[ Models | Lore | Sources | Inspiration ]
This is the first Codex: Chaos Daemons published, bringing a purely daemonic army list back to Warhammer 40,000 (not possible since 1996's Codex: Chaos). It is succeeded by Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013).
When Nurgle's minions are set free, they march forth to spread disease and decay. Sonorous chanting and the rusted clangs of a thousand bells herald their attacks, while the army advances under an impenetrable swarm of flies. The noxious poxes and pestilence of the Great Unclean Ones kill everything in their path, rendering it down to a mulch from which evil-smelling fungi and plants erupt.
While the mortal realm is laid waste by blight and pestilence, the lands of Nurgle thrive on disease and corruption. Tended by the Lord of Decay, this unwholesome realm is home to every pox and affliction imaginable and is foetid with the stench of rot.
In death there is life. Upon the decay of the living thrive untold numbers of bacteria, viruses, insects and other carrion- feeders. All life feeds upon other life to exist, and from every plague grow new generations, stronger and more virile than before. As regeneration comes from decay, so hope springs from despair. The greatest inspiration comes in the darkest moments; in times of crisis are mortals truly tested and driven to excel. This is the creed of Nurgle, the Lord of Decay, Master of Pestilence. Though utterly foul to look upon, and creator of every infection and epidemic to have ever swept the universe, Nurgle is a vibrant god of life and laughter, not a morose purveyor of despair and gloom. As the god, so too his immortal realm. The domain of Nurgle is not a barren wasteland, but a macabre paradise of death and pestilence.
Under a sky thick with buzzing swarms of black, furry flies grows the Garden of Nurgle. Twisted, rotten boughs entangled with grasping vines cover the mouldering ground, beneath an insect- ravaged canopy of leaves. Fungi both plain and spectacular break through the leaf-strewn mulch of the forest floor, puffing out clouds of choking spores. The stems of half-Daemonic plants wave of their own accord, unstirred by the still, pungent air. Bright sprays of red, blue, yellow and purple puncture the gloom; havens of cheeriness in a dismal woodscape. Burrowing and scuttling beetles of all kinds, with brightly-patterned carapaces and shining wings, flit along the banks of sluggish, muddy rivers. Reeds rattle, whispering the names of the poxes inflicted upon the worlds of mortals by Great Nurgle; or lamenting those that have died from the fatal caress of their creator.
Jutting from amidst this primordial mire is Nurgle's manse. Decrepit and ancient, yet eternally strong at its foundations, the mansion is an eclectic structure of rotted timbers and broken walls, overgrown with crawling poison ivy and thick mosses. Cracked windows and crumbling stone compete with verdigris-coated bronze, rusted ironworks and lichen-covered cornices to outdo each other with their corrupted charm.
Within these tumbling walls, Nurgle toils. His gigantic body is bloated with corruption and exudes an overpowering stench. His skin is greenish, leathery and necrotic, its surface abundant with running sores, swelling boils and fruitful infestation. Nurgle's gurgling and pulsating organs are rank with the excrement of decay, spilling through his ruptured skin to hang like obscene fruit around his girth. From these organs burst swarms of tiny Nurglings that chew on Grandfather Nurgle's rotting bowels and suck upon his bountiful, nauseous juices.
Beneath mildewed and sagging beams, the great god works for eternity at a rusted cauldron, a receptacle vasy enough to contain all the oceans of all the worlds of the galaxy. Chuckling and murmuring to himself, Nurgle labours to create contagion and pestilence - the most perfect, unfettered forms of life. With every stir of Nurgle's maggot-ridden ladle, a dozen fresh diseases flourish and are scattered through the universes to bring low civilisations and destroy the populations of worlds. From time to time Nurgle ceases his stirring, and reaches down with a clawed hand to scoop a portion of the ghastly mixture into his cavernous mouth to taste the fruits of his labour.
Dwarfed by their mighty lord, a host of Plaguebearers are gathered about Nurgle. Each chants sonorously: keeping count of the diseases created; of the Nurglings that have hatched; of the souls claimed by the Lord of Decay's putrid blessings. This hum drowns out the creaking of the rotten floor and the scrape of ladle on cauldron, so eternal in its monotony that to hear it is to invite madness.
When Nurgle's power waxes, his garden blooms with death's heads and filth, encroaching upon the lands of the other gods. War follows as Nurgle's adversaries fight back and the Plaguebearers take up arms to defend the morbid forest. From such war springs the richness of life and death, of triumph over adversity. Though Nurgle's realm will eventually recede again, it will have fed deeply on the immaterial bodies of those who have perished, and will lie in gestate peace for another eternity until it is ready to swell once more.
During an incursion on the hive world of Paraghast, the power of Chaos transformed the principal city of Patrihive into a nightmare. It became a twisted prison to billions of souls, trapping them within a writhing dome of flesh-hungry thorns and creepers twenty kilometres high. Its roots buried into the surrounding ash wastes for a hundred kilometres in every direction, breaking through the ruddy ground to attack the defenders of Paraghast even as they fought against a legion of Nurgle and Slaanesh Daemons.
On Galdemor, the violence committed by the Daemon legion of Braskh'har the Devious, a Herald of Slaanesh, saw thousands slaughtered and caused such grief that a new Warp rift opened, spilling forth the armies of Khal'thar'rak the Bloodied Fang and a host of necrotic Nurgle Daemons led by Prince Gurglish the Ever-Rotting. The three armies fought over the spoils of the world and left no creature alive by the time they eventually departed back to the Realm of Chaos.
To be engulfed in a Warp rift is one of the most horrendous fates that can befall a planet. Both the populace and the world itself are twisted and tortured by the Daemons of Chaos. Such was the doom of Toreus.
When contact was re-established with Toreus after it had been cut off by a Warp storm for 300 years, Imperial forces found a world that had been utterly changed. Gone were the thriving metropolises, the verdant farmlands and the towering cathedrals and palaces. In their place stretched warped devastation. Great fissures rent the landscape, filled with bones. Brass towers stretched into the storm-filled skies. Huge mutant beasts hunted through dark forests of petrified trees. The stench of blood and sulphur made men retch. The air itself burnt their eyes and caused their hair to fall out in disgusting clumps.
The cities held horrors of their own. Stretched faces stared from brick and stone, and maze-like alleyways were filled with haunting whispers. The walls were burnt with shadows of men, women and children, which silently writhed in hunch-backed and claw-fingered agony. The sewers heaved with monstrous rats, and fountains of slime and gore burst through the cracked pavements and roadways. Once-golden domes were slicked with filthy verdigris, and crows with blood-matted feathers and glowing red eyes nested under cornices dripping with thick ichor. Statues of Imperial commanders and saints had sprouted horns and wings, and seemed to change position when not looked at.
The chill night brought its own terrors, as the boiling storm clouds parted to reveal a purple moon upon which leered a grinning fanged mouth. Skeletal bats as large as Thunderbolt fighters swooped through the sickly-hued skies. The stars danced and whirled about each other, tracing foul runes with their glittering trails. Bestial howls echoed from the hillsides and the empty streets reverberated to the crunching of teeth gnawing upon bones.
Archeodiviners of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica arrived to investigate what had become of Toreus and the three billion souls who had lived there. As soon as they reached the surface, the spykers were overwhelmed by the residual Chaos tainting the planet. Once went mad and attacked his fellows; he was only stopped when his head was chopped off. Two others perished miserably, their bodies aging and rotting as if centuries passed with every day. The remaining three were driven insane over the following days as they were assailed by visions of what had befallen the world. To this day Inquisitors pore over the transcripts of the archeodiviners' lunatic ravings and sobbing moans, trying to glean as much knowledge as possible on the foul spawn of the Warp.
The daemonic attack was heralded by a week of strange portents and omens. In the Temple of the Emperor Sanctified, blood dripped from the claws of the golden eagle above the altar. Astropaths vomited blood and wailed of a great ring of fire burning in the heavens. Birds were seen flying backwards and all the clocks of the city of Geheim stopped at two minutes to midnight. The daughter of Imperial Commander Ghorstwenckler attacked her father and tried to bite out his throat. Rioting mobs filled the streets and the Adeptus Arbites precinct was overrun by a plague of carnivorous toads. At a farm in the hinterlands, a grox was born with the head of a fish and the tail of a lion.
When the Warp rift finally engulfed Toreus it appeared in the skies as a pulsing ring of purple fire. Theosaphus Orbital Station imploded, and high-altitude auguries rained down onto the surface as blazing comets of molten metal. Fires engulfed the Forest of Lassenthus, their flames rising high into the air, and cackling minions of Tzeentch cavorted from the magical inferno. A pool of shadow swallowed the town of Kleist Hollows, as pustulent servants of Nurgle and lascivious Daemons of Slaanesh pulled themselves from its shimmering, oily depths. All across the doomed world portals opened and a host of Daemons poured forth.
The soldiers of Toreus fought vainly against the rampaging hordes. War raged on the flanks of Toreus' highest volcano, Mount Magathon, as the legion of the Bloodthirster An'kha'arak butchered 50,000 Imperial servants. Great skull-like caves burst from the rocky ground and from their maws rivers of lava poured down onto the beleaguered defenders of Toreus. An army of Bloodletters heaped the skulls of the slain into burning fissures and crimson smog filled the skies. Twisted spires of bone wrought in the shape of dismembered corpses towered from the volcano's summit. Fire and blood engulfed the plains around Mount Magathon, turning farms and towns into gore-drenched cinders. An'kha'arak surveyed his domain, sat upon a brass throne that drifted within the roaring flames at the volcano's peak.
The palaces of the Imperial Commander were besieged by hosts of Pink Horrors, Screamers, Daemonettes and Plaguebearers led by K'tzis'trix'a'tzar, Daemon Prince of Tzeentch. Commander Ghorstwenckler's personal guard retreated with their lord to the inner sanctum of the Palace of Ruminas, but physical defences were no proof against their daemonic foes. Monstrous Juggernauts appeared in the midst of the defenders, trampling and goring with bloody abandon while the Bloodletters riding upon their backs wantonly hacked and slashed at everything within reach. K'tzis'trix'a'tzar stormed through the panicked soldiers at the head of his horde, blasting apart heads and limbs with bolys of blue and pink lightning. The Imperial Commander fell to his knees at the feet of the Daemon Prince and pleaded for his life. K'tris'trix'a'tzar's cruel laughter echoed around the inner sanctum as the Daemon Prince invoked the name of his master and unleashed a spell of change of unprecedented power.
Mystical flames raged through the citadel, burning everything. From the ashes rose great shards of crystal and jagged mirrors that reflected the warped landscape of the Realm of Chaos. Two twin columns of fire rose into the sky - echoes of the Towers of Helixis that flank the doorway of Tzeentch's library - their flames flickering with the screaming souls of the damned. Between their flaming pinnacles burned a golden sun, which blinded every mortal that looked upon it.
All of Toreus bent and twisted to the insane whims of its daemonic conquerors. Vast mountains of skulls dwarfed the Stratberg Highlands. The city of Chuburis drowned in a lake of blood, and then rose from the depths, its inhabitants choking and covered in gore, only to be drowned again, and again. The cruel laughter of Daemonettes could be heard across the Plains of Antaris as they hunted thousands of humans from the backs of serpentine mounts.
Weeping mortals were caged in bars of smouldering brass and brought out one at a time to be hacked apart by leering Bloodletters. The Tallyman of Nurgle, Epidemius, rounded up millions of refugees and had them incarcerated within a great wall of suppurating flesh. Here he set to cataloguing each and every blemish, spot, boil and pox upon them, before feeding them to a pack of slobbering Beasts of Nurgle.
And then the Warp rift began to falter. Sensing that their grip on this world was beginning to weaken, the Daemons unleashed ever more heinous acts of corruption and depravity. They set to slaughtering every creature they could find, distilling down their essence in immense soul furnaces that blotted out the sun and swathed the world in pitch blackness. The screams of the dying were etched into the rocks themselves, whose shapes were altered by the warping power of Chaos.
Eventually the rift closed and the Daemons vanished, leaving a world changed beyond comprehension. There was nothing left of Toreus as it had been known, and in a rare moment of mercy the planet was virus bombed to remove any vestige of life that might have survived such hideous torment. In the words of Inquisitor Thrax, who was charged with leading the Exterminatus mission:
"Chaos had left its taint in every root, stone and atom. Toreus heaved and wailed in its agonising death throes and we ended its misery. There was nothing else that could be done."
The immense, bloated Greater Daemons of Nurgle tower above the babbling hordes of Nurgle like corpulent schoolmasters. Alternately jovial and stern, a Great Unclean One commands his legion with affectionate bellows of praise and bombastic cajoling. Fuelled by morbid energy, a Great Unclean One pays careful attention to all of his followers, delighting in the smallest boil, revelling in the variety and effulgence of their poxes. With gurgling guffaws, the Greater Daemon sends forth his legions with extravagant waves of his arms, extolling the virtues of plague and pestilence, booming words of encouragement or reproach across the battlefield.
It is not just the forthright personality of a Great Unclean One that gives him so much presence. Each is a huge creature shaped in the fashion of Nurgle; massively rotund, his fleshy form torn with rotting splits, his innards spilling into view as he strides forward. Clusters of buboes erupt from his green hide, birthing small swarms of Nurglings. Noxious juices seep from dozens of sores, leaving a glistening trail of mucus and filth in the Great Unclean One's wake. Fractured, lichen-mottled antlers sprout from the Great Unclean One's head, often hung with festive garlands of decaying intestines. Globules of yellowy-green spittle fly from his wide mouth as the Great Unclean One urges his minions onwards. Pallid maggots feed upon the Great Unclean One's exposed flesh, growing into furry, thick-bodied flies that form a dark swarm around the Greater Daemon. Filled with unholy vitality, a Great Unclean One is impervious to pain and physical wounds have little effect on it; plasma-burnt flesh quickly transforms into suppurating scars, bullet wounds become oozing pockmarks and tissue shredded by las-blasts forms into warty, crusted scabs.
As monstrous and horrific as his appearance is, a Great Unclean One is possessed of a paternal affection at odds with his nightmarish form. Gregarious and sentimental, a Great Unclean One takes pride in the achievements of his followers, and looks upon all the creatures in his legion as his 'children'. Driven to organise Nurgle's chaotic endeavours, the Great Unclean Ones seek to instil purpose and function on the daemonic rabble they command.
With vociferous proclamations, a Great Unclean One heaps praise upon those who spread disease and filth, who butcher the enemy and infect their corpses. With chiding grumbles, the Greater Daemon harries those who are tardy in advancing or who seem less energetic in the pursuit of Nurgle's goals.
Just as spreading disease and decay fills a Great Unclean One with jovial vigour, opposing Nurgle's great schemes rouses tremendous, righteous ire. Though ponderous, a Great Unclean One is all but unstoppable on the advance, wadinginto the enemy through even the fiercest firepower. Whether armed with a rusted plagueblade encrusted with the festering blood of thousands, or swinging a flail made of skulls filled with burning ichor, a Great Unclean One flattens its foes with its fury. The Great Unclean One unleashes its 'stream of corruption' against those that try to flee its wrath, vomiting forth a steaming tide of virulent filth, maggots and mucus that sweeps away the enemies of Chaos.
|Great Unclean One||6||4||6||6||5||2||4||10||4+|
Sonorous chanting and the dull knell of bells herald the arrival of Nurgle's Plaguebearers. Surrounded by a buzzing swarm of flies, the Plaguebearers shuffle forwards, their bodies broken and twisted with morbidity. Bloated stomachs tear through paper-thin skin, showing glistening guts dripping with foetid liquids. Rheumy, cyclopean eyes stare from haggard, ravaged faces topped by a single broken horn blackened with filth. Gangling, bony limbs propel the Plaguebearers forward in a staggering lope, fuelled by the energy of decay. In their hands the Plaguebearers grasp rusted blades; Plagueswords dripping with noxious infection.
The constant humming of flies is mixed with the monotonal chants of the Lesser Daemons of Nurgle; each attempting to count the number of plagues, diseases and poxes gifted to the universe by great Nurgle. These are the Tallymen of Nurgle, eternally bound to record all of the Plague God's pestilential gifts. It is an impossible task, for Nurgle's bountiful enthusiasm knows no bounds and every day sees new strains of viruses and freshly evolved bacteria spreading across the realm of mortals. In hidden laboratories, the whispers of Nurgle's wisdom fills the minds of depraved scientists who create ever-more debilitating illnesses to inflict upon their enemies. Within rotting mounds of corpses Nurgle's eternal energy creates new fungal spores and births new breeds of necrotic bacilli.
The Plaguebearers are solemn, efficient fighters whose Plagueswords can fell the mightiest enemies with a single infected cut. Unfeeling of pain, Plaguebearers fight with a grim vigour that traps their foes in a gruelling war of attrition - a war that only the servants of the Lord of Decay can win.
Plaguebearers are formed from the energy of mortals that died from Nurgle's Rot, the Lord of Decay's most virulent and deadly blessing. The souls of those infected by this disease are slowly leeched into Nurgle's realm, appearing as warty seed pods growing from the cracked branches of gloomy willows. Each pod swells and ripens as the Nurgle's Rot destroys its host in the real world and the nascent Plaguebearer feeds upon the victim's dying energies.
These pods emit a sickly aroma whilst turning into a pustule of excreta within which writhes the growing Plaguebearer. When fully matured, the podule drops into the mulch and the newly created Plaguebearer tears himself from the leathery cocoon A mortal who resists the ravages of the Nurgle's Rot for a significant period creates an equally long incubation period for their resultant Daemon, and this will grow into a Herald of Nurgle; a larger, tougher and more disgusting individual amongst the deformed masses of the Plaguebearers.
|Herald of Nurgle||4||3||4||5||2||3||2||10||5+|
"All things must wither and die. Let root rot and bower blight, to feed the pestilence of abandoned hope."
— Aghalhor the Bringer of Poxes
The Beasts of Nurgle are the embodiment of their creator's boundless enthusiasm and revel in the joy of decy. Leaving a foul trail of abominable slime behind them, they slither excitedly across the battlefield, eager to lavish affection on others and receive their loving attention in return. They often accompany the Plaguebearers, gurgling mirthfully as they bounce back and forth to attract the attention of Father Nurgle's favourite sons, hoping for a pat on the back or a rub of the belly. The Beasts of Nurgle are incarnations of the Plague Lord's own bountiful excitement, in turn a manifestation of all mortals' desire for energetic life, social interaction affection and fertile endeavour.
This terrifying enthusiasm is made all the more nightmarish by the Beast of Nurgle's appearance. They are gigantic, slug-like creatures propelled forward with undulating ripples and clawed flippers. They have wide maws lined with rows of needle-like teeth, and bulging, excited eyes that drip with filthy lacrimation. Fronds of writhing tentacles sprout from their blob-like heads and along their back. Each is a waving tube of foulness that expels clouds of vomit-inducing gasses, clouds of flies and squirts of sour fluids that can seep through any armour and digest the tissues underneath.
It is these poisonous tentacles that a Beast of Nurgle wraps so affectionately around a newly-found playmate. Lavising slobbery, deadly kisses from these waving members, the beast overwhelms its target with its great bulk and with its paralysing ichor and poisonous fumes. Soon the victim succumbs to this deadly assault and falls silent and still, quickly decaying under the influence of Nurgle's poxes. The Beast of Nurgle, disappointed by its new friend's lack of spirit, will quickly grow bored of its game and will leap onwards, searching for a new subject upon which to lavish its lethal devotion.
Random Poisoned Attacks. In close combat each Beast has D6 Attacks - roll every time they are about to attack. These attacks are poisoned (wounding on 4+, as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook).
Chief among the mnay gifts that Father Nurgle has granted an ungrateful galaxy is Nurgle's Rot. It is his masterpiece - completely incurable, highly infectious and with a very, very slow course. These characteristics allow it to spread uncontrollably, overwhelming whole contintents, planets and star systems.
And that is not all. This perfect illness does not kill its host quickly; rather it slowly turns the victim's body into a bloated, rotting, living corpse. At the same time it erodes the victim's soul. It painfully corrupts it to the point where the tortured victim has to choose between the only two routes left open to him. He can either end his own life, or he can fully embrace the ways of Father Nurgle, predelicting in contagion and putrescence, revelling in buboes and sickness until death puts an end to his suffering.
Only then will he realise the true blessing that has been visited upon him, as his soul is reborn in Nurgle's realm, in the immortal shape of a new Plaguebearer.
The innards of a Great Unclean One are best left as imponderables by mortals, for such twisting gastric caverns and voluminous guts are not a place one wishes to consider for too long. It is in these dark, chruning depths that the Nurglings are born. Starting as small blobs of indescribably foul matter, Nurglings are nourished by the pulsating juices of a Great Unclean One's inner organs, growing into small facsimiles of Nurgle himself. Once a Nurgling has matured, the peristaltic heavings of a Great Unclean One's internal processes will eventually deposit the Nurgling through some orifice or tear in the flesh, plopping them into existence as spiteful, rotund imps.
For most of their existence, Nurglings will congregate around the grand Daemon that birthed them. They clamber across his bulk seeking comfortable pools of liquids and warm spots under the folds of rolling flesh, constantly bickering in petty territorial war. Eager for the attention of their master, the Nurglings sit on the shoulders of the Great Unclean One and chatter to him incessantly, hoping for a fatherly pat or belch of appreciation. Other times they will scurry around the Greater Daemon making gifts of small trinkets they find; dead animals, rotting bones, particularly splendid fungi and other such presents as they think will please their master. Such a life is not without its risks, for in an absent-minded moment a Great Unclean One will sit or tread upon his tiny charges, or gulp down one or two as delicate sweetmeats.
When the Great Unclean One fights, the Nurglings leave their master and swarm forwards as a living carpet of malevolent pettiness. Possessed of pointed teeth and sharp claws, the Nurglings swallow up their enemies with a mound of biting, scratching bodies. Such small wounds as are inflicted by these tiny creatures would be inconsequential were it not for the lively toxins and diseases from which the Nurglings are made, which quickly infect and mortify even the slightest injury.
Sometimes a particularly well-favoured Herald of Nurgle is gifted a palanquin upon which to be carried. Sitting upon rotted boards atop a carpet of Nurglings, the Herald can look down upon all of the other Plaguebearers - figuratively as well as literally. The Nurglings are very protective of their passenger and will launch themselves at foes who threaten their charge, gurgling angrily, teeth and claws bared.
Perhaps of all Daemons, it is the Nurglings that most vex the Plaguebearers. Driven by the instinct to record and codify, Plaguebearers find the capricious, mischevious nature of the Nurglings impossible to fathom. While the Great Unclean Ones look upon their pestilent children with affection, the sombre Plaguebearers view them as a constant distraction.
Note: Nurglings can also carry the Palanquin of a Herald of Nurgle (as explained in the 'Daemonic Steeds' rules on page 76).
Ku'gath was once a Nurgling, a mite upon the great shoulders of Nurgle. Whilst the Lord of Decay mixed his most virulent toxin ever, Ku'gath tumbled from his nesting place into the cauldron. Ku'gath took a great draught of the filthy contents of that rusted bowl and swelled with its power. Invigorated, he drank and drank and drank until the cauldron was empty. As he filled with the corrupting power of decay, Ku'gath grew into a mighty Great Unclean One. Nurgle laughed at the antics of his new creation, who had become the embodiment of the perfect disease that had bubbled in the cauldron of poxes. Though Nurgle was unperturbed by the turn of events, Ku'gath realised he had robbed his father of the greatest of all diseases. Ever since, Ku'gath has sought to recreate the toxic miracle that created him.
He is a sombre creature, standing apart from his fellow Greater Daemons. Not for Ku'gath the gurgling delights of infection. Ku'gath is studious and observant, the better to create the perfect disease. Ku'gath has travelled widely, seeking every ingredient and sickness imaginable. Atop a palanquin carried by a mound of straining Nurglings, Ku'gath moves across the universes searching for the combination of blights and woes that will create his perfect disease. As well as the considerable bulk of Ku'gath, the palanquin is loaded with the paraphernalia of Ku'gath's mobile laboratory. Burning braziers heat warped alembics that bubble with corroding fumes. Rusted pipes funnel bacteria through fungal sieves, distilling poisons procured from a thousand million worlds and the furthest reaches of the ever-changing Realms of Chaos.
Ku'gath uses war to conduct his field tests, unleashing clouds of spores and bacteria that wipe out whole armies. The Nurglings that grow from within Ku'gath each carry a unique blend of the elements that created the Great Unclean One. He hurls his pestilent Nurglings at his enemies, watching with detached interest as the symptoms of each particular infection begin to spread. Ku'gath also captures those his diseases corrupt, taking them back to his ruinous lair in the manse of Nurgle where he can observe their degeneration more closely. In thousands of cages that stretch into the darkness, creatures of every single species from all across time and space gibber, wail and moan in the gloom.
Necrotic Missiles: Ku'gath can scoop up and lob against the enemy vast handfuls of Nurglings filled with the most devastating concoctions of the Plaguefather. This is treated as a ranged poisoned weapon (wounding on a 4+) with the following profile:
|24"||n/a||2||Ordnance 1, Large Blast|
Nurgling Infestation: At the beginning of any turn in which Ku'gath is on the table (not including the one when he arrives from Reserve), the player may roll a dice on behalf of the Plaguefather. On a roll of 4+, a new unit consisting of a single base of Nurglings enters the game by Deep Strike within 12" of Ku'gath.
The task of cataloguing the potency of the Plaguelord's many and splendid diseases falls to Epidemius, the Lord of Decay's chosen Tallyman, one of the seven Proctors of Pestilence who preside over the Plaguebearers. Borne aloft on a rotten palanquin, Epidemius moves amongst the Daemons of Nurgle making note of all the varied afflications and poxes unleashed into the universe. It is a never-ending task, for Nurgle is constantly creative and his anarchic hordes are ever keen to spread new and wonderful diseases.
Epidemius' Nurglings act as assistants, secreting ink for his quill, growing parchment-like strips of skin from their backs for their master to tear free, and counting upon a great death's head abacus that grows from the planks of the palanquin. The Nurglings also serve as guards for the Tallyman and swarm around any foe that approaches too closely. Unlike the usual babble and giggling that accompanies most Nurglings, Epidemius' brood are silent. They understand the importance of Epidemius' task and suffer his ire when an ill-timed titter or belch breaks his concentration. Only the slimy squelching of the Nurglings' progress and the gnawing scratch of Epidemius' quill break this sacred quietude.
In battle, Epidemius surveys the spread of filth and decay, taking note of every bubo, pustule and sore. Even as he writes, Father Nurgle becomes aware of Epidemius' learnings, distilling the information for future experiments and brews. If Epidemius were ever to make an error or an untimely observation, Nurgle's displeasure would be dire indeed and for this reason, Epidemius focuses wholly on his task even in the midst of desperate battle. Guided by his plaguesense, Epidemius follows the filthy spoor of his master's work through both the Daemon and mortal realms, seeking out new strands of virus, fresh species of bacteria and innovative symptoms of contagion.
The Tally of Pestilence: Whilst Epidemius is on the table, keep a count of all models killed by followers of Nurgle (i.e. any Daemon of Nurgle, or model with the Mark of Nurgle, both friends and enemies) anywhere on the table. At the start of each of your turns, consult the table below to determine the effect of the Tally of Pestilence. From the beginning of that turn, and as long as Epidemius is on the table, these cumulative bonuses affect all followers of Nurgle (friend and foe!).
|5-9||All Plagueswords now wound on 3+|
|10-14||All followers of Nurgle have Noxious Touch|
|15-19||If a follower of Nurgle has Feel No Pain, it now saves on 3+|
|20+||All attacks from followers of Nurgle ignore armour saves!|
The colour section of the book includes painted examples of the various Nurgle Daemon models available at the time of publishing, with inset close-ups to show off interesting details. Great Unclean Ones are on page 59, Plaguebearers (including Epidemius) on page 64, and Beasts of Nurgle and Nurglings on page 69. Page 72 has a photograph of a complete small army of Nurgle followers, including the Daemon Prince of Nurgle model.
The sheer presence of the Daemon can strike down enemy warriors with an invisible curse of death. Aura of Decay is a ranged weapon, but the Daemon may be in close combat at the time it uses it, as may the targets. When used, all enemy models within 6" of the Daemon automatically suffer a Strength 2 hit with AP- (roll to wound as normal).
A swarm of flies envelopes the Daemon, distracting the enemy by flying into eyes, ears and mouths, and crawling under armour and clothing. Models with this Gift count as equipped with both assault grenades and defensive grenades (but receive no Strength bonus in close combat against vehicles).
The Daemon and its weapons are covered in the most lethal toxic substance, instantly infecting any flesh it touches. The Daemon's close combat attacks are poisoned, wounding on a 2+, as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.
This gift from Father Nurgle is nothing more than an old rusted blade, but one that constantly secretes a lethal poisonous slime. Plague Swords are poisoned close combat weapons that wound all opponents on a 4+, as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.
The Eldar believe that their gods are dead, destroyed by Slaanesh when the Dark Prince awoke. Yet there is one myth upon a single craftworld that tells of how the maiden goddess Isha was not slain by the Prince of Pleasure. Instead, when Slaanesh claimed Isha as his own, Nurgle heard her cries for help and her anguish touched his leprous heart.
Isha was a goddess of fertility and healing, the embodiment of life, and mighty Nurgle wished for her to become his companion. Nurgle waged a long war against Slaanesh to wrest Isha from the Dark Prince's grasp and was eventually victorious.
Yet the adoration of a Chaos God is a strange thing, for Nurgle shows his affection in cruel ways. Nurgle keeps Isha within a rusted cage in the corner of his cauldron chamber. When the Plague God creates a particularly pleasing brew, he forces Isha to imbibe the putrid mixture, watching with building excitement for the symptoms of his latest contagion.
Though Isha can cure herself of the disease's ravages, the speed with which she is freed from its grip allows the Plaguelord to evaluate his creation's virulence. If Nurgle is pleased, he returns to his cauldron and empties its contents into a bottomless drain, the noxious liquid falling as rain upon one of the mortal worlds. If the concoction does not meet with Nurgle's approval, he gulps down the contents of the cauldron, vomits it back into the pot, and starts afresh. While the Plaguefather is busy at his cauldron, Isha whispers to mortals, seeking to tell them the cures for the poxes she has tasted.
|Warhammer Fantasy||Third Citadel Compendium; WFRP (1st ed); RoC: Slaves to Darkness; RoC: The Lost and the Damned; Beasts of Chaos|
|Man O' War||Plague Fleet|
|Mordheim||Empire in Flames|
|Warhammer 40,000||Warhammer 40,000 (1993); Codex: Chaos (1996); Codex: Chaos Space Marines (1999); Chapter Approved 2001; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2002); Codex: Eye of Terror; Chapter Approved 2004; Imperial Armour 5; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2007); Imperial Armour: Apocalypse (2007); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2008); Imperial Armour 6; Imperial Armour 7; Imperial Armour: Aeronautica; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2012); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013); Stronghold Assault; Codex: Imperial Knights (2014); Imperial Armour 13; Codex: Imperial Knights (2015); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2016); Codex: Traitor Legions; Dark Imperium; Index: Chaos; First Strike; Plague Brethren|
|Epic||Adeptus Titanicus; Space Marine (1st ed); Codex Titanicus; Renegades; Titan Legions; Epic 40,000|
|White Dwarf||Oct 1988 (#106); Dec 1988 (#108); Jan 1989 (#109); May 1989 (#113); Jun 1989 (#114); Nov 1989 (#119); Jan 1990 (#121); Feb 1990 (#122); Apr 1990 (#124); May 1990 (#125); Dec 1990 (#132); Jan 2002 (#265)|
|Citadel Journal||Jul 1994 (#4); Mar 1995 (#8); May 1995 (#9); Dec 1995 (#12); Sep 1996 (#17); Nov 1996 (#18); Aug 1997 (#21)|
|Fantasy Flight Games|
|Dark Heresy||Shattered Hope; Dark Heresy (1st ed); Disciples of the Dark Gods; Creatures Anathema; Daemon Hunter; Dark Heresy (2nd ed); Game Master's Kit (2nd ed); Forgotten Gods; Enemies Within; Enemies Beyond|
|Rogue Trader||Rogue Trader; Citadel of Skulls; Battlefleet Koronus; Koronus Bestiary; Navis Primer; Stars of Inequity|
|Deathwatch||Mark of the Xenos; Achilus Assault; First Founding; Jericho Reach; Rising Tempest|
|Black Crusade||Black Crusade; Game Master's Kit; Hand of Corruption; Tome of Fate; Tome of Blood; Tome of Excess; Tome of Decay|
|Only War||Enemies of the Imperium|