|This article, Marines Merito, was written by Scoglads. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The Marines Merito (literally, “The Marines of Merit”) are a a 5th Founding chapter, formed sometime around M33 from Ultramarine stock. Like other members of the Ultramarines’ line of descent, they still maintain a strong connection to them in the same fashion that many of the 2nd Founding chapters from them do. The Marines Merito are unique in that they stand only 5 feet tall due to a failure in the growth hormones that the gene seed normally imparts. They are expert Tyranid hunters and hearty soldiers despite their small size.
On the savage death world of Melchion, a tyranid invasion cut off the Marines Merito from the Imperium. This tendril of the hiver fleet besieged the world for almost 150 years and when the last gaunt was purged the chapter looked very different than it once had... in isolation their gene seed deteriorated and the marines inducted after the battle did not grow quite as much as their brethren. While most space marines stand about 7 feet tall, the Marines Merito do not grow beyond their normal height Their muscles swell and their bodies grow larger, giving them a very stout appearance. This is, importantly, not a mutation within their gene seed, but a degradation of it (it doesn’t modify anything incorrectly- it just “doesn’t modify” something). This is similar to how other chapters are missing things like their belcher’s gland; this is simply a more visible aspect of it. They remain as strong, tough, and agile as any other space marine- they are just two feet shorter than them.
The Marines Merito, having withstood the storm of the Tyranid invasion, then began their revenge- pushing deeper into the invasion forces of the hive fleet and recapturing world after world. What they couldn’t save, they destroyed, and were wildly successful in their endeavors. It is said that this chapter has thrice risen from the dead- when all seemed lost they powered through and were revealed to have survived. They have been decimated each time but won even with their small numbers. Once on their homeworld of Melchion, one on Caspion, and once on Balthazan. Because of this- the number “three” is sacred in their Chapter Cult. They have become superstitious of the number and thus always deploy in numbers divisible by 3.
As they are descended from the Ultramarines, they follow the Codex Astartes to the letter with very small notable exceptions. They only have 9 “companies” and each squad must have a number of marines divisible by 3 (or be “1”). They do have a 10th company, but do not call it such- as 10 is not divisible by 3. The “10th Company” is referred to as “the training regiment” and is treated more like a boot-camp than a formal military unit.
Marines Merito have an interesting way of marking themselves- they carve slashes into their right shoulder pad to denote their number. This is often done with Tyranid biological acid or the claws of their defeated foes. While these surface grazes are not immediately visible to everyone- they know where to look and the story behind each scar. Shoulders are passed down and inheriting one requires you learn it’s background. Most marines know the history of the shoulder pads of each of their squad mates while Captains know the story of them all.
1st Company (Veterans) Edit
1 Command Squad
9 Veterans Squads
2nd-5th Company (Battle Companies) Edit
6 Tactical Squads
3 Assault Squads
3 Devastator Squads
6th & 7th Company (Reserve) Edit
9 Tactical Squads
8th Company (Reserve) Edit
9 Assault Squads
9th Company (Reserve) Edit
9 Devastator Squads
Training Regiment Edit
9 Scout Squads