Nurgle is one of the four major Ruinous Powers. He was the third to awake of the four Gods of Chaos, fully coming into existence during Terra's Middle Ages - plagues sweeping across continents in the wake of his birth. His titles include the Plague Father, Fly Lord, Great Corruptor, Plague Lord, Master of Pestilence, Lord of Decay (the translation of his Dark Tongue name, Nurgh-leth)[Needs Citation] and represents morbidity, disease and physical corruption.[4a][17a]
- 1 Overview
- 2 Worship of Nurgle
- 3 Daemons of Nurgle
- 4 Forces dedicated to Nurgle
- 5 Notable Servants of Nurgle
- 6 Gifts of Nurgle
- 7 Notable Plagues/Diseases of Nurgle
- 8 The Garden of Nurgle
- 9 Inspiration
- 10 Sources
Of the four Gods of Chaos, Nurgle is said to be the most involved with the plight of mortals. Those afflicted by his contagions often turn to him in order to escape their suffering. The physical likeness of Nurgle is described as gigantic and bloated with corruption, with foul-coloured, leathery and necrotic skin.
Nurgle can also be regarded as the Lord of All, because all things, no matter how solid and permanent they seem, are liable to physical corruption:
All the Chaos gods are embodiments of the hopes, fears and other strong emotions and concepts generated by the mortal races. In Nurgle's case, the source of power is insecurity, denial, self-delusion and the living's fear of inevitable death and disease, as well as their unconscious response to that fear, which is the "power of life", the motivating power of mankind and other races. Nurgle coaxes new worshippers into his fold by stripping them of any other options, inflicting a spiritual tain upon the populace that is reflected outwardly as disease and pestilence. The desperate, ostracized and dying come to Nurgle to find alleviation from their pain. To these potential devotees, Nurgle provides not redemption from their ailments, but rather comfort within their suffering. Those blessed by Nurgle are granted relief from physical pain as well as a bizarre satisfaction in their depressive state. It is a twisting of a being's perceived reality, turning delusion and denial into truth and acceptance, just as self-respect and vanity turn into monstrous self-satisfaction.[17b][18a][18b][18c]
Nurgle and his daemons, in contrast to their putrid appearance, are jovial and friendly in demeanor. His daemon servants and mortal followers usually demonstrate a disturbing joviality and joy at the pestilence that he inflicts, seeing the plagues as gifts and the cries of their victims as gratitude rather than agony. This is demonstrated on the Daemon World of Bubonicus, where an endless chain of crazed revellers circle the planet's equator in a never-ending dance.[17c]
Nurgle is often referred to as Grandfather Nurgle, Father Nurgle or Papa Nurgle by his followers because of his paternal nature.[Needs Citation]
Worship of Nurgle
Like the other Chaos Gods, Nurgle has a multitude of followers across the galaxy, drawn from all mortal species.
The followers of Nurgle often pit themselves against those of Tzeentch in complex political intrigues, forever attempting to mire his schemes for change with dull-minded conservationisms and parochial self-interest. Their influence is often successful in thwarting Tzeentch, knowing that whatever survives the collapse into entropy becomes theirs.[4b]
The church of the Fly Lord is always open to all.[4a]
Daemons of Nurgle
The Plague Legions
The armies of Nurgle are collectively referred to as the Plague Legions. Each of these Legions is associated with a specific stage of Nurgle's cycle of decay and regeneration. The Fecundus Legions are tasked with making disease, traveling across the Warp to gather ingredients. The Infecticus Legions are the harbingers of infection, the carriers of new diseases that lay the groundwork for the greater virulence to follow. The Pathogenus Legions are disease fully bloomed and sickness made manifest, equal in both attack or defense and often deployed to guard key sites within the Garden of Nurgle or to spearhead assaults. The Epidemic Legions contain the most Daemons, spreading outward to ensure initial gains turn into rampaging outbreaks. The Rot Legions revel in decay and break down anything and it is their presence more than any other that causes Nurgle's power to swell. The Morbidus Legions are the reapers, tolltakers, and bringers of death. The Necroticus Legions are the most resilient, for they use hopelessness and despair as weapons.
Each Plague Legion is commanded by a Great Unclean One. Beneath them are Daemon Princes or Heralds of Nurgle that each command one of the Legions seven tallybands. At its peak, each Tallyband is composed of seven packs of Lesser Daemons and Daemonic beasts.
The Daemons of Nurgle are putrid in appearance and sickening to look upon. Their skin is filled with the fever-heat of corruption, their innards pushing through the lesions in their skin, and their bodies ooze with putrid slime. However Nurgle's daemons are often cheerful, energetic beings that show a disturbingly friendly demeanor, they are jovial in their work and show pride great pride in their achievements.[4b]
- Great Unclean Ones - the Greater Daemons of Nurgle, massive, bloated disease-carriers, often carrying a blade known as a Plague Sword into battle. These massive, rusted blades are said to be dipped in the foul pus and contagion at the base of Nurgle's throne. 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 facsimiles of Nurgle himself, both physically and in terms of their personality. In other words, every Great Unclean One is also Nurgle. Thus these followers often refer to these daemons as 'Papa', 'Nurgle' or 'Father Nurgle'.[4b] Despite their completely bloated and putrid appearance, Great Unclean Ones are neither deathlike or morbid in character. In fact the opposite is true, and the daemons are motivated by all the trivial human enthusiasms which drive the living. They are gregarious and even sentimental in nature, and hold their followers dear, even referring to them as their "Children", and taking an obvious pride in their appearance and endearing behavior.[4b]
- Plaguebearers - the common Daemons of Nurgle, having a vaguely humanoid appearance with a single burning eye. They are often referred to as the 'Tallymen of Nurgle' for they constantly strive to number the poxes and represent the need of humanity to impose order on a chaotic and uncaring universe.[4b] A single scratch from their rusted swords is sufficient to bestow a plague that sends it's host to Nurgle's realm.[4b] They have special combat abilities allowing them to hurt enemies no matter how tough they are and are consumed with Nurgle's Rot. The most powerful Plaguebearers will serve as Plague Drones, the heavy cavalry of Nurgle's armies.
- Nurglings - daemonic servants of Nurgle, they look like miniature representations of Nurgle, with friendly, mischievous faces. They are gregarious, agile and constantly active. They attack an enemy in vast swarms, overwhelming them by their numbers. Nurglings are often found, following the shadow of Champions of Nurgle or gathering in hordes around Great Unclean Ones.[4b] When attacking they use their claws, which are infected by plagues and diseases, to drag down larger enemies where they can use their venomous bites.
- Molluscoid - Large snail-like creatures that can serve as Daemonic mounts.
- Beasts of Nurgle - 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 deadly consequences they bring about.
- Rot Flies and Battle Flies - huge, disgusting insectoid daemonic beasts sometimes used for riding.
- Feculent Gnarlmaw's - Tree-like monsters.
Daemon Engines of Nurgle
A Daemon Engine is a part-technological, part-daemonic vehicle, those dedicated to Nurgle include -
Forces dedicated to Nurgle
Chaos Space Marines
- The Death Guard Legion - During the Horus Heresy the Death Guard Space Marine Legion became afflicted with one of Nurgle's plagues and dedicated themselves to Nurgle. Known Death Guard sub-factions include -
- Apostles of Contagion [7b]
- Bilious Ones
- Brotherhood of Reaping
- Carrion Hounds
- Dolorous Gnaw
- Fecund Ones
- Empyrion's Blight
- Favoured Sons
- Hand of Filth
- Heralds of Despair
- Glooming Lords
- Legion Host
- Lords of Decay [7a]
- Mouldering Claw
- Pallid Hand
- Prophets of the Seven
- Pox Mortis
- The Purge [7a]
- Poisoned Chalice
- Putrid Choir
- Rotworm Brotherhood
- Sevenfold Filth
- Sons of the Maggot
- Suppurant Sting
- Smogrot Brotherhood
- The Tainted [7b]
- Tainted Sons
- The Tollguard
- Weeping Legion
Other Chaos Space Marine warbands dedicated to Nurgle include:
- The Cleaved
- The Flylords
- The Grey Death
- The Bringers of Decay
- The Vectors of Pox
- The Blighted Claw
- The Talons of Anathrax
- Death Bringers
Renegades and Cults
- Children of the Merciful Lord
- Cult Tenebrous (Genestealer Cult)
- Sevenfold Conjuction
- Cult of Amber
- Death Priests of Mire
- The Hidden Hand
- Vile Savants
- Writhing World Sorcerer Kings
- 14th Volpone Bluebloods
- Seventh Blessed
- Givers of Life
- The Stigmatus Convent
Titan Legion's & Knight Houses
Notable Servants of Nurgle
- Mortarion - Primarch of the Death Guard, now a powerful Daemon Prince
- Scabeiathrax - one of the mightiest of Nurgle's Great Unclean Ones
- Ku'Gath - a powerful Great Unclean One
- Epidemius - A powerful Plaguebearer and Daemonic Herald of Nurgle
- Horticulous Slimux - Gardener of the Garden of Nurgle
- Typhus - A Death Guard Captain - now the favoured mortal Champion of Nurgle
- Ignatius Grulgor - Former Captain of the Death Guard, now a powerful Daemon Prince;
- Ulkair - Great Unclean One, corrupted the Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens;
- Corpulax - A Chaos Lord of Nurgle serving in the Black Legion as one of Abaddon's most trusted warlords.
- Cor’bax Utterblight - Daemon Prince of Nurgle.
- Rotigus - Great Unclean One
Gifts of Nurgle
As with all the Chaos Gods, Nurgle will often reward his most favoured followers with special gifts and blessings. Nurgle's gifts can take many forms, including physical mutations, daemon weapons or particularly foul diseases.
Notable Plagues/Diseases of Nurgle
- Nurgle's Rot - the most feared of Nurgle's many contagions - the afflicted is eventually transformed into a Plaguebearer
- Zombie Plague - victims of this infection return from the dead as undead zombies
Other named plagues include - The Death Dance, Bulging Eye, Creeping Buboes, Crook Bone, Grey Ague and Green Pox.
The Garden of Nurgle
The Garden of Nurgle is Nurgle's realm within the Warp. This unwholesome realm is home to every pox and affliction imaginable and is alive with the stench of rot. This 'garden' is not a barren wasteland, but rather a macabre paradise of death and pestilence. A thick sheet of buzzing swarms of black, furry flies litter the sky, and twisted, rotten boughs entangled with grasping vines cover the mouldering ground, beneath an insect-ravaged canopy of leaves. Defiled fungi both plain and extraordinary break through the leaf-strewn mulch of the forest floor, puffing out vile clouds of spores. Muddy rivers slither across the bloated landscape. Nurgle's Mansion of rotted timbers and broken walls resides at the heart of the garden; decrepit and ancient, yet eternally strong at its foundations. It is within these tumbling walls that Nurgle toils at his cauldron, a receptacle vast enough to contain all the oceans of the worlds of the galaxy.
Nurgle keeps his companion Isha trapped in a cage in the garden of Nurgle, in the corner of a room where he keeps the cauldron in which he creates all of his plagues. Being a goddess of healing, Isha can cure herself of any of Nurgle's diseases. Nurgle takes advantage of this by force-feeding her his latest creation and sees how long it takes the goddess to overcome its effects. If he is pleased, he releases it upon some unsuspecting world, if not, he starts over, working at his cauldron until he has something new to give to his 'companion'. Whilst he is busy working though, Isha takes advantage of his distraction to instruct mortals on how to rid themselves of Nurgle's poxes.
When Nurgle's power waxes, the Garden blooms, encroaching on the lands of the other Chaos Gods. Nurgle's enemies would fight back, and the Plaguebearers would take up arms to defend it. Although the Garden will recede again, it would still have fed deeply on the essence of those who have fallen in such wars, and will lie in gestate peace until it is ready to bloom again. 
The Garden of Nurgle contains ravenous creatures such as Feculent Gnarlmaw's.
The inspiration for Nurgle comes from the Babylonian god known as Nergal.
- 1: Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned
- 2: Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex)
- 3: Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition)
- 4: Black Crusade Core Rulebook, by Fantasy Flight Games
- 5: Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three:
- 6: Games Workshop Official Site
- 7: http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Warhammer-40000/Chaos/DAEMONS_AND__BEASTS/NURGLE-PLAGUE-HULK.html
- 8: White Dwarf 121 (UK) pg. 12
- 9: Games Workshop
- 10: Codex: Chaos Daemons (8th Edition) - The Plague Legions
- 17: Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned,
- 17: Liber Chaotica,
|Gods of Chaos||Khorne • Tzeentch • Slaanesh • Nurgle • Malice|
|Chaos Space Marines||Armoury • Warbands|
|Daemons||Daemon Prince • Greater Daemon • Lesser Daemon • Daemonic Beasts • Daemon Engines • Daemonic Herald • Daemon Weapons • Daemonic Gifts|
|The Lost and the Damned||Chaos Cult • Traitor Guard • Mutants • Beastmen • Rogue Psyker • Armoury|
|The Traitor Primarchs||Alpharius/Omegon • Angron • Fulgrim • Horus • Lorgar • Konrad Curze • Magnus the Red • Mortarion • Perturabo|
|Notable Characters||Abaddon • Ahriman • Blue Scribes • Changeling • Epidemius • Fabius Bile • Kairos Fateweaver • Ku'Gath • Typhus • Khârn • Lucius • Lufgt Huron • Be'lakor • M'kar • The Masque • Skarbrand • Skulltaker|
|Other||Traitor Titan Legions • Daemon Knights • Dark Mechanicum • Chaos Space Fleet • Chaos Vehicles • Chaos Artefacts • Eye of Terror • Maelstrom • Warp|