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"Indeed the very process of construction and creation foreshadows 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." — The Lost and the Damned
Nurgle is the name given to the malevolent, demonic deity of decay and despair in the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes. He is called the Plague Father, the Fly Lord, the Great Corruptor, the Plague Lord, the Master of Pestilence, the Lord of Decay, and sometimes affectionately referred to by his followers as Papa Nurgle or Grandfather Nurgle.
He is one of four chief deities in the pantheon of Chaos Gods; these alien beings are the object of worship by the mortal forces of Chaos, and in turn direct the forces of Chaos to their own ends. These gods seek to destroy and envelop the mortal universe and replace it with their own twisted version of reality.
Nurgle was born from the mortal reactions to imminent suffering and death (the most common being despairing acceptance and morbidly cheerful fatalism), and embodies the eternal cycle of creation and destruction. He is the chaos god of death and rebirth to tenebrous life, despair and acceptance, rot and decay, and destruction and stagnation.
His forces are infamous as legions of diseased followers and demons, which are invariably physically twisted with disease and horribly grotesque. An army loyal to Nurgle is a disgusting sight who takes their horrible conditions as a twisted "blessing". Despite his evil nature Nurgle is often considered the most paternal of the chaos gods who watches over his followers like children; though like all chaos deities, he is a twisted god whose blessings are hazardous at best.
While Nurgle and his daemonic legions are some of the most horrifying creatures to come from the nether realms, their dispositions, in contrast, are jovial and friendly. As a god of suffering, Nurgle and his followers delight in bestowing his "gifts" to enemies and unsuspecting populations, seeing (or perhaps interpreting) their cries of agony as gratitude.
Plague Marines are Chaos Space Marinesdedicated to Nurgle. Their vile armor hides bodies which are bloated with disease and corruption, often stinking of decay. Their weaponry and equipment may be pitted with decay and corroding away, but they are still terrifying opponents. They have an inhuman tolerance for pain, enduring injuries that would cripple other Marines, their nerves dulled by disease or even partly rotted away. Plague Marines normally appear armed with some manner of boltgun with which they unleash a steady rain of firepower, but may carry other weapons. They also often arm themselves with some form of close-combat blade that can communicate Nurgle's Rot to the victim. They make up much of the numbers of the Death Guard Chaos Space Marine Legion, but not all Plague Marines are Death Guard; any Chaos Space Marine who dedicates himself to Nurgle may become a Plague Marine.
Champions Of Nurgle
A Champion of Nurgle is a warrior or sorcerer who has dedicated themselves to the service of the chaos god, motivated by greed or power-lust (amongst countless other mortal flaws) these people offer their body and spirits to Nurgle and only a few are accepted - to please Chaos an individual often has to perform a deed of considerable merit in the eyes of Nurgle to recieve his Mark Of Chaos - from that day onward a Champion's life becomes a never-ending campaign of battle as they serve the will of their dark lord: as a "reward" for their continued service they are mutated continually throughout their service - eventually climaxing in the individual mutating into a mindless Chaos Spawn or ascending to the status of an immortal Daemon Prince.
Typhus, Herald Of Nurgle
one of Nurgle's most prized champions - please see Typhus for more information on this vile villain.
Nurglings are vile little monsters fashioned after the Great Unclean Ones but so small they are dwarved by almost all other races - little most servants of Nurgle they are joyful and mischievious and love to attend to the Great Unclean Ones or Champions of Nurgle and make the care of their chosen masters a personal concern: however due to their mischievious nature they can't be trusted on certain jobs as they often bicker and squabble.
Beasts Of Nurgle
Beasts of Nurgle are huge, happy, slug-like creatures that slither across the battlefield leaving a trail of slime behind them. They incarnate the Plague Lord's bountiful excitement and show a friendy nature utterly at odds with the consequences it brings about. The beasts are propelled forward with undulating ripples and clawed flipper and include fronds of writhing tentacles that sprout from their blob-like heads and which expel vomit-inducing gases, clouds of flies and deadly fluids: these poisonous tentacles are used to hug and wrap the "playmates" they find in battles, unwittingly causing their deaths. When their "friend" lies dead or dying the Beast moves on - searching for a new subject to play with.
Plaguebearers are the Lesser Daemons of Nurgle and are born from the energy of mortals who have succumbed to Nurgle's Rot - they manifest as foul, cyclopean beings with rotten flesh who are surrounded by swarms of flies - each Plaguebearer chants the disease and plagues of Nurgle continually: if a mortal listens to this chant they often fall ill. Despite their diseased appearance Plaguebearers are extremely tough and lethal in battle due to their otherworldly nature.
Rot Flies are daemonic flying mounts created when former Beasts of Nurgle mutate into insect-like creatures so abhorrent that it is said their very appearance can scar the mind. Rot Flies are among Nurgle's most loathsome creations, and only the Black Library of Chaos speaks of the process by which they are created. Hatching from within the Garden of Nurgle, some Beasts of Nurgle develop bitterness at the rag-doll inactivity of their mortal playthings. This eventually leads to frustration and ultimately an aching resentment. Over the millennia, a seed of malice grows within the Beast's heart, and the final straw comes when the Beast is betrayed unto death by those it wishes to call its friends. Seeking reconciliation, the Beast will put side its doubts and charge at its mortal target. Should it fall in the attempt and be banished back into the Warp, where it is then dropped into the Garden of Nurgle out of despair it can not return to its mortal plaything festers into a cocoon that will eventually give birth to a putrid fly. These flies have a number of horrifying abilities, such as spraying corrosive acid onto victims to liquefy them, allowing their remains to be sucked up and digested.
Rot Flies are often used as mounts by high-ranking Plaguebearers, forming squadrons of Plague Drones.
Great Unclean OneGreat Unclean Ones are the Greater Daemons of Nurgle. They are massive and bloated with disease and decay, their rotten, boil-covered flesh exposes open wounds, where their organs spill out, hanging across their form and adding to their terrifying appearance. They usually carry a blade known as a Plague Sword into battle. These massive, rusted blades are said to be dipped in the foul pus and disease at the base of Nurgle's throne.
They can endure tremendous amounts of damage before being defeat and many can't even bare to look at one, let alone fight them. Great Unclean Ones are unlike the Great Daemons of other Powers, in that where the latter are essentially just immensely powerful servants, the Great Unclean Ones are each personfications of Nurgle himself, both physically and in terms of their personality. In other words, every Great Unclean One is also Nurgle - thus followers often refer to these daemons as 'Nurgle' or 'Father Nurgle'. Despite their completely bloated and putrid appearance, Great Unclean Ones are not the stereotypical tyrants demons are painted as in other media, in stead they seem to have a twisted sense of sentimentality towards their followers: referring to them as their "children" and taking great pride in their many misdeeds.