This is a transcript of a lecture by Adeptus 45-Q-005 Beta, an Adeptus Mechanicus engineer and acclaimed expert on Dreadnoughts prior to his termination for heretical thinking. Some of this article is REDACTED for safety.
“Of Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Dreadnoughts
The Dreadnoughts of Khorne and how they were used during the Horus Heresy: The Chaos Space Marine Legions have long fought amongst themselves over which one is the true champion of their god.
The most powerful and feared among them are known as the “Chaos Dreadnoughts. These mighty war machines are huge, with engines that can reach speeds of several kilometers per hour. They are manned by a single, critically wounded Astartes who has survived the rigors of combat on worlds where his fellows have died, and who is then interred in the Dreadnought with all manner of weapons and armor.
The Chaos Dreadnoughts serve as the main fighting force for any Chaos warlord. Their presence is enough to turn many warriors into fanatical zealots. When the time comes, these dreadnoughts will be unleashed upon the enemy like a plague of death and mayhem. They are unstoppable engines of destruction and feared by friend and foe alike.”
“The Chaos Dreadnoughts of Khorne are the most terrifying of their kind. The Red Wake is an appropriate name for these machines. They are covered with spikes and blades that allows them to cause terror on the battlefield. The horrors they inflict on the battlefields have become legendary and their name, The Red Wake, comes from their habit of leaving countless soldiers dead in their wake as they plow through enemy formations.
These crimson behemoths will fear no enemy and are equipped with some of the most powerful weapons known to mankind. They are a force that can change the course of history through a single blow. These war machines are said to be some of the most heavily armored known to face the imperium of man. It takes a massive explosion of a weapon of near planetary destruction to even have a chance at destroying one. Sometimes, these war machines can even survive such a collosal force, and will continue to fight with little damage. These rare occurrences have brought fear to friend and foe alike and it is unwise to be on the frontlines when one of these behemoths has been unleashed upon the battlefield.
A Khornate Berserker who has the honor of serving in such a war machine will fight and die without hesitation. Even if their sarcophagus is destroyed, it will have been worth it for the bloodshed and mayhem they have caused. These crimson behemoths are feared throughout the galaxy and stories of their wrath on the battlefield are told fearfully by warriors when they take shelter in the darkest corners of space.
Stories are told to warn other warriors of Chaos not to anger Khorne’s greatest followers, although to be killed by one of these war machines is seen as the highest honor. Warriors who are killed in such a way are said to have gone to “Khorne’s Manse” a place where warriors are honored based on how they died. To die in battle, whether it is defending the honor of your fellow warriors or slaughtering the enemy, is seen as an honorable death. To die by one of these war machines is seen as the best death a warrior of Chaos can achieve.”
“The Chaos Dreadnoughts of Nurgle are equally terrifying in their own way. The Decimators are covered in rust and disease, with several gaping holes in its armor. These machines of war harbor every disease and plague that entered the warp rift located in the galactic northwest quadrant. Innumerable horrors came through this rift, including the daemon world of Smaerth.
This world was filled with millions of daemon-sickness zombies, all wanting nothing more than to spread their illness and plague to all life everywhere. The Chaos Lord who ruled the planet came to an agreement with Nurgle. In exchange for the release of Smaerth upon the entire galaxy, the Lord would sacrifice half of his troops each year to the whims of Nurgle’s favorite pet. These sacrifices were made by locking them into the rusty cages with millions of daemon-sickness zombies. The cages would then be dropped into a massive canyon where the zombies could feast upon their flesh for the next ten-thousand years.
After a thousand years, the cages would be pulled out and the Lord of Smaerth would allow the Daemon Prince of that plague to consume what was left of the now rotting corpses. These cages would then be placed into the massive army of Decimators. These hosts carry every sickness and plague known to man and some that are unknown. These hosts are often taken out of their war machines and carried by Black Slayers into battle. The smell of death and decay surrounds these machines, causing many to go blind, vomit, or lose their minds from the sheer stench. The rest charge forward with fanatical fervor in the name of their Lord of Pestilence. “
(The talk goes on to describe the Chaos Dreadnought of Tzeentch in much the same way, with an emphasis on psychic powers and strange abilities rather than simple weapons of warfare)
“The Chaos Dreadnoughts of Tzeentch are truly nightmares made into metal and given life. The most powerful Psykers in all of Chaos are called upon by Tzeentch to become these war machines. The strongest of them can destroy a tank with but a single thought. These machines are covered in a thin veneer of strange colours and eminations, with several sharp protrusions and strange hulls for [REDACTED]. The Space Marine occupant is [REDACTED] that serves as the face. The cranium is shaped like a roaring face, with several tentacles coming out of the [REDACTED]. Inside the cranium, there is nothing but darkness covering whatever lies hidden inside there.
These machines are feared by all, and for good reason.”
(At this point in time, the Techpriests in the auditorium and Senior Magos Cern begin arguing over whether these metal machines are simply non-sentient indestructible fortresses or whether they are actually alive)
(The talk goes on to describe the Chaos Dreadnoughts of Nurgle in much the same way, with an emphasis on rotting flesh, open sores and disease rather than simple weapons of warfare)
[REDACTED] the section on the Chaos Dreadnoughts of Slaanesh. By now, everyone in the talk had developed a very real headache. [REDACTED] (The books says that the Chaos Dreadnoughts of Slaanesh are more lightly armored, with powerful [REDACTED]. They specialize in speed and surprise attacks rather than all out warfare) [REDACTED].
At this point Magos Cern called for the immediate termination of 45-Q-005 Beta and a mindwipe for all adepts who had attended the talk, including herself.
This was an article by Lazlo Woodbine II with additional editing and work by Olblue.