In 912.M41, the Necron Lord of the Tomb World Borsis was overthrown in a coup by another who wished to expand his empire. The long dormant engines of the World Engine were set alight. The World Engine appeared without warning in the Vidar subsector of the Imperium in 926.M41[1a][1b], and quickly scoured the Agri Worlds of Gaios Prime and Gaios Tertio of life with its powerful Gauss projectors[1a].
The Imperial response force included the entire sector fleet and elements from fifteen Space Marine chapters, including the Blood Angels, Ultramarines, Astral Knights, Invaders and Aurora Chapters. But the World Engine's void shields were impervious to any weapon the Imperium could fire at it, and prevented any direct assault, repelling Drop Pods and Boarding Torpedoes alike, and hopelessly scrambling teleportation beams. After two full Terminator Squads from the Invaders were lost in an attempt to teleport through the shields, further attempts were forbidden. Meanwhile, the World Engine's weapons systems wreaked havoc on the Imperial task force, destroying or crippling countless ships and inflicting millions of casualties.[1a]
It was only the sacrifice of the Astral Knights that allowed the monstrous craft to be destroyed. In a gamble, Chapter Master Artor Amhrad piloted the Battle barge Tempestus on a collision course. Where conventional weapons had failed to break through the World Engine's shields, the adamantium-tipped prow of the Tempestus punched through, and the entire Astral Knights chapter deployed to the surface of the craft in Drop Pods.
Inside the World Engine were tens of thousands of Necron warriors, opposing the attack of seven hundred and seventy-two Space Marines. The battle inside the World Engine lasted for more than a hundred hours, the Space Marines methodically destroying every Flux generator, weapon forge and Command node in their path.[1a]
At the end, only Amhrad and five other marines were left alive, as they fought into the central command tomb. Amhrad's last act was to detonate melta bombs inside the tomb, overloading its already strained control nodes, disabling the World Engine's shields and many of its weapons systems. With the monster finally vulnerable, the remaining Imperial ships let fly with everything they had, tearing the enemy apart with multiple volleys of Cyclonic torpedoes.[1a]
In the aftermath, the Adeptus Mechanicus sifted the remains of the World Engine for useful technology, while, at the suggestion of Blood Angels Captain Aphael, the Ultramarines salvaged the wreck of the Tempestus and set it as a monument on Safehold, the last planet to be scoured clean by the World Engine. Inside the wreck an Imperial Shrine was raised, containing statues of the 772 fallen Astral Knights. Though Safehold remains lifeless and deserted except for scavengers, the shrine continues to be guarded by volunteers from the dozen Chapters who fought alongside the Astral Knights[1a].
- 1: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition):
- 2: Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pg. 26
- 3: Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pg. 16
|Cruisers||Scythe Class • Shroud Class|
|Escorts||Dirge Class • Jackal Class|
|Attack Craft||Doom Scythe • Night Scythe • Night Shroud|