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This is the second Codex: Chaos Daemons published. It follows Codex: Chaos Daemons (2008) and is succeeded by Codex: Chaos Daemons - Daemonic Incursion Edition (2016).
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. Capering Daemon-mites carpet the ground before the host, and the noxious poxes of the fleshy hulks that command them kill everything in their path, rendering all life down to mulch from which evil fungi and poisonous plants erupt.
Nurgle is the Great Lord of Decay and the Master of Plague and Pestilence. All things, no matter how solid and permanent they seem, are liable to eventual corruption. Even the process of creation is but the precursor to destruction and decay. The bastion of today is tomorrow's ruin, the maiden of the morning is the crone of the night, and the hope of a moment is but the foundation of regret.
Though he is the creator of every infection and epidemic to have ever swept the universe, Nurgle is not a morose purveyor of despair and gloom, but a vibrant god of life and laughter. In death, there is life. Upon the decay of the living untold numbers of bacteria, viruses, insects and other carrion-feeders thrive. All life feeds upon other life to exist, and from every plague grows new generations, stronger and more virile than those before. Regeneration comes from decay, just as hope springs from despair. The greatest inspiration comes in the darkest moments; in times of crisis, mortals are truly tested and driven to excel.
To understand what might otherwise seem contradictory or even perverse in nature, one must first comprehend that which Nurgle embodies. On the one hand, he is the Lord of Decay, whose body is wracked with disease; on the other, he is full of unexpected energy and a desire to organise and enlighten. The citizens of the Imperium know full well that their lives will one day end and that many of their number will live with disease or other torments in the meantime, yet they drive this knowledge deep into the corners of their minds and bury it with dreams and ceaseless activity. Nurgle is the embodiment of that knowledge and the unconscious response to it. He is the hidden fear of disease and decay, the gnawing truth of mortality and the power of defiance that it generates.
Nurgle himself takes the form of a titanic flesh-hulk riddled with decay and pestilence. His gigantic carcass is bloated with corruption and exudes an overpowering stench that gnaws the mind. 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 and spurting 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 intestines and suck upon his bountiful, noxious juices.
Every single human being in the galaxy has been touched by Nurgle's foetid hand at some point. Countless trillions are host to his malignant, invisible creations, which corrupt their physical forms and sow despair in their minds. Interplanetary traffic ensures that contagious diseases are carried from world to world by the ignorant, the wilful and the strong. As Nurgle's gifts multiply into full-blown pandemics, his power reaches a peak. Whole systems - even whole sectors - are quarantined as plague runs rife across the stars. Proud civilisations wither away even as Grandfather Nurgle conjures obscene new life from their remains. Wherever there are plague pits and mass graves, the rotting splendour of Nurgle shines through.
Despite his consistent generosity, only an enlightened few truly embrace Nurgle's greatness. Yet his worshippers exist in numbers enough to ensure his Daemon servants access the material dimension wherever plague abounds. This is just as well, for of all the Chaos Gods, it is Nurgle who most appreciates the personal touch.
The domain of Nurgle is not a barren wasteland, but a macabre paradise, a near-infinite jungle of death and pestilence. Tended by the Lord of Decay, this unwholesome realm is home to every pox and affliction imaginable. Twisted, rotten boughs entangled with grasping vines cover the mouldering ground, entwining like broken fingers. Fungi, both plain and spectacular, break through the squelching 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 insect-choked air. Their colours puncture the gloom; havens of cheeriness in a dismal woodland. Human-featured beetles 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 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 ironwork and lichen-covered cornices to outdo each other with their corrupted charm.
Within these tumbling walls, Nurgle toils. Beneath mildewed and sagging beams, the great god works for eternity at a rusted cauldron, a receptacle vast enough to contain all the oceans of all the worlds. Chuckling and murmuring to himself, Nurgle labours to create contagion and pestilence - the most sublime and unfettered forms of life. With every stir of Nurgle's maggot-ridden ladle, a dozen fresh diseases flourish and are scattered through the stars. From time to time, Nurgle reaches down with a clawed hand to scoop a portion of the ghastly mixture into his cavernous mouth, tasting the fruits of his labour. With each passing day, he comes closer to brewing his perfect disease, a spiritual plague that will spread across the extent of the universe and see all living things gathered unto his rotting embrace.
Dwarfed by their mighty lord, a host of Plaguebearers are gathered about Nurgle. Each chants sonorously, keeping count of the diseases created, the mischievous Nurglings that have hatched, and 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 diseases wax strong in the mortal realm, his garden blooms with death's heads and fresh filth, encroaching upon the lands of the other Chaos Gods. War follows, as Nurgle's adversaries fight back and the Plaguebearers take up arms to defend the morbid forest. From such war springs more of 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 fallen, and will lie in gestate peace until it is ready to swell throughout time and space once more.
Very few mortal eyes have beheld the Garden of Nurgle. Its swamplands constantly wheeze a fog of supernatural diseases, and living beings cannot endure so much as a single breath of its repugnance. Only Nurgle himself can spare visitors from his garden's toxic affections; when he is expecting company, he will open a path through the gurgling fungus-fronds with a single magnanimous gesture.
Trespassers are viewed poorly in Nurgle's domain, as the Seers of Lugganath found to their cost. The Eldar of that far-flung craftworld have long told the story of the Caged Maiden, wherein Isha, the goddess of fertility and healing, is imprisoned in Nurgle's mansion at the mercy of her grotesque admirer. The Eldar believe their legends to be absolute truth and even aspire to one day free their goddess from Nurgle's unctuous grasp. So it was that when Lugganath was ravaged by the Brittle Coma, an army of its most gifted psykers cast their minds into the realm of Nurgle in pursuit of Isha's myth, hoping to find their lost goddess and put a halt to their craftworld's deadly malaise. They knew that they would almost certainly die in the attempt, but believed that their souls would ultimately be drawn back into the glittering spirit stones of their comatose bodies. Once safe in their crystal afterlife, they could impart Isha's message to the Spiritseers and lift Nurgle's curse from their homes.
At first, their astrally projected forms appeared to be able to pass through the grasping foliage of Nurgle's garden with ease. Their ghosthelms kept them as insubstantial as spirits and their rune-shielded minds cut through the dismal vegetation, for they were sharper than any corporeal blade. The rot-flies of that realm buzzed loud in alarm, however, and whispered of the intruders into Nurgle's ear. Just as the Seers of Lugganath sighted Grandfather Nurgle's manse in the distance, a great host of Plaguebearers rose up from the mud and began to chant in a droning monotone as they came forward. The Seers channelled their psychic energy into great blasts of cleansing blue fire, boiling away huge chunks of Nurgle's army and darting out of the clumsy reach of their foes, but ever more Plaguebearers emerged from the slurry to block their path.
The battle raged for days, and swathes of Nurgle's garden were blasted to ruin in the process. However, in the material dimension, the physical forms of the trespassing Seers began to convulse and shake, succumbing to the very plague they hoped to overcome. Slowly, as their bodies shrivelled and their spirit stones turned to rotting mulch, the souls of the Seers that were trapped in Nurgle's realm began to pass fully into the Immaterium. The soupy air of the garden seeped into their lungs, worm-riddled mud spattered up their legs, and white-bodied daemonflies clambered into their mouths. Claimed at last, the Seers' feet took root as their faces hardened into bark. Their arms split and twisted into gnarled branches, each finger hung with ripening Nurgling-fruit. The Seers of Lugganath remain there still, a copse of wailing trees that brighten Nurgle's leisurely walks and strike a note of despair into the heart of Isha, his immortal captive.
Such is the fate of those who enter uninvited into the heartlands of Nurgle, for even the generosity of Grandfather Plague has its limits.
The droughts of Gaero Alphus worsen as the planet's elliptical orbit slowly draws it closer to its star. As Gaero's industrial tribes dwindle, malnutrition runs rife. Eventually, all animal life is sacrificed to feed the tribes' gnawing hunger. The heat drives the tribesmen to pray for divine aid. They turn to the rain dances of old, even sacrificing their own people hoping to end the drought. Grandfather Nurgle, in his benevolence, takes pity on them and grants their wish. Glorious rain comes in abundance. As each day passes, however, the clouds thicken and grow more menacing. Deserts turn into lakes, arid croplands to rotting soup, and whole population centres are drowned or devastated by disease. On the eighth day, the Tallyman of Nurgle, Epidemius, pushes his way out of the sludge to catalogue the disaster. As the constant rain lashes down, the survivors of each tribe take up arms to fight the Tallyman and his Plaguebearer hordes, but in their ailing state, they are swiftly overcome. A week later, Gaero Alphus disappears altogether from all Imperial records.
In a single generation, the heretically progressive world of Thruscas Sine eradicates all natural illness from its populace. Nurgle is offended, and infests the world from pole to pole; Nurglings, Plaguebearers, Rot Flies, and finally jovial Great Unclean Ones materialise.
During an incursion on the hive world of Paraghast, the power of Chaos transforms the principle city of Patrihive into a nightmare. It becomes a twisted prison to billions of souls, trapped within a sentient hive-thing, whose 'roots' burrow into the surrounding ash wastes for a hundred miles in every direction, attacking the defenders of Paraghast even as they fight against a legion of Nurgle and Slaanesh Daemons.
The craftworld of Lugganath falls prey to the Brittle Coma. Its Seer Council project their spirits into the Garden of Nurgle, hoping to find the cure, but instead they meet a tragic and unsettling end.
After an eruption in the heart of the cursed burial plateau of Rhea's World, a host of Plaguebearers falls upon the terrified defences of the planetary Hives.
On Galdemor, the violence committed by the Daemon legion of Braskh'har the Devious, a Herald of Slaanesh, causes such grief that a new Warp rift opens. The armies of Khal'thar'rak, the Bloodied Fang, and a host of necrotic Nurgle Daemons spill forth, led by Ku'gath Plaguefather and Prince Gurglish the Ever-Rotting. The three armies fight over the spoils of the world, leaving no creature alive by the time they eventually depart back to the Realm of Chaos.
There exists a hierarchy of sorts within the ranks of the Ruinous Powers, though it ebbs and flows according to the vagaries of the Great Game. Currently, Khorne is held as the mightiest of all, for the practice of murder and blood sacrifice stretches to the dark beginnings of the universe. Though Khorne sees the use of sorcery as the refuge of cowards, his closest rival, Tzeentch, thrives on the raw stuff of Chaos and is hence counted second in influence. Where Tzeentch would see hopes thrive and fortunes change, the Father of Plagues works towards the defiance born of stagnation, despair and hopelessness. In times of galactic pandemic, Nurgle's power can eclipse even that of his brothers in darkness. Last in the pantheon is Slaanesh, whose earthly luxuries and sensual lusts defy Khorne's desire for indiscriminate slaughter. Yet the Dark Prince knows well how to play on the obsessions of his rivals. Khorne's single-minded bloodlust, Nurgle's quest to infect every living thing, and Tzeentch's compulsion to dabble in the fates of mortals - all are obsessions which the Lord of Excess can turn to his will with a whispered promise.
Greater Daemons of Nurgle, Lords of Bounteous Filth
To the mortal eye, a Greater Daemon of Nurgle is undoubtedly the foulest of all the daemonic servants of the Ruinous Powers. Each of these Great Unclean Ones is shaped in the fashion of Nurgle himself; fly-blown, maggot-ridden innards spill into view through the tears and gashes in his swollen belly as he lumbers forwards. Clusters of pustules and weeping buboes erupt from his hide, birthing small swarms of giggling Nurglings. Noxious juices seep from dozens of infected sores, leaving a glistening trail of mucus in the Great Unclean One's wake. Few mortals have the stomach, let alone the will, to oppose such a being.
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', just as they look upon him as an embodiment of Grandfather Nurgle. Each Greater Daemon pays careful attention to all of his followers, noticeably proud of their appearance and endearing behaviour. A Great Unclean One takes delight in his minions' smallest boils, revelling in the variety and effulgence of their poxes and heaping praise upon them with vociferous proclamations. The Great Unclean One sends forth his daemonic legions with extravagant waves of his arms, booming words of encouragement and gurgling guffaws across the battlefield. All Great Unclean Ones seem to have boundless energy and drive, constantly working to extend the process of rot and decay, thoughtless for their own comfort while parts of the galaxy still remain untouched by Nurgle's bounty.
Great Unclean Ones are motivated by all the trivial mortal enthusiasms that drive the living. They are ebullient and raucous, full of a natural impulse to organise and achieve. Driven to coordinate Nurgle's chaotic endeavours, a Great Unclean One seeks to instil purpose and function in the daemonic rabble under his command. Globules of yellowy-green spittle fly from his wide mouth as the Great Unclean One urges his minions onwards. With chiding grumbles, the Greater Daemon harries those who are tardy in advancing or who seem less energetic in the pursuit of the goals of Grandfather Nurgle.
Spreading plague and decay across the war zones of the galaxy fills a Great Unclean One with jovial vigour - after all, wounds and corpses are fecund breeding grounds for new diseases and new forms of life. Though ponderous, a Great Unclean One is all but unstoppable on the advance, shrugging off the bolts and blades of the foe as though they were naught but bothersome insects. With huge rusted weapons encrusted with putrid blood, a Great Unclean One flattens his victims with all the force its immense frame can muster, each selfless act of generosity warming its rotten heart. There is no escaping a Greater Daemon of Nurgle's gifts, for each is a potent psyker. By breathing deeply of the festering powers of the Warp, he can summon a pestilent wind to wither his foes into diseased piles of flesh or vomit forth a steaming tide of filth, maggots and mucus that sweeps away his enemies.
|Great Unclean One||6||3||6||7||6||4||5||9||-|
Unit Type: Monstrous Creature (Character).
Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike, Poisoned (4+), Psyker (Mastery Level 1).
Psyker: A Great Unclean One generates his powers from the Biomancy and Plague disciplines.
'Let root rot and bower blight, to feed the plague of fortune.'
— Aghalhor, Bringer of Poxes, Greater Daemon of Nurgle
Rotten Paladins of the Plague God
The dull knell of bells and the humming of flies herald the arrival of Nurgle's Plaguebearers. Forming the rank and file of his pestilent legions, the Lesser Daemons of Nurgle shuffle forwards, their ripe bodies swollen with contagion and rife with the stench of decay. Each Daemon has a single rheumy eye and a horn sprouting from its skull - the mark of Nurgle's Rot that each bears through eternity.
It is the Plaguebearers' role to keep stock of new diseases and symptoms, and to maintain some semblance of order amongst Nurgle's naturally mischievous hordes. The Plaguebearers' obsessive need to organise is characterised by their constant counting as they try to calculate every new outbreak of plague. However, this monotonous chanting achieves very little - it is practically impossible to catalogue anything amidst the ever-changing nature of Chaos. This in no way discourages them, however, for they are the embodiment of the need to impose order upon a meaningless and uncaring world. In battle, their corpulent forms resist all but the most fearsome weaponry, and they wield rusted blades that corrupt flesh and rust metal in an instant. Unfortunately for the Plaguebearers, they are prone to losing count during combat, and they stand above their dying foes groaning in frustration before starting their count all over again.
Unit Type: Infantry. Plagueridden is Infantry (Character).
Daemonic Gifts: Plaguesword (pg 62).
Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike.
A mortal who resists the ravages of Nurgle's Rot for a significant time creates an unusually long incubation period for the nascent Plaguebearer, resulting in a larger, tougher individual known as a Herald of Nurgle. Such warriors are testaments to the futility of denying Nurgle's embrace.
|Herald of Nurgle||5||5||5||5||2||4||3||8||-|
Unit Type: Infantry (Character).
Daemonic Gifts: Plaguesword (pg 62).
Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike, Independent Character.
Psyker: A Herald of Nurgle that is upgraded to be a Psyker generates his powers from the Biomancy and Plague disciplines.
Chief among the many gifts that Father Nurgle has granted an ungrateful galaxy is Nurgle's Rot. It is his most successful endeavour - incurable, highly infectious and with a very, very slow course. 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 is eroding the soul, painfully corrupting the spirit to the point where the tortured victim has to choose between the only two routes left open to him: either end his own life, or fully embrace the ways of Father Nurgle, delighting in disease 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.
Slithering Vessels of Contagion
The creatures known as Beasts of Nurgle are so ugly that a mere glimpse of their diseased forms is enough to make a mortal vomit. However, it is an appearance that is totally at odds with their friendly and energetic demeanour. This is because Beasts of Nurgle are incarnations of the Plague Lord's own bountiful exuberance, which is in turn a manifestation of all mortals' desire for vigorous life, social interaction, affection and fertile endeavour.
In character, Beasts of Nurgle are much like energetic, attention-starved puppies. They often accompany Nurgle's Legions into battle, fly-blown tongues lolling out of putrid mouths as they bounce back and forth to attract the attention of Grandfather Nurgle's favourite sons, hoping for a pat on the back, a rub of the belly or some other scrap of attention. When happy, Beasts of Nurgle wag their slug-like tails back and forth. When over-excited (which is most of the time) they leave little puddles of caustic slime behind them. Beasts of Nurgle are affectionate creatures that love nothing more than to bound up to potential new playmates and slobber all over them. Those who foolishly run away from the Beasts of Nurgle in an attempt to escape only serve in rousing the creatures' instinctive enthusiasm, for they simply cannot resist a good game of chase, bounding after their panicked friends with phlegm-choked barks of excitement.
Unbeknownst to the cheerful but dim-witted Daemons, their bodies are dripping with a whole host of virulent plagues and contagions. Even the proximity of a Beast of Nurgle is enough to spell death for small animals and plants. The mere touch of a such a creature is quickly fatal to most mortals, causing aggressive diseases to run rampant through their bodies at an accelerated pace. Soon the victim falls silent and still, already decaying under the malign influence of Nurgle's infections.
The Beasts of Nurgle only register a fleeting sense of disappointment at their new friend's lack of spirit, and will quickly grow bored of their game, eagerly searching for new playmates upon which to lavish their lethal devotion. More gruesome still are those times when the simple-minded Beasts of Nurgle mistake their victim's convulsive throes for a new game - eager to join in the fun, they quickly drop to the ground to roll around as well, crushing their poor friends' ravaged bodies to a pulp in the process. When the Beasts of Nurgle finally right themselves, they find that their playmates have mysteriously disappeared from sight. Assuming that they've been abandoned, they set about a pathetic, heartfelt whimpering - that is until they are distracted by the pool of gruesome fluids that has inexplicably appeared about them, which they set to lapping up with relish.
|Beast of Nurgle||3||0||4||5||4||2||D6+1||7||-|
Unit Type: Beast.
Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike, It Will Not Die, Poisoned (4+), Very Bulky.
Attention Seeker: At the end of any enemy Charge sub-phase in which one or more of your units has been the target of a successful enemy charge, choose a friendly unengaged unit composed entirely of Beasts of Nurgle that is within 12" of at least one enemy unit that has successfully completed a charge this phase. The Beasts of Nurgle unit must immediately declare and resolve a charge against that enemy unit, even though it's the enemy Charge sub-phase!
Note that this special counter-charge can only be done in the enemy Charge sub-phase. If the Beasts of Nurgle unit is within 12" of two or more enemy units that have successfully completed a charge this turn, you may choose which of these units the Beasts of Nurgle attempt to charge (you may not declare a multiple charge). In either event, next choose another friendly unit entirely composed of Beasts of Nurgle (if there is one) and repeat the process.
Slime Trail: A unit that successfully charges one or more models with this special rule is always treated as having made a disordered charge.
The Rotting Riders
High-ranking Plaguebearers are known amongst the Daemon legions as Plague Drones; a title that conveys commendable humility. These overseers of Nurgle's realm ride into realspace mounted upon Rot Flies - colossal daemonic insects whose appearance is so repugnant it scars the mind. From their lofty positions, the Plague Drones can properly tally the diseases running rife across the battlefield, as well as swiftly intervene should Nurgle's divine plans meet with heavily-armed resistance.
The Rot Flies themselves are amongst Nurgle's most loathsome creations. Only the forbidden tomes of the Black Library speak of the vile process by which these creatures are birthed, for they hatch in the sticky depths of Nurgle's garden, where the visionary and the loon wander in their dreams. Some Beasts of Nurgle, disappointed by the rag-doll inactivity of their mortal playthings, develop a kernel of bitterness in their ebullient souls. Crestfallen puzzlement leads to frustration and ultimately an aching resentment. Over the millennia, a thin seed of malice grows in such a Beast's heart, feeding upon the energies of its depression and angst until it throbs like a canker.
The final straw comes when the Beast is betrayed unto death by those it wishes to call its friends. Seeking reconciliation, the Beast will put aside its doubts and bound optimistically towards the ranks of those mortals it has cornered. Should one of these ingrate warriors slay the Beast with a lucky sword thrust or well-aimed plasma blast, the creature will vanish howling into the Warp. Called back to the Immaterium, the Beast lollops and huffs, splashing down into the mire of Nurgle's garden with an aggrieved sigh. The knowledge that it cannot return to the delights of the mortal realm festers within it as it wallows in the sheer unfairness of the universe.
Over the centuries the Beast pupates, protected from harsh reality by a crawling shroud of Nurgle's fattest flies. A daemonic metamorphosis takes place as the chitinous nub of hate that lurks within the Beast grows strong on the sallow bulk of its former incarnation. Eventually, the creature within bursts out of its cocoon as a full-grown Rot Fly, a creature of pitiless malice hell-bent on wreaking its revenge upon an uncaring universe. Plaguebearers prize such steeds highly, for in their haste to punish the mortals that once spurned them, Rot Flies speed into battle at a great pace.
As the Rot Flies fall upon their prey, leathery wings buzz in a flapping purr of motion and clouds of deathbottles fill the air above, choking airborne warriors and clogging engine intakes. Prehensile probosces and posterior mouth-parts latch onto the faces of their victims, and the Rot Flies let out titters of mean-spirited laughter as they pluck heads from necks and swallow them down. When facing the common soldiery of realspace, a Rot Fly will slowly digest all meat from a skull before extruding a plague-infused death's head that its Plaguebearer rider can hurl at the foe. Given the chance, though, Rot Flies will hunt down the heroic warriors that slew their previous incarnations. A special fate is reserved for such individuals - opening their maws wider than physical law should allow, the Rot Flies swallow their prey whole, keeping them trapped in their mucus-filled abdomens for eternity.
Unit Type: Jet Pack Cavalry. Plaguebringer is Jet Pack Cavalry (Character).
Daemonic Gifts: Plaguesword (pg 62).
Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike, Very Bulky.
Mites of Father Nurgle
The innards of a Great Unclean One are best not pondered, for such gastric caverns are not places that sane men wish to consider for too long. It is in these churning depths that the Nurglings are created. 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 until they plop into existence as spiteful, rotund imps.
For most of their existence, Nurglings congregate around the Great Unclean One that created them. They clamber across his bulk seeking comfortable pools of liquids and warm spots under the folds of rotting flesh. Eager for attention, Nurglings chatter to their master incessantly, picking at his scabs and hoping for a fatherly belch of appreciation. Sometimes, a particularly favoured Herald of Nurgle is gifted a palanquin upon which to be carried, which is borne aloft by a carpet of Nurglings. When not moving the palanquin around, they will scurry around 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.
Nurglings are mischievous little creatures, and when they aren't squabbling with each other or vying for attention, they are typically making a nuisance of themselves by spreading boils, spoiling foodstuffs, or else leaving slippery piles of filth for unsuspecting mortals to step in. Of all Daemons, it is Nurglings that most vex the Plaguebearers; driven by the instinct to record and codify, the Lesser Daemons of Nurgle find the capricious, trouble-causing nature of Nurglings impossible to fathom. Whilst Great Unclean Ones look upon their pestilent children with affection, the sombre Plaguebearers view them as a constant distraction.
Nurglings are very protective creatures and will launch themselves at foes that threaten them or their friends. They swarm forwards in a rush of malevolence, spilling over their victims like an irrepressible tide. Some of Nurgle's favoured Heralds are accompanied to battle by seething tides of these diminutive monsters; those most vaunted in his sight are borne aloft by putrescent heaps of Nurglings.
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 miniscule creatures would be inconsequential were it not for the lively toxins and contagions from which the Nurglings are made, which quickly infect and mortify even the slightest injury.
Unit Type: Infantry.
Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike, Infiltrate, Swarms.
The Nurglings flocked to their master, squabbling and bickering in their impatience to nestle in the warm comforts of his decaying bosom.
'Ahhh... Nurgle's children, our pretties, our pets,' cried the deep warm voice of the Great Unclean One. 'How Nurgle loves his wonderful little children! How Nurgle loves his beautiful little pets!'
With a broad and loving smile, the great Daemon raised a hand to pluck up a Nurgling that had settled into the folds of his chest. The Nurgling squealed and squirmed as the hand enveloped it, caressing it for a moment before popping it whole into the Great Unclean One's mouth.
Ku'gath was once a lowly Nurgling, a mite who sat upon the great shoulders of Nurgle himself. 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 contents of that rusted bowl and swelled with its power. Invigorated, he drank and drank until the cauldron was empty. He bloated with corrupting decay, and grew into a mighty Great Unclean One. Nurgle laughed at the antics of his new creation, which 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, a contagion that might have even eclipsed the blighted wonders of Nurgle's Rot. Ever since, Ku'gath has sought to recreate the toxic miracle that created him.
The Plaguefather is a sombre creature, standing apart from his fellow Greater Daemons. Not for Ku'gath the gurgling delights of lesser infections: he diligently toils in his self-imposed quest, and his studies require that he travels widely, seeking every putrid ingredient and rare sickness imaginable. Ku'gath is the most eager of Nurgle's Daemons to enter the mortal realms, for he finds the countless war zones ideal places to acquire new experimental subjects and conduct his latest field tests.
Atop a palanquin loaded with the paraphernalia of a mobile laboratory, Ku'gath is carried across the universes by a mound of straining Nurglings as he searches for the elusive combination of blights and woes that will recreate the perfect disease. The carpet of over-laden Nurglings is constantly replenished, for Ku'gath's rotten innards produce the impish creatures at an epidemic rate. Each one carries a unique blend of the elements that created the Plaguefather, and in battle, Ku'gath picks them up, pausing only to pat them on the head before dunking them in a vat of bubbling, necrotic liquid and hurling them at his enemies.
The Nurglings squeal with delight as they fly through the air, bursting upon impact and showering the enemy with acidic juices and plague-saturated filth. Ku'gath watches with detached interest, noting only how each particular infection manifests and spreads, his mind already thinking of how to improve the potency of his next concoction.
Unit Type: Monstrous Creature (Character).
Warlord Trait: Immortal Commander (pg 26).
Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike, Poisoned (4+), Psyker (Mastery Level 1), Slime Trail (pg 48), Very Bulky.
Nurgling Infestation: At the start of each of your turns, one Nurgling swarm within 6" of Ku'gath automatically regains a single Wound lost earlier in the battle.
Psyker: Ku'gath Plaguefather generates his powers from the Plague discipline.
Necrotic Missiles: Ku'gath can scoop up and hurl vast handfuls of plague-ridden Nurglings at the enemy.
|24"||-||3||Heavy 1, Large Blast, Poisoned (4+)|
The Tallyman of Nurgle
The task of cataloguing the potency of the Plaguelord's many diseases falls to Epidemius, the Lord of Decay's chosen Tallyman. Epidemius is one of the seven Proctors of Pestilence who preside over the massed legions of Plaguebearers that answer Nurgle's call. Borne aloft on a rotten palanquin, Epidemius moves amongst the Daemons of Nurgle, making note of all the varied afflictions 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, biting at the ankles and shins of any who threaten their beloved master. Unlike the usual babble and giggling that accompanies most Nurglings, Epidemius' brood are almost silent. They understand the importance of Epidemius' task and suffer his ire when an ill-timed titter or rasping belch breaks his concentration. Nurgle's Tallyman brooks no idleness or foolishness; hence his passage is accompanied only by the slimy squelching of the palanquin and the gnawing scratch of Epidemius' quill.
Epidemius can be found wherever Nurgle's pestilent gifts are most bountiful. His corpulent frame is often seen upon mortal battlefields, for infected injuries and fresh corpses are fecund breeding grounds for contagion, and the stench attracts Epidemius like a fly to a rotten wound. In battle, Epidemius surveys the spread of filth and decay from his lofty perch, taking careful note of every bubo, pustule and sore. If Epidemius were ever to make an error or an untimely observation, Nurgle's displeasure would be dire indeed. For this reason, Epidemius focusses wholly on his task even in the midst of desperate battle. Guided by his plague sense, Epidemius follows the filthy spoor of his master's work through both the daemonic and mortal realms. Even as Epidemius writes, Grandfather Nurgle becomes aware of his findings, distilling the information for future experiments and brews. The more observations Epidemius makes, the more the Lord of Decay's attention is drawn to him, and the greater the blessings bestowed upon his pestilent legions.
Unit Type: Infantry (Character).
Daemonic Gifts: Plaguesword (pg 62), Lesser Locus of Virulence (pg 67).
Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike, Independent Character, Very Bulky.
Tally of Pestilence: Whilst Epidemius is alive, keep a count of all unsaved Wounds caused by the psychic powers, shooting and close combat attacks of Daemons of Nurgle (friend or foe) - even those that are negated by means other than saving throws, such as Feel No Pain. At the start of each of your turns, consult the table below to determine the effect of the Tally of Pestilence. All Daemons of Nurgle in units within 6" of Epidemius receive the bonus characteristic or special rule shown below. All effects from the Tally of Pestilence are cumulative.
|21+||Poisoned (2+) special rule|
|28+||Feel No Pain (4+) special rule|
Dripping with virulent toxins, viruses and bacteria, the rusty weapons of Nurgle are anathema to all living creatures, and even the atmosphere around them writhes and boils at their pestilence. They usually take the form of immense discoloured blades, smeared with necrotic poisons, or weighty flails with foetid, gibbering skulls hanging amongst the plague-filled censers strung from their chains.
|Balesword||-||User||-||Melee, Instant Death, Poisoned (4+), Specialist Weapon, Touch of Rust|
|Plague Flail||-||+1||-||Melee, Contagion, Specialist Weapon|
|Plaguesword||-||User||-||Melee, Poisoned (4+), Touch of Rust|
Contagion: A model that suffers an unsaved Wound from this weapon must immediately pass a Toughness test or suffer an additional Wound with no armour or cover saves allowed.
Touch of Rust: Weapons with this special rule cause a glancing hit on an armour penetration roll of a 6, unless the roll would otherwise cause a penetrating hit.
Many Rot Flies vomit poisonous and corrosive digestive juices over their prey, allowing the flies to suck up their liquefied remains.
Close combat attacks made by a model with a rot proboscis have the Poisoned (3+) special rule.
So virulent is its toxin that even the smallest scratch from a venom sting can prove enough to kill the toughest and most grizzled of the enemy's heroes.
Before rolling To Hit, nominate one of this model's Attacks to be made with the venom sting and roll it separately. This Attack has the Instant Death special rule.
A pervasive aura of pestilence surrounds this icon, causing rusted blades to weep with even fouler and more toxic diseases.
A plague banner is an Icon of Chaos. Once per game, at the start of the Fight sub-phase, the unit can declare it is using the plague banner. If it does so, its melee weapons have the Poisoned (2+) special rule until the end of the phase.
The psyker's maw distends wide before spewing forth a noxious stream of disease and filth that chokes and suffocates his foes.
Stream of Corruption is a witchfire power with the following profile:
|Template||-||3||Assault 1, Poisoned (4+)|
The Daemon belches forth a wind of plague that chokes his foes.
Plague Wind is a witchfire power with the profile below. It has no effect on vehicles.
|12"||1||2||Assault 1, Large Blast, Poisoned (4+)|
The Daemonic followers of Nurgle use their Warp gifts to surround themselves with ghastly, vomit-inducing odours that cripple all nearby foes.
Miasma of Pestilence is a blessing that targets the Psyker. At the start of each Fight sub-phase whilst this power is in effect, roll a D3. Until the end of the phase, all enemy units locked in close combat with the target, or his unit, suffer penalties to both Weapon Skill and Initiative equal to the result.
As the psyker reaches out a clawed hand and laughs, his enemies are seized in the throes of a terribly contagious infection that blackens their flesh and turns their organs to rot.
Rancid Visitations is a nova power with a range of 12". Each target unit must pass a Toughness test or suffer a Wound with no armour or cover saves allowed.
If a model is slain, its unit must pass another Toughness test, or suffer an additional Wound with no armour or cover saves allowed. Repeat the process until a Toughness test is passed or the unit is destroyed.
In the colour section of the book, page 74 showcases painted models of a Great Unclean One, a Herald of Nurgle, Epidemius, and a Daemon Prince of Nurgle. Page 78 then showcases Plaguebearers of Nurgle and a Beast of Nurgle. Finally, on page 83, there are photographs of Plague Drones and Nurglings.
A chanting horde of Plaguebearers and Plague Drones falls upon its Space Marine foes.
|Warhammer Fantasy||Third Citadel Compendium; WFRP (1st ed); RoC: Slaves to Darkness; RoC: The Lost and the Damned; Beasts of Chaos; Blightwar; Malign Portents website|
|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: Dark Angels (2013); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013); Stronghold Assault; Codex: Imperial Knights (2014); Dataslate: Helbrutes; Codex: Militarum Tempestus (2014); Imperial Armour 13; Codex: Imperial Knights (2015); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2016); Codex: Traitor Legions; Warhammer 40,000 (2017); Dark Imperium; Index: Chaos; First Strike; Codex: Space Marines (2017); Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2017); Codex: Grey Knights (2017); Plague Brethren; Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (2017); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2018); Codex: T'au Empire (2018); Tales from Vigilus webpages|
|Epic||Adeptus Titanicus; Space Marine (1st ed); Codex Titanicus; Renegades; Titan Legions; Epic 40,000|
|Kill Team||Dolorous Strain|
|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); Apr 1998 (#25); Jun 1998 (#26); Aug 1998 (#27); Oct 1998 (#28); May 1999 (#32); Jan 2002 (#48)|
|Battlefleet Gothic Magazine||Nov 2002 (#12); Aug 2003 (#16)|
|Black Library Novels|
|Warhammer 40,000||Ravenor Returned; HH54: Buried Dagger|
|Fantasy Flight Games|
|Dark Heresy||Shattered Hope; Dark Heresy (1st ed); Disciples of the Dark Gods; Creatures Anathema; Radical's Handbook; 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|