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White Dwarf 119 (Nov 1989), p28 — Beasts

Creatures of Nurgle (Gu'nagh'ghyran)

The Beasts, Slime Hounds, Nurgle's Lapdogs

The Beast of Nurgle looks like some horrendous mish-mash of creatures. It has the soft and sticky body of a pale brown slug, webbed feet that flap uselessly, a face of writhing green tentacles, and a whiptail growth that bursts from its back and which wags constantly from side to side. The Beast is no less deadly than it is ugly, for its touch causes paralysis and its slimy secretions rot everything they cover. The very proximity of a Beast is sufficient to kill small animals and plants, and even larger creatures may age and decay noticeably in its presence. The Beast is the very embodiment of decay.

Despite its fearsome appearance and deadly attributes, the Beast is a friendly and effectionate creature behaving in all respects like an over-friendly and easily excited puppy. It craves attention, greeting newcomers by slobbering all over them with its slimy tentacles. Once they get thoroughly worked up they can rarely if ever contain themselves and leave little puddles of acrid slime behind them. All this attention is not a problem to other creatures of Nurgle, but tends to kill mortals fairly rapidly. Once the Beast's new friend stops moving, its interest quickly shifts to another target, and in this way the creature excitedly and lovingly kills and destroys just about everything it touches. As the Beast has only the most rudimentary sense of intelligence it never anticipates the result of its friendly behaviour, and registers only a slight sense of disappointment as each new playmate goes all still and boring.

In battle the Beasts bound all over the place in their eagerness to meet new friends, constantly rolling over and inviting the Plaguebearers to scratch their backs and pop their pustules. The Plaguebearers try to maintain order, encouraging the Beasts to move in certain directions or to attack or hold back as appropriate. As the administrators and leaders of the Nurgle horde, the Plaguebearers are seen by the Beasts as their masters and special friends. Beasts are intensely loyal creatures and always eager to please, so they usually attach themselves unshakeably to a particular Plaguebearer.

The Beasts

Alignment: Chaos (Nurgle).

Special Psychological Traits: Beasts fear troops bearing fire and attacks by flaming missiles. They are otherwise completely immune to psychology.

Special Rules: The Beast attacks models directly to its front with D6 sucker strikes. Suckers secrete a paralysing mucus which seeps through armour, so an opponent's armour saving throw is ignored. If a model is hit by one or more sucker attacks during combat a D6 is rolled for each hit; if the total score is greater than the target's Toughness the model is paralysed. Paralysed victims are immediately grasped by the Beast's single tentacle. Paralysed victims are carried in this manner so that they can be eaten once the fighting is over or playfully presented as an offering to a Plaguebearer. If a Beast is slain it will release its victims, but they remain paralysed for several hours. WFB and WH40K players should remove paralysed models as casualties during the game.

As the Beast moves along the ground it leaves a slimy trail like a slug or snail. Contact with this slime whilst it is fresh causes Nurgle's Rot. Any model directly behind and within 4" of the Beast is adjudged to have stepped in or touched the slime trail.

Any creature engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a Beast also risks catching Nurgle's Rot.

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