With the advent of the newer cruisers, many of the old heavy cruisers were given less and less attention for refits and rearming. This led to a number of captains denouncing the Imperium and turning Renegade.
In the Gothic War the Styx-class was essential for the followers of Abaddon the Despoiler in many battles, as its considerable flight bays can house and launch almost as many attack craft as an Emperor-class Battleship.
Particularly during several planetary assaults, bombers from Styx-class heavy cruisers were used for destroying ground-based defences before larger vessels and troop transports entered low orbit.
Mustering a considerable array of long-range weapons batteries to complement its sizeable launch bays, the Styx is even more formidable than its considerable tonnage would suggest.
During that conflict, this figure rose to 39 major fleet battles involving Styx-class ships, demonstrating the value the followers of the Dark Gods placed on their capabilities.
Although there were at least 5 ships of this class ranged against the Imperium during that campaign only two were identifiable: the Horrific and the Heartless Destroyer. Both had been laid down in the Cypra Mundi orbital dockyards in the early 33rd Millennium, and the Heartless Destroyer and the Horrific were frequently found in action together in various Chaos fleets.
In 299.M35 the Heartless Destroyer, the older of the two vessels, withdrew from an engagement against Traitor raiders, leaving its companion ship to be reduced to a hulk and captured. Until their reappearance during the Gothic War, there had been no more reports of either ship.
Certain incidents where the two vessels fought together indicated there was still a great deal of enmity between them and in the Battle for Duran, the Horrific repaid the earlier treachery of its companion vessel.
It abandoned the Chaos warfleet it had been a part of during the final assault of that battle and the Heartless Destroyer was crippled. The badly mauled heavy cruiser was then eventually destroyed when it drifted into range of the Imperial planetary defence platforms.
- Hull: Heavy Cruiser
- Class: Styx-class
- Cross Ref: Blasphemy/Treachery/Heresy/Abomination
- Security Rating: Epsilon Primus
- Threat Rating: Alpha Majoris
- Classification: Maximus
- Current Location: Unknown
- Current Status: Active
- Recommended Response: Damnatus. Expurgatio in Extremis
Notable Styx-class Heavy Cruisers
- Ayamandar - This Styx-class heavy cruiser served the Weeping Veil Chapter of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion well as its mobile base of operations when they were away from the Word Bearers homeworld of Sicarus in the Eye of Terror. It played an instrumental role alongside the Death Guard warband called the Lords of Silence in the conquest of the White Consuls Space Marines' Chapter planet of Sabatine after the formation of the Great Rift.
- Darkblood - The Darkblood is a Styx-class heavy cruiser that took part in the 13th Black Crusade. During the conflict it successfully led a group of Chaos warships into the Belis Corona System, where they seeded it with minefields of daemonic origin. Now any ship passing through them risks madness and death; when the mines are activated, they spawn a host of daemonic monstrosities that will drag any nearby ships into the Warp where they will be consumed.
- Heartless Destroyer
- Lord Seth - The Lord Seth fought during the Gothic War. It was the flagship of the Chaos invasion fleet that assaulted the planet of Helia IV, and it was ultimately destroyed by repeated torpedo strikes from that world's Imperial defenders.
- Pluton- The Pluton fought during the Gothic War. It was sighted at the Battle of Helia IV but escaped Imperial retribution and fled to harass the the servants of the Emperor another day.
- Scylla - The Scylla fought during the Gothic War. It was one of the many vessels which escorted Abaddon the Despoiler's Planet Killer wherever it went, tasked with protecting that doomsday weapon from any attack.
- Well of Souls - The Well of Souls was destroyed by a boarding party of the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar's Great Company during the War of the Wolf.
- Battlefleet Gothic (Blue Book), pg. 120
- Execution Hour (Novel) by Gordon Rennie
- Champions of Fenris - A Codex: Space Wolves Supplement (7th Edition), pp. 15-27
- The Lords of Silence (Novel) by Chris Wraight, Chs. 10-12, 21-22
- White Dwarf 292 (UK), pg. 96