An Ark Mechanicus is a vast Imperial starship that the ancient Mechanicum and the present-day Adeptus Mechanicus uses to scour the stars for their ultimate holy grail, a working Standard Template Construct and other forms of archeotech.
This quest is the most central tenet of the Mechanicus' religious Quest for Knowledge. As is to be expected, each Ark Mechanicus is filled with some of the most advanced current technology in the entire Imperium.
Though these rare, nigh-mythical ships are seldom brought to battle, when they do enter combat they can bring to bear nearly impenetrable defences and weaponry whose range and firepower puts even that of Imperial battleships to shame.
An Ark Mechanicus is also outfitted with industrial capabilities rivaling that of many hive cities, with kilometre upon kilometre of manufactoria, refineries, crackling Plasma Reactors and laboratories, test ranges, chemical vats and gene-bays.
Notable Arks Mechanicus
- Omnissiah's Victory - The Omnissiah's Victory is an Ark Mechanicus with a long and storied history. It is rumoured (albeit without proof) to predate the Great Crusade, and is definitely known for having participated in the Noloptis Crusade during the 33rd Millennium. The Omnissiah's Victory is armed with vast arrays of weapons batteries, lances, and a Nova Cannon, and is thought to be the original basis for the design of the Imperial Navy's Retribution-class Battleship.
- Speranza - The Speranza is an Ark Mechanicus that served as part of Magos Lexell Kotov's Explorator Fleet into the region of space known as the Halo Zone. The Speranza was equipped with powerful ancient graviton beam weapons that could create miniature black holes and chrono-weapons that were capable of shifting their target nanoseconds into the past.
- Iron Revenant - The flagship of Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl during the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, the Iron Revenant led Cawl's Mechanicus fleet to the Tomb World of Eriad VI on the instructions of the Eldar Harlequin Shadowseer Sylandri Veilwalker. Later, after recovering a Necron artefact from Eriad VI, the Iron Revenant proceeded to Cadia, already under assault by the massed Forces of Chaos of Abaddon the Despoiler, where it proved to be a desperately needed capital ship reinforcement for the battered Imperial fleet protecting that Fortress World. Cawl's attempt to use the Cadian Pylons to disrupt the Chaotic forces' connection to the Warp failed when the Despoiler hurled the damaged bulk of the Blackstone Fortress Will of Eternity from orbit as an artificial meteor into the surface of Cadia. The massive kinetic strike destroyed what remained of the world's defences, ensuring its envelopment by the rapidly expanding Eye of Terror. Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed ordered an evacuation of the dying world, and the Imperial survivors of Cadia led by Saint Celestine, now called the Celestinian Crusade, used every voidship at their disposal, including the Iron Revenant, to ferry the three million survivors off Cadia. Unable to enter the Warp because of the roiling instability of the Immaterium near the Cadian Gate, the Imperial fleet was forced to flee through the Cadia System at sub-light speed, and the Chaos warfleets gave chase. The largest and most powerful remaining Imperial capital ship, the Iron Revenant heroically sacrificed itself in battle against Abaddon's flagship the Vengeful Spirit so that the Celestinian Crusade could escape to the nearby ice moon of the world of Kasr Holn called Klaisus. The Iron Revenant's loss was not in vain, for the surviving Celestinians were rescued at the last by the arrival of the Ynnari through Klaisus' hidden Webway gate. Though his flagship was lost, Belisarius Cawl had rescued its most precious cargo -- the Armour of Fate, key to the resurrection of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman.
- Battlefleet Gothic Resources: Ships of Mars
- Battlefleet Gothic Armada II (PC Game)
- Priests of Mars (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Lords of Mars (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- The Gathering Storm - Book One - Fall of Cadia (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 6-89