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"Travel the Vortex, my pretties! Wander free, wander far! Spread the Rotfather's gifts and blessings! You are his beloved vectors; there shall be no let or hindrance to your passage!"
— Transmission intercept from the junkyard moon of Alactia
The world of Hindrance, an unprepossessing sallow orb of yellow-brown sands, swathed in murky storms and blasted by a constant stream of Warp energies which swirl and skirl around it, squats within a few scant weeks' travel from the Thirteenth Station of Passage. One of the Gloaming Worlds at the outer edge of the Screaming Vortex, Hindrance's growing reputation as a place sacred to the Lord of Decay has led it to become a place of fevered pilgrimage for Nurgle's followers. Myths and legends surrounding the planet abound; the tattered and rusting vessels of the Nurg Culti now regularly lay over for short periods to allow passengers to disembark and seek some sign of their festering Lord's approval or favour.
Hindrance's planetary system lies directly in the path of a notorious Warp-current known as the Black Gyre, which tips craft emerging from the corpse-shrouded maw of the Thirteenth Station of Passage directly into a whirlpool of eldritch energies which gush inward towards the heart of the Vortex. The Gyre skittishly curls around the hateful region of space known as the Anathema and plunges in a vast spiral into the Gloaming Worlds region. For those caught within the Gyre's clutches, the experience is very much like being trapped in a small boat on a fast flowing river being impelled towards a vertiginous waterfall. The Warp current tears at and rattles any ship that traverses it, the sounds of a billion claws raking along the hull's exterior driving those within to distraction, and making a mockery of attempts to escape. Those battered vessels which survive the Gyre's onslaught are deposited on the outskirts of the Hindrance system.
The system consists of a dim brown dwarf star, then Hindrance itself, a sickly desert world, and Hindrance's two moons, Alactia and Megaria. The nameless star emits a bruised, guttering light and enough heat to provide a narrow habitable zone. Hindrance and its moons float within this zone, locked in a tight, almost inconceivably complex orbit. All three intermittently wander through the pale un-light of the Black Gyre's current, which pours slowly around and between them, flowing in an eerie and unpredictable cascade of unfathomable energies. Where these energies touch each world they scour and blast them, taking the form of great storms that crawl slowly across the surface.
Those entering the Hindrance system from space, whether by accident or design, find themselves challenged upon approach by a small but potent fleet of battered system monitors and light raiders operating from the rusted moon of Alactia. This fleet, known as the Septet, is unusual within the Screaming Vortex for its ostensibly casual attitude towards interlopers. Typically, visitors are hailed in a benign, worldly, and friendly fashion in the name of the Lord of Decay and invited to state their business. Anything short of an expression of devotion to Tzeentch or an outright declaration of an intent to attack the Septet, Hindrance, or its moons is met with a hearty welcome to the system and a cheerful declaration that the travellers are free to partake in all that Hindrance and its environs has to offer. The Septet will escort visitors to any destination within the system, though they themselves will steer clear of entering the orbit of the black moon, Megaria.
Hindrance is a fundamentally ugly and bleak world. From orbit its sandy surface is the colour of decaying, greasy flesh. Pockmarked with impact craters from some long forgotten prehistoric cataclysm, the planet is blanketed in endless grimy deserts which are interrupted only by occasional small, black, dead, silty, and oily seas, which ceaselessly gnaw at the crumbling coasts, eroding them slowly but inevitably.
As Hindrance and its moons spin ponderously around the system's feeble star, they pass unpredictably through the flow of the Black Gyre itself, a current of pure ætheric energy that could not exist outside the Screaming Vortex. Such Warp currents, where they touch the surface of a world, are immensely dangerous to anything living on its surface.
In Hindrance's case, where the edge of the Black Gyre's energies first touch the atmosphere of the planet they initially interact with its weak magnetic field, forming sinister flickering green and yellow lights known locally as the Aurora Rancidus. The Aurora is regarded by those who travel the surface of Hindrance as a harbinger of a greater peril, like scintillating scotoma before a migraine, a sign that the Warp-stuff that flows at the heart of the Gyre is about to enter the atmosphere.
Where the true Warp-tainted energies of the Black Gyre seep through the atmosphere, they fall towards Hindrance's surface like stagnant water poured into rancid oil. As they fall, these vast forces coalesce into colossal thunderheads, grey and brown storm clouds that interact violently with the thin dusty air of the world. Vortices the size of continents form, with winds gusting at speeds of hundreds of miles an hour, spinning widdershins across the face of the planet, scouring away everything beneath them.
The storms are so frequent, so unpredictable, so deadly and destructive that nothing can be built permanently upon the surface of Hindrance. It is a world that is constantly blasted and eroded, constantly disintegrating, decaying from one state to a more disordered one. Paradoxically, it is this very quality which makes it so attractive to those who revere the dark god, Nurgle.
Given the vast Warp-storms which buffet the atmosphere, reaching the surface of the planet is no simple task. At any one time there are two or three such nightmare storms crawling slowly across it, and a skilled (or insane) shuttle pilot is required to deposit travellers safely. Fortunately, the Masters of the ships of the Septet have a number of such pilots indentured into their service, and they are happy to barter for the price of passage. Payment in the form of interesting new plagues is particularly prized, but they have been known to accept dilapidated ship components or other eccentric symbolic contributions that amuse them.
There are few permanent settlements on Hindrance; the world is inimical to prolonged human habitation, lacking potable water or sufficient sunlight to foster the growth of even the hardiest crops. Although the thin, dusty air technically contains the correct combination of elements in broadly the correct proportions to render it breathable for augmented humans, the atmosphere is filled with microscopic dust particles which clog the lungs, causing visitors to hack and cough miserably within minutes of arrival. Prolonged exposure to the planet's air causes the lungs to fill with bloody froth, which can lead to death if left untreated.
The skies are grey and stormy, and from the surface the sun appears only as a distant brown smudge, its weak light barely penetrating the murky gloom. While there are small mountain ranges of crumbling sandstone, and minuscule polar caps formed of yellowing and poisonous ice, the principle topography is desert.
Despite the harsh nature of the world's climate, it is far from uninhabited. Visitors escorted to the surface of Hindrance within the rattling and decrepit interiors of the Septet's shuttles are deposited outside the bounds of Pusula, a tiny, filthy ramshackle shanty town of around 300 souls.
Pusula is the creation of a burgeoning pilgrim culture emerging among the Nurg Culti of the Screaming Vortex, a movement which, despite only emerging within the last handful of decades, seems to enjoy a vivid canon of wicked myths and fables of apparently ancient provenance. This loose collective of pilgrims are a varied lot, their only common denominators being a devotion to Nurgle, an obsession with accumulating interesting new diseases, and a love of travel. They wander across the entire Screaming Vortex and beyond, like a swarm of flies, never settling for long, always cheerfully seeking to infect whatever lies beyond the next hill, the next planet, the next Sector.
There are certain sites which act as nexuses for these peripatetic lepers; particular places which speak to something deep within their polluted souls, and which serve to draw them together for a time to exchange illnesses and reconfirm their faith. Pusula has become such a place.
The town is composed of temporary dwellings constructed with whatever material the Nurg Culti had to hand when they arrived. As such it is a patchwork shantytown, a cluttered and messy place thrown together haphazardly. Tents are the most common form of accommodation, though shacks built from crates and improvised caravans made from bones are also often seen. Pusula is built on a single dust track "street" over a pair of ancient rusty shipping containers of Imperial manufacture, which have been buried beneath the gritty desert sands. These containers are used as septic tanks for the town, though they double as shelters when the Warp-tainted storms pass by, obliterating everything on the surface. Most would find the idea of being confined neck deep in ordure for days on end with hundreds of others in a tiny underground space utterly appalling, but to the Nurg Culti of Pusula, this is regarded as an amusing diversion, a potential anecdote to regale fellow travellers with on some future occasion. Indeed, some speak highly of the experience, referring jocularly to "taking the waters on Hindrance" as if they had visited some famed spa on an exotic Imperial paradise world.
The town is routinely destroyed by the frequent Warp-storms; this will happen two or three times every year. However, its inhabitants are hardy and optimistic. After riding out the storm in their reeking bunker, the resilient group of survivors simply emerges to gather up whatever building materials remain within a five mile radius and begin again. They regard this constant cycle of construction, decay, destruction, and rebuilding as amusingly symbolic of Nurgle himself.
Pusula is, unusually for a town frequented by followers of the Ruinous Powers, a generally peaceful place. There are occasional outbreaks of violence between cultists, but these usually take place during the rush to the storm shelters, and as such are regarded as unfortunate side effects of circumstances beyond the control of all involved. Pusula is very much a stopover town, a place to visit briefly, and there are no permanent residents.
A rich oral tradition is emerging among the cultists of Nurgle who visit Pusula. Whichever is the largest shack, caravan, or tent present within the town at any one time acts as a general meeting place for the assembled cultists. As the weak light of the sun fades over the horizon, they regale each other with stories about the Plaguefather, and in particular his relationship with the world of Hindrance, which is starting to be regarded as a world holy to him.
It is now traditional for those Plague Cultists who visit Hindrance to take three steps in their pilgrimage to the planet. Firstly, they must arrive and listen to the legends of those who have travelled into the wastes of Hindrance before them. Secondly, they must then take a pilgrimage into the deepest deserts themselves, in order to commune with the desolate, entropic heart of Nurgle himself. Finally, those who survive this journey (and most do not) must return to Pusula and pass on both what they have learned and what they have been infected with.
The tattered pilgrims of the Plague God are drawn to Hindrance by the belief that there is an intensely symbolic and magically significant link between the planet and Nurgle himself. They see his rotting hand everywhere in the world; in the constant scouring and destruction of the Warp-storms, in the crumbling of the mountains to desert. They believe that Hindrance is an entropic paradise, a world that decays endlessly, a place of divine judgement, punishment, and teaching where Grandfather Nurgle tests the faith of his followers. Those who truly wish to commune with their dark god must travel here and journey to the heart of the deepest Warp-scoured wastes, there to experience dreams and visions that illuminate their master's plans for them. They believe that here Nurgle either sadly chides his errant children for their failings before magnanimously setting them back upon the path to glory, their sins forgiven, their faith having been tested and restored, or if their faith is weak, punishes them, blasting their souls and funnelling them directly into the Warp itself.
Those who venture forth from Pusula into the wastes of Hindrance tend to do so in jovial plague caravans, filled with dozens of pilgrims bickering cheerfully among themselves. Those few surviving cultists who stagger back in ones and twos to Pusula are somehow altered by the experience. No less jocular, they are nevertheless more focussed, more devoted to the task of spreading Nurgle's gifts beyond the Screaming Vortex. They are said to have completed the bleak pilgrimage, and their words are hung upon by other Nurg Culti.
Those who survive the bleak pilgrimage speak in reedy, phlegmy voices of journeys lasting weeks through the blasted desert wastes of Hindrance. They describe an experience which tested their endurance to the very limit: of limping, scab-shod through endless fields of flinty blade-edged rock, of running low on supplies and being forced to turn to cannibalism, of consuming the reeking and diseased corpses of their fellow pilgrims.
The survivors speak of encountering deserts of yellow-brown bone-scatted sand. At first they encounter a few separated femurs, the odd skull - nothing to the jaded cultists of Nurgle, who will have seen far worse on the journey to Hindrance. Surely these are the remnants of some previous failed caravan, one whose members lacked the true faith of those who now pass them.
Soon, however, the travellers speak of encountering more bones. Not in ones and twos, but in sevens and eights, piled up and against each other randomly. Then dozens in one place. Then hundreds stretched out over several miles. And finally the travellers speak of deserts that begin to consist solely of bones, the grains of sand sinking away beneath the endless tide of death. Millions - perhaps billions - of corpses. The rheumy, inflamed eyes of the surviving bleak pilgrims shine with an unhealthy light as they speak of endless piles of yellowing, desiccated bones, slowly disintegrating and collapsing into dust beneath the pitiless grey lowering skies.
Where have these bodies come from, the Culti ask each other. Theories abound. Some say a great war must have taken place on Hindrance in ages past. Others say these are the corpses of useless slaves dumped from orbit by the Dark Magi of Alactia. Still more posit that there must have been some great civilisation here once, overtaken by a great plague, a suggestion which causes much excitement among those assembled.
Those who have walked the bleak pilgrimage shake their misshapen heads, and claim that instead these are the bodies of all those who died in Nurgle's service, transported here mystically by his servants. They raspingly assert that Hindrance is the cankered eye of Nurgle himself, and that to walk across its surface is to draw his attention to oneself; those deserving of his grace are rewarded, those undeserving are shattered, their bodies cast to the dry surface of the world to crumble to dust.
They further regale their rapt listeners with tales of Nurgle playfully testing those who wander the Bone Deserts with encounters with the corpses of the faithless, those who died in the service of Nurgle but without the true love of their master rotting their souls from within. They say that after walking for many days through the Bone Deserts, subsisting upon the rare meagre fragments of parched flesh remaining on the bones of the fallen, the dead themselves arise and challenge them. These "Faithless" take the form of the better preserved bodies, still bearing odd scraps of clothing. Ghastly, sand-encrusted dried corpses, the Faithless stagger to their disintegrating feet and lurch towards the pilgrims; their mouths open in a wordless scream of jealousy and hatred, bemoaning the favour shown to them by their very continued existence. Such pitiful remnants of the fallen are feeble individually, but soon arise in greater numbers, shambling towards the interlopers in their dozens. They cannot be pleaded or bargained with, and must be smashed aside by the wanderer, cleaved into their base components, a sight which is claimed by the bleak pilgrims to delight Nurgle, symbolic as it is of the process of disintegration, of things falling apart and returning to the dust.
Total TB: 3
Skills: Awareness (Per), Heightened Sense (Sound).
Traits: Dark-sight, Fear (2), From Beyond, Natural Weapons, Vectors of the Plague God's Mirth†.
Weapons: Rotted Fangs and Desiccated Talons (Melee; 1d10+2; Pen 0).
Gear: Tattered rags and parched scraps of skin.
†Vectors of the Plague God's Mirth: Whenever this creature hits with a melee attack (regardless of whether or not it inflicts Damage), the target must make a Challenging (+0) Toughness Test. If the target fails, he must roll on Table 2-1: Boons of the Plague God (see page 40) and immediately apply the results. Non-living creatures (and creatures immune to disease) are immune to this effect.
Those few pilgrims who claim to have survived encounters with the massed Faithless say that they eventually pass through the Bone Deserts, discarded gleaming skulls glaring reproachfully at their backs, and that they wander into a new region, the remnant of what must once have been a great volcanic plain.
Here, the cultists spend days wandering across a silent, utterly desolate landscape, with no geological feature more than a few inches high. The skies are dark, a few weak stars glimmering indistinctly. The twin moons pass overhead in unpredictable patterns, obscuring the stars and occasionally eclipsing the murky sun. The glass-black moon of Megaria causes those who gaze upon it for too long to fall into a deep depression, thoughts of despair and misery overtaking their conscious minds. When the rusting junk-moon of Alactia is overhead, those same individuals become cheerful and energetic, despite being by now clothed only in tattered rags and being delirious from lack of food or water.
The few survivors of this fevered death march describe how after what could have been days or weeks of walking, with black sand crunching underfoot, the sky darkens, the tell-tale signs of one of the great Warp-storms' approach. All surviving Bleak Pilgrims tell their audience that at this point they were expecting to be torn to shreds by the power of the storm, which shrieks and wails, and seems to funnel itself purposefully over the horizon. The bleak pilgrims describe how they followed the storm, drawn by some instinctual feeling that they were being called by the howl of the wind itself.
They tell of how, after journeying for a further age, they came to see in the distance what appeared to be some form of low building. As they approach, they realised that they were at a great distance from it, and that as such it was built on an impossibly titanic scale. Approaching the building over hours that eventually stretch into days, they finally are able to pick out its individual features.
There are many different descriptions of the building, and the precise details vary for each teller, leading some to suppose that every cultist sees a different construction. Some describe fallen pillars hundreds of feet in circumference that would have reached kilometres into the sky, supporting a roof that must have weighed more than most cities before its collapse. Others mention crumbling spires or domes; yet others talk of a single fallen ziggurat slumped under its own weight. However it appears physically to those who stagger back from the wastes, the building is invariably described as a "temple", albeit one constructed on a scale which would dwarf all but the largest cathedrals of the Imperium's Corpse-God. Apparently hewn from some black stone, the temple is always spoken of as broken and shattered, and all who have seen it agree that it continues to crumble and disintegrate before their very eyes, with some architectural feature sliding away to oblivion as they approach, or with a constant rain of slates or bricks falling from some obscure corner. This "Broken Temple", as it is known, sits at the heart of the eye of the vast storm which whirls around it.
As the black clouds of the storm move towards the centre of the vast whirlpool centred over the Temple, they spasm sickeningly, coalescing and splintering into thousands of bestial, winged figures that flock to the jagged rafters of the Broken Temple. The Bleak Pilgrims claim these Chaos Furies are Daemons formed from the very soul-stuff of those faithless Nurgle worshipers whose corpses line the Bone Deserts. They squabble like animals, raking the basalt walls of the temple with their claws, yet they do not assault the pilgrims who approach the temple.
Total TB: 4
Skills: Awareness (Per), Dodge (Ag) +20, Psyniscience (Per).
Talents: Heightened Sense (Smell).
Traits: Bestial, Daemonic (1), Dark-sight, Flyer (5), From Beyond, Deadly Natural Weapons.
Weapons: Claws and Fangs (2d10+3 R; Pen 1d5; Tearing).
Daemonic Presence: All enemies within 5 metres of a Chaos Fury suffer a -5 penalty to Willpower Tests.
Inside the temple, stained by accumulated centuries of the stinking daemonic spoor of the Furies, the pilgrims discovered names etched into the walls of the building itself; inscribed in tiny letters, barely legible. There were billions of names, reaching up the towering internal walls of the temple, covering every nook and sconce. These are, the Bleak Pilgrims claim, the names of the followers of Nurgle, chiselled here by some unseen, foetid tallyman seeking fruitlessly to catalogue and define the universe, an insane and impossible effort to trap the universe in unchanging decay forever. Here the few surviving pilgrims find themselves compelled to scour the walls of the temple for their own names, proving their worth as followers of the Rotfather. Given the impossible scale of the Broken Temple, this task can take many weeks; the pilgrims are forced to degrade themselves by consuming the corpses of those who have failed to complete the task; to construct ladders from the bones of these same fallen which enable them to peruse the names marked on the higher walls.
Those who admit defeat in this seemingly impossible task are instantly torn to shreds by the ever-vigilant Furies, their souls ripped from their bodies, there to join the ranks of their killers. However, those who persevere, who remain cheerful despite the seemingly impossible and fruitless nature of their task, are eventually rewarded with sight of their own name, scratched in tiny letters feebly into some obscure cranny of the cyclopean temple. At this moment, their status as a true follower of Nurgle is confirmed. Every survivor of the bleak pilgrimage describes this as a seminal moment, where they feel the eye of Nurgle himself upon them, and hear his distant avuncular chuckle. The Furies shriek impotently, enraged to see another soul escape their clutches, and flee back into the heart of the storm, which retreats and fades away to nothingness, leaving the pilgrims free to continue on their way.
Those Bleak Pilgrims who have wandered the Bone Deserts and who have survived the trial of the Broken Temple are now marked as more robust and deadly than those who did not. Their fortitude has been noted by Nurgle, but there is one final test for them.
As they recount their experiences to those who have yet to commence their pilgrimage, their eyes grow bright with awe, and their voices tremble, their throats filling with sickly phlegm. They speak of how, as they staggered in tattered rags, dehydrated, hallucinating, starving, and falling prey at last to the many diseases which have beset them for years, they encountered a single bloated pilgrim in a caravan apparently constructed from bones, pulled by a staggering pony whose tattered and rotting hide hung loosely from its skeletal frame. They explain how the fat, distended pilgrim invited them to rest awhile within his caravan, giving them stinking food and brackish water to drink, nursing them through the worst of their fevers and into yet higher and more disturbed ones.
The Bleak Pilgrims dreamily speak of days in the company of this obese traveller, whose basso profundo laugh and easy, cheerful manner they eagerly attempt to imitate, to the delight of all listeners. They talk of how they would engage in games of riddles, though none of the Bleak Pilgrims can be drawn on the questions that were posed.
Finally, they gleefully divulge that their portly saviour ultimately revealed himself to be no less a figure than Nurgle himself, testing the Bleak Pilgrims' faith and finding them equal to the task of travelling onwards to infect the world. This is invariably too much for the listeners, who angrily denounce the storytellers for exceeding the bounds of reason, and straying perhaps even into blasphemy. Such charges are met equally angrily by the Bleak Pilgrims, and at this stage lesioned hands invariably stray to rusted daggers. Typically, some croaky voice of reason will pipe up at this point, suggesting conciliatory that perhaps the bloated pilgrim is some aspect of Nurgle, or a Greater Daemon in his service. Tempers calm, and a civil debate then proceeds upon the nature of Nurgle's Daemons and how the distinction between the god and the Greater Daemon is a fine one, and perhaps academic. All agree that the bloated pilgrim is truly blessed to have survived his pilgrimage, and voices are raised in praise to the Lord of Decay.
Those who complete this final trial are surely the favoured of Nurgle, and rank among the most devout of his servants. No one knows what happens to those who fail his tests, though it is likely that their bodies rest on Hindrance forever as piles of dust-coated bones within the deep desert, their souls screaming eternally in the insane eddies of the Black Gyre.
"Slog for two-hundred paces across the surface of the curse-moon. There your ultimate truth awaits you, with bated breath."
— The Many-Eyed Oracle of Chaos
Hanging silently in the grey skies of Hindrance, the moon of Megaria is a baleful and sombre presence. It appears as a black orb, utterly dark. Light seems to fall into the moon itself, and it radiates a dour and palpable sense of menace.
Travelling to the moon is an almost suicidal endeavour; any ship that does so discovers that Megaria possesses a gravity well that is completely out of proportion to its size. While the moon's radius itself is less than a thousand kilometres, it registers to the systems of any approaching vessel as possessing a gravitational field equivalent to dozens of solar masses, triggering klaxons and alarms throughout the ship, as the hull flexes and shudders under the pressure. No ship that has travelled to Megaria has ever returned: instead they have plummeted to the surface, crushed under their own immense weight, which is magnified many thousand fold by the moon's bizarre gravitational field.
The moon thus possesses many of the properties of a neutron star, though its size and stable (if eccentric) orbit around Hindrance, a medium-sized terrestrial planet, suggests that it is in fact something else. For most visitors to the Hindrance system it remains a disquieting enigma.
However, for those who worship Nurgle, it is yet another holy place, symbolic of that aspect of his character which represents the eternal battle against despair and death. Megaria represents death, the end of all, utter desolation and ruin. It is the reaction of living things to the fear of such concepts that empowers Nurgle. As a result, those powerful sorcerers who worship Nurgle undertake great vision-quests to the surface of Megaria in order to steep themselves in its baleful energies.
"They say that the Magi Morbos have a peculiar inclination toward scrap-code subterfuge; if the rumours are true and I can claim their secrets, no machine-spirit will be safe from my viro-indoctrination!"
— Rhodan Polikharp, Viral Virtuoso of Addolorata
The third major body of the Hindrance system, Alactia, is famed across the Screaming Vortex as "the junkyard moon". From space, its pitted and rusting iron surface resembles an overripe, rotting, orange-coloured fruit, surrounded by buzzing insects. These "insects" are in fact the mercantile fleets of the Dark Tech-Priests of Alactia, the Magi Morbos, who, from small beginnings, have built their world into a minor regional power.
Alactia is the most habitable of the three realms of the Hindrance system, though this is hardly a proud boast given the generally inhospitable nature of its terrestrial bodies. It bears a thin, acrid atmosphere that can sustain human life of a kind, and it lacks the vicious Warp-driven storms of Hindrance or the crushing gravitational field of Megaria. The surface of Alactia is, save for a few denuded landing fields serving as rough and ready starports, entirely covered in a blanket of rusting mechanical devices, stacked into towers hundreds of feet high. The moon brims with decrepit mechanical equipment scavenged by the Magi Morbos from sources across the Screaming Vortex and the Koronus Expanse. There are small, hopelessly polluted seas, tainted with runoff chemicals leaking from the vast graveyard of broken vehicles and machines piled along their shores. These seas now only serve to create a sickly precipitation which coats the entire surface of the moon in a veneer of grimy rust.
The Hindrance system occupies a strategic location close to the Thirteenth Station of Passage. It has since time immemorial attracted interest from those enemies of the Imperium who sought to travel between the nightmare realm of the Screaming Vortex and the Koronus Expanse beyond. Some three centuries ago, a small Nurgle-worshipping cult of hereteks affiliated with a larger group of pirates operating within the Koronus Expanse crossed into the Screaming Vortex, and found the Hindrance system much to their liking. These pioneers were much impressed by the clear symbolic links between the system and The Lord of Decay, and thus they opted to stay and transform the world into a place pleasing to them.
Known since that time as the Magi Morbos, these Nurglesque hereteks lack the profound depth of spiritual corruption found in the Biomancers of the Writhing World or the unholy technological prowess of the Warpsmiths of Guelph. Theirs is a rougher, readier, and more practical form of expertise, still empowered by the twisted energies of the Screaming Vortex, but focussed upon achieving more modest aims than the creation of new life or the binding of Daemons into mechanical devices. The Magi Morbos instead see themselves as tradesmen, there to fulfil a pressing need among the spacefaring communities of the Screaming Vortex for the maintenance of their vessels, which are invariably much battered by the prevailing conditions. The Magi Morbos spend their days in worn and patched vacuum suits, merrily toiling on the hulls of orbiting ancient starships, like tics crawling across the corpses of beached whales.
The Magi Morbos are happy to accept payment for this work in the form of slaves or plunder, but show a particular interest in consideration that takes the form of malfunctioning mechanical devices, the older, more decrepit and complex the better. Alternatively, customers are free to infect one of the Magi with some new and interesting disease, or to consent to have their entire crew receive any of the various techno-maladies and viral wrack-codes carried by the Magi themselves in payment for work carried out.
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