The Vile Savants
Legend has it that a hospital ship tending to the wounded and sick around the Eye of Terror suffered a Gellar Field malfunction while in transit in the Warp. The Lord of Decay filled the disease and viruses on board the ship with life. The passengers and Officio Medicae personnel onboard were quickly possessed by this sentient illness, transformed into the first Vile Savants. Since then, the Vile Savants spread this daemonic virus wherever they go, increasing their ranks and sewing mayhem in the name of Nurgle.
The Savants themselves are hideous, bloated, stinking creations. Once men and women but now possessed by a Daemonic virus, they wear bio-containment suits to hold their decaying forms together. These foul entities are filled with a hatred of all things that live and breathe, and retain the skills and memories of their former selves. Individuals filled with bitterness and despair are particularly prone to succumb to the disease, which is drawn to the individuals from the Warp itself. From there, the plague will spread across a world, allowing it to expand rapidly across the Imperium. Savants are single-minded Daemonic entities and seek to only spread their infection and kill all before them. They can not be bargained with, reasoned with, or diverted from their task.
The Daemon Plague
The Warp-disease itself has been classified by the Ordo Malleus as the Fydae Strain, named after the region of the Calixis Sector where it was first encountered. It has been observed in spreading in a number of stages:
- Stage One: A single individual is infected, often from the Warp itself which takes advantage of the individuals despair and bitterness. The carrier is subjected to fits of fever and terrible nightmares at first, but will apparently recover into perfect health after a matter of hours. However while the person may seem healthy, their soul has since become claimed by the Warp and is a highly contagious carrier for the plague.
- Stage Two: The subject unwittingly spreads the plague. The sentient virus is clever, if left unchecked it will spread slowly and symptoms in new victims will not manifest for perhaps weeks. However if it is discovered, symptoms will suddenly erupt as the virus seeks to cause as much damage as possible before it is eradicated. Once the disease begins to manifest fully, the subjects begin to suffer from bloody flux, murderous fever, and green markings on the skin that will bring a spasm-wracked death.
- Stage Three: Those claimed by the disease are reanimated, now possessed by the Daemonic virus. Cunning predators rather then mindless zombies, they seek to infect the living and kill all in their path.
- Stage Four: Once the dead have risen in great numbers, reality will fall apart in the infected region and daemons of Nurgle will be summoned to the Materium. The Vile Savants themselves now emerge from the Warp, controlling the Fydae Strain Zombies to do their bidding.
- Stage Five: Nearly all of the infected on a world are killed, while a small number of survivors are deliberately left to become new victims for future plagues. The Savants then leave, seeking to repeat the process elsewhere.