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The HMS Vanguard was a luxury cruise liner and the flagship of the Vanguard Fleet that operated on the Liverpool-New York First Class Express. The ship was built in 1956 and operated as a commercial passenger ship for twenty years before being converted into a luxury cruise ship under Vanguard Lines. She was sunk on the 28th of January, 2020 by a rogue terrorist named Heritage.

During her time as a luxury liner she became famous among the high-class and earned countless awards, most notably for her five star restaurant and onboard entertainment services.

The HMS Vanguard serves as the final setting in the three-part Vanguard Story Arc.

History

The HMS Vanguard was built in Liverpool, United Kingdom and was officially commissioned on July 3rd 1956 as a passenger ship. During the vast majority of her life she served on the Europe-America line, ferrying many immigrants to the United States during the Cold War. In 1986 on her twentieth anniversary she was sold to Vanguard Luxury Lines, and was destined to become the flagship of their luxurious cruise fleet. She stayed in drydock for nearly a year while her interior and electronics were ripped out and redecorated.

The upgrades added a new interior with unique dark wood and red carpets, as well as retro-style interior themes to appease older passengers. The stern part of the ship's superstructure was converted into a five-star restaurant. Other upgrades included a heated swimming pool, a cigar lounge, a mini-mall, a secured prison and security center and a passenger telegraph room. She was re-commissioned on September 22nd 1987 and was placed on the Liverpool-New York Line. Over the course of her time as a luxurious ship she accumulated many awards, especially for her restaurant which was operated by famous chefs and her onboard entertainment services. By 1999 the waiting list for getting tickets reached seven years despite Vanguard Lines' major expansion of its luxury fleet.

In 2011 minor upgrades were made to her navigation and computer gear, and a ship-wide wifi service was installed to appease newer-generation customers and businessmen. Large parts of her keel and hull were replaced with special anti-fouling steel and a fresh coat of paint was applied to the ship. However due to the aging state of the ship and rising running costs, Vanguard Lines decided to retire the vessel, announcing the retirement of the HMS Vanguard after nearly fifty years of service. Her retirement and de-commissioning ceremony was set to take place on July 3 2020, her 64th year anniversary. The date was set for 2020 due to the length of the ticket waiting line and following the announcement Vanguard stopped the sale of tickets for the ship.

After successfully participating in the victory over the Bryckster Faction in the Dymora Campaign, Jarod Freeman and Nikriontra Sydona were offered four places onboard the Vanguard's second to last scheduled voyage after an opening. Luciontra Sydona and Ralph Vallas joined them. The HMS Vanguard left Liverpool on January 25 2020, the last time she would be in Port. Sometime during her voyage she was secretly boarded by a rogue Karosmyr agent named Heritage who seeked to capture the Princess in return for his citizenship to the Niraxian state.

At around 8:32 pm local time, several bombs went off in her engine room. The blasts cripped the ship's engines and penetrated the ship's hull allowing for water to enter. By the time the order to close off the engine room was given she was already beginning to pitch aft. The order to abandon ship was given two minutes later by a gravely wounded Captain James Rolfe, who suffered two shots to the chest and shoulder from Heritage. The ship sunk at 9:13 pm, nearly an hour after the bomb detonations. Due to the quick response by her crew, 258 of her 312 passengers survived and were rescued by a joint European rescue mission at 2:03 am the following morning.

Wreck

The wreck of the Vanguard lies in one piece 300 kilometers off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, 1,500 meters below the ocean's surface. A two kilometer zone of wreckage and artefacts surrounds the main wreck which rests just off the edge of a sharp drop into a subterranean canyon.

During her descent much of the ship's lifeboat davits were ripped off the main deck by the water along with her funnels which can be found lying in a mangled wreck a few hundred meters south of the wreck. She collided onto the seabed stern-first, the force of the impact ripped her wooden decks apart and shattered most of the glass windows abaft of the ship's midsection. Much of the ship's aft decks caved in on each other. Unlike the stern, which sits in a crumpled drooped heap, the bow of the ship is remarkably intact as it landed onto the seabed with much less force than the stern. Its anchor came lose during the descent and lies beside the wreck.

The bottom of the ship's hull is embedded into the mud and the damage caused by the explosions is not visible. There have been several expeditions to the Vanguard's wreck and many artefacts were recovered and brought back to the surface.

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