The Nightfall was an ancient Imperial Gloriana-class Battleship that served as the flagship of Konrad Curze, better known as Night Haunter, the Primarch of the Night Lords Legion, during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras of the late 30th and early 31st Millennia.
This flagship led a large flotilla of Night Lords warships which comprised the VIII Legion's Expeditionary Fleet. During the opening days of the Horus Heresy, the Warmaster Horus sent the Night Haunter and his VIII Legion on a campaign of genocide, later known in Imperial records as the Thramas Crusade, against the Imperial strongholds of Heroldar and Thramas in the Aegis Sub-sector of the Eastern Fringes.
This campaign was intended to protect Horus' flank as the Traitor Legions advanced on Terra and delay the Dark Angels Legion from reinforcing the Loyalists. This bitterly contested campaign dragged on for nearly three standard years.
During the climatic conclusion of the campaign, the Nightfall and fifty vessels of the VIII Legion confronted the entirety of the Dark Angels' Expeditionary Fleet in a desperate action to allow the surviving Night Lords vessels to scatter and escape into the void. Still severely damaged from its previous encounter with the Dark Angels, the Nightfall suffered catastrophic damage during this final confrontation.
The Nightfall was a Gloriana-class Battleship constructed from a Standard Template Construct (STC) pattern recovered during the progress of the Great Crusade. The massive warship was painted in the VIII Legion's colours, with bolts of lightning streaking across her night blue hull. A Gloriana Battleship was the size of a densely compacted city, and accordingly populated not only by officers and expert crew, but by a slave-caste numbering in the tens of thousands of souls.
Most were consigned to live in the warship's lightless bowels, breathing poorly-ventilated air and plasma furnace fumes, but many still saw service on the upper decks. Nine full companies of Night Lords Legionaries, including the Atramentar Terminators of the VIII Legion's elite 1st Company, were stationed aboard the mighty vessel. The Dark Angels' flagship Invincible Reason was a warship of the same ancient class.
The Nightfall was present during many notorious events that occurred during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy, including: the Pacification of the Cheraut System, the Destruction of Nostramo, the Drop Site Massacre at Istvaan V and the Thramas Crusade which saw the Nightfall suffer catastrophic damage and likely resulted in her destruction.
The bridge of the Nightfall, like the rest of the vessel, was immersed in the perpetual darkness that was so common to the VIII Legion's warships. This intentional blackness was utterly natural to the Night Lords, each one of whom had been born of the same sunless world of Nostramo.
Servitors trundled about their simple duties while the mortal crewmen performed the myriad functions that were necessary for the ship’s continued function. Crew members wore lamp packs and photo-visors to penetrate the gloom. At the centre of the bridge, upon a raised dais, was an ivory command throne where the Night Lords' Primarch, Night Haunter, directed the vessels of his fleet.
Night Haunter's Sanctum
The inner sanctum of the VIII Legion's Primarch was a veritable charnel house; scourged naked bodies hung on vicious flesh-hooks connected to dense chains affixed to the chamber's ceiling. In his sanctum the madness that clawed eternally at Night Haunter's mind pushed out to infect the surrounding world. The room was the embodiment of Konrad Cruze's twisted psyche, a tale written in skinned bodies and desecrated remains. Plagued by excruciatingly dark visions, Curze talked to the corpses, divining future events from their desecrated remains.
A single immense round table served as the centre piece of the Night Haunter's chambers. It was at that table that the Primarch's elderly and devoted archivist, Ekra Trez, the "Sin-Eater," wrote down his master's visions on parchments and later archived them in stacks of Data-Slates. Often the circular slab played home to a mouldering cadaver that looked as if it had been pulled apart by a surgeon using no tools, which ultimately was true, for the morbid work had been done by Curze's bare hands as the visions of the future plagued his mind.
Gobbets of blackening meat would be strewn across the table's surface, cemented there by dried blood and bodily fluids. The Primarch spoke to these desecrated bodies as they were, ravaged and brutalised, and would know if someone had moved them, an action which never failed to enrage him.
It was within his sanctum that the Night Haunter confessed his deepest and darkest visions to the ancient archivist. He told the Sin-Eater everything, including when and how he would die, for he had always known the truth of his own end. The knowledge pained him more than anyone could ever understand. The pressure of it, the inevitability, was a constant tide of madness pressing against his consciousness.
- Fleet Admiral Torun Keshr - Fleet Admiral Keshr served as the Shipmaster of the Nightfall and was the senior-most naval commander within the Night Lords' Legion fleet. Towards the end of the Thramas Crusade, Keshr was mortally wounded during the Dark Angels Legion's initial ambush of the Night Lords Expeditionary Fleet. This salty commander had a reputation for remaining stoic when facing insurmountable odds and even remained unfazed when he lay dying under wreckage as the Nightfall's bridge burned around him.
- Wing Commander Taye Karena - Wing Commander of the "Veiled One," an elite squadron composed of Wrath-class starfighters stationed aboard the Nightfall.
- Shadows of Treachery (Anthology) edited by Christian Dunn, "Prince of Crows," by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, pp. 134-135, 141, 144-145, 149, 153, 169-174, 176-178, 180, 181, 186