The Tainted are a large warband of Chaos Space Marines drawn from the Death Guard Traitor Legion who are dedicated to the Chaos God Nurgle in his aspects as the god of despair and the Mortifier of the Flesh.
The Tainted supplement their numbers on the battlefield with a large number of disease-ridden Chaos Spawn called "Plague Spawn," mutated Plague Ogryns and other horribly mutated beasts who are collectively known as the "Rotted Circus."
The most powerful of these beasts was a massive Chaos Spawn riddled with Grandfather Nurgle's plagues who was named "Jibberjaw."
The Tainted were one of the 11 Chaos Space Marine warbands to participate in the Siege of Vraks, seeking to aid the forces of Chaos in the defence of the Imperial Armoury World of Vraks that they had seized from the Emperor under the leadership of the Apostate Cardinal-Astra Xaphan.
Since that war Ordo Malleus savants believe the secrets of creating Plague Ogryns have been refined further by The Tainted, deep within the Eye of Terror, and they now trade these vile beasts among the servants of the Lord of Decay in return for fresh subjects on which to practice their twisted fleshcraft.
- Siege of Vraks (813.M41-830.M41) - The Tainted were one of the Chaos Space Marine warbands that answered the call of the Chaos Lord Arkos the Faithless of the Alpha Legion to support the defence of the Forces of Chaos entrenched on the Armoury World of Vraks from the assault of the Imperium of Man. After the Siege of Vraks ended with the fall of that benighted world to Imperial forces after a horrifically costly military campaign in 830.M41, The Tainted fled off-world. After their arrival on Vraks during that long conflict, The Tainted's Chaos Champions began to sway the members of the Vraksian Traitor Militia to the worship of Nurgle. The most powerful of these converts were the Apostate Cardinal Xaphan's chief aide Deacon Mamon, who had long been a devotee of Chaos Undivided, and several of the members of the elite cadre of Vraksian officers called the Disciples of Xaphan. Mamon, who was ultimately elevated to become a Daemon Prince of Nurgle because of his success as the architect of the fall of Xaphan to Chaos and the damage wrought on the Imperium by the Siege of Vraks, would fight alongside the The Tainted until the end of the siege. After the end of the campaign, Mamon and the remaining Chaos Space Marines of The Tainted fled off-world. During the terrible years of the siege, The Tainted often released their Rotted Circus upon the Imperial forces assaulting the Chaotic lines, and used their mastery of sorcery to mutate many of the Ogryns who fought for the Traitor Militia, creating the first mutants known as Plague Ogryns.
Notable Warband Members
- Mamon, Arch-Corruptor of Vraks - Mamon was the principle agent provocateur behind the uprisings against the Imperium on Vraks Prime which eventually initiated the Siege of Vraks. He was a corrupted Imperial Deacon who found favour within the Apostate Cardinal Xaphan's staff. It was Deacon Mamon who first sowed the seeds of corruption and turned the inexperienced Cardinal's religious ambitions against the Imperium. It was he who brought the Alpha Legion warband of Arkos the Faithless to the planet. This has been taken as evidence that the Deacon may have already been an Alpha Legion sleeper agent, and that Vraks was his (and Arkos') intended target all along. Eventually the war turned against the ambitions of Mamon and Arkos, as Lord Zhufor of the large Khornate warband known as the Skulltakers, led a bloody coup against the Apostate-Cardinal to place the Chaotic forces under the indirect control of Zhufor's own master, Abaddon the Despoiler. Hunted by Zhufor's bodyguard, Mamon was lucky to escape with his life. Seeking refuge with the Nurgleite warband of Chaos Space Marines known as The Tainted, Mamon offered himself to Grandfather Nurgle. The Plague God granted the corrupted Deacon the "gift" of Daemonhood for all he had accomplished on Vraks, granting him the exalted rank of Daemon Prince. Mamon was soon possessed by the potent spirit of a Great Unclean One. Transformed into a corpulent, festering Daemon Prince of Nurgle, Mamon was unleashed upon Vraks, to turn the Imperial Armoury World into a new Plague Planet dedicated to Nurgle. In his new, horribly bloated form, Mamon fought alongside The Tainted until the end of the campaign when he and Tainted escaped off-world after its fall to the Imperial forces. Since then his whereabouts and those of The Tainted remain unknown.
The Chaos Space Marines of The Tainted are all members of the Death Guard Traitor Legion, which means their Power Armour is often coloured in the decayed greens, browns, and beiges preferred by those devotees of Nurgle.
The Tainted make use of a badge that is a geometrical variation of the standard tripartite Mark of Nurgle, centred on a field of various decayed greens, browns, and beiges depending on the condition of the individual.
- Imperial Armour - Apocalypse II, pp. 66-67; 74-75
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 142, 159, 170, 186
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost & The Damned by Andy Hoare with additional material by Alan Bligh & Neil Wylie, pg. 30