The Chaos Murder-class Cruiser was once the mainstay of the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Obscurus between the 33rd and 37th Millennia before being replaced by the more advanced Lunar-class Cruisers. Almost five hundred were built during this period, albeit with a proportionate number turning Traitor over the years and joining the Forces of Chaos.
Regardless of affiliation, Murder-class Cruisers were formidable adversaries at long-range, armed with a long-range Lance battery and several decks' worth of the best plasma cannon batteries ever produced by the Adeptus Mechanicus and equipped with engines powerful enough to keep out of lesser enemy starships' reach. This firepower becomes even more impressive when Murder-class warships work together in groups, as the sheer number of weapons batteries that can be unleashed by two or three Murder-class Cruisers is enough to bring down even the largest of Battleships.
This was most ably demonstrated during the final days of the Gothic War when the Murder-class Cruisers Monstrous, Steel Fang, and Doombringer destroyed the Imperial Battleship Relentless Persecution shortly after it was brought in from the nearby Ardekka Sector.
Notable Murder-class Cruisers
- Promise of Sedition - Dating back to the early 33rd Millennium, the Promise of Sedition was once a proud part of the Imperial Navy, bearing the name Cypra Vincere. After four centuries of exemplary service to the Imperium, it was lost in the Warp on a routine patrol towards the Cadian Gate, inexplicably given that its escorts survived the voyage intact and without incident. In the 36th Millennium, a vessel superficially matching the description and broadcast codes of the Cypra Vincere was sighted following the unexpected rebellion of the Haves-15 Agri-worlds, aiding in the resistance against Imperial Navy forces. The Cypra Vincere was re-designated in Imperial Navy records as the traitor vessel Promise of Sedition, and several Battlefleets hunted the ship for many long centuries before it vanished again near the Gothic Sector, only to reappear in the Koronus Expanse many years later. Sebastian Winterscale identified the ship in 211.M41, when it attacked colonist transports descending upon Lucin’s Breath; Winterscale’s fleet drove the tainted cruiser away, but not before the transports had been raided for prisoners. Since then, it has been sighted several times, sometimes raiding for slaves or resources, while at other times it has simply disengaged from the fighting, the warp-spawned storm clouds left in its wake making it difficult for any to pursue.
- Plagueclaw - The Plagueclaw fought in the Gothic War. It is notable for having had the majority of its plasma cannons replaced with Lances.
- Despicable Ecstasy - Like the Plagueclaw, the Despicable Ecstasy fought in the Gothic War and had many of its weapons batteries replaced with Lances.
- Doombringer - The Doombringer fought in the Gothic War, combining with the Steel Fang and Monstrous to destroy the Imperial Battleship Relentless Persecution.
- Steel Fang - The Steel Fang was one of the three ships that combined to destroy the Relentless Persecution.
- Monstrous - The Monstrous was one of the three Chaos starships that combined to destroy the Relentless Persecution.
- Deathblade - The Deathblade fought and earned renown in the Gothic War.
- Unholy Dominion - The Unholy Dominion fought and earned renown in the Gothic War.
- Pagan Voyager - The Pagan Voyager fought and earned renown in the Gothic War. It participated in the battle for Helia IV, and managed to escape Imperial retribution despite taking a direct hit to its command tower.
- Violator - The Violator fought in the Gothic War, and was destroyed at the battle for Helia IV.
- Charybdis - The Charybdis fought and earned renown in the Gothic War, specialising in ambushes and convoy raiding. It was eventually destroyed during the evacuation of the planet Belatis by the Dictator-class Cruiser Lord Solar Macharius.
- Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook
- Rogue Trader: Edge of the Abyss (RPG), pg. 89