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Black Crusade (2011), p85-86 — Nurgle

"Only in the corruption of decay can we return to the purity from which life sprang."
— Oath of the Malignant Order

Those who choose to follow Nurgle's path are dedicated to the spread of disease and corruption throughout the galaxy. Wherever they travel, the masses die in agony as their bodies are overwhelmed by disease. There are no lasting cures for the contagions they spread through their Dark God's blessings. Rather, those who manage to resist seem to merely increase their suffering with each passing moment as they delay the inevitable. Further, their corruption affects not just the body, but the mind and soul as well.

Those who espouse Nurgle embrace the power of disease and decay, knowing that eventually every living thing in the universe must fall prey to these inescapable forces. Some do this through the nihilistic desire for rot and entropy, the belief that everything, even the universe itself, eventually dies and disintegrates. Others, however, worship Nurgle through their desire to endure and survive. For, as paradoxical as it might seem, Nurgle encompasses life as well as death and survival as well as decay. Rot and corrosion result in new life, virulent plagues, bacteria, and fungi feeding on the corpses of the dead, growing stronger on entropy. Thus, in a certain way, Nurgle represents the cycle of life and death, and his devotees are often blessed with supernatural endurance. Though they may suffer every ravage and symptom of Nurgle's plagues, they survive them with their dark master's blessing.

Heretics who follow this path may also be unusually patient, a patience possessed by their unique perspective. Their continued survival means they often feel they can simply outlast problems, surviving while those who oppose them die. Even if they have no desire to wait that long, a devotee to Nurgle is often methodical and precise, potentially verging on ponderous. Many of Nurgle's followers also possess a deeply morbid humour, mirth borne from the knowledge that no matter how much they suffer, they shall endure.

Those warbands dedicated to Nurgle often rely on the gifts of their deity to destroy targets - disease, rot, and decay. Potent viral weaponry, corrosive gasses, and necrotic weapons are all favoured by Nurgle, and such devices make him especially feared by his foes. Weakening their foes is sound tactically, as it allows devotees of Nurgle to survive and conserve their own strength, and the act of weakening and poisoning is thought to please their master. In this manner, Nurgle may conservatively preserve his own forces just as he exhausts those of his prey.

At the same time, some who are infected by Nurgle's diseases embrace the corruption rather than falling prey to it. As they begin to come to grips with their mortality, they reach out for any hope of survival. Nurgle listens for those who beg for survival, and may choose to grant his blessings upon some of those who have been infected.

Many who follow the Lord of Decay have been granted blessings that make them far more resistant to his diseases. In some cases, these blessings are immediately obvious. For these Heretics, their bodies are trapped in a state of perpetual decay. Their equipment, though it remains effective for them, might also have the appearance of extensive decrepitude. This can make concealing their presence far more challenging. However, not all of Nurgle's followers show these effects on the outside of their bodies, even if they are a festering hive of corruption within. Their inconspicuous appearance may make them doubly effective at spreading Nurgle's gifts.

This state of decay often provides some resistance to other forms of physical damage. Those who have been granted extensive blessings of Nurgle may exist in a veritable state of near death, with bodies composed as much of gangrenous tissue as living.

Dedicating a character to Nurgle

Not all Heretics are equally well suited to follow the path of the Lord of Decay. As his followers often bear distinctive signs of his handiwork, they are virtually incapable of intermingling with Imperial society. Between the stench of disease and their malformations, they may be easily detected. Characters that intend to follow a path of social manipulation may be better served by following another of the Dark Gods.

During the latter stages of character creation, and throughout their career progression, Heretics connected to Nurgle need to choose Talents and Traits that are specifically focused upon survival, resisting death, and spreading disease. As the number and potency of these abilities increase, the character may draw the full attention of the Lord of Decay. Those who manage to achieve his notice are granted the Mark of Nurgle. This mark permeates their very being with the most virulent of plagues and the ability to spread them.

Talents that are tied to the Lord of Decay are indicated by the fact that they have the keyword "Nurgle". These include Hardy, Sound Constitution, Resistance, and others which are specifically tied to healing and enhanced physical toughness.