The Chaos Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser was a precursor to the Battlecruisers which are now more prevalent in most Imperial Navy fleets. Originally designated a Corinus-class Grand Cruiser by the Imperium of Man, this class of vessel almost rivaled true Battleships in its ability to withstand damage and lay down a barrage of fire.
The Grand Cruiser ultimately fell out of favour when the means for constructing sufficiently powerful plasma engines was lost by the Imperium over the millennia as more recent plasma drives are incapable of generating enough thrust to attain a useful combat speed for such a large vessel.
In the superstitious and hidebound realm of Imperial starship construction, entire classes of vessel can come to be regarded as cursed since the design stage. Spacefarers mutter that these starships are star-crossed, prone to dragging entire crews with them into the Warp at a moment's notice, there to leave them starving or bedevilled, until the ship re-emerges in the Eye of Terror, ready to serve the twisted lords of Chaos.
This dark reputation has followed the Grand Cruisers of the Repulsive-class, originally known as the Corinus-class since their inception in the Imperium's early days. A disturbingly large number of the Repulsives have turned Traitor or been captured into the Archenemy's service since the class became operational -- so many that some have forgotten the ships were originally constructed in the Emperor's service.
This is a tragedy indeed for the Imperium, for these are graceful and powerful warships, with a radically different weapons configuration from all other known Grand Cruisers, fully realising the ancient doctrine of a fast and manoeuvrable heavy warship. Their design cannot be duplicated, as the secrets of constructing powerful-enough plasma drives has since been lost to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Only a handful of these warship hulls remain uncorrupted by the powers of the Immaterium, and these are either mothballed, sealed, and guarded in the Reserve Fleets of the various Segmentum Fortresses, or under the command of certain extremely powerful Rogue Traders.
The story of how the Corinus-class became known instead as the Repulsive-class is little known. When the first variants of the original Corinus-class reappeared in the sporadic warfare of later centuries, they had been changed by the heavy Warp contamination of the Eye of Terror, sporting modifications and eruptions that baffled, excited and appalled the Tech-priests who studied them.
One unnamed scholar, toiling away in some obscure Forge World's record collation citadel, amended his report on these studies, changing the term Corinus to Repulsive, possibly as some recondite form of Martian humour. The Mechanicus, not being a humorous order, took up the emendation as purely literal, and like some spreading organic virus, it became the preferred classification for what remained a rare class of warship within Imperial zones of control and a more common one among the forces of Chaos.
A few ancient Grand Cruisers of various classes can still be found in the reserve fleets of the Segmentum Obscurus and Segmentum Pacificus, but they are largely obsolete. Of the 25 Grand Cruisers believed to have abandoned the Emperor of Mankind for the service of the Dark Gods since the inception of the ship type in the 34th Millennium, roughly a dozen have yet to be recaptured or destroyed.
Of those still at large, the Foe-Reaper is the most active, having been sighted in over a score of major fleet engagements in the 23 standard centuries since her corruption by the Ruinous Powers. Most infamously, it was the Foe-Reaper which destroyed the Adeptus Mechanicus facility on AFR-74, killing 50,000 Adepts within a few heartbeats, when a salvo of specially-modified torpedoes shattered the eco-shield protecting the inhabitants from the metha-nitrous atmosphere of that satellite.
- Hull: Grand Cruiser.
- Class: Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser.
- Dimensions: 7.4 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres abeam at fins approximately.
- Mass: Approximately 39 megatonnes.
- Crew: Approximately 134,000 crew.
- Acceleration: 2.4 gravities maximum sustainable acceleration.
Notable Repulsive-class Grand Cruisers
- Bloodied Sword
- Bringer of Despair
- Solace - When this warship's hull was originally laid down in the 34th Millennium on the Forge World of Lashte, it was named Undying Valour. It entered service with Battlefleet Archon less than a Terran year after structure completion, commanded by an inexperienced captain named Lutrecia Prask. Its complement of more than thirty thousand ratings was largely drawn from Imperial Navy levy stations strung out beyond the Mourn Ring, and was graded as competent by four subsequent inspection visits. Like all the original Corinus-class Grand Cruisers, it was heavily armed, with Lance and Macrocannon arrays out of proportion to its relatively underweight Void Shielding. It transpired that the class gradually fell out of favour with Imperial commanders, though the Undying Valour served with distinction for another five hundred Terran years, gaining a kill ratio marginally higher than its reputation indicated likely. Captain Prask died in an engagement less than twenty standard years after assuming command, and was replaced by a succession of captains promoted from the lower decks. A Grand Cruiser was a world of its own, and only the very greatest Battleships regularly recruited senior officers from outside the hull -- most captains were born, raised and trained on the ship they would later command. The last of the line, Orthan Hemmo, was of this tradition, and was said to have loved the ship more than his own children, of which there were twenty before circumstances intervened to curtail his commendable contribution to the replenishment of Imperial numbers.Those circumstances came at the Battle of the Borghesh Channel, a vicious encounter in which the Imperium lost twenty vessels and had its grip loosened on three sub-sectors. By the time Imperial Navy retribution fleets overwhelmed the region more than sixty standard years later, there was no sign of the Undying Valour at its last reported coordinates -- only a slowly spinning core of metal to which Captain Hemmo's deep-frozen corpse was, it was rumoured later, nailed on tight. In truth, the Undying Valour had been taken into the Eye of Terror and stayed there for five Terran millennia. It was renamed the Solace after it became corrupted by the power of Nurgle, which made the ship semi-sentient. It was eventually taken by the Chaos Lord Vorx, commander of the Heretic Astartes warband of the Death Guard called the Lords of Silence, who ensured that the corrupted ship was placated with plenty of flesh and blood, in order to prevent the Solace from turning upon its own warriors. However this did not stop the Solace from occasionally growing tentacles in order to attack and devour members of the warband.
- Battlefleet Gothic (Blue Book), pg. 119
- Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronus (RPG), pp. 20-21
- The Lords of Silence (Novel) by Chris Wraight, Ch. 2