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Plaguebearers are the footsoldiers of Nurgle's daemonic legions. These loathsome creatures are crafted from the blighted souls of mortals who have been slain by the virulent plague known as Nurgle's Rot. These Lesser Daemons of the Lord of Decay are shambling, pustulent creatures. Plaguebearers have gangling, bony limbs, their bodies swollen with decay, so much so that glistening innards are exposed through rents in their skin. They possess a single, cyclopean eye and a single horn rising above their haggard, drawn faces, their bodies covered in filth and parasites. Despite the Plaguebearer's unusual appearance, they are supernaturally resilient to harm, the gifts of their master having inured them to all pain. Plaguebearers are constantly surrounded by clouds of droning flies and chant monotonous hymns, their gait a staggering lope. Their sonorous voices attempt to keep count of the number of noxious plagues unleashed by Nurgle; an impossible task, for the Grandfather of Plagues constantly invents new strains of viruses. They also serve as the "Tallymen of Nurgle," eternally bound to record all of their Dark God’s pestilential creations. Many believe that Plaguebearers are in fact created by such diseases, incubating within plague victims and feeding upon their dying energies, only to later fully emerge from their heaped bodies.
For some individuals, the greatest terror is the failure of the mortal shell. Decay, pestilence, and rot are constants in a galaxy populated with an uncountable number of living souls. Life begets filth and plague, and in a twisted mockery of this fact, it is human life which begets the Lesser Daemons of the Lord of Flies. When Nurgle's ubiquitous plague known as Nurgle's Rot consumes the body of a human victim, the soul is likewise consumed. This process brings into being the wretched Plaguebearers. These one-eyed daemons appear as frail, wasted human bodies with bloated stomachs, long gangling arms, and broad mouths full of broken fangs and dripping with infectious spittle. Their foreheads are peaked with a single ivory horn, crusted with dried blood, mucus and pus. In their gnarled hands, they carry thick, rusty cleavers known as Plagueswords and broad slashing blades which they use on the battlefield to spread their virulent infections. Surrounded by a thick cloud of enormous black flies, they are a horrific foe, even from across the field of battle, as their host buzzes with the wings of the flies and rumbling with a dolorous dirge. The body of a Plaguebearer appears weak and fragile, but their constant exposure to the vilest concoctions of Nurgle's cauldron has made them unnaturally resilient. Inured to pain, ignorant of the idea of injury, they fight on, even laughing at the sight of their own dismemberment.
The attitude of a Plaguebearer is often more frightening to mortals than their appearance. They solemnly drudge along, steady in the suffering and despair they cause. This is not some sadistic pleasure, like that of Slaanesh, but rather a determined appreciation of Nurgle's genius, a devotion to his art and an acknowledgment of the eventual disintegration of all things. Their wish to spread disease is driven by their wish to share their Father's gifts with the galaxy. As they march, they chant out the list of poxes, plagues, and pestilence their Father has created, ever certain in their growing number and increasing virulence. Bands of Plaguebearers are the most organised and efficient of Daemons upon the battlefield, shambling purposefully towards a chosen foe before hacking them apart with Plagueswords. Flies continually buzz around them, therefore making them more difficult to fight. The many diseases carried by these daemons can be used to terrible effect during battle. Should a foe endure long enough to strike back, his blows will have little effect on the Plaguebearers. Their corrupted forms feel no pain and regenerate damage at a frightening rate.
Duties of a PlaguebearerEdit
It is the Plaguebearer’s eternal role to herd Nurgle’s daemonic forces in battle. Other tasks of the Plaguebearers include keeping stock of the diseases, allocating appropriate fates to each new victim and attempting to maintain order among a naturally chaotic horde. They also constantly strive to number the poxes and represent the need of humanity to impose order on a chaotic and uncaring universe. These onerous duties have earned Plaguebearers the title of Nurgle’s Tallymen in popular lore.
- Black Crusade: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 13, 355-356
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (6th Edition), pg. 47
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition), pp. 34, 52
- Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter (RPG), pg. 92
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pg. 112
- Realm of Chaos: Lost and the Damned (1st Edition)
- White Dwarf 274 (UK), "Index Malleus: Daemon of the Warp"
- Games Workshop Catalogue: Plaugebearers of Nurgle
- Games Workshop Catalogue: Plaguebearers of Nurgle Command