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Codex: Chaos Daemons (2018), p60 — Beasts of Nurgle

Slithering Vessels of Contagion, Slime Hounds

The creatures known as Beasts of Nurgle are so ugly that a mere glimpse of their diseased forms is enough to make a mortal vomit. However, it is an appearance that is totally at odds with their friendly and energetic demeanour. This is because Beasts of Nurgle are incarnations of the Plague Lord's own bountiful exuberance, which is in turn a manifestation of all mortals' desire for vigorous life, social interaction, affection and fertile endeavour.

In character, Beasts of Nurgle are much like energetic, attention-starved puppies. They often accompany Nurgle's Legions into battle, flyblown tongues lolling out of putrid mouths as they bounce back and forth to attract the attention of Grandfather Nurgle's favourite sons, hoping for a pat on the back, a rub of the belly or some other scrap of attention. When happy, Beasts of Nurgle wag their slug-like tails back and forth. When over-excited (which is most of the time) they leave little puddles of caustic slime behind them. Beasts of Nurgle are affectionate creatures that love nothing more than to bound up to potential new playmates and slobber all over them. Those who foolishly run away from the Beasts of Nurgle in an attempt to escape only serve in rousing the creatures' instinctive enthusiasm, for they simply cannot resist a good game of chase, bounding after their panicked friends with phlegm-choked barks of excitement.

Unbeknownst to the cheerful but dim-witted Daemons, their bodies are dripping with a whole host of virulent plagues and contagions. Even the proximity of a Beast of Nurgle is enough to spell death for small animals and plants. The mere touch of a such a creature is quickly fatal to most mortals, causing aggressive diseases to run rampant through their bodies at an accelerated pace. Soon the victim falls silent and still, already decaying under the malign influence of Nurgle's infections.

The Beasts of Nurgle only register a fleeting sense of disappointment at their new friend's lack of spirit, and will quickly grow bored of their game, eagerly searching for new playmates upon which to lavish their lethal devotion. More gruesome still are those times when the simple-minded Beasts of Nurgle mistake their victim's convulsive throes for a new game - eager to join in the fun, they quickly drop to the ground to roll around as well, crushing their poor friends' ravaged bodies to a pulp in the process. When the Beasts of Nurgle finally right themselves, they find that their playmates have mysteriously disappeared from sight. Assuming that they've been abandoned, they set about a pathetic, heartfelt whimpering - that is until they are distracted by the pool of gruesome fluids that has inexplicably appeared about them, which they set to lapping up with relish.

'By the time ye bones begin to rot,
Gribbleworms are still there,
But you are not...'

— Nonsense rhyme of Gryst, the ill-fated Sloppity Bilepiper