Battlefleet Orpheus is a permanent detachment of the Imperial Navy charged with the protection of the Orpheus Sector on the exterior borders of the Segmentum Tempestus. As one of the frontier fleets of the Imperium of Mankind, Battlefleet Orpheus lacks the numbers or tonnage of more powerful formations such as Battlefleet Gothic ot Battlefleet Armageddon, but as most branches of the Imperial Navy carries forth a proud history. Unfortunately, Battlefleet Orpheus has suffered severe casualties in the recent and still ongoing Orphean War. With the formal dissolution of the Orpheus Sector in 999.M41, the Battlefleet's fate remains unclear.
The Segmentum Tempestus is one of the five Segmentum Majoris or great administrative regions which compose the domains of the Holy Emperor and the Imperium of Mankind. Located to the galactic South of the Segmentum Solar and Terra itself, the Segmentum Tempestus -- which loosely translates as "the Sector of Storms" -- owns its name to the turbulent Warp-routes and other strange phenomena that plague the Segmentum's shipping lanes. Perhaps mercifully for the forces of the Imperial Navy stationed there, the Segmentum Tempestus is free of large scale Warp-anomalies such as the Eye of Terror and the Maelstrom which offer pirates and armies of the Ruinous Powers a safe harbour to amass their strength before striking again at the Imperium. As such, the Imperial Navy of this region of space is more often confronted by xenos raiders rather than fully fledged warfleets, which the notable exceptions of the Ork-held domains of V'run and Jurn which occasionally launch invasions known as WAAAGHs!. Segmentum Headquarters are located on and around the Imperial Forge World of Bakka, which also commands the most powerful warfleet of the Segmentum, Battlefleet Bakka. Due to the uncertainties of the Warp within the Segmentum, the Battlefleets of the Segmentum Tempestus are used to long and often extended patrols, hunting down xenos and human corsairs or pirates and investigating distress signals while the most powerful units serve as tactical reserve with Battlefleet Bakka as was the case in the First Tyrannic War.
The Dark Marches Crusade
In the sixth century of M.36, following the tumultuous times of the Age of Apostasy, the Segmentum Tempestus knows a strong resurgence which it put to good use when the tremendous Warp Storms that had given the Segmentum it’s name abated. Segmentum authorities launched a series of campaigns and Crusades designed to expunge lingering threats and fortify the Imperium’s southern border. This would eventually lead to the great Dark Marches Crusade, whose principal objective was to reconquer and colonize the domains that had been explored by the legendary Rogue Trader Lady Arica Orpheus in the distant past of the Great Crusade but had been lost in the wake of the Horus Heresy. The Crusade was led by a distant descendant of the noble Rogue Trader house, Lord Tempestus Hal Orpheus and would lead to the creation of several new Imperial Sectors, chief amongst them the Orpheus Sector which was granted its own Battlefleet. The newly constituted Battlefleet was given a mighty vessel as its flagship, the Apocalypse-class Battleship Arica Dominus from which Hal Orpheus had planned and directed the Dark Marches Crusade and chose Amarah Prime, the Sector’s new capital, as its principal base of operation and headquarters.
Over the next millennia, Battlefleet Orpheus always upheld its oaths, watching and protecting the Sector’s worlds and the vital commercial routes may of them relied upon even during the dark years of the Times of Woe, when the political structure of the Sector was close to imploding. Most often, the Battlefleet saw limited actions against Eldar Corsairs which had found refuge within the asteroid fields and nebulas of the Hesod Nebula. This domain, located to the far North of the Sector could never truly be controlled or pacified, despite several punitive expeditions being launched. Following the loss of contact with the neighbouring Leyak-Sector in 976.M37, Battlefleet Orpheus is tasked with the surveillance of the border to this Sector which is declared Perdita after an Ordo Xenos-led investigation. Several frontier worlds within the Orpheus Sector are also to be abandoned, and Battlefleet Orpheus establishes a strong presence in the Deluvian Sub-Sector to better enforce the compliance of local space-traffic. This was only made possible through an inquisitorial mandate for the other worlds of the Orpheus Sector to dramatically increase their own orbital defences, which freed sufficient ships for these patrols along the southern border to be carried out. It is believed that it was during these years that Amarah Prime equipped itself with the two great orbital stations that would still make up the heart of its orbital defence network during the Orphean War. It was also presumably following these edicts that Battlefleet Orpheus established a secondary mustering point and astropathic choir in orbit around the Relic World of C'syn'ad.
With its eyes fixed on the outside, the Orpheus Sector did not see the dark seeds that had taken root within their Sector as the baleful touch of Chaos corrupted a score of worlds. Still heavily hindered by the tremendous military tithes they were subjected to, the worlds of the Orpheus Sector proved to be fertile ground for the promises of insurrectionists, separatists and demagogues. Sector governorship had long passed from the extinguished line of House Orpheus to the stewardship of the House of Laan, distrusted by many for the House’s reputation was one of intrigue and excesses. To some extent, the Sector was kept together and functioning only by the tireless efforts of Battlefleet Orpheus, which successfully adverted a number of crisis that would have plunged the Sector into chaos had they not done so. Chief amongst these menaces was the major Ork-invasion of 160.M39, where their ramshackle fleet penetrated deeply into the Deluvian Sub-Sector. Led by their gigantic flagship - the Mega-Kroozer - the Orks proved a far more tenacious opponent than initially believed and it took Battlefleet Orpheus no less than nineteen weeks of constant attacks to slow down the WAAAGH!, before defeating it with the help of its allies, the Space Marines of the Revilers and Red Seraphs Chapters. However, the Orkish survivors soon settled in the desolate regions on the border of the Deluvian Sub-Sector and would soon prove to be a constant thorn in the Battlefleet's side. Focusing on the regions surrounding the Warp Storm known as the Shattered Deeps, these Orks soon turned to piracy, preying on the commercial routes of both the Deluvian and Drucillan Sub-Sectors.
Battlefleet Orpheus only played a limited role during the Orphean War of Faith, an Imperial Crusade destined to cleanse the Orpheus Sector from the corruption of the xenos and the Ruinous Powers that had befallen it. The Orphean War of Faith was essentially a ground war and although Battlefleet Orpheus contributed largely in shipping Imperial forces to the front lines, few naval battles were fought. This changed to some extent after the events known as Saint Marduk’s Bane, when in 921.M39 an unknown enemy scoured the planet clean of both Chaos-aligned and Imperial armies and destroyed Saint Marduk’s supporting fleet elements. Having mysteriously vanished, Battlefleet Orpheus diligently searched for the enemy, the desire for retribution burning hot i their hearts, but all patrols came back empty-handed.
It would only be in the 40th Millennium that Battlefleet Orpheus’ might would be tested again, when the Orks of WAAAGH! Gutgouga succeeded to rally the pirates of the Shattered Deeps around them and push for the Deluvian Sub-Sector. It would take nearly seven month of gruesome campaigning to stop the Ork advance and destroy them, Warboss Badrok Gutgouga’s corpse being famously hanged from the spire of the Red Cathedral on Amraphel. This marked the last true threat to Battlefleet Orpheus before the disastrous Orphean War.
The Orphean War
In 990.M41, the binary system of Caracol went supernova, an event which is believed to coincide with the reawakening of the Maynarkh Dynasty, a powerful fraction of the Xenos-species identified as Necrons. Unknown to the Imperium of Mankind, the Caracol-system harboured one of the powerful xenos-devices known as Dolmen Gates, which transferred the energy of the twin solar death to the plane of the Immaterium, creating something akin to the tsunamis of Old Earth within the Warp. This huge tidal wave snuffed out all warp-turbulences within the Orpheus Sector and beyond, some of which had been plaguing the Sector for the past centuries. The Shattered Deeps, a warp storm which had long sheltered Ork pirates, collapsed on itself and only the Howling Vortex in the Barren Stars remained. Many vessels that were traveling in the Warp when the wave hit were thrown wildly of course or had to initiate an emergency translation into realspace -- the less fortunate were even destroyed and their souls left to feed the ever-hungry denizens of the Warp. It is unknown how Battlefleet Orpheus suffered from this phenomenon, or if indeed warships or other installations were lost or harmed in the process, but such an event was bound to cause some form of turmoil. However, none truly expected it to herald a sector-wide invasion of the Orpheus Sector.
By 991.M41, Battlefleet Orpheus was in a heightened state of alert, powerful agents of the Ordo Malleus had analyzed the warp wave further and come to the conclusion that a daemonic calamity was drawing near. Yet no attack from the Immaterium manifested itself and so patrols and troop gatherings were continued as planned. Sector authorities were pressing for the reconquest of the Chemarium-system which had been cordoned-off by the warships of Battlefleet Orpheus. As part of the reinforcements gathered for this expedition, the Space Marines Chapter of the Minotaurs had arrived in the Orpheus Sector and made way for Amarah. When the attack came, it came from the North, but the enemy was not the one expected -- the Eldar Corsairs of the Hesod Nebula had been stirring and were now launching heavy raids against the nearby Imperial worlds. Ships on patrol in the vicinity such as the Thetis were the first to counterattack, the Thetis’ logs - only recovered after the events - showing that quite uncharacteristically, the raiders had lingered on Bessarion, hunting down every last survivor and stripping the colony as if they were preparing for some great voyage. With the help of Destroyer-squadron Ajax Three, the Thetis defeated the Eldar, driving them off before pursuing a damaged corsair vessel to the uninhabited system of Hex-Lul-344-5 only to find it already vanquished. Boarding parties sent on board the xenos derelict described a scene of utter devastation, Eldar and human captives slain alike, their flayed corpses hanging from the ceiling or lying in bloody heaps on the ground. In a sealed compartment, the armsmen discovered Eldar which had committed ritual suicide to escape whatever fate had befallen their comrades, the walls of their hiding hole covered with warding signs written in their own blood. Meanwhile, a far larger Corsair-fleet was trying to move westwards when it encountered a battlegroup of Battlefleet Orpheus and the majority of the Minotaurs’ own powerful fleet. The Eldar being quickly destroyed, the combined fleet returned to Amarah, while the Thetis, now alone, pressed on to the Mechanicus outpost of Harrow Watch. Having lost contact with Battlefleet Headquarters several hours before, the Thetis’ could not issue a warning upon reaching the Harrow Watch-system where its wreck was later discovered. Like the Thetis, a score of worlds perished in utter silence and without the knowledge of the Imperial forces, their cries for help unheard and their call for assistance unanswered.
It wasn’t before the the Inquisitorial fortress on Apollyon, close to the heart of the Sector was attacked itself that the Imperium realised that it was under attack. With astropathic communication out of service, the following call to arms had to be relayed by fast-travelling ships, many of whom did not return. How the Necrons were indeed able to sabotage this communication remains unclear as the sole comparable phenomena is generated by the collective Hive Mind of the Tyranids and is known as the "Shadow in the Warp". Yet the Necron did not simply copy the Tyranid’s ability but took it even a step further, apparently freezing the astropathic messages and death screams of its inceptors in time to be used to a baleful end. The desperate warning of Apollyon brought movement to the Imperial warmachine, but with all contact lost with a score of worlds and most importantly Libertha, the homeworld of the Angels Revenant, Imperial Commanders began to frantically man their defences rather than conduct a coordinated counter-attack. In this course of action, Calibor Laan, the Sector’s Imperial Governor was supported by the most distinguished of the Inquisitorial representatives still alive, Lord Inquisitor Ntshona of the Ordo Malleus. However, as he had not been on Apollyon or faced the enemy himself, the venerable Lord Inquisitor theorized that this was all an elaborate terror-campaign conducted by the agents of the Archenemy and that no punitive actions were to be undertaken. As the days became weeks and the weeks months, Amarah was soon turned into a fortress. Battlefleet Orpheus tirelessly transferred materiel and troops to Amarah, leaving the Arcantis Cluster dangerously undefended as the ever more paranoid Calibor Laan commandeered ever more troops in defence of his throneworld. First to arrive was Battlegroup Salvation, the great Imperial army initially mustered to reconquer the Chemarium-system, while later reinforcements included the 17th and 60th Line Korps of the Death Korps of Krieg. Apart from shipping troops to Amarah, most of Battlefleet Orpheus stood idle at Amarah, reading themselves for action when eventually the enemy would show itself. Countless minefields were laid at the system’s Mandeville point, the only route the enemy could arrive from.
The ominous silence that had fallen over nearly half of the Orpheus Sector was abruptly shattered on 3806991.M41. Astropathic channels and scanner auguries that had been silent for months were suddenly overwhelmed by the mass of signals and incoming messages, an overlapping cacophony that drove more than one Astropath to madness. Those that survived described scores of babbled distress calls mingled with the death screams of entire populations, folded on themselves and overlapping as if they had been magically kept in a bottle only to be opened again. Scanners and empirical detection devices showed strange energy spikes on the borders of the Veiled Region while a malevolent corrupted machine spirit overpowered the defences of entire worlds and ther greatest warships of Battlefleet Orpheus to deliver its message in hard edged Imperial Gothic "Maynarkh comes". This simple phrase, repeated over and over shocked the Orpheus Sector to its core, for with the cacophony hallowing from their own vox-networks, a malign presence had manifested itself in the Imperial communication network. Battlefleet Orpheus reacted quickly, as the normal safeguards of the Machine God’s adepts proved utterly vain, the Mechanicus Adepts used galvanic purges to scour the infestation clean, creating an effective firewall which allowed to reassert control over the communication grid. Only with communication reestablished did the full extent of the invasion become visible: Libertha, the homeworld of the Angels Revenant had been reduced to a volcanic plain, venting the fury of its fiery heart in its soured atmosphere while from Pallasite to Apollyon all worlds had been scoured clean of life. Even as the systems in Amarah’s direct vicinity and Battlefleet Orpheus’ own shipyards came under attack, no counter-attack was launched, even the Space Marines of the Minotaurs Chapter staying in orbit around Amarah. Kesh and Epirus fell next, while the Imperials still dug themselves deeper in, awaiting the horror that was bound to come.
The Battle of Amarah
In the quarter of a year since the first attack on the Orpheus Sector had begun, Calibron Laan had steadily reinforced the defences of Amarah, until said defences had grown to colossal proportions. With the first reinforcements from the neighbouring Sectors arriving at the capital, the build-up of forces quickly became one of the greatest of the entire Segmentum -- on the ground alone over nineteen million Imperial Guardsmen had been deployed, with ten-times that number of Imperial citizens pressed into the Militia. Battlefleet Orpheus had also been considerably reinforced, the fleet protecting Amarah having steadily grown until it counted more than sixty Cruisers our capital vessels of which at least seven were primus-grade Battleships. The Imperial fleet would be commanded by Knight-Commander Georg Carew, Grand Admiral of Battlefleet Orpheus from the bridge of the venerable Arica Dominus, the same ship that had heralded the inception and conquest of the Orpheus Sector. Alongside these vessels, more than a hundred Escorts belonging to Amarah’s own orbital defences, Battlefleet Orpheus or the Imperial Navy would take to the fight, the coalition further strenghtened by the power vessels at the disposition of the Minotaurs, chief amongst them being the great Assault-Carrier Daedelos Krata. While independent from Battlefleet Headquarters, Asterion Moloc, Chapter Master of the Minotaurs had signified his will to concur with the wider Imperial strategy and perhaps untypically for his Chapter, decided to bow to the will of Amarah’s Imperial Governor.
Calibron Laan had explicitly forbidden Battlefleet Orpheus to investigate the fate of the lost worlds, or even to gather information about the enemy’s strength or true nature. Therefore, Grand Admiral Carew had looked after his fleets defences and moulded the battlefield to his liking. On the system’s exterior, Battlefleet Orpheus had deployed a thick minefield around Amarah's Mandeville Point, the location where Warp/real-space translation was safe and could not be interfered with by the sun’s gravity and radiation. The fleet itself was anchored around Battlefleet Orpheus' fleet anchorage of Laymon, orbiting Amarah's third planet -- locally referred to as Laymon -- in order to intercept any formation breaking through the minefield and heading system-inwards, considerably weakening the foe and if possible stopping him from landing any troops at all on Amarah. If the enemy prove to powerful in this first engagement, Battlefleet Orpheus and its allies could still fall back and anchor their second line on Amarah's orbital defence platforms. The battle plan was a sound one, and Carew had much faith that the battle against this mysterious and yet unidentified enemy could be won in space. He could not have been more wrong.
When the attack finally came at 1534202 local time of 3970992.M41, the Imperial fleet and Battlefleet Orpheus were totally taken by surprise. No auguries, no deep-space scan had warned the Imperials from the Necron's arrival, nor had the attack been predicted by the visions of an Astropath, seer or Librarian of the Adeptus Astartes. As previously, the Necrons used an unknown technology to disorientate, weaken and disorganise their foes, somehow forcing Amarah's sun to eject matter into space. The star’s projection were so massive that it reached the innermost planet of the solar system, Auric, flash-incinerating everything on its day-side, whilst the radiations, gravitational anomalies and solar winds vomited in space blinded every augury of both fleet and defence grid and caused a total communication breakdown. It was only when battle station Sentinel 4 in deep orbit around Amarah Prime exploded that the reeling Imperial forces realised that battle had been joined. Still at anchor, the fleet could only watch helplessly as the black fleet of the enemy passed them by, utterly ignoring them and heading for the system’s core. Somehow, the Necron had entirely circumvented the exterior defences and appeared deep within the Imperial defences. Moving at a speed no Imperial vessel under his command could hope to match, Grand Admiral Carew watched impotently as the strange silhouettes of the enemy ships headed to the world he had sworn to protect. Ordering the fleet to mobilize and the Arica Dominus to cycle its generators to full power and engage its engines, the armada of Imperial battleships began to stir, but for Amarah it was already too late. By the time a warning could be send, the Necron-ships had already obliterated the interior minefields and destroyed first Sentinel 2, the Sentinel 1, each station harbouring the firepower of an entire cruiser squadron. The station's fiery demise illuminated the night-sky above Amarah, a fiery omen of what was yet to come.
While on the ground battle was joined, the naval engagement had not yet started. The Imperial fleet, fuelled by righteous anger was powering at full burn towards Amarah, intent on catching the Necron fleet before it could disengage or flee the system. The Maynarkh however had quite a different goal in mind and turned in perfect unity and a grace that no human ship could hope to match right into the path of the attackers. At the heart of the Necron fleet stood two towering behemoths, two Cairn-class Tomb Ships identified as the Dead Hand and the Sun Killer. Easily dwarfing an Imperial battleship, it would be the first time in Imperial history that the Imperial Navy would face two of these fearful tools of destruction at the same time. The Necrons could further rely on twenty of the so-called Harvest Ships of the Scythe-class, but most oft the Necron fleet was made up of lighter craft of Escort-level tonnage. By conventional wisdom, Battlefleet Orpheus outnumbered its enemy nearly four-to-one, but despite his naval expertise, Grand Admiral Carew had never fought Necrons before.
The Imperial warships formed two battle-echelons. The first would be led by Carew himself and the Arica Dominus, which totaled the main force of Battlefleet Orpheus, while the second echelon, closely behind as to exploit any break in enemy formation would stand ready to deliver the killing blow. This second echelon was centered on the relic Assault Carrier, the Daedelos Krata and was almost exclusively made up of the Minotaurs’ warfleet -- three mighty Battle Barges and their escorting Strike Cruisers. Against them, the Necrons had arrayed themselves in a large crescent-shaped formation, with the heavier Cairn-class Tomb Ships at its heart. Despite the affront made to his honour and his burning desire to avenge the ships previously lost, Carew kept a cool head, planning his opening moves with the exactitude and precision of a great tactician. At tremendous speed, the Necrons were still heading towards the Imperial fleet, perhaps in an attempt to break through his formation. Conferring with Asterion Moloc, Grand Admiral Carew asked for the second echelon to slightly fall back as to better intercept any ship managing to break through before matching the enemy’s course. With serene attitude, Carew ordered launch-tubes to be prepared and the Imperial fleet entered the battle proper with a coordinated wave of torpedoes.
On the bridge of the Arica Dominus, all eyes were locked on the tactical holo-sphere as hundreds of blue icons, closed in on the enemy ships. Red alarm glyphs suddenly sprang to life as the torpedoes were about to hit their target : scores of torpedoes simply ceased to function, their thrusters powering down and leaving them floating or tumbling on an erratic course, their warheads deactivated by some foul xenos technology. Others even self destructed or cork-screwed on new trajectories that let them bypass the Necron’s flypath. Far too few flew on undeterred, and these were easily avoided by the surprisingly nimble Necron ships or exploded harmlessly on the thick black hull of the large Tomb Ships. Before the Imperial fleet had fully recovered from its shock, both fleets had entered lance range and the Necrons retaliated with their own ordnance. Marked by gravitational distortions and flying close to the speed of light, the cogitators and machine spirits of Battlefleet Orpheus identified the projectiles far too late to alter their course. The venerable battlecruiser Richtenback, next in line to the Arica Dominus itself was struck amidships by just such a projectile : its shields instantly overwhelmed and its fiery demise shacking the flagship to its core - the Necrons were hurling spears of star-matter at Battlefleet Orpheus. Knowing fully well that to call of the attack now was all but impossible, Grand Admiral Carew ordered his ships to come about and rake the Necrons with the full might of their broadsides. The closing space between the two fleets became a blinding storm of blazing lance strikes, super-heated plasmabeams or flying macro-cannon shells and missiles whilst the Necrons answered with a fury of strange emerald blasts. The first casualties began to come in, and the Knight-Commander was horrified to notice what havoc the Necron had wrought within the Imperial battleline; fully a quarter of his fleet had either been destroyed or crippled against so very few xenos-vessels. As the Imperial warships powered away, horror piled on horror as mocking inertia and conventional dynamics of naval engagements, every ship in the Necron fleet made an 180° turn on itself and headed back the way they had come, now bearing on the vulnerable rear-quarter of the Imperial battle line.
The second engagement with the Necron fleet was even more murderous than the first pass, as many ships had not recharged their depleted Void Shields and were now attacked from the blindspot created by their own thrusters. Dozens of ships perished not knowing what had attacked them, including the Mendicatus and the Retribution-class Battleship Talisman of Grace, which was cut in two by the Sun Killer’s fire. Frantically ordering his ships to disperse and break formation, Grand Admiral Carew ordered the Arica Dominus to turn as tightly as its veteran crew could manage it, zeroing in on an isolated Harvest Ship and unleashing the full might of its broadside upon it. The Necron ship soon succombed and disintergrated under the cheers of the Arica Dominus’ bridge crew, but that joy was short-lived. The Imperial fleet had fallen into disarray, each ship trying to save itself from the more rapid Necron vessels. Many Imperial bombers and fighters were not shot down by the enemy, but by the defensive fire of their own panicked comrades. The Arica Dominus was assailed by a trio of Necron Escorts which deeply wounded the ship, breaking the ship’s starboard boardside upon and leaving it open to the void whilst disabling its manoeuvering capacity, leaving the relic battleship’s to helplessly tumble around. With the Arica Dominus taken out, and the twin behemoths of the Dead Hand and the Sun Killer in their midst, Battlefleet Orpheus soon fell into disarray and retreated.
For Battlefleet Orpheus, the Battle of Amarah was a humbling defeat. Had it not been for the later intervention of the Minotaurs which launched a daring decapitation strike at the Dead Hand which succeeded in wounding the Necron Overlord commanding the assault, this battle could have ended in disaster. Through the sacrifice of uncounted millions of men, in place of utter defeat, the Imperium was able to achieve a bloody stalemate. Amarah remained in Imperial hands, but it had been ruined and it was evident that the Imperial armies would not be able to hold back another attack. Strategically speaking, Amarah and the rest of the Orpheus Sector were lost, for the only way to defeat the Maynarkh Dynasty would have been to call for a full-fledged Imperial Crusade, a campaign that would take years or even decades to be launched. Therefore, under authority of the High Lords of Terra, the Orpheus Sector was to be abandoned, the remaining worlds stripped of every useful resource and the Necrons to be held back whilst the neighbouring Eurydice-Sector was mobilized for war and its world fortified. With the promulgation of the Orphean Decree of 0266999.M41, the Orpheus Sector -- and by extension, Battlefleet Orpheus -- ceased to exist. What line-worthy warships survived would help the evacuation effort or fight off the Necrons as long as was strategically viable. Several worlds of the Orpheus Sector were marked for Exterminatus and by all logic, the remaining warships would then be integrated into other fleets. For the time being, the remains of Battlefleet Orpheus have gathered around Gorgon Quintus, the Imperial base of operation for the Orpheus Salvation Campaign.
Notable Vessels of Battlefleet Orpheus
- Arica Dominus (Apocalypse-class Battleship) - The venerable Apocalypse-class Battleship Arica Dominus is the oldest ship serving in Battlefleet Orpheus, and the flagship of its current Grand Admiral, Knight-Commander Georg Carew. By all accounts, the Arica Dominus is a relic-ship and venerated throughout the Orpheus Sector for it was at her helm that Lord Tempestus Hal Orpheus stood when he conquered the worlds of the Orpheus Sector during the Dark Marches Crusade. It was also the Arica Dominus that carried the deceased Lord Tempestus’ body on a grand procession throughout the entire Orpheus Sector on the one thousandth anniversary of the Sector’s creation. The Arica Dominus’ long and proud history came to an abrupt end during the void-battle that opposed Battlefleet Orpheus and its allies to the dreaded Harvest Fleet of the Necron Maynarkh Dynasty. While the flagship did not go down unbloodied, the Arica Dominus was severely damaged by a trio of Scythe-class Harvest Ships, its starboard broadside venting air and the mighty battleship tumbling uncontrollably. The Arica Dominus’ current fate is unknown, although the chance remains that her wreck might have been salvaged in the cadre of the Orphean Salvation Campaign.
- Talisman of Grace (Retribution-class Battleship) - A venerable battleship of Battlefleet Orpheus, the Talisman of Grace was destroyed above Amarah by the Cairn-class Tomb Ship identified as the Sun Killer.
- Mendicatus (Heavy Cruiser, Unknown Class) - Destroyed by the Necrons at the Battle of Amarah during the Orphean War.
- Richtenback (Battlecruiser, Unkown Class) - A venerable Battlecruiser in service to Battlefleet Tempestus and later Battlefleet Orpheus, the Richtenback had fought in the glorious days of the Great Crusade only to meet its end at the Battle of Amarah.
- Thetis (Lunar-class Cruiser) - Engaged on patrol duty, the remains of the First Line Cruiser Thetis were discovered by an Adeptus Mechanicus deep range Infiltrator Unit in the Harrow Watch system. From what files and shiplogs could be extracted, it would appear that the Thetis encountered the invading Necron fleet while pursuing the remnants of Eldar Corsairs that had preyed upon the world of Bessarion. Ship logs further access that the Thetis’ Machine Spirit had somehow been tempered with by unknown forces and that they hoped to purge their systems with the help of the Magos of Harrow Watch, only to find the system already overrun. The Thetis has been regarded as Battlefleet Orpheus’ first casualty of the Orphean War.
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve: the Fall of Orpheus, pp.25-61