The Plague Bearers are a Chaos Warband that have dedicated themselves to the God Nurgle. Once a Loyalist Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, their fall to the service of the Ruinous Powers is not well documented, with all surviving records within the Imperium sealed by order of the Inquisition.
Over the centuries that formed the 41st Millennium, the Warband has been relatively active across the Segmentum Obscurus, raiding, infecting and destroying worlds predominantly across the Segmentum's fringes and areas isolated by Warp Storms. This has brought them to blows on many occasions with the Winged Knights - a Loyalist Chapter they would not only come to consider their arch nemesis, but also a Chapter from which one of their most powerful sorcerers would be recruited from.
Before The Fall
Though the records are officially sealed, what is known is that the Plague Bearers were once a Loyalist Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes that based themselves in and operated somewhere within the Segmentum Obscurus. Their original purpose as well as most of the details surrounding the operations have been lost, it is known that they were created with the same genetic stock as the Blood Angels, though whether or not it was the Blood Angels themselves or another Chapter is unclear. Some who are privy to this information seem to think the iconography the Chapter bore as Loyalist Sons of Sanguinius as well as their current allegiance and purpose shaped the iconography they now bear.
The surviving records also seem to indicate that the Chapter was progressively corrupted over the course of several years during which time the Chapter was engaged with Chaos Forces. It was assumed that they were fighting against servants of Nurgle which contributed to their not devout service to the Father of Disease and Decay. Their complete fall to Chaos left less than half of the Chapter alive, but their numbers have remained relatively steady since their fall.
The date of their complete fall is unknown, but the surviving records indicate that it was some time during the earliest years of the 41st Millennium.
After The Fall
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Conflict of Corruption [ 999.M41 - Present ]
With the Imperium distracted, the Plague Bearers launched an assault on worlds under the guardianship of their arch nemesis Chapter - the Winged Knights. The Companies of the Winged Knights that were chosen to stay behind as opposed to being included in the Winged Knights' efforts in the Darkest Hour conflict were both slightly undermanned and under-prepared for such an attack. The Plague Bearer's advantage was further emphasised by the presence of two Daemon Knight Houses - < Insert Name > and < Insert Name >.
With their invasion underway, the Warband began releasing the Curse of Unbelief upon many of the worlds they have invaded in an effort to further swing the tides of war in their favour.
There is no official structure of the Warband, its members instead loosely grouping themselves through like-mindedness and similarity of purpose. For example, a group of Astartes might form together in a formation reminiscent of a Company based on - for example - the fact that they have psychic abilities. Such groupings have inadvertently led to a relatively efficient organisation of the Warband that has made it easier for them to operate as a whole.
The Infectors are Astartes of the Warband that have succumbed to some form of madness and rage that bears a resemblance to that of the Black Rage. The connection between this insanity and the Black Rage would not have been made if the Warband was not suspected of originally being created from genetic lineage of the Blood Angels. These insane members of the Warband are used as suicide soldiers with the sole purpose of using their strength and ferocity in combat to spread the taint of Nurgle, killing many of their foes while infecting the rest with devastating, often lethal diseases. It has been noted that out of those unlucky enough to not only come up against The Infectors but also survive both combat and the diseases eventually turn into horrendous abominations that can vary from ghoulish creatures to vast monstrosities bigger than a Dreadnought.
The Infectors are often directed and often supervised by Sorcerers who try to make sure that they so not turn on their own soldiers through the use of psychic domination. This makes the Sorcerers vulnerable during combat, meaning that they themselves often have a bodyguard detail. A select few of the more powerful Sorcerers such as Surkan have even been known to manipulate the exact nature of the diseases that The Infectors spread.
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Notable Plague Bearers
As the only known leader of the Warband, Corkus has rarely been seen in real space let alone on the battlefield against Imperial Forces. The reasons for this are unknown, but it is presumed to be something to do with his life before his fall to Chaos. There may be some information on this contained within the sealed records pertaining the the Chapter that the Plague Bearers once were, but these records are sealed.
Once a skilled Biomancer in line to be the Chief Librarian of the Winged Knights, Surkan was corrupted during the final days - or maybe even weeks - before his death and then resurrected into his currently mutated form. He now serves the Plague Bearers as one of their most powerful sorcerers.