Mark of Nurgle

Though any disease can drive a mortal into the waiting arms of the Lord of Decay, Nurgle's Rot is the most certain. The Lord of Decay’s most infamous accomplishment sets the benchmark for all his other creations. Despite millennia of effort, he has never bettered that disease which bears his name: Nurgle’s Rot. It is the most contagious, most rapacious, and most heinous of all sicknesses, poxes, and fevers he has ever produced. The Imperial authorities have put entire villages to sword and flame at a single instance of Nurgle’s Rot; such is the terror it provokes.[2a]

Symptoms vary so wildly that no physician can deduce a cure, but the disease incorporates all the worst elements of every plague that has ever afflicted the world, slowly rendering the sufferer into a bloated, rotting, living corpse before an eventual, agonising demise. Worse, its effects do not stop with death, for the soul of a mortal who succumbs to the infection belongs to Nurgle, doomed to serve forever as a plaguebearer.[2a]

Tradition has it that, for each person who contracts Nurgle’s Rot, a seed like a rotten boil sprouts from the boughs of the mouldering willow trees which grow in Nurgle's Garden. As the disease takes hold of the sufferer, that seed is said to swell into a vile, bubonic fruit which feeds off the afflicted person’s soul like a tick gorging itself on its host’s blood. When the bloated victim expires in a mess of bloody phlegm, the final traces of his soul are sucked into the engorged fruit, and the ripe flesh bursts apart as a new plaguebearer slips and slithers into existence.[2a]

Older Version

Also known as Neighlish Rot, this virulent disease wreaks havoc with the system. Painful buboes erupt in the soft tissues, and it’s always accompanied by a high fever. Many sufferers of this terrible disease slip into madness, or at the very least, commit suicide to avoid experiencing its nastiest effects. Neiglish Rot kills slowly, sometimes taking weeks for the victim to succumb to its ravages. What’s worse is that mutation almost always too, so that even those victims who manage to recover can look forward to a fiery death strapped to a Witch Hunter’s stake. Worst case scenario, they may even transform into Plaguebearers.[1a]

Neiglish Rot spreads through contact. The infected merely has to touch another to spread its taint. Occasionally, this plague pops up on its own, but individuals can catch it in a variety of other ways, including being struck by an infected Champion of Nurgle, stepping in a sticky pool left by a Great Unclean One, or by touching a Death Head. Such exposures are all blessedly rare.[1a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Corruption
    • 1a: pg. 19
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- The Book of Plague
    • 2a: pg. 10