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The Gallowdark[4]

The Gallowdark is an ancient and legendary space hulk that drifts in and out of the Warp and Realspace. It is an amalgamation of countless ships from hundreds of civilizations, and factions from all over the galaxy are currently sending their best Kill Team Units to plunder its secrets and treasure.[1]


The Gallowdark has formed slowly over millions of years, and is made of thousands of space craft, asteroids, and other debris. The very first ship that would make up the Gallowdark was a funeral vessel of a race called the S'koran'igsthi. However, by the present day no traces of this ship remain, having been broken and merged with thousands of the thousands of other ships over the millions of years. These ships include examples from nearly every major space fairing race in the galaxy, from the Imperium to the Tyranids. Many different groups and species have lived within its twisting corridors.[2a]

In the 38th Millennium, Kroot mercenaries had provided intel of a strange, obsidian device to Inquisitor Iyaklyta Rehnis of the Ordo Xenos, who’d hoped to prove the existence of a strange, skeletal alien race she believed once ruled vast swathes of the cosmos. Though she eventually claimed the artefact from an asteroid base, Rehnis never made it home. Her ship Longwatch – and the entire Cadian 15th Kasrkin Regiment aboard it – was lost in the warp, and after thousands of years adrift it eventually came to settle within the space hulk’s mass.[6]

The Gallowdark's most recent return to real space occurred in the wilderness space bordering on the Nemesys Sector of the Imperium. Forewarned of its imminent reappearance by a captive oracle on Commorragh, Dracon Naezir of the Drukhari ship Umbralific Venom arrived first, trailing it stealthily from a distance, observing the ships that subsequently investigated the massive hulk[5a] and launching an Impaler assault module to deliver hunting Kabalites into the hulk.[5b]

The Kroot Warsphere Rak Varoyaw was the next to detect and actually board the space hulk. Farstalker Kinbands were immediately deployed to explore and loot the space hulk for technology and genetic material. However, a war group of Imperial Navy ships from Battlefleet Nemesys soon arrived, led by Admiral Armenius Philo XVI who gave the vessel its current name. The fleet immediately began to attack the Rak Varoyaw. Outgunned and not willing to risk the Warsphere, the Kroot ship escaped, leaving some of their warriors stranded in the Gallowdark.[3] Naezir ordered his escorts to use their Mimic engines to appear as kroot ships to draw away most of the Imperial fleet as he was waiting for a specific ship to arrive and could do without the Imperial Navy interfering.[5a] With the field secured, the remaining Imperial ships boarded the space hulk with Breachers.[2b] Much to the surprise of both sides, the Gallowdark soon attracted interest from all over the Galaxy as many factions fought for control of the secrets within.[3] Ultimately, the Kroot were defeated but many of their kind were left behind, and these continue to harry the Imperial Navy teams mercilessly.[4]

Over the course of the following weeks, it was discovered the Kasrkin of the Longwatch still lived, and were battling with Tsarakura Dynasty Necrons aboard the Gallowdark. To the Cadians, only scant months have passed their original disappearance. Both sides sought the devices known as the Arks of Hamanet, which can awaken the Tomb World of Tsaremok.[3][4]

Far removed from this conflict, the Imperial prison ship Dyad of Zaffre crashed into the Gallowdark due to freak errors by its Navigators and the machinations of Dark Eldar raiders. Archon Malys covets the Alpha-Class Psyker imprisoned aboard the vessel and under the care of Proctor-Exactant Daimon Kolkord. The Dark Eldar sought to eliminate the Arbites Exaction Squad aboard the Gallowdark to claim their prize.[4]

The collision of the Dyad of Zaffre began a chain reaction of power cells exploding, structures collapsing, and warp cores exploding. This doomed the Gallowdark, which soon began to self-destruct.[6] Into this arrived the Kin of the Trans-Hyperian Alliance, aboard the Comet-class cruiser Reachfar. They were already en route to Gallowdark when they picked up the distress signals of several stranded Ironkin Cerebral Units. In the path of the Hearthkyn Salvagers sent aboard stood herds of Beastmen Fellgor Ravagers that had long made the Gallowdark their home.[4]

The Gallowdark finally met its end when it emerged into the system of the Forge World Bheta-Decima. In their greed, the Magi of the world used a gigantic Graviton Cannon to bring the Space Hulk into their orbit. However the huge forces of the cannon broke the hulk apart, causing it to rain debris across the Forge World and devastate it.[8]


The Gallowdark is currently home to Humans, aliens, heretics, pirates, exiles, mutants, and many others. Many of the lifeforms aboard are mutated creatures, such as giant rodents and deformed arachnid predators. There are even strange sentences, unnatural entities, and tortured Machine Spirits that are countless millennia old. The construct is so large that it has its own atmosphere and multiple unnatural ecosystems, including rivers and oceans of toxic waste and leaking fuel. In some areas the gravity behaves bizarre and seemingly at random.[3]

While most of the Gallowdark is abandoned or inaccessible, there are settlements scattered throughout the Hulk. These are inhabited by mutants, Humans, xenos, heretics, and many more. Tribal gangs comprising the ancestors of those who first became part of the hulk long ago rule through fear and violence. The Settlement of Ironshanty is one such location, and surprisingly is one of relative peace. The Ironshanty is built around an original vessel that was originally lost in the Warp, but has since fused with the Gallowdark. It is known as something of a neutral zone aboard the hulk, and as Orks are now targeting the Gallowdark many of the inhabitants fear the Greenskins may assault them. To that end, they have paid off mercenaries to protect them while others are praying to their own Gods for salvation.[3]

Lamentation Falls is a steep series of embankments that crust the back of a vertically aligned Eldar vessel. It has been used as a place of execution by tribal clans for generations, with the victim being thrown off to their doom. Some attempt to dare the Falls, hoping to find access to the Eldar ship and the wonders that dwell within. Few ever return however, but since the Gallowdark's most recent return several access points to the xenos vessel have been revealed.[3]

See also