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White Dwarf 119 (Nov 1989), p18 — Nurgle

Nurgle is the Great Lord of Decay. He is also the Lord of All, because all things, no matter how solid and permanent they seem, are liable to physical corruption. Indeed, the very processes of construction and creation foreshadow destruction and decay. The palace of today is tomorrow's ruin, the maiden of the morning is the crone of the night, and the hope of a moment is but the foundation stone of everlasting regret.

What is the response of living men to this undeniable and inevitable futility of life? Is it to lie down and accept death and the coming to nought of every endeavour! No it is not! Faced with the inevitability of death what answer can there be but to run through life at a breakneck pace, cramming each day with hope, laughter, noise and bustle? Thus, happiness and human endeavour are sired by a coming to terms with decay and futility. This realisation is the key to understanding the Great Lord of Decay and his worshippers.

Once we comprehend what it is that the Chaos Power Nurgle embodies, it becomes easier to understand what might otherwise seem a contradictory or even perverse nature. On the one hand he is the Lord of Decay, his body wracked with disease; on the other he is full of unexpected energy and a desire to organise and enlighten.

The living know they will die, and many know that they will live with disease or other torment, yet they drive this knowledge into a corner of their minds and keep it pinioned there with all manner of dreams and activity. Nurgle is the embodiment of that knowledge and of the unconscious response to it, of the hidden fear of disease and decay, and of the power of life which that fear generates.

Nurgle is the eternal enemy of the Chaos Power Tzeentch. Nurgle and Tzeentch draw their energy from opposing beliefs. Whereas the energy of Tzeentch comes from hope and changing fortune, that of Nurgle comes from defiance born of despair and hopelessness. The two Great Powers never lose an opportunity to pit their forces against each other.