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White Dwarf 125 (May 1990), p17 — Ystareth - Plague Daemon

"Know, Harmis, that every nation on earth is but appearance and illusion... What can it matter to the masters of Chaos, if a world such as yours were here, or gone, or never here at all?"

Ystareth was once a human being, who had entered voluntarily into the service of Nurgle, the Lord of Decay, to become a champion of plague and pestilence. The motive behind this obscene act was revenge - Prince Faramond had been indirectly responsible for Ystareth's brother's death, and in a fit of anger the estranged sibling had made a pact with the Powers of Chaos for the power to exact terrible and bloody revenge.

Warped by bitter and angry feelings more than any effects of worship, what was once a human form became twisted and disease-ridden. The newly-initiated champion's body became bloated in the image of Nurgle himself, and the stench of decay and foetid odour of death smothered the last remnants of normality.

Ystareth is the true name - given by Nurgle himself - of this Champion of Chaos, who by sheer force of will has risen to the heady ranks of Daemon almost immediately, rather than suffer the ritual gathering of a warband in an attempt to gain favour with the Chaos Power of pestilence and plague.

Ystareth has conceived a plan of such proportions, a plan that will bring the decaying realm of Nurgle to the Border Princes in all its putrefying glory, that everything Ystareth needs to exact revenge on the claret-and-gold livery of Faramond has been provided.

Ystareth appears exactly as a Greater Daemon of Nurgle. However, Ystareth has none of a Greater Daemon's abilities other than those given here. Although eventually destined to become a Greater Daemon, Ystareth still has some way to go to reach such a level of power.

The obvious way to use Ystareth is as an enemy for the characters. If you plan to do so, then reading the novel is the first step - it explains the way that the Daemon plans to carry out its attack on Faramond's realm, and how it can move amongst the unsuspecting populace clothed in the magic of illusion. Ystareth is not always so recognisable...


Ystareth has 2 APs on all locations. Ystareth can make 4 claw, 1 bite or gore, and 1 stamp attack - successful bite and claw attacks cause infected wounds.

Every time a non-magical weapon hits Ystareth its damage modifier value is reduced by -1 as the weapon rots away.

Any living creature in combat with Ystareth runs the risk of catching Nurgle's Rot.

Spells: Ystareth has a spell pool of 5 randomly determined spells - the first spell of each level will be a Spell of Nurgle. For ease of play, Ystareth starts with the following spells:

In addition, Ystareth can assume an illusionary appearance at will. It may be maintained under all circumstances except spellcasting and will mask both Ystareth's appearance and stench. A character must make a successful Intelligence test at -25 to realise something is wrong and see through Ystareth's disguise.