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From afar, the sorcerer Bloab Rotspawned appears to be constantly surrounded by swarms of unnatural insects. Only his fellow warriors in the Icehorn tribe know that Bloab is in fact the swarm, and the swarm is Bloab. Though there was a time when he was a tall and athletic warrior, now there is nothing left of his mortal form but a sack of leathery skin filled with wriggling daemon-maggots.[1a]
Even as a child, Bloab had an unhealthy fascination for the smaller forms of life in the world. He took great joy in pulling the legs from snow spiders and trapping ice moths inside wax-sealed skulls until they starved to death. It was a habit that he took with him into adolescence, and then into adulthood. Such was his persecution of the Icehorn Peaks’ most diminutive creatures that Bloab eventually came to the notice of Grandfather Nurgle.[1a]
Nurgle values all forms of life, no matter how small. On some level it offended him that such a powerful young warrior spent his time seeking out and mutilating the least of foes instead of claiming glory by cutting down the champions of the Urfather’s rivals. Every winter Bloab fought alongside the rest of his tribe’s menfolk against the tribes of Kvellig and Tong, but when spring approached he always went back to his sadistic one-man war against the worlds of the tiny creatures that eke out a life from the arctic wastes.[1a]
As with most of the Icehorn tribe’s menfolk, Nurgle had given Bloab the gift of resilience. Though the Lord of Decay usually toughens the constitutions of his devotees so they can better appreciate the plagues that spill out from his garden, Bloab’s skin became Thundertusk-thick for quite a different reason.[1a]
The Lord of Decay resolved to teach Bloab a lesson. On one of his long hunting expeditions, the young warrior began to find ever larger and more surreal forms of insects. One by one he took his dagger to them, cutting them into pieces and cooking their chitinous legs over small cave-fires for sustenance.[1a]
One night, when Morrslieb waxed full, Bloab was taking his rest in a cave near the Forest of Decay. He had just enjoyed a long but arduous day of torturing large insects and small animals, and as night fell and he drifted into a deep sleep, he started snoring loud enough to scare off a cave bear. As his dreams strayed into the Garden of Nurgle, a daemonfly with human features wound its way down from the craters of Morrslieb’s surface and flew in lazy spirals into Bloab’s cavern refuge. Another came down from the skies, then three more.[1a]
Soon the cave echoed to the roar of a thick black swarm, but still Bloab did not wake. Forming a twisting funnel like that of a tornado, the daemonflies dived for his yawning mouth and plunged down his throat into his body. There they laid eggs by the thousand, nestling the clutches of their larvae in his lungs, his guts, and his heart. Once their business was done they flew out once more into the night, blood-slick and grinning.[1a]
Bloab woke in agony from strange and disturbing dreams, his insides burning. Within him the daemonfly larvae had hatched, and the wriggling beasts were eating him alive from the inside out. Just as he had taken his time dismembering and persecuting those creatures smaller than him, the daemon larvae were in no hurry, lazily chewing at their screaming host with their tiny razored mandibles until there was nothing left of him save a sac of toughened skin. However, Grandfather Nurgle, in his beneficence, wished not to kill Bloab, but to put him to new use. With the energies of Nurgle sustaining him, Bloab survived his ordeal, even with his insides hollowed out like a drained gourd. One by one, the fat pupae that wriggled inside him matured and split. New daemonflies hatched one after another to crawl out of Bloab's mouth and buzz in his wake, their affection for their host like that of grateful children.[1a]
Since that grotesque experience, Bloab Rotspawned has found himself high in the favour of Nurgle, for the Lord of Decay is as forgiving of his worshippers as an indulgent father is of his errant sons. When Bloab becomes enraged, the contours of his flesh ripple and pulse, spells of rot and dismemberment spilling from his lips as his daemonflies hiss praises to Nurgle around him.[1a]
Bloab was even allowed to walk the paths of his master’s garden, escorted through its treacherous reaches by a humanoid figure that coalesced from the very swarm that makes his flesh-sac its home. There he stood upon the threshold of Nurgle’s great rotting manse, marvelling at its entropic glory. He did not have the courage to disturb his master’s studies at the cauldron, though when Bloab made his obeisances and left, he found that a pair of bell from the windspeaker that had clanged softly on Nurgle’s veranda now hung from his travelling scythe. They still hang there now, their dolorous toll harming the concentration of enemy mages and helping Bloab to focus his own.[1a][1b]
Bloab has truly repented of his former sins, taking great pains to overcome sterility wherever he finds it. So tireless has Bloab been in the propagation of his master’s diseases that, after introducing the contagion known as the Black Blossoms to the Tong tribe, he awoke one morning to find a giant pox maggoth looming over him. The long-limbed creature had sought him out not with intent to maul and destroy, but to befriend. Once Bloab had recovered from his shock, his daemonflies swarmed around him and lifted him atop its shoulders.[1b]
Bloab’s joy was magnified threefold when a warband of vengeful Tong sought him out. His pox maggoth heaved great sloshing balls of acidic bile into their ranks even as his daemonfly swarms fell upon them in a frenzy of tiny mandibles. His pets attacked with such fury that they laid the tribesmen low before Bloab had muttered a single incantation. Since that day Bloab has been known in the north as the Lord of the Daemonflies, a title that he delights in.[1b]
Not content to rest on his laurels, Bloab Rotspawned has travelled south with the intention of bringing the joys of plague to the civilised realms. Now it is his maggoth, Bilespurter, that dismembers his victims, and his daemonflies that ensure he has space enough to work. In recent months his swarm has thinned in number, its eldest members buzzing out on lengthy migrations to seek out new champions for Nurgle. Rumour has it that those touched by the Lord of the Daemonflies’ swarm are destined for great things, though there are just as many reports of their painful bites bearing deadly infection as there are rumours of the seeds of greatness.[1b]