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|Shadowsword Super-Heavy Tank|
|Models||Pattern I to VII|
|Origin||Mars, Lucius, Estaban VII, Triplex Phall|
|Maximum Speed||25 kph on road, 18 kph off-road|
|Crew||6 - commander, driver, main gunner, remoted gunner, comms-operator, engineer|
In history and honour, the Shadowsword stands proudly alongside the Baneblade. As long as there has been the Baneblade, then there has also been its sister, the Shadowsword.
Like the Baneblade the Shadowsword uses STC technology, and its production is limited to a few privileged Forge Worlds, but 'counterfeit' Shadowswords are produced on other Forge Worlds. These vehicles lack the original Shadowsword's advanced technology, and may be gunned with a different main weapon. Large plasma cannons, turbo-lasers or huge battle cannons are not unknown. The remote controlled sponson weapons are replaced by crewed versions, targeting equipment and logis engines are more primitive and the capacitors or engine are less efficient.
True Shadowswords are armed with a Volcano cannon, a huge laser powered by capacitors which draw power directly from the tank's engine. The generator and capacitors need constant supervision, and each Shadowsword is crewed by an engineer, sometimes a member of the Adeptus Mechanicus, sometimes a highly trained specialist from the Imperial Guard. His job is to control the power flow from the engine through the generator as well as keeping the tank running.
To draw power, the engineer must disconnect the engine's main drive and connect the generator in its place. This power is then transferred to the capacitors which hold the titanic energies required for the Volcano cannon. A single shot will drain the capacitors completely. This requires the vehicle to be stationary, as the engine is disengaged. Once charged, the vehicle can move again, but to recharge the capacitors, the tank must halt.
The Shadowsword was developed as a Titan-killer. Its massive gun is a Titan weapon, and is capable of severing a Titan's arm or leg. For this reason, Shadowswords are only made on Forge Worlds which raise Titan Legions. They are deployed to support Imperial Guard regiments which are likely to be faced with enemy Titans.
Just as with its sister, each Shadowsword constructed and consecrated on those Forge Worlds on those Forge Worlds that have the original STC, is logged and registered with Mars, and is given its own identity number and name - often painted on the vehicle by its crew. Its whereabouts, the warzones it has fought in, the crew rosters and all its other history are reported regularly to the originating Forge World so that the fate of each and every Shadowsword might be known.