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Mojaco
29-04-2010, 09:29
The blood angels codex basicly says so. Written in typical god-view, where the narator knows everything, it states that Blood Angels are amongst the longest lived Space Marines, with Dante being 1100 years old or older. In other words, the other marines don't get to be so old.

For people who feel this shouldn't be so, you can still read it as if Blood Angels simply survive combat longer than normal marines (even though there no reason to go with that explaination :)).

sycopat
29-04-2010, 10:15
this has always been the way it was written.

Note however that although Dante is starting to get tired of his position, decrepitude brought on by old age is still not a factor for him.

GW has never (to my knowledge) said a marine died of old age, so we still don't know how long they can live, only that blood angels tend to live longer. (Which considering how much time is spent by space marines in the field, only means they must be better at surviving a battle than other space marines...)

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
29-04-2010, 10:24
I agree with sycopat. GW has never had an example of a Space Marine dying of old age, and that information from the Blood Angel codex doesn't really do it, either. Just saying that one group is the longest lived does not mean that eventually they will die. I would definitely have to be more explicitly written than that.

Rube
29-04-2010, 10:27
They've never said an Imperial Guardsmen died of old age either. Ergo, Guardsmen are immortal?

JackDaw
29-04-2010, 10:41
Black Libraries Salamander book had a Heresy Era Salamander that died of old age - he had been trapped in a crashed strike cruiser buried under a planets crust and had wasted away due to lack of nutrition etc - depends on whether you view BL as canon or not though.

From what i can remember, Astartes have always been referred to as technically immortal - however the very nature of their lifestyle precludes this outcome as they will pretty much always be at war. Being Astartes, they will also be hitting the hardest, fiercest fighting and the most dangerous missions - long life becoming quite unlikely.

Dante and the Blood Angels have a small advantage as they are genetically pre-disposed to longer average lifespans than normal Astartes.

Scalebug
29-04-2010, 10:51
The Deathwing short story, by William King, has the Dark Angel characters concerned they will not be around for much longer until age claims them or they get to be interred in a dreadnought.

The Blood Quest comic has the party joined by a Librarian wanting to go on a last mission for his chapter before he gets too old. Ironically, he is a Blood Angel, so chalk that up to the authors could have spent just a little more time researching, but anyways... :p (It also annoyed me that he looked way to young to be worried about his age, but hey..)

The whole "marines are immortal" think is people not understanding the first Horus Hersy book, where one character asks himself if they are, but apart from being an in-universe observation and not a "god-view" objective one, Individual marines are at that point about 200 years old at the most...

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 10:53
Black Libraries Salamander book had a Heresy Era Salamander that died of old age - he had been trapped in a crashed strike cruiser buried under a planets crust and had wasted away due to lack of nutrition etc - depends on whether you view BL as canon or not though.

He didn't die of old age. Get your facts straight.

The apothecary ended up putting him out with a nerve-serum injection because he'd been sitting in the chair for so long that all his muscles were atrophied and his armor was siezed. Not to mention that he himself said his mind was fragmenting and he could only get glimpses of even his own memories.

His mission was over. His chapter had finally found him and the relics he was guarding. So rather than break his limbs off trying to pry him off the chair and then shatter his mind with how horrible things had gotten since the heresy, they put him out of his misery.

That said, his ship did get grabbed by a warpstorm, so we don't actually know how old(in terms of aging) brother Gravius was, but his last deployment was on Isstvan. So in terms of the-day-he-was-inducted-until-the-day-he-died, he was up there with Bjorn.

Hellebore
29-04-2010, 10:53
They have mentioned marines getting too old to fight. And in 2nd ed they specifically said in the codex imperialis:



Of the original twenty Primarchs only nine survived the Horus Heresy. The remainder were either killed in the fighting (like Horus) or fled with their Chapters into the Eye of Terror. The survivors helped the Emperor to rebuild the Imperium. A genetic bank was formed from their gene-material so that new Space Marine Chapters could be founded in the future. Although long lived, the Primarchs were not immortal and the last of their kind finally died after fourteen hundred years. Many extraordinary legends are told of the deeds of the Primarchs. many of which are preserved by thc lore of the Marine Chapters. Today the Primarchs are worshipped alongside the Emperor as saints in the pantheon of the Chapter cults. Their tombs have become places of pilgrimage. and their bones and personal possessions revered relics.


The statement about blood angels being the longest lived space marines also appeared in the 2nd ed Angels of Death codex.

If marines were immortal, then it would be immaterial. The very fact that it is mentioned precludes them being immortal. The only other possibility is that Blood Angels are harder to kill than other marines and thus live longer simply by not dying. However the blood angels have suffered some of the worst casualties of any chapter, up to 950 in one go via the Space Hulk debacle.

Blood Angels are also converted from irradiated peasants into beautiful vampires in only 1 year rather than the lengthy drawn out process other chapters generally have to go through (the black carapace can only be implanted in an aspirant around the age of 18 whilst the biscopia will only work around 10-12).

Thus blood angels have the fastest recruitment rate and also one of the higher recorded attrition rates.

And they also live longer than other space marines.

Hellebore

ashc
29-04-2010, 11:02
As has been stated before, for the Blood Angels to be 'long-lived' compared to other marines then it kind of goes without saying that there must be a mortal point in a marines timeline where they can die of old age.

I would imagine retiring to a secluded job in the armouries or fortress monastery happens before then, which is why they aren't talked about...

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 11:11
As has been stated before, for the Blood Angels to be 'long-lived' compared to other marines then it kind of goes without saying that there must be a mortal point in a marines timeline where they can die of old age.

I would imagine retiring to a secluded job in the armouries or fortress monastery happens before then, which is why they aren't talked about...

This is faulty logic. We've never had a single documented case of a marine dying of old age. They all die in combat. To therefore say that Blood Angels are "long-lived" just means they serve longer careers before dying. You can't really make the assumption that marines will die of old age when none of them have.

The statement that Blood Angels are long-lived for marines means just that. They live longer than most marines. Now, all marines we've ever read about, not most, ALL, have either died in combat or are still alive. It therefore stands to reason that Blood Angels die in combat too, they just tend to be better at keeping themselves alive than most.

Marines may be capable of dying of old age, but at this point none of them ever have, so we can't make that assumption.

ashc
29-04-2010, 11:13
Following what you propose though seems to suggest that a 'long-lived' chapter seemingly just means that they live very charmed lives (basically, to not die).

JackDaw
29-04-2010, 11:16
He didn't die of old age. Get your facts straight.

The apothecary ended up putting him out with a nerve-serum injection because he'd been sitting in the chair for so long that all his muscles were atrophied and his armor was siezed. Not to mention that he himself said his mind was fragmenting and he could only get glimpses of even his own memories.

His mission was over. His chapter had finally found him and the relics he was guarding. So rather than break his limbs off trying to pry him off the chair and then shatter his mind with how horrible things had gotten since the heresy, they put him out of his misery.

That said, his ship did get grabbed by a warpstorm, so we don't actually know how old(in terms of aging) brother Gravius was, but his last deployment was on Isstvan. So in terms of the-day-he-was-inducted-until-the-day-he-died, he was up there with Bjorn.

apologies for not remembering the minute details from a book i read in a day when it was released months ago.... ;)

appreciate the clarification, if not the tone, but it helps reinforce the 'technically immortal, but still susceptable to the ravages of age'.

Edit - Personally, i really dont think an Astartes could handle, or indeed would want to die of old age. Goes against the whole idea of an Astartes as a living weapon of the Emperor. Glorious death in combat would be much preferable (and likely) than wasting away in the Shady Acres Retirement system.

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 11:17
Following what you propose though seems to suggest that a 'long-lived' chapter seemingly just means that they live very charmed lives (basically, to not die).

Yes. Exactly.

To say you're long-lived in a species that ALL die violently is effectively just saying you don't die violently as quickly.

The point is that if Gravius had died of old age, the entire fluff community would have been in an uproar as soon as people read the book, and the debate about Marines not dying of old age would effectively be over. He didn't, so they weren't, and it isn't.

ashc
29-04-2010, 11:20
That just seems to be some kind of weird handwavium logic going on for it to mean that though.

I don't deny that probably 99% of all space marines will go on to have some kind of (in)glorious death, but there must be that 1% somewhere hooked up to life support defecating in their power armour whilst they moan about how cups of tea used to taste better back in their day ;)

EDIT: Actually, what probably happens is that when a marine gets to that point in his life where his joints are aching and he tires of the fight, he will then go on to seek his most glorious death. This may well be why we don't see many old marines.

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 11:23
That just seems to be some kind of weird handwavium logic going on for it to mean that though.

I don't deny that probably 99% of all space marines will go on to have some kind of (in)glorious death, but there must be that 1% somewhere hooked up to life support defecating in their power armour whilst they moan about how cups of tea used to taste better back in their day ;)

That 1% do exist. They're called Dreadnoughts. :D

There's a reason the young'uns don't wake them up unless they have to.

Mojaco
29-04-2010, 11:32
this has always been the way it was written.
To my knowledge they only said Dante was the oldest known marine, but never came out and said that blood angels can get older than other marines.


To say you're long-lived in a species that ALL die violently is effectively just saying you don't die violently as quickly.
Wouldn't that mean the Red Thirst and Black Rage and everything becomes a very meaningless note? If they have a reputation for living longer than any other marine chapter, I guess the curse doesn't claim that many victims.

ashc
29-04-2010, 11:40
Wouldn't that mean the Red Thirst and Black Rage and everything becomes a very meaningless note? If they have a reputation for living longer than any other marine chapter, I guess the curse doesn't claim that many victims.

That was what I was thinking. Not to mention the attrition rate of Blood Angels in some of the BL books... :rolleyes:

JackDaw
29-04-2010, 11:42
Forgive my impertinence, but if you don't remember the details, maybe you shouldn't try to use said details in an argument?

I remembered, just incorrectly, which is my bad - thats why i said thanks for the clarification :) Quite happy to admit when im wrong. Which i was.

In all fairness, I wouldnt have been too happy if my faulty memory was correct and he had died of old age. Probably just as well it was wrong. Old age Astartes on the retirement home just doesnt sound or feel right.

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 11:43
Wouldn't that mean the Red Thirst and Black Rage and everything becomes a very meaningless note? If they have a reputation for living longer than any other marine chapter, I guess the curse doesn't claim that many victims.

It would mean that. Which is why I've never been much of a Blood Angels fan. Curses are supposed to be bad. In the fluff, the Red Thirst and Black Rage are kind of bad, but apparently offset by the fact that this "cursed" chapter have longer life-expectancies than normal marines. In the game, the curse actually makes them BETTER. That's not how curses should work.

Hunger
29-04-2010, 11:46
Nope, you're all wrong. Its quite a commonly known fact that the stuff they call 'geneseed' is actually jellyfish DNA derived from distant relatives of these guys.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4357829/Immortal-jellyfish-swarming-across-the-world.html

When a Space Marine starts to get too old to fight, his progenoid gland secretes jellyfish-DNA geneseed, which causes his body to undergo so called 'reverse-puberty'. He sheds the black carapace like a snake shedding its skin, then painfully excretes the additional implanted organs before being reinducted into the 10th company.

ashc
29-04-2010, 11:46
It would mean that. Which is why I've never been much of a Blood Angels fan. Curses are supposed to be bad. In the fluff, the Red Thirst and Black Rage are kind of bad, but apparently offset by the fact that this "cursed" chapter have longer life-expectancies than normal marines. In the game, the curse actually makes them BETTER. That's not how curses should work.

....Vampires?

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 11:53
....Vampires?

Not being able to eat/touch garlic, cross running water, be in the sun, enter a house without being invited, needing to feed on innocents, being ostracized by society, etc, are much more severe than "I might snap one day."

Especially not being able to eat garlic. Fate worse than death, that.

Curses shouldn't be beneficial 99.99% of the time and then bad the remaining 0.01%. That isn't a curse. That's an awesome power with a slight drawback.

Hellebore
29-04-2010, 12:36
This is faulty logic. We've never had a single documented case of a marine dying of old age. They all die in combat. To therefore say that Blood Angels are "long-lived" just means they serve longer careers before dying. You can't really make the assumption that marines will die of old age when none of them have.

The statement that Blood Angels are long-lived for marines means just that. They live longer than most marines. Now, all marines we've ever read about, not most, ALL, have either died in combat or are still alive. It therefore stands to reason that Blood Angels die in combat too, they just tend to be better at keeping themselves alive than most.

Marines may be capable of dying of old age, but at this point none of them ever have, so we can't make that assumption.

And there is no evidence that Blood Angels die less than other marines.

In fact the evidence as I previously cited suggests that Blood Angels have a far HIGHER attrition rate than other marines.

The blood angels timeline cites an example where over 100 Blood Angels are killed by the eldar in a single engagement. 10% of the entire chapter dying will severely reduce average age statistics. The Space Hulk dabacle at Secoris left FIFTY blood Angels alive out of the entire chapter. This will put an even GREATER dent in the survived battle statistics.

Coupled with their extremely fast recruitment rate (1 year to create a fully formed space marine) and it's hard to see how having an increased lifespan equates to 'better at surviving combat'. Space marines are good at surviving combat. If you want evidence that old age kills space marines, it's in the fact that they generally don't live past 300. Their old age makes them easier to kill.

Oh and perhaps the most important piece of evidence? The Death Company. A division dedicated to producing suicide squads.


The argument that blood angels live longer than other marines because they are more resilient/lucky rather than simply because they don't wear out of old age is not backed up by the evidence around Blood Angels attrition numbers.

The actual paragraph that refers to Blood Angel longevity says:



Physically the Blood Angels are among the longest lived of all Space Marine Chapters. One of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who bear it, so it is not uncommmon for Blood Angels to live for a thousand years. Indeed, the current Commander of the Chapter, Dante, is known to have lived 1,100 years and is almost certainly far older.


Anyone who reads 'One of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who bear it' as:

'One of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the luck/toughness of those who bear it'


Is easter egg hunting. It says what it says. If it wasn't referring to lifespan (which is the time between fertilisation and senescence) then it would mention something else, like perhaps the thing it was talking about.

When talking about lifespan we are talking about lifespan. Not increased battlefield survival, resilience to damage or luck. Length of life. The aforementioned things AFFECT lifespan, but they AREN'T lifespan.

Hellebore

Mojaco
29-04-2010, 12:59
Maybe it would've been smart on my part if I posted that quote to begin with, instead of giving my summary.

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 13:03
And there is no evidence that Blood Angels die less than other marines.

In fact the evidence as I previously cited suggests that Blood Angels have a far HIGHER attrition rate than other marines.

Any chapter other than Ultramarines post-Macragge has high attrition rates, it goes with the job.


The actual paragraph that refers to Blood Angel longevity says:



Anyone who reads 'One of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who bear it' as:

'One of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the luck/toughness of those who bear it'


Is easter egg hunting. It says what it says. If it wasn't referring to lifespan (which is the time between fertilisation and senescence) then it would mention something else, like perhaps the thing it was talking about.

When talking about lifespan we are talking about lifespan. Not increased battlefield survival, resilience to damage or luck. Length of life. The aforementioned things AFFECT lifespan, but they AREN'T lifespan.

Hellebore


life span or life·span (līf'spān')
n.

1. A lifetime.
2. The average or maximum length of time an organism, material, or object can be expected to survive or last.

I think Lifespan is referring to number 2. Marine natural lifetime is a moot point. None of them can reach it. It's counter-intuitive to their job.

And I'm not Easter egg hunting. The core of this debate is:

Me: Nobody knows how long marines can live.
You: But Blood Angels live LONGER! It says so in the Codex.
Me: But that would mean they just survive longer, since natural marine lifespan is a mystery. They all die before we can find out.
You: Nope, Blood Angels live longer.
Me: How can you say they live longer when we don't even know how long marines CAN live?

We do not know if marines can die of old age or not, the example of brother Gravius and Dante himself would point to not. The only thing we can measure of Marine lifespans is how long they survive. As you said, length of life. The length of a Marine's life is the time from when he is inducted to the time he dies in battle. That is their lifespan. To say that Blood Angels have a longer lifespan than most other marines would therefore mean that they tend to live longer before succumbing in battle. To say that their longer lifespan is GENETIC would mean that it would have to be something that makes them tougher/dodgier/more cautious/whatever.

Your example states that it is not uncommon for a Blood Angel to live to be a thousand. It's uncommon for ANY marine to live to be a thousand years old because they are thrown into the worst possible situations the galaxy can conjure up. They aren't dying of old age, they're being ripped apart, blown up, sucked into the warp, what have you. For it not to be uncommon for Blood Angels to live a thousand years, they must simply be talented survivors. Maybe the constant threat of succumbing to the Black Rage makes them more cautious than others, and they therefore take fewer risks than other chapters, but in a situation where nobody is dying of old age, how can you say that lifespan doesn't mean survival?

Marine lifespan is an X. We don't know it. None of them have survived long enough to tell us what it is. According to the Blood Angels book, Blood Angel lifespan is X+1. My question is, how the hell can you know it's more than X when we don't even know what X is?

Edit: WALL OF TEXT! RAWR!

Tactical Retreat!
29-04-2010, 13:04
There has been no mention of 40k janitors, imperial navy ratings, or grox farmers dying of old age. Therefore, they are immortal.

TrooperTino
29-04-2010, 13:09
old fluff pointed more to the connection BloodAngels-vampires... I remember things like civilians going missing where BLs are "stationed", muffled screams from out of their fortresses and such.

I would say that the "long lifespan" was introduced to flesh out that vampire thing... drinking blood/life essence to live longer.

The BL long lifespan contradicts the high attrition rate and fast recruiting methods a little... so I think its just a fluff hint now a bit obsolet which should be regrettet by GW :D

BTW I have read a strange PDF called "eye of terror" (I think) from a friend... in there is a dark angel from the HH, drifting lonely in space and his armour is keeping him in a deep sleep and so he survives the 10,000 years... not really "getting old", but hey... the PDF was not really written like other BL books so I think its a fanwork but it was a very very great and fun read!

IvanTih
29-04-2010, 13:21
Nope, you're all wrong. Its quite a commonly known fact that the stuff they call 'geneseed' is actually jellyfish DNA derived from distant relatives of these guys.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4357829/Immortal-jellyfish-swarming-across-the-world.html

When a Space Marine starts to get too old to fight, his progenoid gland secretes jellyfish-DNA geneseed, which causes his body to undergo so called 'reverse-puberty'. He sheds the black carapace like a snake shedding its skin, then painfully excretes the additional implanted organs before being reinducted into the 10th company.
WRONG.
Which thing makes the astartes long lived,their metabolism,implants etc...

RBLFunk
29-04-2010, 13:26
I think if Space Marines were specifically intended to be immortal, this is a significant enough characteristic that it would at some point have been explicitly stated as such.
We know that Marines can live for several hundred years. A 200 year old Marine from the first batch of Marines ever created remarking that he doesn't know if Marines can die of old age doesn't mean much.

Tactical Retreat!
29-04-2010, 13:53
You don't get it. Unless Space marines are immortal they aren't cool enough for the kids.

Techgardist
29-04-2010, 13:54
BTW I have read a strange PDF called "eye of terror" (I think) from a friend... in there is a dark angel from the HH, drifting lonely in space and his armour is keeping him in a deep sleep and so he survives the 10,000 years... not really "getting old", but hey... the PDF was not really written like other BL books so I think its a fanwork but it was a very very great and fun read!

It is a official BL book, even if most people don´t seem to like it very much.

Gdolkin
29-04-2010, 13:57
Very well said Hellebore.
CasaHouse, how about this: Blood Angels 'live longer' in that they age slower, perhaps? Marines of other Chapters may be slowing down a bit by 200-300, but a BA of that age still has the reflexes and cognitive speed of a 50-year old marine, and so IS 'luckier/dodgier/better at surviving' precisely due to his 'longer lifespan', and thus is more likely to get to find out that he'll live to 1000 as by the time he's 500 he'll have tons of experience but still all the 'freshness' and vigour of a 100 year old marine, making him very tough to kill. This is offset by the Red Thirst and Black Rage meaning that despite their 'advantage' of physically aging much slower than other marines (possibly also healing faster/better?) many many BA get themselves dead by 50, 100 or any age between 0 and 1100, thus the need for the fast turnover of recruits despite the enhanced toughness/skill and potential longevity of the relative few that do make it through the twin traps of the thirst and the rage...? Out of 10 recruits, maybe 2 died in training, 2 died in battle and 1 fell to the Rage in their first 100 years, 1 died and 2 fell in their next 100 years, 1 died in battle aged 400 and number 10 lived to be 800 before tragically succumbing to the Rage, see? Just some thoughts.

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 14:09
That's all well and good Gdolkin (Like the name btw, good book.) your numbers are a bit off, as marines in the 200-300 range are generally in their prime, but Hellebore is arguing for a literal interpretation that Blood Angels naturally live longer than a group who's natural lifespan has never been established, and in all likelihood never will.

It's like when you argued as kids, and someone threw out "Infinity plus one!". I'm the kid stating that infinity isn't even clearly defined, and therefore 'plus one' is just asinine.

Blood Angels live longer than most Marines. Okay. I can accept that. It's canon. Stupid canon, but canon nonetheless. But how long do most Marines live? We don't know. If we don't know that, how the hell can we use it as a bar to measure the Blood Angels?

Tactical Retreat!
29-04-2010, 14:12
Cassius is apparantely the oldest non-dreadnought marines in the Ultramarine chapter, and he is what? 400 or so if I remember correctly. Sounds about right for a marine lifespan, since battles would likely kill most marines way before then.

ashc
29-04-2010, 14:20
I would think Gdolkin and Hellebore's interpretations are pretty complimentary to be honest.

Gutlord Grom
29-04-2010, 14:21
Actually, it's mentioned in the first Grey Knights novel that Space Marines don't live forver. For example, after Alaric wakes up in the medicae, he is greeted by an apothecary, who Alaric implicitly states to have been a grey Knight, but is over four hundred years old and seems to be in a relatively frail physical state (in that a signifigant portion of his body is replaced by bionics). This seems to put, in my opinion, the the average life span of a Space Marine who survives long enough to be pulled back from front line duty, is somewhere in the region of over four hundred years.

This would make Dante and Logan (who's been around since the First War of Armageddon!) ouitliers.

Thorpedo
29-04-2010, 14:33
we know that the *normal* life span of a marine is less than 1100 years. It doesn't matter exactly what this figure is, just that the BA book states that it is significantly shorter for other geneseeds.

Why do we never hear of marines dying of old age?

Probably because of the martial nature of their society. In ancient Sparta, for example, you only got a marked grave if you died in battle. If you were unfortunate enough to survive to old age / die of sickness they just buired you on a random hill and everyone forgot about you.

Chapter Master Leonidas
29-04-2010, 14:48
Dying of anything other than old age is not dying of old age lol. You'd thyink that would be obvious but wasting away from bad nutrition, a disease or some other cause of death says nothing about life span.

GW has been imho purposely vague on the subject only implying they live for a long time and that seemingly they tend to die in combat way before any natural cause catches up to them.

However, old age apparently CAN affect them, at least according to Flight of the Eisenstien (I believe that was the book anyway). There's a character I think was a Death Guard who was old, and there's some indication that he's slowed down in his advanced age. Unfortunately my memory is a little hazy and I'm not recalling the details very well but I'm sure it will jog someones memory.

From a practical real world point of view, immortality is an engineering problem as they say. I've always assumed that that had been overcome along with the engineering of all those special organs the Space Marines use. It doesn't seem like a stretch.

TitusAndronicus
29-04-2010, 15:10
Smartass.

You need to drop the insults.

Argastes
29-04-2010, 15:28
but in a situation where nobody is dying of old age, how can you say that lifespan doesn't mean survival?

Marine lifespan is an X. We don't know it. None of them have survived long enough to tell us what it is. According to the Blood Angels book, Blood Angel lifespan is X+1. My question is, how the hell can you know it's more than X when we don't even know what X is?

This is just ridiculous. The fact that GW has never actually explicitly described, in a story, a Marine dying of old age doesn't destroy the significance of them telling us that some groups of Marines have naturally superior longevity to other groups of Marines. The implication of biological mortality there is plain and clear for anyone who isn't predisposed to want to ignore it. They don't HAVE to actually describe Marines dying of old age, nor do they have to tell us the specific age in years at which this usually happens, in order for us to know that it's nevertheless theoretically possible; they tell us that it's theoretically possible when they tell us that certain chapters are more or less long-lived by nature. The fact that it very rarely, or never, actually happens doesn't change what the narrators have told us about it's theoretical possibility.

The reasons that no Marines are shown dying of old age in the stories are obvious--it's not cool and kids don't want to read about it, plus the Marine lifestyle of course lends itself to premature death in nearly all cases, and those who do start to get close to natural decrepitude/death would presumably start looking for opportunities to sacrifice themselves heroically.

Trying to redefine longevity as "combat survivability" is absurd, and clearly motivated by a preconceived desire to avoid admitting that Marine's aren't immortal, coupled with a willingness to engage in unlimited straw-grasping and logical contortions to avoid it.

EDIT: Plus, as mentioned earlier, William King's Deathwing does actually contain Marines discussing their natural lifespans. It's old but that doesn't take it out of canon. So there ARE actually GW-published stories in which Marines are shown to have biologically limited lifespans.

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 16:16
You need to drop the insults.

Thanks for that. I tend to get irritable when people ignore all but one of my premises and then make stupid remarks about my argument as a whole. Do you have anything to actually contribute to the thread, or were you just looking for someone to correct?


This is just ridiculous. The fact that GW has never actually explicitly described, in a story, a Marine dying of old age doesn't destroy the significance of them telling us that some groups of Marines have naturally superior longevity to other groups of Marines. The implication of biological mortality there is plain and clear for anyone who isn't predisposed to want to ignore it. They don't HAVE to actually describe Marines dying of old age, nor do they have to tell us the specific age in years at which this usually happens, in order for us to know that it's nevertheless theoretically possible; they tell us that it's theoretically possible when they tell us that certain chapters are more or less long-lived by nature. The fact that it very rarely, or never, actually happens doesn't change what the narrators have told us about it's theoretical possibility.

When there are just as many references to Marines honestly not knowing if they can die of old age or not, it is a perfectly valid area of discourse. I don't think they're immortal. When have I said I did? Please. I'm curious.


The reasons that no Marines are shown dying of old age in the stories are obvious--it's not cool and kids don't want to read about it, plus the Marine lifestyle of course lends itself to premature death in nearly all cases, and those who do start to get close to natural decrepitude/death would presumably start looking for opportunities to sacrifice themselves heroically.

Again, making my point that the Blood Angel fluff of being long-lived boils more down to combat tactics than genetics. Logan Grimnar is living proof that other Marines can live just as long, fact of the matter is, they don't because they're too busy fighting and dying in horrible, horrible ways.


Trying to redefine longevity as "combat survivability" is absurd, and clearly motivated by a preconceived desire to avoid admitting that Marine's aren't immortal, coupled with a willingness to engage in unlimited straw-grasping and logical contortions to avoid it.

For the love of whatever you find holy, if you're going to argue against me, argue against MY POINT. Question begging epithets just make you look less credible.

I'm not redefining anything. I'm using the actual definition of the word "lifespan."


life span or life·span (līf'spān')
n.

1. A lifetime.
2. The average or maximum length of time an organism, material, or object can be expected to survive or last.

Right there. Number two. A Marine's lifespan is how long he can be expected to survive. So Blood Angel lifespan relies as much on skill and tactics as it does on genetics..


EDIT: Plus, as mentioned earlier, William King's Deathwing does actually contain Marines discussing their natural lifespans. It's old but that doesn't take it out of canon. So there ARE actually GW-published stories in which Marines are shown to have biologically limited lifespans.

I hadn't read it. But I never said they were immortal. I said that boasting that a chapter have longer lifespans than other people who run off to kill building-sized monsters with combat knives and faith is not really something boastworthy. I haven't ever said I think they're immortal. I've just been asking how do we know Blood Angels live longer than most marines? All marines die fighting. Blood Angels living to be however-old just proves they have a penchant for survival. If we had one example of a marine dying of old age at a smaller number than 1100(Dante), it'd be a whole 'nother story. But we don't.

The argument as it stands is "Blood Angels live longer than other Marines." to which I ask "How long do normal Marines live? Logan seems pretty old." and the fluff answers "We don't know, but Blood Angels live longer." It's asinine. I'm not arguing against anything but the fluff being horribly written, really.

The chapter with the accelerated recruiting process due to the massive numbers of marines they lose to both their enemies and the gene-curse have the longest lifespans of any chapter.

...what?

Hunger
29-04-2010, 16:43
WRONG.

*gasp!*

Are you sure? Are you certain?

You know, the Bishop of Carlisle once won the World's Greatest Liar competition, setting the record for the shortest ever speech with the winning phrase "I have never told a lie in my life..."

Mojaco
29-04-2010, 17:24
How is "one of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who bear it" open for this much interpretation? It says they're physically capable of getting older than other marines. If an Ultramarine and a Blood Angel would run a diner together, the Blood Angel would one day run the kitchen and taking orders on his own. It's not that the geneseed gives them super-duper tactics, as that would never account for a 'vastly increased' lifespan. Brilliant tactics and dodging only goes so far. Even if it did, that would be horrible fluff; geneseed that mutated into giving super tactics? Barf.

GW just tied together one of 40k's many loose ends, and because that is so rare, there's some resistance. We won't hold it against you, it's natural :)

GitzBlasta
29-04-2010, 20:47
This is one angry thread!

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 21:10
How is "one of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who bear it" open for this much interpretation? It says they're physically capable of getting older than other marines. If an Ultramarine and a Blood Angel would run a diner together, the Blood Angel would one day run the kitchen and taking orders on his own. It's not that the geneseed gives them super-duper tactics, as that would never account for a 'vastly increased' lifespan. Brilliant tactics and dodging only goes so far. Even if it did, that would be horrible fluff; geneseed that mutated into giving super tactics? Barf.

GW just tied together one of 40k's many loose ends, and because that is so rare, there's some resistance. We won't hold it against you, it's natural :)

I don't know why I even bother. For a Blood Angel to live to a thousand years old, he has to actually survive a thousand years worth of battle. Most marines, even the sturdiest captains, barely survive a few hundred. Heck, four hundred years turned Cassius into Darth Vader. But you think that it's just longevity? No boost in abilities or reflexes? Nothing? Blood Angels just each survive twice as much war as normal marines because their gene-seed lets them live longer natural lives?

How does that work? The constant war that kills even the most awesome of characters just kind of leaves the Blood Angel tactical marines alone, so that extra 600 years of battle just whizzes by and they're fine?

I've quoted the definition for lifespan twice in this thread already, and still nobody reads the damn thing. It's uncommon for any marine to live past a few hundred years, not because he gets old, but because he is fighting the most horrific things the universe can throw at him. If it's not uncommon for a Blood Angel to hit a thousand years old, they're either somehow more survivable than other marines, or they just aren't fighting nearly as much as the other chapters are.


This is one angry thread!

At least it isn't always angry all the time.

endless
29-04-2010, 21:17
'I am content, ' Nestor replied 'I have served the Emperor and the Lion for six centuries, and perhaps if I am fortunate I may serve him yet for two more. But I have done my duty. I have bathed in the white-hot fires of battle and created new generations of Dark Angels. The things I once strived to prove to myself and to my brothers I have now done, and all that remains is to pass on what I know and retain the pride and dignity of our chapter.'
An Apothecary speaking about his lifespan, do you need more?;)

CasaHouse
29-04-2010, 21:32
An Apothecary speaking about his lifespan, do you need more?;)

To justify it not being uncommon for any Blood Angel to survive at least three times the amount of war that it takes to kill any given captain from any other chapter? Yes. I need more.

I'm not arguing that Marines are immortal. I'm arguing that nobody knows how long they actually live, and therefore a Blood Angel's natural lifetime is Longer than "nobody knows." And that's a very, very stupid piece of fluff. It made sense when they were space-vampires. It doesn't make sense now that they're apparently just normal Marines who survive five-ish times as much war as any other normal Marine without being any more skilled.

Marines don't die because they get old. If they did, the BA fluff would make total sense. But it doesn't. Having a longer natural lifespan should not help you in a situation where nobody reaches their natural lifespan anyway.

Techgardist
29-04-2010, 21:42
To justify it not being uncommon for any Blood Angel to survive at least three times the amount of war that it takes to kill any given captain from any other chapter? Yes. I need more.

I'm not arguing that Marines are immortal. I'm arguing that nobody knows how long they actually live, and therefore a Blood Angel's natural lifetime is Longer than "nobody knows." And that's a very, very stupid piece of fluff. It made sense when they were space-vampires. It doesn't make sense now that they're apparently just normal Marines who survive five-ish times as much war as any other normal Marine without being any more skilled.

Marines don't die because they get old. If they did, the BA fluff would make total sense. But it doesn't. Having a longer natural lifespan should not help you in a situation where nobody reaches their natural lifespan anyway.

Of course the reason that BA live longer than other marines is, "drums" they, senior officers included, wear helmets "drums". Simply as that. :evilgrin:

endless
29-04-2010, 21:47
The quote says how long, more or less, Nestor reckons his natural lifespan is. Therefore using Nestor's understanding, a Blood Angel's lifespan is longer than 800 years, give or take, and not allowing for violent death. Unless Nestor is supposed to be able to predict the bolt with his name on it.

Imperialis_Dominatus
29-04-2010, 23:13
Could swear there's a note somewhere in my 3rd ed. Codex about Space Marines who are too old for combat serving as ship captains and staff. I will look for it.

Argastes
29-04-2010, 23:19
Marines don't die because they get old. If they did, the BA fluff would make total sense. But it doesn't. Having a longer natural lifespan should not help you in a situation where nobody reaches their natural lifespan anyway.

I'm still not sure why you are so adamant that Marines NEVER EVER reach their natural lifespan and thus that "nobody knows" how long it might be.... is it because the stories don't mention it happening? Because it's already been explained why that might be the case. What leads you to believe that something not being mentioned in published fluff is positive proof that it never happens? Absence of evidence and all that. We could spend all day listing the various aspects of Imperial planetary economies, the Imperial bureaucracy, the day-to-day habits of Guardsmen, the excretory functions of Orkish digestive tracts, etc., that aren't mentioned in the fluff but must logically be presumed to exist nonetheless.

The fluff about BAs having longer-than-average natural lifespans suggests that at least some Marines, from the BAs and from other chapters, DO reach the end of their natural lifespan. It may not happen very often, and it may not be described in stories even when it does happen, for obvious reasons. But rather than assuming that the lack of such descriptions proves it never happens, and therefore accusing the BA fluff of being nonsensical, you should perhaps consider that GW-published background material doesn't comprehensively describe every nook, cranny, and detail of SM life (or anything else in the 40K universe).

A sensible explanation for the fluff that you call nonsense is actually pretty basic and easy to arrive at: Most non-BA Marines probably do die in battle before reaching the end of their natural lifespan, but some presumably do last long enough to reach that point; and from those that do survive (unmentioned as they may be in fluff), a figure can be established for the length of the average non-BA Marine natural lifespan. Likewise, most BAs probably do die in battle before reaching the end of their natural lifespan, but some presumably do last long enough to reach that point, and from them (similarly unmentioned as they may be in the fluff), it can be seen that the average BA natural lifespan is substantially longer than the average non-BA Marine's natural lifespan. And when the fluff says it's "not uncommon" for BAs to live much longer than other Marines, it is implicitly excluding those who die prematurely in battle, and really means that it's not uncommon for those BAs who survive to the end of their natural life to have lived substantially longer than a non-BA Marine who manages the same feat.

Dimitrios
29-04-2010, 23:40
Having read most, but not all, of the posts i am stuck by the absence of one strain of logic.

The case of IF space marines die depends on the definition of death itself.

My Logic:

Space Marines have superb regenerative powers, their power armor also aids in this. However some chapters do not have fully functioning organs, some are defective and some times the aging process will overtake the bodies own powers to regenerate.

This being said however there are three known technologies available to the imperium that would make 'physical' death an annoyance, but nothing else.

1. Bio-replacement. Several Guard special characters have been kept alive over the years by receiving new limbs and organs (eyes lungs etc) at great expense.
2. Mechanical augmentation. In the imperium all but the mind can be truly replaced by machine. The Iron hands chapter have marines that are more machine than flesh, and the mechanicum are also very very long lived due to the replacement of organs with machine.
3. Regenerative/ suspensive fluid. The fluids used to conserve the bodies of Space Marines entombed within their sarcofigae and then used to pilot dreadnoughts enable ancient characters to be preserved.

So utilizing any one or all of the above would ensure that a Space Marine could endure as long as his mind and his will was strong enough to wish it to be so.

Granted most of the above would be highly expensive, so would be reserved for the fortunate or the powerful. One such example is chaplain Cassius of the ultramarines who is highly augmented with bionics and is fairly ancient himself at roughly 300 years old.

The argument over the blood angels longevity is simply a reference to their gene-seeds improved regenerative capacity without the aid of any foreign aid, such as the 3 described above. Surely a link back to their blood drinking past/ hidden present.

My 2 pence worth.

TitusAndronicus
30-04-2010, 01:44
Thanks for that. I tend to get irritable when people ignore all but one of my premises and then make stupid remarks about my argument as a whole. Do you have anything to actually contribute to the thread, or were you just looking for someone to correct?

My contribution to this thread was to tell you to quit acting supercilious and rude, so the rest of the posters could enjoy discussing what started out to be an interesting idea, and was quickly turned into you bludgeoning everyone else in the thread. Silly me, I should have taken you into account and reported you instead.

THere is no evidence one way or the other that supports or disproves the idea that a space marine can live forever. Anything you posit is you making things up. You are welcome to guess anything you want. However it will remain a guess until someone at GW comes out and says "yep. Marines can last forever," which they won't. The whole point of the BA's living longer lives is to showcase that their blood is tainted. Tra la la no other point idah. You can't expect there to always be logic in GW's fluff. We're lucky they managed to get this far without the whole system collapsing from the idea of 7 foot tall supermen wearing power armor and spitting pizen.

CasaHouse
30-04-2010, 03:13
My contribution to this thread was to tell you to quit acting supercilious and rude, so the rest of the posters could enjoy discussing what started out to be an interesting idea, and was quickly turned into you bludgeoning everyone else in the thread. Silly me, I should have taken you into account and reported you instead.

Don't worry, I got a stern talking-to. My fault for getting irritated when people put words in my mouth and then tell me I'M wrong for those words.


THere is no evidence one way or the other that supports or disproves the idea that a space marine can live forever. Anything you posit is you making things up. You are welcome to guess anything you want. However it will remain a guess until someone at GW comes out and says "yep. Marines can last forever," which they won't. The whole point of the BA's living longer lives is to showcase that their blood is tainted. Tra la la no other point idah. You can't expect there to always be logic in GW's fluff. We're lucky they managed to get this far without the whole system collapsing from the idea of 7 foot tall supermen wearing power armor and spitting pizen.

I've never said they live forever. This is why I was being rude. Almost everyone in this thread who is disagreeing with me is telling me I'm wrong for a point I never tried to make. All I've been arguing is that we don't know. We don't know how long they live. And because we don't know, making the blanket statement that Blood Angels live longer is stupid. That's it. If anyone would actually bother to read my points, that'd be fairly obvious. But you don't. Hell, I even looked up the definition of "Lifespan" to post, so I'd be sure I wasn't misusing the word, and people ignored THAT.

TitusAndronicus
30-04-2010, 03:30
It's not stupid, it has been pointedly hinted at by GW that BA's live longer for a reason ie. they are vampires. You have average SM's getting the headshot fairly early in life, or at best becoming dreadnaughts and sleeping a lot. And you have BA's who can live thousands of years if they are lucky. You're missing that GW uses poetic license to emphasize things in its fluff. THis is one of those cases.

Fordineaux
30-04-2010, 04:00
I agree that it's stupid. It's basically suggesting that if you took 100 Ultramarines and Blood Angels, and put them through the same experiences, you'd end up with more Blood Angels than Ultramarines.

That is absurd since we don't really have examples of Marines dying of old age so the idea falls to "well perhaps the Blood Angels are just tougher or luckier."

TitusAndronicus
30-04-2010, 04:02
or vampires.

Fordineaux
30-04-2010, 04:08
Vampire powers put a marine back together after having an Earthshaker dropped on it. Got it.

TitusAndronicus
30-04-2010, 04:10
Oh wow. I must have missed that bit in the fluff. :)

Nowhere does it say ALL BA get to live long lives. It says SOME do. And that they live longer than regular marines if they aren't killed off.

Gdolkin
30-04-2010, 08:56
Blimey, you are being a bit obtuse Casahouse.. Blood Angels aren't skipping merrily across the battlefield, laughing about their 'lifespan armour', or shying away from fights like the old 'an immortal fears death more, because it has more to lose' trope, ITS JUST the very few that do survive centuries of battle along with resisiting the curse.. Maybe fewer BA make it to the age of say 700 than Ultramarines do, due to crazy antics like dropping their heavy bolters and charging at carnifexes etc, but those tiny minority who do survive that long go on being frontline Captains/veterans rather than 'retiring' to logistical/training/armoury duties, and don't have to start thinking 'it's getting to be that time, I'nm slowing down' until they're say 1000...
As you say, Logan Grimnar. Few SW are older than him at 800, and he has a right grizzly beard, but in the BA half the 1st company might be 800ish, and the boss is at least 1100..
Very very few marines of any Chapter will reach an age where they 'retire' but it does happen, and in the BA this age is significantly greater, even if the actual proportion is smaller than in other chapters, see?
Again: Take 5 Ultramarines- they live to 50, 120, 150, 250 and 400. Normal.
Now take 5 BA- they live to 20, 50, 55, 150 (those reckless bloodthirsty fools) and the last guy somehow makes it to 850..
That's all GW needs to say they live longer..

NightrawenII
30-04-2010, 09:25
Oh, Emperor preserve me!! NOT. THIS. AGAIN.

The BAs gene-seed increase the BAs lifespan. What was the poet trying to say? This:
The BAs aren't affected by the old age(or if you want the senility came after thousand or so years). In fact, the BA hitting his 1000th birthday is as fit and ready as when he first jump out of his sacrophagus.

Any other non-BA marine is affected by old age. His body is weathering and deteriorating, resulting in lower reflexes and toughness, slower motion etc. etc.

These facts, BAs don't affected by age and non-BAs affected by age, result in huge gap between lifespan-rate amongs the Chapters. The BA live longer.

Now, the Immortality.
As noted above marines bodies deteriorate and weather over time and there is ALWAYS point, when the body is unable to live and cease to function = death.

We don't hear about marines dying from old age, because they die before thanks to their lower reflexes, toughness or whatever. Or they are given Emperor's Mercy, after becoming old geezers.:shifty:

Mojaco
30-04-2010, 09:42
But you think that it's just longevity? Yes. In good health.

No boost in abilities or reflexes?Nope. Although they remain fit throughout.

Blood Angels just each survive twice as much war as normal marines because their gene-seed lets them live longer natural lives Yep, the lucky ones do.

I'm not saying it makes sense. It makes as much sense as 100 marines liberating a Forge World that got overrun by Orks. Or Commissar Gaunt killing dozens of Chaos Marines in his career. But it makes a lot more sense than your idea; Blood Angels get a boost in reflexes and skills. That's not mentioned anywhere. You seem to believe a quote about longetivity is basically saying Blood Angels are the best Marines there are.

However, countless pieces of fluff have Blood Angels succumbing to red thirst or just plain ol' dying (Space Hulk). There's no way they're better than other in battle.

I realise the contradiction. Blood Angels can get older, but as they're actually more likely to die in combat (thank you curse), it's pretty rare for them to reach those high ages.

I think all sides of this argument can agree that it's a stupid piece of fluff, as reaching the age of 50 is already impossible if you read how many loses marines suffer, so the whole idea of immortality or really old age is mute.

CasaHouse
30-04-2010, 10:09
I realise the contradiction. Blood Angels can get older, but as they're actually more likely to die in combat (thank you curse), it's pretty rare for them to reach those high ages.

But the fluff says:


Physically the Blood Angels are among the longest lived of all Space Marine Chapters. One of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who bear it, so it is not uncommmon for Blood Angels to live for a thousand years. Indeed, the current Commander of the Chapter, Dante, is known to have lived 1,100 years and is almost certainly far older.

It apparently isn't rare. It isn't even uncommon. Blood Angels commonly live to be 1000, through ten times the amount of war it takes to kill any other marine in his prime.

As Fordineaux said:


I agree that it's stupid. It's basically suggesting that if you took 100 Ultramarines and Blood Angels, and put them through the same experiences, you'd end up with more Blood Angels than Ultramarines.

That is absurd since we don't really have examples of Marines dying of old age so the idea falls to "well perhaps the Blood Angels are just tougher or luckier."

The fluff doesn't say "In Ideal circumstances, Blood Angels CAN live longer. The fluff just says "Blood Angels DO live longer." To live longer would mean they need to be more survivable, because at least 95% of all marines die in their prime. A Blood Angel's prime lasts 900 years, but apparently it isn't even uncommon for them to walk through that unscathed.

And again, why are people arguing against Marines being immortal when NOBODY in the thread is saying they are?

Mojaco
30-04-2010, 11:36
I'm not. Personally I'm arguing that marines have superskillzz thanks to their geneseed is more stupid than blood angels having longer natural lives.

And again, both versions are retarded, as any of the more elaborate stories of Blood Angels I've read so far has them dying by the dozen, either by the enemy, by dropping their heavy bolters to go in head first or by virtue of being in the Death Company. Each piece of fluff contradicts both our views on their longetivity. I just believe that of the two stupid explainations of longer lived blood angels, I find longer natural lives the more sensible (and more fitting considering the vampire element) than having better reflexes.

N0-1_H3r3
30-04-2010, 12:07
Surely the important matter is understanding how Astartes age.

"Dying of old age" is a bit of a faulty concept in the first place - it isn't the years that kill, but the late-onset afflictions and the natural wear-and-tear of life upon the body. A Space Marine is far more resistant to these things than a normal human, but they do age.

While a Marine is exceptionally unlikely to end up senile and decrepit and die in his sleep, age will hinder him after a while. It may take centuries, and only really manifest as slightly lessened strength, agility and endurance as the decades wear on, but sooner or later, an aging Marine may find that he's not quite fast enough, or strong enough, or tough enough, and it either results in his death in battle, or convinces him to request a support role, perhaps teaching and recruiting the next generation.

The lifestyle of Marines doesn't help - the accumulation of scar tissue will hamper them in battle, as scar tissue is less effective than the tissue it replaces.

With the Sons of Sanguinius, the matter becomes fairly obvious - they do not suffer as greatly from the natural decline of age. In essence, a four century old Blood Angel will have lost less of his potency to age than an Ultramarine of the same age, though neither could reasonably be called 'elderly' or decrepit. The Blood Angel simply ages more slowly, resulting in a longer lifespan...

ashc
30-04-2010, 12:08
Beautifully summed up, N0-1_H3r3.

Argastes
30-04-2010, 12:55
It apparently isn't rare. It isn't even uncommon. Blood Angels commonly live to be 1000, through ten times the amount of war it takes to kill any other marine in his prime.

I already addressed this but you seem to have ignored it: I think it's quite reasonable and easy to interpret that passage as implicitly excluding Marines (BA and non-BA) who die prematurely in battle, and thus referring only to those who actually make it to the end of their natural lifespan rather than getting blown up at age 150. Even if that's actually only a small minority of the total number of Marines (BA and non-BA). So if it was clearly phrased, it would read "...so it is not uncommmon for Blood Angels to live for a thousand years if not killed in battle before then". Or to put it another way, it's not uncommon for the natural BA lifespan to be 1000+ years, which is not the same thing as saying it's not uncommon for most BAs to actually reach that lifespan. The fluff could have been written a bit more clearly, but it's not stupid or nonsensical.

Hellebore
30-04-2010, 13:14
As I said in the last post I made, the evidence that space marines get old is the fact that they don't generally live past 300. Their lifestyle is not a GUARANTEE that they will die. If a space marine is truly immortal then, statistically there should be at least one that is 10,000 years old, as powerful now as he was during the heresy (not including those warp corrupted as the warp bypasses nature). The argument that space marines don't die of old age is not supported in the fluff is the same as space marines being immortal and living forever is not supported in the fluff.

However, as a space marine does age that age hampers their surival, increasing the chances that they will be killed. By the time a marine is feeling the effects of age they will have been killed because of it. A blood angel doesn't slow down.

Also, the statement about Primarchs being mortal has been ignored. If a primarch isn't immortal than a space marine sure isn't.

Blood Angels are not described as more resilient than anyone else. Plague marines are, the Brothers of Antaeus(sp) are, but blood angels are described as having a greatly increased life span.

When one is referring to an increase in natural lifespan one refers to it this way. If I was, for example, immune to the effects of car crashes, one would not describe me as having 'an increased lifespan' despite the fact that simply driving a car decreases your statistical lifespan due to the number of road fatalities. Instead you would say 'he is resistant to the damage caused by car crashes'. Technically being immune to the damage of a car crash WILL increase your potential lifespan, but it will only do so WITHIN your natural lifespan. I can't live longer than my natural lifespan just because I don't get hurt in car crashes, I can only remove the REDUCTION to my natural lifespan.

A blood angel has a longer potential lifespan. He does not have a natural resistance to being killed on the battlefield (as the existence of the death company and massive casualty rates proves), because that is what was said.

As the only instance of space marines being immortal was mentioned in a Heresy novel and only then in the context of no one has seen one die of old age because the crusade had only been going for 200 years, there is no actual proof that marines ARE immortal. They've never been before that statement in that particular novel. And there is prior statements about PRIMARCHS not being immortal and as they are superior to a space marine it's a bit of a stretch to say marines are immortal but primarchs aren't.

Hellebore

Argastes
30-04-2010, 13:17
Hellebore, I definitely agree with you, but CasaHouse isn't actually saying Marines are immortal (I thought he was at first too, and ripped on him for it, but I had misunderstood him).

Hellebore
30-04-2010, 13:36
Whether that was the argument or not, the point still stands. Blood Angels only receive an extended lifespan from their geneseed, not resistance to damage, or luck.

Being a soldier is not GUARANTEED to get you killed no matter how long you live. There is no mention anywhere of Blood Angels being tougher or harder to kill. Cassahouse is reading into things that aren't there. His '95% of space marines die in their prime' line is completely made up.

The premises he is making are:

A)Being a Marine is a 100% guarantee of being killed unnaturally
B)Blood Angels have a longer lifespan

Therefore, Blood Angels must be resistant to being killed in battle for B) to be true.

However, A) is not a certainty. If A) is not true, then the conclusion is false for B) to be true.

Trying to argue absolutes is a bad position to take. It only requires 1 space marine not to be killed unnaturally for it to fall apart.

Now, Cassahouse's argument also rests on the notion that there is no evidence that space marines have died of old age outside combat. Although I'm positive there is a piece of background stating that older marines no longer fit for duty become scout trainers and other staff (similar to what Imperialis_Dominatus said) at the moment this point is true.

On the other hand, there is no evidence that this DOESN'T happen either. There is no definitive statement about it either way.

But the statement about blood angel lifespans is very clear on what it is talking about. As my car crash resistance analogy shows, if one were talking about resistance to dying on the battlefield then one would be saying that. When one refers to increased lifespan, it's not talking about anything other than lifespan. How your environment affects your natural lifespan is independent of the lifespan itself.

Cassahouse is saying that the statement used the term lifespan to refer to something other than its actual meaning. Considering the number of precedents in 40k where something isn't described as living longer because they are tough, but rather simply being referred to as HARD TO KILL, it is a very tenuous line to take.

Hellebore

gwarsh41
30-04-2010, 14:16
I am not sure if it has been mentioned, but in the space wolves codex (i think 2nd ed) it has a chunk of fluff on bjorn. In this it mentions that even in his metal body he is aging and should be dead of age. Space wolves keep him in a special room where time is slowed. It is something insane like in that room, a year on the outside is a second on the inside. because the 3rd edition codex did not have him, I thought that he had died of old age. He was alive during the HH after all. How many years ago was that?

CasaHouse
30-04-2010, 18:34
As the only instance of space marines being immortal was mentioned in a Heresy novel and only then in the context of no one has seen one die of old age because the crusade had only been going for 200 years, there is no actual proof that marines ARE immortal. They've never been before that statement in that particular novel. And there is prior statements about PRIMARCHS not being immortal and as they are superior to a space marine it's a bit of a stretch to say marines are immortal but primarchs aren't.

There's actually another reference in Salamander. When they find Gravius. They can't believe he's still alive, but then all the Marines present realize they have no idea how long they actually could live, because they've never even heard of a marine actually getting old enough for it to matter. Their lifestyle just prevents it.

And none of this says they're immortal. It just says that they don't know how long they can live if they don't die in combat.


Being a soldier is not GUARANTEED to get you killed no matter how long you live. There is no mention anywhere of Blood Angels being tougher or harder to kill. Cassahouse is reading into things that aren't there. His '95% of space marines die in their prime' line is completely made up.

Being a soldier isn't. Being a Space Marine is. Soldiers do tours of duty and eventually retire. Marines constantly seek out the most horrible enemies imaginable and rush headlong at them with knives and swords. There's a difference. And how is it completely made up? Honestly, going by the sum totality of the fluff as our only empirical evidence, the claim "All marines die in combat of some kind." would actually be pretty solid. I said 95% because I'm willing to admit there may be some variance.


The premises he is making are:

A)Being a Marine is a 100% guarantee of being killed unnaturally
B)Blood Angels have a longer lifespan

Therefore, Blood Angels must be resistant to being killed in battle for B) to be true.

Yes. That is my argument. A should be closer to "No Marine has ever lived long enough to gauge a Marine's natural lifespan." but it's close enough. It's amazing that even upon grasping what it is I'm arguing, you still can't wrap your head around it.


However, A) is not a certainty. If A) is not true, then the conclusion is false for B) to be true.

Trying to argue absolutes is a bad position to take. It only requires 1 space marine not to be killed unnaturally for it to fall apart.

It's true. If you could provide a counterexample, my argument would be proven untrue. It's still a valid argument, because the conclusion follows logically from the premises, but it wouldn't be sound. So where's the counterexample?


Now, Cassahouse's argument also rests on the notion that there is no evidence that space marines have died of old age outside combat. Although I'm positive there is a piece of background stating that older marines no longer fit for duty become scout trainers and other staff (similar to what Imperialis_Dominatus said) at the moment this point is true.

On the other hand, there is no evidence that this DOESN'T happen either. There is no definitive statement about it either way.

That's not how proof works. I say they never die of old age because there is not a single case of it happening within any of the fluff. You never have to make a logical argument to disprove something, you just provide a counterexample against the person trying to prove it. Burden of proof falls upon the person making the claim. I claim that Marines can die of old age, but none do. Their lifestyle makes it impossible. Any single counterexample would prove me wrong. You claim that Marines do die of old age. Prove it. Show me a single piece of fluff where a Marine gets too old to fight. Not too injured or too insane, too old.


Cassahouse is saying that the statement used the term lifespan to refer to something other than its actual meaning. Considering the number of precedents in 40k where something isn't described as living longer because they are tough, but rather simply being referred to as HARD TO KILL, it is a very tenuous line to take.

Hellebore

What? I've cited the definition of lifespan which I am using. I've even reposted it, because nobody was reading it. Here it is a THIRD time.


life span or life·span (līf'spān')
n.

1. A lifetime.
2. The average or maximum length of time an organism, material, or object can be expected to survive or last.

Since nobody knows a Marine's natural lifetime, not even the Marines themselves, one is moot. I'm using 2. For Blood Angels, who also die violently, to have a longer "average or maximum length of time they can be expected to survive." they would need to A: be better at what they do than normal marines, or B: just lead a less dangerous life.

B is right out, so A seems to fit.

The fact that lifespan doesn't mean what you want it to mean doesn't make it suddenly not the actual meaning.

Are you even reading what I write? Or do you just skim and then jump up on your high-horse? Address MY points. Not the ones you have the best answers against. The ones I'M ACTUALLY MAKING. Marines aren't immortal. Nobody knows how long they live, but somehow we know that Blood Angels live longer? That doesn't make sense. Even by GW standards.

Mojaco
30-04-2010, 19:44
Godview can say whatever it wants to say. We don't have do know the actual numbers to understand X > Y, X being the Blood Angel's maximum age and Y a regular marine's maximum age. That there's no fluff of an old marine dying in his bed has more to do with it making for a very poor story than it never happening.

You seem to get really frustrated because you think noone understand your argument. I don't think that's true. You make a valid point, I just don't agree with your hypothesis of Blood Angels being better at surviving. I find it has no fluff backup of any kind, and only exists because you believe the whole 'longer natural life' can be made invalid, thus 'longer lifespans' requires an alternative explaination.

CasaHouse
30-04-2010, 20:13
Godview can say whatever it wants to say. We don't have do know the actual numbers to understand X > Y, X being the Blood Angel's maximum age and Y a regular marine's maximum age. That there's no fluff of an old marine dying in his bed has more to do with it making for a very poor story than it never happening.

It's stupid though. To intentionally say "We don't know X. X could be anything." and then to turn around and say "But Y is bigger." It's asinine. Nobody else seems to see that.


You seem to get really frustrated because you think noone understand your argument. I don't think that's true. You make a valid point, I just don't agree with your hypothesis of Blood Angels being better at surviving. I find it has no fluff backup of any kind, and only exists because you believe the whole 'longer natural life' can be made invalid, thus 'longer lifespans' requires an alternative explaination.

No, it only exists because I'm using the ACTUAL definition of lifespan. Blood Angels have to be better at surviving just to make it 1000 years. A normal Marine is a veteran if he can survive about two/three hundred. And it's incredibly rare for a Marine to survive four or five hundred when they're actually referred to as old/grizzled/venerable/whatever. Blood Angels commonly weather twice that, but you don't think they are any more talented at surviving than other marines?

I guess to lay out premises and conclusion.

P1: Most marines tend to die within their first couple hundred years of service due to the nature of the foes they face.
P2: Marines who weather the onslaught and show a penchant for survival become the veterans and leaders.
P3: Blood Angels commonly live to be 1000.

C: Blood Angels are better at surviving, because otherwise they'd die in their first centuries as stated in P1.

I don't know how you can just handwave the fact that most marines die reasonably early in their career, and Blood Angels apparently just don't. How does that not make them better survivors? If they weren't any more skilled than normal Marines, they'd live exactly as long as any other Marine, because normal Marines fight Daemons, Carnifexes, Necrons, Avatars(apparently) and everything else that's too big for the guard to handle. They don't die because they get old, they die because their opponents are the most horrible things the universe can conjure up.

RBLFunk
30-04-2010, 21:03
Blood Angels have to be better at surviving just to make it 1000 years.

P3: Blood Angels commonly live to be 1000.

I don't know how you can just handwave the fact that most marines die reasonably early in their career, and Blood Angels apparently just don't. How does that not make them better survivors?
We have on one occasion a long time ago been told Blood Angels live a long time compared to most other Marines. We have never been shown how Blood Angels live a long time, only told that they do. In fact, what we have been shown indicates Blood Angels die as regularly and as easily as any other Marines, and in fact have a couple other factors stacked against them over and above what other Chapters do.
How many Blood Angels do we know of other than Dante that are 1000 or more years old? Blood Angels 'commonly' living to be 1000 is an assertion made without evidence. Assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Blood angels 'commonly' living to 1000 is junk background that can be dismissed.


If they weren't any more skilled than normal Marines, they'd live exactly as long as any other Marine, because normal Marines fight Daemons, Carnifexes, Necrons, Avatars(apparently) and everything else that's too big for the guard to handle. They don't die because they get old, they die because their opponents are the most horrible things the universe can conjure up.Given that it's junk background, the obvious interpretation is that Blood Angels don't deteriorate due to aging as quickly as other Marines.

By the way, where is this quote from?

Physically the Blood Angels are among the longest lived of all Space Marine Chapters. One of the peculiarites of their aberrant geneseed is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who bear it, so it is not uncommmon for Blood Angels to live for a thousand years. Indeed, the current Commander of the Chapter, Dante, is known to have lived 1,100 years and is almost certainly far older.The wording in the Angels of Death codex is different. Angels of Death, 1996, p.21, paragraph 3:

Physically the Blood Angels are among the longest lived of all the Space Marine Chapters. One of the peculiarities of the Flaw is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who survive, so it is not uncommon for Blood Angels to live for a thousand years. Indeed, the current Commander of the Chapter, Dante, has lived for nearly 1,100 years. These vastly extended lifespans allow the Blood Angels to perfect their techniques in art as well as in war.
I really don't know how or why, reading that on its own, anyone could interpret is as meaning Blood Angels are better at surviving the perils of being a Space Marine, and not that they are less prone to aging than most Chapters.

Argastes
30-04-2010, 22:04
Casahouse, you keep griping that no-one is listening to your actual argument, but I've addressed exactly what you're arguing (twice now) and you still haven't acknowledged that. What's the matter?

I'll repeat myself for the third time now. This is what I said on page three of this thread:



I'm still not sure why you are so adamant that Marines NEVER EVER reach their natural lifespan and thus that "nobody knows" how long it might be.... is it because the stories don't mention it happening? Because it's already been explained why that might be the case. What leads you to believe that something not being mentioned in published fluff is positive proof that it never happens? Absence of evidence and all that. We could spend all day listing the various aspects of Imperial planetary economies, the Imperial bureaucracy, the day-to-day habits of Guardsmen, the excretory functions of Orkish digestive tracts, etc., that aren't mentioned in the fluff but must logically be presumed to exist nonetheless.

The fluff about BAs having longer-than-average natural lifespans suggests that at least some Marines, from the BAs and from other chapters, DO reach the end of their natural lifespan. It may not happen very often, and it may not be described in stories even when it does happen, for obvious reasons. But rather than assuming that the lack of such descriptions proves it never happens, and therefore accusing the BA fluff of being nonsensical, you should perhaps consider that GW-published background material doesn't comprehensively describe every nook, cranny, and detail of SM life (or anything else in the 40K universe).

A sensible explanation for the fluff that you call nonsense is actually pretty basic and easy to arrive at: Most non-BA Marines probably do die in battle before reaching the end of their natural lifespan, but some presumably do last long enough to reach that point; and from those that do survive (unmentioned as they may be in fluff), a figure can be established for the length of the average non-BA Marine natural lifespan. Likewise, most BAs probably do die in battle before reaching the end of their natural lifespan, but some presumably do last long enough to reach that point, and from them (similarly unmentioned as they may be in the fluff), it can be seen that the average BA natural lifespan is substantially longer than the average non-BA Marine's natural lifespan. And when the fluff says it's "not uncommon" for BAs to live much longer than other Marines, it is implicitly excluding those who die prematurely in battle, and really means that it's not uncommon for those BAs who survive to the end of their natural life to have lived substantially longer than a non-BA Marine who manages the same feat.

EDIT:

It's stupid though. To intentionally say "We don't know X. X could be anything."....

For God's sake, the fluff never says that!

The fluff never explicitly tells us the average non-BA Marine's natural lifespan. But at the same time, neither does it explicitly tell us that this lifespan is unknown and has never been reached. It simply never mentions it. It may be unknown to us the readers, because it happens never to have been mentioned in a story, but this is NOT the same thing as it being unknown in-universe.

The fluff doesn't need to actually tell us the average non-BA Marine's natural lifespan in order for it to tell us that a BA's natural lifespan is longer than it. Are you seriously trying to claim that if something has never been explicitly mentioned in a story, it must not be known in-universe?

endless
30-04-2010, 23:58
Apart from everything else...

It apparently isn't rare. It isn't even uncommon. Blood Angels commonly live to be 1000, through ten times the amount of war it takes to kill any other marine in his prime.

You are misreading the sentence. Saying something is not uncommon is not the same thing as saying it is common.;)

havokas
01-05-2010, 00:28
ok people. here is some posts from a thread i started a fair while ago now. should shed some light on the bleeding obvious.

I wanted to clear up some facts about space marines that most people get wrong, starting with their lifespan, SM do get old and will eventually die because of it.

here is my list of proof...
In the 2nd edition Codex Ultramarines, there was a note about Chaplain Cassius. It said something like that Space Marines rarely show signs of aging until over 300 years of age and that Cassius was about 400 years old and considered old but still fully capable of joining battles.

Page 20 of the 1996 Codex:
"Physically the Blood Angels are among the longest lived of all chapters. One of the peculiarities of the flaw is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who survive [implantation of the gene-seed and combat], so it is not uncommon for Blood Angels to live for a thousand years."

"A Space Marine is a genetically enhanced warrior, far stronger and tougher than an ordinary human being. Space Marines can live for several hundred years and they possess extraordinary powers."
2nd Edition Codex Ultramarines, page 6.

"These mysterious strangers are the Wolf Priests of the Space Wolves: the Choosers of the Valiant. The youths they pick will be tested to become Space Wolves. If they succeed, the gene-seed of Leman Russ will be implanted in their bodies and they will become Space Marines. As Space Marines they will live for hundreds of years, if they do not die in battle, and they will voyage through the stars to fight in wars on the other side of the galaxy."
2nd Edition Codex Space Wolves, page 6.

"A Space Marine is the most powerful and most dreaded of all the Imperium's warriors. In almost every respect they are not really human at all, but super human - superior in almost every way to an ordinary man.
Space Marines can live for hundreds of years. Their senses are sharper and their muscles stronger than those of a normal man."
3rd Edition Rulebook, page 110.

"Physically, the Blood Angels are among the longest lived of all Space Marines. One of the peculiarities of the Flaw is that it vastly increases the lifespan of those who survive. Thus, it is not uncommon for Blood Angels to live for a thousand years. Indeed, the current Commander of the Chapter, Dante, was born nearly 1,100 years ago. These vastly increased lifespans allow the Blood Angels to perfect their techniques in art as well as in war. They have centuries in which to perfect the disciplines to which they turn their minds, accounting for the fact that the Blood Angels' armor and banners are among the most ornate ever produced by Space Marine artificers."
4th Edition Codex Blood Angels (pdf), page 3.

"Although the Codex describes a number of ranks and responsibilities within the headquarters staff, only a very few of these officers actually accompany the Chapter to war. Many are non-combatants of advanced years whose roles are to find and train recruits or administrate the Chapter"
5th Edition Codex Space Marines, page 16.

The last quote from Codex Space Marines contrasts with the previous quote from the Blood Angels. If every Chapter has non-combatant staff members of advanced age, and Marines were truly immortal, then all the Chapters would have 3,000+ year old artificers or administrators. But only Blood Angels have that increased lifespan over the other Marines. Normally Marines only live for several hundred years, as other sources have explained.
But the quote from the 2nd Edition Codex Space Wolves even explicitly states that it refers to a natural life expectancy of those that survive, and not merely an average life expectancy of Marines in battle.

dont bother trying to pick these quotes to bits unless you can provide actual fluff references to support your "opinion" also im not talking about chaos marines.

also here is the definition of immortal

Immortal \Im*mor"tal\, n. One who will never cease to be; one exempt from death, decay, or annihilation. --Bunyan. [1913 Webster]

Source: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

Argastes
01-05-2010, 01:41
Great post, havokas. In light of that, it seems we can put together the following truisms:

NUMBER ONE: Space Marines, aside from Blood Angels and BA successors, have an average natural lifespan of several centuries, sounds like 400-600 years might be a good guess. This is an AVERAGE, some non-BA Marines will live longer (e.g. Logan Grimnar has been Great Wolf for 700 years and thus is probably at least 850-900 years old or so), but a non-BA who lives significantly beyond this lifespan is a non-representative outlier, an exception to the norm.

NUMBER TWO: Some, but clearly not ALL and probably not many, Space Marines live to the end of this natural lifespan (since after a certain point, old SMs who have survived enough to begin suffering noticeable age-related problems are taken off active duty and presumably tend to live until they die of natural causes). Thus, contrary to Casahouse's ridiculous claims, the length of a natural SM lifespan is not a mysterious unknown quantity which no-one can even guess because no Marine has ever, ever, ever lived long enough to die of old age.

NUMBER THREE: The same holds true for Blood Angels and BA successors, except that instead of several hundred years, the average natural lifespan is more like 1000+ years. Again, as with other chapters, many (perhaps most) will die in battle long before reaching this age. But from those who manage to avoid death in battle long enough to die naturally, it can be seen that their average natural lifespans are indeed much longer than those of other Marines.

NUMBER FOUR: Therefore, the statement that it's "not uncommon" for Blood Angels to live 1000+ years can be interpreted to mean that it's not uncommon for Blood Angels to live 1000+ years if they can avoid death in battle long enough to make it there, which isn't necessarily something that most or even many Blood Angels actually do.

Issue resolved, I hope.

Hellebore
01-05-2010, 02:10
thanks for finding that quote Hovokas:



Although the Codex describes a number of ranks and responsibilities within the headquarters staff, only a very few of these officers actually accompany the Chapter to war. Many are non-combatants of advanced years whose roles are to find and train recruits or administrate the Chapter.
5th Edition Codex Space Marines, page 16.


That is precisely what I was referring to.

Hellebore

endless
01-05-2010, 06:15
More:

The Blood Angels are amongst the longest-lived of all of the Space Marine Chapters, their gene-seed granting a vastly increased lifespan on all who possess it. It is not uncommon, therefore, for a Blood Angel to live for a millennium or more, if death in battle or the Red Thirst does not claim him first. These vastly extended life spans allow the Blood Angels to perfect their techniques in art as well as in war. They have centuries to perfect the disciplines to which they turn their minds, and this accounts for the fact that Blood Angels’ armour and banners are amongst the most ornate ever produced.
FFG description, emphasised for clarity.:rolleyes:

havokas
01-05-2010, 08:58
yer, pay attention to the bold part in the above post peeps.

alot of the people who argue never post a reference for their "opinion". its a little annoying and im yet to see a convincing argument that any Space Marine; Blood Angel or not will live forever if they dont die in battle, and please dont bring back the Salamander guy who was found in some space ship,

opinion is not cannon.

Malitov
01-05-2010, 09:12
In one of the space wolves books it talks about marines dieing of old age in their sleep. It then states several times that one of the sargeants is over the 600 year mark and still going strong. Logan Grimnar himself is over 800(?) and the Mortifactors chapter master in the Ultramarines novel Warriors of Ultramar is said to be over 700.

MajorWesJanson
01-05-2010, 10:59
The White Consuls have members who are near the 1100 or 1300 mark and find it unremarkable.

Argastes
01-05-2010, 13:20
More:

"The Blood Angels are amongst the longest-lived of all of the Space Marine Chapters, their gene-seed granting a vastly increased lifespan on all who possess it. It is not uncommon, therefore, for a Blood Angel to live for a millennium or more, if death in battle or the Red Thirst does not claim him first. These vastly extended life spans allow the Blood Angels to perfect their techniques in art as well as in war. They have centuries to perfect the disciplines to which they turn their minds, and this accounts for the fact that Blood Angels’ armour and banners are amongst the most ornate ever produced."

FFG description, emphasised for clarity.:rolleyes:

Awesome, this verifies exactly the interpretation I was arguing for. Just out of curiosity, what's the source on this quote? I want to be able to cite it in future threads.

endless
01-05-2010, 13:49
It's from the recent Fantasy Flight Games preview of their RPG 'Deathwatch'. Being an endorsed product it is as 'official' as any other GW source and TBH reads like a clarification of previously written background. My earlier quote from 'Angels of Darkness' and the numerous other sources quoted above make it quite clear that Space Marines are not immortal and have a natural lifespan which, whilst it may vary from chapter to chapter, remains a span, not an indeterminate period of time.

Hellebore
01-05-2010, 13:53
People have taken the one statement made in a Heresy era novel and run with it, making wild assumptions about marine lifespans. Whilst that's not what Cassahouse has being arguing, it all stems from the same thing.

Hellebore

endless
01-05-2010, 14:01
In his defence I'm guessing he is not a native speaker of English and has so has drawn mistaken conclusions as a consequence. (I apologise if that seems condescending, it's not intended to be) This is a problem with these background forums. People's ability to interpret a text is sadly lacking and causes many virulent arguments.

Mojaco
01-05-2010, 15:17
O, Cassahouse's not going to like that comment. I'm pretty sure he's a native english speaker.

What he's been doing is stubbornly refuse to accept that marines have a known natural lifespan, with marines dying of age. The fact that WE don't know this natural age is irrelevant, however he believes all marines die in combat no matter what we say. Thus, as Blood Angels get older, they must logically be better at surviving combat (or be really lazy), and reach older ages that way. Still, even Blood Angels will one day die in combat.

Although Cassahouse has never claimed he believe Marines to be immortal, he does believe that there is an unknown limit to a marine's age. It could be 1200 years, it could be 12000. It doesn't matter, as a well-placed bullet stops a marines from ever finding out.

Hopefully that's clear enough. To be even more clear, the above is not my opinion. I believe a marine can reach 600-800, with exceptions to 1000 yrs. A Blood Angel can get older and in better condition.

Immortal Avatar
01-05-2010, 15:26
Although I haven't personally read anything where a space marine did die of old age, in the space marine codex Chaplain Cassius (the oldest memeber of the Ultramarines) is 450. It is also said that he has extensive biotic upgrades that have allowed him to live that long.
I always assumed that Space Marines continue to serve indefiantly and as they get very old they begin to weaken, become less sharp, and consequently die in battle.

CasaHouse
01-05-2010, 18:16
In his defence I'm guessing he is not a native speaker of English and has so has drawn mistaken conclusions as a consequence. (I apologise if that seems condescending, it's not intended to be) This is a problem with these background forums. People's ability to interpret a text is sadly lacking and causes many virulent arguments.

I am a native English speaker. And this does sound condescending, because on top of belittling my ability to articulate my arguments, which I think is pretty solid, you also belittle my reading comprehension and interpretation.

Mojaco summarized my argument rather well.

The fluff from Angels of Death, and the FFG stuff is great, because it explicitly mentions that Blood Angels who survive combat live longer than other marines. That's good. I have no problem with that, but the Codex: Blood Angels piece left those three ever-so-important words out, stating that Blood Angels just live longer, regardless of circumstances. So I constructed a logical argument to explain how Blood Angels somehow genetically survive more warfare than other Marines.

And it's CasaHouse. Casa. One S.

Argastes
01-05-2010, 19:11
The fluff from Angels of Death, and the FFG stuff is great, because it explicitly mentions that Blood Angels who survive combat live longer than other marines. That's good. I have no problem with that, but the Codex: Blood Angels piece left those three ever-so-important words out, stating that Blood Angels just live longer, regardless of circumstances. So I constructed a logical argument to explain how Blood Angels somehow genetically survive more warfare than other Marines.

I think part of what made people so exasperated with your argument was your attempts to insist that no-one has any idea what a Marine's natural lifespan might be, and that every single Marine dies in battle before reaching the end of it, and thus that it's a totally mysterious and unknown quantity that we have no means of estimating.... when the fluff never says a damn thing to support this ludicrous claim, and when in fact it explicitly contradicts it in several places.


Although Cassahouse has never claimed he believe Marines to be immortal, he does believe that there is an unknown limit to a marine's age. It could be 1200 years, it could be 12000. It doesn't matter, as a well-placed bullet stops a marines from ever finding out.

The problem is that there is no basis in the background for this, just the opposite in fact, despite how vehemently he insisted upon it.

FlashGordon
01-05-2010, 19:41
How old is the salamander space marine in the Salamander book? 10000 years if i remember correctly(from the time of Horus Heresy). Although he was not really in a battle condition. ^^

Argastes
01-05-2010, 19:45
How old is the salamander space marine in the Salamander book? 10000 years if i remember correctly(from the time of Horus Heresy). Although he was not really in a battle condition. ^^

This has been addressed earlier in the thread, he was in some sort of special condition that had kept him alive beyond a normal Marine's natural lifespan. Numerous sources tell us that a normal Marine's natural lifespan lasts not more than several centuries.

FlashGordon
01-05-2010, 19:51
Yeah he used his suspended-animation membrane probably. So now we atleast know how long they live with that.

Numerous sources tells us they die in combat before anyone gets to know, but you may show me these sources that say they live "no more than several centuries" without dying in combat. (And i would not give to much credit to ffg who seems to have quite bad grip on 40k fluff)

Argastes
01-05-2010, 20:03
Numerous sources tells us they die in combat before anyone gets to know, but you may show me these sources that say they live "no more than several centuries" without dying in combat. (And i would not give to much credit to ffg who seems to have quite bad grip on 40k fluff)

I don't know about Warseer, but standard forum etiquette (if not rules) is that you should at least quickly skim the thread before replying to it, since doing so will prevent you from asking questions or making arguments that may have been quite thoroughly dealt with earlier in the thread.

The excellent post by havokas, on the previous page of this thread, provides numerous quotes from Codexes in which the multi-century lifespan of Marines is mentioned.

Imperialis_Dominatus
02-05-2010, 05:38
The White Consuls have members who are near the 1100 or 1300 mark and find it unremarkable.

Where's this? I read Dark Creed (which seems to have the most information on them) and didn't catch that bit.

Phoebus
03-05-2010, 11:18
It's in there. I just started "Dark Creed", and I believe it's in the chapter where the various forces meet in council to decide the commitment of defense to the star system the story is based in. The two Consuls are described, along with their age disparity.

The "Deathwing" story, I'm sorry to say, can't be reconciled with the latest fluff, and not just because it's "old". The Dark Angel in question is close to death after less than two centuries of life. That just doesn't reflect 40k fluff, new or old.

The ancient Salamander from the novel with the same title wasn't able to say much of anything, and we don't know that it was aging that had brought him low.

What we do know is that his armor had been stuck in the sitting position, probably following centuries of rest cycle. I would imagine he was suffering more from atrophying muscles, mental degeneration from lack of interaction, etc.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is the concept of cellular degeneration, the processes by which we age, our bodies degrade, and eventually we die. There's really no gray area here. Either Astartes age or they don't.

"Horus Rising" would have you think that the Emperor designed them so that they didn't. His scientists specifically assigned to measure that question and specialized to do so claimed the Astartes were immortal so far as they could tell. Given that all but one Space Marine in these novels show no signs of aging after two centuries or more of Great Crusade, we can safely discount the idea of a Dark Angel being ready to die within the same timeframe.

I posit that any degradation of the Astartes condition, being wrinkled skin, etc., is a part of the degradation of the process of making Space Marines itself, as shown in the Index Astartes. Again, we only have a couple, isolated instances (that I know of) in the fluff of a Marine who gets too old to fight (and are described as such), but we have several, high profile examples of Astartes who live for several centuries, even more than a millennium, and show no sign of slowing down. Even, if like Logan Grimnar, they look like they've aged (and in his case it's understood to be symptomatic of the Canix Helix).

Finally, from a creative point of view, the idea of Astartes getting old and tired after 4-5 centuries strikes me as silly in a fictional universe where important humans that are far more numerous than Astartes get to extend their lifespans by centuries courtesy of rejuvenation treatments and/or augmetics. The idea that the Emperor's Angels might well have been immortal guardians of the Imperium were it not for the botched ritualization and cultish "voodoo" of their descendants millennia down the line strikes me as far more grimdark than "oh, we only used the most awesome technologies held by the most powerful human ever to enable you to live about as long as a reasonably successful bureaucrat". ;)

Idaan
03-05-2010, 12:13
"Horus Rising" would have you think that the Emperor designed them so that they didn't. His scientists specifically assigned to measure that question and specialized to do so claimed the Astartes were immortal so far as they could tell. Given that all but one Space Marine in these novels show no signs of aging after two centuries or more of Great Crusade, we can safely discount the idea of a Dark Angel being ready to die within the same timeframe.

Or he lied to them and the Imperial society in general that they were immortal to boost their morale and capitalise on their transhuman nature and "Angels of Death" image for propaganda reasons. The Emperor was a prick like that, what with hiding the existence of Chaos behind the Imperial Truth. He and possibly Malcador could have easily been the only people to still remember the original creation of Marines.

The statement about gerontologists is made in-character.

Phoebus
03-05-2010, 12:29
Yes, he lied to them so convincingly that, years after reaching that same age where that Dark Angel thought he was going to die of old age--and looked it--they all were perfectly fine and still looking young! ;)

dakodamon
09-01-2011, 05:53
The blood angels codex basicly says so. Written in typical god-view, where the narator knows everything, it states that Blood Angels are amongst the longest lived Space Marines, with Dante being 1100 years old or older. In other words, the other marines don't get to be so old.

For people who feel this shouldn't be so, you can still read it as if Blood Angels simply survive combat longer than normal marines (even though there no reason to go with that explaination :)).

well thnk of it like this, they are genetically enhanced in every way and like in the book nightbringer by graham mcneill, uriel gets his herat punctured by the alien and manages to survive. if the powersuits and the artificial miscles and such can repair that type of damage then aging rlly wuldnt be a problem

Iuris
09-01-2011, 11:04
I don't remember any GW sources marking the Astartes as immortal time-wise. From the earliest codices, I remember their lifespan being limited, centuries long but limited. While not limited in numbers, it was always stated as limited, with the order of magnitude defined.

The very fact that the Blood Angels are noted for their longevity implies they are mortal. Were they immortal, why would longevity even be discussed.

The only cases of the opposite are the rare exceptionally old marines and the discussions in the first Horus Heresy books.

Now, natural lifespan will always vary from marine to marine. We don't get numbers, but general tone implies several centuries. For the Blood Angels, this just means that they naturally live for several centuries more than regular marines, on average, and that more of them will live for more centuries. If, for example, 700 years is an old marine in the average chapter, for a Blood Angel, that figure would be 1000 years. Skill in battle (which I say is comparable for all marine chapters all over) may affect the chance that the marine will reach his natural maximum age, but not what the age itself is.

Also note that statistics come into effect here. The average BA lifespan is longer, but that doesn't preclude individual marines of other chapters from reaching comparable, or even greater, ages.

Also do note that this is a matter of lifespan spent active. Space marines can slow down their metabolism, and it's quite possible that this would allow them to live almost forever. Sitting still, not eating or anything, of course. That's what the ancient Salamandar was implied to have done.

As for the HH book discussions, I would point out this: the crusade was at the time of the discussions still only in progress for a few centuries. The crusade simply did not last even long enough for the first marines to reach their natural maximum age. The natural lifespan was not actually known YET. So of course they wondered. A few hundred years later, they'd know for sure.

TL : DR? 1 vote against Casa's arguments :)

Zweischneid
09-01-2011, 11:35
or vampires.

Umm.. this.

The talk about Blood Angels being long-lived just emphasises their vampire-schtick, just as Space Wolves having more body-hair emphasises their wolf-schtick.

Whether or not that long-livety sentence chimes logically with other Space Marines who may or may not be immortal anyways, probably wasn't even a consideration when that line was first written in the dark days of 2nd edition.

Idaan
09-01-2011, 13:15
But being overly sexualized is also a vampire trait, yet it's not used to describe Blood Angels because they're asexual by definition. Why would you describe them as something that clashes with their established character, ie immortals who are more long lived than other immortals?




As for the HH book discussions, I would point out this: the crusade was at the time of the discussions still only in progress for a few centuries. The crusade simply did not last even long enough for the first marines to reach their natural maximum age. The natural lifespan was not actually known YET. So of course they wondered. A few hundred years later, they'd know for sure.Precisely. Telling your troops that they are immortal serves well to enhance their morale, loyalty and sense of superiority to other beings. You can do no wrong with that, especially if they can't find out until they've served their purpose. Getting the Imperial gerontologists to confirm that isn't hard in a totalitarian state - see how in Soviet Russia Stalin was hailed as the greatest scientist of all times and all his theories as true, which led to massive famines when he tried to "improve" agriculture.

And what's the point of making your troops immortal? It's bound to take some effort to code into their DNA and you're not going to use it anyway. The very source of discontent among Traitors was the fact that after the Crusade was done, Marines wouldn't be needed - the Emperor already started to replace them on compliant worlds. At best, he'd just be left with a peaceful galaxy and two millions of immortal grumpy men, bored to death by the peace.

Zweischneid
09-01-2011, 13:42
At best, he'd just be left with a peaceful galaxy and two millions of immortal grumpy men, bored to death by the peace.

Could always put them on TV to entertain the equally bored masses. It'd be like Running Man with Chainswords and Acid Spitting. Oh wait, I think a Chainsaw was in the Schwarzenegger movie already anyways.

But yah.. the question would be how did they get around the limited and deteriorating reproductive abilities of cells in the first place, which caps human lifespans at around 100 years or so. Presumably, they would have gotten around that, and not even to gain "immortality", but to provide Space Marines with the peak physical abilities of young adults in their prime. "Immortality" would almost be a side-product to being able to make cells of the human body reproduce flawlessly over time.

[edit]

And yes, sexualization (along with eternal youth) is a trait of many Vampire stories going back to Bram Stoker's Dracula, and it would certainly fit the theme, but we all know how prominent I.P.s will stear clear of sexuality even as they endorse the most blatant violence and gore-porn.

Balgora
09-01-2011, 13:51
But being overly sexualized is also a vampire trait, yet it's not used to describe Blood Angels because they're asexual by definition. Why would you describe them as something that clashes with their established character, ie immortals who are more long lived than other immortals?


Precisely. Telling your troops that they are immortal serves well to enhance their morale, loyalty and sense of superiority to other beings. You can do no wrong with that, especially if they can't find out until they've served their purpose. Getting the Imperial gerontologists to confirm that isn't hard in a totalitarian state - see how in Soviet Russia Stalin was hailed as the greatest scientist of all times and all his theories as true, which led to massive famines when he tried to "improve" agriculture.

And what's the point of making your troops immortal? It's bound to take some effort to code into their DNA and you're not going to use it anyway. The very source of discontent among Traitors was the fact that after the Crusade was done, Marines wouldn't be needed - the Emperor already started to replace them on compliant worlds. At best, he'd just be left with a peaceful galaxy and two millions of immortal grumpy men, bored to death by the peace.

1. Being overly 'sexualised' is not a common vampiric trait unless you like twilight..

2. Space marines are deeply masculine, they conform to typical strongman stereotypes..being religious does not take away your gender. They are essentially what every man of the imperium should want to be both physically and in personality.

If space marines actually could father children I think the imperium would probably jump at the chance for new recruits based on perfect space marine genetics, even if the child was normal and human that space marine was something special before he was transformed.

3. It is possible that immortality is not intentional, when you start looking into the causes of old age as an imperfection in our ability to copy and replace the cells of our own body each time one dies or due to injuries..making space marines have superhuman ability to recover from wounds could theoretically stave off the cellular degradation that is old age.

4. Space marines are already generally fanatically religious, why would they need to be told that they will live forever when it is considered an honour to die in battle and join the Emp in space marine heaven?

Idaan
09-01-2011, 14:37
1. Being overly 'sexualised' is not a common vampiric trait unless you like twilight..It is, ever since Polidori's "Vampyre" and Stoker's "Dracula" - the vampires are outlanders who come to steal the noble Englishman's women by seducing them and making them dangerously liberated. And it reaches even further back if you count non-European vampire archetypes such as ghulas. But that's beside the point.


2. Space marines are deeply masculine, they conform to typical strongman stereotypes..being religious does not take away your gender. They are essentially what every man of the imperium should want to be both physically and in personality.
I'd argue that being taken away from your family at the age of 11 and never having a chance to normally mature either psychically, sociologically or physically wouldn't make you masculine in the normal sense of the word. But what I meant is that they don't treat women as sexual subjects and have no sexual drive to speak of.


3. It is possible that immortality is not intentional, when you start looking into the causes of old age as an imperfection in our ability to copy and replace the cells of our own body each time one dies or due to injuries..making space marines have superhuman ability to recover from wounds could theoretically stave off the cellular degradation that is old age.Fair enough, I can agree with the explanation of immortality as extension of cellular regeneration. But still there are other causes of aging and for me it doesn't just fit thematically.


4. Space marines are already generally fanatically religious, why would they need to be told that they will live forever when it is considered an honour to die in battle and join the Emp in space marine heaven?But you're talking about modern Imperium, I was talking about Great Crusade era, which was strictly secular (so no afterlife) and Marines weren't as indoctrinated as they are now.

sycopat
09-01-2011, 14:55
1. Being overly 'sexualised' is not a common vampiric trait unless you like twilight..

2. Space marines are deeply masculine, they conform to typical strongman stereotypes..being religious does not take away your gender. They are essentially what every man of the imperium should want to be both physically and in personality.

If space marines actually could father children I think the imperium would probably jump at the chance for new recruits based on perfect space marine genetics, even if the child was normal and human that space marine was something special before he was transformed.

3. It is possible that immortality is not intentional, when you start looking into the causes of old age as an imperfection in our ability to copy and replace the cells of our own body each time one dies or due to injuries..making space marines have superhuman ability to recover from wounds could theoretically stave off the cellular degradation that is old age.

4. Space marines are already generally fanatically religious, why would they need to be told that they will live forever when it is considered an honour to die in battle and join the Emp in space marine heaven?

point 1: Dracula was a randy bastard too...

point 2: I assume this is about the asexuel thing. There's a couple of sources that point to space marines being infertile. If it weren't for that, then yes, I'm sure the Imperium would breed them heavily.

point 3: This is a very good point actually. Some function that repairs shortening telomeres in order to allow more cell divisions could potentially render a marine nigh immortal.

point 4: Heresy era marines were not religious, they're not the only ones told they are likely functionally immortal, but they would have been the first.

I'd like to clarify that despite my first post in this thread, I don't (currently)think marines are actually immortal. Perhaps heresy era ones may have been, and maybe a few generations after, but by now the process of creating a marine must have degenerated enough to make this impossible, and it is likely that the Blood Angels implantation process is merely the most effective, thus leading to better marines who consequentially live longer lives. (Or it might be the Vampire thing making them better marines who consequentially live longer lives...)

What I think is that the question is one that's not adequately supported on either side to have a definitive answer, because as far as any of us know no marine has died of old age and therefore we can't make any statements about average natural lifespan, and it is likely that neither can the Imperium. Thus we must take Imperial POV statements about "longest lived" to refer to the average length of time between when a marine is inducted and when he catches a bullet with his brain.

Hence the blood angels must be long lived in that their violent deaths occur later in life than the violent deaths of other chapters marines.

I suspect that the combination of this and the blood angels seemingly very high mortality rate in certain engagements combined with the slow induction rate means that the blood angels actually have a much larger chapter than 1000 brothers :shifty:

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 15:05
Astartes as Functionally immortal. This is kind of a moot thread.

Astartes lack telomeres on their dna strands so dont have debilitating flaws as they age of the flawed genes replaced "younger" ones in the body.

Astartes themselves live far longer than humans, as humans even with juvenat treatments and replacements by cloned organs still have trouble living to 200, and that is for the priviledged.

Adeptus Mechanicus can live so long by using incredibly ancient "elixars" to nourish their few organic components and replacing most with mechnical components.
-----------------------
Dante age is a marvel because he has survived for more than a thousand years of fighting. Few others can even come close, like the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar.

Astartes themselves arent overly religious and have many altercations with the Ecclesiarchy because they arent. Most astartes, especially the original loyalists legions known the Emperor is a man, and see him as the Greatest human and warrior ever.

Iuris
09-01-2011, 16:34
Astartes as Functionally immortal. This is kind of a moot thread.

Never heard that mentioned


Astartes lack telomeres on their dna strands so dont have debilitating flaws as they age of the flawed genes replaced "younger" ones in the body.
I don't think GW have EVER used the term telomere at all in their works... And if they did, it'd be depleted telomeres...


Astartes themselves live far longer than humans, as humans even with juvenat treatments and replacements by cloned organs still have trouble living to 200, and that is for the priviledged.
THAT is true, but contradicts the statements above


Adeptus Mechanicus can live so long by using incredibly ancient "elixars" to nourish their few organic components and replacing most with mechnical components.
True, up to a point. The eldest Magi have their intellects eroded by insanity eventually.


Dante age is a marvel because he has survived for more than a thousand years of fighting. Few others can even come close, like the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar.
Surviving for a thousand years while also being at the head of the assault is indeed remarkable. Still, I'll stand by the estimate that that age would be rarely reached by other astartes, regardless of combat.


Astartes themselves arent overly religious and have many altercations with the Ecclesiarchy because they arent. Most astartes, especially the original loyalists legions known the Emperor is a man, and see him as the Greatest human and warrior ever.
This depends from chapter to chapter, but broadly, yes, the Astartes cults are a thorn in Ecclesiarchy's side.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 16:42
The mechanicus insanity is partly based on the fact that after a certain point they literally start replacing pieces of the brain, until they are barely even cyborgs anymore. Also the fact that Admechs are insane in the first place thinking as machines more than organics is also a problem. Finally they are a religious sect fervently worshipping machines.

Another things is that Dante still looks relatively young despite battle damage. Logan grimnar is 800 years or more old and looks like my Grandfather 20 years ago.

In theory if the Astartes didnt battle so much they would live thousands of years, but since they are soldiers, even their Apothecaries and Librarians, engineers, etc living to 400 is quite an achievement.

I wonder how old some of the Custodes are?

DeeKay
09-01-2011, 18:03
Depends on the source. Blood Angels codex states that Dante is the oldest living Astartes. However, it is mentioned in Horus Rising I think that Astartes are functionally immortal, but due to their life purpose (war in the name of the Emperor) they will never get to enjoy immortality. Bit of a kick in the nuts when you think about it.

With regards,
Dan.

CasaHouse
09-01-2011, 18:39
Why did this thread come back? It's a moot point. The Blood Angel fluff is stupid, because Marine lifespan has always been a mystery. Blood Angel lifespan is therefore "Longer than a mystery", and that's stupid. Leave it lie. It's a throwback to them being space vampires, and now that they got rid of that, it makes even less sense.

Please, I really don't want to enumerate all the holes in this stupid piece of fluff again.

MvS
09-01-2011, 19:04
Some of the Heresy novels, Horus Rising and Prospero Burns to name two, both mention 'elderly' Space Marines.

The one in Horus Rising (I forget his name but I think he's a seneschal of some sort) might also have received injuries that made him unable to fight, I forget, but the one in Prospero Burns (a Rune Priest) is described as being as old as a Marine can get, looking slightly bent and very old. There isn't a suggestion that he can't fight effectively though - but then I haven't finished the book yet either.

I think it's okay to suggest that Marines don't age and are 'effectively immortal'. I think this is more a testament to the fact that the ends of their DNA strands, the telemors, don't shorten and fray, or perhaps their cells can better withstand the wear and tear of exposure to oxygen. Even with this sort of genetic wizardry, I suppose there are other forms of wear and tear that would eventually 'age' the Marine, although much more slowly and not necessarily in the same way as normal human ageing.

I've always preferred to think of the Blood Angels as not appearing to age at all. In real terms they probably live as long or as short as any other marine (i.e.: until they are killed violently), but if they stay looking as young and fresh as they did when they were first raised to Astartes they would certainly get a reputation and in that respect I think the Imperium is a bit like an office or schoolyard. Once you've got a reputation, you've got it for good.

OFF TOPIC:

Zweischneid: 'Codex' and 'Codices' are Latin words (like so many others in the English language) and the latter really is the proper, consistent and not at all archaic pluralisation of the former.

Just because something is used frequently doesn't make it 'correct' in terms of standard usage. If enough people started writing 'sheeps' instead of 'sheep' we could perhaps call it dialectical English, but 'sheep' as both the singular and plural of the word would still be the correct Standard English.

Granted there are probably linguistics professors who might argue that usage defines language rather than historical rules, but then again there are plenty more linguistic professors who would and do argue the contrary.

What I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't accept 'Codexes' in a game of Scrabble... ;)

Apologies to all for the diversion.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 19:13
Physically they can be corroded, fighting on hundreds of worlds can make their skin stretch and wrinkle and injuries can cause problems like spinal damage.

Blood Angels are the "pretty boys" of the chapters looking young and handsome when others can look like Logan Grimnar.

Iuris
09-01-2011, 19:25
Why did this thread come back? It's a moot point. The Blood Angel fluff is stupid, because Marine lifespan has always been a mystery. Blood Angel lifespan is therefore "Longer than a mystery", and that's stupid. Leave it lie. It's a throwback to them being space vampires, and now that they got rid of that, it makes even less sense.

Please, I really don't want to enumerate all the holes in this stupid piece of fluff again.

You haven't enumerated them at all yet. In case you haven't noticed, no one in the entire thread has agreed with your assertions. You "lost" the thread.

CasaHouse
09-01-2011, 19:50
You haven't enumerated them at all yet. In case you haven't noticed, no one in the entire thread has agreed with your assertions. You "lost" the thread.

Wow. That was unpleasant. Thanks for that. You have a nice day too.

All I did was apply logic to the existing fluff. I didn't really make any assertions. I just tried to make it make sense.

Iuris
09-01-2011, 20:00
No, that's exactly what you did not do.

The very existence of a quote noting the longevity of one chapter by itself implies the general mortality of all the Astartes. The only way that this statement makes sense at all is if all the marines are mortal. Same for statements that marines can live for centuries.

And sorry if I came on too strong, it's not my intention to offend, but I was essentially matching the tone you offered with the "stupid fluff" line.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 20:05
Can we agree that as space marines die from battle before reaching a "terminal" age, this thread is pretty moot?

CasaHouse
09-01-2011, 20:10
No need for an apology. I wasn't being the most pleasant either.

And it IS a stupid piece of fluff. Because we get beaten over the head with the fact that nobody knows how long Marines can live naturally, but then told Blood Angels live longer. That's dumb. It boils down to.

"What's Y?"

"More than X."

"What's X?"

"Nobody knows."

I'm sorry if my stance irritates any of you, but that statement, even without fluff context, is just pants-on-head stupid. With fluff attached, it's even worse. It is canon, but I cannot help but try to make sense of it. I literally can't help it.

Edit:
Can we agree that as space marines die from battle before reaching a "terminal" age, this thread is pretty moot?

That's the point I'm trying to make. That to live noticeably longer than X, the Blood Angels must be more survivable than each other marine chapter.

Iuris
09-01-2011, 20:32
Casa, I went and reread all your posts in this thread. From your first post you claim that the it is not known how long a marine's natural lifespan is. Every argument you make is deduced from that assumption.

But you never cited any source that would state that the lifespan is not known.

We, however, have sources citing that an Astartes can live for centuries. This directly invalidates your "lifespan is not known" assumption, therefore undermining your whole argument.

The way we read it logically: "Space marines are stated to live for centuries. Therefore their lifespan is limited. Blood angels are stated to be especially long lived, with examples of 1000 years being cited as exceptional age. Therefore, other space marines' lifespan is generally several centuries, but under 1000 years".

But you go: "We don't know how long space marines live. Since we don't know, it's not possible for a reference to Blood angels longevity to make sense. Therefore, it must mean that the Blood angels are better at surviving wars."

Really, look at the Blood angels. Look at the rules, the bonuses, the constant mention that one of them can always be lost to the red thirst. These only hint at regular, or even an extra short lifetime on average. Not an extra long one.

Idaan
09-01-2011, 20:39
However, it is mentioned in Horus Rising I think that Astartes are functionally immortal, but due to their life purpose (war in the name of the Emperor) they will never get to enjoy immortality.
Nope, it says:

Loken thought about Abaddon's words. Death was the single expectation of each and every Astartes. Violent death. It was not an if, it was a when. In the service of the Imperium, each of them would eventually sacrifice his life. They were phlegmatic about it. It would happen, it was that sim*ple. One day, tomorrow, next year. It would happen.
There was an irony, of course. To all intents and pur*poses, and by every measurement known to the gene-scientists and gerontologists, the Astartes, like the primarchs, were immortals. Age would not wither them,
nor bring them down. They would live forever... five thousand years, ten thousand, beyond even that into some unimaginable millennium. Except for the scythe
of war.Note how it's all part of Loken's musings. And how the regime for which they served also told them that Chaos doesn't exist.

Seriously, this is the first (and I think only) mention of this, contradicting all previously existing fluff (even the bit on Primarchs being immortal contradicts Codex Imperialis saying explicitly that though long lived, they weren't immortal). Before Horus Rising, I don't recall a single person arguing for Marine immortality - it was widely accepted that they lived 500-1000 years depending on the Chapter, and that those too old to serve were moved to Chapter Staff as instructors and advisors.

So either:
this is either next instance of people mistakenly taking in-universe opinion as 100% true and trying to force it on others, similar to the Dragon being on Earth or the Laughing God being Deceiver.
or
this is another idiotic retcon just for the sake of changing things and making them more "awesome" like Narvhals, Tactical Marines being the most skilled Marines, and Marneus Calgar being the spiritual liege of all Chapters.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 20:51
Oh dear Emperor, you just started it up again.

CasaHouse
09-01-2011, 20:55
No. I'm not gonna keep beating a dead horse. Nobody really wants it to make sense, apparently. So I'll leave it be. I'm sorry that me trying to logically figure it out rather than just accepting "Lol. Canon. Good enough." irritates so many of you.

-Casa

And for Reference, in Nick Kyme's Salamander, it's stated explicitly that not even Marines themselves know how long they can live, because their lifestyle makes knowing impossible.

Idaan
09-01-2011, 21:01
How about that:

The Chaos Gods have promised immortality and the power to indulge the Traitor Marines' deepest, darkest secrets.


THE SONS OF SANGUINIUS
The Blood Angels are amongst the longest-lived of all of the Space Marine Chapters, their gene-seed granting a vastly increased lifespan on all who possess it. It is not uncommon, therefore, for a Blood Angel to live for a millennium or more, if death in battle or the Red Thirst does not claim him first.
LOL, canon.

Iuris
09-01-2011, 21:04
Loken was just a naive teenager at the time, anyway :) Not even a quarter expected age :)

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 21:16
When is the last time you heard of a Space marine dying peacefully in their sleep? Im not talking about the near death comas brought on by the Sus-An Membrane but just got so old they didnt wake up one day?

Iuris
09-01-2011, 21:24
When was the last time you've heard of a guardsman dieing peacefully in his bed? Or of a guardsman marrying? Having sex? Doing an honest day's work?

GW is so bound up with the war porn they just don't write about the stuff that HAS to happen on the side. FFG are way better in this respect.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 21:27
You mean work details, shore leave, fraternisation, etc? fairly often.

Gaunt's father was an Imperial Guard officer, still had a son and "a honest days work" in his own home.

Imperialis_Dominatus
09-01-2011, 21:38
Old thread is old. Anyway. The age thing, you're on one side or another and neither one will budge. But:


It's a throwback to them being space vampires, and... they got rid of that

Eh... when?

Like, really. I've read through the new Blood Angels Codex, and while it's not as pronounced and obvious as, say, Mephiston's picture in Codex: Angels of Death, it's most definitely still there and going strong.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 21:42
So Mephiston can stare people do death and Zoanthropes are psychic vampires? Chuck Norris can do that too.

Iuris
09-01-2011, 21:45
You mean work details, shore leave, fraternisation, etc? fairly often.

Gaunt's father was an Imperial Guard officer, still had a son and "a honest days work" in his own home.

I've got many BL books and codices, and I can't remember any retirements, though. Not a single story where you get a guardsman getting his deserved retirement. One desertion that noone comments on, but not retirement. Certainly no deaths in bed.

A marine dieing in bed is a rare occurence, certainly. But given what GW focuses on, it'd hardly be portrayed. The closest to a retirement portrayal is the "long walk" the Salamanders do - and that was only taken from Judge Dredd, I'll wager...

So, lack of portrayal does not necessarily mean that it doesn't happen.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 21:51
It wasnt literal but have you heard of any space marines die during peaceful time?

See this thread is moot, they all die in battle, because there is always another battle to fight.

Iuris
09-01-2011, 22:17
Heard of, no, but that's the point: a space marine dieing of old age is not something GW is likely to write about. GW doesn't write about a lot of things that must exist, that's why I'm saying that the fact GW never wrote of one that dies of old age doesn't mean that none do.

I certainly believe many do.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 22:21
I think you just jumped past any logic right there.

"the absence of evidence isnt the evidence of absence"

Iuris
09-01-2011, 22:36
Actually, "lack of evidence is not evidence of lack" is logic.

Look. Does GW write about non-military aspects of the 40k world? Rarely, and if it does, it doesn't make much of an effort.

For example, we all know that for every IG regiment, there has to be a whole apparatus delivering food, water, ammo, clothing, medicine and so on. There HAS to be, otherwise it wouldn't work. But does GW write about it? Not unless there are fuel trucks for enemy infiltrators to blow up.

GW writes a lot about how heroic the Astartes are. That's exciting, it promotes sales etc. But there's a lot that GW simply doesn't bother writing about. Logistics, political relations, travel time considerations and so on.

Given what GW does and does not write about, it's unlikely they'd allocate resources to write about a less attractive topic like Astartes retirement.

This is my estimate of GW resource allocation preferences, from my experience with BL books and codices. Logical so far?

OK, now: GW doesn't write about retirement of IG. Yet we expect them to be normally mortal, have all those embarassing old age health problems and so on - but it's just not something GW would write about.

The same applies to the Astartes. Whether Astartes die of old age or not, GW would not write about it.

Therefore, lack of mention of Astartes retirement does not mean that Astartes do not retire, just like lack of mention of IG retirement does not mean that IG do not retire.

This is my counter argument to the argument that Astartes are never mentioned to die of old age.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 22:43
There are non military thinsg in every book, different ways for food to come like in ration packs, live animals, paste, then different kinds vehicles they use like speeders or old fashioned trucks, then tell about guardsmen trying to become intimate with females either from their own regiments or when off duty like at medical facilities or on shore leave on some planet. they also tell about different planet types like civilised planets where people have kids, work in factories and administrative buildings then but vid-boxes for their families to watch in their free time.

They also show various parts of astartes lives such as simple robes when out of armor food, training, their living situations, etc.

saying that no one wrights about anything but war means you have a war obsession or just dont read anything but codexes.

If GW doesnt wright about IG retirement its mainly because of how difficult it is. Even when regiments are whittled down to only squads they are still usually attached to other greater regments so you can have a squad of Catachan Veterans inside of Mordian regiment station of Cadia.

Iuris
09-01-2011, 22:59
Are you forgetting the topic?

If GW doesnt wright about IG retirement its mainly because of how difficult it is. Even when regiments are whittled down to only squads they are still usually attached to other greater regments so you can have a squad of Catachan Veterans inside of Mordian regiment station of Cadia.
So? You deny neither that GW doesn't write about it neither that it doesn't happen. GW doesn't write about it for GW, doesn't write about if for SM or for anyone else. That's kinda the point of what I'm saying, that the fact that GW doesn't write about it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

And it certainly doesn't explain why a quote about a chapter's longevity would not imply a limited life span for the Astartes.

oh, and:

saying that no one wrights about anything but war means you have a war obsession or just dont read anything but codexes.
Actually, I read most BL books and few codices. GW's writers hardly ever write what you described above. Far too little of it, actually. That's what I'm ACCUSING GW's writers of. Of writing too shallow, failing to address real issues that they could.

ChaosTicket
09-01-2011, 23:04
Yes lets see a whole novel about IG retirees. Might be interesting to compare real world retired soldiers and 40k ones.

I dont think I have read a single 40k that doesnt add some depth to non combat behavior. I dont even think one exists.
----------------
And I thought that Dante's status as LIVING for 1000+ years was so important already stated in some way or another.

Balgora
10-01-2011, 08:17
It is, ever since Polidori's "Vampyre" and Stoker's "Dracula" - the vampires are outlanders who come to steal the noble Englishman's women by seducing them and making them dangerously liberated. And it reaches even further back if you count non-European vampire archetypes such as ghulas. But that's beside the point.


I'd argue that being taken away from your family at the age of 11 and never having a chance to normally mature either psychically, sociologically or physically wouldn't make you masculine in the normal sense of the word. But what I meant is that they don't treat women as sexual subjects and have no sexual drive to speak of.

Fair enough, I can agree with the explanation of immortality as extension of cellular regeneration. But still there are other causes of aging and for me it doesn't just fit thematically.

But you're talking about modern Imperium, I was talking about Great Crusade era, which was strictly secular (so no afterlife) and Marines weren't as indoctrinated as they are now.

I did contemplate adding in a little note saying that me being blunt was unintentional , again the numbered list is not to make anybody feel stupid it is because I am dyselxic and I have trouble organising my thoughts. Just saying, because I know people can misunderstand.

Vampires have more often than not been more monsters than men, considering that almost 'every' culture has an equivalent concept and most of them are evil zombie men and other such interesting things.

I'd agree that marines have no sexual drive to speak of, but having no sexual drive does not take away your gender or appearance of gender to other people :).

I don't mind marines being mortal either, I can just see that if any writer wanted it to be true it wouldn't be as much of a stetch as most of the things we take for granted.

And I hadn't thought of your last point, you're very right about them having no afterlife as part of the emp's wishes. But then I think if you're heavily indoctrinated from childhood anyway you might not even need religion to feel good about death.

madden
10-01-2011, 08:36
Imp gaurd retierment happens there's an esinhorn short story where he deals with some as to marines the libbie in the second dawn of war novel was taking long slow retierment on rathe watching over final stage scouts (yes he died in battle) so he wanted a rest as his reactions were slower and had trouble keeping up(relitivly speaking) yes I know it's goto but I like it.

Zweischneid
10-01-2011, 10:44
OFF TOPIC:

Zweischneid: 'Codex' and 'Codices' are Latin words (like so many others in the English language) and the latter really is the proper, consistent and not at all archaic pluralisation of the former.

Just because something is used frequently doesn't make it 'correct' in terms of standard usage. If enough people started writing 'sheeps' instead of 'sheep' we could perhaps call it dialectical English, but 'sheep' as both the singular and plural of the word would still be the correct Standard English.

Granted there are probably linguistics professors who might argue that usage defines language rather than historical rules, but then again there are plenty more linguistic professors who would and do argue the contrary.

What I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't accept 'Codexes' in a game of Scrabble... ;)

Apologies to all for the diversion.

Is it? I guess I'd just have to bring an Oxford Dictionary to both your linguistics professors and the game of scrabble. As for the rest, check the link in my sig for further discussion (especially the correct pluralization (by source-language) of Latin, Greek, Chinese (e.g. "Tea"), Sanskrit ("Avatar"), Afrikan ("Banana"), or any number of other loanwords in the English language).


[edit]
Indeed, I think the discussion is found under: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=279662

Iuris
10-01-2011, 11:10
Is it?
It is actually, the word was adopted into English while people still knew Latin and got a proper irregular plural at the time :) People just forgot about it.


Yes lets see a whole novel about IG retirees. Might be interesting to compare real world retired soldiers and 40k ones.

Damn straight. I WANT more real fluff... that's why I like FFG 1000% more than 40k. They take all the best of 40k and add some sense to it.


I dont think I have read a single 40k that doesnt add some depth to non combat behavior. I dont even think one exists.
They add maybe a ten feet of water, then, and I want a proper ocean. No, really. I think you overestimate the depth of the novels. The reader usually has to interpret them to bring out depth.

Zweischneid
10-01-2011, 11:14
It is actually, the word was adopted into English while people still knew Latin and got a proper irregular plural at the time :) People just forgot about it.

I doubt the editorial department of the Oxford Dictionary "just forgot about it", especially since they recommend both (with Codices in a more scientific setting).

Again, check the link in my sig and/or the proper discussion linked above.

MvS
10-01-2011, 14:16
I doubt the editorial department of the Oxford Dictionary "just forgot about it"
No, but the Oxford Dictionary tends to fall into the category of usage defining language, although they still tend to place 'codices' before 'codexes' (online example: http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0160020#m_en_gb0160020). They tend to add popular slang words and spellings some years that fade into obscurity and are removed in other years - I'm just waiting for 'irregardless' to make an appearance. :)

'Codexes' may end up standing the test of time in terms of usage, but it is still an incorrect usage that became 'acceptable' because of usage. Again, time may change this, but it is incorrect to suggest that 'Codices' is the wrong usage outside of s scientific setting while 'Codexes' is correct in our usage here for 40K. 'Codexes' is acceptable but still a colloquialism - at least to an international audience.

And my 2010 Scrabble dictionary only offers Codices. So there.

I think that it won't be Space Marines who will be dying of old age if we continue this discussion though! Perhaps if you'd like to carry it on we could resurrect the thread it was discussed in...

Crazy Ivan
10-01-2011, 14:44
Damn straight. I WANT more real fluff... that's why I like FFG 1000% more than 40k. They take all the best of 40k and add some sense to it.

Cain's Last Stand has a Imperial Guard retiree from Corona living a civilian life on Perlia (and then volunteering for the planetary militia, but that's beside the point... he was an expy of Cpl. Jones from Dad's Army, anyway).

The same novel also has a retired Storm Trooper Colonel and a retired Commissar (Cain himself); there's even a retired Battle Sister (they were all instructors at a Schola, but they weren't supposed to go back into combat).

Also, Black Library has announced a novel (Imperial Glory) about a Brimlock Dragoons regiment fighting for a world so they may gain right of conquest and settle the place.

Iuris
10-01-2011, 17:00
If anyone still remembers why the argument existed, so do we have a few marines that hint at retirement:
Maloghurst, a marine whose injured body no longer allowed him combat participation, was retired to a non-combat position in the legion (existence of non-combat postings for non-combat-worthy marines)
Iacton Qruze, is mostly alienated due to being of Terran origin, however, he stresses that in spite of what everyone thinks, he's not yet unable to perform his duties, which indicates that he was expected to lose effectiveness with time

Idaan
10-01-2011, 19:42
I did contemplate adding in a little note saying that me being blunt was unintentional , again the numbered list is not to make anybody feel stupid it is because I am dyselxic and I have trouble organising my thoughts. Just saying, because I know people can misunderstand.
No offense taken, and IMHO it's actually a very good thing that you number your arguments. A lot of people don't do that, and we get several pages of people getting confused over what the main argument was and then overanalyzing a single word in someone's post. Just like in this thread.


When was the last time you've heard of a guardsman dieing peacefully in his bed? Or of a guardsman marrying? Having sex? Doing an honest day's work?

GW is so bound up with the war porn they just don't write about the stuff that HAS to happen on the side. FFG are way better in this respect.
I'd argue that this isn't a good example. Firstly, there are numerous examples of retired Guardsmen - they fill the ranks of the Drill Abbots in Schola Progenium, and after a succesful campaign a whole regiment can be granted Right of Conquest on their last conquered planet, creating a new Imperial world. I recall Tanith being a step from being granted one, and Minerva in Armageddon 3 campaign is a world conquered by an Armageddon mechanized regiment. That's just off the top of my head.

Secondly, retiring actually is a pretty heroic feat for Imperial Guard because it basically proves that they can survive the meatgrinder Munitorum has thrown them, already counting them as losses. There's a pretty good reason most regiments don't get reinforcements - being annihilated is calculated into the cost.

A better comparison would be: have you ever heard of Space Marine taking a dump (all the scatophilia in Ian Watson's books non-withstanding)? Or anyone for that matter? That's just an every day activity, but it's not awesome enough. Or have you heard of a Terminator falling through the floor because it couldn't support him? Or a Titan tripping over something? By simple logic, it's bound to have happened at least once due to their inherent design flaws, but it would look totally unheroic.

[lexus]
10-01-2011, 20:20
When was the last time you've heard of a guardsman dieing peacefully in his bed? Or of a guardsman marrying? Having sex? Doing an honest day's work?

GW is so bound up with the war porn they just don't write about the stuff that HAS to happen on the side. FFG are way better in this respect.

Oh, there are some stories that have sex. Not into detail though.

Asides from that, why would you want to read about a retired guardsmen. It starts with how the guy wakes up, how his war wounds hurt like hell, and then proceeds to detail how the guy runs his own farm. A sci fi novel about farming in the future. Hmm, yeah, really interesting, bet it becomes an instant best seller.

ashc
10-01-2011, 20:30
;5233525']Oh, there are some stories that have sex. Not into detail though.

Asides from that, why would you want to read about a retired guardsmen. It starts with how the guy wakes up, how his war wounds hurt like hell, and then proceeds to detail how the guy runs his own farm. A sci fi novel about farming in the future. Hmm, yeah, really interesting, bet it becomes an instant best seller.

Intergalactic haemorrhoids can be murder.

Harwammer
10-01-2011, 20:40
;5233525']A sci fi novel about farming in the future. Hmm, yeah, really interesting, bet it becomes an instant best seller.

Wasn't this basically how the Star Wars films started? (okay its set a longtime ago... in the future!)


I'm just waiting for 'irregardless' to make an appearance. :)

You say that but I bet you could care less :D

Getting on topic I'm pretty sure this is one of those things GW leaves open for the reader to decide on / argue about. I'm glad to see it's working!

Idaan
10-01-2011, 20:42
;5233525']Oh, there are some stories that have sex. Not into detail though.

Asides from that, why would you want to read about a retired guardsmen. It starts with how the guy wakes up, how his war wounds hurt like hell, and then proceeds to detail how the guy runs his own farm. A sci fi novel about farming in the future. Hmm, yeah, really interesting, bet it becomes an instant best seller.

Actually, one of the greatest fanfics I've read was about a retired Guardsman reliving all of the horrors of his service in his memory and then having to face them again as a Genestealer infestation appeared on his planet. Really like Stephen King at his best - a random adolescent kid meets a mysterious old guy, tortured by his past that comes back for him.

[lexus]
11-01-2011, 05:53
Wasn't this basically how the Star Wars films started? (okay its set a longtime ago... in the future!)
You mean episode IV? Where was the farming part in that?



Actually, one of the greatest fanfics I've read was about a retired Guardsman reliving all of the horrors of his service in his memory and then having to face them again as a Genestealer infestation appeared on his planet. Really like Stephen King at his best - a random adolescent kid meets a mysterious old guy, tortured by his past that comes back for him.

Oh that does sound like a really awesome story. Then again, if its about reliving all the horrors of service, then its probably 'war porn' again. The guy I quoted was saying that there never are any stories that do not involve the horrors of war but are about the daily life of your average Imperial citizen.

Well, maybe you could actually make a good story about some citizen in a Hive World. Especially when it is described as something terrible by most GW sources. At least, when youre not some upper class rich trade merchant or noble.

shadowhawk2008
11-01-2011, 06:53
Luke's uncle owns a moisture farm which Luke helps with. His uncle bought c3po and r2d2 to help with some of the farming machinery. Luke wanted to leave the farm and go to the Imperial Academy but his uncle told him to stay for another season.

[lexus]
11-01-2011, 09:35
Luke's uncle owns a moisture farm which Luke helps with. His uncle bought c3po and r2d2 to help with some of the farming machinery. Luke wanted to leave the farm and go to the Imperial Academy but his uncle told him to stay for another season.

Well yes, but that takes like 20 minutes before the Empire comes along, murders the farmers and sets the farm on fire. Sure, if the story was about a retired guardsmen farming and suddenly Orks invade and set is farm on fire, forcing him to fight back, I wouldnt mind reading about it. But, thats war porn again. And some user here said that he didnt want to read any war porn. So, that means, just a guardsmen farming, no invasions, no aliens ready to kill everything, nothing of that all. Id say thats boring.

abasio
11-01-2011, 13:30
No, but the Oxford Dictionary tends to fall into the category of usage defining language, although they still tend to place 'codices' before 'codexes' (online example: http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0160020#m_en_gb0160020). They tend to add popular slang words and spellings some years that fade into obscurity and are removed in other years - I'm just waiting for 'irregardless' to make an appearance. :)


They're already way ahead of you http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0422200#m_en_gb0422200 :cries:

OT

Almost all marines die a violent death, I reckon if a marine was starting to get a bit old and his reflexes weren't as sharp as they used to be and he was a bit slower, he'd probably be killed on the battlefield. Remember that Space Marines fight against some of the toughest enemies so if they lose a bit of vigour then it's more than likely they'll be killed before it becomes very noticable.

Everything degrades, even if they were made out of iron, they would eventually rust and decompose. What I mean is that nothing physical is functionally immortal, just very long lived. Physics and warp entities maybe closer to immortal but they will all still die eventually.

MvS
11-01-2011, 18:19
They're already way ahead of you http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0422200#m_en_gb0422200 :cries:
I just died a little inside.

I'll hold on to the small 'informal' in its description. I'll take it to mean 'slang'.

borithan
12-01-2011, 12:31
I just died a little inside.

I'll hold on to the small 'informal' in its description. I'll take it to mean 'slang'.Think that is pretty much what it means. And it does say it is usually regarded as incorrect English.

Where have you been hearing this? It claims to be a 19th century word. Has it come back in fashion recently?

Lazy ninja
23-01-2011, 15:07
As mentioned, the statement about marines being immortal is a musing by a normal human, regarding a class of super soldier that has't even been around for a human life time yet, how would he know if they die of old age or not? Why do marines physically age and get grey hair etc and look old, thats a clear sign of an ageing proccess, the slow onset of imprecision in cellular reproduction. If they're immortal why would they age?

Agreed, you don't hear about marines dying from old age because its not the kind of topic that needs to be discussed, it doesn't mention that marines go to the toilet or yawn. It renders the Su-san membrane partly useless, why go into suspended animation barring a vacuum if the time your spend trapped somewhere doesn't mean anything to you. Marines will almost always die in battle, when they're getting on they may become more suicidal to be of use one final time. The blood angels being mentioned as long-lived only points to the fact that they must die. I f not its the equivalent of saying 'blood angels use boltguns...'

Parallaxus
19-03-2013, 09:48
Given there are 8 pages on this matter and I only felt like reading the first ytwo, I have to respond to a few things, actually just one. Someone said it was stupid to assume they can die of old age when not recorded case of death from old age exists. I find that statement so unintelligent it offends me as a fellow human being. When some of the marines began to have aching joints at 600-1200 years old do you all not understand the definition of immortality? It doesn't mean 2000 years or 20,000 years or 200,000 years or 2,000,000 or 2,000,000,000,000,000 years it means eternity. It's inconcievably narrow-minded to assume they CAN'T die of old age. I'm appalled at the child-like brain power demonstrated in some of these posts. Also, you need to define dying of old age. If someone loses enough ability to get themselves around to even feed themselves, they'll naturally die of thirst/starvation, which, in my opinion is death of old age even though organ failure technically came from maltrution and the body cannibalizing itself or heart stopping from lack of water and oxygen. It seems obvious they would eventually die. 30k and 40k medicine and military grade biological advancements may have improved body function a ten-fold or a hundred-fold but immortal not even close. Gross negligence throwing around the word immortal outside of sonorous novel story telling.