Times are changing in the Grim-Dark and one of the major players is biding his time – Where’s Nurgle?
The Chaos God’s are fickle but when they work together they are a threat unlike any other in all of Warhammer 40,000. With the Fall of Cadia the tides of Chaos are ever flowing outward from the Eye of Terror now. We’ve seen Khorne’s Chosen act in Traitor’s Hate. We’ve witness Magnus strike the Space Wolves a devastating blow with the blessing of Tzeentch. Now Abaddon rises up to smash the Cadia Gate. So where’s Nurgle in all of this?
Typhus is the Herald of Nurgle. The last time Abaddon launched his 13th Black Crusade he was at his side in the Terminus Est bringing havoc, death and destruction all over the place. But since those events have be retconned, we are all starting to wonder where did they go?
Where ever Typhus goes, he brings the blessings of Nurgle with him. However, with the recent books, there hasn’t been a ton of attention focused on Nurgle’s loyal followers. I have a few theories so let’s talk shop.
Theory One: Nurgle is Present – He’s just waiting to reveal himself
I think this is probably the most likely case in terms of the lore, which is why I’m starting with it first. I think that Abaddon would have coordinated with Typhus, just as he probably did with Kharn, to launch an assault somewhere else. In Traitor’s Hate/Angel’s Blade we learned that Kharn’s real mission had something to do with a mysterious “Warp Egg” – I won’t get into all the details, but go read the books.
We basically learn, much as Abaddon’s attack on Cadia had an “alternate victory” condition, so did Kharn’s mission. The Imperium is just trying to push the back while the forces of chaos are playing the long game.
I think this is where Nurgle is at right now. Nurgle represents entropy in many ways – Death and Decay are just one of the aspects. He is patient and waiting to strike at the right time.
Theory Two: Nurgle is sitting this one out
I don’t put much weight behind this one but I think it’s worth a mention none-the-less. Much like Slaanesh going missing, Nurgle has been taking a back seat for awhile. The last time Nurgle got any real attention was the Glotkin/Maggoth Lord models for Warhammer Fantasy’s End Times. Which, to be fair, were pretty amazing! Papa Nurgle has actually been getting quite a bit of attention in the AoS fluff as well. He’s the main antagonist vs Sylvaneth as they are fighting over the “Garden of Life.”
But that probably doesn’t mean anything to 40k fans who have been wondering “where the heck is Nurgle?!” Sure we’ve got mentions of Plague Marines/Plague Bearers helping but I haven’t seen anything major from the Chaos God of Pestilence. Maybe he IS sitting this one out while he’s busy with things on the AoS front.
Theory Three: There’s no room for a Nurgle Release
Well, at least currently. Looking at the rapid fire release schedule I can see that this is probably the real world issue – it has almost nothing to do with the Lore. This month has been dubbed Tzaanuary after all. It’s Tzeentch’s time in the spotlight! I’m actually okay with this because it’s a welcome break from all the Khorne releases from last year. Don’t get me wrong, Khorne’s still #1 and all, but it’s nice to see something besides “Red and Skulls” for a bit.
I think the assumption is that the next big step forward will be something to do with the Eldar. That’s been teased at by Games Workshop already. So if next month is all Eldar what’s after that? Well, I would expect the follow up to Gathering Storm II would probably be something along the lines of Gathering Storm III…Or maybe a follow-up with the Black Crusade tag. I don’t know. But we haven’t heard anything from the rumor mill about Nurgle. It’s been a lot of talk about Primarchs coming back however…
So again, currently, I don’t think there is any room for a Nurgle release in the next couple months. Plus I’m still holding out that we’ll get an Abaddon model update at some point in the future. Maybe in Gathering Storm III. Only time will tell!
What do you think? Is Nurgle hanging out with Slaanesh in the Chaos Lounge? Or is there a more practical reason he’s MIA?