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The Malleus Veritatis was an Imperial Navy light cruiser of unknown class that crashed on the Dead World of Cressid.

History

Launched in 526.M34, the Malleus Veritatis was assigned to the Achilus Crusade with a crew of 40,000 and a full battalion of Astra Militarum troops.

On 942.789.M41, the Malleus Veritatis was in orbit over Khazant, preparing to disembark a battalion of the Scintillan Fusiliers for duty amidst the brutal conditions on the world's surface.

Landing shuttles were prepared for launch when a significant force of Chaos vessels attacked from behind cover of one of the world's moons.

The cruiser suffered the brunt of the attack as it had inadvertently separated from other Imperial fleet elements in preparation for the landing exercise.

The Malleus Veritatis was observed to take substantial damage until all contact was abruptly lost. However, there was no evidence of an explosion nor have any significant portions of the vessel were later found in orbit.

One observer's report indicated that the vessel's Warp engines may have been activated in the course of the damage, sending the craft into the Warp. The vessel's current whereabouts remain unknown.

In truth, the vessel emerged from the Warp above the Desert World of Cressid where it promptly crashed. The survivors of the crash then set up their own community on that harsh planet.

The community is not large, but over the past two solar decades it has become self-sustaining. This is largely due to the resources that survived their vessel's impact upon the world's surface.

The light cruiser had a crew of thousands and was reasonably well provisioned for those numbers. It also had substantial capability for hydroponics growth as well as a corpse starch reclamation facility. The majority of these deserters continue to live aboard the ruined hulk, which is now often buried beneath the world's endless sands.

As the watch station has not detected any transmissions from the craft, it is assumed that either the astropath and the vessel's vox systems were both damaged or the current residents would prefer to dwell upon the planet rather than return to active duty with the crusade.

Under some weather conditions, the Deathwatch's Watch Station Cressid present on the world can detect transmissions from the internal vox systems on the ruined ship. Analysis of the recordings suggests that the deserters have divided into at least two factions, which are at war with one another. The reasons for this condition remain unclear but may simply be a consequence of their desperation.

When Deathwatch Battle-Brother Skorsa eliminated a band of Renegades that attempted to attack Watch Station Cressid, his reports indicated that they were particularly well-equipped. Further studies of the armaments recovered indicated that they were standard-issue equipment for the regiments of the Scintillan regiments of the Imperial Guard.

There was little indication that any of the equipment had been defaced, so at least those units may have maintained their loyalty to the Imperium.

His report has not yet been passed on to the Achilus Crusade authorities. In the intervening years, the survivors may not have been able to maintain their loyalties. Encounters between Imperial forces and these deserters might turn decidedly violent.

Sources

  • Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pp. 72-73
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