|Class||Yardship/Unique dreadnought|
Supposedly a dreadnought capable of destroying entire planets by means of its heavy mass driver weapon, the WoBS Erinyes is thought to be a heavily modified Newgrange-class Yardship. Little solid data is known about it. The available information on the vessel is considered unreliable, often obtained through inference or from undisclosed sources.
Records recovered indicated that by 3065 the Word of Blake had fitted a spinal-mounted heavy mass driver in the massive pressurized bay of the Newgrange-class Erinyes, with the remaining space later allocated to holding large asteroids to be fitted with thrust engines. The original concept was for a deep-space mining vessel that could extract rare ores or fit asteroids with drives to send them back to a central processing location.
During the Jihad, the Word of Blake instead weaponized the vessel, using its mass driver and drive-equipped asteroids in at least two confirmed stealth orbital bombardments. Launched several astronomical units from the target under hard burns to reach significant fractions of light speed, these asteroids travel for a long time—days or even weeks—until they hit their target world. By this time, the Erinyes has had ample time to recharge its jump drive and leave the system before anyone is even aware that they are under attack.
In 3066 the Star League Intelligence Command began receiving information about a mining ship that ComStar was tracking in the coreward Deep Periphery, last reported to be mining the extensive asteroid fields of the Wolf 82 system "half a year" prior to a briefing in September 3067, i.e. around March 3067. According to their data, taken from a destroyed Word of Blake file obtained in a raid, specifications for said mining ship were drawn up in 3043 by one "Kernoff" (thought to be Alexander Kernoff); that the later head of ROM probably had a hand in the ship's design in turn suggested it was no mere mining ship. It was initially mistakenly thought to be a Faslane-class Yardship by Caradoc Trevena who analyzed the data. His interest was piqued further by a message Wolfnet had intercepted in early 3066 and passed on that read "Gabriel. Miningship. Relocate." This seemed to connect the mysterious mining ship to the Word of Blake's secret Ruins of Gabriel shipyard. The MIIO informed the SLIC that they, too, were aware of the ship.
In November 3067, the mercenary unit Langford Wraiths was hired by the Umayyad Caliphate for a mission against an undisclosed party (possibly Nueva Castile or the Hanseatic League) that involved the "Riesige Götter" ("giant gods"), a faction possessing a planet-destroying superweapon. The Langford Wraiths were shown video footage from a DropShip as it descended on what was said to be a colony world not far from Valencia hosting five million people, but was observed to be just a cratered wasteland unable to sustain life on the video feed. Then the DropShip itself was destroyed by something from offscreen; their JumpShip was allowed to leave with the footage after being warned off by the Riesige Götter. The unit fled back to the Inner Sphere, arriving in Lyran space in mid-3070 with news of the vessel and about Mundo Nublar, an old SLDF weapons testing world where the Word of Blake had apparently refitted the Erinyes with a mass driver and used the planet to test the weapon.
Blamed for numerous incidents of planetary devastation during the Jihad (including Taurus), rumors of the mystery ship persisted throughout the conflict, with intelligence advisory notes being issued as late as 3081, but it was only after its end and the cracking of Word of Blake databases that the existence of the Erinyes was finally confirmed.
- Former BattleTech Line Developer Herbert A. Beas II (as user "HABeas2") explained the in-universe purpose of the Erinyes in a forum discussion on the official BattleTech forum, though it should be noted that this information technically is not canonical as it was never published in a BattleTech product nor produced in the part of the forum reserved for canonical rulings or clarifications.
According to what he wrote, Thomas Marik in his role as the Word of Blake's "Master" decided to wage a war of genocide on the Clans in their Homeworlds. The general idea was to forge an alliance of Inner Sphere powers; the Word of Blake Shadow Divisions were to be shock troops, spearheading the attack, and the Erinyes was specifically designed as a first strike weapon against the Homeworlds as part of this plan. Other weapons of mass destruction such as bioweapons tailored to render specific ecosystems uninhabitable, chemical weapons and nuclear weapons and then finally ground assaults would have followed up to ensure total annihilation of the Clans through the death of every last person. (The Master felt that since the entire Clan society is geared towards supporting the Warrior caste there are no true civilians.)
Herbert Beas also confirmed during that discussion that the supervolcano that destroyed Jardine had been triggered by a half-megaton asteroid "dropped" on the volcano at relativistic speed by the Erinyes.
- Technical Readout: 3085 Supplemental, p. 40
- Interstellar Expeditions: Interstellar Players 3, pp. 24–25: "Hunting the Word - Other Blakist Bases - Mundo Nublar"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 136: "Erinyes"
- Black Mist Rising, ch. 4, pp. 10–12
- A Distant Thunder, part 2
- Jihad Hot Spots 3070, p. 115 and Blake Ascending, p. 275
- Interstellar Expeditions: Interstellar Players 3, pp. 19, 24–25
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 137: "Erinyes"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 22: "What Of Lopez?"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 61: "The Jihad In Review"
- Explained in some depth in this thread, specifically here and here, although not in any official capacity as a BattleTech author.