"Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal?"
- – Jean Renoir
Back in the heyday of the Great Crusade, Typhus was born as Calas Typhon on the planet Barbarus. He was the first normal human Mortarion ever interacted with, the one that finally made the young Primarch rebel against his adoptive 'father', the Overlord Necare, in earnest. The two developed a close bond of brotherhood during their war against the Overlords, such that Typhon was one of the few people Mortarion trusted implicitly.
Part of the reason the two bonded so readily was that both, in their ways, were outcasts despite being adulated by the common people. Mortarion, being a Primarch, was simply completely beyond mere humans. Typhon, for his part, was the bastard offspring of one of the Overlords of Barbarus and a human, which set him apart from the others in all but shared hatred of the wretches. It was an open secret that Typhon was a psyker, but Mortarion's distrust toward anything reeking of the Overlords' 'blasphemous sorcery' made it so that Typhon barely ever called upon his powers. The only time it came up in earnest was when it proved impossible to bring the fight to Necare, at which point Typhon suggested using the Overlords' own power against them. Mortarion, disgusted by the idea, forbade it and Typhon acquiesced, never bringing the subject up again. When the Emperor came to Barbarus and got Mortarion to pledge his allegiance to the Imperium, Typhon was among the first Barbarans to be inducted into the XIV Legion, the newly renamed Death Guard.
Typhon started off as a line legionary, though his prior relationship with Mortarion meant that he could generally speak to the primarch with a level of familiarity that no other low-ranking Death Guard could get away with. He was promoted to sergeant during the Conquest of Galaspar and ultimately ascended to First Captain, becoming Mortarion's right-hand man once again. With Mortarion's stance on psykers (officially, the Death Guard had no Librarius and only grudgingly tolerated Astropaths and Navigators); Typhon took those very few unlucky Death Guard that manifested psychic powers under his wing, helping them control and conceal their powers like he did. But concealed doesn't equate to nonexistent, and eventually Typhon formally learned of the existence of the Chaos Gods from his good friend Erebus of the Word Bearers (slimy fuck extraordinaire). Finally 'enlightened' as to his true nature and that of the Warp, Typhon needed little prodding to formally sell his soul to Nurgle, whose murmurs he'd heard since Barbarus but could not understand.
He quietly helped corrupt Mortarion into the traitor camp behind the scenes, then took a large chunk of the Death Guard fleet and fucked off to do his own thing sometime after the Battle of Isstvan III, which really pissed Mortarion off. He spent most of the Heresy roaming the galaxy on his own, serving Nurgle's designs. Along the way, he got into several fights with the Dark Angels and also briefly met up with Luther and his faction of the I Legion. Finally, just before the Siege of Terra, Erebus instructed him to rejoin the main Death Guard fleet, since it was time for Mortarion to accept his destiny. Typhon planted evidence that the fleet's Navigators were closet loyalists and had them all executed. When a very annoyed Mortarion asked him how they were supposed to get anywhere now, Typhon said he could use his own psychic abilities to get them to Terra. Instead, he deliberately led the Death Guard into a trap and becalmed them in the Warp, where they were left at the mercy of Papa Nurgle, who unleashed the Destroyer Plague and Nurgle's Rot on them and their ships. The Death Guard's innate resilience to diseases and toxins, enhanced by Mortarion's genetic legacy, kept them alive but left them in a state of constant agony. Typhon's response to all this? "MOAR!" Mortarion tried to kill him in retaliation for what he'd done, but the Destroyer Hive entered his body and kept him alive, and thus he became Typhus, Herald of Nurgle. Eventually, after what felt like an infinite amount of time watching his sons suffer, Mortarion gave in and accepted Papa Nurgle "gifts". Greatly pleased, Nurgle turned the entire legion into Plague Marines and dumped them on Granddaddy's doorstep.
Then Horus lost them all the Siege and Typhus got scoured into the Eye of Terror, presumably with lots of wet-wipes and handgel.
Over the following ten thousand years, Typhus has brought death and despair to the worlds of the Imperium, slaying those who would reject the love of Father Nurgle by sharing his foul gifts. Others kill themselves at the sight of such a diseased individual, or maybe it's because of the smell. Like plaguebearers, his mission is to hug every living thing; too bad anything he touches (read: walks within 20 paces of) becomes a semiliquid sloppy green slime. While there are many sick fucks in the galaxy, Typhus should be noted for being one in the most literal form imaginable; being able to liquefy normal men into corrosive disease-ridden slurry before he can make any friends.
While Khârn has a kill-count in the billions, Typhus and his fleet have killed countless trillions.
He currently leads a large fleet, the Plague Fleet, he looted from papa, spreading the Plaguefather's gifts along his battles like a sick parody of Santa Claus.
In the game he can be really durable, befitting for a Nurgle champion. With toughness 5, terminator armor, and 4 fucking wounds, he can weather over a hundred str 4 bs 4 shots with ap 3 or worse (in fact, since that's the profile for a hot-shot volley gun wielded by a Tempestus Scion, the exact number of shots (remember, it's Salvo 2/4) it takes to kill him on average is 108. However, he lacks eternal warrior, meaning a single dreadnought, Power Klaw (provided the wielder is S5), or Railgun can ruin his day in a heartbeat... even more so if you consider that his paltry scythe only hits at str 6 while leaving him at initiative 1 due to being unwieldy. It does have ap2 and daemon weapon but given the fact that you are paying over 200 points for this guy it's not impressive at all; regarding his psychic abilities, Typhus is mediocre at best, having only mastery level 2 and access to either the plague discipline or daemonology, neither of which really suit him. The one redeeming factor, and the reason most people take him, is because he turns your cultists into zombies. This grants them feel no pain and fearless at the expense of other upgrades, apart from getting more bodies. Awesome.
In 8th edition Typhus becomes a little more durable and a lot more affordable, down to 175 points / 9 Power. His Toughness 5 is bolstered by Cataphractii Terminator Armour that gives him a 4++ Invulnerable Save, but halves the distance he can Advance (but not Charge!), and he has the same 5+ FNP as every other Death Guard, along with 6 wounds. Instant Death is no longer a thing so his paltry 5 Toughness isn't as big an issue (you need a demolisher Cannon to wound him on a 2+ now). Also gone is Unwieldy, and Manreaper gives him +3 Strength, for a total of 7, a buff over the previous edition, with 4 attacks. Other changes include the Destroyer Hive becoming a 2D6 attack Pistol weapon that only hits on 5+ (but includes Overwatch!), and Nurgle's Gift, which makes all Death Guard units within 7" of him (including himself) deal a Mortal Wound to enemy units in close combat on a 4+. He also buffs nearby Poxwalkers by giving them +1 Strength and Toughness. Lastly, still a Psyker: he can manifest two psychic powers every phase from Nurgle's Contagion discipline, and he knows Smite and two Contagion powers.
With Poxwalkers going to T4, Typhus could not remain the same and so in 9th edition he has received a large buff. Down in price further to 165 points/9 power, he remains at toughness 5, 6 wounds and with the 2+/4++/-1 as is common with all Death Guard terminators. Despite keeping the 2+/4++, his movement has been buffed up to 5" and there is no longer a penalty to advancing with this model. A further buff was given to attacks, with 6 total and his scythe now allowing for 6 attacks at strength 7, ap -3 and damage 3, or 12 attacks at strength 5, ap -1 and damage 1. The Destroyer Hive has been changed, no longer is it a pistol weapon but rather a 6" aura, doing a d3 mortal wounds to an enemy unit in range. His other auras have been changed too, allowing him to give Poxwalkers S4, giving CORE units rerolls of 1's and adding 3" to all contagion ranges. Herald of Nurgle allows him to be taken in any detachment without messing with their plague company though he cannot ever hold a contagion unless it is the Harbingers one. Finally he is still a Psyker, able to manifest two and deny one, while knowing Smite and two Contagion powers. Finally, if he's included in a Terminus Est formation, he gains access to another tasty psychic discipline and a free 2nd Warlord trait, giving him the ability to shut off obsec and actions of LD7 or lower units near him, plus an extra attack! (Thats 14 with scythe mode, pretty neat)
Typhus vs Cadia
Daemons and Chaos Space Marines working hand in hand for the betterment of the Imperium. As it should be.
Before he was infected with super-AIDS
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