The Destroyer Hive takes the form of Warp-spawned daemonic flies that spread the virulent disease known as the Destroyer Plague, said to be the most vile and deadly of Nurgle's plagues. Destroyer Plague drones are minor daemons of the Plague Lord, very similar in anatomy to his Rot Flies. Typhus, the Herald of Nurgle, is the living host of the Destroyer Hive and the terrible plague that lays dormant within each diminuitive angel of decay, just waiting to pass on the blessings of rot and entropy to all they touch.
During the early years of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium, Calas Typhon hailed from the Death Guard Legion's toxic homeworld of Barbarus. Typhon possessed the blood of the mutant psyker warlords that had ruled the planet before being defeated by Mortarion, the Death Guard's Primarch, who had been exiled to Barbarus through the Warp from Terra by the Dark Gods. When the Emperor reclaimed His lost son Mortarion from the poisonous mists of Barbarus, and reunited him with the the superhuman warriors born from his gene-seed, Typhon was amongst those chosen to join their ranks. Such was his strength of mind and body that Mortarion soon favoured Typhon above all others, elevating him to the rank of First Captain of the Death Guard Legion.
It was whilst on crusade with the Word Bearers Legion that Typhon learned of a different path for the Legiones Astartes to follow, a future where his hard-won psychic abilities would be a source of greatness instead of a taboo to be hidden from sight. The foremost Chaplain of the Word Bearers, Erebus, inducted Typhon into the secrets of the Seven Pillared Lodge, one of the Warrior Lodges that had begun to spread throughout the Space Marine Legions in the later days of the Great Crusade. It was during this time that Typhon caught a glimpse of what the Space Marines could truly become if they shrugged off the yoke of the Emperor's ambitions.
Perhaps Typhon's revelation was instrumental in Mortarion's own fall to the Ruinous Powers; perhaps Mortarion would have walked a dark path on his own. Either way, the troubled Death Guard Primarch saw a worthy master in Horus, whereas in the Emperor he saw only a self-serving and pompous pretender who had stolen Mortarion's hard-won kingship in a single day. As the heresy that Horus initiated slowly but surely escalated into a galactic civil war, Mortarion ordered his fleet to head for Terra with all haste, intending for the Death Guard to join the other Traitor Legions in the destruction of the False Emperor. By this point, Typhon served one master alone, and it was not his Primarch. Typhon had seen to it that the fleet's Navigators were killed to a man, but reassured Mortarion that the Warp-gift he possessed would see them through their journey in the Empyrean safe enough. Though he hated the concept of relying on witchery, Mortarion was left with little choice. The Death Guard fleet made transition into the Warp, and in the process damned themselves to an eternity of war as the puppets of a foul and ancient god.
In leading the Death Guard into the Warp, Typhon had delivered them into the clutches of his new master, Nurgle, the Lord of Decay. The strange tides of the Empyrean are notoriously fickle, and during their voyage the entire fleet was becalmed. As their warships lingered, directionless and without hope, the cloying influence of Father Nurgle began to take hold. The Death Guard were subjected to the terrible infection of the Destroyer Plague and Nurgle's Rot, as Nurgle's power managed to infiltrate the vessels of the XIV Legion. It polluted the vessels themselves as easily as it did the warriors within. Before long, fat devil-flies buzzed through the thickening miasma inside each warship. Where they bit at the desperate warriors trapped within, flesh turned to suppurating jelly. The daemon-venom of their stings caused flesh to blossom into hard new growths. Bellies distended and eyes ran like cracked eggs; even Power Armour melded and flowed into strange new shapes. Here, the superhuman resilience of the Death Guard proved their enemy, for they could not simply die. Instead, they were slowly, sickeningly transformed into Plague Marines, their souls claimed by Nurgle in exchange for a permanent release from their pain. Typhon, having orchestrated this grand corruption, was rewarded most of all.
Swelling in size, his skin and armour became one. Great funnels of pestilential bone burst from his body. Into these poured thousands of Nurgle's daemon-flies, gnawing him from the inside out until his rotten shell teemed and heaved with squirming life. Typhon became a great hollow colony of disease-carrying insects. The bone funnels that sprouted from his back coughed black decay as Nurgle's servants regurgitated the psychic energies pulsing through what was left of his herald's body. Typhus, Host of the Destroyer Hive, had been born, most blessed and most cursed of all his repugnant kin. Since that bygone era, Typhus has visited a hundred thousand diseases upon the Imperium of Man. The Destroyer Plague is without doubt the most virulent of all, though fortunately its vector of daemonic insects means that it is of limited use when infecting entire star systems.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 61
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 55
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 53
- Warhammer 40,000: Warlords of the Dark Millennium - Typhus, pp. 10, 24-25
- White Dwarf 282 (UK), "Heroes & Villains of the 41st Millennium - Typhus the Traveller"