The San Celestine
The San Celestine is Battlefleet Achernar's newest capital ship, commanded by Captain Lloyd Dorschel. Being a Dauntless-class light cruiser, it is expected that she will serve as a battlegroup command for pirate-hunting wolf packs. Her interior has been decorated in the current Aureolean fashion, with tapestries hanging on many of the walls of the command decks depicting the great victories and defeats of Battlefleet Achernar interspersed with marble columns occasionally inlaid with the gilded bones of craftsmen who died during the ship's construction.
- Commander Chioma Nakato is a no-nonsense officer who respects ability more than breeding, even though she is from noble stock. She sees her main duty as being the training and management of the officers immediately below her in the command structure, and feels that a crew treated with respect should perform well.
- Gunnery Officer Lt Commander Illiam Pherick manages the ship's weapon systems.
- Enginseer Prime Varl Acorda is the ship's chief engineer.
- Confessor Coriela sees to the crew's spiritual well-being.
- Sandro Belisarius is the ship's navigator.
- Major Aubrey Cavendish commands the ship's corps of 650 armsmen.
- Seni Takker is the captain's personal assistant. She is meticulous in the prosecution of her duties, sometimes to the detriment of efficiency.
Ship systems and crew
The San Celestine has a total crew compliment of approximately 5,000.
Port & starboard macro-cannon batteries
The San Celestine sports 12 macro-cannons. These are the ship's main armament, and each requires a crew of 130 to operate and maintain. Each gun is commanded by a 2nd Lieutenant, reporting to the Lieutenant commanding the battery, and each has a nickname. The guns, having never been used in active combat, have yet to earn their names.
Prow lance battery
There are two manufactorums running down the ship's spine, overseen by the techpriests. They are used to build ammunition as well as replacement ship parts. Compared to proper docks they are small, and have little room for the storage of materials, meaning that they can only really swing into sustained action when they have access to a supply of raw materials. They are designed primarily as a stopgap measure in the event that the ship has to operate away from port for a sustained period of timethey are dependent on local orbital lighters to transport materials from a planet's surface up to the ship. The manufactorums are crewed mainly by techpriests, Mechanicum serfs and servitors numbering 250 souls in all.
The bridge crew operate on the deck immediately below the command deck, and co-ordinate the ship's functions and navigation. In all there are 40 junior officers and 73 mono-task servitors. As per Navy regulations, no-one below the rank of ensign is allowed on the bridge deck.
The ship's quad-linked autocannon turrets are used to fend off incoming ordnance. There are 23 turrets on the ship's hull, each with a crew of four: a gunner, a loader, a comms officer linked to the command deck, and an auspex officer responsible for providing the the gunner with targeting information.
Keeping the crew fed requires a huge catering staff. There are at least 20 cooks, with 150 additional galley staff. There are 20 galleys on board, one of which exists purely to serve the captain, and another responsible for the command staff.
Medicae personnel are a crucial, if lamentably small, component of the crew. There are 5 sick bays, 7 triage suites, and 4 operating theatres, most of them situated near the ship's core between the manufactorums and promenades.
Techpriests & Mechanicum serfs
The Mechanicum crew bunk in separate barracks to the navy personnel, although fraternisation between low-ranking members of both institutions is commonplace, much to the disapproval of the senior techpriests. Mechanicus staff comprise a substantial proportion of the ship's crew, with a compliment of around 1,700.
Priests are a common sight on warships. Sailors are a superstitious lot, and having a priest extolling the Emperor's Grace within earshot of a hard-working gun crew maintains morale. The Ecclesiarchy contingent of the ship is big enough to crew a frigate, with about 90 priests all serving under the Confessor.
Given the frequent need to board pirate stations and vessels, the San Celestine has a contingent of 650 armsmen. This also safeguards the vessel against piracy after the Quorilian Incident in 387.M41, in which the Axiom, a ship of the line, was hijacked by a fleet of pirate frigates and destroyers.
There is a recreation promenade on the ship populated largely by non-military personnel running shops in which ratings can spend their scant wages. Music, gambling, 'massage' parlours and various other entertainments are offered and largely ignored by the officer classes. The threat of having a promenade pass revoked is enough to keep most crewmen in line. Indeed, it is shocking to BFA crew that other battlefleets do not necessarily have such facilities on their ships.