicking and dangling above the ground, held aloft by Argel Tal’s fist around his throat. ”
Pg.420 FTH
  • A Space Marine tracks an artillery shell in slow motion:
“The trench was already widened and getting deeper with every passing minute. He heard a screaming whine, louder than the others that blended together in a banshee’s chorus, and looked up. Through the billowing, dancing clouds of smoke and dust, Honsou saw a bright streamer of a shell’s contrail as it arced over with agonising slowness and aimed its warhead down towards his trench. It should have been moving too fast to see. There should have been little more than a split second’s warning, but Honsou saw the gently spinning shell as though upon a slow-motion pict-capture. Its wide body was tapered at both ends, spinning slowly and painted sky blue. Its tip was gold, which struck him as needlessly ornate for a weapon of war, and he had time to wonder whether it would be better to be killed by a precious metal or a base one. ‘Incoming!’ he shouted, though few would hear his warning or be able to respond to it in time. Honsou threw himself into the forward wall of the trench he had just dug, pressing his body into the earthen rampart and hoping the shell wouldn’t be one of the lucky ones to score a direct hit. He clutched his entrenching tool tight to his chest as the scream of the shell’s terminal approach battered through the endless thunder of impacts and detonations. Honsou knew artillery sounds, and this was the sound of a shell coming right at him. He closed his eyes and exhaled as the shell struck.
Pg.38 H&B 17

Durability

  • An example of Astartes toughness:
”Ezrachi heard that he was so unrelenting on the battlefield that on the midnight plains of Menga-Dardra, a Black Legion Land Raider slammed into him with its dozer blade, ran him down and crushed him beneath its tracks, only for the mauled and buckled Skase to get back to his feet and rush back into the heart of the fighting.”
Pg.206 LotD
  • Their armour allows Astartes to survive in temperatus of less than -50 Celsius:
"They're not sending any human craft down. No slaves, no cultists."
"It's 50 degrees below zero on the surface of Uriah III, even colder at night. Only Astartes can survive outside of shelter in those conditions"
Source: Throne of Lies
  • Fire has no effect to a Space Marine:
“Along his section of the perimeter, the corpus-captain saw cultists and slave-soldiers thrashing in the flames. He saw a hammer-wielding Thunder Baron stride through the blaze in scorched plate as though it were nothing. The renegade Angel was followed by several lesser berserkers, who burst from the wall of flame at a sprint, flak and furs alight with the flesh melting from their cruel bones. They didn’t get far, the demented warriors succumbing to the firestorms they had become long before they reached the ruined battlement. ”
Pg.626 LotD
  • An Astartes survives a battle cannon shell:
“Nemiel watched the Astartes race up to the street corner and put their backs to a burnt-out storefront, their bolters held across their chests. One of the two warriors – Brother Cortus, Nemiel thought – slid to the end of the wall and peered around the corner. Nemiel heard the battle cannon fire and watched the corner of the building Coitus was standing at disintegrate in the space of a single heartbeat. The two Astartes disappeared in a blizzard of pulverised stone and fragments of structural steel. A billowing cloud of dust and smoke enveloped the intersection and rolled down the street towards the rest of the squad. The squad took cover on reflex, crouching behind rubble piles or pressing close to a building wall. Nemiel checked his helmet display and saw the status icon for Brother Cortus flash from green to amber. He was wounded, perhaps seriously, but still functional. The walls of the building must have shielded the Astartes from the worst of the blast.
Less than a minute later Brother Yung emerged from the smoke cloud, his black armour caked with brown dust. He was half-carrying, half-dragging Brother Cortus. Nemiel rose from cover and jogged forward as Yung set the wounded warrior down next to the shattered stoop of a hab unit. Cortus reached up and fumbled with his helmet. One side of the ceramite helm had been partially crushed, shattering the right ocular and splitting it from crown to nape. Yung lent a hand and helped the wounded Astartes pull the helmet free. ‘Status?’ Nemiel asked. Brother Cortus sent the smashed helmet bouncing across the street. The skin on the right side of his face had been deeply scored by the impact, peeling away the flesh down to the bone in some places. His right eye was a bloody ruin, but the wound was clotting quickly thanks to Cortus’s enhanced healing ability. ‘One battle tank and four APCs, three hundred metres south,’ he said, his voice rough with pain. ‘Approximately a platoon of infantry in hasty defensive positions, maybe more.’ ‘I was talking about your head, brother.’ Cortus glanced dazedly at the Redemptor, blinking his one good eye. ‘Oh, that,’ he said dismissively. ‘It’s nothing. Did anyone see what happened to my bolter?’”
Pg.188 FA
  • Astartes Power Armour instantly compensates for and helps heal wounds:
“He had just crested the tallest debris pile, only ten short metres from the drop pod, when he saw the flicker of an energy field low and to his left. Without thinking he dodged to the right and brought his crozius down to block the blow, and just barely managed to keep his leg from being cut off at the knee. As it was, the rebel lieutenant’s power sword sliced deeply through his left calf and caused him to stumble. The pain was so intense it took his breath away. Even with the autohypnotic rotes at his command, the wound very nearly sent him into shock. His armour sensed the damage and immediately compensated, stiffening the pseudo-musculature of his left calf and immobilising it, like a ceramite splint. The sudden change in mobility pitched Nemiel forward, sending him sliding face-first down the debris pile into the midst of the platoon’s small command squad.”
Pg.198 FA
  • Space Marine Power Armour stops heavy bolter shells (Go to Weaponry section to see what Heavy Bolters can do):
“Kohl and Ephrial exchanged fire with them, dropping several with well-aimed shots. A burst of heavy bolter fire answered them, stitching the two Astartes with a stream of shells. Both warriors staggered beneath the hits, but their armour turned aside the blows.”
Pg.411 FA
  • Grenades are useless against Power Armour:
“He could hear Maion’s footsteps as he moved down the corridor; the other Flesh Tearer was halfway to the stairs, the fizz of the electrical cables as they spat in their death throes… and the shifting of metal – Harahel pivoted left as a grenade hit the ground. His ocular sensors dimmed, shielding his eyes from the piercing flash that flooded the chamber. With a dense clatter, a half-dozen of the ceiling grilles fell to the ground. A cluster of figures in sodden fatigues dropped down after them and opened fire. ‘Contact!’ Harahel shouted into the vox even as a hail of las-fire pattered off his armour.
Bathed in blood-spatter and faced with an opponent whose armour bore their comrade’s eviscerated innards, the traitors fell back. One held his ground, staring wide-eyed at Harahel as he pulled a clutch of grenades from a harness. Harahel decapitated the man as he advanced on the others. The grenades fell from the headless corpse’s fingers. A cloud of flame and shrapnel washed over Harahel’s battle-plate as they detonated. A slew of warnings lit up on the Flesh Tearer’s retinal display. Harahel blinked them away; his armour’s integrity was intact. Ahead of him, the traitors had rallied behind a pillar. He could see the fear on their gaunt faces as he emerged unscathed from the billowing fire.”
Pgs.7+9+10 H&B 15 – Beneath the Flesh
  • Lasguns are useless against Power Armour:
“A figure advanced from the doorway, his armoured back filling the viewer. The Guardsmen opened fire. Untroubled, the attacker fired back. The unmistakable muzzle flash of a boltgun illuminated the Angorians as they flipped backwards, torn apart by the mass-reactive rounds.” :Pg.21 H&B 16
“A crimson armoured warrior was sprinting down the corridor into a hail of las-fire, his breastplate scorched clean of insignia by their attentions. A bright muzzle-flash blazed into life up ahead. Heavy calibre, solid-state rounds began churning up the floor and walls as they stitched a line towards him. One struck his right pauldron. Splintered armour fragments struck the pict-recorder as he spun to the ground. The warrior rolled to his feet and continued into the gunfire, his weapon forgotten on the ground behind him as he disappeared from view. The ruined corridor lay empty, battered ceramite flaking to the ground. The intensity of the gunfire lessened, sporadic rounds zipping down to the corridor. Then it died altogether. Within moments, the armoured warrior emerged from the end of the corridor. Blood pooled in the recesses of his damaged armour, which was pitted and cracked like the surface of a moon. His hands and forearms were thick with gore. Blood dripped from his fingertips, leaving a macabre trail behind him as he strode back towards his weapon.”
Pgs.21-22 H&B 16
  • Power Armour can endure flamers (Go to weaponry to see the power of Flamers):
“‘Sire…’ The First Chaplain’s armour was blackened from flamer wash, the joints still smoking. ‘Please focus.’”
Pg.681 TFH
  • Space Marines fall for kilometers and only get slightly hurt:
“wakefulness. His cheek was wet, and he could feel fluid pooling. Rafen blinked, scanning the visible glyphs across the line of his field of vision. His helmet had been damaged, along with some of the actuators in his legs, but the cowl of ceramite and steel that surrounded him had taken the brunt of the crash. He took stock of himself, feeling for injuries. Some minor breaks in his bones, contusions and the like, things that would have been deadly to a common human but little more than an irritant to a Space Marine.”
Pg.223 H&B 16 – Redeemed
“Rafen took a step and then halted, looking up. Wreaths of smoke and wedges of debris made it hard to see far up the ascent shaft, but he estimated that they must have fallen several kilometres before colliding with the end of the passage.”
Pg.223 H&B 16 – Redeemed
  • Power Armour saves an Astartes from an artillery shell:
“In a heartbeat that vision changed from a place of wonder to a place of death. The first enemy artillery shells screamed down and exploded above the plateau in a storm of deafening horror. Air-bursting warheads flensed the ground with a hellstorm of red-hot steel fragments; some no larger than a fingernail, others like scything axe-heads, and the carnage Honsou saw a man shredded to the bone, his skeleton pulped to a rubbery mass a second later by the pounding shockwave of detonation. A group of near-naked slaves with heavy picks slung over their shoulders vanished in a fiery mass of swirling fragments, their remains no longer recognisable as human. Hundreds died in the first instants of the barrage, and a hundred more in the rippling firestorm that followed. Honsou heard their screams, but paid them no mind.
Something struck the side of Honsou’s helmet like the thunder hammer of a Dreadnought and he was sent flying. A body flashed past him, and he braced for impact as the clashing, intersecting waves of force flung him about like a leaf in a storm. He hit the ground hard and skidded across the cratered rubble of the plateau. After a quick check to make sure he still had all his limbs, Honsou pushed himself to his knees with his entrenching tool. The sky rippled with orange and red streamers of arcing shells and fiery detonations, but it felt distant and somehow unreal. The smell of cooking meat came to him, and Honsou looked down to see a long shard of shell casing jutting from the centre of his breastplate. The metal sizzled, and it was still possible to make out a white eagle and read the stencilled lettering on its side. He grunted and pulled the fragment from his body. Its tip was sharpened to a dagger point, the last ten centimetres coated in blood. ‘You don’t get me that easy,’ he snarled, standing calmly in the midst of the barrage.”
Pg.36 H&B 17

Biology

  • A Space Marine can fight for weeks without rest:
” In the material realm, an Astartes could fight for weeks on end without rest…”
Pg.183 ATS
  • Can survive on almost nothing:
“At his side was a careworn long-las inscribed with Techno-mad tribal runes and an explorer’s pack containing survival gear and supplies, the latter for show. With his enhanced physiology, Valdor would have been able to live for weeks on the plains on drops of moisture he sucked from the dirt or the sparse meat of insects.”
Pg.107 Nemesis
  • Can hear heartbeats:
“She knows you lie. You hear her heartbeat, as I do. She is terrified, and she knows you are lying to her.”
Pg.419 TFH
  • Astartes have adaptative body heat:
“The Hall of Tra was cold and lightless. His wolf-eye caught the ghost radiation of barely smouldering firepits. In terms of heat and light, the Wolves were making no allowances for human tolerances of comfort. They had given him a pelt and an eye to see through the dark with. What more could he want? He realised he wasn’t alone. The company was all around him. Their body heat was barely detectable, dimmer than the dull firepits. The Hall was a massive natural cavern, ragged and irregular, and the Astartes were ranged around it, huddled and coiled in their furs, as immobile as a sibling pack of predators, gone to ground overnight, dormant and pressed close for warmth.
The Upplander’s breath was steaming the frigid air, but barely a curl escaped Ogvai’s mouth alongside his words. Astartes biology was marvellously adapted for heat retention.”
Pg.107 Prospero Burns
  • Astartes can survive even after shots to the skull:
“That’s why we’re here. Mercutian is already dying, and the head wound Uzas is wearing doesn’t look like it’s left him all in one piece, either. His skull is bare to the bone, and we left one of his eyes back in the chamber where Third Claw died.’”
Pg.267 Void Stalker
  • Astartes senses shrug off being within a choking cloud of dust:
“Matteus smiled darkly beneath his helmet, then stooped to the ground. He ran his fingers through the packed red dust whilst a host of internal sensors calculated its density and consistency. Once battle was joined it would fill the air in a choking cloud but would do little to impede the senses of the Adeptus Astartes.”
Pg.171 GR
  • Astartes pain-tolerance allows them to keep fighting even after losing a limb, with little negative side effects:
“The altercation that ensued was brief and savage; the exchange of bolter shells on both sides ultimately resulting in the bloody, violent deaths of all four of the Red Corsairs and one of the Silver Skulls. The remaining battle-brother paid a price for the brief victory, too. His armour was pitted with craters and smoke curled from the muzzle of his bolter where it lay, still held by the bloody ruin of his hand. There was no real pain, merely a faint sense of annoyance at the inconvenience the temporary loss of the appendage would cause. A mangled scrap of flesh and ceramite was all that remained at the end of his arm. With cool, clinical detachment, the young warrior drew his chainblade and completed the job. The Larraman cells in his bloodstream had already formed a rapidly-closing seal over the wound, and he simply switched to his bolt pistol before joining his brothers in the next car.”
Pg.198 GR
  • Headshots are flesh wounds:
“‘Micos?’ Nisroc’s vox went unanswered. He turned to the other Flesh Tearer. ‘I am fine, Apothecary,’ Micos snarled, throwing his ruined helmet across the chamber. ‘A flesh wound. ’ The Apothecary cast his gaze over Micos. A blackened hole sat where his right eye should have been and his face was a mess of dark scabs. ‘As you say, brother.’”
Pg.17-18 H&B 15 – Beneath the Flesh
  • An Astartes survives being cut in half:
“The Librarian hurled himself to the side just as the creature lunged into the squad’s midst with the force of a runaway train. With a shout, Zahariel spun to face the beast as the queen gathered herself together like a coiling spring and lashed out again, this time catching Gideon and two of the corpses in its wide mandibles. The curved pincers snapped shut like a giant scissors. The two corpses were bisected at once; Gideon’s armour resisted a half-second longer before giving way as well.
A bolt pistol barked; Gideon, lying in a pool of his own blood, had reloaded his weapon and was snapping careful shots at the worm’s eyes. Two burst apart in a shower of ichor, causing the queen to thrash and shriek in pain, but the wounds didn’t seem to slow the creature in the slightest ‘What of Brother Gideon?’ Zahariel asked. ‘Comatose. His armour is keeping his vital signs stable enough that we should be able to get him back to Aldurukh.’” Pgs.325-326 FA EMP vs sentry gun. “‘Then it’s probably sitting right at the feet of the ladder leading up to the foundry.’ Nemiel said. ‘Any way to outflank it?’ Askelon shook his head. ‘Unlikely. But there might be a way to temporarily incapacitate it.’ ‘Tell me.’ The Techmarine pointed at the conduits lining the walls around them. ‘This is category nine conduit; it’s the most heavily-shielded insulator available,’ he explained. ‘But there’s so much power going through these lines that there’s still significant electromagnetic radiation leaking into the tunnel.’ ‘And how does that help us, exactly?’ ‘If I cut into the conduits I can use my armour’s power plant to send a feedback surge down the line towards the sentry unit,’ Askelon said. ‘A powerful enough spike in electromagnetic radiation will overload its auspex receptors and force a reset. That will render it blind and unable to communicate for approximately thirty seconds.’ ‘Approximately?’ Nemiel said. ‘If I could see the type of sentry unit I could tell you down to the millisecond,’ Askelon said. ‘As it is, it could be one of a half-dozen models. Thirty seconds is my worst-case estimate.’”
Pg.391 FA
  • Space Marines have eidetic memory (There's many other examples of this):
“Maion held up his hand, the firing had stopped. His enhanced hearing had heard the bark of every round as they tore from the autcannon’s barrel. His eidetic memory had catalogued every shell casing that struck the ground. The weapon’s magazine was still half full. The traitors weren’t reloading, they were baiting them.”
Pg.12 H&B 15 – Beneath the Flesh
  • Astartes fights Orks on a world for 15 years, never getting full sleep. Another does it for 200 years:
“Priad of Damocles, of the Iron Snakes of Ithaka, has been here for fifteen years. To the human mind, that is a great chunk of a lifetime. To an Imperial Guardsman, that would be a long and heartless tour in hell. To Priad, it is an undertaking, a period of occupation, a duty. Onerous, perhaps, grueling even, but in the end just another mission notch on his service history, just another action to while away a life that will be functionally immortal if violent death does not claim him.
Not long. Fifteen years. Entirely reasonable. For a moment, Priad had been concerned that it might be a significant length of time. Great Petrok’s two centuries spent holding Ankylos might have become tedious by the end. Steelmen are less entertaining to hunt than Greenskins.”
Pgs.3-4 Kill Hill
  • Space Marines can see in pitch black darkness:
They entered the caves with bolter and chainsword ready - Leonardus and Clotum, Proteus and Lysander - and the grimness of their demeanor spoke woe to anything that might stand in their way. Their eyes - augmented beyond human capabilities - could see in pitch black as if by the light of day.
Source: Bloodquest - Prisoners of the Eye of Terror


Weaponry

  • Bolt Pistol fire reduces bodies to mists of blood and gore:
“‘Form a firing line!’ he ordered. The closest of the corpses was only five metres away. As the eight remaining Astartes rushed forward to stand shoulder-to-shoulder beside Zahariel and Astelan, the Librarian called out. ‘Change magazines!’ As one, nine pairs of hands went to work, releasing nearly-empty clips from their bolt pistols and slapping fresh ones home. Charging handles racked home with a well-oiled clatter. The shambling mob was two metres away, almost close enough to touch. ‘Squad!’ Zahariel yelled. ‘One step back! Five rounds rapid. Fire!’ In lockstep, ten pairs of boots crashed upon the permacrete. Bolt pistols barked in a rolling volley. Green clad bodies jerked and blew apart in the storm of mass-reactive rounds. The first rank of corpses disintegrated under the fusillade. ‘One step back. Five rounds rapid. Fire!’ The bolt pistols thundered again. Each round found its mark, and fifty more bodies were reduced to bloody fragments. The rest of the mob staggered on, their outstretched hands little more than a metre away. At Zahariel’s command, the squad took one last step back and fired five more rounds into the press. Firing bolts locked back on empty magazines as fifty more bodies erupted into gory mist. The mob had been cut in half in the span of twenty seconds, but the remainder pressed their advance.”
Pg.320 FA
  • Bolt Pistol vaporizing skull:
“Ogvai drew his bolt pistol, pressed the muzzle up under Eada’s chin, and vaporised his head with a single mass-reactive round.”
Pg.603 PB
  • Heavy Bolter shells penetrate a Testudo tank:
“”Brother Vardus opened fire a second later, raking the rear Testudo with an extended burst of heavy bolter fire. The mass-reactive rounds exploded against the APC’s armoured hide and gouged craters in its solid tyres. Here and there the rounds found a seam in the armour plates and penetrated into the APC, wreaking bloody havoc on the men crammed within. The Testudo lurched to a stop, smoke pouring from the holes punched in its side.”
Pg.165 FA
  • Heavy Bolter fire vaporizing targets:
Through gritted teeth the Scourge continued his diamantine-tipped decontamination of the necroplex. The heads of mutants and already mindless spawn were popped off like ripe pustules. The Deathfest lived up to their name as Kersh and his heavy bolters turned several of their foetid number into a celebratory display of gore-spritz and screams. The Regna-Rouge became a dying commemoration of their colours in the Excoriator’s leadstorm, their unblooded blades and torturer’s instruments falling uselessly from bolt-severed hands. It was carnage. The fallen Impunitas continued to feed ammunition. The weapon blazed with impunity. Kersh killed everything in his feverish fire-arc. Soon the area before his decimated section of the line was a twitching field of corpses and bloody smog.”
Pg.613 LotD
  • Flamers reduce flesh, muscle and bone to ash almost instantly:
“Harahel smelt their fear as Micos fired, blanketing the traitors in a sheet of burning promethium that washed away flesh and dissolved bone to ash. He watched them burn, frail wicks eaten up by a ravenous flame. The meek and the brave, they all died.”
Pg.13 H&B 15 – Beneath the Flesh
  • Space Marines have motion sensors in their helmets:
“Rafen kept his statue-like aspect as a flicker of movement danced on the edge of his auspex’s sensors.”
Pg.8 Deus Encarmine
“In that moment of choice, Rafen’s life was almost forfeit. A fierce rune blinked into being on the Space Marine’s visor, warning him too late of movement to his flank. With speed that belied the huge weight of his battle armour, Rafen spun on his heel, reversing his grip on the bolter as he did. He came face to face with a Word Bearer, the Chaos Marine’s hideous countenance a series of ruined holes and jagged teeth.”
Pg.13 Deus Encarmine
  • Space Marine helmet accuracy:
“It is the highest peak of the western continent of the world Koram Mote. Priad of Damocles, of the Iron Snakes of Ithaka, knows this for a fact. He knows it because there is not one place, not one single, lonely part of the western continent of the world Koram Mote that he has not been to, measured, cleared of enemies, and conquered. He knows Kill Hill is the highest peak because his armour’s visor display tells him so, to eight decimal places. It is sixty-one metres higher than Osh Tarr (‘Blood Summit’), and a mere seven metres higher than Bar’ad Onkgrol (‘Marrowbone Hill’). It is demonstrably, technically the highest peak on the western continent of the world Koram Mote, and that is what matters.”
Pg.2 Kill Hill
  • Space Marine weapon with fist-sized bullets:
  • “His gun clattered, the barrel spitting hot as rounds big as fists tore into the foe.”
Pg.21 Deus Encarmine
  • Astartes weapons are so heavy normal humans can't hope to lift them:
“He saw Tycho’s combi-weapon lying on the floor and took a half-step toward it. The idea of taking it up himself died in this mind; the gun was so massive he would never have been able to lift it.”
Pg.320 Blood Angels Omnibus
“The angel’s brethren emerged from the dark interior of their landing craft and descended to the plaza. All wore armour of the same blue. All of them carried great weapons too heavy for a mortal man to lift unaided.”
Pg.20 The First Heretic
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