Hive World Terra

Death Guard

Warning: This definition may contain spoilers from any number of Games Workshop novels or source books.

Death Guard: Homeworld: Barbarus (status unknown) The Plague Planet (daemon-world).
Battlecry: none known.
Colours: Green and Purple
Primarch: Mortarion

The Death Guard were formed from the 14th Legion of the First Founding, previously known as the Dusk Raiders, before Mortarion became their Primarch. Their homeworld, Barbarus, was wreathed in poisonous gases, and the population had developed a stronger immune system and resistances to toxins than normal. This served the Legion well in many an egagement during the Great Crusade.

Prior to the Heresy, the Death Guard were always closely associated with the Warmaster and the Night Lords. Mortarion was viewed with distaste by many of the other Primarchs, and shown respect only by Horus and Night Haunter. Thus, the Legion's loyalty was to Horus primarily, not the Emperor.

The Death Guard served alongside the Luna Wolves most frequently, as Mortarion endeavoured to remain close to the Warmaster. The Legion were reknowned for their solidity, and their lack of flashy tactics. Their obedience to every order was legend, and the Death Guard frequently operated as one single entity on the battlefield. Mortarion's primary interest was infantry, and the Death Guard had little time for vehicles and armour support, preferring to win through relentless resilience. Mortarion's time on Barbarus had taught him that endurance was most important, and Death Guard formations would regularly weather ferocious assault and retaliate only when the enemy faltered.

When Horus declared his plans to attack Terra, Mortarion followed without question. No power of Chaos corrupted the Death Guard to following the Warmaster; only their loyalty to him and the distance of the other Primarchs toward Mortarion. This meant that the Death Guard went untouched by the Ruinous Powers until late in the Heresy - on their journey to Terra itself.

The Legion's fleet became marooned in the Warp whilst en route to Holy Terra. As they drifted, the Death Guard were struck down by a mysterious contagion that spread from vessel to vessel, bringing down each and every marine with fever as their very insides were rotted by the virulent plague. The Legion's renowned resistance to disease and poison availed them nothing against this strange ailment, and one by one, they began to die. Mortarion, gripped by the fever and horrified by the sight of his beloved Legion dying all around him, pledged his life and soul to whatever was listening to save them from the plague. Nurgle, whose Rot its was that was destroying the Legion, accepted Mortarion's offer and the Death Guard emerged from the Warp, newly dedicated to Chaos and Decay.

After Horus' defeat, the Death Guard were the only Legion to fall back in good order; many Loyalist forces broke themselves engaging the retreating Legion. Like the Iron Warriors, the Death Guard rampaged across the Imperium, bringing plague, death and decay wherever they travelled before vanishing into the Eye of Terror, where Mortarion was elevated to daemonhood, and granted a daemon-world of his own.

The Legion have had many terrible changes wrought upon them by their new Patron, not the least were the ravages of Nurgle's Rot. The Death Guard writhe with pestilence; even their armour has rotted in some terrible way. Through rents in its plating can be seen diseased, blistered flesh and boils and cysts grow upon the metal as though it were skin. A gut-wrenching stench of decay exudes from the Legionnaires and flies surround them in great clouds. Their coming is a feared and terrible sight - for most troops will stand under fire, but plague is an enemy that cannot be seen and the Rot of Nurgle is a most virulent and painful death, with no known remedy save allegiance to its creator.

Before the Heresy, the Death Guard wore white-marble power armour with green trim. Their symbol was a skull within a spiked ring. Now, they were the symbol of Nurgle and their armour has taken on the sickly greens and livid purples of that God.

Source: Codex: Chaos, 2nd Edition by various, Codex: Chaos Space Marines, 3rd Edition by various

Submitter: Simguinus