Kairos Fateweaver, also known simply as Fateweaver and the Oracle of Tzeentch, is a two-headed Lord of Change, a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch. Fateweaver is the mightiest of the Lords of Change that serve Tzeentch and is blessed with access to all of his knowledge concerning the nature of fate and destiny.
Once known as Kairos, Tzeentch's vizier and the first amongst the Great Conspirator's pantheon of Greater Daemons, this Daemon Lord possesses prescience beyond his immortal ken. His lord and master, the ever-scheming Changer of Ways, possessed the ability to know all things in the past and all things in the present. However, the skeins of the future were an entirely different matter. The ever-changing and ever-twisting threads of the future are infinite and fragmented into uncountable threads. Though Tzeentch possesses near omnipotent intelligence, even he cannot hold all the threads of reality within his grasp. This limit to his prescient vision frustrated Tzeentch to no end. In order to overcome this one weakness, the Great Sorcerer travelled to the very centre of reality, where space and time originated and ended, converging at the mystic Well of Eternity. But the Changer of Ways was himself afraid to enter the roiling currents of the Well, and so he sent his most powerful and trusted Greater Daemons in his stead. But none of these Lords of Change ever returned from the Well.
Frustrated, Tzeentch enacted one last gambit, snatching up his vizier, Kairos, first amongst his daemonic servants, and cast him into the Well of Eternity. The Greater Daemon survived his perilous journey, but just barely, much to the delight of his patron lord. The changes the Well wrought upon the daemon lord were drastic in the extreme. His mighty pinions were reduced to weakened vestiges of their former glory. His immortal form was wizened with unnatural age and became hunched. The most bizarre of these changes was that the head and neck had split into two separate heads, which shared both the knowledge of the future and the insanity that had resulted from this knowledge. Kairos now sits at the right hand of Tzeentch as his Oracle, mumbling incoherently to himself with mad ramblings about future events yet to happen. Nine times nine Lords of Change are charged with the all-important task of recording every tirade and fragment of mysterious knowledge passed on by the Oracle.
For completing the most challenging of quests on behalf of the Lord of Mutations, a few mighty individuals, both daemon and mortal alike, are sometimes granted the rare privilege of an audience with Tzeentch's Oracle. This is a great benefit indeed, for the twin heads know the answer to all queries and one of the two heads will always answer with the truth. Unfortunately, the other head simultaneously responds with a contradictory answer, the falsehood being as believable as the truth. Deciphering the resulting cryptic riddle invariably leaves the petitioner frustrated and often despondent.
Fortunately for the material universe, Tzeentch rarely sends his Oracle to the battlefields of the mortal world. But on the rare occasions he does, Kairos is known as Fateweaver. On this plane of existence the Oracle is able to summon great malefic powers and use his infallible prescience to influence the course of a battle. He can unleash tides of warping energy upon the enemy, changing the very landscape of a battlefield to his advantage. Fateweaver's daemonic bodyguard make it impossible for mortal warriors to draw a bead on the daemon lord, shooting and slashing at the fell creature in vain. Able to divine the skeins of fate the Oracle, and by extension his protectors, know exactly how to move in order not to be hit before a gun is fired or a blade is drawn. However, the critical consequence of Fateweaver receiving unexpected harm often forces the daemon lord to retreat to the Empyrean, afraid that his treacherous master might have devised a way to intentionally conceal the future from him.
The Horus Heresy
In the last century of the 30th Millennium, four solar decades before the start of the great galactic civil war of the Horus Heresy, Kairos Fateweaver appeared to the Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion, Lorgar Aurelian, during his infamous Pilgrimage into the Eye of Terror. The Fateweaver offered Lorgar a choice that would ultimately change the shape of the galaxy's history. Using his precognitive vision of the future, Kairos explained that Lorgar could seek revenge upon his fellow Primarch Roboute Guilliman for his shame at Monarchia on the world of Khur where the Emperor had humiliated the Word Bearers for failing to uphold the Imperial Truth. But this action would doom the chances of Chaos for overthrowing the Imperium of Man in the conflict to come. Or he could put aside this petty search for satisfaction and choose to serve the broader cause of Chaos, perhaps ensuring the victory of the Chaos Gods over the Emperor of Mankind and the union of humanity and the Primordial Annihilator. This is the only known instance where both of Kairos' heads told the same truth, so important was this choice to Tzeentch and his fellow Ruinous Powers.
After the Heresy had begun, Kairos once engaged in battle with the Primarch of the Dark Angels Legion, Lion El'Jonson, aboard his flagship, the Gloriana-class Battleship Invincible Reason. The Invincible Reason had been thrust unexpectedly into the Warp without being able to raise its Gellar Field following a battle with a Night Lords Legion Eclipse-class Light Cruiser, the Avenging Shadow, several solar months after the battle between the Lion and his brother Primarch Konrad Curze at Tsagualsa during the Thramas Crusade. A horde of Tzeentchian daemons assaulted the vessel, including Kairos, who inadvertently revealed during a telepathic conversation with the Lion that the Emperor was still alive. The Lion managed to distract the daemon and stab one of its heads with his blade Despair, banishing it back to the Warp. Before Kairos fully dematerialised, the Lion sarcastically asked him whether he had seen that coming. Eventually, the Invincible Reason was able to stabilise itself fully within the Warp, brings its Gellar Field back up and continue on its journey despite the deaths of 300 Astartes and 600 Chapter Serfs.
The Terran Crusade
The Warp is, in many ways, a mirror of our reality. Like a dark and fathomless pool, its surface ripples with the impact of momentous events, or great outbursts of passion and emotion. The resurrection of Roboute Guilliman during the Ultramar Campaign in 999.M41 sent bow waves of psychic energy rolling outward through the Immaterium, racing tsunamis of turmoil that did not go unnoticed.
One by one, the Champions of the Dark Gods of Chaos became aware of the resurrected Primarch. In hidden fanes and crystalline mazes, the greatest daemons of Tzeentch watched as the weft and weave of fate rippled and changed with the implications of Guilliman's return. Reading their master's will in the shattered facets of the future, each set itself to the task of tainting, tempting or destroying the Ultramarines Primarch in a myriad of subtly varied fashions.
Soon after Roboute Guilliman left Ultramar behind with a great fleet to undertake his Terran Crusade to reach Terra and meet with his father the Emperor of Mankind for the first time in 10,000 standard years, that fleet was thrown unexpectedly into the great Warp rift called the Maelstrom by a sorcerous ritual cast by Magnus the Red. The Daemon Primarch of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion had led a great fleet to intercept the Terran Crusade as part of his own larger plan to make an assault upon Terra. Once trapped within the Malestrom, the Imperials wandered for an unknown period of time through the Warp rift, unable to find their way out, as even time itself became indeterminate within the Empyrean. Throughout this time, Kairos fateweaver began to psychically torture the Primarch, enhancing his vast reserves of guilt and anguish over his inability to save the Emperor from His terrible fate during the Horus Heresy. Only through the psychic intervention of the Eldar Farseer Eldrad Ulthran were Guilliman and his Crusade finally able to discover a set of landmarks that led them out of the Maelstrom. This path ran through a massive graveyard of starships. As they passed through that eerie spectacle, they came under assault from a fleet of Red Corsairs Chaos Space Marines led by Kairos Fateweaver.
The Red Corsairs had laid their trap with cunning and skill, guided by the precognitive powers of the Fateweaver. They had inveigled their ships into the far edge of the starship graveyard, precisely where Kairos foresaw the Loyalist fleet would pass through. With the careful application of cosmetic hull damage, and all internal systems shrouded to minimise emissions output, they had magclamped severed links of chain to their hulls and posed as just another scattering of lost voidcraft. Now, rumbling back to life all around the shocked Loyalists, the Red Corsair ships launched an ambush of the enemy in their midst. Lance beams seared through adamantium hulls. Noble warriors who had survived countless trials were obliterated by raging firestorms, or sucked helplessly out into the void.
Guilliman cursed at what must surely be further Tzeentchian machinations. Hemmed in and outflanked, his fleet was at a catastrophic disadvantage. Several Imperial warships attempted to break free of the starship graveyard; these voidcraft were quickly targeted and, in the case of the Raven Guard frigate Silent Blade, shorn clean in two. The rest fought back, hammering fire into the void and tearing chunks from their attackers' warships at point-blank range.
Chaos firepower continued to rain down upon Guilliman's fleet in a veritable storm. The Primarch saw that the foes -- secure in their numerical and positional superiority -- were aiming to cripple his ships rather than destroy them. Weapons batteries, Auspex arrays and enginariums were blasted one by one, leaving the Crusade ships drifting and defenceless. Guilliman knew what must surely come next, and cursed aloud as he saw wave after wave of Boarding Torpedoes released from the launch decks of the attacking craft. The Red Corsairs were, first and foremost, pirates. Now they sought to steal as many of the Terran Crusade's warships as they could, along with the arms and armour within. Barking orders for his warriors to prepare for boarders, Guilliman's mind whirled with counter-ambush strategies and breakout plans.
Defence batteries studded the miles-long flanks of the Ultramarines flagship, Macragge's Honour. As the enemy boarding craft streaked closer, those guns roared to life, filling the void with sawing streams of firepower. Guilliman watched the external pict feeds intently, reading the patterns of destroyed foes and near-misses, and determining where the enemy's forces would hit his ship the hardest. The Primarch narrowed his eyes as the vessel's primary Auspex array took a direct hit, and the pict feeds drowned in sudden static.
Turning away from the useless datafont, Guilliman issued a calm string of orders that were circulated fleet-wide. For all those who could still hear him, the Primarch commended their remarkable courage and strength. He gave the order that all ships deploy their forces to defend their bridges, primary magazines, shield generators and Warp engines, then -- swallowing his own distaste at the religious connotations of the term -- wished the Emperor's blessings upon all who were about to engage the foe. Those who repelled boarders were to break free, and rendezvous beyond the edge of the Maelstrom as best they could.
His orders issued and Captain Cato Sicarius, Saint Celestine and Inquisitor Katarinya Greyfax at his side, Guilliman donned his helm and joined the warriors he had deployed to defend the bridge. He listened intently as Vox transmissions flew back and forth throughout the ship. Boarding Torpedoes impacted by the dozen. The lower crew decks were overrun. Sergeant Apstrophis' Devastator Marines held the bulkheads before the Enginarium Primus. Then came the news that a daemonic creature had manifested aboard, sweeping towards the bridge at the head of a Chaotic horde. Mere moments later the bridge bulkheads shuddered, then exploded inwards upon a bow wave of unnatural flame.
The Chaos onslaught was swift and savage. It had to be, for though the Ultramarines were outnumbered, they held an incredibly defensible position against the enemy boarding parties. Guilliman's gene-sons crouched behind consoles artfully designed to double as barricades in the event of a breach. More of their number occupied elevated positions on gantries and balconies overlooking the bulkhead, taking up positions amidst the looming grandeur of the bridge.
The first servants of Chaos to bound and cartwheel onto the bridge had absolutely no cover whatsoever. Pink Horrors of Tzeentch were engulfed in a storm of disciplined, expertly aimed fire that ripped them to pieces. Into the meat grinder poured more and more daemons, while behind them squads of Red Corsairs lunged through the blasted bulkhead and dashed for any cover they could find.
Bolters roared, their massed echo and strobing muzzle flare rolling around the bridge like a raging thunderstorm. Daemons exploded in puffs of ectoplasm, smaller simulacra bursting from their corpses to be mowed down in turn. Traitor Space Marines clad in the defaced liveries of a dozen Chapters fell dead upon the killing ground, their armoured corpses continuing to twitch and jerk as more rounds struck them. Bolt shells, plasma blasts, las beams and missiles fell like hailstones, ripping the deck plates to blackened ruin and annihilating dozens of invaders.
Inevitably, though, the boarders began to gain ground. A jetting blast of purple fire leapt out to turn a gantry to slime, sending a squad of Red Corsairs Terminators tumbling a hundred Terran feet into the Vox pits below. A cluster of Krak Grenades rained down upon a console-barricade, their detonations killing one Veteran and forcing two more to beat a hasty retreat. In the moments before he fell, a Red Corsair unloaded his Plasma Gun into another barricade, killing several Ultramarines before being killed by his own overheated weapon exploding in his hands. So it went on, the enemy eroding Guilliman's defences through reckless assaults.
Then came Kairos. The first warning the Loyalists had of the Greater Daemon's onset was a thickening of the air as the Empyrean stirred. Librarian Pollonius cried out in sudden agony, hands clamped to his skull and eyes bulging as the energies of his own mind were turned against him. Fast as lightning, Guilliman hurled himself aside, barging Captain Sicarius clear in the instant before Pollonius' body detonated in a wave of blue fire. Several Ultramarines were not so lucky, their armour dissolving and flesh turning to ash as the flames washed over them.
As the commanders of the Ultramarines reeled, the next rain of firepower to fall upon the kill box was transmogrified. Instead of mass-reactive shells and whistling grenades, all that struck the attacking hordes was shimmering starlight and wisps of silver steam.
A fresh wave of leaping Flamers and cackling Horrors surged through the bulkhead and leapt to the attack. More Red Corsairs came with them, lumbering Chaos Terminators and fang-helmed warriors with Bolters blazing. At their back, his ragged wings spread wide and his staff tapping before him, came Kairos Fateweaver himself.
Seeing the Lord of Change, Guilliman roared a battle cry and charged. Cato Sicarius and his warriors followed close on their Primarch's heels, while Greyfax and Celestine hurled themselves into the foe to either side.
Guilliman stormed through daemons and Traitors alike, his flaming Emperor's Sword swiping in unstoppable arcs. Volleys of shells thundered from the Hand of Dominion, while the crushing fist obliterated an enemy with every blow. Daemons exploded in sprays of unnatural ichor before Guilliman's fury, while those Traitors foolish enough to stand in his path were smashed aside like rag dolls.
Following the trail of carnage wrought by their Primarch, Sicarius and his Battle-Brothers hacked and blasted those enemies who tried to encircle Guilliman. Sicarius himself was a blur, his Talassarian Tempest Blade drawing golden arcs through the air as it lopped horned helms from armoured shoulders, and split daemons in two. At the same time, blinding light shone from Saint Celestine as she carved her way through the Warpspawn, and Inquisitor Greyfax sent one Traitor after another crashing to their knees as she crushed their minds with her telepathic powers.
It did not take Kairos' matchless future-sight to foresee that his enemy would attempt to reach and slay him. The Lord of Change was no match for Guilliman in battle, but armed with his faultless precognition, he had long prepared for this moment. Now, as the Lord of Ultramar smashed his way closer, Kairos set his devious scheme in motion by unleashing a pulse of blue flame from his staff.
Nine Heralds of Tzeentch had worked their way through the press of battle, concealed behind shimmering spells of illusion. At Kairos' signal, the leering daemons cast aside their sorcerous shrouds and began a babbling incantation. Bolt shells whipped in towards the Heralds the moment they appeared, but their daemon minions leapt willingly into the path of the shots. Shielded by the shimmering flesh of their underlings, the Heralds continued their chant, nine voices rolling and twining with each other over the cacophony of battle. Raising the Staff of Tomorrow high above his heads, Kairos joined his croaking voices to the burgeoning spell.
Since Guilliman had first entered the Maelstrom and begun to hear Kairos whispering in his mind, the Greater Daemon had been planting traps in the Primarch's subconscious. It had not been easy, for Guilliman's mind was a pristine fortress of order and rationality, and his mental defences were formidable. Yet slowly, carefully, the deed had been done. Kairos had teased forth Guilliman's guilt, his anger and disappointment at what remained of the Imperium, his fears for its future. The daemon had intended to continue his work until the Primarch was quite mad before attempting this ritual, but the intervention of the interfering Eldar had forced Kairos' hand. His preparations would have to be enough, or else Guilliman would surely banish him back to the Warp and escape.
Swaying and gibbering, spinning and leaping, the daemons worked their spell and dragged forth the incantations laced within Guilliman's mind. The Primarch stumbled, bellowing in pain as streamers of incandescent energy poured from his eyes and open mouth. Squirming tendrils of green, psychic guilt twined around serpentine streamers of disgust and surging red tendrils of anger. Engulfed by the whirling storm of psychic energies, Guilliman tried again to forge a path forward, but with a howl of pain he went down on one knee. Greyfax, bogged down in the morass of combat, could only watch helplessly, while Celestine's attempt to fly to the Primarch's aid was thwarted as several daemons latched onto her wings.
Sicarius and his Battle-Brothers, crying out in impotent fury, tried to cut their way through the foe, hoping to stop the incantation in any way they could. The 2nd Company Captain ordered all fire concentrated upon the daemons tormenting the Primarch. It did no good. Those shots aimed at Kairos puffed away as clouds of glittering dust, while the Heralds remained shielded behind squirming bulwarks of daemonic flesh.
Though the outnumbered Ultramarines fought furiously, they could not reach the daemonic sorcerers to stop their ritual. Roaring his anger, Guilliman surged to his feet once more, hammering off a volley of shells that struck Kairos Fateweaver and ripped bloody chunks from his gaunt torso.
Though the daemon was wounded sorely by the explosive impacts, his chant did not stop. Instead, it redoubled in intensity, the daemon's voices ringing out cruel and cold. Whirling and lashing, the coloured streamers of ectoplasmic energy surged from the Primarch's mind. All of Guilliman's negative emotions, all of the threads of madness and wrath and fear that Kairos had seeded into his mind, blossomed forth and wrapped themselves like vines around the Primarch. They thickened and twisted, pulsing with power as they hardened into heavy crystal chains.
Arms and legs bound tight, Guilliman crashed to his knees once more. This time, held firmly by Kairos' spell, he was unable to rise. The Oracle, projecting his voices to every warrior upon the bridge, commanded the Ultramarines, the Living Saint and the Inquisitor to lay down their arms at once. If they did not, the Primarch would be crushed and throttled to death before their eyes. One by one, the guns fell silent as the horrified Ultramarines complied. The battle was over, and Kairos Fateweaver stood gloating and victorious.
With Guilliman's capture, the battle of the Maelstrom starship graveyard was lost. Those Imperial warriors who did not surrender under threat of the Primarch's death were killed, or forced to capitulate. Champion Marius Amalrich was amongst the latter, wrestled down and beaten unconscious by a mob of Red Corsairs as he single-handedly held the breach into his ship's enginarium.
The Loyalists and their stolen warships were taken under heavy guard to the nearest Red Corsairs stronghold. To their shock, this turned out to be one of the ancient Blackstone Fortresses. How such a mighty structure had found its way onto the tides of the Maelstrom, none of the Imperial warriors knew, though in fact it had been a gift to the Red Corsairs from Abaddon the Despoiler. Stripped of their weapons and their honour, Guilliman and his surviving followers -- a force that included hundreds of Space Marines, Grey Knights and Skitarii, along with their engines of war -- were dragged into the depths of the Traitor fortress and hurled into psychic spell-shielded cells. The Adeptus Astartes were chained with adamantium links, while their leader still languished in the awful bonds of crystallised guilt, anger, sorrow and madness that Kairos had forged from his psyche.
Led by the piratical Chaos Lord Verngar the Apostate, a huge warband of Red Corsairs garrisoned the Blackstone Fortress. Much of the structure slumbered, for the Traitors lacked the knowledge to awaken the ancient alien construct or access the shrouded regions near its heart. Still, their fortifications were well-built, their numbers huge and their fleet powerful. Kairos Fateweaver deemed that this would be as good a prison as any to leave Roboute Guilliman in to rot. Though the Lord of Change had been vehement in his efforts to remove Guilliman from the galactic stage, he did not wish the Primarch dead. A chained demigod was too rich a source of power to simply cast aside, and Kairos planned to keep his victim hidden away in the Maelstrom until certain future junctures were reached. Already, the daemon could see several moments where unleashing a Primarch driven insane might produce most intriguing results. The Red Corsairs, for their part, would readily act as Guilliman's gaolers in return for the boons of foresight that Kairos could grant, and so the Fateweaver felt confident that his captive would remain locked away.
Perhaps it was the mysterious influence of the fortress itself; perhaps Guilliman's anomalous presence within the strands of fate distorted them in ways that even the Fateweaver could not perceive. Whatever the case, as he made preparations to leave the Blackstone Fortress, the daemon did not foresee the vast horde descending upon him.
From the depths of the Maelstrom came an enormous armada. Dozens upon dozens of warships thundered toward the Blackstone Fortress, their hulls encrusted with gore and skulls. The rune of Khorne was branded upon these spiked Battleships, and daemonic fires danced in their wake.
Before the fleet blazed a monstrous, blood-red comet wreathed in furious black flame. A fanged maw yawned wide upon that hurtling fireball, and eyes swimming with insane fury stared from its depths. So came Skarbrand the Exiled One to the Blackstone Fortress, blazing through the void to crash with explosive force into the station's outer hull. Khornate warships sped in his wake, fanning out to hammer the battle station with firepower even as teeming swarms of landing craft spilled from their flanks.
The Red Corsairs, first surprised and then outraged at this sudden attack, rallied swiftly and fought back. Even as their fortifications were opened to the void and blasted to blazing scrap, the Corsairs' gun batteries cycled up and filled the void with fire. Havoc squads sent volleys of shots lancing out to blast landing craft from the air, while Obliterators directed withering fire into the Khornate hordes already spilling across the fortress' outer hull. A furious battle raged in the silence of space, thumping explosions plucking Khorne Berzerkers from the fortress' night-black skin and sending them tumbling away into the void.
Within the Blackstone, flashes of pale green luminescence danced along darkened corridors, the ancient structure warning its denizens of danger. Red Corsairs deployed in disciplined firing lines, then filled entire passageways with crashing Bolter fire as masses of Khornate warriors charged towards them. Chainaxes carved through armour and flesh, while bolt-riddled corpses crashed to the ground aflame.
Through the mayhem stalked Kairos, screeching with dismay at this unforeseen turn of events. Conjuring forth masses of Tzeentchian daemons, he hurled them into battle in an attempt to drive back the invaders. Yet bloody mists were gathering as the slaughter continued, and from their depths sprang red-scaled cohorts of Khornate daemons that eagerly joined the carnage.
Meanwhile, deep within the Blackstone Fortress, Guilliman listened to the distant clangour, and gathered his strength in case a chance to escape should arise.
And that chance arrived in the form of the Eldar Harlequins led by Sylandri Veilwalker and the Fallen Angel Cypher. In return for a promise from the Primarch to grant him an audience before the Emperor on Terra, Cypher freed Guilliman and the other Imperials of the Terran Crusade. Veilwalker led them into the depths of the Blackstone Fortress, where a great Webway gate lay.
But during the three-way battle in the heart of the Blackstone Fortress between the Tzeentchian daemons, the forces of Khorne, and the Imperials, Kairos Fateweaver made no attempt to engage the enraged Primarch in battle, choosing instead to exhort his followers forward and unleash his sorcery from a safe range. Instead, Guilliman defeated Skarbrand in personal combat, and then he and his followers successfully fled into the labyrinthine confines of the Webway, the Primarch's passage bought at the cost of the life of the Emperor's Champion Marius Amalrich. Even the Fateweaver could not fully foresee the future destiny of a Primarch, a veritable demigod of Mankind.
- Staff of Tomorrow - The Staff of Tomorrow is a mysterious Chaos artefact about which not much is known. Aligned in some way with the power of Tzeentch, a rebellious Daemon Prince managed to steal it away and plant it in the Garden of Nurgle in the Realm of Chaos. However, during one of the many battles of the Great Game, Kairos Fateweaver managed to infiltrate the garden and retrieve the staff, and now uses it to enhance his already potent precognitive and sorcerous abilities.
Kairos is an ancient Greek word for time, more specifically the opportune moment for something to happen, as opposed to the sequential flow of time itself, which is chronos. Kairos Fateweaver also made a cameo appearance in the Warhammer Fantasy novel Blood of Aenarion by William King.
- Accursed Eternity (Novella) by Sarah Cawkwell
- Atlas Infernal (Novel) by Rob Sanders
- Aurelian (Novella) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition), pg. 49
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 31
- Endeavour of Will (Novella) by Ben Counter
- Fateweaver (Novella) by John French
- Gathering Storm - Part III - Rise of the Primarch (7th Edition), pp. 58-70
- Index Chaotica - Garden of Nurgle (6th Edition) (Digital Edition)
- Sanctus (Novella) by Darius Hinks
- The Primarchs (Anthology) edited by Christian Dunn, "The Lion" by Gav Thorpe
- White Dwarf 368 (UK), pg. 7
- Warhammer Community