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"Hurry, my children. We have gifts to share!"
— The Great Unclean One Abscessas, during the Pustulance of Hive Kallin
The Ruinous Powers each bring madness and destruction to the mortal realm in their own way, yet none delight in their work quite like Nurgle, the Plague Father. For it, destruction is not an end, but merely a new beginning - the start of the next cycle of life. For the Lord of Flies, death and decay lead to rebirth and revitalisation.
Nurgle's foul minions work tirelessly to bring their master's grand plan to fruition. From the most corpulent Great Unclean One, to the tiniest mite of a Nurgling, all do their part. They are the soldiers of his armies, the deliverers of his plagues, and the recorders of his efforts. The cycle is eternal, and the plans to keep it churning ever forward are complex, but Nurgle has faith in his work, and his minions have faith in him.
Askellon has seen the attentions of Nurgle throughout its long history. Hive Desoleum has been victim of the cancerous Callers of Sorrow for untold years. The entire world of Oris Minor in the Rubicon Sub-Sector fell to a horrid swarm of Plague Drones that overwhelmed local defences to attack the single Arbitrator there responsible for banishing a Beast of Nurgle years ago. On the night known as Wailing Eve, many thousands died when a single Great Unclean One stepped onto the farming colony of Hulmerk for reasons still undiscovered. Dawn brought screams from the survivors, who discovered grotesquely rotted corpses laying in permanent repose in beds across the burgeoning settlement. The entire region, along with any left alive, was burnt from orbit under orders from a stern Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, lest the unnatural contagion spread farther.
All Daemons of Nurgle in this section gain the following new trait:
A character who fails a Fear test against a foe with the Nauseating trait does not roll on Table 8-11: Shock (see page 287 of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook). Instead, the character is Stunned for one round per degree of failure, as he doubles over and retches uncontrollably. The character still suffers all other effects of failing a Fear test, such as possibly gaining Insanity points. If the character succeeds on the Fear test, he suffers one level of Fatigue as he contends with the bile rising in his throat.
As Grandfather Nurgle's other children brew their poxes, count each other's boils, and tend to the suffering of festering souls, his Beasts crash about playfully, their massive, tentacled frames leaving trails of slime and upturned soil behind them. Though their reckless bounding creates havoc, none mind it, for the enthusiasm and glee the Beasts display reminds all of Nurgle's Daemons that theirs is a joyful burden.
While many Beasts spend their entire existence playing only in the great Garden, those who enjoy their master's special favour may be allowed to venture in the mortal realm. Here they eagerly crash into new playmates, rotting even the strongest steel in seconds as their poisoned tongues burn flesh. As they latch on to their newfound companions, their tentacles and sheer bulk shatter bones and rip limbs from sockets. Inevitably, their unfortunate victims stop moving. When this happens, the Beasts may whimper or sniff for a moment, but soon spot a bit of motion nearby and shuffle off to greet their new friends. This can result in the befoulment of entire cities, as was seen when a single Beast began the infamous Pustulance of Hive Kallin.
Armour: Head 13, Arms 14, Body 16, Legs 14
Claws: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+5SB (R), Pen 0, Clip -, Rld -, Wt -, Avl -, Toxic (3)
Tentacles: Class Melee, Rng 3m, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+105+SB (I), Pen 0, Clip -, Rld -, Wt -, Avl -, Corrosive, Flexible, Toxic (2)
Skills: Athletics (S), Awareness (Per)
Talents: Thunder Charge
Traits: Baneful Presence (10), Crawler, Daemonic (3), Dark-sight, Fear (2), From Beyond, Nauseating, Regeneration (2), Size (6), Spewing Tentacles†, Sturdy, Toxic (2), Trail of Slime††, Unnatural Toughness (3), Unnatural Willpower (2), Warp Instability
† Spewing Tentacles: As a Full Action, a Beast of Nurgle can unleash one of the following effects from its tentacles:
†† Trail of Slime: Beasts of Nurgle leave a wake of disgusting slime wherever they crawl. Any character who walks through an area so defiled must make a Difficult (-10) Toughness test or suffer 1d10 Impact damage (ignoring armour and Toughness bonus) from the diseases in the rotting path.
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.
Mortals who manage to resist Nurgle's Rot for a lengthy time become powerful Plaguebearers, which are known as Heralds of Nurgle. These nightmarish creatures embrace their role and lead their daemonic brethren from the Garden of Nurgle to the mortal realms of man.
Armour: Head 19, Arms 20, Body 20, Legs 20
Vomit Attack: Class Pistol, Rng 5m, RoF S/-/-, Dmg 1d10+2 (E), Pen 4, Clip -, Rld -, Wt -, Avl -, Corrosive, Spray, Toxic (3)
Virulent Plague Sword: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+157+SB (R), Pen 0, Clip -, Rld -, Wt 7kg, Avl UN, Corrosive, Toxic (2)
Skills: Athletics (S) +20, Awareness (Per) +10, Command (Fel) +10, Intimidate (S) +20, Logic (Int), Medicae (Int), Parry (WS), Psyniscience (Per) +20, Scrutiny (Per), Survival (Per)
Talents: Iron Jaw, Thunder Charge, True Grit
Traits: Baneful Presence (20), Daemonic (4), Dark-sight, Fear (3), From Beyond, Nauseating, Psyker (PR 4), Regeneration (1), Size (5), Unnatural Strength (3), Unnatural Toughness (6), Unnatural Willpower (2), Warp Instability
Psyker: A Herald of Nurgle 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: Rot armour
Essence of Decay: Mere exposure to a Herald of Nurgle's foul presence can rust and degrade even the strongest materials. While within 20 metres of this Daemon, all equipment, weaponry, and armour functions as though it were of Poor craftsmanship, regardless of its actual craftsmanship, unless it possesses the Sanctified weapon quality. At the GM's discretion, other items may also be immune to this rule.
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.
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