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Vengeful Spirit

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the naval vessel; for the novel by Graham McNeill, see Vengeful Spirit (Novel).
The Vengeful Spirit during the Horus Heresy

The Vengeful Spirit is a Gloriana Class Battleship[2] that served as the flagship of the Warmaster Horus during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy.[11] Today, it serves as the flagship of Abaddon the Despoiler and the Black Legion.[1]


Great Crusade & Horus Heresy

The Vengeful Spirit is an ancient vessel, constructed in the 30th Millennium by the artisans of Mars. The Vengeful Spirit was one of the largest of the Gloriana-class command vessels alongside the Hrafnkel, Conqueror, and Iron Blood.[3] Heavily armed, the Vengeful Spirit gained a formidable reputation during the Great Crusade as the command ship of Primarch and later Imperial Warmaster Horus Lupercal. The mere arrival of the Vengeful Spirit would often result in the surrender of an entire star system.[2]

From the strategium, and later Lupercal's Court, upon the command deck, Horus would coordinate the military and diplomatic efforts of the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet, and countless thousands of personnel lived and worked on board. Additionally because it was so old the core of the ship was a rotting, empty labyrinth of filth and rats. Over time as the Sons of Horus became corrupted during the Horus Heresy, it became less of a warship and more of a temple to the dark gods of Chaos whom Horus came to revere. By this time, Horus' throneroom Lupercal's Court existed within its own Warp Pocket Dimension inside the ship, and inside this lair Horus, often accompanied by Zardu Layak, spent much of his time comatose as his spirit walked the Empyrean.[10]

During the final hours of the Siege of Terra, the Vengeful Spirit had essentially become an extension of Horus' will. So corrupted had the vessel become that it was now acting as a conduit to drag Terra itself into the Warp.[12a] Horus' psychic connection to the ship allowed him to lower its shields with a thought to bait the Emperor to him before Roboute Guilliman's fleet could arrive.[12b] Thus, when the Emperor led a teleportation assault on the Vengeful Spirit the attackers became scattered throughout the vessel and fell prey to many of the daemonic and surreal traps Horus had prepared.[12c] The final battle between Horus and the Emperor took place aboard the Vengeful Spirit, ending in Horus' death and the Emperor's grievous wounding.[13]

After Horus' death, sanity returned to the Vengeful Spirit and the metaphysical realm which acted as an extension of Horus dissipated. The Spirit became just a ship once more, albeit one forever touched by Chaos. Ezekyle Abaddon was able to reestablish control over the vessel to lead a retreat from the Sol System.[16]


Following death of Horus and the defeat of the traitors in The Scouring, the Vengeful Spirit fell under the control First Captain Ezekyle Abaddon. Somehow, the vessel became embedded under the former Eldar world of Asa'ciaral deep within the Eye of Terror. With the Sons of Horus in disarray after the fall of Maleum, an expedition led by Falkus Kibre, Iskandar Khayon, and others eventually managed to find both Abaddon and the Vengeful Spirit. Commanding a fleet once again, Abaddon used the vessel to crush the Emperor's Children and their clone of Horus on Harmony. Shortly before the battle, Iskandar Khayon's preserved sister, now known as the Anamnesis, combined with the Machine Spirit of the Vengeful Spirit, allowing the vessel to operate with minimal crew.[4a]

The Vengeful Spirit during the 13th Black Crusade

Following the Battle of Harmony, Abaddon resumed command of the Sons of Horus. The Vengeful Spirit became the flagship of the newly christened Black Legion, a role it continues to this day.[4] The Vengeful Spirit is known to have appeared in the 10th[7] 12th[5] and 13th[6] Black Crusades. During the battle above Cadia in the 13th Black Crusade, the Vengeful Spirit was damaged as it was overwhelmed by Imperial Navy battlegroups, but before it could be finished off retreated with the rest of the Black Legion fleet as a Blackstone Fortress was dropped on the planet.[8]

The Vengeful Spirit later reappeared at the head of the massive Chaos armada that invaded Vigilus. Blasting aside all opposition, it went into orbit above the world and was the primary Black Legion command centers. During the climax of the war as Abaddon engaged Marneus Calgar in a duel, the remaining Imperial vessels launched a last-ditch assault on the orbiting Vengeful Spirit. Though 80% of the Imperial ships were lost, Calgar's plan succeeded when he had the allied Eldar stealth vessel Vaul's Ghost collide with the Vengeful Spirit. The Eldar ship detonated a cache of Imperial Deathstrike Missiles, blowing a hole in the Vengeful Spirit and causing catastrophic damage. Facing destruction, the Vengeful Spirit was forced into an emergency Warp Jump. Faced with the prospect of losing his prized flagship and key symbol of authority, Abaddon was forced to withdraw from Vigilus to reach the Vengeful Spirit before it made its Warp transition.[9]

Later, the still-repairing Vengeful Spirit was the site of the first meeting between Abaddon and Vashtorr, who hacked into its systems to manifest aboard the flagship. It was subsequently again utilized by Abaddon as his flagship during the Arks of Omen Campaign. The vessel led Black Legion actions at both Magdalor[14] and Idolatros[15].