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A Tesseract Vault is vast, monolithic, and near-indestructible Necron construct built specifically to contain a Transcendent C'tan, a mighty C'tan Shard of near-omnipotent power that was once one of the Necrons’ deadliest foes. These Transcendent C'tan, nothing less than the amalgamation of dozens or even hundreds of lesser C'tan Shards, are of such size and indomitable will that they are too powerful to be contained within the extradimensional intricacies of a Tesseract Labyrinth, and a Tesseract Vault serves as both a prison and a conduit for their power instead.
Bound within the vault’s heart, the star vampire will fight against its bonds; and such is the elemental might of the C'tan that the walls of the Tesseract Vault are perpetually being destroyed by the insane energies the Star God generates. It is only the unceasing ministrations of the ever-vigilant Canoptek Leech guardian constructs arrayed and docked around the exterior hull of the Tesseract Vault and an army of Canoptek Scarabs that keep the C'tan in check; these, and the robotic construct known as a Canoptek Sentinel that encloses the C'tan itself in a force shield generated using a portion of the C'tan's own power. However, there are only so many Scarabs and Canoptek Leeches holding the Tesseract Vault together, and as the Transcendent C'tan bends reality and tears metal off the vault in its bids for freedom, the Canoptek automatons rebuild its prison using the debris in a cyclical process of destruction and reconstruction.
However, a Tesseract Vault is not only a prison, but also the ultimate machinery of destruction for the armies of the undying Necrons. The Transcendent C'tan imprisoned within the construct's heart is trammelled and ready to be used for war, and various conduits and cabling within the vault channel away the arcane energies emanating from the C'tan. The Tesseract Vault's hull itself contains layers of node matrices that redirect a portion of the Transcendent C'tan's energies into the cage that holds it captive, but the being within can still age foes to dust, set acres ablaze, or trigger seismic shifts in the planetary crust with but a gesture. As such, the living metal walls that surround the Transcendent C'tan act as both a prison and a focus for its blinding puissance. Upon the battlefield, a Tesseract Vault represents a near-indestructible engine of war that annihilates all in its path. However, the construct is exceedingly well-armoured and protected for good reason; should the prison and its force field systems ever fail and the trapped C’tan be released, doom is all but assured for everyone and everything nearby as the Tesseract Vault detonates in a catastrophic explosion of energy.
- Baleful Necropolis – A complex known as a Baleful Necropolis is the most potent of all a Tomb World’s defences. These colossal hovering fortresses are more than mere battle stations, but the very buildings of a Necron Tomb, raised into the sky to rain destruction upon the luckless invaders. To hold so many massive structures aloft requires a power source beyond the ken of lesser races, yet a single Tesseract Vault is equal to the task. These multi-phasic prisons not only cage the most powerful C'tan Shards, but also leech and redirect their essence to fuel other arcane devices. Such is the sheer spectacle and destructive fury of a Baleful Necropolis’ cyclopean assault that the ranking Nemesor will also inevitably commandeer it to spear his own phalanxes. A Baleful Necropolis formation usually consists of a single Tesseract Vault that powers eight Monoliths around it. When operating in such a manner, the Tesseract Vault is able to harness a specialised Annihilator Beam weapon, and can draw power from nearby Monoliths to enhance the beam's range. The Tesseract Vault also projects a Supreme Shield Matrix around itself, protecting nearby Monoliths and itself with an energy field that only grows more powerful with every additional Monolith under its protection.
Transcendent C'tan Ascendant Powers
A Transcendent C'tan is a far more powerful entity than a standard C'tan Shard. As such, Transcendent C'tan are able to unleash these powers when the Necrons deign to release them upon the battlefield. Every Transcendent C'tan must possess one of the following powers, though they cannot be unleashed when the C'tan is fully shackled within the confines of the Tesseract Vault:
- Storm of Heavenly Fire - The Transcendent C'tan unleashes a rain of fire from the heavens which explodes with a cataclysmic blast upon the battlefield. This power is extremely effective at destroying enemy tanks and armoured vehicles.
- Transliminal Stride - Using its ability to manipulate the space-time continuum and extradimensional realities, the Transcendent C'tan can move across the battlefield to a predetermined point, simply phasing through all obstacles or opponents in its path.
- Seismic Shockwave - When the Transcendent C'tan slams its Necrodermis-clad foot down, it unleashes a seismic shockwave that causes the very ground to shake, blasting armoured vehicles and infantry alike into the air like unfortunate toys.
A Transcendent C'tan is able to manifest two of the following Ascendant Powers, and can utilise them to devastating effect on the battlefield. These two will always be available to the Necrons seeking to unleash the power of the Tesseract Vault as a weapon:
- Antimatter Meteor - The Transcendent C'tan is able to unleash a huge meteor composed of antimatter upon the battlefield, a furious assault from the sky that will annihilate all normal matter within range.
- Cosmic Fire - The Transcendent C'tan unleashes a wave of fire hotter than the interior of some suns upon the battlefield, incinerating everything in its path.
- Seismic Assault - The Transcendent C'tan causes rumbling earthquakes with a flick of its hand, crushing enemy units to pulp.
- Sky of Falling Stars - A rain of blazing meteorites falls from the sky to impact the foe at the whim of the Transcendent C'tan.
- Transdimensional Maelstrom - The Transcendent C'tan uses its command of transdimensional energies to unleash a swirling extradimensional vortex upon the battlefield that can banish all it touches to an alternate reality.
- Wave of Withering - The Transcendent C'tan can cause metal and flesh alike to wither at its command.
All Necron Tesseract Vaults are armed with the following:
- 4 Tesla Spheres – A Tesla Sphere is a form of Necron Tesla Weapon. An Obelisk mounts four around its hull to provide it with a defence against anything that enters the airspace around the war machine. Tesla Spheres have an extremely high rate of fire, even more so than a Tesla Destructor, and unleash bolts of living lightning that crackle from foe to foe after hitting their target, charring flesh and melting armour. Tesla bolts feed off the energy released by the destruction they cause, thus making their lightning become more furious with every fresh arc.
- Necrodermis – The armour of Obelisks is made up of the same living metal Necrodermis that makes up all Necron android bodies and vehicles. Its remarkable regenerative properties allow it to automatically repair damage to itself; whether this is the regeneration of parts of its hull, the reknitting of metal plates, or the reconnection of circuits and other delicate systems to bring its various weapon systems online once more.
- Apocalypse (6th Edition), pp. 170, 173
- Codex: Necrons (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 180
- White Dwarf 404 (July 2013) (AUS), pp. 10-13, 144-145