2 months ago Apr 10,2024, 13:59:43 PM

Thrones of Decay: Introducing Tamurkhan, the Maggot Lord

171 104 Views


Decay is rolling through the known world of Warhammer, and 3 new Legendary Lords have emerged to push ingenuity and conflict into a new dawn, alongside a suite of new units, lords, heroes, campaign mechanics, and more!

Thrones of Decay, our latest paid expansion, will be arriving in Total War: WARHAMMER III alongside Update 5.0.

As promised, you’ll know exactly what’s coming in Thrones of Decay before you see a “Buy Now” button, so let's unearth our latest arrivals; those of invention, of amethyst, and of pestilence. 

Check out the announcement trailer below:

This week, we’re delving into the first Legendary Lord to arrive in Thrones of Decay. One of Nurgle’s greatest champions, the infested Master of Hosts and Bringer of Desolation, the Maggot Lord himself; Tamurkhan. As the stuff of lie and legend, tales of the savage commander trail back for millennia, so, it’s best we set the record straight and meet an infested warlord for the ages.


Tamurkhan is rumoured to be many things; a monstrous Warlord, an arrogant commander with Nurgle’s favour, a hideous, mutated giant corpse maggot. Rumours aside, one thing is for certain, an army is gathering in his name, and even the Elector Counts themselves will have their resolve pushed to its breaking point when it arrives.

At a glance, here’s what Tamurkhan brings to the table:

  • Tank - The combined durability of an Ogre infested with a corpse maggot of Nurgle makes this Legendary Lord tough to kill.
  • Hard Hitter - Wielding an axe with great, bullish strength, this unit hits especially hard with high Armour-Piercing damage.
  • Bubebolos - Tamurkhan can be mounted atop the unique Toad Dragon, Bubebolos, for aid in combat and traversal. 
  • Tamurkhan’s Chieftains – A unique campaign mechanic, focused on recruiting the strongest warriors around and earning their fealty to achieve ultimate victory.

As a true reveller in death and decay, Tamurkhan, the corpse maggot, once burrowed into the flesh of other mortals to become their puppet master, never finding the perfect match, until now. Adoring the power that the mass and strength of an Ogre body brings him, Tamurkhan grew attached to the only form he commands today; the body of the Ogre Tyrant, Karaka Breakmountain.


On the battlefield, Tamurkhan has a suite of abilities at his disposal. First up, Feast of the Maggot Lord, a passive ability only triggered upon his death as a last-ditch attempt to cling on to the margins delivers serious damage to the victim, outright killing those below a certain health threshold, and granting Tamurkhan a second wind to get back into the fray.

With Nurgle’s Favoured Son, this active ability grants him Melee Defence and an Increased Ward Save, and the Rotting Host passive ability decreases the Weapon Strength and Leadership of those within 35 metres of Tamurkhan, the latter of which can be decreased even further with an Ogre Kingdom classic, Arsebelcher. We've spoken to Tamurkhan about this and it turns out that all rear-facing expulsions have, in fact, ceased. Sorry for any confusion/repulsion. 

For those that still dare face the Maggot Lord, his Black Cleaver active item will ensure they regret it, granting Magic Attacks, significantly increased Armour-Piercing Damage, and a boost to Base Weapon damage for all allies within range.


With the body of Karaka Breakmountain as his own, Tamurkhan’s knowledge is matched only by his strength, and he will use both to gather the strongest warriors the world has ever seen and adopt them into his own twisted army, absorbing the many strengths of those that could not defeat him. Tamurkhan can gain the fealty of many chieftains from various cultures of the Warhammer world and unify them under a single banner. His banner.

Using his two key resources, Dominance and Fealty, Tamurkhan can decide how best to manage his acquired chieftains. Dominance, the main resource, is gained from winning battles. This must be spent to acquire Chieftains, activate their abilities, and add their units to his own recruitment pool.

The Fealty of a Chieftain is increased by taking action that said Chieftain approves of, whether it be raiding settlements, razing cities to the ground, or wiping various opposing forces off the map. For example, if Tamurkhan seeks a Devoted Chieftain from the Chaos Dwarfs, he’d best express the same hatred for the Skaven as they do.

When their Fealty increases, Tamurkhan can reap the benefits in favour, units, and special abilities, culminating in a mighty, thematic quest battle on his path to gaining boundless loyalty from these great warriors.

It’s only a matter of time.

Kayzk the Befouled

Legendary Hero Kayzk the Befouled, Kurgan Champion of Nurgle, serves as a living memory of what Nurgle’s blessing can do to a soul. This mighty Chaos Champion gave everything to Nurgle, losing his voice to Nurgle’s rot, and sacrificing his form so that he could stand alongside Tamurkhan as a mass of corrupted flesh, in service of the Lord of Decay. Being one of the first to join Tamurkhan’s banner, Kayzk swept through the Chaos Wastes as his chief lieutenant, commanding his own infested gang of horseman with the Rot Knights, who we’ll be meeting shortly.

In battle, Kayzk is a tank. His health regenerates in combat, and thanks to his Corrupted Flesh passive ability, he’s granted an increased Ward Save when above a certain health threshold, making him harder to fell. Always mounted atop a Rot Beast, Kayzk has access to Befouled Charge, a passive that triggers when charging, of course, granting himself and nearby allies Increased Speed and an Increased Charge Bonus, while stripping the enemy of their Charge Defence vs. Large attributes. 

Plus, with his Sword of Filth item, Kayzk can spread decay to those he strikes, afflicting them with Decreased Melee Defence and Armour.

Spread the curse in his name.

Chaos Lord of Nurgle

Having earned the great favour of the Lord of Decay, the Chaos Lord of Nurgle stands as a Generic Lord to the Chaos God, with skills only held by the very best of Chaos Warriors who leave nothing but rot in their wake. 

With a sword, shield, and a variety of mounts at their disposal, the Chaos Lord of Nurgle leads as a durable and beefy warrior, with an increased health pool. As a debilitating unit, this Lord inflicts poison damage and fear upon the enemy, while buffing nearby troops by spreading Leadership and Melee Damage Reflection bonuses to them with Rot or Die!

But who could forget the weapon he seeks? The Father of Blades, rumoured to be the first sword ever forged, is an active augment that the Chaos Lord of Nurgle can acquire to increase his Armour-Piercing Damage, and reduce the Melee Attack of nearby foes.

Chaos Sorcerer of Nurgle

Powerful spellcasters, capable of harnessing the raw Winds of Magic, have found themselves at home with the Lord of Decay’s troops as the Chaos Sorcerers of Nurgle; a new Generic Hero.

With access to both the Lore of Nurgle and the Lore of Death, and like the many units of Nurgle before them, these debilitating casters boast Poison Attacks and the Fear attribute. They also serve the armies of Nurgle as healers, with access to various means of regenerating their allies, making them a vital asset on the field.


Blessed since birth by Nurgle, the Pestigors of disease and pestilence serve their god with the trademark vigour of their fellow Beastkin - alongside the infested, oozing, bloated skin from the Mark of Nurgle. 

In the heat of battle, as well as debilitating their foes, Pestigors stand firm with their own durable skin and muscle, sporting a high health pool for an infantry unit. With their weapon of choice, a two-handed Great Axe, the Pestigors are masters at smashing through armour, piercing it with a single strike.

It’s pondered that the most high-esteemed of Pestigors are blessed with a mutation, the Tears of Nurgle. This passive chain hex may only be triggered once, activating when within range of an enemy unit, resulting in infectious secretions from every orifice that slow the opposition down before spreading through their ranks. This makes them a prime candidate for Vanguard deployment; another intrinsic trait of the Pestigors. 

They don’t follow the pack. They lead it. 

Plague Ogres

Perhaps taking inspiration from the visage of their commander, Tamurkhan, the Plague Ogres are twisted amalgamations of a once ordinary Ogre, with both body and mind contorted by the blessings of Nurgle. Joining Tamurkhan in his pursuit of the Empire, Plague Ogres are the brutish humanoids that fell in battle at his hands before accepting the Lord of Decay’s power. In return for their lives, they grew fat with infestation and disease. 

Serving Nurgle as sluggish-yet-durable Infantry, the Plague Ogres seek out large enemies with either their giant blades or great axes to slice them to ribbons. 

They’re built for punishment.

Rot Knights

Rot Knights are one of the select few Chaos Knights blessed with the Mark of Nurgle and the power to ride Rot Beasts into battle. Although the Chaos Armour they wear has grown rusty with time, the Rot Knights, a new monstrous Cavalry unit for Nurgle, can still take a beating, sacrificing some of their speed for thicker skin with Increased Health, Defence, and Regeneration abilities. 

The goal of a Rot Knight is to lock down large targets on the battlefield and shred their health thanks to their giant claws and a one-handed lance, delivering potent Anti-Large attacks. 

With Regeneration, the Rot Knights have a weakness to flame but can regain their health over time and enjoy an increase to their Melee Defence when in the heat of battle.

Bile Trolls

Under the shadows of the Chaos Wastes, Nurgle set its sights on these Trolls, infecting their flesh and burrowing deep into their guts, gifting them with a blessing that should’ve consumed them. What remained was a bulbous monstrosity, a Bile Troll, endlessly eating itself alive from the inside out, only to regenerate and devour itself once more.


This blessing is a boon to their inherent passive regeneration in combat, letting them shrug off wounds as they strip their own damaged skin and replace it anew. With poison attacks on their side, the Bile Trolls can strike fear in any foe they approach and can pierce straight through their armour with their one-handed blade.

With all that infestation going on beneath the surface, the Bile Trolls can expel it with the Corrosive Bile hex effect, softening the armour and flesh of their opponents, and plummeting their victim’s Melee Defence for an easy kill.

Share their curse at your own risk.


Toad Dragon

The true horror of Nurgle doesn’t just lie within the bellies of its rotten soldiers, but also within the reptilian nightmare that often dwells in the Northern Wastes of the Known World. The Toad Dragon, a rare-sighted Monster for Nurgle, brings a thoughtless level of hunger and violence to anything that crosses its path, melting flesh with its breath or squashing victims flat with its weight. 

With the help of its cruel anatomy, the Toad Dragon swipes through armour with its thick claws, and lashes out at targets with its probiscis tongue, snatching them from their hiding places and reeling them into its gaping maw. Those, however, are the lucky ones.

This large, hulking creature specialises in smashing through even the most compact of formations and holds its place within Nurgle as their largest, most expensive unit to date. With heavy Missile Resistances, the Toad Dragon borders on unkillable, but it's what lies within that truly makes it something to be feared. With its active ability, Unspeakable Foulness, the Toad Dragon spews forth a blast of flesh-rotting horror, delivering Explosive Damage and inflicting poisonous burns on its victims as their skin slips off in sheets and their organs turn to liquid.

Decay is but the least of their worries.


Before we wrap up this grim tale of Tamurkhan and all things Nurgle, we wanted to address something that’s important to both us and you, our players.

We’ve taken in lots of your feedback from our prior DLC regarding legacy race updates, and we are committed to making the rejuvenation of those race’s core mechanics a key element with the release of Thrones of Decay.

With that in mind, here’s what we’ve cooked up to enhance Nurgle as a whole; for the Grandfather’s Lords both present and future.


Plagues have been completely reworked from the ground up, impacting Ku’gath Plaguefather, Festus, and Tamurkhan. Here’s a sneak peek at the new Plague system:

What is the issue with the current system?

  • The problem with the original system for Plagues is that it was completely solvable. As a player, there was an objectively strongest route to take and no need to deviate from it to maximise the benefits and minimise the drawbacks. This took away from the Nurgle fantasy of experimenting with disgusting new diseases that we want players to feel.

What are we changing?

  • Plague symptoms now exist within a web, with certain symptoms connected to each other, letting you combine 3 of them to create a plague. 
  • The UX has been redesigned to better showcase how this plague will affect both Nurgle and Non-Nurgle factions; positive for Nurgle, negative for everyone else. 
  • The symptoms’ location within the Plague web will shift with every 3 plagues. So, your first plague may allow for a connection between symptoms granting Casualty Replenishment, Growth, and Recruitment Health, but on the next cycle, those symptoms could be nowhere near each other, and you’ll have to conjure new plagues from what’s available to you. As a result, special combinations have been removed.
  • We’re introducing a new type of symptom: Blessed Symptoms. These are assigned randomly and change with every plague cycle, and a symptom, while Blessed, has its effects doubled.
  • Plagues can now be mutated with increased effects; increasing the Spread Chance, extending the Duration, and much more. 
  • Plagues now have an immunity period, so that those on the receiving end of being Plagued aren't constantly under its effects and have a respite between bouts.

Ku’gath Plaguefather benefits greatly from this system. He is uniquely able to have many Blessed Symptoms active at once, allowing him to conjure much more fearsome diseases than his peers, and decimate the world with unholy infectious combinations.

Helman Ghorst is going to wish he’d set up shop elsewhere. 

Cyclical Buildings 

What is the issue with the current system?

  • Nurgle’s unique cyclical buildings has led to some unique and thematic gameplay strategies when it comes to recruitment, but we felt it had a negative impact on their economy and defensive capabilities.

What are we changing?

  • Military buildings are still cyclical, but all remaining buildings are now static like the other factions in the game.
  • Military buildings now cost Infections instead of treasury, to help with managing the choice between improving infrastructure and recruiting forces.
  • We have done an economy pass on the buildings following this change to help with Nurgle's difficult financial situation, allowing players to choose the "Treasury" building rather than having their economy gain split between all chains.
  • Resource buildings have had effect overhaul. 
  • Cult buildings have undergone an effect pass.
  • The remaining Cyclical buildings can now be rushed by spending Infections.


What’s the issue with the current system?

  • Nurgle's unique recruitment is currently too punishing for the benefit of instant recruitment.

What are we changing?

  • Recruitment Cost and Recruitment Health are now tied to the Nurgle corruption level of the province that the military force is recruiting in:
    1. 30% health at 0 corruption.
    2. 60% health and -50% recruit cost at 100 corruption.
  • With the addition of rushing construction, Cyclical buildings should help with filling up recruitment pools in the early game.

Technology Tree

What are the issues with the current system?

  • Nurgle's Technology Tree is lacking a clear direction, and was designed too heavily around Ku’gath’s Realms of Chaos experience.

What are we changing?

  • Nurgle's technology tree is now split into 2 distinct groups: one focused on Military and the other on campaign Faction bonuses.
  • The layout has also been reworked to make it clearer and easier to progress through the technology tree.

Army Abilities

What are the issues with the current system?

  • Previously, Nurgle gained army ability points based on the amount of damage taken. We felt that this didn't reward Nurgle players enough and seemed like a consolation prize for losing units.

What are we changing?

  • Nurgle now gains a passive income of army ability points for every enemy unit in the Battle map that is currently being affected by a negative effect or debuff. 
  • This plays into Nurgle's playstyle of spreading debuffs and contact effects, and makes them even more desirable for both Campaign and Battles.

We’re confident that these changes are going to enhance the Nurgle experience for everyone who plays them, whether you’re scorching the lands with disease as Ku’gath, harvesting Souls for Nurgle as Festus, or gathering an army of Chieftains as Tamurkhan. 

And, just maybe, there’s one more Legendary Lord of Nurgle waiting in the wings, ready to be unleashed in Update 5.0.

But for now, I Reckon we’ve Catalogued enough plagues to keep even Grandfather Nurgle himself happy, so let’s see what we’ve got coming up next. 


For more details on Tamurkhan, the Maggot Lord, and to see this infested commander in action, keep an eye on our official channels for our first Thrones of Decay showcase.

We’ll be back next week with a look at the Empire’s latest, Elspeth von Draken, before tackling the Dwarfs’ Malakai Makaisson the week after that, and wrapping up our reveals the following week by delving into some free, additional content arriving in 5.0, including the fated Nemesis Crown and a Legendary Lord.

Please let us know how you’re feeling about this one and head to the Total War Discord and CA Community to make your voice heard on all things Total War.

And, as always, you can expect the full suite of patch notes for Update 5.0 the day prior to launch.

See you on the battlefield! 

The Total War Team

Copied to clipboard!
0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:14:15 PM

His UI is how I envisioned one part of the Dragon Cavern mechanic* for Imrik years ago, though kitbashes were not in my mind. I can't say that I'm impressed.

CA, this is the third time you reproduct this absolutely disgusting behaviour and cut corners in regard to Monogod aesthetics. The abominable CoC, the worst quality-wise DLC in the history of TW:WH is a gift that keeps on giving.

  • The Chaos Lord of Nurgle is reusing generic WoC Lord armour. Only the helmet is new.
  • The Rot Knight has only new head, arm and maybe pauldrons.

This is ridiculous considering the price you ask for.

Tamurkhan and Kayzk look good. The same goes for the rest of the models. In order to stay true to the miniature, the Bile Trolls should have been remodels of River Trolls rather than the regular ones. There is also a matter of animations, but for this we will need to wait.

The rework is good.


Dragon Cavern - Commune with the dragons, gain their respect and you might very well taste a sliver of their hoard. Obtain named dragons. Quest: reach high reputation with the dragons. Reward: dragons tell you where you can find the most powerful among them. Quest: find three Emperor Dragons and persuade them to join you. Reward: three named Legendary Hero dragons with their own unique personalities: Doomfire Dragon, Ice Dragon and Great Storm Dragon. FLC: Dragon Mages

Updated 2 months ago.
0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:16:05 PM

Changes look amazing IMO. The Cyclical Buildings change is my only worry, but we'll have to see. I like that they haven't gone the Cathay route of "lets just remove the system entirely". Star of the show is definitely Plagues though.

0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:16:16 PM

Nurgle rework looks great, particularly the reworked Plagues. I do worry this might make Nurgle too easy because of the usual powercreep though.

0Send private message
0Send private message0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:22:09 PM

Do plagues still overwrite each other? 

That was my biggest gripe with the previous version of plagues.
The rest looks good.

0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:22:53 PM

I was worried about the Nurgle reworks, but everything here looks fantastic! I’m glad they’ve kept the Cycling military buildings at least, and the new plague system really seems to address all the problems with the old one.

I’m super excited to try them out, and the new units look great for the most part. A bit disappointed with the Chaos Lord not being the bloated boi, but the showcased model looks solid. 

0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:24:22 PM

I like the rework - Wish Tzeentch ot something similar with SOC (that was part of the problem). Anyway this is good, cant wait to try it ingame.

0Send private message
0Send private message0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:28:24 PM

I love pretty much everything here but it's really disappointing to see yet another interesting and unique mechanic get watered down again with the cyclical buildings.

0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:29:15 PM


Looks even worse then the tzeentch one!

0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:32:32 PM
Lunaticprince#9972 wrote:


Looks even worse then the tzeentch one!

That it does. The Chaos Lord of Tzeentch at least has new pauldrons. It is like choosing between the plague and cholera, though.

0Send private message
0Send private message0Send private message0Send private message0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:40:17 PM

But the rest looks rest

even the update

0Send private message
2 months ago
Apr 10, 2024, 2:43:16 PM

I do have a lot of hesitations about this. I really hope I am wrong about how it feels like it reads, but I do have some praise mixed in.

01. Changing the economy buildings to static, and making one of them a treasury, was the right call here. Very nice. Makes the economy feel better.

02. The infections and favor separation for buildings is a mixed bag. I always had issues gaining enough infections, let alone maintaining plagues to get them as they just wouldn't spread early-to-mid and even sometimes in late game without doing the Nurgle Circle. Hopefully infections are easier to get and maintain, otherwise it may make me feel like plagues aren't worth the cost.

03. Hopefully plagues spread easier now that there's an infection immunity that can happen. Maybe some research will increase plague spread chance too.

04. The infection web seems fun.

05. You need 100 Corruption for a mere 60% health on top of them being more expensive up front (Unless they lowered the cost of them. Right now Marauders cost twice as much as Empire Swordsmen WITH a higher upkeep and Nurglings cost more than them too with only 20 less upkeep)? I do hope that research gives a lot to casualty replenishment or even raises this cap to 80% or even lets it be 100% at the end of the tech tree. It feels like a needless handicap at the minute when he already struggles.

06. The army abilities change is a much-needed buff.

Those are really my takeaways. I hope it's just me reading all of this and feeling like it's just bad on paper instead of it being a train wreck.

0Send private message

Click here to login