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Marinestealers?

Space Marines Genestealer Cults

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12 replies to this topic

#1
Zephaniah Adriyen

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Would it be possible for a Chapter of Space Marines to become a Genestealer Cult? Maybe their gene-seed gets tainted by a Genestealer, and the Patriarch becomes their new Chapter Master? Just a thought I had, not sure if it'd work.


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#2
Marshal Loss

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In the Word Bearers trilogy (I believe it was the second book) by A. Reynolds, a Word Bearer is infected by a Genestealer. It's been a long time since I read it but I think his brothers put him down as a mercy before anything can happen. I'm not particularly well acquainted with GSC lore but I think the premise is sound, with the issue being that tainting such a large number of space marines would be borderline impossible and that they can't reproduce, making them less than ideal targets for the cult.


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#3
Arson Fire

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I think there's something like that in the fluff in the space hulk game too.  A wounded space marine gets infected by a genestealer, and starts mutating. Growing fangs, a bulbous cranium, etc.  He asks to be put out of his misery.



#4
Brother Tyler

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I think there's something like that in the fluff in the space hulk game too.  A wounded space marine gets infected by a genestealer, and starts mutating. Growing fangs, a bulbous cranium, etc.  He asks to be put out of his misery.

Yes, in the 2009/2014 editions, it was apothecaries that were infected and the mission revolved around putting them down.

The difficulty Genestealers/Genestealer Cults would run into with trying to corrupt an entire Chapter is that Space Marines are regularly checked for purity. This isn't just the external tithe, but includes regular internal screening. In addition, there is also the psychic screening that takes place by the Librarians (Black Templars excepted, of course msn-wink.gif ), so even if a small number of battle-brothers is infected, it won't be long before the Chapter discovers the infection and purges their ranks. The "best" that might be hoped for would be for a strike force to be infected, but it would be highly unlikely for an entire company-sized strike force to fall prey to this. The more likely scenario is that some portion of the strike force is infected and the other portion fights them. Who wins that conflict is up in the air, but if the infected portion wins, they're not likely to succeed at infected any more of the Chapter upon their return.

In the realm of Warhammer 40,000, anything is possible. What matters is the likelihood. This is one of those hypotheticals that is unlikely. Plot armour allows for anything, though, so we might see GW give us such a scenario one day. I wouldn't recommend it for DIYs, though.
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#5
Exilyth

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What about a renegade chapter which neither pays the gene tithe nor takes the purity checks very serious anymore?

 

If the librarian had a talk with a techmarine and the training process for new recruits was improved accordingly ...

If the chaplains started preaching new litanies ...

 

 

Ofc, similar to what happened to the souldrinkers chapter, there would be resistance to such a paradigm change - the chapter would probably destroy most of itself in a schism.


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#6
ThePenitentOne

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That's it right there- if you can get someone high enough, you can use the commandeered authority to ensure the right secrets are kept long enough.

 

But I do agree with the earlier post that their inability to breed would be a real disadvantage to a cult. A normal human may have a crappy stat line, but it begets accolytes who beget neophytes, who beget the third generation who will beget more Holy Purestrains.

 

A space marine is a dead end. A very powerful and useful dead end, which would offer a cult unique advantages in their efforts to sew havoc amount the host species, but a still ultimately a dead end.



#7
Azekai

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A renegade chapter could fall prey to the influence of Genestealers- and the idea is terrifying.  These fallen marines would not be the ones breeding, of course, but a chapter's homeworld recruitment pool and serfs could always be used instead. The space marines would be the mutated and mind-warped warrior slaves of the cult: imagine superhuman brood brothers, ready and able to spread the influence of the ravening Patriarch across the stars. 

Sounds cool to me!


Edited by Azekai, 18 September 2019 - 01:55 AM.

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#8
Gederas

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That's it right there- if you can get someone high enough, you can use the commandeered authority to ensure the right secrets are kept long enough.

 

But I do agree with the earlier post that their inability to breed would be a real disadvantage to a cult. A normal human may have a crappy stat line, but it begets accolytes who beget neophytes, who beget the third generation who will beget more Holy Purestrains.

 

A space marine is a dead end. A very powerful and useful dead end, which would offer a cult unique advantages in their efforts to sew havoc amount the host species, but a still ultimately a dead end.

Well, iirc, it's never REALLY been stated if Marines can or can't have children. We know that (for most of them) they don't have the drive to do so.

 

However, the Salamanders fluff mentions them having families AND the Ultramarines fluff also mentions families descended from Ultramarine heroes. So.... Maybe?

Though you run into the "Man of Steel, Woman of Tissue" problem with Marine/Human things :lol:


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#9
Zephaniah Adriyen

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I was thinking the very gene-seed of the Chapter could be tainted, thus allowing the taint to spread throughout the Chapter. I mean, if Genestealer mutation and taint can spread through food supplies and drinking water...


"All power demands sacrifice and pain. The universe rewards those willing to spill their life's blood for the promise of power." - Sindri Myr

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"There is no meaning, no purpose. We murder, we kill. It is mindless savagery, this UNIVERSE is mindless!" - Azariah Kyras

 


#10
RandyB

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One Biophagus infiltrating the Apothecarium...
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#11
Exilyth

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Indeed, indeed - an infected space marine chapter would not be able to keep their numbers up in the long run.

 

But the really scary thing would be: a single space marine traveling to a remote world would be welcome as a hero of the imperium and, in the absence of high ranking imperial officials (e.g. no inquisition present), could easily become tactical advisor for the local government. And if they brought some stasis pods with genestealers, they could take over in no time. If they don't just remove the governour for heresy/treason/something and take command themselves.

 

Thus, an infected space marine chapter, while (on it's own) not very usefull for the survival of the brood, could serve as a vector transmitting the curse within multiple systems, maybe even a whole sector.

 

 

Still, telling the initial infection of the space marine chapter in a believable way would be hard.


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#12
Azekai

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Indeed, indeed - an infected space marine chapter would not be able to keep their numbers up in the long run.

 

But the really scary thing would be: a single space marine traveling to a remote world would be welcome as a hero of the imperium and, in the absence of high ranking imperial officials (e.g. no inquisition present), could easily become tactical advisor for the local government. And if they brought some stasis pods with genestealers, they could take over in no time. If they don't just remove the governour for heresy/treason/something and take command themselves.

 

Thus, an infected space marine chapter, while (on it's own) not very usefull for the survival of the brood, could serve as a vector transmitting the curse within multiple systems, maybe even a whole sector.

 

 

Still, telling the initial infection of the space marine chapter in a believable way would be hard.

This idea has a lot of merit. Bonus points if the marine advisor begins to stress the likelihood of impending invasion and oversees a military buildup, only for the infected world's defenseses to be totally subverted by the cult.


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#13
Stercus

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I’d consider using a dark angel successor as a host if you wanted to run with this. They already have layers of secrecy and hidden rituals far beyond most astartes and would be better placed to hide an infestation if the initial infection was in a high up individual.


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