A Night Shroud is a dedicated Necron strategic bomber whose origins date back many millions of Terran years to the lost battles of the War in Heaven. It is a potent relic of that ancient and apocalyptic conflict that the Night Shroud was originally designed and built to carry -- the Death Sphere, a self-enclosed containment vessel carrying an anti-matter warhead capable of wiping from existence anything it encounters. The Night Shroud is larger and more robustly constructed than the far more numerous Night Scythe and Doom Scythe fighter and attack aircraft alongside which it operates. Night Shrouds were used extensively by the nobility of the Necron Maynarkh Dynasty during the Orphean War fought in the Orpheus Sector of the Segmentum Tempestus, flying with their Doom Scythe and Night Scythe escorts whilst they rained destruction down upon the Imperial defenders.
A Night Shroud is piloted by a Necron Immortal who is hard-wired into his aircraft. Because of his undying, robotic nature, the pilot is uninhibited by mortal frailties and is able to steer the aircraft at higher speeds and perform more extreme manoeuvres than pilots of flesh and blood. Likewise, a Night Shroud is also a small spacecraft that fulfils the Attack Craft role in Necron fleets, despite the lack of a cockpit to protect the pilot; such niceties as oxygen and pressure are of little consequence for the undying form of the Necrons. A Night Shroud’s design is, whilst similar to its smaller brethren, larger overall. This is primarily due to the extended rear and additional engines added to the primary "crescent" shaped hull. The Night Shroud also features thicker armour plating, secondary crescent "wings" attached to the original Doom and Night Scythe design, and an enclosed cockpit with extensive sensor arrays.
All Night Shrouds are armed with the following:
- Five Death Spheres – Unlike the conventional bombing munitions of the younger races of the Milky Way Galaxy, the Death Spheres carried by a Night Shroud and its larger brethren are force field containment vessels that electromagnetically imprison the merest fragment of anti-matter. They are kept out of phase with the rest of the material universe until the sphere detonates, unleashing a wide annihilating energy blast of pure gamma radiation that is capable of destroying virtually anything within its radius. Anything lucky enough to survive the initial detonation is often left blinded and pinned; easy prey for advancing Necron forces that are soon to follow in the bomber’s wake. The true marvel of Necron science is not merely the caging of such destructive forces, however, but their precise control and the safety of their use, for should a Death Sphere be broken by hostile action, its energy harmlessly dissipates out of phase with reality instead of detonating in a likely cataclysmic wave of force upon contacting any form of normal matter.
- Twin-linked Tesla Destructors – A Night Shroud’s secondary weapon is its twin-linked Tesla Destructors which are also mounted upon an underslung ventral turret. A Tesla Destructor is mainly an anti-personnel weapon, though only the most heavily armed tanks can risk its wrath with utter impunity. The Tesla Destructor employs much the same lightning-arc technology as found in the smaller Tesla Cannons and Tesla Carbines. Its energy discharges of crackling lightning can wreak terrible harm on living targets, searing their flesh, melting their armour and boiling their blood. Furthermore, the Tesla bolts fired feed off energy released by the destruction they cause, so that the lightning released becomes more ferocious with each arc. So powerful are the blasts from a Tesla Destructor, and such is its shocking rapidity of fire, that the lightning emitted is capable of leaping from target to target before it is finally grounded, leaving a trail of smoldering carnage across a broad swathe of the battlefield behind it.
- Necrodermis – The armour of the Night Shroud is made up of the same living metal Necrodermis that comprises the bodies of the Necrons themselves, as well as all of their artefacts and vehicles. Its remarkable regenerative properties allow it to automatically repair damage to itself. This means that the Night Shroud can regenerate the parts of its hull, reknit its metal plates, and reconnect any circuits and other delicate systems required to bring its weapons online again.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve – The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 124