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In the Warhammer 40,000 setting, Achkovas Spengh is the leader of the Callers of Sorrow cult, appearing in Fantasy Flight Games' Dark Heresy (second edition) role-playing game.
Known only to the Preceptors of the various cult Strains, the overall master of the Callers of Sorrow is Achkovas Spengh, the Preceptor Poxifex. Spengh's history is unclear even to the cult's inner circle. None would suspect it was his dark ambitions that founded the cult centuries ago. The blessings of Nurgle have kept Spengh alive far beyond his natural lifespan, though whether he can still be considered alive in the conventional sense is an open question. Though possessed of an unnatural vigour, the touch of the Plague God is evident. Spengh is horrible to look upon, a bloated mass of ruptured and rotting flesh swathed in filth-encrusted robes that he has worn as long as any can remember. He directs the cult from a concealed abode deep within the darkest and oldest recesses of the Hive, his hideous visage safely hidden from prying eyes.
The Preceptor Poxifex is an appallingly powerful sorcerer, swollen with Nurgle's pestilence. As long as Spengh exists, so do the Callers of Sorrow. Even were each Strain purged and each mutant heaped on the pyre, he could regrow the cult like a corrupt weed. Though it may take centuries for his plans to reach full effect, Spengh is nothing if not patient.
Amongst the daemonic legions, there are those that stand out as leaders of their kin and arch-corrupters of mortals. Though they do not possess the dark majesty of the terrifying Greater Daemons, these Heralds nonetheless tower over the ranks of other Daemons and are perhaps possessed of a greater spark of their god's essence. These entities are often a source of fear and worship, and have a place in the legends of innumerable cultures across the galaxy, both human and otherwise. One such Herald is most commonly known to mortals by the name Putricifex. He is the Maggot King, the Gifter, and the Emissary of Nurgle.
Putricifex first manifested over a millennium past, during what is known in the forbidden archives as the Scouring of Jarvin. His presence has been felt on numerous occasions since, as the Daemon reveals itself in the fever-dreams of the sick and dying. It was just such a visitation that first opened the eyes of a lowly servant named Achkovas Spengh to the glory of Nurgle. Putricifex sees it as a duty and pleasure to deliver the gifts of Father Nurgle to those unfortunate mortals who have not felt his touch. He is ever eager to aid Nurgle's mortal worshippers in their efforts to spread disease and corruption. To this end, he whispers secrets of disease and unholy power to supplicants, damning them in the process.
Putricifex's manifested form is nightmarish to behold. His body is bloated with corruption, even beyond that of the Plaguebearers he superficially resembles. Fat and disgusting maggots wriggle forth from the rents in his decayed flesh, plopping to the ground and wriggling away. These Warp-born insects make their way into water supplies and food stores, and even feed on living flesh. Their noxious saliva narcotises quickly, allowing them to swiftly burrow inside living creatures and rot bodies from the inside out. Victims usually remain alive for much longer than expected, drawing out the excruciating pain and allowing plenty of time to cry out to Nurgle for mercy.
Armour: Head 16, Arms 18, Body 18, Legs 18
Rotgifter Sword: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+157+SB (I), Pen 2, Clip -, Rld -, Wt 14kg, Avl UN, Corrosive, Toxic (3)
Skills: Athletics (S) +30, Parry (WS) +20, Psyniscience (Per) +20
Talents: Combat Master, Iron Jaw, Killing Strike, True Grit, Thunder Charge
Traits: Baneful Presence (20), Daemonic (4), Fear (3), From Beyond, Nauseating (see sidebar on page 415), Psyker (PR 6), Size (5), Unnatural Strength (3), Unnatural Toughness (5), Unnatural Willpower (2)
Psychic Powers: Enfeeble, Haemorrhage, Iron Arm, Life Leech, Nurgle's Rot (see the sidebar on page 406)
Gear: Rusted mail
Embodiment of Decay: Mere exposure to Putricifex's presence can rust and degrade even the strongest materials. While within 10 metres of Putricifex, all equipment, weaponry, and armour functions as though it were Poor Craftsmanship, regardless of its actual craftsmanship.
Not all Beasts overcome their playthings, and some are even banished back to Nurgle's Garden where many years might pass as they develop new forms, protected by thousands of bloated flies. They emerge as Rot Flies - their joy gone, replaced by hatred and a need for revenge. Their form also changes: legs are replaced by sharpened limbs, slimy flesh hardens into armoured chitin, and tentacles are replaced with enormous, insectoid wings.
The Pus Lord cannot bear to see such madness take root in one of his children, so he sends elite Plaguebearers known as Plague Drones to care for these Daemons. Riding airborne atop their Rot Fly steeds, Plague Drones eagerly spread disease and decay at the forefront of Nurgle's children. Though few have been sighted in Askellon, or at least few have survived to report such occurrences, Poxifex Spengh of the Callers of Sorrow has performed many ritual supplications to his Grandfather for aid in summoning these foul creatures to his side.
Armour: Head 16, Arms 17, Body 17, Legs 17
Plague Sword: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+137+SB (R), Pen 0, Clip -, Rld -, Wt 7kg, Avl UN, Toxic (2)
Skills: Athletics (S) +20
Talents: Iron Jaw, True Grit
Traits: Baneful Presence (20), Daemonic (3), Dark-sight, Fear (2), Flyer (6), From Beyond, Nauseating, Size (5), Unnatural Strength (2), Unnatural Toughness (3), Unnatural Willpower (2), Warp Instability
Gear: Rot Armour
Drone Gulp: When fighting an opponent of Size (4) or less in melee combat, should the Plague Drone score more degrees of success than the Weapon Skill bonus of its foe, the Daemon immediately swallows the target whole. The target immediately suffers a result of 1d5 on Table 7-16: Impact Critical Effects - Body on page 238 of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook. Breaking out requires a Hard (-20) Strength test, or some other challenge at the GM's discretion. Failure on a test to escape means the character immediately suffers a result of 1d5 on Table 7-8: Energy Critical Effects - Body on page 234 of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook.
The Greater Daemons of Nurgle are said to closely represent their patron god: massive, loathsome creatures made of rotting flesh, burrowing maggots, infesting Nurglings, and diseased buboes that invoke retching horror in all that witness their terrifying appearance. Despite their horrific visages, these Daemons are jovial and enthusiastic, just like Grandfather Nurgle itself. They eagerly lead their minions to greet new friends, spreading filth and plagues wherever they go. That few survive such encounters is of little care, for thanks to the blessings of Nurgle's Rot these sluggards soon rise as energetic Plaguebearers to join the Plague Lord's cause. Often, a Great Unclean One takes a particular liking to mortals who catch its pox-ridden eye, and bestows gifts on them through the years. Many in the Askellian Ordo Malleus speculate that this is the hidden source of Poxifex Spengh's power within the Callers of Sorrow in Hive Desoleum.
Armour: Head 28, Arms 32, Body 34, Legs 32
Great Plague Sword: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 2d10+177+SB (R), Pen 6, Clip -, Rld -, Wt 20kg, Avl UN, Corrosive, Power Field, Toxic (4)
Skills: Awareness (Per) +10, Command (Fel), Intimidate (S) +20, Parry (WS), Psyniscience (Per) +20, Scrutiny (Per), Survival (Per)
Talents: Nowhere to Hide, Thunder Charge
Traits: Baneful Presence (40), Daemonic (4), Dark-sight, Fear (4), From Beyond, Nauseating, Psyker (PR 7), Regeneration (5), Size (7), Stuff of Nightmares, Sturdy, Unnatural Strength (5), Unnatural Toughness (9), Unnatural Willpower (4), Warp Instability
Psyker: A Great Unclean One can use any 4 powers from the Biomancy discipline, plus the power Nurgle's Rot (see page 406 of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook).
Gear: Ironrust armour
Nurglings!: A Great Unclean One is always covered with Nurglings, who grow and caper amidst the folds of rotting flesh that cover its body. Once per encounter, as a Full Action a Great Unclean One can release 1d5 Nurglings (see page 416 of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook) to further spread the Grandfather's blessings. These lesser Daemons fight together as a group starting in the following round.
Embodiment of Decay: Proximity to a Great Unclean One's unnatural corpulence can rust and degrade even the strongest materials. While within 20 metres of this Greater Daemon, all equipment, weaponry, and armour functions as though it were of Poor craftsmanship, regardless of its actual craftsmanship or even if it has the Sanctified quality.
|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; Poxwalkers; Rot Flies|
|Characters||Abcellyoth; Aynthrexes; Bilerot Vomitflesh; Lothar Bubonicus; Bubonis; 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; Mortius; Necrosius; Nurgle; Pestilaan; Putricifex; Scabeiathrax; Achkovas Spengh; The Thanator; Typhus; Ussax; Plaguestrangler Vilestench; Jonas Whitespore; Ystareth|
|Groups||Apostles of Contagion; Blessed Flesh; Bringers of Decay; Callers of Sorrow; Carnival of Chaos; The Cleaved; Company of Misery; Death Guard; Deathmongers; Death Priests; The Grey Death; Inevitable Order; Legio Mortis; Legion of Festering Death; Lords of Decay; Mournful Song; Nurgle's Rotters; 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; 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|