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Warhammer 40K: The Heroes of the Death Guard

8 Minute Read
Dec 19 2020

It’s not just the Morty and Typhus show. Let’s talk about some of the Champions of the XIV Legion.


Typhus the Traveler, Herald of Nurgle, is a Chaos Space Marine of the Death Guardlegion.

Typhus was born Calas Typhon on the Death Guard’s eventual homeworld of Barbarus. Typhon possessed the blood of the warlords that had ruled the planet before being defeated by Mortarion, the Death Guard’s Primarch. As a child upon the toxic planet of Barbarus, Calas Typhon was troubled by nightly phenomena over which he believed he had no control. Objects would shudder and smash around him whenever he was frightened or angered, and plants would wither and die under his gaze. These phantom powers troubled him greatly, but he resolved to turn them to his advantage. By the time Typhon reached maturity, he had learned to master the psychic energies that resonated within him each night; a feat of will that impressed his elders mightily. With this act, Typhon became stronger in his resolve to succeed than any of his peers.

When the Emperor reclaimed his lost son Mortarion from the poisonous mists of Barbarus, and reunited him with the the superhuman warriors born from his gene-seed, Typhon was amongst those chosen to join their ranks. As he joined the legion, his psychic potential was suppressed through training due to the anti-psyker sentiment of his Primarch. Nonetheless through his rugged talent, Typhus was eventually able to rise to the prestigious position of First Captain.

According to Typhon himself, he was secretly converted to worship of the Gods of Chaos by his friend Erebus, First Chaplain of the Word Bearers. In fact, Typhon’s allegiance to Chaos predated that of his own Primarch, or of Horus himself. With the help of his new gods, Typhon became First Captain of the Death Guard and commander of the battleship Terminus Est. Typhus was not particularly loyal to Mortarion, and always wished to travel the Galaxy and forge his own destiny in the name of the Ruinous Powers.


Since the Heresy, Typhus has continued to spread the glory of Nurgle across the galaxy. Leading a contingent of Death Guard of the Plague Fleet from the Terminus Est, Typhus is known to have laid waste to many worlds and waged many battles in Nurgle’s name. He has even traveled to the Garden of Nurgle inside the Warp itself, where he has battled KhornateDaemons. Typhus has also laid waste to the world of Ligeta with a noise-plague where the infected became forced to eternally sing a hymn to the Lord of Decay. In 757.M40, he killed 23 billion people on Hydra Minoris with the Zombie Plague. In the 13th Black Crusade, Typhus’ Plague Fleet was the first Chaos force encountered by the Imperium. In the Crusade, his forces went on to ravage the Agripinaa Sector. He also oversaw the Infestation and desecration of a holy planet Annunciation by himself alone.

In M41 Typhus once again attempted to unite the Tuchulcha Engine with its brother devices, this time in cooperation with the Fallen AngelAstelan. The two planned to gather the original Fallen with Typhus’ own forces to create a new legion known as the “Death Angels”. However, they were foiled by the Dark Angels led by Azrael and surprisingly, Cypher.


Typhus later appeared as part of Mortarion‘s armada during the Death Guard invasion of Ultramar. Typhus led a splinter fleet which terrorized the outer regions of Ultramar. During the invasion of Ultramar, Typhus no longer maintained even slight reverence or respect for his Primarch. The Herald of Nurgle scolded Mortarion and stated that he was closer to the vision of Nurgle. Typhus expressed no desire to work under Mortarion directly, but was willing to take part in the Ultramar campaign simply to further Nurgle’s design.


Porphyricus is a Death Guard Sorcerer, who once held the rank of Librarian, in his Legion during the Great Crusade, before he joined his brothers in renouncing the Emperor and dedicated himself to the Chaos God Nurgle during the Horus Heresy. Despite this, after nearly 10,000 years in the service of Grandfather Nurgle, Porphyricus has barely received any favour from his patron. Frustrated and dismayed by this lack of recognition, Porphyricus has resorted to ever-more depraved ways to draw the attention of the Great Corruptor. Among the atrocities he has committed, was the creation of a sorcerous plague that infected just one person at a time on the Imperium world of Castix VIII. When the Guardsman who was first infected died, the company medics thought the plague was gone, only to find someone else had been infected the next day. These peaks and troughs of hope and despair were Porphyricus’s gift to Nurgle, but they went unnoticed. He then ruined an Agri World, during the Goanic Crisis, with just a single sorcerous conjuration. This also failed to gain him notice, so in the Battle of Withering Breach he reduced an entire Ork horde to mutated fungal spores. His actions left the world the Orks were on to rot, but he was still not rewarded. However, unknown to Porphyricus, Grandfather Nurgle knows of the Sorcerer’s efforts and enjoys his servant’s despair.

Once Porphyricus traveled to backwater planet of Azbaragus where he founded the diseased population slowly dying because of some unknown illness. Clever Porphyricus immediately offered to the inhabitants the salvation in a form of the worship to Great Corruptor. Desperate people agreed and soon the planet became in Nurgle’s possession. Since that time The Blighted – Cultists of the Nurgle – joined the Porpyricus’ Death Guard army, serving as faithful retainers to their new masters. Their leader – Noxious Clave, pox-ridden demagogue, leads them to a new plagued future.



Necrosius is a Sorcerer of Nurgle and the leader of the Apostles of Contagion.

Once an Apothecary in the Death Guard Space Marine Legion whose true name has long been purged from all records, when the Legion’s fleet was lost in the Warp and invaded by the agonizing diseases of the Chaos God Nurgle, Necrosius eventually turned to the Plague God himself for salvation along with most of his Legion. Embracing the service of his new God, Necrosius cast aside his past role as a healer and gave himself to the pursuit of Daemonic sorcery. With the zealous conviction of a true convert, Necrosius quickly gathered a following among others in the Death Guard and these disciples became the first Apostles of Contagion.

Soon, Necrosius and his Apostles parted ways with the Death Guard and went on their own, spreading disease and walking death wherever they went, heedless to whom they brought their blighted ‘gifts’, be they servants of the Emperor or followers of the Gods of Chaos. As a result, he and his Apostles have made many enemies. They have participated in atrocities in the millennia since the Horus Heresy. Supposedly dispatched by both Imperial assassins and rival Chaos Space Marines such as the Sorcerer Ahriman, Necrosius has survived each ordeal and reemerged, earning him the nickname “the Undying”.

Necrosius would later appear during the Siege of Vraks, leading his Apostles of Contagion once more against the forces of the Imperium.

Scabarulous the Virulent

Lord Scabarulous, known as Scabarulous the Virulent, is a Chaos Lord of the Death Guard. He leads a Plague Fleet from the Battle Barge Reaper’s Scythe. The Reaper’s Scythe was a Death Guard Battle Barge, which often served as Primarch Mortarion‘s flagship during the Great Crusade and earned an infamous legend during the Horus Heresy. It also served as the location for where much of the Death Guard Legion’s rituals and rites were conducted.

Ignatius Grulgor


Ignatius Grulgor, known as the Eater of Lives was Captain of the Second company of the Death Guard legion during the Horus Heresy. He has since been elevated into a Daemon Prince.

Grulgor was born on Barbarus and like many of his legion from that planet, despised some of the old traditions that his brothers from Terra practised. He was very headstrong, and always looked for a chance to impress his Primarch Mortarion. Shortly before the Battle of Isstvan III, Grulgor and his men were stationed by First Captain Typhon on the frigate Eisenstein with Captain Nathaniel Garro and his loyal Marines, whom he was supposed to eliminate. He failed, and was killed by a virus bomb that was damaged in his fight with Garro’s men.

However while the Eisenstein was in transit through the warp, attempting to reach Terra after fleeing the Isstvan system, the ship’s Gellar Field began to fail, and Grulgor and his fellow traitors were gifted by Nurgle with new life. They proceeded to attack the loyalist Death Guards once again. Grulgor managed to infect one of Garro’s men, Solun Decius, with Nurgle’s Rot, and almost triumphed over Garro. In desperation, Garro ordered an emergency reversion to realspace. Without the warp’s infernal power sustaining them, Grulgor and his corrupted brethren were killed, their souls sucked back into the Immaterium.

Before an attack on the Knight world of Molech, Mortarion resurrected the daemonic essence of Ignatius Grulgor by killing all seven Deathshroud bodyguards in a single stroke of his battle scythe Silence inside the gene-vault aboard his flagship “Endurance“. Grulgor was brought back infused with the power of the Life Eater Virus that had destroyed him, commanding the deadly plague at will. After that Ignatius Grulgor played a significant role in destroying the native fauna on the Molech in order to achieve Warmaster‘s victory. After the battle, Grulgor was chained and held as a monster in the bowels of the Endurance.

During The Fall of Medusa V campaign, Ignatius Grulgor reappeared in the form of a Daemon Prince to lead an attack of Chaos Space Marines against the planet Medusa IV. A notable battle of the conflict was the sacking of the monastery of Madrigales, as it was home to an Astropathic Choir made up of thousands which had enough strength to send messages to anywhere within the Imperium. What’s more, its vast cogitator banks housed more than two thousand years’ worth of stored astropathic communiqués, and so the monastery was considered of inestimable value by the Imperium.

The siege of the monastery should have lasted weeks, if not months. But Grulgor and his Plague Marines made easy work of the garrisoned Imperial Guard, including three Leman Russ Battle Tanks from the Mordian Ironskins which guarded the gates. Grulgor smashed barehanded through the hull of one and then filled the crew compartment with pestilential filth, while a Chaos Land Raider, the Cradle of Desolation punched the turret off another. The third attempted to fall back through the gates but Grulgor shouldered into it, flipping it onto its roof. With the gates wide open, it took less than an hour for the Chaos Space Marines to overrun the monastery.

An Adepta Sororitas strike team was called in to cleanse the monastery and retrieve the databanks, but by the time they fought through the now-filth-infested hallways, the astropathic choir had been slain and the databanks were removed. Gulgor and his forces quickly withdrew from the monastery and despite being chased through the surrounding valleys and mountain paths by Canoness Magda Comptress, they mysteriously vanished off the planet, a suppurating crevasse as the only sign of their passing.


Want to meet more “Heroes” of the Death Guard? Read about them at Lexicanum


The Death Guard heroes are way past “living to become the villain” at this point.

Author: Adam Harrison
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