These overseers of Nurgle's realm in the Immaterium ride into realspace to carry out the wishes of their divine lord as aerial cavalry mounted upon Rot Flies and Battle Flies -- colossal daemonic insects whose appearance is so repugnant it scars the mind. In a collection of stomach-churning creations, it takes something especially hideous such as the Plague Drones of Nurgle to catch the eye.
For each Plague Drone, a Plaguebearer sits atop an enormous Rot Fly, which features two pairs of large, ragged wings, as well as lumps and boils across its body. There are also exposed innards here and there, and in one of the creature's bulbous abdomen are the horrific, contorted faces of some poor, partially digested foe.
Each Rot Fly is unique, varying in features such as possessing a Plague Proboscis which can spread the various pathogens and toxins of the Lord of Decay to the flesh of any victim the Rot Fly sinks it deep into, mandibles and stinger. The Plaguebearers also feature an array of disturbing gifts of Nurgle, from their boils and open sores to their exposed entrails.
A terrible thrum of insectile wings fills the air as the Plague Drones descend. High-ranking Plaguebearers riding atop monstrous Rot Flies, these daemonic airborne cavalry hit the enemy lines like hard-swung wrecking balls, bowling warriors over with their sheer stinking bulk. Hairy limbs scrabble, ripping through flesh and cracking bone. Needle proboscis punch through armour joints and eye lenses to inject diseased acids into their victims.
Revolting mouthparts gape and suck as they envelop the heads of screaming warriors, slurping them down like sweetmeats. Meanwhile, the daemonic riders hack at their victims with Plagueswords, and hurl infernal death's heads into the foe's ranks to engulf them in billowing clouds of plague spores and sickness. Such an onslaught is enough to break the spirit of even the most well dug-in opponents, and has been known to turn the flank or break the centre of entire enemy battle-lines.
These foul beings can fly at prodigious speeds, absorb ferocious amounts of firepower, and dole out hurt in great measure. They are greatly valued by the Death Guard, who offer up rich sacrifice in the hopes of conjuring these monsters to their side. Speed and manoeuvrability are one of the few weaknesses the Death Guard suffer, and their ruling champions can find many strategic roles for a pack or two of Plague Drones.
Intercepting and destroying enemy flanking forces or scouts, launching swift strikes against vulnerable foes, intercepting airborne threats or rushing to reinforce weaknesses in the Death Guard lines, Plague Drones make for versatile and powerful allies. Their riders are haughty, however, for they are highly placed amongst Nurgle's daemonic legions, while their steeds hate all mortals no matter their origins. As such, the Death Guard can only hope that the Plague Drones they have summoned will act according to their plans, rather than following their own whimsy wherever they please.
Though few know the truth of this, Rot Flies are, in fact, metamorphosed forms of Beasts of Nurgle who have given in to spite and despair. Over thousands of Terran years, even the simple joy of Beasts of Nurgle can be soured by their playmates' unwillingness. A seed of discontentment takes hold within some, a canker of bitterness and disillusionment that grows with every fresh rejection.
Should such a doubting Beast be slain and banished back to Nurgle's Garden in the Realm of Chaos, it will slump into the muck and filth with a resigned sigh and give in to its misery. A thick cloud of Nurgle's fattest flies descends upon the desolate beast, cocooning it against the unfairness of the galaxy, and within this thick pupa a strange transformation takes hold.
A bloated Rot Fly rips its way free, fully formed and driven by all the hate and cruelty that soured the Beast of Nurgle's simple heart. Plaguebearers prize such steeds highly, for in their haste to punish the mortals that once spurned them, Rot Flies speed into battle at a great pace.
- 2-8 Plague Drones
- 1 Plaguebringer
- Death's Heads (Used by Plaguebearer)
- Plaguesword (Used by Plaguebearer)
- Prehensile Proboscis (Used by Rot Fly)
- Black Crusade: Tome of Decay (RPG), pg. 15
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Death Guard (8th Edition), pp. 55, 95
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (8th Edition), pp. 61, 111
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (6th Edition), pg. 49
- White Dwarf 399 (March 2013) (UK), "New Releases," & "Chaos Daemons - Plague Drones of Nurgle," pg. 4, 6-7
- Games Workshop Online Store - Plague Drones of Nurgle
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions (Art Book), pg. 329