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Codex: Chaos Daemons (2018), p56 — Epidemius

The Tallyman of Nurgle

The task of cataloguing the potency of Nurgle's many diseases falls to Epidemius, the Lord of Decay's chosen Tallyman. Epidemius is one of the seven Proctors of Pestilence who preside over the massed legions of Plaguebearers that answer Nurgle's call. Borne aloft on a rotten palanquin by a horde of Nurglings, Epidemius moves amongst the Daemons of Nurgle, making note of all the varied afflictions and poxes unleashed into the universe. It is a never-ending task, for Nurgle is constantly creative and his anarchic hordes are ever keen to spread new and wonderful diseases.

Epidemius' Nurglings are not only his means of transportation, but also act as his assistants, secreting ink for his quill, growing parchment-like strips of skin from their backs for their master to tear free, and counting upon a great death's head abacus that grows from the planks of the palanquin. The Nurglings also serve as guards for the Tallyman, biting at the ankles and shins of any who threaten their beloved master. Unlike the usual babble and giggling that accompanies most Nurglings, Epidemius' brood are almost silent. They understand the importance of Epidemius' task and suffer his ire when an ill-timed titter or rasping belch breaks his concentration. Nurgle's Tallyman brooks no idleness or foolishness; hence his passage is accompanied only by the slimy squelching of the palanquin and the gnawing scratch of his quill.

Nurgle's diseases afflict souls as well as bodies, destroying a being's sense of self and moral direction as thoroughly as they ravage the flesh. Epidemius can track the crumbling soul trail of the recently slain, gleaning all manner of knowledge from it, as well as siphoning a portion of the spirit's strength to aid his master's cause. As an offer of thanks, Epidemius' entourage strike bells, the doleful sound celebrating as the spirit leaves for Nurgle's welcoming embrace.

Epidemius can be found wherever Nurgle's pestilent gifts are most bountiful. His corpulent frame - resembling that of an extremely bloated Plaguebearer - is often seen upon the battlefields of realspace, for infected injuries and fresh corpses are fecund breeding grounds for contagion, and the stench attracts Epidemius like a fly to a rotten wound. Amidst the raging conflict, Epidemius surveys the spread of filth and decay from his lofty perch, taking careful note of every bubo, pustule and sore. Even as Epidemius writes, Grandfather Nurgle becomes aware of his findings, distilling the information for future experiments and brews. The more notes Epidemius makes, the more the Lord of Decay's attention is drawn to him, and the greater the blessings bestowed upon his pestilent legions. To better observe the spread of disease, Epidemius orders his palanquin carried to the front lines, where the Nurgling bearers and the obese Herald angrily strike out at any foes that get close enough to disturb the Tallyman's work.