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Ebon Drake

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The Ebon Drake was a prototype Assault Cruiser of the Salamanders during the Great Crusade. A sleek and deadly vessel, the Ebon Drake was designed to the tactical preferences of Astartes as opposed to Imperial Armada crewmen.[1]

The Ebon Drake was meant to be the first in a new breed of warship designed by Vulkan to be lean hunters instead of lumbering behemoths. It was equipped with Bombardment Cannons and hangers to effectively accommodate Thunderhawks and Stormbirds. Ultimately, the vessel was influential in Astartes warship design after the Horus Heresy.[1]

After the Drop Site Massacre, the still-ignorant Lord Chaplain Nomus Rhy'tan, overseeing the garrison on Nocturne, dispatched the vessel to investigate what had befallen his Legion. Commanded by Chaplain-Lieutenant Xiaphas Jurr, 30 Firedrakes accompanied the small Salamanders force aboard the vessel. After being barred from Sulis the Ebon Drake engaged the traitorous lords there. In a 3 day battle, the system defenses were scoured by the modern warship. They then routed a traitor Solar Auxilia regiment on the primary defense bastion above Sulis before sabotaging it to collide with the world itself. The Ebon Drake withdrew, leaving Sulis a ruin.[1]

Afterwards, the Ebon Drake engaged in sporadic skirmishes during its journey. This included a clash with the Iron Warriors Grand Cruiser Grim Paragon and coming under fire from Tech-Priests on Anvilus as the planet was mired in civil war. The ship was seriously damaged in the engagement. The ship next appeared at Baal where they finally received some news of the developing Heresy. It also linked up with some other Salamanders survivors of Isstvan V, including Kar'Tor who had become broken of spirit and refused to join the vessel. Ultimately however, 38 new Salamanders were added to the Ebon Drake's crew at Baal alongside some Raven Guard and Iron Hands.[1]

The vessel then arrived at the Isstvan System, finding it an empty graveyard. However they descended on Isstvan V, where they discovered the sarcophagus of the Dreadnought Cassian Dracos. The presence of Dracos reinvigorated the demoralized crew of the Ebon Drake as they continued their search for Vulkan.[1]