|“||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 (about Nurgle).|
Nurgle is the name given to the malevolent and 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, Father Nurgle, or Grandfather Nurgle.
- 1 History
- 2 Followers
- 3 Daemons
- 4 Daemon Engines
- 5 Other Media
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 Marines dedicated 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 such as plague spewers and blight launchers. 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 receive 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.
As of Age of Sigmar the humanoid rat-monsters known as the Skaven are frequent allies of Nurgle, some of them even worship the god directly (though many Skaven are still mostly loyal to the Horned Rat) - the affinity between Skaven and Nurgle (as well as his followers) was perhaps inevitable as both are concerned with spreading disease and thrive in dirty, unclean environments,
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 cannot 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. In battle Plaguebearers carry rusted, heavy blades known as plagueswords that are infused with foul daemonic infections and toxins that can make the merest scratch fatal.
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 One
Great 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 defeated and many can't even bare to look at one, let alone fight them. Great Unclean Ones are unlike the Greater 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.
Usually found supporting both the demonic legions and mortal followers of Khorne are daemon engines. Daemon Engines can vary greatly in form and function, but they are all unified by one factor - the physical shells of the vehicles/walkers contain bound daemons which fully control their actions and movements. Daemon Engines have an insatiable bloodlust and revel in violence and destruction. They also exude an aura of death and hatred that can overwhelm lesser foes and typically possess vastly increased durability compared to a non-possessed vehicle. Nurglite daemon engines possess even more durability and are normally infested or swollen with all manner of warp-crafted diseases, making it deadly and otherwise quite risky for most beings (with the exception of Nurgle followers) to be close to these filthy creations.
Plague Hulks are daemon engines of Nurgle. It closely resembles the soul grinder, but with a more bloated, decayed appearance - as befitting a machine of the Plague Lord. Plague Hulks appear to be a direct hybrid of machine and Nurgle daemon and is said to be sickly to look upon. The chassis of the machine supports a maggot-ridden mass of daemonic flesh, at the center of which sits a maw capable of vomiting a tide of filth that can rot flesh and corrode metal. Additional weapons include an arm-fused rot cannon and an over-sized plague sword. Like many other Daemon Engines, these monstrosities also possess massively powerful limbs which can smash through the strongest armor. Worse still, any unfortunate victim that gets too close to a Plague Hulk must endure clouds of flesh-searing poison.
Plagueburst Crawlers are lumbering, formidable siege tanks whose huge ram-blades, thick armour plating and daemonic energies provide them with incredible resilience. Their fearsome plagueburst mortars boast a parabolic fire arc and terrifying range, while the shells they fire combine high-radius explosives with lethal clouds of corrosive spores. The drawback of this weapon is its inability to fire at targets that are closer than its minimum range. However, the remainder of the Crawler’s weaponry is intended to slaughter the foe up close, spraying noxious slime and hails of viral shells at any who approach.
Great effort is required to bind a Daemon within each Plagueburst Crawler, once installed the possessed entities tirelessly obey their masters. Plagueburst Crawlers are not swift vehicles, even running at full power. Yet their advance is as grinding and relentless as the Death Guard themselves. Intended to support infantry offensives, Plagueburst Crawlers plough forward like huge mechanical slugs, their mortars firing with metronomic regularity. An area under sustained bombardment from these weapons becomes so saturated with foul spore clouds that armour provides little to no protection, for the daemonic spores corrode the thickest adamantium plating. These hideous effects have made the Plagueburst Crawler a much-hated weapon of war.
The Blight Drone (also known as Bilecyst) is a large daemonically-possessed drone of Nurgle. Seemingly a bizarre conglomeration of insect larvae, machine, and daemon engine, the hovering Blight Drone is armed with rapid-fire autocannons (which may or may not fire infectious shells) and a maw-like apparatus capable of spewing noxious poisons and acid which can eat through both metal and flesh within seconds. If a Blight Drone is destroyed in combat it invariably detonates in a shower of bile and pus, and is capable of causing extreme damage to everything caught within the blast. Blight Drones prefer to operate in swarms and are particularly drawn to battlefields with large amounts of dead.
The Blight Drone's seemingly squat and bloated form is also unusually resilient against attacks, especially for a skimmer of their size. This quality is attributed to the living flesh and rusted armour plating of the drone, as well as the warp entity that controls it.
Foetid bloat drones are aerial daemon engines of Nurgle. These hideous war engines bears monstrous weapons onto the battlefield to annihilate the enemies of the Death Guard. Clad in rusting plates of rot-iron armour, their hulls overflowing with flabby foulness, Foetid Bloat-drones can withstand ferocious amounts of punishment and still keep fighting. They are designed to hover in close, drifting lazily through the most treacherous of terrain to provide supporting fire.
Many Foetid Bloat-drones are equipped with a pair of plaguespitters. As the Daemon Engine floats over the battlefield, its trailing pipes and tubules suckle rot and filth with idol hunger to fuel these revolting weapons. The Bloat-drone slurps up diseased innards and maggot-thick mud until its putrid flesh is straining and pulsating, refining a hideous cocktail of hyper-concentrated toxic slime. Then, with a disgusting spasm of regurgitation, the drone squirts the resultant soup through its Plaguespitters, spraying it in great fans across the foe. No cover or defence can protect the target from this lethal rain of filth. Victims find their bodies convulsing and twisting in the grip of a thousand maladies, rotting and bloating until they collapse into a heap of decaying, highly-infectious matter. Many are still screaming when they do.
Other Bloat-drones are equipped for long-range bombardment. Fitted with a Heavy Blight Launcher, these Daemon Engines suck armour-piercing blight shells from their rusting drum magazines and fire them in rippling volleys. This rain of disease-ridden shells can reduce a battle tank to a corroded, collapsing wreck in moments, or bring whole squads of heavily armoured infantry to their knees.
The entities that possess Foetid Bloat-drones are more aggressive and spiteful than most daemons of Nurgle. Some are so wilful that they cannot be entrusted with ranged weaponry at all, their desire to smash themselves into the enemy ranks all too evident. These rebellious engines are instead fitted with the macabre devices known as fleshmowers. Heavy cylinders of rusted iron blades, Fleshmowers thrust out in front of the Bloat-drone on bulky arms and whir frenetically as it flies into battle. These weapons can be used in thrumming passes through the enemy ranks, or more deliberately pressed against resilient targets to rip them apart. Either way, the result is a hideous red spray and a mulched strew of body parts. The mashed remains of Fleshmower victims make excellent slop-fuel for those Bloat-drones armed with Plaguespitters, and so the two variants often form parasitic war packs.
- Nurgle is the main antagonist of the Warhammer 40K: Inquistor Martyr video-game.
- Nurgle is one of the driving forces of Chaos in the Vermintide series, especially Vermintide 2.