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How are company captain successors chosen?
Just use the Ultramarines as an example, as they are most Codex chapter so a more generic explanation will hopefully be available.
Are they chosen by the current captain? Are they elected? Does it happen instantly, or is there a period where a company will have no captain.
Are all company captain originally members of the first company, i.e terminator honoured veterans? Or do they come from within the ranks of the company.
I can't say I've seen it all but I live for the things that keep me hollow.
Based on a combination of what I've seen of the Ultramarines and Soul Drinkers (who were initially a codex chapter), the following methods for elevation exist.
1.) The most common is appointment by the Chapter Master. Calgar likes the cut of your jib, so he makes you a captain.
2.) Field Appointment, you're the second most influential guy on a planet in your chapter when the captain gets killed and leadership defaults to you (likely has to be confirmed by the chap master afterwards).
3.) Ascension by combat. Probably more of a Dorn thing (and if it doesn't work, your ass ends up brigged/executed). Only used in the most extreme of extreme circumstances.
4.) Adeptus Terra: The chapter was just created, you've been chosen to be one of the first captains.