"As it turns out, champion of humanity, wickedness has its rewards. Tremble, and behold the dread might that my sins have paid to me!"
A Death Guard Sorcerer, known also as a Plague Sorcerer, is a Heretic Astartes and Chaos Sorcerer of the Death Guard Traitor Legion who is a practitioner of the dark arts of psychic sorcery. He is able to call down the virulent blessings of his patron god Nurgle upon allies and enemies alike.
Despite his powerful and horrific abilities, Death Guard Sorcerers are still looked down upon within their Legion by both their Daemon Primarch Mortarion and their fellow Death Guard Chaos Space Marines, an attitude long prevalent in the XIV Legion that is the result of the Death Lord's great hatred of psykers from his time battling the sorcerer lords of his homeworld of Barbarus. Mortarion's dislike of psykers and the use of sorcery remains strong even after his own transformation into a being of the Immaterium.
Harnessing the energies of the Warp, the Sorcerers of the Death Guard call down the repugnant blessings of Nurgle upon ally and enemy alike. Withering plagues weaken their foes, causing bones to rot and splinter, and muscle to waste away to red-brown sludge. Vile conjurations conceal the Death Guard from their enemies amidst storms of hairy black flies, or else swell their bloated bodies with unnatural might and fecund resilience. Daemonic blights are summoned forth that burn through the enemy ranks like wildfire, while the battlefield itself turns to rot and ruin, fortifications crumbling as Empyric parasites burrow through their foundations. Many Death Guard Sorcerers can even channel the disgusting power of Nurgle directly through their own tainted bodies, their jaws gaping wide to spew ectoplasmic vomit and filth in such abundance that a stream of corruption drowns the enemy.
Such abilities are as horrific as they are powerful, yet still they are viewed with distaste by Mortarion and many of his greatest champions. The Death Lord's hatred for psykers survived even his transformation into a being of immaterial energies. Though he would never refuse the gifts that Nurgle bestows upon his sons, Mortarion is under no obligation to like them.
The Sorcerers of the Death Guard do not seem to resent the contempt that their fellows hold them in. Indeed, they thrive amongst the ranks of the Death Guard like disease in an unwilling host. Some delight in lording over their less gifted brothers, while others form shamanic sub-sects and foster cults of mortal followers to do their bidding. Over the centuries, the Sorcerers of the Death Guard have concocted many outlandish names for these sects, based around the powers they exhibit. Thus were born the Malignant Plaguecasters, the Slopmaw Maggotmancers, the Cadaverous Faminebringers and many others.
The Lords of the Death Guard recognise their Sorcerers' utility as living weapons upon the field of battle. Some Death Guard Lords even permit their Sorcerers a degree of command when they must, sifting out the valuable insights hidden in their half-sane ramblings. Rarely are the Sorcerers themselves respected or valued, however. Largely, they remain pariahs amongst their brothers. Only within the vectoriums of the 4th Plague Company does this differ, for there the Eater of Lives holds sway. This ancient entity values psykers highly for their ability to wield the power of the Warp and summon waves of daemons to the battlefield, and so insists that they lead in place of Death Guard Lords.
Malignant Plaguecasters are Death Guard Sorcerers who fill the air with billowing filth. With every gurgling inhalation they draw lungfuls of noxious vapours from the Garden of Nurgle -- the Plague God's noxious realm within the Realm of Chaos -- before blowing them out in phlegm-thick clouds that can rot a man to the bone in seconds. Potent Death Guard Sorcerers, these vile psykers are Warp-rotted from their pallid, flyblown skin to their ever-churning innards. They have bargained away what remained of their souls in exchange for Nurgle's blessings, and been gifted with the ability to channel the malaise of the Plague God's realm.
The bloated bodies of Malignant Plaguecasters have become living conduits for the Garden of Nurgle's toxic miasmas. Flesh-eating spore clouds, droning plague flies, vomitous mists and plague-laden corpse gas roil within the Plaguecasters' guts, at times straining their skin to bursting point. With retching exhalations, the Plaguecasters blow these lethal clouds across the battlefield. The effects of such noxious clouds upon mortal victims are immediate and hideous. Warriors collapse, choking upon their own rotting lungs even as their flesh blackens and liquefies. Armour corrodes and weapons spark and sputter as they are eaten away. Even sealed fortifications offer no protection, the Plaguecaster's fumes devouring metal and stone as easily as they do flesh.
Notable Death Guard Sorcerers
- Dulthrox Globbergor - The name of Dulthrox Globbergor is renowned throughout the Death Guard; this Malignant Plaguecaster is known as the "Father of Mites," and is borne into battle upon a jabbering mountain of adoring Nurglings.
- Blight-Master Ussax - Ussax is a Veteran of the Death Guard Traitor Legion, and known as a member of the inner circle of Chaos Sorcerers that serve the Daemon Primarch Mortarion. He is well known to the Ordo Malleus and to the Grey Knights, and has been responsible for countless millions of deaths throughout the millennia. Ussax is held to be one of the most darkly gifted concoctors of blights, afflictions and plagues serving the Death Guard, and his recent appearance in the warzones of the Jericho Reach, attended by a cadre of Plague Marines, is a cause for much concern amongst those with knowledge of his capabilities. According to recent findings presented to the Chamber of Vigilance of Watch Fortress Erioch, Blight-Master Ussax has been present in the Reach for around three standard years, travelling from one warzone to the next. At each battlefield, he gathers up a grim and unspeakable harvest from the dead and the dying, before returning to some as yet undiscovered fastness to concoct his latest ague. This he then unleashes upon the next battlefield he attends, once more harvesting the bodies of the victims. It is feared that the Blight-Master is refining his plagues, using the raging conflicts of the Jericho Reach as some vile breeding ground for new agonies to unleash upon an unsuspecting galaxy in Father Nurgle's name.
- Corrupted Power Armour (Any pattern)
- Force Weapon (including Force Sword, Force Axe or Force Stave)
- Bolt Pistol or Plasma Pistol
- Blight Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Corrupted Terminator Armour (Any pattern)
- Combi-weapons (including Combi-Bolter, Combi-Melta or Combi-Plasma)
- Force Stave or other Force Weapon (Force Axe or Force Sword)
- Terminator Melee Weapon (including Balesword, Chainfist, Lightning Claw, Power Axe, Power Fist, Power Maul or Power Sword)
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Death Guard (8th Edition), pp. 12-13, 17, 20-22, 31, 52-53, 56, 67, 73-74
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pg. 85