[ Models | Lore | Sources | Inspiration ]
Epidemius is a favoured Herald of Nurgle, one of the seven lead Plaguebearers known as the Proctors of Pestilence, and is tasked with cataloguing all of his master's various diseases.
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 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 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.
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|
Fists of Khorne
Guardians of the Throne
|Lords of Change
The Eyes of Tzeentch
The Feathered Lords
|Great Unclean Ones
|Keepers of Secrets
Slayers of Slaanesh
Feasters of Pain
Despoilers of the Flesh
|Heralds||Heralds of Khorne
|Heralds of Tzeentch
|Heralds of Nurgle
|Heralds of Slaanesh
Teeth of Death
Takers of Skulls
Mites of Nurgle
Children of Slaanesh
Bringers of Joyous Degradation
Seekers of Decadence
|Daemonic Beasts||Flesh Hounds
Hunters of Blood
Juggernauts of Khorne
|Flamers of Tzeentch
Sky-sharks of Tzeentch
Discs of Tzeentch
|Beasts of Nurgle
|Fiends of Slaanesh
Steeds of Slaanesh
Amongst the foetid boughs of Nurgle's Garden - the Lord of Decay's pestilential domain within the Realm of Chaos - billions upon billions of Daemons dance amongst fields of spore-spewing vines and wallow in mires of pestilent filth. They await the chance to slither out of the immaterium and into the realm of mortals, upon whom they can inflict their most delightful concoctions. Epidemius, the Tallyman of Nurgle, works tirelessly to catalogue all of the varied afflictions and maladies thus unleashed into the universe, going about this prestigious task with a grim seriousness. His corpulent frame can often be witnessed upon mortal battlefields, as he surveys infected injuries and putrefying corpses, noting carefully every swelling, sore and buboe with the aid of his Nurgling assistants. To witness mortal flesh bubble and warp with the gift of corruption is the greatest desire of all Nurgle's children. This ebullient eagerness delights the Plague God, who takes a father's pride in his creations' ingenuity and hard work.
|Creatures||Beasts of Nurgle; Blight Drones; Foetid Bloat-drones; Great Unclean Ones; Lords of Contagion; Mabrothrax; Malignant Plaguecasters; Noxious Blightbringers; Nurglings; Pestigor; Plaguebearers; Plaguebulls; Plague Hulks; Plague Ogryns; Plague Toads; Plague Towers; Plague Zombies; Poxwalkers; Rot Flies|
|Characters||Abcellyoth; Aynthrexes; Bilerot Vomitflesh; Lothar Bubonicus; Vorxec Calvarius; The Carrier; The Entomancer; Epidemius; Ferrue Fayne; Tormus Fayne; Foulspawn; Nathaniel Garro; Ghulroth; Goresqualor; Gulgoth; Jibberjaw; Ku'gath; Mamon; Adrius Meinloka; Mephidast; Mortarion; Necrosius; Nurgle; Putricifex; Scabeiathrax; Achkovas Spengh; The Thanator; Typhus; Ussax; Ystareth|
|Groups||Apostles of Contagion; Blessed Flesh; Callers of Sorrow; Carnival of Chaos; The Cleaved; Company of Misery; Death Guard; Death Priests; The Grey Death; Inevitable Order; Legio Mortis; Lords of Decay; Mournful Song; Pox Tribes; The Purge; The Reborn; The Scourge; Sorcerer-Kings; The Tainted; Tainted Sons; Vile Savants|
|Things||An'garrach; Balesword; Blight Grenade; Bloodrot Rounds; Bone Maul; Corruption; Cursed Carillon; Death Head; Dolorous Knell; Doomsday Bell; Epidemia; Father of Blades; Foulswarm Grenade; Horn of Nurgle's Rot; Icon of Despair; Icon of Seeping Decay; Manreaper; Palanquin; Pandemic Staff; Pestilent Flail; Plague Banner; Plaguebringer; Plague Cauldron; Plague Chalice; Plague Claw; Plague Flail; Plague Knife; Plague Skull of Glothila; Plaguesword; Poxwalker Hive; Puscleaver; Scab; Scourge Shells; Staff of Nurgle; TP-III; Undead Heart|