- "Blind I am, who was once far in sight and swift in malice, cursed and punished to recount not mine own glory and mine own tragedies, but the glorious and terrible sagas of others who have born the blood blade of Champion before the great gods of Chaos. It is I, their chronicler, alone who may tell their tales, spilling their secrets with my viper's tongue and burning-venomed ink, for those with the wisdom to see and the wit to tell steel-edged truth from honey lie. Beware, for such knowledge is as treacherous as the path to greatness in the service of Chaos itself.
- Know then, that this is the saga of Tamurkhan, Maggot Lord, Son of the Great Kurgan of old, Favoured of Nurgle - Warlord, tyrant, canker - worm and false king. Tamurkhan the Great, Tamurkhan the Fool, pawn of prophecy and bringer of slaughter."
- —The Saga of Tamurkhan[1a]
Tamurkhan, known also as the Maggot Lord, the Son of the Great Kurgan and the Favored of Nurgle, was once one of the greatest Champion of Nurgle in recent history. Numerous legends and lies clustered about Tamurkhan long before he had gathered his great horde and in fulfillment of prophecy struck out like a poisoned talon at the wider world beyond the Chaos Wastes. Some tales speak of him to be the millennia-old scion of the Great Kurgan, one of four sons, mighty and terrible, who each set out to the four winds to conquer in the service of the four great powers of Chaos.
Others had it that he was no more than a vermin once — a corpse-canker grown fat and clever on the spoiled entrails of the battlefield, swelled up and tranfigured in the basking light of the Eternal Battle in the uttermost north. In either case he was an arrogant, savage and monstrous warlord, and a true reveler in decay and death, fated as one of Father Nurgle's most favored children for the carnage and suffering he had wracked in his god's name. As the leader of a decaying warband of fanatical acolytes and twisted monstrosities and riding upon his mighty mount, Bubebolos the Toad Dragon, Tamurkhan carved a bloody path for himself on the road to victory, amassing around him a great host in his master's name.
The history of Tamurkhan began to the far north, as all such sagas of Chaos often begin. In the Year of the Crow in the sixth reign of the Black Moon, by Norscan reckoning, the never-ending temptest that crowns the storm that is known to men as the Realm of Chaos waxed gibbous and grasping. All across the north lands the earth shifted and moaned as if it were a sleeper beset by nightmares; battle-graves vomited forth their unquiet dead, and she-beast and mortal woman alike were greatly blessed with the taint of Chaos in their birthings. All men knew that a time of great portents was at hand, and rumours spread like grassland fires of sundered prisons and baleful visitations, of great monsters bestirred from their slumbers in the caves and mires of the wastes, and of sorceresses leaping eager into the minds of those with the wit to seize them. War was coming, as it had countless times before and would do so countless times again — red war the likes of which every Northman be they Dolgan, Chi-An or Kharzag feels the calling of in their bones and cannot resist. War at the pleasure of the Chaos Gods.[1a]
With the call to battle tugging at their minds and souls, some wasted no time in falling first upon their own, striving in bloody combat to prove their worth before their tribe and their gods for the battles to come. Others, tormented by dreams and visions, quested alone, travelling ever northward to where the world itself was ripped apart. Of these dark pilgrims, some found paths to bleak and nightmarish shrines where they came to claim a blessing and pledge theitillegiance to one of the Great Powers, while many merely found death.[1a]
Feeling the breach of Chaos at their neck and hearing its honeyed whispers of promises of their ascendancy and destruction in equal measure, many exalted champions and would-be warlords across the north lands bestirred themselves for battle. For some the prospect of fighting familiar foes and settling ancient feuds was enough to call on their savagery and spur them to action alone, while others, superstitious and pious in their dark religion sought the favour of the gods by divining prophecies and the calling of daemonic summonings for lore and guidance as to where their blow should fall. Fickle and contradictory are the gods of Chaos, and treacherous their daemon-kin. For each visitation and augury was a different answer given, and for each a different path to glory illuminated. Yet within this cacophony of maddening lies, lick-spittle-truths and burning secrets, there were names and whispers that reverberated and echoed 'rime and again to some — of The Everchosen Yet to Rise, of Zanbaijin, the Fallen City, the Serpent's Moon and the Dead Grail, of the Kingdom of Fire and Ash, and of the Throne of Chaos of undying dominion over the mortal world in daemon's flesh — a prize 'ripe for the taking.[1a]
So it came to pass in the Kurgan lands where the legend of the blasted plateau of K'datha and the ancient ruins of Zanbaijin that surmounted it were well known, that many warlords and mighty Champions of Chaos were drawn to quest for its cold heights. Although said to exist somewhere to the east, the K'datha was known to shift and wane like a mirage on the horizon, and an unfavoured warrior might be driven mad or starve without ever reaching it, though it hovered on the horizon before them. But as the Realm of Chaos waxed in power, the great plateau of blasta K'datha lay open for any that would dare climb the razor-sharp rocks of its passes to give battle in the shadow of the ancient ruins.[1a]
Death of K'dathaEdit
Zanbaijin — the Fallen City was older than Man, and had long served as an arena where the Chaos Gods watched their mortal followers vie for their favour in violent conflict. When the Champions and their armies came to battle here each hoped to prove their worth and the superiority of their patron over all others, and now would be no exception. A Champion who was a victor here would be marked for greatness, and by ancient tradition became master of those they vanquished. The fame of such a warlord would spread throughout the Northern Wastes, and many would flock to their banner in promise of the glories to come.[1a]
Eventually three mighty armies came to make war in the shadow of the timeless twisted pillars of Zanbaijin. First from the west came the brazen-armoured warriors of Hakka the Aesling, his axe-men drawn up in brutal column, each accompanied by packs of blood-crazed Gore-spawn and flayed hounds snapping at their leashes. From the east came Sargath the Vain, horse-lord of the Yurtsak, at whose bequest the paramours of Slaanesh danced Sargath, though but young in years was already a legend among his people, and his marauders and horse-mounted reavers were legion in number and weighed down with unnatural appetites that hungered to be satiated. From the south came the witch-cabal of Urak Soulbane, Arch-Sorcerer and daemon-priest, at whose beckoning the the earth and rocks themselves spat forth twisted killing shapes, and above whose head vultures whirled on wings of flame. Although comparably few compared to the other greater forces, the witch-cult was deadly, and its fanatic acolytes and sorcerers could match many times their own numbers in combat.[1a]
Soon battle was joined and the slaughter was great. By spell and sword, fanged maw and burning talon, lives were claimed and blood was shed in profusion for the god's pleasure. The dead plazas of the fallen city echoed once more to the song steel and the piteous cries of the dying. Hour after hour, day after day the forces clashed and parted in the heartbeat rhythm of war. Of the three forces, none gained the upper hand, for while the fury of Hakka's berserkers was unsurpassed, it was countered by the numbers of Sargath's vast host, who spitted themselves on their foe blades in unholy bliss and dragged them down, only to be beaten back from victory in turn by the scouring hellfire of Urak's striking when triumph seemed assured. Each force grew more desperate for victory as the bodies stacked deep in the cold dust and the moons passed overhead, and a great tumult of baleful light caught hold in the skies above K'datha, both as a sign of the gods' pleasure and as a beacon to draw in others with the promise of glory like moths to a flame. The fighting ran on unabated, and soon where thousands had battled before, tens of thousand's now flocked to join the conflict, both swelling the armies of the mighty champions who already fought and anding a roll of a score of petty warlords, hungering creatures of Chaos and their followers as minor factions into the fray.
When the moon of Mannslieb died in the east, and the Black Moon, Morrslieb, rose in the ascendancy, another host appeared on the horizon carrying with it a great miasma of shadow and pestilence. It had begun as a flood of distorted, nightmare things, dredged up from the depths of Cold Mires, hungering Bile Trolls, worm-men, and hideious nameless things dripping rot and slime. At the head of this monstrous horde wwas a rotted yet living cadaver astride a mighty Toad Dragon, a cadaver that called itself Tamurkhan the Maggot Lord, servant of the God of Peslience and father of all Diseases. Nurgle.