During the Age of Strife, known as "Old Night" on Terra, the cradle of Mankind had seen more than its fair share of augments and "super" soldiers created both from bio-alchemy and cybernetic augmentation.But it was the Emperor's own Thunder Warriors, named for the early thunderbolt and raptor's head heraldry used by their master in the Imperium's earliest days, that were to prove superior to all of them.Some Astartes sneer at compassion, seeing it as one more human weakness that has been purged from their superior bodies and minds.But the wisest of the Space Marines know that in the end, compassion is their only salvation.Once a man becomes a Space Marine, he is no longer mortal; his genetic heritage is now that of the Emperor Himself, and a spark of the same divine majesty flows in his veins.There are approximately 1,000 Space Marine Chapters active in the Imperium of Man at any one time. This number has stayed relatively constant since the Second Founding in the 31st Millennium following the Horus Heresy when the First Founding Space Marine Legions were broken up.They are the God-Emperor's Angels of Death, and they know no fear.The Astartes are physically stronger, far more resilient and often mentally far removed from the lot of most normal human beings.
He is armed with the fearsome Bolter, a blessed weapon that fires devastating, mass-reactive shells that explode within the flesh of the target.
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.
Potential Space Marines are usually, but not always, recruited from the worlds where a Chapter has established its fortress-monastery, although some Chapters are known to recruit from a collection of different worlds in an area of space that they protect or frequent. Some select their Neophytes from feral tribes roaming the surface of inhospitable worlds, while others draw upon eager volunteers who have been groomed from birth to become an Astartes.
Still others watch and kidnap potential warriors, turning them into Astartes whether they will it or not.