- "The Daemon lied with every breath. It could not help itself but to deceive and dismay, to riddle and ruin. The longer we conversed, the closer I drew to one singular ineluctable fact: I would gain no wisdom here. The Daemon's mind was a labyrinth of deceptions. Truth was trammelled at the heart of that maze and far beyond my meagre reach."
- —Liber Malefic[1a]
The Lords of Change, known also as the Winged Watchers, the Eyes of Tzeentch and the Feathered Lords are the greatest and most magically powerful of all Daemonkind. These bird-daemons of Tzeentch are hideously unpredictable and manipulative. Behind its gaze lies a curious and wreckful mind, deeply intelligent, yet as uncaring of consequence as it is fascinated by it. The Lord of Change is like a child playing upon some gigantic anthill, poking with a stick at its inhabitants and laughing at the hopeless antics of their defense. Nothing pleases him more than to see the world broken and made anew, to redirect the course of a life or even history itself, spilling hope upon the ground while raising the ambition of others up to an unexpected pinnacle of power.[1a]
A Lord of Change does not regard it as essential to retain consistency of colour, appearance - or even shape — unless it pleases his whimsy to do so, and the Daemon therefore can assume any shape or hue that takes his fancy. In all his splendoured presence, a Lord of Change’s most striking and dangerous features are his eyes. Few mortals can withstand the scrutiny of his gaze, and it is said that when a Lord of Change looks upon a mortal he perceives not only the creature’s ephemeral flesh but also the ultimate failure or realisation of its hopes and dreams. Yet a Lord of Change is as skilled at concealing truth as revealing it. Indeed, it is said that other Daemons - even other Lords of Change — cannot fully glean a truth that one of the Feathered Lords wishes to remain hidden. Thus a symposium of the Lords of Change is a riddlesome and confusing affair, where every question is met with another, and where truth is smothered in layers of deceit.[1a]
Extreme change is not a natural thing. Beneath every plot, every event, every turn of fate, there lays the machinations of Lord Tzeentch. In the interests of perpetual change, Tzeentch demands the world remain in a constant state of flux, always unfolding, always altering, trapped in a constant process of becoming. The signs of his work are everywhere, from the emergence of a new species to the mutations and corruptions that riddle his benighted servants. He is the master of mutation and magic, and it is up to his greatest servants, the Lords of Change, to carry out his fickle whims.[2a]
Tzeentch blessed the Lords of Change, his Greater Daemons, with the ability to see into the future and the past, to see the larger workings of the unfolding randomness that makes up the foundations of reality. Armed with incredible cunning and the timeless wisdom of their infernal master, they detest the confining bindings that stability and familiarity represent. And so they devote themselves to breaking the world and making it anew. Each furthers his agenda, but all shatter the structures of mortals to recreate them only to destroy them once again. The Eyes of Tzeentch are as unfathomable as their master, playful in their manipulations of mortals, though tempered by a keen intellect that enables them to see every consequence of every action they take.[2a]
As manifestations of the Grand Schemer, the Lords of Change are hideously unpredictable and manipulative. They are the most readily summoned but also most likely to give false or misleading advice and prophecies to further their own eternal schemes. Many Champions make pacts with these Daemons and benefit greatly only for their plans and ambitions to disastrously come to nothing and leave them as twisted spawn rife with mutation. But should a Champion be cunning enough to outwit such a creature, the rewards are almost limitless. Mutation, division, strife, and discord are its goals, and many are the mortal, shortsighted fools who would follow the capricious Lord of Change, to be broken upon their own convoluted scheming.[2b]
The presence of a Lord of Change is heralded by a variety of strange effects. From sudden and powerful storms, to random mutations that riddle the flesh of the innocent, nothing is beyond the capabilities of these Greater Daemons. Their reach is far, causing the common man to become fickle and contrary in his emotions. Animals act strangely, spooked by phantom images. What was once a brave and courageous dog is reduced to a whining, mewling beast terrified by the softest sounds. Spider swarms creep through windows, whilst mice scramble to escape the fields only to be trampled under the feet of confused and startled commoners. The Lords of Change set minds on fire, evoking madness and strange behaviour.[2b]
The change on the minds is reflected in the changing of form. Mutations are more rampant. Moles and birthmarks move across the flesh as if by their own accord. Eye colours change to pink, cyan, and lavender, along with hair colour, and even the very flesh. Such changes may be minor, whilst others are magnificent, but none in proximity to a Lord of Change emerge unscathed. Though these Greater Daemons principally affect the minds, they also injure the environment. Ordinary objects change colour, assuming contrasting and clashing hues or cycling through a number of different patterns until they begin to vibrate with a disturbing eagerness to pick themselves up and wander away. Familiar landmarks vanish, road signs and fingerposts jumble, and the letters in texts seem to lift off the page to rearrange themselves in new and interesting combinations.[2b]
Trees undergo complete transformations, becoming altogether new species. Dead wood becomes living once more, whilst young saplings decay in a matter of moments. Swirls of strange clouds skid across the sky, changing shape and assuming new forms that twist and writhe in a constant state of becoming. But of all the changes the Feathered Lords bring, none are as drastic as the effects they have on magic. It’s said that when a Lord of Change appears, the currents of magic move in contradictory and conflicting ways, undulating, shifting and producing unexpected and bizarre results. Pools of Dhar ignite and burn with a purple or brown luminescence, and the most practised Magister finds his magical abilities thrown into disarray. Chaos manifestations appear everywhere, and those who see them go mad with fear and panic. It is a terrifying experience to face the might of the Lord of Change, and those who do never emerge unscathed.[2b]
When a Lord of Change reveals itself, it is a vision of horror. A massive feathered creature with the head of carrion bird wobbling on top of a wattled neck, it seems almost frail, almost too weak to support what it does. No secret can be kept from the all-seeing gaze of a Lord of Change, for all ambitions and woes are laid bare before its immortal stare. With bright multi-coloured wings, and a gigantic bird-like face, a Lord of Change is the most bizarre of all Greater Daemons. Its skin writhes with unnatural energies — magic courses through its warping body as blood pumps through a mortal.[2b]
Although a Lord of Change prefers to use magic and trickery to further its ends, it is still a fearsome fighter; its great scything claws can pierce the thickest armour. Many adventurers have underestimated these strange creatures, thinking their wiry frames and fluttering wings fragile, only for their lances and swords to shatter against its immortal skin. The Lord of Change is almost always armed with some weapon or device of Chaos — a mighty artefact infused with the essence of magic. With these swords and axes, the Feathered Ones can hack their way through the hardiest of opponents. Before closing with its foes, though, it fixes its enemies with a potent stare that immobilises those brave enough to meet it. While held, the Feathered One closes to slash with its Chaos weapon before loosing a cackling screech. More than their Daemonic traits, Lords of Change are master magicians. They can draw upon the raw power of Tzeentch, twisting and warping it to serve their needs. Not only are they skilled at working with magic, they are also skilled at resisting it. They can emasculate spellcasters by removing their magical ability and leaving them exposed to the Lord of Change’s vicious temper.[2b]
As might be expected of a creature born of pure magic and bound to the will of the Master of Sorcery, a Lord of Change is a potent spellcaster. The Winds of Magic obey his every command, allowing him to summon whirling tempests of change and mutation, blast the enemies of Tzeentch with bolts of multicoloured fire or unravel the mind of an enemy spellcaster from the inside. Sorcery is not the only weapon at the command of a Lord of Change — he is also an erudite tactician, well versed in a thousand ploys and stratagems for any given situation. Accordingly, if a Lord of Change prefers to remain uncommitted in battle it is not through lack of courage or ferocity, but because he likes to direct his forces and better control the flow of the fighting. He instinctively sees the skeins of fate that play over the battlefield, and knows all too well how they can be manipulated.[1a]
This boundless knowledge makes the Lord of Change much sought after by mortal sorcerers with the wit and skill to bind a Daemon to their bidding. Few such contracts end well for the mortal, however, for there is no cage that a Lord of Change cannot extricate itself from, given time. Not that escape is often the Daemon’s first priority — he’s much more likely to feign servitude whilst weaving the supplicant tightly into his own ineffable plots. Although a Lord of Change elects to use magic and trickery to further its ends, he is still a fearsome fighter. Countless heroes have underestimated these strange creatures, thinking their wiry frames and fluttering wings fragile. Only when lances and swords shatter against the Daemon’s skin, and his mighty talons shred armour like paper, do his assailants realise the terrible depth of their mistake.[1a]
Notable Lords of ChangeEdit
- Fateclaw - famous for possessing the Dragon Galrauch.
- Kairos Fateweaver - Oracle of Tzeentch, and powerful two-headed Lord of Change who can see the future and the past but not the present, and knows every spell in existence.
- Tzchen of the Silver Claw - featured in End Times: Archaon.
- Sarthorael the Everwatcher - featured in Total War: Warhammer.
- Azrik the Maze Keeper - featured in Total War: Warhammer.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (8th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 37
- 2: Tome of Corruption (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)