For the first time in 40k's history, Grandfather Nurgle 's favorite pus-sacks have gotten their own Codex, and it's a solid mix of the fluffy and crunchy. You might not exactly be zipping across the board, but if you want a footslogging army that can shrug off almost anything the opponent can throw at them and retaliate with punishing short-range attacks and have an obsession with the number 7 , the Death Guard is the army for you. Note that Relics no longer cost points. Instead, you get a single free relic per army if it is battleforged , and can pay CP to get more. However, you can't put more than one relic on one guy.

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Tweets by NurgleStelioNet. I shall light the fires. The astropathic communications node on Vraks, where astropathic messages were gathered from across Scarus sector, checked, encrypted and re-routed by the cadre of astropaths that inhabited the tall censorium tower of Vraks' citadel, had stopped transmitting.

The last transmission had been a garbled message, received by an Administratum office on Cadia. It was not an unusual event, astro-telepathic messages did not always make their way through the warp intact.

The astropath's psychic-art was not a precise one. At first little attention was paid to a minor anomaly. It would take the Master of the Departmento Munitorum many months to hear news of the disaster that had beset his Armoury world.

Not until routine messages went unanswered would suspicions be aroused in the corridors of power of Segmentum Obscurus. Not until further investigations were undertaken, and the garbled message was eventually forwarded to the Master of the Departmento's office on Terra would the truth be known. Vraks had fallen. The impregnable fortress and its valuable stores were now in rebel hands.

How could it have happened? He was a very old man. He was old beyond the comprehension of most mere mortals. His body had been kept alive for over four hundred years by the arcane arts of the Adeptus Mechanicus Biologis, with daily blood transfusions and the application of rare and expensive chemicals.

Although frail he had endured to do the Emperor's work. His diocese mourned his passing. Borja's seat upon the Holy Synod was now vacant, and a replacement had to be found. Xaphan was enthroned into his new rank as the Cardinal-Astral Scarus on San Artorus, but before taking his place in the council chamber, the new Cardinal decided he would complete a pilgrimage.

He would conduct a grand tour of his new diocese for he had never seen the places he must now rule , and this pilgrimage would take in the many shrines and cathedrals of the Scarus sector. At each location he would preach the Imperial Creed and see that all was being done to protect the souls of the billions now under his charge. The pilgrimage would take five years, and along with Cardinal Xaphan would travel his full entourage. A thousand preachers, deacons, chatelaines, servants and menials, along with a personal bodyguard of the Adeptus Sororitas.

These warriors were a gift from the Abbess of the Artorus Priory of the Order of the Argent Shroud, to celebrate Xaphan's enthronement. It was a dangerous galaxy beyond the fringes of the Artorus system, and a Cardinal must be ready to protect himself and his flock with force as well as with faith. The Cardinal's long pilgrimage took him to many worlds, where his very presence, as a chosen representative of the Emperor, whipped the faithful into a frenzy of devotion. Fanatical cults such as the Redemptionists attached themselves to his entourage.

Xaphan's pilgrimage was a crusade they claimed, to rid the sector of heresy, to purge the impure and the unclean. He had been sent by the Emperor to do this holy work. Here was a man who could lead them. On Thracian Primaris the Cardinal's sermons attracted tens of thousands of frateris. Rioting broke out just to catch a glimpse of the Cardinal himself.

Hundreds died as the Sisters of Battle and local Adeptus Arbites fought to restore order. Thousands of faithful pledged themselves personally to the Cardinal's service. From world to world his entourage grew into a small army. The Cardinal's arrival had been like a spark that had ignited the fires of faith across the Scarus sector.

Some extremists were even calling him a messiah. Amongst all this fanatical devotion Cardinal Xaphan saw, perhaps for the first time, the true power that came with his new rank. His words could raise an army.

Surely out here he could best do the Emperor's work. Back on the Cardinal world he would spend hours debating in the council chamber, signing declarations, attending long meetings with the Administratum offices. Out here he could take real action against the doubters and heretics that threaten the Emperor's divine rule.

Xaphan voiced his opinions to his advisors, in particular Deacon Mamon, a young man who had recently joined the Cardinal's advisors on Thracian Primaris. Favoured by the Cardinal as a practical man of action, and for his local knowledge, the Deacon encouraged the seeds that were already developing in Xaphan's mind. With a leader to unite the many cults of the Imperial creed, Xapahan's pilgrimage could become a war of faith across the sector. But Mamon advised his Cardinal that he must proceed very carefully.

The Inquisition had spies and informers everywhere, and the Cardinal's movements would not go unnoticed by the notorious Ordo Hereticus. One false move and the Cardinal could be arrested for breaking the strict laws that governed the Ecclesiarchy. Most importantly, the Cardinal could personally command no men under arms. This ban had been enforced ever since the Age of Apostasy, when Cardinal Vandire had rebelled and his 'reign of blood' had almost shattered the Imperium.

There would already be informers and disloyal traitors amongst his entourage. These were weak-willed individuals who lacked the Cardinal's clarity of vision and his holy purpose. These spies were in the pay of the Ordo Hereticus, and they stood in the way of the Cardinal's holy war. With Mamon whispering in his ear, it seemed that Xaphan could not trust anybody.

The Cardinal must be very careful. If his desired war of faith was ever to come into being, he needed a safe, secluded planet on which to prepare and plan.

The place chosen by Deacon Mamon was Vraks. Vraks was a Departmento Munitorum Armoury world, a huge store house for war materiel, but it was also the site of the Basilica of Saint Leonis the Blind. Leonis had been a missionary, martyred in the 38th Millennium after having his eyes removed whilst spreading the word of the Emperor across the wilder systems of Scarus sector.

A shrine had been built to inter the saint's remains and relics. The Cardinal's pilgrimage should visit the shrine and take up residence in the palace attached to the Basilica. The palace already belonged to the Cardinal as part of the estates that accompanied his position.

It was maintained by a skeleton staff in case he ever had need of it, but it was also the headquarters from which the Adeptus Ministorum oversaw the pilgrims that wished to visit the shrine. The Cardinal left the details of the arrangements to his favoured Deacon, who had to request permission for the Cardinal to visit Vraks.

The system itself was a highly sensitive location, and only those ships with permission could enter the system. The Departmento Munitorum had to be made aware that the Cardinal and his retinue would be arriving.

The Imperial Navy needed to provide a vessel to transport the Cardinal, and an escort to protect him. All this was eventually done through official channels. The security formalities were completed and the staff of the Cardinal Palace on Vraks were sent into a frenzy of action when an astropathic message arrived saying the Cardinal-Astral would be taking up residence in under a month.

Vraks would be the seat of the Cardinal's power in the Scarus sector until he was ready to resume his pilgrimage and begin his holy war. The Cardinal on Vraks Xaphan's arrival on Vraks was a grand formal occasion, culminating with a procession to visit the bones of St Leonis the Blind in his shrine, led by the Cardinal himself with his entire entourage in ceremonial robes.

Thousands of fanatical pilgrims followed in his wake. Xaphan approached the citadel along a road lined with the entire garrison in parade ground order. The Cardinal gave the usual blessing to the Emperor's servants on Vraks, met with the garrison commander and the Departmento Munitorum Master-Prefect who ran Vraks' armoury, then, with the formailities complete, Xaphan retired to his palace with his closest advisors.

Few saw Cardinal Xaphan after those first meetings. He didn't make appearances in public, he sealed himself away within the palace, and only a selected few were allowed access to his Holiness. The running of the Departmento Munitorum armoury returned to normal. The pilgrims still came to file past the bones of St Leonis, the labour corps smashed and hauled rocks.

The sisters of the Order of the Argent Shroud took up residence in the small priory attached to the Basilica of St Leonis and formed an honour guard to the revered saint's remains and relics. There seemed no reason for suspicion. But there was disloyalty and sedition breeding within the heart of Vraks.

Aided by Deacon Mamon, the Cardinal started to plan the first steps in his war of faith. Of course he would need a great army, although he already had its core with the followers that had sworn loyalty and service to him, it must be larger still.

Xaphan would need more men, and so his Deacon planned to circumvent the ancient ban on armed men in his service. The Cardinal could not command any forces, but in times of peril the Basilica of St Leonis the Blind could raise a frateris militia to protect itself. So, the Deacon's preachers and missionaries moved amongst the pilgrims and labour gangs preaching sermons that forecast that Vraks was under threat. Rumours abounded that heretical forces were already attacking neighbouring systems and that Vraks must be ready to defend itself.

The preachers recruited frateris militiamen by the thousand, and soon the Basilica had a small army of men to defend it. The mood on Vraks became one of religious zealotry. Any who spoke out against the cardinal were demonised, some were arrested and dragged off to Vraks' dungeons. The Cardinal was the planet's saviour, the mob's messiah, and he would lead them all to salvation from the heretic forces that threatened them.

Simultaneously, Deacon Mamon was also busy establishing an inner circle around the Cardinal of fanatically loyal followers. Drawn from the many frateris who had sworn oaths of loyalty during his pilgrimage, or from the pilgrims already on Vraks, Mamon instructed the Cardinal's preachers to recruit what he called, the 'Disciples of Xaphan'.

These would be the Cardinal's closest supporters, men who he could trust and who would fight to the death for their master against any foe. Mamon saw the loyalty of these men as vital, and with the Cardinal's vast wealth he bought it. Where he failed to buy loyalty, Mamon soon had the leaders replaced, using the Cardinal's influence to install more amenable leaders.

None of the forces these officers commanded were directly under the Cardinal's orders, so the ban had not been broken, but soon the commanders could be relied upon to do the Cardinal's bidding. In the coming holy war Xaphan would need their troops.


Daemon Prince

Yet always there must be more, for with every world I ruin, so Nurgle rewards me further, and so my might grows ever greater. Daemonhood; ascension; immortality and otherworldly power. Such are the ultimate rewards that the Heretic Astartes and other mortal followers of the Dark Gods strive for. They will commit any atrocity, pay any price, and even part with their immortal souls for a chance to become a Daemon Prince. Most never achieve their goal, falling to the blades of their foes or devolving into hideous Chaos Spawn.


Daemon Prince of Nurgle

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