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    Sanctorum Dreadnought


    Kai rubbed his cheek against Scout's chest. <What's a dreadnought?>   <It's a really big ship. Unique to the Order.> Jake shared his memory of the ship from the Relentless' scanners. <Order calls them... A 'Sanctorum'?> The Vemian word still felt strange.   Kai nodded at that. <Sanctorum.>   He shared a memory of a Sanctorum flying in front of the sun, high in the sky, casting an artificial night over the entire city.
    Personal ships of the Ascended Conclave, Sanctorum-class dreadnoughts dwarf every known ship in Vazdimet, including the Sparnell Confederation's new Starkillers. Each member of the Conclave controls a single Sanctorum, directing their affairs from within the comfortable and well-protected central pressurized chamber of the massive spacecraft, safely isolated from the everyday struggles of their mortal worshippers.   Sanctorums are the oldest ships still in service within the Militant Order of Descendants' fleets, yet always carry the most advanced technologies available to the Hydell Order. They serve as a symbol of wealth, power, and intimidation.

    Propulsion

    Short Range

    Short range propulsion on a Sanctorum is practically non-existent, dedicated solely to ensuring the ship remains in a stable orbit. Other ships, including the Sanctorum's own escorts, are expected to account for the dreadnought when setting their own paths and flight plans, and adjust accordingly. Collisions are rarely of concern to the Sanctorum.  

    Long Range

    Interplanetary travel typically utilizes Hydell's Orbital Fareway System, pulling the massive spacecraft through specially dedicated portals throughout Order space. When the Fareway is unavailable the ships rely on the Hyperjump spell, a costly and time consuming endeavor requiring three to five Void Necromancers, dependant upon the quantity of living crew serving within, plus the residing Great Ascended's interest in guaranteeing they all arrive at the dreadnought's destination.  
    Jake rubbed the back of his neck, eying the holographic display. "We were hoping we'd be able to surprise them with our own fleet, knock out Vemia's Orbital Fareway waypoint in the process so they'd have a harder time sending reinforcements."   "Still worth doing," Haveid growled. "Navigations says jumping the ship alone would take at least two Void Necromancers working in tandem. Probably three. And that's before accounting for the crew."   "Plus we'd rather they didn't bring more, once our own fleet arrives," Jake agreed. "One escorted dreadnought is more than enough excitement."

    Weapons & Armament

    The true offensive capabilities of a Sanctorum remain unknown, perhaps even to the Great Ascended of the Conclave. Expensive to build and maintain, the dreadnoughts have rarely featured in actual battle, most opponents choosing to flee or surrender rather than risk their own demise at the hands of the Conclave. Those who fight and survive to tell the tale have reported countless supercharged Electromancy cannons capable of directing chained attacks across multiple large targets at once.   In the rare cases where opposing forces destroyed a sizeable amount of the dreadnought's escort ships the Sanctorum is capable of harnessing its own mass to launch high speed asteroid-like projectiles at their opponents, capable of shattering even the triple-reinforced ramming hulls of the Confederation's famed Ravager Class Destroyer. This appears to be a last resort – likely due to the recoil effects against the hull's structure – but the threat itself remains sufficient deterrent.

    Armor and defense

    In addition to the standard Shielding Magic used to protect capital ships, the Sanctorum-class dreadnoughts also feature thick, well-compartmented hulls, reinforced throughout to withstand the inevitable collisions due to their poor maneuverability.  

    Life Support

    As most of the ship's crew is drawn from the ranks of the Ordained Ascended, a majority of the dreadnought's compartments are not pressurized. Quarters and workstations for living crew members are located in central pockets to the forward and aft of the Sanctorum, while the private living quarters of the resident Great Ascended claim the highly reinforced central section.   Each life support system operates fully independent of the others, with its own failsafes and auxiliary backups. Space suits are required on the rare occasions requiring living crew members to travel from one pressurized compartment to another.
    The officer behind the hologram smiled sadly at Lira, pointing a claw at the largest ship on the display, surrounded by an assortment of smaller craft. "This is the dreadnought," she explained, shifting the view to zoom in on a much smaller ship, not even half the size of the dreadnought's smallest escort, itself flanked by two smaller, lighter craft. "These three are us."   Lira felt the colour drain from her face as she studied the display. "Oh, that's... really big."   Rissa crossed her arms. "Bigger isn't always better, but a dreadnought is something we could have done without."   "They're impractical," Jake agreed, studying the display. "Expensive to build, maintain, and even move. Only the Order bother with them."
    Designation
    VTD
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    Generic article | May 25, 2022

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    Cover image: Planet Moon Solar by LoganArt

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