THE TRAVELLER, HERALD OF NURGLE
"Look upon me and know that I can slay you at will,
you have no defence save one: to look into the darkness at the back
of your own mind. There you will find Father Nurgle waiting to offer
you life in return for your submission. Deny him and you are mine."
Mortarion, Primarch of the Death Guard, allied his legion with the forces
of Warmaster Horus against the Emperor of Mankind, he did not know the
price that would be paid for his treachery. One amongst the Death Guard
knew full well though; his name was Typhon and he had been recruited
like so many others into Mortarion's forces on the feral world of Barbarus
where the Primarch had grown up. Barbarus was home not only to men but
to inhuman overlords that preyed upon them.
In his early days Mortarion had overthrown these monstrosities, however
there were many crossbreeds resulting from their cruel dominion. The
bloodlines were not easy to follow and Mortarion had more pressing concerns.
Typhon was of such a bloodline. He possessed formidable psychic powers
that allowed him to navigate the mist-shrouded world of Barbarus freely.
These were merely latent powers at this time and would only develop
with time and training.
When the Death Guard began to recruit on Barbarus it was Typhon's warrior
skills that marked him out. In modern times the process is far more
exacting -and should be - as much more is known about preserving the
purity of the gene-seed, and a Space Marines chapter of a thousand men
can be selective about its recruits. In the days of the Great Crusade
the legions needed recruits with a good right arm and the courage to
follow their Primarchs into battle. When it was realised that Typhon
was also a Psyker he was welcomed even more as each legion was building
up its strength in Librarians.
So it was that the Death Guard already harboured a tainted soul. Even
as Mortarion led his legion on the Emperor's Great Crusade, Typhon communed
with the Dark Powers. They already favoured him, and with their aid
Typhon rose to the rank of Captain-Epistolary, commander of the battleship
Terminus Est and a full company of the Death Guard. When the
Death Guard joined Horus, it was Typhon who slew the Death Guard's Navigators
claiming their loyalty was still to the Emperor. It was Typhon who promised
Mortarion that his powers could lead the Death Guard through the Warp
to Terra and it was Typhon who led them to damnation, becalmed in the
Warp, adrift and helpless.
The Cadian System 2675999.M41
The teleportation chamber of the Terminus Est pulsed with unholy
life. Walls that once contained banks of the most advanced circuitry
now dripped with slime and writhed the contortions of the damned.
Typhus stood at the centre of the room.
He was crouched, the single horn atop his helmet nodding in turn
at each of five malformed green candles that burned at each corner
of a pentagram, causing each to gutter before emitting thick,
greasy smoke. As the smoke rose, the teeming cloud of flies that
surrounded Typhus poured all over him, crawling back- into his
armour through cracks and vents. At his feet a carpet of squealing
Nurglings gathered closer to him. By now the smoke from the candles
had formed a circle around him. each strand accelerating ever
Typhus tapped the haft of his great scythe once on the floor
and the strands of smoke coalesced together. A second tap and
the chamber was empty and the Herald of Nurgle was elsewhere.
The night was moonless. Rain impaired visibility further and
the roar of artillery was deafening. Typhus stood in a well-built
communications trench and to either side Cadian soldiers gaped
at him in surprise and horror.
The plague stirred within him and poured out as a black cloud
of Nurgle-marked flies which swarmed around the doomed Cadians.
Some of them were dying of blight even before Typhus' bellow of
rage immersed them and boiled their flesh into puddles of diseased
matter. Typhus strode through the miasma, his dread scythe swinging
before him in an unstoppable figure-of-eight that reaped men with
terrifying ease. Capering ahead of him. his Nurglings chewed on
the exposed faces of the fallen and dragged at the legs of those
who were trying to escape.
The Cadians fought back as best they could but their lasgun fire
pattered harmlessly from Typhus massive Terminator-armoured form
and no bayonet could pierce the web of death from Manreaper. As
he marched along the trench he harvested the souls of the Cadians.
Their officers rushed at him, their finely-crafted power swords
raised, but each was dismembered in turn. After a while there
was only the rain, the flies, the shrieks of the daemons and the
hulking, one-horned personification of death stalking though the
trenches. Like a leviathan of legend, the Herald killed men by
the dozen and then by the hundred. In his wake the dead and the
wounded swelled with pustules before bursting to unleash more
plague flies. This battlefield was now a place of death in more
ways than one. The diseases that had taken root would spread so
that this, which once had been a defensive strongpoint. would
now be a festering wound.
He nodded his satisfaction. The Cadian soldiery were veterans,
brave and tenacious. They could not blame this defeat on the numberless
hordes of Chaos. They might try but they would know that one of
Nurgle`s captains had slaughtered an entire company, and they
would know terror. The knowledge would gnaw at them, the tale
would be magnified, many would turn, others would falter. The
fall of Cadia was one step nearer and with it the godhood Typhus
The journey to Terra was the first time that the price of turning on
the Emperor was truly paid by one of the Traitor Legions. It was a nightmare
that would mark them in the most horrific way. Time flows differently
in the Warp and the ordeal that Typhon led them into could have lasted
days or centuries. By the end none of the warriors aboard the Death
Guard battle barge Terminus Est could reckon how long they had
been becalmed along with the rest of their fleet. By the time the full
horror emerged there were none of them able to resist it even if they
had wanted to.
One by one the Death Guard were afflicted with a plague so virulent
that their Multi-lung and Oolitic Kidney failed to protect them. They
remained conscious but were paralysed and helpless to do more than endure
the burning pain that filled their bodies. Only their unquenchable instinct
for survival preserved them.
That instinct was pushed to its very limit before the background hum
of the warp shield generators died to be replaced by a distant vibration
that grew steadily more intense. Suddenly it turned into the buzz of
a million wings as countless black, bulbous, Warp-spawned flies poured
through every bulkhead. This was the Destroyer, foulest of Nurgle's
plagues. They swarmed over the paralysed Death Guard, feeding off their
sweat, infecting their wounds and infesting every orifice. Throughout
the vessel each body twitched uncontrollably as the plague flies laid
their eggs within them. Flesh and armour swelled as the corruption filled
them, bloating and distending until it burst leaving entrails and pus-filled
lesions hanging from their wracked bodies.
On the bridge the ship's master, Typhon, was the first to stir, through
a miasma of death he rose to his feet. From deep within him came a rattling,
All over the vessel the plague flies left their hosts and flew or crawled
to him. The tide flowed into him ceaselessly until it was all gone.
Impossibly the giant figure still stood, no longer Typhon, now he was
host to the Destroyer Hive, the favoured son of Nurgle. Now he was Typhus.
Truly he had received his reward from his true master, Nurgle, Lord
of Decay, and the god he had served even before the corruption of Mortarion.
Whilst he remained subordinate to Mortarion, it was clear that Typhus
considered that he need only call Nurgle 'Master'.
In the Eye of Terror Mortarion shaped his daemon world to resemble
Barbarus. Typhus was sickened by the sentimentality. His loyalty was
to Nurgle and Nurgle waxed strong when mortals feared death. Taking
his ship and his followers Typhus returned again and again to the mortal
realm and the legend of the traveller, the Herald of Nurgle was born.
The rewards granted him by Nurgle are testament to a score of blighted
worlds and countless damned souls.
The Terminus Est was one of the first capital ships assigned
to the Death Guard by the Emperor. It was of a unique design that
predated the Great Crusade and which was copied in M36 as part
of the Gareox Prerogative to create the Despoiler class. As might
be expected the older vessel was considerably more powerful than
the later copy.
Nothing definite is known of the pre-Heresy configuration of
Terminus Est. References exist that suggest it was primarily employed
as a planetary assault ship. This is not unusual as it conforms
with the role assigned to the vessels of the Space Marines Legions.
Many of the vessels used in the Great Crusade were however handicapped
by system failures that the Imperium lacked the ability to repair.
Often this would result in many systems being replaced with less
efficient but more easily maintained alternatives.
The role of Terminus Est during the Heresy is better known. At
Istvaann, the Terminus Est engaged and destroyed Shadow of the
Emperor, the flagship of the Raven Guard. It is argued that this
engagement was the earliest recorded conflict between battleships
specialised to carry attack craft. The engagement was swift and
deprived the loyalist forces of any air support in the massacre
When Terminus Est was sighted as part of the armada that followed
Horus to Terra it had changed The Mark of Nurgle was upon it and
all the other vessels of the Death Guard. When Mortarion led the
assault on the Lion Gate starport. Typhus controlled the Plague
Fleet and, it is suspected actually began the orbital bombardment
of the Emperors palace.
Following Horus' death and the arrival of loyalist reinforcements,
the Terminus Est`s formidable reserves of attack craft were expended
as a rearguard while the Death Guard were evacuated back to their
ships. Along with the rest of the Traitor Legions, the Death Guard
fled to the Eye of Terror and disappeared from human knowledge
In the Eye it is suspected that the Traitor Legions fought amongst
themselves. It is the boast of the Death Guard that their Pnmarch-turncd-Dacmon
Prince Mortarion conquered a mighty empire within the Eye and
transformed it to his own tastes. Typhus and the Terminus Est
were among the first of the Death Guard to be sighted again when
they brought plague to the Agripinaa system in M35. The success
of the Terminus Est in defeating the battlegroups sent against
it had a major effect on the thinking of the Imperial Navy. In
M36 an Adeptus Mcchanicus expeditionary force succeeded in finding
schematics of its design on the perdita world of Barbaras and
began building the Despoiler class. Little were they to know that
the core architecture and design of the class' warp shields hid
a fundamental corrupting flaw. Only when in the following centuries
the vessels of this class were either lost in the Warp or turned
renegade did the realisation strike home.
The Terminus Est and Typhus did not assume a central role in
the Gothic War, a single sighting near Anvil 206 was the only
evidence of their presence. However, considering the later incidents
traced back to Anvil 206, it is clear that a particular mission
By M41 the Terminus Est is one of the oldest ships known to the
Imperium, the power of Nurgle holds its ancient hull together
and the most virulent plagues seethe through its dank corridors.
The Terminus Est is a part of Nurgle s realm given license to
travel the stars, spreading death at the behest of its damned
captaia There will be no rest for the Imperial Navy until it is
finally hunted down and cleansed for ever.
Typhus, the Herald of Nurgle, may be included in any Death Guard
Chaos Space Marine army of at least 1,500 points as its Chaos Lord.
He may be accompanied by a retinue of Chosen selected as normal but
must otherwise be fielded exactly as specified.
Herald of Nurgle
Mark of Nurgle, Sorcerer, Daemonic Essence (+1 W, included in profile),
Daemonic Aspect, Nurgle's Rot, Nurgling Infestation, Terminator armour
(+1 A, not shown above), Manreaper, Warp Talisman.
Psychic Abilities: Wind of Chaos, two minor powers - always
has Affliction and Miasma of Pestilence.
Destroyer Hive: Typhus' armour and body are host to a horrific
plague that manifests as a swarm of insects that pour from the cracks
and vents in his armour. When he charges into combat he counts as using
frag and blight grenades. When he is charged Typhus and his retinue
(if any) count as being in cover. In addition units with models within
6" of Typhus contract Nurgle's Rot on a roll of 5+ instead of the
Independent Character: Unless accompanied by a retinue Typhus
is an independent character and all the rules regarding independent
characters apply to him. See the Warhammer 40,00 rulebook for full details
on independent characters.