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The Tome of Decay (2014), p132 — Encounter 3: The Tallyman

While the Miren swarms bubbling up from the surface might be tainted by the Warp and have vile ichor pumping through their stinking veins, other occupants of the surface of Mire are entirely of the Beyond. As such, the servants of Nurgle are wont to appear as if from nowhere, fading into existence according to the fickle tides of the Warp and the waxing and waning of their patrons power. Unlike manifestations in the material universe, on Mire, deep as it is in the Inner Ring of the Screaming Vortex, Daemons do not require a mortal host to possess in order to appear and may do so according to their own, unknowable whims.

As the Heretics press on, they encounter one or more Plaguebearers of Nurgle, as described on page 355-356 of the Black Crusade Core Rulebook. To set the scene, read or paraphrase the following aloud:

Marching ever onwards through the acid green fog, you grow aware of a low, sonorous chanting emanating from somewhere up ahead. The sound grows louder as you approach, until at length you begin to discern individual words. Each is name, a word of power spoken in one of the many tongues of the dwellers in the Warp. You may or may not know the exact meaning of each name, but the intent is clear, for at the sound of each, a wave of sickness passes through you, each subtly different from the last. It soon becomes clear that the words are the names of the myriad blessings of the Plague God, and they are being spoken by one of his servants, the so-called "tallymen": a Plaguebearer.

As you approach still further, you come upon the Daemon. It is a mound of decay, its form vaguely humanoid but its green flesh sloughing from it. Its head bears a single eye and one twisted horn, and its leering mouth is recanting the names of its master's blessings with such joy that it grins and drools with each new utterance. At length, the Plaguebearer senses your approach, and slows its chant before falling silent.

"Speak, mortals," it says, "Or depart my master's domain."

Exactly how the Heretics react to the ominous appearance of the Plaguebearer is up to the players. Those dedicated to Ruinous Powers other than Nurgle might be driven to attack it, while others might prefer to avoid contact entirely. Heretics possessed of the blessings of the Plague God might attempt to communicate with the Daemon in some manner and to some end, or even to turn it to their service, for a time at least. The details are left to the players to concoct and the Game Master to accommodate, or not, accordingly.

As with many of the other encounters presented in this part of the adventure, the Game Master can use this one more than once should he wish. He can modify it further by having more than one Plaguebearer present, especially if the Heretics determine to fight it or provoke it.