Inquisitorial Black Ship
|Ambiguous Term? This article is about the Inquisitorial Black Ship. For other uses of Black Ship, see Black Ship (disambiguation).|
Inquisitorial Black Ships are special Strike Cruisers used by the Inquisition, not to be confused with the Adeptus Astra Telepathica's League of Blackships, which are used solely to collect psykers throughout the Imperium and ship them to Terra.
Built by the Mechanicum of Mars, the Inquisition's Black Ships are used for more general purposes, as harbingers of Imperial justice, making sure all laws are followed with the might to back up their decrees. They were first created by Inquisitors who felt that over-reliance on the Imperial Navy or Space Marines for their duties was unacceptable and potentially dangerous. Combining the power of a Strike Cruiser with a Navy Battlecruiser, Black Ships are secretive vessels which normally operate alone. They will sometimes operate alongside the Imperial Navy or Space Marines, forming the core of a formidable battlegroup for dealing with rebellions or heresy. The Black Ships actually predate the Inquisition which uses them in the 41st Millennium; their presence was noted as far back as during the Horus Heresy, when Death Guard Nathaniel Garro described them to himself, "[S]hips of the Astartes flotilla were swords against the enemies of Terra, a Black Ship was a hammer of witches."
Normal ships of the Imperium have armoured prows, for protection upon ramming, or closing with an enemy ship, and have grey-steel paint schemes. Other ships of the Imperium also run with lights on at all times, to prevent collisions, and turn more lights on during warfare, to "illuminate the enemy." Black Ships have none of these: they run without lights, with black paint, and have blunt prows. Typical armament includes a dorsal Bombardment Cannon, port weapons batteries, Attack Craft prow launch bays, and prow Torpedoes.
The ships of the Ordo Xenos and Ordo Malleus carry Deathwatch and Grey Knights Space Marines, respectively. During the Horus Heresy, Black Ships carried Witchseekers and held a myriad of oddities, much as they do in M41.
Known Black Ships
- 1: BlackShip
- 2: The Flight of the Eisenstein (Novel), Chapter Three, pgs. 65–66
- 3: The Voice (Short Story)
- 4: Battlefleet Gothic Magazine Issue 9, pg. 17