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Codex: Chaos Daemons (2018), p59 — Nurglings

Mites of Father Nurgle

The innards of a Great Unclean One are best not pondered, for such gastric caverns are not places that sane men wish to consider for too long. It is in these churning depths that the Nurglings are created. Starting as small blobs of indescribably foul matter, Nurglings are nourished by the pulsating juices of a Great Unclean One's inner organs, growing into small facsimiles of Nurgle himself until they plop into existence as spiteful, rotund imps.

For most of their existence, Nurglings congregate around the Great Unclean One that created them. They clamber across his bulk seeking comfortable pools of liquids and warm spots under the folds of rotting flesh. Eager for attention, Nurglings chatter to their master incessantly, picking at his scabs and hoping for a fatherly belch of appreciation. Some of Nurgle's favoured Heralds are accompanied to battle by seething tides of these diminutive monsters; those most vaunted in his sight are carried in a palanquin which is borne aloft on a carpet of Nurglings. When not moving the palanquin, the grotesque imps will scurry around making gifts of small trinkets they find; dead animals, rotting bones, particularly splendid fungi and other such presents as they think will please their master.

Nurglings are mischievous little creatures, and when they aren't squabbling with each other or vying for attention, they are typically making a nuisance of themselves by spreading boils, spoiling foodstuffs, or else leaving slippery piles of filth for unsuspecting mortals to step in. Of all Daemons, it is Nurglings that most vex the Plaguebearers; driven by the instinct to record and codify, the Lesser Daemons of Nurgle find the capricious, trouble-causing nature of Nurglings impossible to fathom. Whilst Great Unclean Ones look upon their pestilent children with affection, the sombre Plaguebearers view them as a constant distraction.

Nurglings are rarely a formal part of any of the Plague Legions, but instead they tag along, cavorting upon the heels of the commanding Great Unclean One or scampering amongst the Heralds and troop formations. They are very protective creatures and will gleefully launch themselves at foes that threaten them or their friends. They swarm forwards in a rush of malevolence, spilling over their victims like an irrepressible tide. Possessed of pointed teeth and sharp claws, the Nurglings swallow up their enemies in a mound of biting, scratching bodies. Such small wounds as are inflicted by these minuscule creatures would be inconsequential were it not for the lively toxins and contagions from which the Nurglings are made, which quickly infect and mortify even the slightest injury.

Since the coming of the Great Rift and the outpouring of warp energies into the galaxy, Nurglings have become far more prevalent in realspace. Several new diseases, including the latest strains of the Zombie Plague, are so virulent that they allow Nurglings to develop inside those afflicted. When the malevolent creatures slop forth - eating their way out or perhaps bursting from a cyst - they do their best to spread even more diseases.