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40K Lore: The Deathshroud of Mortarion

3 Minute Read
Sep 5 2017

Today, Loremasters, we learn what we can of the mysterious bodyguard accompanying foul Mortarion.

Clad in heavy armor which they never remove, listed as killed on action on the battlefield, shrouded in mystery and, well, death I suppose, the Deathshroud are an elite and deadly group of warriors who accompany the Daemon Primarch of Disease, that Knight of Nurgle, that Mean Green Machine, the one, the only, Mortarionnnn–sorry loremasters, I’m not sure what came over me there.


But the Deathshroud were pulled from the ranks of the Deathguard, hand picked by their Primarch to serve at his side–to spread disease and darkness and death and despair. So prepare your minds, and, make sure to take your immuno-stims, just in case, as we delve into the lore of the Deathshroud.

via Lexicanum

The Deathshroud were the elite bodyguard unit of the Death Guard Space Marine Legion during the Great Crusade.

Great secrecy surrounded them; they were chosen from the rank-and-file of the Death Guard by their Primarch, Mortarion, personally for their skill at arms, fearlessness and proven endurance – often being the sole survivor when the rest of their squad has perished. Their identities were a mystery, since, after being inducted into the Deathshroud, they never spoke, never removed their helmets even in death, and were officially listed as being killed in action.


Deathshroud bodyguards were clad in highly artificed Terminator armour that gave them a tall and barrel-chested appearance and they were armed with hand flamers with chem-munitions and like their master, they wielded large power scythes known as Manreapers. They never strayed more than 49 paces from their Primarch. An intimidating presence, they were capable of achieving a uniformity so perfect that when at rest they gave the impression of grand statues, and when in motion, of mechanical automatons. Mortarion was customarily attended by two Deathshroud at any one time, but there may have been more.

Deathshroud accompanied their lord to the Jorgall cylinder world during the Death Guard’s assault on the Xenos starship.

Before an attack on the Knight world of Molech, Mortarion killed all seven of his Deathshroud bodyguards with a single stroke of his Manreaper Silence inside the gene-vault aboard his flagship “Endurance” in order to feed the emerging daemon essence of Ignatius Grulgor, killed on Isstvan III by the the Life-eater virus.

As a Daemon Prince of Nurgle, Mortarion was still accompanied by his Deathshroud ten thousand years later, notably when he confronted the Grey Knights at the Battle of Kornovin.

There is more tainted lore, but now I feel unwell. Perhaps soon we’ll see a new incarnation of these brutal bodyguards. Perish the thought.


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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