Adeptus Astartes Icon

Icon of the Adeptus Astartes

The Black Carapace, also known as the Interface, is the last and one of the most important of all the 19 gene-seed organ implants a Space Marine Neophyte will receive as he is transformed from a normal, adolescent human male into a superhuman Astartes. This neuroreactive, black organic fibrous material is implanted directly under the skin of the Neophyte's torso. Points are then cut through the Carapace by an Apothecary using surgical tools that allow a Space Marine to directly interface his central nervous system with his Power Armour's cybernetic systems. After a few hours, the material hardens and invasive synthetic fiber bundles that will serve as connection points for neurons grow inward and interlink with the newly created Astartes' central nervous system. Note that a Space Marine needs the Black Carapace to use his Power Armour to its maximum capabilities, but general power armour technology itself does not need this implant in order to function. The Sisters of Battle, for example, as well as some Inquisitors or wealthy functionaries such as Rogue Traders, also wear Power Armour. However, since their central nervous systems are not linked directly to their armour's Machine Spirit as a Space Marine would be, movement is cumbersome in comparison to the grace and natural movement afforded by Astartes power armour, and the suit is likewise less capable of providing bio-monitoring and auto-treatment functions.


During the Unification Wars on Terra in the 30th Millennium, the infamous Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl was an understudy to the Emperor Himself, and learned much of His biocraft by assisting the greatest geneticist that Mankind has ever known, though Cawl no longer remembers how he obtained such knowledge. During his time as an understudy, Cawl helped in the development of the Black Carapace membrane implanted into Space Marines.


  • Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (8th Edition), "Belisarius Cawl," pg. 39
  • Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pg. 10
  • Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), "The Making of a Space Marine," pg. 11
  • Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 18, 161
  • Index Astartes I, "Rites of Initiation - The Creation of a Space Marine" by Rick Priestley & Gav Thorpe, pg.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Compendium (2nd Edition), "The Origins of the Legiones Astartes" by Rick Priestley, pg. 9
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1st Edition), pg. 153
  • White Dwarf 98 (UK) (1988) "Chapter Approved: The Origins of the Legiones Astartes" by Rick Priestley, pg. 16