[ Models | Lore | Sources | Inspiration ]
The world of 47 Kapella is a war-torn wasteland, every square mile of its surface torn apart by craters and criss-crossed with mile after mile of trench line. When war first came to 47 Kapella, millions were displaced as vast armies clashed against one another, and dozens of huge refugee camps sprung up. Generations later, some of these camps had become cities, vast conurbations of ragged buildings made of the detritus of war and populated by the lost and the damned.
It's no surprise, then, that the Chaos God Nurgle, Lord of Plagues and Despair, reared his scabrous head in one such camp.
The malady began when the sick and the desperate of Camp 109 turned their faces from the light of the Emperor and beseeched other, darker powers for deliverance. Deep within the Realm of Chaos, Papa Nurgle heard their pleas and sent forth his myriad gifts to grant them life eternal in his name.
The first to receive Nurgle's gifts were Imperial Guardsmen recovering from wounds sustained at the front line of the war. Their wounds scabbed over and an unnatural vitality flooded through them. Even as their features sloughed into hideous flesh-masks, these converts went forth amongst the populace of Camp 109 and preached to the masses that only by embracing death and despair would they cast off their fear and enter into a new existence. The converts became an order of demagogues, calling themselves the Scourge, and soon they were preaching at every corner, their filth-encrusted robes concealing their faces while their phlegm-ridden voices beseeched any who would listen to follow them into glory.
The contagion that the Scourge spread through Camp 109 was not simply one of bodily infection, but of the spirit as well. Those who heeded their sermons found themselves falling ill with dozens of ravenous plagues at once, yet they felt glad to be sick. Soon, established orders were preaching against the Scourge, denouncing them as servants of the archenemy. It was not long before Camp 109 was beset by civil war every bit as destructive as the battles its population had originally fled from.
The leaders of each side were the preachers of the various orders. On one side, zealots of a dozen different cults of the Imperial Creed gathered the faithful and led them in assaults against the plague-ridden fanes of the Scourge. On the other, the demagogues of the Scourge rallied their sickly flock and formed them into a fly-infested wave of filth that overcame any who stood before it.
When the Scourge launched an attack against an Order Hospitaller field hospital, the situation finally came to the attention of the Imperium's authorities. The Sisters Hospitaller barely escaped with their lives, and the tales they brought to the Imperial Guard high command convinced the generals that something far worse than a refugee camp riot was afoot.
Even as the generals were requesting aid from the Tricorn Palace, the situation inside Camp 109 was growing desperate. The last followers of the true creed were overcome, and the Scourge enacted a terrible rite to the glory of their dark patron. The bloated corpses of their victims split asunder, and from within each a daemon of Nurgle - a Plague Bearer - emerged. Camp 109 became in a single night the centre of a stinking web of corruption, which was inexorably seeping across the surface of 47 Kapella.
Salvation came to 47 Kapella in the form of Inquisitor Lystug of the Ordo Malleus and his retinue. The Inquisitor's first thought was to bomb Camp 109 from orbit, ensuring that no trace of its corruption remained. But one of Lystug's companions, a former member of the Orders Hospitaller, counselled against such a course of action. She advised that the source of the infestation was as much spiritual as it was biological, and would never be purged unless the original host was located and exorcised. Lystug heeded her words, and sought the aid of the Sisters Hospitaller who had fought their way out of the camp before it had been overrun. The sisters agreed to accompany the Inquisitor and his household on a desperate mission: to return to Camp 109, seek out the host, and purge it.
The combined force infiltrated the camp the very next day, but soon reports of unexplained sickness afflicting the front line regiments started to trickle in to high command. Realising that time was short, Lystug abandoned subtlety. Guided by the Sisters Hospitaller, he and his retinue cut their way straight towards the host he knew must reside at the heart of the infestation. The deeper his force penetrated, the more vile the sickness afflicting the camp became. At first, they encountered individual afflicted people, but soon waves of zombie-like followers of the Scourge came at them. While the outer limits of the camp were ragged and stank of corruption, the inner precincts were carpeted with biological matter that reeked with such vile sickness that even the most well-crafted rebreather was incapable of keeping it at bay. It was the Sisters Hospitaller that kept the force moving in such trying conditions, for they exuded a palpable aura of purity that forced back the vile plagues of the enemy, creating a path through which Lystug and his retinue could tread safely.
That path led to the very centre of Camp 109, where they found the first host waiting for them atop a mountain of bloated, fly-ridden corpses. The host, the very first of the wounded Imperial Guardsmen to have beseeched the Lord of Plague for aid, had become a Daemon Prince of Nurgle, granted apotheosis for the destruction wrought in his master's name.
Lystug ordered his servants to attack, but his words went unheeded as the Sisters Hospitaller stepped forward as one and formed a circle around the vile daemon. Chanting praises to the saints of their healing order, the Adepta Sororitas crippled the servant of Nurgle, purging its bloated, decaying body of contagion so that only a dried, shrivelled husk remained. Yet still, the power of Nurgle animated the Daemon Prince's form. It slew many of the sisters and attempted to flee.
Yet at that moment, Inquisitor Lystug stepped within the circle of purity created by the Sisters Hospitaller and delivered a single, crushing blow. In an instant, the Daemon Prince of Nurgle was struck down and its plagues halted.
Only when Lystug and the remaining Sisters were evacuated was Camp 109 destroyed. The cleansing fires of orbital bombardment seared the damned place to ashes, and it remains ruined to this day. Only through the purity of the Sisters Hospitaller and the valour of the Inquisition was 47 Kapella saved from a world-ravaging plague.
On Dalthus, Octus uncovered a xenos-worshipping coven, only to discover its foolhardy Warp-dabblings had attracted not the alien overlords the cult members had sought, but the daemonic servants of Nurgle. Octus sent a cell of Acolytes to aid the Ordo Xenos in the battle, and during the event one of his Banishers averted an incursion that might have cost the lives of billions.
The next Ruinous Power I shudder to consider, for his works are so vile as to turn the stomach and render spoiled every iota of that which remains pure within my soul. He is Nurgle, the Lord of Decay. To dwell long upon Nurgle is to court utter despair, for he is the begetter of every foul plague and pox that has ever afflicted mankind. He would transform the realms of Men into gardens of putrefaction, swamps of sweet decay through which his servants may wallow in their own filth. Yet, many of our order make the mistake of believing Nurgle to be the lord of all deathly things. This is the ultimate mistake, and one that has lead many bold servants of the Emperor to their deaths. The servants of Nurgle bring about death and decay only that new life may be reborn. They extol the eternal cycle of growth and decay, which feeds their vile god and makes each generation stronger than the last. As a bacterium slays the living and produces food on which fungi grow, so Nurgle seeks to bring about the death of the Imperium by rotting it from within. His followers may appear withered and afflicted by the most hideous of plagues, but in truth they become all the stronger from the gifts of their lord.
When faced with the mortal followers of Nurgle, we must be prepared to face corruption on every level imaginable. They seek to spread contagion on the very air itself. They come upon the afflicted and the desperate and offer deliverance, but those who accept are damned for all time. Put them and their works to the flame that not even a single cell shall remain. If you must face the Daemonic servants of Nurgle, steel your soul against the foul sights you will see, and shield your body from plague and corruption by whatever means you have at your disposal. Know that to accede to despair is to invite the gifts of Nurgle, so seek the benediction of the God-Emperor, and go forward with his blessing.
Daemons of Nurgle come in many varieties; some are a dour lot, gravely counting and indexing the various plagues that ravage the galaxy. Other daemons, however, share their Dark God's tireless joy in spreading pestilence far and wide.
A heretic known to dabble in the sorcerous arts leads an Inquisitorial cell of Acolytes or Throne Agents to the Sheol 17 Mechanicus Facility. Sheol 17 is a prison for those convicted of tech-heresy, and within its walls lay many secrets the Mechanicus would prefer to remain undisturbed. However, soon after the Acolytes' arrival, a filth-ridden tide of viruses and plagues erupts from the heretic's cell. His flesh has been infested with the power of a Nurgle Daemon. The Acolytes must somehow contain the Daemon or destroy it before the creature can escape Sheol 17 and spread its legion of plagues across the rest of the Calixis Sector.
Each Daemonic Presence also has an associated Daemonic Phenomenon. See Table 12-8: Daemonic Phenomena on page 357 of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook for some sample Daemonic Phenomena that Daemons share with Daemonhosts. Below are some sample Daemonic Phenomena based on a Daemon's Allegiance:
In a Daemon of Khorne's presence...
In a Daemon of Nurgle's presence...
In a Daemon of Slaanesh's presence...
In a Daemon of Tzeentch's presence...
"Specimen 38: Lung expulsion of viscous mass. Risk of Contamination: Majoris. Schedule for Termination.
Specimen 39: In excellent health. Risk of Contamination: Negligible. Schedule for Termination.
Specimen 40: Deceased. Risk of Contamination: Majoris. Schedule for Immolation."
— The log of Sister Ignitia, location classified
The Great Lord of Entropy, Nurgle is a lord of death in his own fashion. Disease, putrification, decay, and physical corruption are his domain. His body is bloated and sickly, with leaking pus and, rivulets of necrotic green fluid. His leathery skin is cracked with sores, and his intestines are exposed and constantly spilling forth Nurglings.
Infestation cults and the sickly often call upon Nurgle for aid in spreading their plagues. The lives of the Imperium's citizens are threatened by contagion spread throughout a hive or planet, a foe most weapons of war are unprepared to battle. The Gifts of Nurgle can make a servant feel welcome and protected. Warm and caring, he protects his children from death by disease, but not its symptoms, in which they learn to revel.
His Daemons, the Plaguebearers, bring new and horrific contagions to cultists to spread among humanity so they can perfect each disease and claim souls for their lord. Plague Zombie outbreaks or Warp incursions often occur if an Infestation cult is allowed to prosper.
The Rogue Trader vessel Glorious Repose was lost in the Warp after it left Landunder en route to Ganf Magna in 810.M38. It arrived three years ago, emerging from Warp on a dangerous collision course with the planet. With the Imperial Navy weeks away, Planetary Defence Force Captain Tilanders boarded the vessel with fifty of his veteran Guardsman. The ship's course was diverted, but upon their return to Ganf Magna, Tilanders demanded that he and his men be placed in isolation, where they remain to this day. Many have died of a horrible contagion seemingly contracted without any human contact. Each victim suffers from different symptoms, and the entire company currently awaits Inquisitorial investigation and execution.
Daemons of Nurgle gain the following when created:
Characteristics: Increase the Daemon's Toughness by +20 and Wounds by +10. Raise the Toughness of a Greater Daemon to a minimum of 75.
Talents: All Daemons of Nurgle gain the Iron Jaw Talent.
Traits: Heralds and Greater Daemons of Nurgle gain Unnatural Toughness (×2).
Weapons: Lesser Daemons and Heralds of Nurgle often wield swords, while Greater Daemons of Nurgle sometimes fight with large maces.
Manifestations: Daemons of Nurgle are putrescent, rotting horrors with plagued, greenish flesh. Lesser Daemons and Heralds of Nurgle are often cyclopean, one-horned, and surrounded by flies. Greater Daemons of Nurgle are grotesquely corpulent, and occasionally sport strange antlers growing out of their heads. Nurgle favours rot, pus, and pestilence in his minions, and their skin is usually covered in warts, buboes, and boils. It is not uncommon for a Daemon of Nurgle to have its intestines hanging out of its belly and dragging on the ground.
|1-25||Plaguesword: This servant of the Plaguefather wields a blade that weeps virulent ichor and drips with disease. The Daemon carries a Plaguesword (see page 102).|
|26-35||Pus-Filled Buboes: The Daemon's skin is covered with quivering, bacteria-laden pockets of flesh just aching to burst. Whenever the Daemon is damaged by a melee attack, the attacking character must make a Hard (-20) Agility Test or Hard (-20) Toughness Test (player's choice) to get out of the way of the spray of pus that comes flying from the wound. If the Agility Test is failed, the character takes 1d10 damage that bypasses any armour that is not environmentally sealed.|
|36-45||Distended Entrails: The Daemon's own guts hang from his midsection, swinging about when he laughs or moves. The Daemon adds 1 to its Fear Rating (to a maximum of 4). In addition, it reduces the effective total of any Critical Damage it suffers to its body by its Toughness Bonus (to a minimum of 0).|
|46-60||Vomitous Corruption: The Daemon vomits forth a potent, virulent sickness. The Daemon makes a Ballistic Skill Test as a Half Action, which the target can attempt to dodge but cannot parry. If successful the Daemon does 1d10+TB energy damage to the target. This damage bypasses any armour not environmentally sealed, and in lieu of critical damage does 3d10 Toughness damage.|
|61-80||Plague Carrier: This Daemon is a walking epidemic. Any attacks made with the Daemon's natural weapons (or with the Daemon's Plaguesword, if it has one) have a chance to transmit a plague or infection. If a character is damaged with one of these attacks have him make a Difficult (-10) Toughness Test. If the character fails this Test he contracts a terrible Disease (see page 99) which immediately progresses to Stage One.|
|81-00||Fly Swarm: A swarm of flies surrounds the Daemon, buzzing and biting at any foe that gets too close. All characters in melee or point blank range with the Daemon take a -10 to all actions.|
|1-22||Harbinger of the Fly Lord: All Daemons of Nurgle who can see the Herald gain the True Grit Talent and the Regeneration (3) trait, if they do not already have them. This daemon is often accompanied by 2d10 Lesser Daemons of Nurgle.|
|23-44||Beast Keeper: The Daemon is accompanied by 1d5 Beasts of Nurgle and can command them with a Free Action. The Beasts love the Herald and will refuse to move out of sight of the Herald.|
|45-66||Palanquin-Carried: The daemon spreads plague and pestilence atop a palanquin made of rotting boards carried by dozens of Nurglings (see page 98). Nurglings spill forth from the Palanquin and the Herald of Nurgle may, as a Free Action, order the Nurglings to attack. The Nurglings will hurl their own offal at everything nearby. This is treated as an Area Effect attack with a range of 10 metres. Those caught in the area may choose to use their Toughness to avoid damage instead of Agility. This attack deals 1d10 Toxic damage that bypasses armour that is not environmentally sealed.|
|67-00||Greater Gift: Roll for, or choose, a trait from Table 4-13: Greater Gifts of Nurgle.|
|1-12||Cloud of Flies: The Daemon is rurrounded by a huge cloud of buzzing insects. Characters must re-roll successful melee attacks made against this Daemon.|
|13-25||Grandfather's Laughter: The Daemon bellows with a rumbling, hideous, gurgling laughter that frays the very edges of the mortal mind. Any mortal who can hear it must make a Difficult (-10) Willpower Test on the Daemon's turn each round or gain 1d5 Insanity Points.|
|26-38||Nurgle's Rot: The claws and teeth of this Daemon contain Nurgle's most devastating pestilences. Any character damaged by the Daemon's natural weaponry must succeed at a Hard (-20) Toughness Test or contract a random disease (see page 99) with a +1 Virulence Rating.|
|39-51||Nurgling Host: The Daemon has a mass of cruel and disgusting minor daemons living inside of it. On the first round of combat, at the beginning of the daemon's turn, 1d5 Nurglings pour out of the daemon's swollen and distended belly (see Nurglings, page 98). Each round of combat thereafter roll 1d10: 1-6 nothing happens, 7-8 another Nurgling pops out, 9-10 1d5 more Nurglings burst out of the daemon.|
|52-64||Plaguefather's Persistence: No matter how many times the Daemon's guts spill out there always seems to be more. The Daemon gains Regeneration 10.|
|65-77||Tainted Trail: Any place the Greater Daemon passes over becomes a blasted wasteland of disgusting foulness. Any character standing on, or moving over, ground so polluted must make a Challenging (+0) Toughness Test or take 1d10 damage (this damage bypasses armour that is not environmentally sealed).|
|78-90||Nurgle's Resilience: Increase the Daemon's Unnatural Toughness trait by one.|
|91-00||Sorcerer: This Greater Daemon knows mystical secrets of the Old Father. It gains a Psy Rating of 6 and may choose a Psychic Discipline to have mastered and knows all Psychic Powers of that Discipline.|
Quite possibly the most disgusting creatures in existence, Nurglings are covered in horns, pustules, and tumours. The lowest servants of Nurgle, these diminutive yet corpulent daemons chatter and squabble amongst themselves, seeming to take delight in malicious mischief. They support the followers of their blasphemous deity in battle by swarming over foes, biting and blinding them. Often Nurglings act as chortling servants, bearing champions of decay into combat atop pestilential palanquins made up of rotted boards.
Skills: Awareness (Per) +20.
Traits: Daemonic (TB 4), Fear 1, From Beyond, Improved Natural Weapon, Natural Weapon (Teeth), Size (Scrawny), Warp Instability.
Weapons: Teeth (1d10+1 R, Toxic); A victim who suffers damage from a Nurgling's bite must pass a Toughness Test or contract a virulent disease (see Diseases and Infections Sidebar on page 99).
Threat Rating: Malleus Minima.
These foul, slug-like beasts trail slime behind them wherever they go. They often appear in packs alongside Plaguebearers, and their needle-like teeth and massive jaws are as sharp and dangerous as Plagueswords. Excited by the decay and destruction that follows in their wake, they rush at targets gleefully, playing with them like a dog might. Their "playful" attacks, however, are no less deadly for their casual appearance.
Traits: Daemonic (TB 10), Fear 2, From Beyond, Improved Natural Weapon, Natural Weapon (Teeth), Size (Hulking), Warp Instability.
Weapons: Teeth (1d10+5 R, Toxic); A victim who suffers damage from a Beast of Nurgle's bite must pass a Toughness Test or contract a virulent disease (see Diseases and Infections Sidebar on page 99).
Threat Rating: Malleus Majoris.
The galaxy is filled with all manner of plague and pestilence. Diseases and infections are serious concerns for Acolytes operating in the Calixis Sector. Each disease is unique, and curing them is often of the utmost importance.
Virulence Rating: This is the severity of the disease. Each level of Virulence past the first imposes a cumulative -10 modifier on any Toughness or Medicae Tests made to resist or cure the disease.
Incubation Period: This is the length of time it takes for the disease to go from one stage to the next.
Characteristic Damage: This is the Characteristic that suffers damage as a result of the disease.
A character may attempt a Extended Care Medicae Test (see page 104 of the Dark Heresy Rulebook) to counter the effects of the infection once per stage. Any character that has prolonged exposure to an infected character should be required to make an Initial Contact Test (at the GM's discretion). A character that has been infected with a disease cannot contract the same disease again.
|Name||Virulence Rating||Incubation Period||Characteristic Damage||Effect|
|Bone Ague||2||2 days||Strength or Weapon Skill||The victim's bones painfully twist and warp. Strenous exertion becomes increasingly difficult.|
|Creeping Buboes||3||4 days||Fellowship||This disease manifests as hideous and painful sores, bursting with black, foul-smelling bile.|
|Eye Rot||2||3 days||Perception or Ballistic Skill||The character's eyes fill with liquid, blurring and distorting vision.|
|Ochre Pox||3||5 hours||Toughness||This pox causes ochre brown spots and pulsating pimples.|
|Grey Fever||1||1 week||Intelligence or Willpower||There are no visible outward signs of this plague, but the unfortunate character's brain begins to waste away.|
|The Shakes||2||1 day||Agility||This disease causes uncontrollable shaking fits.|
Dripping with poisons and disease distilled from contagions from across the galaxy (and some places unimaginable), the Plaguesword is capable of felling even the most powerful of the Emperor's servants. Favoured by the Plaguebearers of Nurgle, these weapons are most commonly rusting glaives, although maces or short spears have also been reported by the unlucky survivors of an attack.
The GM may wish to have the weapon cause a disease (see page 99) rather than having the Toxic Quality.
|Plaguesword||Mele||1d10+1 R||2||Balanced, Toxic||4kg||—||Very Rare|
|Warhammer Fantasy||Third Citadel Compendium; WFRP (1st ed); RoC: Slaves to Darkness; RoC: The Lost and the Damned; Beasts of Chaos; Blightwar; Malign Portents website|
|Man O' War||Plague Fleet|
|Mordheim||Empire in Flames|
|Warhammer 40,000||Warhammer 40,000 (1993); Codex: Chaos (1996); Codex: Chaos Space Marines (1999); Chapter Approved 2001; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2002); Codex: Eye of Terror; Chapter Approved 2004; Imperial Armour 5; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2007); Imperial Armour: Apocalypse (2007); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2008); Imperial Armour 6; Imperial Armour 7; Imperial Armour: Aeronautica; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2012); Codex: Dark Angels (2013); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013); Stronghold Assault; Codex: Imperial Knights (2014); Dataslate: Helbrutes; Codex: Militarum Tempestus (2014); Imperial Armour 13; Codex: Imperial Knights (2015); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2016); Codex: Traitor Legions; Warhammer 40,000 (2017); Dark Imperium; Index: Chaos; First Strike; Codex: Space Marines (2017); Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2017); Codex: Grey Knights (2017); Plague Brethren; Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (2017); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2018); Codex: T'au Empire (2018); Tales from Vigilus webpages|
|Epic||Adeptus Titanicus; Space Marine (1st ed); Codex Titanicus; Renegades; Titan Legions; Epic 40,000|
|Kill Team||Dolorous Strain|
|White Dwarf||Oct 1988 (#106); Dec 1988 (#108); Jan 1989 (#109); May 1989 (#113); Jun 1989 (#114); Nov 1989 (#119); Jan 1990 (#121); Feb 1990 (#122); Apr 1990 (#124); May 1990 (#125); Dec 1990 (#132); Jan 2002 (#265)|
|Citadel Journal||Jul 1994 (#4); Mar 1995 (#8); May 1995 (#9); Dec 1995 (#12); Sep 1996 (#17); Nov 1996 (#18); Aug 1997 (#21); Apr 1998 (#25); Jun 1998 (#26); Aug 1998 (#27); Oct 1998 (#28); May 1999 (#32); Jan 2002 (#48)|
|Battlefleet Gothic Magazine||Nov 2002 (#12); Aug 2003 (#16)|
|Black Library Novels|
|Warhammer 40,000||Ravenor Returned; HH54: Buried Dagger|
|Fantasy Flight Games|
|Dark Heresy||Shattered Hope; Dark Heresy (1st ed); Disciples of the Dark Gods; Creatures Anathema; Radical's Handbook; Daemon Hunter; Dark Heresy (2nd ed); Game Master's Kit (2nd ed); Forgotten Gods; Enemies Within; Enemies Beyond|
|Rogue Trader||Rogue Trader; Citadel of Skulls; Battlefleet Koronus; Koronus Bestiary; Navis Primer; Stars of Inequity|
|Deathwatch||Mark of the Xenos; Achilus Assault; First Founding; Jericho Reach; Rising Tempest|
|Black Crusade||Black Crusade; Game Master's Kit; Hand of Corruption; Tome of Fate; Tome of Blood; Tome of Excess; Tome of Decay|
|Only War||Enemies of the Imperium|