|Born||24 January 2502|
|Died||10 June 2598|
|Parents||Albert Marik (father)|
Marion Marik, was the 18th Captain-General of the Free Worlds League.
Albert Marik was a towering, larger than life individual who acted like a diplomatic and political force of nature, acting as the primary confidant and supporter of Ian Cameron and the establishment of the Star League. With such a dynamic and awe-inspiring individual as father, it would have been entirely possible for Marion, the eldest of his three children, to have been overawed. Instead, she and her siblings Reginald and Shannon were driven to excel, and while Marion was twenty-three years the senior she was almost as wild and driven as her siblings. An enthusiastic fan of extreme sports, Marion gained a reputation for daring and swashbuckling and fulfilled the expectation that she would join the military at an early age.
Marriage and Children
Marion Marik had a son, Ian Marik, who followed her into the military and had an exemplary career until his death in 2593 following a massive stroke in 2591.
Marion Marik was a career military officer, happier operating on the battlefield than in the Free Worlds League Parliament, and was a formidable force in her own right. Before becoming Captain-General herself, she acted as deputy and strong right arm for her father.
Marion's military career would eventually span more than seventy years; during Albert Marik's rule as Captain-General Marion would serve extensively within the Free Worlds League Military. Marion was a force commander during the Second Andurien war, and by the time the Third Andurien War erupted Marion had reached the rank of General and was responsible for the FWLM prosecution of the war up until the war ended by negotiated settlement.
Long the tall, lithe shadow behind Albert, when Albert died Marion assumed the office of Captain-General seamlessly; the condition set by Albert that only a Marik could serve as the Free Worlds League representative on the Star League Council ensured that the Captain-General's office remained open and that Marion's election was certain. Despite being more than seventy years old, Marion retained the fitness and drive of someone half her age and worked tirelessly on both Atreus and Terra on both Free Worlds League and Star League affairs.
During the buildup to the Reunification War Marion opposed the idea of war with the Periphery but supported the deployment of large numbers of troops to the border with the Taurian Concordat in the hope that a huge show of force would encourage the Concordat to reconsider diplomacy.
Marion Marik was responsible for planning and executing the campaign against the Magistracy of Canopus, a task she set to as the Commanding Officer of both SLDF Task Force Canopus and VII Corps with a grim determination, despite her political opposition to military action. Marion was the only ruler of an Inner Sphere nation to act as a senior commander during the Reunification War; the commanders of the other Regional Operations Commands were former officers from the Hegemony Armed Forces.
While only one SLDF Corps was assigned to SLDF Task Force Canopus - VII Corps - Marion used her political influence and abilities to increase the size of VII Corps until it was the largest corps to deploy during the Reunification War, although one limited by a lack of transport assets. The Task Force was reinforced by twelve regiments from the Free Worlds League Military and effectively became Army Group Marik. The twelve FWLM regiments were organized into the 1st Marik Auxiliary Corps under the command of Marion's son, Ian Marik, who also acted as her assistant and deputy until his recall in 2586.
During the buildup to the war, Marion attempted to goad the Magistracy into launching a preemptive strike against the Star League depots that were deliberately portrayed as being weakly defended, worlds that were actually within range of combat troops moved covertly to the border by SLDF WarShips. The Magestrix declined to accept the bait, as both the Magestrix and the commanding officer of the MAF, Colonel Adam Buquoy, believed the worlds to be the trap they were. This restraint was the first of many incidents to give Marion pause to reevaluate her opponents and the campaign, a more cautious and measured response than that shown in other theaters and one that would characterize Marion's leadership and the lack of arrogance towards her opponents that typified other Task Force commanders such as General Amos Forlough. Well aware of the gaps in her knowledge, Marion endeavored to gather solid intelligence on the Magistracy before and during the war using the Marik National Intelligence Agency, the Hegemony Central Intelligence Directorate and the nascent Star League Defense Force Intelligence Command.
Despite the First Lord deliberately rescinding the Ares Convention, Marion made it clear that she intended to prosecute the war in a human and civilized fashion. She detailed her grandson Brion to deliver the declaration of war to Magestrix Crystalla Centrella personally and to indicate that under Marion's command, SLDF Task Force Canopus would act within the provisions of the Ares Convention. This attitude was reciprocated in kind by the Magestrix, which set the stage for a war that would be hard-fought and bloody but also civilized.
That wasn't to say that Marion followed the Conventions slavishly; it was made clear to all of the commanders within the Task Force that those who failed to honor the articles of the conventions would have to face her personally, and while that ensured the conventions were largely met, there were at least three occasions where the conventions were deliberately contravened. The first, on the world of Payvand, was a response to the ongoing resistance and street clashes in response to the SLDF occupation, where Marion ordered troops to secure the city of New Barcelona and the PayMax Industrialplex; while this was a breach of the convention on urban warfare, Marion also ordered that no 'Mech operations could be conducted in either arena, leaving the action to the infantry.
The second occasion was during the battle for the important industrial world of Tetski, where the defending 3rd Canopian Light Horse retreated to the capital city of Tokhai and refused to surrender, insisting on fighting to the last man, leading the SLDF commander on the ground to lead a three-week campaign to capture the industrial, economic and political centers of the city. The third occasion was during the battle for Canopus IV itself, where the Majesty Metals and Manufacturing industrial facilities were deemed too important a strategic military asset to the Magistracy Armed Forces to allow them to remain in Magistracy hands. Marion ordered the complexes to be captured and held, and they would be the site of some of the most intense fighting of the campaign.
Marion's initial plan for the conquest of the Magistracy was straightforward; a rapid drive directly to the Magistracy capital world of Canopus IV, a world only four jumps from the Free Worlds League border. When the Magistracy Armed Forces managed to outfox and surprise the Task Force several times in the first year of the campaign, Marion revised her plans, responding to her opponents. After the Magistracy Navy ambushed the SLDF at Vakarel, Marion's strategy adapted to become more focused and to allow the various units within the Task Force to protect each other. When Buquoy led a large portion of the MAF on deep strikes into Free Worlds League space to attack supply worlds and staging grounds, Marion reorganized supply routes, beefed up garrisons and ensured that supply columns would move with escorts; rather than press on regardless, Marion adopted a slower but inexorable campaign plan that traded away time to reduce the effectiveness of the MAF's tactics of distraction and mobility and which ensured that while only a few worlds would be captured each year, those worlds would be captured by overwhelming numbers of Task Force troops.
Marion was also willing to engage in armed diplomacy to achieve her objectives, rather than relying on the brute force approach typified by commanders like "Baby-Killer" Forlough. This was particularly evident when Marion used a show of overwhelming force and agile diplomacy to capture the worlds of Payvand, Ruschegg and Scheuerheck. All three were former Free Worlds League planets that had defected to the Magistracy during the 2550s; while it was likely that the worlds would be returned to the Free Worlds League by the First Lord after the war, Marion landed huge quantities of troops on each world to occupy them before having the three planetary leaders brought to her flagship, the FWLS Albert Marik, which she had placed in orbit above Scheuerheck. Then, rather than performing the rapid execution the three governors expected, she offered each tea and pointed out that while she could have each governor replaced with a military administration, the three worlds and their rulers would benefit far more from willingly rejoining the League. By appealing to the self-interest of each governor, Marion persuaded all three to petition the First Lord to allow their worlds to rejoin the Free Worlds League under their rule - a political and propaganda coup that was used to great effect by Marion's allies in the Free Worlds League parliament.
In addition to planning and executing the campaign, Marion also actively took to the field in command of various units; during the last battle of the war, Marion landed the 63rd Royal Brigade, the 1st Marik Militia and 3rd Regulan Hussars on the military redoubt of Kossandra's Memory, the final operating base of the last undefeated MAF units. On the ground she led the Militia, the Hussars and a regiment from the 63rd against the surviving MAF units, the 2nd Canopian Light Horse and Buquoy's Bandits, led by Buquoy himself. Marion's restraint in battle matched the restraint shown in planning and executing the war; Buquoy attempted to goad the attacking regiments into making rash attacks that his mismatched battalions could take advantage of, but Marion refused to accept the bait and instead used her three regiments to grind the MAF troops down and force them to surrender. When Buquoy finally capitulated, he and Marion finally ended the war with a firm handshake as she accepted his surrender personally.
In contrast to the other Task Force Commanders, Marion had planned for the occupation and reconstruction of the Magistracy after the war, plans that were put into place by her son Ian as military governor and then by his successor, Melissa Humphreys, and greatly eased the Magistracy's integration into the Star League. Marion actively worked towards this goal even during the war; the excellent treatment Magistracy prisoners received was one of the tools Marion used to that end, a psychological operation that saw the MAF officers and enlisted personnel return to Magistracy space after the war as keen proponents of the Star League.
Of the four campaigns that marked the Reunification War, the Canopian Campaign planned and executed by Marion Marik was the second shortest and by far the least bloody – as well as the only war to be fought almost entirely within the terms of the suspended Ares Conventions.
Star League Era
For the ten years of her life after the surrender of the Magistracy Marion returned to concentrate on domestic and Star League affairs, steadily strengthening the Free Worlds League's position and continuing her long-term plan to have Ian succeed her.
Death and Aftermath
Marion lost both her siblings and her son during the Reunification War; Reginald died in a raid on New Vandenberg in 2584, her son Ian suffered a massive stroke in 2591 and eventually died in 2593, the same year that Marion's sister Shannon died on Port Fallon. Ian's eldest and youngest children had already predeceased him, leaving Marion's grandson Brion to follow her as Captain-General when Marion died peacefully in her sleep in 2598.
Either as a result of her long military career or in defiance of it, Marion Marik was far less hawkish than the majority of the Star League Council. When it came to the Periphery realms, this made Marion and Ursula Liao unlikely allies within the Council, as both advocated a measured approach to bringing the Periphery nations into the Star League. This set Marion at odds with First Lord Ian Cameron and his determination to achieve political hegemony, as well as putting her at odds with the hawkish Hehiro Kurita and the more pragmatic Alexander Davion, not to mention the self-interest motivating the Steiners once Viola Steiner-Dinesen shifted from arguing against military action to supporting Cameron. As the leader of a federal state, Marion knew the problems that came from attempting to force nations to join, and believed that there was a vast gulf between using diplomacy and cajoling - by fair means or foul - to persuade nations to join a larger organization and the overuse of force.
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 53: "Marion Marik Profile"
- ↑ Handbook: House Marik, p. 85
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Historical: Reunification War, p. 53: "Marion Marik"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, pp. 53–54: "Ian Marik"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Historical: Reunification War, p. 186: "Captain-General Marion Marik"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 66: "Star League Plans"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Historical: Reunification War, p. 18: "A Clash of Ideologies"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 21: "A Most Peculiar War"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 30: "VII Corps"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 96: "The Canopian Campaign"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 37: "Command Structure of the FWLM"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 96: "The Phony War (2575-2577)"
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Historical: Reunification War, p. 97: "Over the Edge (2577)"
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Historical: Reunification War, p. 100: "Ruschegg, Payvand and Scheuerheck (July December 2578)"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 102: "Tetski (September-November 2582)"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 105: "Canopus (March-April 2584)"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 98: "Butzfleth and Vakarel (October-November 2577)"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 99: "Meadowvale (January 2578)"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 100: "The Long Game (2578-2581)"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 99: "Honors of War"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 21: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 19: "The Malagrotta Crisis"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 20: "To the Brink: The Pollux Proclamation"
- ↑ Historical: Reunification War, p. 94: "The Canopian Campaign"