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Rot Flies are huge daemonic insects used as mounts by Plaguebearers to form Plague Drones. They hatch from Beasts of Nurgle that have become disillusioned and given in to despair.
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.
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.
The Rotting Riders, Harvesters of Sorrows, Pus Crows
When a Beast of Nurgle suffers the ultimate frustration of being killed by the very playthings with which it had hoped to frolic, its essence retreats back into the Warp and comes to rest in the slime pits of the Garden. There it spends centuries forming a new body, shielded from interference by a mass of bloated flies. Over the course of time, depression and resentment take hold within the Beast. This makes it a very rare creature in the domain of the Pus God - a being without joy, mirthless and bitter. When the Beast emerges from it long dormancy, its new form is much different from that of the creature that it once was. Its skin develops a chitinous layer on its back. Spindly, bladed limbs replace its short, stocky legs. Most dramatically, the Beast's tentacles give way to enormous wings similar to those of the flies that protected the Beast while it regenerated.
Thus transformed, the new Rot Fly attempts to return to the mortal realm, malice in its heart driving it to seek out and destroy those who refused to play with it centuries before. Left to its own devices, the Rot Fly's anger would drive it mad, but Nurgle is a loving and merciful god and cannot bear to see one of his children suffer so. To ease the Rot Fly's pain, The Plaguefather pairs it with a Plaguebearer who has earned a place of pride in the daemonic legions of the God of Filth. The relationship between a Rot Fly and its rider benefits both the former Beast and the favoured Plaguebearer. The rider gains the ability to cover ground more quickly, allowing it to count Nurgle's many putrid blessings more thoroughly than ever before. The mount gains an eternal companion, allowing the pain of its previous rejection to fester a little less, and its victim's wounds to fester a little more.
The cavalry of Nurgle are one of the fleetest and most dangerous assets of the Great Corruptor's forces. When the call to battle is given, high ranking Plaguebearers and affliction-indulgent Rot Flies undergo a mutual infection that binds their bodies together. They undergo this transformation simultaneously, sharing an intuitive rider-mount persona while gaining additional abilities and protections. They zip through armed conflicts, slashing down foes with Plague Swords while showering the battlefield in disease and pestilence with vile fluids ejected from putrid proboscises.
Total TB: 12
Skills: Awareness (Per) +20, Dodge +20, Psyniscience (Per) +10, Scholastic Lore (Numerology) (Int), Speak Language (Any One, Miren) (Int).
Talents: Crippling Strike.
Traits: Daemonic (5), Dark Sight, Fear (4), Flyer (6), From Beyond, Natural Weapons, Toxic (4), Unnatural Strength (3), Unnatural Toughness (2), Warp Instability.
Weapons: Plague Sword (1d10+11 R; Pen 4; Balanced, Toxic ), Pestilent Proboscis (Ranged; 30m; S/-/-; 1d10+4 I; Pen 2; Pestilent Slime†, Toxic ).
Infected Wounds: Whenever a target fails the Toughness Test from the Toxic Quality of a Plague Drone's attack, the target also suffers 1d5 Toughness Damage.
†Pestilent Slime: When the Plague Drone inflicts Damage (after reductions for armour and Toughness Bonus) with this weapon, the target also suffers 1d10 Toughness Damage.
Daemonic Presence: All enemies within 30 metres of a Plague Drone suffer a -20 penalty to Willpower Tests.
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.
Overview: In a remote corner of Askellon, the Acolytes discover that a once-defeated Nurgle cult may have risen again in the area, and that it was more powerful than its remains would have indicated. Its true power descended from a manifested Daemon, which continues to empower its worshippers.
This template can be introduced whenever or wherever the PCs are conducting research, where they can discover information that leads to investigating the cult, its supposed eradication, and possible daemonic influences. The template includes not only investigative efforts but also fierce combat with cultists and the Plague Drone that is leading them into Nurgle's foul embrace.
While conducting research at an Imperial facility, possibly as part of an ongoing investigation or at their Inquisitor's direction, unsettling information comes to the Acolytes' attention concerning a recently-defeated cult of the Plague Lord. Uncovered data indicates the cult should not have been able to sustain itself and its Warp-tainted weapons for as long as it did, and the surrounding area has not recovered from its presence in the expected way. There have even been sporadic attacks against this facility, originating from the supposedly-pacified region. As it is not a vital location, the slow progress of revitalisation and ongoing minor skirmishes has not troubled anyone - until now.
Requests for further records to gain more access meet with misdirection and obfuscation. After several delays, the Acolytes gain limited access. Navigating the information is laborious, and on more than one occasion they are pulled from the search to aid local defences in repelling assaults on the facility. Though minor, these continued assaults are aimed at stymieing any progress in researching the cult or its current activities. The revealed data is still incomplete, but hints at deliberately-buried tales of horrific possessions and other daemonic activities.
Now possessing evidence that the cult was greater than official records indicated, the PCs begin investigation in the field. Further research and questioning of those who purged the cult reveals where it was most concentrated, and the Acolytes make their way to a small settlement in an underhive or beyond the city's borders.
A series of interrogations and minor skirmishes (with enemies wielding powerful, Warp-tainted, and toxic weapons) leads to a tunnel connecting the cult's old headquarters to an underground cave system. It is filled with plant and animal life, all thriving despite showing clear signs of disease and decay. Flies of unnatural shape and size buzz through the dank air in thick clouds. As the Acolytes travel through the tunnel system, they encounter increasingly warped resistance. This could include shambling, infectious humans or even animated corpses (see page 23 of the Dark Heresy Game Master's Kit) and Nurglings eager to greet their new playmates.
At the end of the winding caves, the Acolytes discover the final lair, where a fat Plague Drone buzzes contentedly with devoted humans. This Daemon was summoned years ago, and has sustained itself on sacrifices and spreading diseases since then. It is also the source of the tainted weaponry the cult members wield, as well as why the region never recovered after the battles against the cult.
The lair is on the other side of a toxic pool of bubbling pus; at least one Acolyte might need to swim through the foul muck to reach the Daemon and risk almost certain Corruption and mutation. The creature awaits them, planting festering heads and rotting limbs with its foul proboscis to create a pestilent garden which Father Nurgle can use to share his gifts. The Acolytes must fully destroy it and its diseased disciples if this world is to ever fully recover from the attentions of the Lord of Flies.
Bounding and buzzing, flopping and flapping, the bestial Daemons of Nurgle lurch awkwardly to war. They are herded by a Herald of Nurgle bearing the dubious title of Mouldsire of the Rotswarm, whose task is far from an enviable one. While they can impale a man with every proboscis stab, Plague Drones are spiteful, wilful Daemons that wish only to hurt other living things. The Beasts of Nurgle are all but impossible to herd, being lolloping simpletons whose joy at the sight of new playmates deafens them to even the most desperately bellowed commands. Despite these challenges, when the Mouldsire succeeds in herding the Rotswarm into the enemy's ranks the Daemons become a foul wall of corrosive slime and crushing bodies that swiftly reduces its victims to bubbling corpse-sludge.
Harbinger of Nurgle: If the Herald of Nurgle from this Formation is a Lesser Locus of Virulence, Greater Locus of Fecundity or an Exalted Locus of Contagion, the special rules associated with that locus affect all units from this Formation that are within 12" of him. If such a unit is also affected by another locus, they will receive both benefits.
Corrosive Slime: All units in a Rotswarm have the Hammer of Wrath special rule, and these attacks have the Poisoned (4+) special rule.
Dubious Command: At the start of each of the controlling player's Assault phases, the Herald of Nurgle from a Rotswarm can attempt to direct a single unit from his Formation that is within 12" of him. To do so, he must take a Leadership test. If the test is passed, the directed unit can re-roll failed charge rolls and all models in the unit can make 3 additional Attacks until the end of the turn; if the test is failed, the directed unit must attempt to charge the nearest enemy unit in this Charge subphase, but is otherwise unaffected.
The hooked blade Plaguebringer once bore the souls of a trio of Beasts of Nurgle. Once the sword sprayed the virulent, infected spittle of these overexcitable Daemons with every swing. However, those entities were trapped so long in the rusted artefact's confines that their lethally potent enthusiasm has drained away, replaced with something even worse. After a long period of sulking, the blade's inhabitants became something else entirely; it now contains the malignant souls of three Rot Flies that take every chance to inflict a terrible wasting disease on those around them.
Replaces one of the bearer's Melee weapons.
|-||User||3||Melee, Daemon Weapon*, Poisoned (4+)|
*See Codex: Chaos Space Marines.
The psyker gathers clouds of contagion and Rot Flies about his enemies, granting them Father Nurgle's blessing.
Gift of Contagion is a malediction that affects a single enemy unit within 48". Roll on the table below to see what effect it has on every model in the unit whilst the power is in effect. The effects of multiple Gifts of Contagion are cumulative.
|D3||Disease Granted||1||Flyblown Palsy: -1 Attack and the Shrouded special rule.||2||Muscular Atrophy: -1 Strength and may not Run.||3||Liquefying Ague: -1 Strength and -1 Toughness.|
The sky darkens with noxious clouds and the land sickens and withers as the Daemons of Nurgle lumber into battle. Unnatural plagues billow about them. Slime and toxins drip from their blades and claws. Warped bells toll and bloated flies buzz, filling the air with a droning din as the hideous slaughter begins...
Nurgle's Daemons spill into realspace in thronging masses, surrounded by swirling clouds of bloated plague flies. The endless droning of these insects provides a fitting accompaniment to the constant muttering of thousands of Plaguebearers, as they attempt to catalogue the full breadth of the Lord of Decay's manifold concoctions. Unhurried and uncaring of the enemy fire that splatters off their corpulent forms, they march towards the foe with implacable menace. Cackling Nurglings caper about the ankles of their larger fellows - once battle is joined these diminutive Daemons spill over the enemy in an irrepressible tide, giggling and chortling to each other as they bite and scratch at mortal flesh, before dribbling their infectious toxins into open wounds. Grossly malformed creatures covered in caustic slime and rippling with virulent poxes, Beasts of Nurgle bound playfully alongside the plague-ridden Tallybands, while Plague Drones wheel overhead, mounted upon their monstrous Rot Flies. In the midst of this poxridden tide lumbers the colossal, bloated bulk of a Great Unclean One, its flyblown, pus-dripping body an embodiment of the Plague God's fearsome constitution. The slug-like tongue of this Greater Daemon lolls from its gaping maw as it chortles in delight, urging its children onwards to spread Nurgle's bountiful maladies amongst the unenlightened masses.
Plaguebearers spread lethal diseases in a dozen different ways, sombrely tallying their number and studying their effects.
|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|