This record pertains to the starship The Dread Nautilus, a modified Lunar Class cruiser belonging to the noble Dakkar family, currently captained by Kali J. Dakkar, daughter of Capt. N. Dakkar (deceased), with a crew of approximately 12,000 souls. Known as The Black Freighter or The Black Raider, original Imperial identification expunged from records.
Effective immediately [999.M41] the Dakkar family holds a Letter of Marque granting the current captain of the aforementioned vessel the title of Rogue Trader and extraordinary powers within the vicinity of the Profundis System, including authority to persecute a naval engagement ad libitum and to the full extent of ship capabilities. This authority is hereby given by Inquisitor Hawksmoor, Ordo Malleus under special decree and supersedes all previous records pertaining to The Dread Nautilus [see index file APO992118] including, but not limited to piracy.
The story of The Dread Nautilus and her Captain, Kali Dakkar, daughter of the infamous pirate N. Dakkar is well-known in the region of space around Profundis. Capt. N. Dakkar was a fierce anti-Imperialist, and The Dread Nautilus would prey upon Imperial vessels, striking at them during their translations into real space from the Immatereum. The young lady Kali inherited the ship and crew upon her father’s death, and continued his campaign: to oppose Imperial tyranny without mercy or compromise.
The Black Raider
The Dread Nautilus uses technology of an unknown origin to hunt and destroy its targets. With uncanny foresight the victim ships translation point is seeded with ‘Warp Divers’ – brave crewmen in special void suits that drift in space alone for days at a time. When the target starship appears in real space these Warp Divers fire harpoons, aiming for points of significance or structural importance. Immediately, upon the harpoons striking true, The Dread Nautilus itself – skull motif emblazoned upon its hull – translates next to the target. The Dread Nautilus is wreathed in a swirling energy vortex resembling the Sea of Souls itself, and tendrils of this energy lash out like tentacles, seeking to ground themselves to the harpoons, where the energy discharge tears the target ship to pieces. The earliest records of attacks by Captain Dakkar were confused affairs when the black ship, wreathed in chaotic energy was mistaken for some vast creature of the Warp. It is speculated that Xenos technology is employed to use the power of the Immaterium as a sort of tether, anchoring a translating ship to the Aether even as it attempts to re-appear in real space, tearing at its Gellar Field with disastrous consequences. Attacks were then occasionally followed up by boarding actions, with no quarter shown.
During the invasion of Profundis by the forces of Chaos, Inquisitor Hawksmoor found himself stranded on the doomed planet of Mageddon, with enemy fleets in orbit vastly outnumbering Imperial defenders. In order to fortify planetary defences he released the planet’s substantial penitentiaries and issued a decree – a full pardon for any criminal that presented the head of a chaos cultist to the Imperial authorities. Mageddon was doomed, but Hawksmoor intended to choke the deamons of Chaos even as they consumed the world, and to fight fire with fire.
The Imperial Navy pressed all the ships they could find into service, including those with private charters and those belonging to smugglers and privateers. These captains were also offered a pardon as an incentive, in the belief that they would all soon be dead anyway. The last thing anyone expected was for The Dread Nautilus to arrive, slipping out of the Aether like a shadow. Captain Kali Dakkar met with Hawksmoor in person, and presented him with a gilded daemon’s skull in exchange for her pardon. She then presented 12,000 human heads (apparently harvested from Chaos vessels) to the bemused Inquisitor in exchange for pardons for her crew. Hawksmoor, ever a pragmatist and with an appreciative eye for the excessive use of force, granted Dakkar a Letter of Marque and the title of Rogue Trader.