|The Merrick Institute|
|Organization Name:||The Merrick Institute|
|Other names:||Dream Warriors|
The Merrick Institute is an organization of hunters with the ability to enter the Primordial Dream thanks to an unnamed procedure forced on them by the US government. They use this power to pursue the Begotten.
The name "Merrick" was just one of several covers for a government laboratory engaged in horrific experiments on children and teens, dating back to at least 1987. They developed a procedure that granted these youths an incredible ability to interact with the Primordial Dream; the fact that they were also usually left traumatized, disabled or even comatose was considered and acceptable side-effect. The goal of the project was to capture and weaponize Beasts, and those test subjects who survived the procedures became adept at hunting them
In 2013, however, some of the test subjects put those skills to other use: they organized in dreams and overthrew their captors. While they continue to call themselves the Merrick Institute, in reality they are nomadic cells of disabled teens and young adults, whose lives now boil down to hunting two enemies: Beasts, and the government officials responsible for torturing them.
Merrick hunters face numerous obstacles: most are disabled in some way, they usually lack government ID or other papers, and they must stay constantly on the move to avoid government attention. While some older members exist--either early victims of the project or staffers who aligned themselves with the victims--the majority of Merrick hunters are under the age of twenty. However, when fighting in the dream world, they are some of the best in the world, and one of the few groups of hunters who can hope to face a Beast on its home turf. They have also tangled with changelings and mages when encountering them in dreams, but their primary targets are Beasts.