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Dark Heresy (2nd ed, 2014), p415-417 — Nurgle

The Fly Lord, the Grandfather of Pestilence, the Plague God - these are a mere few of the many names mortals use for Nurgle, the Chaos God of corruption and decay. His foul Daemons represent the death and decay that await all mortals. As the Chaos God of disease and decay, only Nurgle has the power to save a person from the ravages of disease and mortality. Indeed, those who earn his favour can avoid death itself, living indefinitely as an unnatural abomination of pestilent flesh.


Nurgle's foul foot-soldiers are the Plaguebearers, Warp-spawned embodiments of disease and decay. These rotten paladins solemnly serve the Heralds and other higher-order Daemons of Nurgle both in the Realm of Chaos and when the Plague God's forces erupt forth into reality. On those momentous occasions when their plans burst forth like maggots from rotten meat, the Callers of Sorrow summon Plaguebearers to accompany their assaults on Hive Desoleum as shock troops, or to act as guardians when the hive's defenders seek retribution.

The mere sight of a Plaguebearer is more than enough to induce overwhelming madness and physical illness, for they represent the greatest fears and most visceral disgusts of humanity. Most feature stained horns and a single, rheumy eye, while their decay afflicts each in a unique manner. Their putrefying flesh and spilling innards are impossibly revolting, further amplified by the unnatural aura surrounding all creatures of the Warp. As they advance, the Plaguebearers sonorously chant, counting the innumerable diseases that Nurgle has gifted to the galaxy, forming a maddening drone like the buzzing of countless flies.

It is written that Plaguebearers are formed from the souls of mortals who succumbed to Nurgle's Rot; as the victim's living body decays in the physical world, so does the soul rot in the Warp, slowly birthing a Daemon to serve the Plague God. Thus does a mortal who receives Nurgle's greatest gift spend the rest of eternity repaying the debt.

Plaguebearer (Elite)

Wounds: 20

Armour: Head 13, Arms 14, Body 14, Legs 14

Movement: 3/6/9/18

Threat: 17

Vomit Attack: Class Pistol, Rng 5m, RoF S/-/-, Dmg 1d10+2 (E), Pen 2, Clip -, Rld -, Wt -, Avl -, Corrosive, Spray, Toxic (2)

Plague Sword: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+137+SB (R), Pen 0, Clip -, Rld -, Wt 7kg, Avl UN, Toxic (2)

Skills: Athletics (S) +30

Talents: Iron Jaw, True Grit

Traits: Baneful Presence (10), Daemonic (2), Deadly Natural Weapons, Fear (2), From Beyond, Nauseating (see sidebar), Unnatural Strength (2), Unnatural Toughness (3), Unnatural Willpower (2), Warp Instability

Gear: Rot armour


Vulgar and mischievous imps of the Plague God, Nurglings are said to originate within the bowels of the greatest of Nurgle's Daemons. When the Warp waxes strong, they gather into large groups, falling over one another in their eagerness to attack the enemies of their beloved Grandfather Nurgle. Though individually weak, in groups they can overwhelm and drag down foes many times their own size. As manifestations of disease and filth, even the slightest scratch from their jagged claws or pointed teeth results in horrific infection and necrosis. Nurglings also pose a significant moral threat, as does any exposure to the denizens of the Warp.

Being so small in stature and power, Nurglings can remain in the corporeal universe longer than other Daemons. In areas heavily saturated with corruption, such as the hidden redoubts of the Callers of Sorrow, they can exist almost indefinitely, drawing strength from the surrounding filth and decay. Though the Preceptors teach that the presence of Nurglings is a blessing from the Plague God, they often find it to be a frustrating one, as the tiny Daemons delight in absconding with relics, smearing excrement on the pages of forbidden texts, gibbering constantly in unearthly pitches, and generally acting as a nuisance even to those who worship their presence.

Nurgling (Troop)

Wounds: 12

Armour: All 8

Movement: 1/2/3/6

Threat: 7

Claws and Teeth: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+63+SB (I), Pen 0, Clip -, Rld -, Wt -, Avl -, Toxic (1)

Traits: Daemonic (2), Deadly Natural Weapons, Fear (1), From Beyond, Nauseating (see sidebar on page 415), Size (2), Unnatural Toughness (2), Unnatural Willpower (1)

Clinging: While engaged in melee with one or more Nurglings, a character reduces his Agility bonus by 1 for the purposes of determining Movement values.

Putricifex, Herald of Nurgle

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.

Putricifex, Herald of Nurgle (Master)

Wounds: 35

Armour: Head 16, Arms 18, Body 18, Legs 18

Movement: 4/8/12/24

Threat: 50

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.

Chaos Fury

Furies are bestial, ravenous Daemons who desire only to inflict destruction and death. It is written in some tomes of forbidden lore that they are formed from the souls of mortals who sought to advance themselves by giving fleeting worship to each of the Dark Gods in turn. Upon their death, these individuals are rewarded for their insincerity with an eternity of hunger as a lowly, winged Fury. Yet, certain sealed archives speak of Furies that clearly bear the sign of a particular Dark God. Those Furies marked by Nurgle soar impossibly on wings of tattered flesh and exposed bone, their mouths filled with rows of rotten teeth. Whether these Furies have redeemed themselves in the eyes of the Lord of Decay or been enslaved to his service, none can say. Of course, to attempt to discern the ways of Chaos is to invite madness and damnation, and for most Inquisitors it is enough to know that Furies are Daemons, and anathema to Mankind.

Furies ever seek ingress into the material universe to vent their insatiable rage. Opportunistic, they sometimes arrive unexpectedly when a cult seeks to summon Daemons of the higher orders, for the ways of the Warp are unpredictable, and even the most accomplished of the Caller's Warp-priests can never be certain what will appear when he draws back the veil. Like unholy buzzards in the Sea of Souls, Furies also circle the souls of psykers, and hunt ships passing through the Immaterium. When a reckless psyker opens a Warp rift, or a vessel's Gellar Field fluctuates, Furies are often the first of the Warp's denizens to emerge, tearing apart all around them with ravenous claws and teeth.

Chaos Fury (Elite)

Wounds: 13

Armour: All 5

Movement: 7/14/21/42

Threat: 17

Claws and Fangs: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+61+SB (I), Pen 2, Clip -, Rld -, Wt -, Avl -, Tearing

Skills: Acrobatics (Ag) +20, Dodge (Ag) +10

Talents: Assassin Strike

Traits: Baneful Presence (10), Daemonic (1), Deadly Natural Weapons, Fear (2), Flyer (7), From Beyond, Size (5), Unnatural Agility (2), Unnatural Perception (2), Unnatural Strength (2), Warp Instability

Dive Attack: If the Fury is flying when it performs the Charge action, it gains a +20 bonus to the Weapon Skill test and its attack gains the Crippling (3) quality.

Furies of Nurgle: The Furies summoned by the Callers of Sorrow, deliberately or not, often bear the blessings of the Plague Father. Furies of this type gain the Nauseating trait (see page 415) and their attacks gain the Toxic (1) weapon quality.