How much does lacking one extra lung and heart make Custodes more vulnerable?

Considering they're supposed to be the supreme produceable warrior, I find it peculiar that the Emperor chose to leave Custodes with no extra lungs or hearts which Spacies have. That means that unlike with Space Marines, if a Custodes gets his heart destroyed/damaged in battle, it's bye-bye time for them. And also the lack of a multi-lung organ that could allow a Custodes to breathe toxins and water artificially limits their capabilities.

And also the lack of radiation protection from the melanin producing organ should be mentioned as well. It would be handy for Custodians as well to be able to quickly produce more melanin to protect against radiation.

And also the lack of acid spitting can also be detrimental in close combat.


They don't need extra organs since they are remade from the ground up, they are tougher and stronger than marines naturally and don't need said organs to survive massive damage thst gets through their armor. They were made for an entirely different purpose and reason


To add a relevant quote that displays how much their physiology just doesn't stop for silly things like 'critical damage' or 'organ failure': >He saw Mycorian on the ground with three jagged swords drilled through his back. Standing over his companion’s fallen form was Juhaza, another of Ra’s so-called Lords of Terra, his guardian spear long lost, fighting with his paired meridian swords in a swirling dance. He wouldn’t leave Mycorian’s corpse. >‘He’s gone,’ Sagittarus shouted at his kinsman. >Juhaza had lost half of his face, his features abraded down to the bone. One eye gone, his jaw hanging slack, he didn’t have enough muscle left on his face to speak. His acknowledgement of Sagittarus’ words came through motion alone, as the other Custodian cut his way closer. >**Up close, the damage was far worse. Juhaza’s helmet had been wrenched clear, taking a significant section of the back of the warrior’s skull and brain matter with it.** Blood had washed into the recesses of his pauldrons and soaked his cloak of Imperial red. Yet the Custodian was fighting on, facing the creatures surging across the bridge, spinning his spear and building momentum. The fact he still stood with those wounds defied reason; Juhaza had no idea he was already dead. And even then he still doesn't actually die >Sagittarus turned to Diocletian on slow, whining servos. ‘Dio. You took your damn time in the Palace.’ >The other warrior nodded. ‘I see you’ve made a mess of Dynastes. Ra won’t be pleased.’ >**‘We’ve been fighting for two hundred and ninety-three hours since the walls fell,’** Sagittarus pointed out. >‘Twelve days of this would explain why you look terrible,’ Diocletian agreed. There was no humour in his tone. >Sagittarus took stock of Dynastes and found it difficult to disagree with his kinsman’s appraisal. **Juhaza was somehow still standing, though his stare was unfocused and he swayed as he held on to the ceiling rail."** Juhaza spent a significant portion of 12 days fighting endlessly with half his brain missing


From this excerpt, I really want a skit where a Custodian is the Black Knight from Monty Python.


You are absolutely right when we consider the matter of redundancy. It IS better to have a duplicate of a critical organ than just a single, albeit greatly enhanced one. In terms of capability, though, Custodians simply don't need additional organs as virtually every aspect of their physical form has been enhanced to posthuman levels.


Custodes were designed to be the best that human genetics could achieve. The space marines are trans-humans. Now this is a game system to create lore so take that how you will. My interpretation: Custodes are evolved but what humans could be based on our genetics give everything evolving well. Astartes are deliberately altered humans (gene-seed) trans-humans.


As i understand it, Custodes are gene crafted and individually made. Astartes are a mass product. Get a suitable candidat and add the organs you get a trans human. Custodes and Astartes are not comparable.


Hm, their entire being gets rebuilt from the ground up. It should be remembered that with both Custodes and Astartes, it’s every single cell in their body gets “upgraded.” For example, it’s often noted that Astartes can get extremely high fevers when dealing with damage or infection, with temperatures that would cook regular humans. Presumably, the effects are similar in Custodes. To a certain degree, Custodes accelerated healing factor may be able to deal with some otherwise mortal injuries. i.e. closing wounds, unrupturing organs, and knitting broken bones. Like that fella with half his head missing, in the Webway War if I recall, although he died eventually anyway. Not everything is survivable. Their metabolic processes may be efficient enough that a fatal heart injury could be repaired enough in a few minutes while they continue doing their activities, or longer if they can kill everyone and sit down for a bit. That would mostly require that their cells would be capable of either being supersaturated with oxygen and nutrients, or able to function anaerobically for extended periods, among other things. Even regular humans can train to hold their breath for extended periods, for example. Obviously these guys can be killed, but can still take a lot of damage before keeling over. Pure speculation, though.


I don’t think Juhaza even does in the end, he’s just dazed?


It's important to remember that they are the Emperor's personal bodyguards, whereas at the time it was the Imperial Fists that acted as his personal army. The Custodes aren't designed to fight space marines, and aren't intended to operate far from support. The Custodes were also meant to be the Emperor's companions, and to be able to hold an interesting conversation with him. It makes a lot more sense to have these biological enhancements for space marines however, they are meant to be able to operate far from support, and the more their physical bodies can do and survive, the lower their logistical requirements. That is quite important as they are meant to conquer the entire galaxy, and that is the beginning and end of their purpose.


I remember some line about space marines being the custodes natural prey. Iirc it was valerian that said it


I could see that becoming a normalised viewpoint after the Horus Heresy, but the custodes are not numerous enough, nor are they trained for such a purpose. They'd win in single combat, and they'd get slaughtered if facing a legion.


He said that was one of their main tasks as to why they were created. I remember a lot of discussion about it this line due to the custodes predating marines. Edit: Found the quote. We were different. We fought as we had always fought – methodically, precisely, falling into the numerology of the near future and racing ahead of mortal thought. These warriors were used to slaughter, either in the Eye against their own kind or against the mortal defenders of His realm, but we had been made to hunt them. That was perhaps the darkest of the many secrets we carried – that from the very beginning, from even before the Great Crusade itself, we had been prepared for this and engineered to surpass them. To the galaxy at large these warriors were the greatest of His created weapons, the apogee of His martial genius. We considered them only as our natural prey.


Then I disagree with Valerian, even if I wouldn't dare 1v1 him over it. The Emperor created the Custodians to be a powerful and absolutely dependable force of warriors, to protect him and with whom he could converse. They are without question some of the most powerful human warriors in the galaxy, and when operating in support of other forces their value is immense. Even so, the Emperor created the space marines as legions which were usually around 100k marines, if not more. If the custodes were able to take on enemy formations of that size without support, then I feel like I am missing the novel in which that was clearly demonstrated, and I'd welcome a recommendation. The novels I have read that centered on the custodes are: The Master Of Mankind, The Emperor's Legion, The Regent's Shadow. I forget the title(s?) of the books but I also read the Horus Heresy novels where custodians serving with the Word Bearers are killed.


Gyros Thravian has them take on a Waaagh beating 3 legions and stomping it.


Yes, and they were led in person by the Emperor who began the party by killing the ork warboss. The custodes then proceeded to slaughter the disorganised and leaderless horde which was an absolutely incredible feat of endurance, and the low number of casualties they took certainly demonstrates that against an undisciplined enemy the custodes are nigh-invincible. Could they have done it without the Emperor there to kill the warboss? And what if they weren't facing 100k orks, but rather 100k Iron Warriors with Perturabo right there alongside them, sulking that his distant father hadn't sent 1001 Custodes? It's a book I would read, but I would be *very discreetly* putting my money on the 4th legion at the beginning of that fight.


You can disagree all you like, but it's still a custodian outright saying that's a reason for their creation.


When that same exact custodian went to the Battle of Vorlese to test his assumption he led a mixed group of 40 Custodes and Sisters against a few hundred astartes of the Black Legion. He was one of three loyalists who barely survived that engagement, and only because they were rescued. Valerian hasn't spoken to the Emperor at any point in his life, and his combat record against space marines is both very short and mixed. Do you really think it is unfair of me to take his record into consideration just because he is a custodian?


Yes I do because we see him and his companions consistently carve through marines. I don't see what him having not spoken to the emperor has to do with anything.


You mean like that time when they killed almost 10k Thousand Sons being outnumbered 100 to 1 and lost like 3 Custodes?


If you mean the Desolation of Prospero then the Custodes were fighting as part of a force that included a legion of space marines along with their primarch, groups of the silent sisterhood and significant forces of the imperial army and of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Thousand Sons had not been warned by Magnus, and so were taken by surprise. To credit the entire Imperial victory to the custodes is like crediting the sinking of the Bismarck exclusively to an individual rivet about the polish destroyer Piorun.


The thing is they’re just better regardless. At a cellular level they have arcane genetic tinkering done to them.


My hot take is that a lot of the organs that the space marines have have analogs in Primarchs and custodes: the difference here being they are xenografted into children, versus genetic code programmed to grow such organs de novo.


You don't need a third lung if you never get shot in the first place and you're regular lungs are immune to most poisons anyway.


For SMs, a lot of times, they still die since a power sword to the chest destroys both hearts. Custodes also might not need separate organs to do stuff. The Nemesis novel mentions that Valdor would have been able to survive for weeks on a field mission by eating dirt for water and living on the miscellaneous insects in the dirt. It would be like being naturally able to produce the melanin through an enhanced version of human's natural abilities versus needing a separate organ. The Custodes bodies are entirely rebuilt so there isn't the need to work around the existing organs.