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grumbaki
09-04-2013, 23:58
Do any exist? And if so...how? Without hiding in the warp and without the patronage of the chaos gods, wouldn't they have died of old age by now? Or at least gotten so immobile that if the Dark Angels came they'd be easy meat.

I seem to recall hearing somewhere about non-chaos aligned fallen, but the logistics of it escape me. Anyone more familiar with 40k lore willing to help?

A Shadow
10-04-2013, 01:16
When they Fallen were scattred they were scattered throught both space and time, so they may have popped out 10,000 years from the Fall of Caliban.

m1acca1551
10-04-2013, 02:49
^ this

When they were whisked away by the dark gods time meant nothing, to them they could have simply blinked and awaken to realise that 10,000 years have actually passed in real space.

So there are probably quite a few running around that are neither chaos nor able to rejoin the imperium of man, i would like to think that most will become mercenaries, im sure that the Tau wouldn't have an issue with employing former SM with a don't ask don't tell policy for incursions and black bag missions of neighboring worlds.

TheDungen
10-04-2013, 05:31
That and as it has been discussed many times before (and if its true or not don't have to be discussed again, if it is true it's contributing factor if it isn't it isn't) there is no solid proof marines die of old age, they may also have been changed by the exposure to the warp they experienced in transfer.

I always liked my fallen stuck somewhere in between not truly trusted by other chaos forces but not able to return to the imperium.

Idomeneus
10-04-2013, 11:01
Astelan in Angels of Darkness was non Chaos aligned, and was quite angry at being associated with Horus' rebels. I would give you a quote but I haven't got the book any more. As to the age thing, in Horus Rising Loken muses that "to all intents and purposes, 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."

Horus38
10-04-2013, 12:28
They definitely exist. His goals are somewhat ambiguous but I'd almost go so far as to say that Cypher isn't even truly a Chaotic Fallen.

The Warmaster
10-04-2013, 13:16
To the people claiming that Space Marines are (likely) immortal: this was apparently proved false by Fabius Bile during the Heresy (it's covered in Angel Exterminatus - he says that he's proved it to be a myth, and that the reason behind all of his experiments is so that he can truly live forever... it's far from a major plot point, so I don't think spoiler tags are necessary). Keep in mind that this was conjecture coming from a time when the oldest Astartes were no more than 200-300 years old at most, depending on just how long they were around for during the Unification era.

As far as non-Chaotic Fallen go: The White Dwarf Chapter Approved article on Cypher from '02-'03 does mention that they exist. Not all of them became Chaos Marines, and some actually do regret their actions, or just decide to go off and do their own thing, Emperor and Chaos be damned. Also, I remember Jervis Johnson (Cypher's creator) saying that Cypher is definitely not a CSM on the old Black Library forums several years ago.

Idaan
10-04-2013, 15:56
To the people claiming that Space Marines are (likely) immortal: this was apparently proved false by Fabius Bile during the Heresy (it's covered in Angel Exterminatus - he says that he's proved it to be a myth, and that the reason behind all of his experiments is so that he can truly live forever... it's far from a major plot point, so I don't think spoiler tags are necessary). Keep in mind that this was conjecture coming from a time when the oldest Astartes were no more than 200-300 years old at most, depending on just how long they were around for during the Unification era.

Cool to see that someone in GW has some sense. But hasn't it been stated in the FW Heresy book that Marines actually are immortal, from an out-of character point of view? Gotta love the communication breakdown that created the M. Night Shyamalanesque twist of "they're immortal... except they aren't... EXCEPT THEY ARE"!

Idomeneus
10-04-2013, 19:10
Immortalception... maybe... I don't know, who do I trust more, forgeworld or a mad bad apothcary? Probably fabius :p Still gonna say they're immortal because it's cooler that way.

Lord Damocles
10-04-2013, 19:42
Cool to see that someone in GW has some sense. But hasn't it been stated in the FW Heresy book that Marines actually are immortal, from an out-of character point of view? Gotta love the communication breakdown that created the M. Night Shyamalanesque twist of "they're immortal... except they aren't... EXCEPT THEY ARE"!
I'd be extremely wary of such a claim without a direct quote. The majority of Betrayal seems to be presented as if composed by the in-universe character who writes the preface on pg.9 ('It is for this reason that I have assembled this record, the first volume of which you hold in your hand. Into it I have poured my learning and my memory.')

A Shadow
11-04-2013, 00:11
If anyone has read the Tome of Fire trilogy they do find a 10,000 year old Marine. But he's decrepit.

The Warmaster
11-04-2013, 06:52
But hasn't it been stated in the FW Heresy book that Marines actually are immortal, from an out-of character point of view?

Take a look at the preface - it's not out-of-character/god's eye. Betrayal (or at the least the background parts) is written from the perspective of a human archivist or remembrancer who witnessed a lot of the events of the HH, presumably in the years following the Siege of Terra. ;)

EDIT: Looks like Lord Damocles got in ahead of me!

EDIT 2: In the case of the Marine in the Tome of Fire trilogy, did it specify how he lived so long? There are known cases of Marines living for a very long time in Sus-an membrane-induced stasis, after all (see: Zho Sahaal).

Idomeneus
11-04-2013, 09:36
I think they probably aren't immortal unless they gain sufficient awesomeness levels, at which point they transcend mortality for plot reasons. Like Sevatar or Loken.

The Warmaster
11-04-2013, 10:21
I think they probably aren't immortal unless they gain sufficient awesomeness levels, at which point they transcend mortality for plot reasons. Like Sevatar or Loken.

Except the Night Lords trilogy states that Sevatar dies. But I get your point. :p

TheDungen
11-04-2013, 10:38
the idea that space marines may be technically immortal wasn't stupid. all humans are technically immortal no one ever dies of age. you die of organ failure (which often is due to the fact that cellular mitosis becomes harder with age), and while age makes that more and more likely space marines have an incredible redundant physiology. Considering how expensive making a space marine is they should've made sure there was no upper limits to how long they could be maintained providing frequent enough medical check ups. compared to the major changes made to a human to make him a space marine solving the ageing issue (making sure cellular regeneration does not drop with age) should a be a pretty small thing.

Personally i prefer my space marines immortal but ageing ofcourse. I even wrote a story about a fallen who after millenia of resisting falls to nurgle because of his despair over ageing.

The Warmaster
11-04-2013, 14:34
the idea that space marines may be technically immortal wasn't stupid. all humans are technically immortal no one ever dies of age. you die of organ failure (which often is due to the fact that cellular mitosis becomes harder with age), and while age makes that more and more likely space marines have an incredible redundant physiology. Considering how expensive making a space marine is they should've made sure there was no upper limits to how long they could be maintained providing frequent enough medical check ups. compared to the major changes made to a human to make him a space marine solving the ageing issue (making sure cellular regeneration does not drop with age) should a be a pretty small thing.

Personally i prefer my space marines immortal but ageing ofcourse. I even wrote a story about a fallen who after millenia of resisting falls to nurgle because of his despair over ageing.

Not only does mitosis become harder, but it stops entirely. This is because your cells shut off the process once the telomeres (buffers of nonfunctional DNA on the ends of your chromosomes, which shorten every time your DNA replicates) get below a certain length, known as the Hayflick limit - this happens after about 50 replications of the chromosomes. As more cells reach this point, you're going to suffer from increasing health problems as those cells become cluttered with debris and harmful mutations, the vast majority of which would normally be cleared out during mitosis. And even if you managed to prevent senescence, e.g. by reactivating production of the telomerase enzyme to replenish telomeres, not ALL of these mutations would vanish... which means that you'd effectively be replacing death by senescence with death by cancers of some sort (keep in mind that cancer cells are defined by their immortalisation, which is achieved with the exact same mechanism).

Now, in M41, and especially M31 (given the technological degradation since then), I figure that routine medical treatment like that received by Space Marines would definitely help to prevent a lot of these problems from arising. Still, since physical ageing seems to be a byproduct of senescence (it can be reversed by reactivating telomerase in mice, at least), and we know that Marines can even get old enough for active duty, e.g. a Chaplain mentioned in the Soul Drinkers books, I think we can rule out cell immortalisation. And that basically means that their biology is absolutely amazing in combination with medical treatment. But, even then, the idea of them being able to live forever still seems a bit iffy, since it's more a matter of prolonging the inevitable. Sure, as you said, the idea of Space Marines living forever isn't impossible, it's just so damn unlikely that it might as well be.

After all, SMs do have weaknesses apart from being shot, burned, melted, vaporised, crushed, or carved up. Radiation is one: see the World Eaters Destroyer sergeant in Betrayer who had to have his larynx removed due to severe cancer (caused by exposure to his own rad-weapons) and replaced with a vox-unit. Also, one of the stories in the Tales of Heresy anthology ("Wolf at the Door", from memory) involves Space Wolves operating in a heavily irradiated region for long periods of time, with the end result being that some of their implants (such as the Larraman's organ) fail. I'm sure there's a lot that could be done to correct it, but it wouldn't be too hard for even background radiation to lead to an inoperable tumor in some vital brain region. Sure, their Melanchromic organs protect against radiation by increasing melanin density, but it's not perfect - that'd really only work against solar UV, anyway.

In any case, you just have to remember that this is a universe where, despite normal biological and physical laws and principles holding true, handwavium and Warp magic can easily override anything in the name of the almighty Rule of Cool. So, if you want immortal Space Marines, then you'll have yourself some immortal Space Marines! I'm more of a fan of the long-lived-but-mortal kind, myself, since 1. it makes a lot more sense, and 2. it's a nice contrast against the lofty and oft-detached ideals that went into their creation, like with so much else in the Imperium... but that's just me.

Beaviz
11-04-2013, 23:03
Of course, many have repented, but they cannot fully repent. So it ends that way.

TheDungen
12-04-2013, 13:54
really good post warmaster. Well immortality is in its essence paradoxical because even if you don't have any health issues the risk of something happening to you approaches infinity as you lifetime does so. If you have a constant likelihood of dying the chance of being dead at a certain point in time after your birth is still linearly increasing with you age. Compared to a normal human where the chance of dying at a certain point in time increases linearly (very simplified) with age meaning that the chance of being dead increases cubically.

if you're not instrested in math skip this part
t= age in years
p1=chance of dying
p2=chance of being dead
a= arbitrary set of coefeciennts
c=arbitrary constant

technical immortal
p1(t)=a
p2(t)=at+c (the antiderivative of p1)

human
p1(t)=at
p2(t)=at2 +c

all greatly simplified of course

That's why i don't mind space marines being technical immortals, because the number of space marines alive at a certain age is still going to decrease at least linearly.

A Shadow
13-04-2013, 09:18
EDIT 2: In the case of the Marine in the Tome of Fire trilogy, did it specify how he lived so long? There are known cases of Marines living for a very long time in Sus-an membrane-induced stasis, after all (see: Zho Sahaal).

No, an exact age is never mentioned. From the description of how they find him I do not believe he was in a sus-an induced coma, and he seems to have memories of Istvaan.