Despite its consistent generosity, only an enlightened few truly embrace Nurgle's greatness among men and aliens. Centipedes, slugs, and a thousand other poisonous pests infest the decomposing mulch. Their words cannot encompass the horror of the truth. It is Nurgle that gives weak mortals the strength to resist the lies of the Ecclesiarchy and others. Such is the paradox of Nurgle. They are bound to a world where nothing is permanent – in future aeons, even the great Fauschlag, upon which Middenheim is built, will be worn away to dust. At first, their astrally-projected forms appeared to be able to pass through the grasping foliage of Nurgle's garden with ease. Grand staircases decorated with moth-eaten rugs beckon to wandering souls, leading them to chambers where daemons are glad to receive new, fresh flesh. They were sorely affected not just by mutation but also by Nurgle’s meddling with the natural order of things. The greatest inspiration comes in the darkest moments; in times of crisis mortals are truly tested and driven to excel. A goddess of rejuvenation and a god of decay seemed an odd pairing, but Nurgle came to adore his new companion like no other being in the universe. The Master of Change is unable to accept that which will surely come to pass. "Buboes, phlegm, blood and guts! Dedication to God Nergal by Hurrian king Atalshen, king of Urkish and Nawar, Habur Bassin, circa 2000 BC. There is a house of decay at the centre of Nurgle’s Garden. Their grey and unadorned Power Armour began to carry the symbols of rank and decoration, now modified, that once formed the armorial imagery of the Ironsides of Old Albia, a nation of techno-barbarians on Old Earth before the Unification Wars, and most tellingly their right vambraces, gauntlets and shoulder plates were painted the deep crimson of drying blood, now symbolising the red right hand of the Emperor's justice. All things, no matter how solid and permanent they seem, are liable to eventual corruption and death. All Chaos Gods have a dual nature, but Nurgle, more so than any of the other Ruinous Powers, understands that the supposedly separate elements of his essence actually work together in a self-sustaining cycle rather than standing apart from one another as different explanations of the same thing. Nurgle has similar attributes to the Judeo-Christian view of Nergal, in that the character is the chaos god responsible for pestilence, death, and entropy. When the first forms of life had lived upon the universe, they've lived and then would inevitably die, and from this death came the primordial Nurgle. This is the nature of Nurgle. Jergal is an ancient deity, older than many of the greater gods of Faerûn. The Chaos God's immense body is bloated with corruption and exudes a sickly, diseased stench. If the concoction does not meet with Nurgle's approval, he gulps down the contents of the cauldron, vomits it back into the pot and starts afresh. Each mortal that falls begets new life and new hope. The mortals' unconscious response to that fear, the desperation to cling to life no matter what the cost, gives Nurgle an opening into their souls. Hope arrives. Usually, however, skaven avoid contact with the cults of Nurgle, knowing that they may be seen as rivals, not allies, and only interfere when the cults’ ambitions obstruct their own. Plaguebearers shuffle forth to protect the garden, and what begins as a dispute over a few stray tendrils of scabrous ivy, escalates into a full-blown daemonic conflict that can last for centuries. [1f][2a][2c], On one side of his nature, Nurgle is unexpectedly also the personification of Rebirth. Few who pledge themselves to Nurgle do so in the belief that he offers an easy path to power and glory. Nurgle, like other Chaos Gods, does not have one single form that can be recorded, shared, analysed, or conceived. Nurgle is not a god of destruction – he cherishes all life. Nurgle is the age-old enemy of the Chaos God Tzeentch, the Lord of Change. It is Nurgle's great ambition to speed this universe toward its end by eroding the foundations of reality much as a disease can erode the spirits and bodies of those infected. In some extreme cases, a diseased person and his family might even be boarded up in their home and left to die, either of the disease or of starvation. The tribes of the south fled to the forests and caves for safety. Though the Garden of Nurgle does share certain commonalities with gardens and jungles on planets in realspace, it still is not a worldly garden in any sane sense. No, most mortals who find their way into Nurgle's foetid embrace wish only for an end to some sort of suffering. He was killed by one of the orcish gods in −1071 DR, and his body was laid to rest in a God-Tomb in Unther. No histories of this time exist among men, for all mankind was a race of savage brutes. It occurred several centuries ago. 3. For a Lord of Chaos, Nurgle's actions seem oddly harmonious -- caring even. The Ruinous Powers expend most of their efforts trying to destroy the civilised realms. The coin is nought but a feeble mortal metaphor for the truth of Nurgle’s influence. High Elves and Wood Elves perplex him, for they are long-lived and unblemished by age, and are blessed with a natural resistance against disease. [4b], The myths of the northern tribes tell of an eternal game played by the four Ruinous Powers – Tzeentch, Khorne, Slaanesh, and Nurgle – each brother trying to dominate his siblings. Although Nurgle is not as powerful a sorcerer as Tzeentch (a source of great jealousy to the Plague Lord), he does possess great mastery over the Winds of Magic and imparts his abilities to his most deserving followers. In the Empire, there are countless rumours of diseases crossing the Southern Sea on ships from Araby, arriving upon the northern shores in crippled plagueships, brought across the mountains by trade caravans, carried through the forests by beastmen, or erupting as if from out of nowhere within the great cities. [4a], Within the crumbling walls of his workshop, beneath a mildewed ceiling sagging with damp, Nurgle toils before a steaming cauldron. When it comes to understanding the glory that is the physical form of the Plaguefather, those who are privileged enough to be able to read about him in the pages of secret texts hidden away in the Black Library are on equal footing with the primitive warriors gathered around sooty bonfires within the wandering Kill Kroozer battleships of marauding Orks. It is the Plague Lord that brings light to the darkness. It is said that when even the Legion's Primarch, Mortarion, fell victim to the plague he cried out to the Ruinous Powers of Chaos in his delirium. Even a Rogue Trader whose contract is terminated must seek out new avenues for commerce. Wasting away under the seemingly malign influence of a skin-eating disease is painful to the afflicted and often repulsive to those around him. Garth Ennis wrote an origin story for Nergal in which he was originally a mortal human who preyed on small children, but this was retconned in future i… "I gazed at his magnificence, my vision completely filled with his glorious girth. [4f], It was a cult of Nurgle, the Order of the Septic Claw, which caused an infamous catastrophe in Altdorf way back in 924. No life avoids decay. Slowly, as their bodies shrivelled and their Spirit Stones turned to rotting mulch, the souls of the Seers that were trapped in Nurgle's realm began to pass fully into the Immaterium. The daemons of Nurgle are truly putrid in their appearance and sickening to look upon. Their bodies are hives of filth and decay, their flesh eternally rotting away even as it is renewed by the ceaseless process of death and rebirth. Where subtle measures fail, cultists can rip apart the veil between reality and the Realm of Chaos, summoning Nurgle’s daemons to lay waste with their contagions. The followers of Nurgle often pit themselves against those of Tzeentch in complex political intrigues in the mortal realm, forever attempting to mire his schemes for change in dull-minded conservatism and parochial self-interest. Plaguebearers toss organs from the bodies of disease victims into sorting pools, making it easier for them to count the numbers that have died from each ailment. In the ordered cosmos of the Old Ones, disease and suffering were virtually unknown. No civilisation forever endures the machinations of its rivals. The struggle to forestall decay moves people to action. The power of Nurgle waxes and wanes as its pandemics sweep across the galaxy. The… His sacred number is seven, and his symbol incorporates a triangle of three circles representing the unending cycle of birth, suffering, and death. As his temple was known as E-meslam, he was known as Meslamtaea ('he who comes forth from Meslam'). Some cult leaders delve into rare grimoires, possession of which earns the death penalty in the Empire, and learn rituals to raise magical squalls that can spread deadly plagues far and wide. These mortals have their doubts and fears cast aside. The Seers of Lugganath remain there still, a copse of wailing trees that brighten Nurgle's leisurely walks and strike a note of despair into the heart of Isha, his immortal captive. Perhaps they are not. The term can refer to these warp entities and their influence, the servants and worshippers of these entities, or even the parallel universe in which these entities are supposed to reside. For a test of the spirit, this region of the Garden may be filled with crystal clear lakes. While it is never explained in-universe why Nergal lives in the center of the earth, it is implied that he was banished there. Warhammer Age of Sigmar is more than a game – it’s a hobby. Although such cultists are proud of their bodily deformities, if they cannot hide them then they cannot operate within society, for their mutations will draw the attention of the witch hunters or a lynch mob of terrified peasants or townsfolk. Nurgle is typically depicted as an immense, bloated humanoid, his body swollen with putrefaction. The Lord of Decay and his foul experiments. Beds of bright blue Shovelpetal plants dig themselves up and leave the dirt in which they grew so that Plaguebearers can plant new Skullseeds in the rich loam. Flesh is the coin of his realm, and hopes are the interest he pays on the investments made. Paint continually cracks and peels away from the wood beneath, yet the house never loses it grey-green hue. His is majesty unfathomable by the mortal mind. The Ruinous Powers play out their game among the northern wastelands, soaking it crimson with carnage. Nurgle is in touch with his land and its many regions. The Plaguelord's followers all end up mimicking his appearance in one way or another. Every single human being in the galaxy has been touched by Nurgle's foetid hand at some point. All else follows naturally from there. Neither Khorne’s strength, Slaanesh’s guile, nor even Tzeentch’s magics could break the barrier. As the Skullseeds grow and blossom, they attract bounding, stomping, over-exuberant Chaos Beasts that mistake their fruits for the heads of new playthings. All around this house, trees made of bone bear fruit that rots even as it swells. The Plaguefather loves to hear stories of the realms beyond his own. Beneath his fingernails, maggots and other carrion feeders lay eggs around which develop cysts that periodically burst open and spew their rancid payloads. It is most commonly called the Lord of the Decay but is also known by many names such as the Fly Lord, the Great Corruptor, the Master of Pestilence. The universe and all within it shall wither and die. It is because of this inescapable fact of life that Nurgle is known to many as the Lord of All, for there is nothing that transpires anywhere that does not serve his ends. The Plague Lord is often referred to as "Grandfather Nurgle," "Father Nurgle" or "Papa Nurgle" by its followers because of this hideous paternal stance. The determination that is such part and parcel of all that Nurgle's lessons impart serves his Champions well as they do whatever must be done to serve their lord. As these thoughts race through the minds of the newly converted, it dawns on them -- their pain is deadened. The Seers of the Eldar Craftworlds and the Inquisitors of the Imperium will never share this truth with the weak-minded fools who drink in their lies like mother’s milk. There they have the great honour of becoming vessels for Nurgle's newest plagues. Their afflictions, however, linger, and are usually joined by other blights. All life feeds upon other life to exist, and from every plague grows new generations, stronger and more virile than those who came before. In the end, it was Nurgle’s concoctions that brought the defences down. The chosen of Nurgle often find this symbol growing on their festering skin. Some say all diseases are spread by ginger cats. While those who wish to spread decay and corruption are certainly amongst his followers, there are also those who wish to endure, to become tough enough to handle the difficulties and opportunities presented by an uncaring world. Unfortunately, most people are blinkered by the lies of their priests, but a few enlightened souls call out his name, and he is quick to answer. It was a blessing to behold such glory and joy. For others to stand on their graves and proselytise? The very words ‘Black Plague’ can bring fear. He is said to be a vast mound of rotting flesh, with open sores and gaping wounds in which his lesser minions cavort and frolic. When a Catachan Spiker traps and consumes a careless Imperial Guardsman, the life of the soldier ends and a new Spiker grows. Suffering, death, pain: Human beings push these things from their minds and try to forget them by living in the moment in the hope that the future will be a better one. To this day, Mortarion's Death Guard launch their assaults through the Cadian Gate and into the galaxy beyond, sometimes in large bodies and at others lending strength to allied forces. No quarantined plague zone is off-limits. When a mortal dies as the result of one of Nurgle's many diseases, one of these pallid flowers opens up and emits a tinny chime to mark the success of Nurgle’s handiwork. Interplanetary traffic ensures that contagious diseases are carried from world to world by the ignorant, the wilful and the strong. They inspire him to create new pestilences that are well-suited to other lands, and in the Death Beds he has countless potential storytellers. When finally the Death Guard Legion's fleet emerged from the Warp, its vessels and its warriors were entirely changed. Of the four great Ruinous Powers Nurgle is said to be the one most involved with the plight of mortals. Endings, but not finality. It motivates them to greatness. His sickening, pus-covered form is accompanied by an enveloping cloud of buzzing flies. Indeed, Nurgle is undoubtedly the oldest of the Chaos Gods, for the process of death and decay is as old as Life itself. The Plague Lord The Plague God The Lord of Decay Grandfather Nurgle They know that Nurgle's victory is assured and that when all things come to an end and life begins anew, they will have helped make it so. He is the only Warhammer deity which has connotations to the real life deities. Seldom can he resist the temptation to add nearby visitors to his virulent concoctions. What foul purpose Slaanesh had in keeping Isha alive, none amongst the Aeldari now know, but the Prince of Pleasure was ultimately denied his spoils: for some reason Nurgle, the Plague Lord, waged war against Slaanesh to "rescue" the Aeldari goddess. Why not use these moments to shape what is to come and secure a place in it? Those that embrace these "gifts" are given unbelievable constitution against all disease and against even mortal weapons. Oh, Plaguefather, your gifts are boundless! Tzeentch returns his disdain in full. This world was but an outpost of the Old Ones’ vast empire, and they travelled to other worlds via a stellar portal constructed at the northern pole. To him, the ambitions of the others seem small. The explosion spat gobbets of condensed Chaos matter across the globe, and these meteorites mutated life wherever they landed. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. Every victory for his enemies is pyrrhic, coming at a cost so great that it leaves the defenders open to the tender predations of Nurgle's ever-evolving poxes. Reality will be remade. "Rejoice, children! The Death Guard are a Traitor Legion entirely steeped in the power of Nurgle, the God of Plagues, their very essence the epitome of all that vile Chaos God stands for. The ringing is incessant. Cast away your crutches and doubts. It is this fundamental divergence of views that sets Nurgle at odds with the other Ruinous Powers, for it means that they are not actually working toward the same thing that he is. Cuthah (modern Tall Ibrāhīm) was the chief centre of his cult. Change is a delay, nothing more. The actions of Khorne and Slaanesh are a small inconvenience, but Tzeentch's games play havoc with Nurgle's plans, creating setbacks that are needless and counterproductive to not only Nurgle's own goals, but also those of the other Dark Gods. When the Horus Heresy plunged the galaxy into civil war, the warriors of the Death Guard found themselves becalmed in the Warp and assailed by Warp-born plagues so virulent that not even their legendary resilience could withstand them. "In the embrace of great Nurgle, I am no longer afraid, for with His pestilential favour I have become that which I once feared: Death.". Nurgle’s sacred animals are the fly, the maggot, and the carrion crow, though all creatures that feast on the decayed dead or spread virulent plague are favoured in his eyes. One of these events was Tobcon, a Warhammer Fantasy convention held in London, UK, where fans of the old world could meet, play and discuss this niche world within roleplaying. Once safe in their crystal afterlife, they could impart Isha's message to the Spiritseers and lift Nurgle's curse from their homes. They could be refused entry into towns, or perhaps beaten up or chased off. It is a losing battle, but the ammunition spent in the conflict, the human bodies sent to their wasted doom, does indeed serve a purpose -- Nurgle's purpose. The battle raged for solar days, and swathes of Nurgle's Garden were blasted to ruin in the process. The Daemons of Nurgle include the following: Warhammer Wiki is a FANDOM Games Community. For decades these races fought at the edge of defeat until the high elves performed a ritual that sucked the howling winds of Chaos from the world. Bolters rust, the shells they fire are spent, and the fingers that pull their triggers wear down with the passing of time and repeated action. His teachings are as follows: It is not the incessant warring between daemonic armies in the Realm of Chaos or even the epic clash of champions among the tribes of the Chaos Wastes that truly enthuses Nurgle, but the conflict against the unconquered nations of the mortal world. Just as his followers have accepted the teachings of their lord, Nurgle himself long ago accepted that decay brings an end to all things, but that through such decay life begins anew. Others flourish only briefly before being eradicated by the diseases they foster – a sign to some cultists that they have failed Nurgle, but to others that they have pleased him, and he has taken their souls to his garden where they can serve forever as his minions of decay. It is a playground for the minions of the Lord of Decay, a laboratory for his work, and a comforting home for a god that knows his realm is the shape of things to come. 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