New Space, Old Blood
The ancient Fortunas family can trace its routes back to the beginning of the Imperium. Before the domination of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Fortunas shipyards produced all manner of civilian private starships catering to the rich and elite. Based in a civilised system and brought into the Imperial fold at an early time, the calls to crusade drove the Fortunas family to expand into military construction. Derided by the nascent Imperial Navy as armed pleasure cruisers, the first designs joining the crusade fleets showed the difference of civilian construction techniques compared to dedicated warcraft. Comfortable , well equipped and with sensitive advanced technology instead of multiple simple systems, the vessels were outperformed at every turn by more numerous and resilient ships such as the Sword.
With the family reputation on the line, the Fortunas family put their entire production effort into the construction of a true warship, to be ready for the Angelivian crusade. Taking the lessons of combat into account, the keel of the Fortunas was laid down in 43.M32. Planned as a fast battleship to utilise the superior plasma drives normally found in their civilian star-clipper designs, the Fortunas was to be one of the most powerful ships in the segmentum. Not to fall short, a second ship was also started. Christened as the Holdfast, it was to be a manoeuvrable and tough light cruiser ideally suited to defending the Fortunas from the predations of frigates that had so embarrassed the family in earlier decades.
Both ships launched 54.M32, crewed entirely by the vassals of the Fortunas family. First son of the family Stonian Fortunas captained the Fortunas with second son Clargy Fortunas assuming command of the Holdfast. Joining the battleline 55.M32, the ships proved thier worth in one of the first naval engagements of the Angelivian crusade. Relegated to guarding the reserve due to the reputation of Fortunas vessels, the assignment was an intended insult. Normally tasked to slow and obsolete destroyers, the use of a fast battleship and attendant light cruiser would normally have been complete overkill.
The now famed luck of the Fortunas family was delivered in spades when a renegade cruiser and her escorts completed a desperately risky warp jump directly ontop of the naval reserve. The Murder class vessel was intending to annihilate scores of fleet tenders, crippling the crusaders supplies. Leaping to action, the Fortunas launched itself at the renegade vessel while the Holdfast laid into the three Iconolast destroyers escorting the Murder. The Holdfast intercepted the initial torpedo salvo with her flak batteries and absorbing the destroyer’s battery fire with her heavy void field array. Returning fire with a brutally accurate plasma barrage, two Iconolast were immediately crippled and the third swapped by bombers from the Holdfast , rendering the threat neutralised.
The Fortunas dealt with the renegade cruiser in a similarly efficient manner. Rapid bombardment from her plasma cannons tore down the void fields of the Murder leaving her hull exposed. Lance fire carved through the enemy vessel, nearly gutting the warship. Realising the futility of his situation the captain of Murder attempted to push past the Fortunas, hoping to savage the reserve fleet and make his escape. Using her powerful drive engines the Fortunas hauled her bulk behind the Murder, tearing into her opponents reactor and completely disabling the ship. When the crusade fleet rejoined the reserves for its resupply and next jump, the Murder had been secured and claimed as a prize. Disaster averted, the place in the battleline for the Fortunas family had been secured.
Upon completion of the crusade, the Fortunas family was awarded with a Warrant of Trade for service above and beyond the call of duty. Catapulted into vast power, the Fortunas family expanded and the two warships were separated in order to better defend the rapidly expanding trade empire. Tradition now held that the two ships would serve as a rite of passage for both first and second sons while the family returned to its roots as part of the social elite.
The reputation of the family was shattered when the Fortunas disappeared 67.M36. Rumours abounded that first son Schwartz Fortunas had stolen the vessel to seek his own fortune, that the vessel was successfully taken by pirates or even simply lost itself mid-jump. Marking the decline of the family, the hard fought holdings in the Calxis sector were abandoned for easier profits. Despite persistent rumours of the Fortunas being spotted, the vessel was never confirmed as surviving.
Elevated to the family flagship, the Holdfast was converted to more mundane purposes, becoming a mobile casino and trading hub. Successive crews complained about the vessel’s machine spirit, claiming that it railed against its new duties and seemed to always want to return to the Calxis sector. Ignored as co-incidence by her captains, the matter was brought to a head when the cruiser’s warp engine triggered seemingly of its own will, attempting to drive the ship towards the Maw. While control was restored the family could no longer afford to maintain the belligerent warship and she was mothballed 92.M38.
The proud history of the Fortunas family was no more…