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In the Warhammer 40,000 setting, Septicus is a Great Unclean One, and leads the Septicus Legion (one of Nurgle's Legions Pathogenus).
Something terrible came out of the warp storms as they roiled through the southern reaches of Ultima Segmentum. Where the seeds of corruption had been planted by the Plague That Walks, a new and terrible contamination spread. The diseased dead rose to claim the living. Previously, the walking corpses could be destroyed, but now doing so only released hordes of Nurglings that writhed impossibly out of the withered flesh of the fallen. Hive worlds were toppled, and as the Blackness descended, there was no escape. In the horrific ruins, Cults of Corruption slithered out of hiding, summoning forth further aid from the Realm of Chaos itself.
So did systems fall, creating the Scourge Stars - a trio of sickly systems that had fallen to Nurgle. From that power base, the Death Guard and Plague legions issued, systematically reaping planet after planet. On they spread. It was none other than the Daemon Primarch Mortarion that brought the fabled Realm of Ultramar, gem of the whole segmentum, under siege. Plague bombardments rained down, so severe that once gloried hives became pits and agri worlds became slime-ridden ruins. Chaos was encroaching on many fronts when Roboute Guilliman returned. It was his tactical acumen that first stabilised the many war fronts, and his Spear of Espandor counter-attacking campaign that successfully bought the forces of the Imperium still more time. At the Gates of Parmenio, Roboute Guilliman defeated the Greater Daemon Septicus and his Plague Guard. At Iax, once a glorious garden world, Primarch met Primarch as Guilliman confronted Mortarion, the two brothers fighting to a deadlock before the Chaos forces mysteriously withdrew under cover of a virus bomb.
Greedy eyes looked out from the roiling warp. They lingered long over the southern reaches of Ultima Segmentum. Nurgle wanted them for his own. He wished to lavish his gifts upon them, to watch their citizens sprout new growths and lament while other parts rotted and sloughed off.
The worlds of Ultramar were prosperous, well governed and aesthetically beautiful. It is no wonder that such a gem drew the eager eye of Nurgle. Wishing to annex those worlds directly into his own Garden in the Realm of Chaos, the Father of Plagues set his minions to the task. After the Great Rift tore reality and flooded warp energies into the galaxy, Nurgle deemed the time was ripe. Where seeds of corruption had been planted, where the Plague That Walks, the Oozing Pox, and the Eyerot had decimated overcrowded hive worlds, there did Nurgle put forth his greatest efforts. As darkness closed over those worlds, new, virulent strains of those dreadful diseases started the cycle of death anew. This time, however, the cycle was completed, for there was life also. From the corpses of the fallen burst countless Nurglings. In the devastation that ensued, Cults of Corruption summoned further aid. The following battles - known by the Imperium as the Plague Wars - ended when three systems to the galactic north of Ultramar were corrupted and turned into the Scourge Stars. Calling upon three of his greatest commanders, Nurgle tasked them with next conquering Ultramar.
The first invaders to issue forth from the Scourge Stars were the Death Guard, led by their grim Primarch, Mortarion. His meticulously planned seven-part campaign would bring untold ruination to all of Ultramar. So began the first part the War of Flies including the assault of the Three Planets, the besieging of the hive world of Ardium, and the Creeping Doom offensive against Espandor and Drohl. Virus bombardments preceded the Death Guard. Once-gloried hive cities became pits, and agri worlds became flyblown wastes. The attacks were slow but relentless, wearing down the Ultramarines and their auxilia. With communications severed and relief forces cut off by fresh warp storms, the defenders were hard-pressed in a hundred locations across Ultramar. Then, Roboute Guilliman returned from his galaxy-spanning crusade. Tactically, Mortarion and his fellow commanders now found themselves evenly matched, their offensives blocked at every turn by the Ultramarines and their Primarch's precise counter-attacks. A new stage of the war had begun.
In the early stages of the invasion of Ultramar, many different strikes were levelled at the capital world of Macragge. Whether Mortarion planned these events to probe the defences of the Ultramarines' home world, or merely aimed to tie down as many of the Imperial forces as he could, is unknown. All of the battles were short, sharp affairs, such as rapid strikes from Plague Drone forces, or cultist attacks attempting to deliver pox bombs into the heavily guarded defence networks. Whatever Mortarion's intent, the number and variety of the attacks steadily drained both morale and resources from Macragge until Primarch Guilliman returned and seized the initiative with his own strikes into Chaos-held territories.
Mortarion's Creeping Doom offensive on the cardinal world of Espandor initially made great advances. When Guilliman returned, however, he ordered a new defensive plan to slow the attacks. As the battle turned into a stalemate, the Primarch launched a series of system-wide counter-attacks.
In attacking Ultramar, Mortarion was not alone. Two other commanders led massive armies out from the Scourge Stars, each seeking to win the contaminated glory of Nurgle's favour.
Ku'gath Plaguefather, a favoured Great Unclean One, led the Bubonicus legions into Ultramar. Typhus, First Captain of the Death Guard, commanded a Plague Fleet, a dilapidated rot-armada packed with Renegades, cultists and his own loyal Death Guard. Ku'gath's Daemon legions ravaged the Tartella System, which lay between the Scourge Stars and Ultramar, before manifesting on the garden world of Iax, an ideal place to nurture new diseases. The Plague Fleet, meanwhile, destroyed three of the six massive star fortresses that stood sentinel over Ultramar's shipping lanes. Even with Guilliman's return, the attacks were too many and too widespread for the defenders to contain. The timely arrival of the Ultramarines' successor Chapters, however, along with reinforcements from several forge worlds, allowed the Primarch to attempt to regain the initiative. Guilliman launched the Spear of Espandor counter-attack, hoping to buy the forces of the Imperium more time.
The final battle of the Plague War was fought at First Landing, on Iax. Before the ruined citadel the Death Guard held the upper hand, their relentless assault all but unstoppable, when Mortarion was summoned back to the Scourge Stars to defend his holdings at the onset of the War in the Rift.
Across Ultramar, the Plague Wars escalated. Guilliman's brilliant counter-attacks staved off defeat, allowing him to stabilise fronts across several systems. The largest battles of the war, however, were still to come.
With Mortarion's Creeping Doom offensive mired in continent-spanning trench warfare in the Espandor System, the Daemon Primarch shifted his focus, joining forces with Ku'gath. Together, they sent their surviving forces to Parmenio and Iax simultaneously. On Parmenio, the largest armour and Titan battle of the war took place over the shell-ridden Plains of Hecatone. At the battle's height, Roboute Guilliman struck against Ku'gath's vanguard, slaying his lieutenant, Septicus, and shattering his Plague Guard. In space, Galatan - Ultramar's largest star fortress - attempted to provide support but was boarded by the Plague Fleet. Massive casualties ensued, including the loss of the Novamarines' Chapter Master. The Ultramarines and their auxilia made gains on Parmenio, and Guilliman led a relief force to Iax. Once a verdant garden world, it was in ruins when Primarch met Primarch. Guilliman confronted Mortarion, fighting to a deadlock before the Death Guard withdrew under cover of a virus bomb.
The defence of Ultramar was really a tale of three parts: the initial losses, where the defenders gave ground before the Death Guard onslaught; the stabilisation with the return of Primarch Guilliman; and finally, the seizing of the initiative with the Primarch's counter-attacks along with the final battle.
*Many Chapters arrived to lend aid to Ultramar and to fight beneath Roboute Guilliman. The Primarch and Lord Commander of the Imperium organised those Adeptus Astartes in less-than-company numbers into battle-brother battalions, using them for special missions and to shore up the Ultramar Auxilia.
Let them flee beneath cover of their virus bomb. By the Emperor, they shall be repaid tenfold for the evils they have wrought upon Ultramar.
— Roboute Guilliman
The invasion of Ultramar began as separate spearheads, but as the campaigns slowed, Mortarion and Ku'gath formed an alliance. Unlike the Champions of the other Dark Gods, Nurgle's lieutenants were more capable of cooperation. This was not the case, however, between Typhus and Mortarion.
Bursting with life. Bursting with life. Bursting with life.
— War Drone of the Sloughskins
The Septicus Legion was part of the daemonic force that penetrated deep into Ultramar, and participated in the fighting that culminated on Iax. It is led by Septicus himself - the self-styled Pox-Tyrant of the Scourge Stars. On the battlefield, Septicus is accompanied by the Rustclankers - a bodyguard of three Soul Grinders. Shown here are the seven full-strength Tallybands that made up the Septicus Legion as it took part in the Battle of Ioneth Fields and the contamination of the Vinecoast.
The Septicus Legion is one of the Legions Pathogenus - ideal both to manifest and spread disease - and it was their task to conquer and hold Iax. Were it not for the untimely return of Roboute Guilliman, it is a mission they would have successfully completed.
Led by Drog'lar Slimeskin (Spoilpox Scrivener)
Seven Plaguebearer packs and three Beasts of Nurgle
It was the Investus Tallyband that served Septicus as a vanguard on Iax. Its ranks of Plaguebearers formed around Drog'lar as he counted the initial symptoms of disease exhibited by the planet's defenders.
Led by Bzzark the Fly-borne (Daemon Prince)
Seven Plague Drone packs
The winged Daemon Prince Bzzark and his Plague Drones are adept at exploiting weaknesses in the enemy lines, and are often unleashed after the Investus and Dirge Tollers Tallybands have pinned down the foe.
Led by Grizguttage (Spoilpox Scrivener)
Seven Plaguebearer packs, a Beast of Nurgle and a Soul Grinder
With Dribwretch, a hulking Soul Grinder, supplying firepower, the infantry of the Shambling Horde advances into the thick of enemy fire.
Led by Mag-grub Larvalmaster (Poxbringer)
Four Plaguebearer packs, three Plague Drone packs and three Beasts of Nurgle
The Worm-Ridden carry within their bodies the latest of Nurgle's creations, the worm-borne blistereye disease, and it is their task to ensure it spreads.
Led by Giglex (Poxbringer)
Three Plaguebearer packs, four Plague Drone packs, two Beasts of Nurgle and a Nurgling pack
The most fly-covered of all the Septicus Tallybands, it was they that met and defeated the Ultramarines 3rd Company within the corrupted forest of Adellus.
Led by Bhadrub Buboepox (Poxbringer)
Five Plaguebearer packs, two Plague Drone packs and two Nurgling packs
The Plagueswords of Bhadrub held back the Ultramarines that came to halt the legion's defilement of Iax's wellsprings until reinforcements arrived.
Led by Gurglax (Sloppity Bilepiper)
Seven Plaguebearer packs and four Nurgling packs
The Dirge Tollers devastated the Ultramar Defence Forces, Gurglax's mirth attracting a horde of capering Nurglings to his aid.
'A little pruning, some judicious planting and yes, this could be a fine addition to Grandfather's garden. But it needs work, my pretties... oh, so much work. Toll the bells, bring forth our best plagues and poxes - we have much grafting and seed-sowing to do.'
— Pox-Tyrant Septicus, upon viewing Iax, the so-called Garden World of Ultramar
|Creatures||Beasts of Nurgle; Blight Drones; Foetid Bloat-drones; Great Unclean Ones; Hooktors; Lords of Contagion; Mabrothrax; Malignant Plaguecasters; Noxious Blightbringers; Nurglings; Pestigor; Plaguebearers; Plaguebulls; Plague Hulks; Plague Ogryns; Plague Toads; Plague Towers; Plague Zombies; Poxbringers; Poxwalkers; Rot Flies; Sloppity Bilepipers; Spoilpox Scriveners|
|Characters||Abcellyoth; Aynthrexes; Bilerot Vomitflesh; Lothar Bubonicus; Bubonis; Vorxec Calvarius; The Carrier; The Entomancer; Epidemius; Ferrue Fayne; Tormus Fayne; Foulspawn; Nathaniel Garro; Ghulroth; The Glottkin; Goresqualor; Gulgoth; Horticulous Slimux; Jibberjaw; Ku'gath; Mamon; Adrius Meinloka; Mephidast; Mortarion; Mortius; Mulch; Necrosius; Nurgle; Pestilaan; Putricifex; Rotigus; Scabeiathrax; Septicus; Achkovas Spengh; The Thanator; Typhus; Ussax; Karloth Valois; Plaguestrangler Vilestench; Jonas Whitespore; Ystareth|
|Groups||Apostles of Contagion; The Befouling Host; Blessed Flesh; Bringers of Decay; Brotherhood of Plague; Callers of Sorrow; Carnival of Chaos; The Cleaved; Company of Misery; Death Guard; Deathmongers; Death Priests; Flylords; The Grey Death; Inevitable Order; Legio Mortis; Legion of Festering Death; Lords of Decay; Mournful Song; Nurgle's Rotters; Plague Legions; Pox Tribes; The Purge; The Reborn; The Scourge; Septicus Legion; 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; Entropic Knell; Epidemia; Father of Blades; Foulswarm Grenade; Gem of Nurgle; Horn of Nurgle's Rot; Icon of Despair; Icon of Seeping Decay; Manreaper; Palanquin; Pandemic Staff; Pestilaan Light Cruiser; Pestilent Flail; Plague Banner; Plaguebringer; Plague Cauldron; Plague Chalice; Plague Claw; Plague Flail; Plague Knife; Plague Sceptre; Plague Skull of Glothila; Plaguesword; Poxwalker Hive; Puscleaver; Rot Giver; Scab; Scourge Shells; Staff of Nurgle; TP-III; Undead Heart; War Altar|