The Measure of Man
“They shall be pure of heart and strong of body, untainted by doubt and unsullied by self-aggrandisement. They will be bright stars in 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 a thousand years, unto the very end of eternity and the extinction of mortal flesh.”— Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines
In the war-ravaged universe of the 41st Millennium, terrible forces threaten the very existence of Humanity. Alien Races such as Orks and Tyranids ravage entire star systems, and the very soul of every human is menaced by the daemonic powers of Chaos. Ranged against thes inimical enemies are the armies of the Imperial Guard, the giant war machines of the Titan Legions, and most potent of all, the mighty Space Marines of the Legions Astartes.
The Space Marines are the Imperium’s supreme warriors. Genetically enhanced to be the ultimate fighters, they are far stronger and tougher than ordinary human beings. Space Marines are organized roughly into a thousand Chapters, with each Chapter numbering approximately a thousand warriors organized into ten companies of a hundred troops each. Each Chapter is a self-sufficient army, equipped with its own spacecraft and capable of responding at a moment’s notice to any threat to the security of the Imperium. Every Chapter is fiercely proud of its history and acheivements, and each one has it’s own distinctive colours and heraldic markings. These were established at the Chapter’s founding and are displayed with pride upon all armour and vehicles. All of the wargear of the Space Marines is painstakingly maintained, and many items are covered in lines of intricately rendered devotional script, each line detailing a battle honour won in a glorious campaign.
A Space Marine is a towering warrior, his brute strength tempered by inhuman skill. He is armed with the fearsome bolter, a blessed weapon that fires devastating, mass-reactive shells that explode within the flesh of the target. He is protected by a suit of power armour, sheilding him from the fiercest of enemy fire whilst simultaniously strengthening his blows and allowing him to survive in the most hostile of environments. He is the product of intensive training and genetic manipulation, which transforms mortal men selected from the deadliest warrior races in the known universe into the most lethal superhuman killing machines in the Imperium’s arsenal.
Barnes, Owen, Alan Bligh, John French, Andrea Gausman, and Andy Hoare. Deathwatch: Core Rulebook. Roseville, MN: Fantasy Flight Games, 2010. Print. Deathwatch.