Chapter One: Birth of a Dragon
Durnehviir was inducted as a neophyte of the Black Dragons in service of the Imperium just like any other recruit. Gifted with a scientific mind and the love of knowledge, he was first inducted into the Apothecarion to begin his training as an apothecary or in simpler terms a battle medic. Unfortunately the Black Dragon’s Librarians made an error in evaluating Durnehviir’s psyker abilities and had deemed him incapable. This mistake would lead to the downfall and corruption of the chapter.
Once Durnehviir’s training in the Apothecarion was completed he was assigned to a scouting squad of the 2nd Company lead by Captain Vritras. Durnehviir was well liked among his squad, being one of the very few members of the Black Dragons to have no or very little mutations. It was common for a member of the Black Dragons to have abnormal bone growths around the crown of their heads and retractable bone blades on their forearms. Durnehviir lacked in these mutations other than a single horn that protruded from his forehead. On top of his almost near purity, his sarcastic and witty comments always left his battle brothers in high spirits. One could even say Durnehviir would have made a great Chaplin or Captain of his own company because of his natural talent in leadership.When the Curse of Unbelief ravaged the planet of Antagonis, Captain Vritras and his 2nd Company answered the call to combat the plague of undeath.
Durnehviir’s scouting squad was one of the first to touch down on the doomed planet Unsure of the strength in their foe Durnehviir’s squad were lightly equipped for their scouting mission. This lead to the unfortunate overrun of Durnehviir’s squad by massive hoards of undead, out numbered and lack of supplies Durnehviir’s battle brothers fell one by one. Watching his brothers fall in battle triggered Durnehviir’s hidden psyker powers and with a fierce shout of rage a ripple was sent through the warp. This ripple drew the attention of a foe Durnehviir was not expecting.
Empowered by the energies of the warp Durnehviir slew all that stood before him. The plague zombie were no match for the enraged Space Marine and chain sword. Blinded by his wrath Durnehviir didn’t notice that the zombies weren’t the only victims of his blade. Nurglings began to slowly infest the hoard of undead, but even these lesser daemons were no match for the might of Durnehviir. As his foes corpses began to pile beneath his feet Durnehviir broke from his blind rage just in time to notice an immense shadow wash over him.
Chapter Two: The Seed of Corruption
Before the battle-worn Durnehviir stood Ku’Gath the Plague Father and his army of nurglings. Ku’Gath had taken a liking to Durnehviir as the young Space Marine intrigued him greatly and the Great Unclean One foresaw that Durnehviir would be a valuable asset in assisting the daemon in his mission of recreating the perfect plague that had once gave birth to Ku’Gath. Thus began a game of cat and mouse as Durnehviir fought for his life to resist the possession of his soul. The battle between them almost lasted a full week, Durnehviir only lasting so long by using gorilla warfare tactics. This made Ku’Gath want Durnehviir only more for he could tell that the young Space Marine was gifted with a highly intellectual mind and ferocious psyker abilities. In the end Ku’Gath overpowered the heroic Durnehviir, battered and broken Durnehviir’s vision began to fade as the Great Unclean One began his ritual for making the young Space Marine his host.
Durnehviir awoke to find himself perfectly fine, or so he thought. Battle damaged and worn out Durnehviir began his quest to reunite with his company. During the time Durnehviir’s thoughts were disoriented and his memories of the recent passed clouded. All he could remember was his squad being overrun by the undead and being completely wiped out. How he had manged to survive such an ordeal was a mystery to him. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong with him, as if there was a distant voice in the back of his mind slowly worming its corruption into his soul.
Durnehviir succeeded in reuniting with his company and was give leave from active duty. He clearly showed signs of heavy fatigue and was unwell for battle. It was during this time alone that the corruption took hold over Durnehviir and became one with Ku’Gath as the first possessed marine of the Black Dragons. Together the formed a plan that would spread the corruption of Chaos and the blessings of Nurgle to the rest of his Chapter. First and foremost their prime targets were the company’s Chaplain Massorus and Librarian Epistolary Rothnove. They were the only two that would fist notice the taint of Chaos within Durnehviir and if he was able to get them under his command the spread of corruption within the 2nd Company would be in his grasp. Conveniently enough Chaplain Massorus visited Durnehviir often during this time and was the first pawn to be corrupted in Durnehviir’s twisted scheme. After the events of Antagonis and the confrontation with the Swords of Epiphany, the corruption took hold over the remaining 2nd company in which Durnehviir took command over from the shadows in order for his plan to further proceed.
With the 2nd Company under his command along side Captain Volos, the first stages of Durnehviir’s scheme were complete. Next was the spread of the corruption to the other companies of Black Dragons. Being a fleet based Chapter this could prove to be difficult. However Durnehviir was given the best opportunity he could have hoped for.
Chapter Three: The Rise of Pestilence
The third War of Armageddon would be when Durnehviir’s master plan would hatch into action. The hive world of Armageddon was under siege by the Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka and his Ork WAAAGH. During this war the Black Dragons committed 9 out of their 10 companies. giving Durnehviir the best chance to spread his corruption to the rest of the chapter. Under the chaos and confusion the spread or corruption among the Black Dragons went unnoticed. However the suspicion of heresy proceeded them after the war. With 9 out of 10 companies under Durnehviir’s command the formally renamed themselves the Dragons of Pestilence.
With the reports of suspicion of heresy from both the Black Templars and the Exorcist Chapters the Ordo Malleus sent a company of Grey Knights after Durnehviir and his Dragons who after the war on Armageddon were in pursuit of the 10th and final company of Black Dragons. The Grey Knights were expecting the worst, but they were not expecting the full force of the Dragons of Pestilence raining upon them.
By the time the Grey Knights dropped out of the warp Durnehviir had successfully brought the 10th company under his command. Unprepared the Grey Knights were bombarded by the entire fleet of the Dragons of Pestilence before they could defend themselves. Crippled and unable to communicate with the rest of the chapter, the company of Grey Knights had no hope for survival as the boarding assault parties from the Dragon preyed upon them. Unable to defend against the viral plague that was brought forth from the Dragons the Grey Knights fell pray to their claws. Durnehviir was among one of the boarding parties and granted himself the most difficult task, slaying the Grand Master.
Grand Master Vorth Mordrak, commander of the 2nd Brotherhood and Admiral of the Fleet was no easy target. Like all Grand Masters of the Grey Knights few daemons have been able to stand against them and survive. What made Mordrak harder to deal with was his psykic projections of his fallen comrades that protect him. This proved to be a joyful task for Durnehviir as he unleashed his full psykic might in battle for the first time. this is when he discovered that he projected an aura of Decay, everything and everyone who was not in Nurgle’s favor began to wither away leaving a trail of rust and rot in his wake.
This aura proved useful against the astral projections as if the aura of corruption weakened and hindered them from unleashing their full strength. Mordrak fought bravely but was skillfully outdone by Durnehviir who disarmed him of his Nemesis Halberd and using Mordrak’s own weapon against him plunged the blade through the Grand Master’s skull. With the death of their Grand Master and his fellow Grey Knights the surviving crew had no choice but to surrender to the Dragons of Pestilence.
With this victory the Dragons were able to extend their fleet with the ships that weren’t as heavily damaged during the bombardment, the crew of the ships corrupted and brought under the command of the Dragons. The armour and weapons of the Grey Knights were carefully scavenged, reconsecrated by the Forces of Chaos to remove any wards against the immaterium and daemons, to then be ritually corrupted and used by the psykers of the Dragons of Pestilence. Durnehviir himself became equipped with one of these suits of corrupted Aegis Terminator armor and the Nemesis Force Halberd he took from Mordrak’s corpse. This fierce weapon was no other than the Chapter relic The Soul Glaive.
Chapter Four: The Fall of Heroes
The Dragons of Pestilence became a terror feared across the Imperium, they held no mercy for Loyalists or other forces of Chaos alike. Durnehviir’s Dragons spread death to each sector they visited, leaving a trail of Plague Worlds in their wake. The Imperium of Man sent many Space Marine Chapters after these vial heretics to stem the tide of Chaos. Companies from the Adeptus Astartes Black Templars, Exorcists, Red Hunters and Grey Knights, assisted by Adepta Sororitas Order Of the Bloody Rose answered the call to combat this wave of death and decay that began spreading across the galaxy.
The Grey Knights especially sought vengeance against the Dragons of Pestilence for their fallen brothers, and to reclaim their chapter relic the Soul Glaive. They would rather see their relic destroyed then for it to be used by the forces of Chaos and the longer this weapon was in Durnehviir’s hands the more potent of a weapon it became. The Soul Glaive would be Durnehviir’s most prized weapon as the psykic essence of the worriers who wielded it dating back to the 13th Supreme Grand Master Lord Sylas Kalthorn have been imprinted onto the weapon and with Durnehviir’s corruption of Chaos added to the weapon, the Nemesis Force Halberd began to thirst for souls to be imprisoned within. This allowed Durnehviir to combined his own psyker might with those imprinted onto the Soul Glaive, empowering his pyker abilities to even greater heights. With Mordrack being the very last Grey Knight to wield it before Durnehviir plunged the very blade itself through the Grand Master’s skull, imprinted his own psyker signature onto the Soul Glaive before death, granting the Champion of Nurgle the ability to conjurer forth corrupted psykic projections of the Knights and souls that are imprinted onto the Soul Glaive. These projections are ghostly apparitions of their former selves but horrifically tortured and twisted by Chaos, driven insane they tear through anyone who is their masters enemy. Never have the Grey Knights needed to so urgently bring swift justice anyone before, and if they failed the Imperium of Man was sure to be doomed.
The Dragons of Pestilence were not an easy prey to take down, easy to track though. Death and Decay was all that was left behind as the Dragons plundered the Imperium’s sectors of space. Each world needed to be cleansed with Holy Promethium or the Chaos tainted plague would spread to other planets near by. This would slow the Imperium’s efforts in vanquishing the Dragons of Pestilence greatly for each time their pursuers got close to the Dragons tails, the Loyalist forces would be over run by plague zombies and daemons of Nurgle. Imperial resources would be drained heavily to combat the tide of undeath, granting the Dragons of Pestilence easy victories against battle-worn Loyalist forces.
During their great conquests of raiding the Imperium for its resources, the Dragons of Pestilence came across many technologies that gave these Chaos Marines a devastating advantage. The worst of all was the Life-Eater Virus that is used in Virus Bombs for Exterminatus missions. The Dragons have adapted this horrific genetically-engineered pathogen into their weaponry such as the flame weapons they once used under the form of the Black Dragons, instead of unleashing burning promethium these ‘Plaguethrowers’ gush a massive torrent of biological destruction. What makes this pathogen so dangerous is that once released in its aerosol form, it is extraordinarily virulent, capable of infecting every living thing, including flora, fauna and even bacteria. The pathogen can penetrate even sealed environment suits, including power armour. The virus is designed to violently lyse living cells, essentially causing infected organisms to melt into a contaminated soup of organic matter. The Dragons also have a vast supply of standard caliber Hellfire rounds that function as direct-impact penetrators, where the core and tip pump a mutagenic acid into the foe.
Many great heroes fell to the jaws of the Dragons Of Pestilence, some were even corrupted by the infectious taint of Chaos themselves. This granted the Dragons many favors from the Chaos Gods, mainly from Nurgle. The ferocious veteran assault squads known as the Dragon Claws turned into possessed marines with and ability to transform into a draconic humanoid daemon hybrid. In this form they utilize draconic wings that they sprout from their backs that grant them abnormal speed and maneuverability in the air, enhancing thing abilities to carry out their assault tactics. Their armor fuses with their body which becomes scaly, their faces morphed into draconic daemon snarls with hundreds of teeth that drip with toxin that can corrode even the most durable of metal alloys. As an added bonus they have bone spiked tails that can be used for melee just as well as their bone blades on their forearms, all dripping in plague that a simple scratch could prove lethal. The Dragon Claws have also been gifted with a breathweapon that unleashes Nurgles Rot onto those caught within, one of the most potent and terrible contagious daemonic diseases of the Chaos God Nurgle, this vile disease is not only the living manifestation of physical corruption but is also a spiritual plague as it slowly erodes a victim’s soul. This perfect illness does not kill its host quickly; rather, it slowly turns the victim into a bloated living corpse know as a Plaguebearer.
Durnehviir’s might grew with each foe he slaughtered and each world he devoured. Nurgle granted much favor to his new Champion for Durnehviir’s actions pleased him greatly. As the bond between Durnehviir’s soul and Ku’Gath the Greater Daemon that had possessed his body grew, they ascended into the warp entity Durnehviir the Son of Pestilence on the path to becoming a Daemon Prince. Durnehviir no longer needed to be considered with Death, for if his material body were to ever perish his soul would be sent back into the loving embrace of Nurgle within the warp. The Chaos Sorcerers stationed on the flagship The Herald of Decay would then preform the rituals that would bring Durnehviir back onto the material plain where he can continue his research of viral pathogens and continue his command.
For centuries the Dragons of Pestilence have plagued the sectors of Imperium space as well as Tau and Eldar. No one was safe from the decay they spread and whole sectors fell to the plagues of undeath. Hive Worlds that once housed hundreds of billions of Imperial settlers have been turned into a sea of zombies and Nurgle daemons, the planets not longer capable of sustaining human life. The Imperium of Man and many xenos civilizations feared that nothing would stop the wave of death until one day the Dragons of Pestilence disappeared into the warp, and have not been seen since. That was until Durnehviir’s flagship The Herald of Decay dropped from the warp over Hellifyno.