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  1. #1
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    What happens when a chapter dies out?

    Although it must be a rare occasion some chapters must have been destroyed, lost or had gene rot of some kind.

    My question is... what happens to the few marines that are left.

    Say A chapter's homeworld is destroyed or the chapter has a series of unfortunate events and is defeated a number of times in quick succesion.

    Eventually there will only be a few marines left. What happen to them? are they absorbed by another chapter, killed, seconded to the inquisition?

    At what point is a chapter abandoned..i.e when do they give up trying to rebuild it.

    sorry for the barrage of questions. I'm interested to hear what people think?


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    Sir Proofreader Deadstar_MRC's Avatar
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    I could be way out here, but my first thought would be that they could be good candidates for a Kill Team, as from memory they're drawn from different chapters from all over the Imperium.

    Just a though. I have no idea what would be done with them, really.

    Probably depends how the chapter was wiped out, too. I can see the inquisition stepping in if there were some 'suspicious circumstances' surrounding the events that destroyed the rest of the chapter.
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    I may be wrong but I believe it's like this:

    As long as there is at least a single marine left alive, there is hope for more marines of that same chapter being made. If not, the marine may just become a renegade or what have you, alone with nowhere to go.

    As for chapters being completely eliminated, it's not as rare as you might think. The entire point of a "Founding" is to keep the number of chapters at a thousand after several have been eliminated.

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  5. #4
    Son of LO darkreever's Avatar
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    Actually Nikblade2005, there is a point in which a chapter is deemed so understrength that it can no longer rebuild itself. Once a chapter drops to about one or two companies strong it is no longer able to replace its losses, keep fighting, and rebuild at the same time. At this point the chapter would be forced to fight alongside another chapter or two, or even stop fighting for a time to rebuild; though there are some stubborn chapters that would rather keep fighting than not, or would rather fight without depending on others. (The Crimson Fists were reduced to around a company strong by the end of the Waaagh that had come to Rynn's world, and in the course of about half a century the chapter is up to half strength again.)

    If a chapter were to lose its homeworld to the point where the world was completely gone (fortress monestary included), than that chapter would be forced to become a space fairing chapter for the rest of their history or until they earn a new homeworld. (Some fleet based chapters earn themselves a homeworld for their deeds, this is a high honour for all chapters and the loss of a homeworld would be a crippling blow of honour that most chapters would feel honour bound to redeem.)

    There are some chapters, like the Lamenters, who are struck with bad luck and go into bad situation after bad situation, becoming more mauled every time. These chapters would suffer a fate like what I said to Nikblade. In the case of a penitent chapter or crusading chapter though, they are unable to rebuild until a deed of some kind is met.

    Penitent chapters have to crusade around, fighting to regain lost trust and honour to the Imperium as a whole over a set amount of time. (The Mantis Warriors chapter are one of these chapters, who must crusade for 200 years before they can be considered a loyal chapter once again.)

    A crusading chapter, like Black Templar companies, would not rebuild until after they had finished fighting a campaign or defeated a certain enemy.

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    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    It would depend on the culture and customs of the Chapter in specific. Possibilities are:

    - Adoption into a related Chapter, as an honorary Brother, for the more pragmatic Chapters who know that a Marine is too valuable to waste.
    - Ritual suicide, for the honour-bound Marines who perhaps suffer from survivor's guilt.
    - Going renegade, for the I-don't-follow-your-Codex-Mr.-Gulliman crowd.
    - Kill-teams, for those associated with the Inquisition.

    I would imagine the first two to be the most common. Retirement is not an option. For a Marine, dying of old age in a peaceful setting far from a battlefield is the most humiliating death imaginable. Far better to continue fighting alongside strangers, or else go the way of your brethren. It's entirely possible that they can become permanent members of the Deathwatch, or even members of an Inquisitor's entourage; Marines make legendary bodyguards, considering that they can literally step in the path of bullets and not be hurt.

    Keep in mind that a Chapter becoming extinct is a rare thing. Generally, most Chapters know when to pull out of active duty to rebuild if their losses become too heavy, so it requires either a devastating attack on their homeworld (since Marine homeworlds are planetary fortresses, that's no small feat) or for the entire Chapter to be involved in a disastrous pitched battle. Since Chapters almost never deploy more than five companies and never in the same place, the homeworld-besieged scenario is more (though still not very) common, as with Rynn's World.

    Other possibilities are defects in the geneseed, which could lead to the Chapter dying out very slowly as the Flesh Eaters are, or an Inquisitorial purging, as with those guys who could light themselves on fire. Flame Falcons or something.
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    Interesting.

    The reason for me asking this question was mainly because I'm interested in adding a squad to my current space marine chapter. I wanted to add a kind of irregular squad. About 10 marines but from different ruined/destroyed/lost chapters. all with different stories, colour, paint scheme etc... kind of like a dirty dozen... but ten

    It's basically an excuse to come up with new chapters and colour schemes.

    I like the idea of an inquisitor having a retinue.

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    Thats a good idea man. A Deathwatch squad might be perfect for this.

    As for chapters nearly dying out, since I am collecting Lamenters at the moment I know a little bit about this in relation to them. Any fluff I have found about them states that the lowest man power they have ever reached was around three companies total (300 marines total I think?) That is after fighting in the Babab war and with the Scythes of the Emperor against Hivefleet Kraken. They also had to give up their home world for the same reason as the Mantis Warriors so I presume they are a fleet based chapter now.

    There is some debate whether the chapter is actually dead or not and this relates to its pentient crusade, as a chapter cannot recruit new members on crusade. I like to think that 300 marines is enough for a chapter to rebuild but with the Lamenters you never know what might happen.

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    Senior Member sendaf's Avatar
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    The Emperor's children (pre Heresy) Had a terrible accident (not sure if anyone knows what this accident is) at it's founding right before Fulgrim gained control of the legion.
    The legion was so understrength that for the beginning of the great crusade, the Emperor's Children fought with the Luna wolfs (later to become the Sons of Horus) untill The legion was able to rebuild.

    Got that out of the Horus heresy series, so we know that has at least happend once.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sendaf View Post
    The Emperor's children (pre Heresy) Had a terrible accident (not sure if anyone knows what this accident is) at it's founding right before Fulgrim gained control of the legion.
    The legion was so understrength that for the beginning of the great crusade, the Emperor's Children fought with the Luna wolfs (later to become the Sons of Horus) untill The legion was able to rebuild.

    Got that out of the Horus heresy series, so we know that has at least happend once.
    The accident was the loss of a lot of geneseed.
    Anyways, that case is a bit different from the others. During pre-Heresy times, the Emperor was still functionally alive, and he could create marines/geneseed much more easily and quicker than the Imperium in the 41st millenium can. Also, remember that a Legion is supposed to be thousands-strong, so "understrength" might actually be equal to or larger than a chapter.
    Last edited by qsd; April 17th, 2008 at 04:11.
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  11. #10
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    The Emperor's Children "remnants" actually started at 1,000 Marines. That this was seen as a diminished Marine force is a testament to the strength of the Legions during the Crusade era.
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