What is Chaos: Tzeentch

The Changer of Ways, The Lord of Sorcery, The Architect of Fate, Great Deceiver, Raven God; 999 are the names given to Tzeentch, one of the four great Gods of Chaos whose domain encompasses change, magic, deceit, hope, ambition and destiny. Tzeentch is prayed to from remote wizard towers, smoky corporate boardrooms and noble estates after dark, all places where the ambitious and cunning desire to work their wills upon the world around them. To these hopefuls, Tzeentch offers mastery over the arcane, unrivalled intellect and even the ability to see the future; the fact that most of these people will either go mad or destroy themselves in their schemes amuses the Changer of Ways greatly. When Tzeentch’s acolytes are forced into open conflict, they do so in armour and robes of royal blue, surrounded by coruscating fire of infinite colour and attended by a cackling riot of daemons seeking to warp and mutate their master’s enemies beyond all hope of recognition.

Legend holds that Tzeentch was once the most powerful of all the Gods in the Realm of Chaos, his knowledge and sorcery unmatched in all creation. His brother Gods would not abide his supremacy, and united to strike the Lord of Sorcery down. Tzeentch was defeated; his power was shattered and scattered across reality, leaving him but a shadow of his former glory. Tzeentch has dispatched two Blue Horrors to recover these shards of himself, and should they succeed Tzeentch will once again rule over all. Whatever his form once was, and as such a thing can be applied to the God of Change, Tzeentch appears as a wizened man whose face lies within his chest, two great horns spiral out from his shoulders, and his skin is covered in eyes and mouths that repeat Tzeentch’s words with subtle but important differences in tone and inflection.

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Tzeentch’s domain is the Realm of the Sorcerer, an impossible place dominated by the Crystal Maze, a never-ending labyrinth of crystalline walls that reflect not only light, but the observer’s deepest fears and desires. Were one to navigate the maddening paths and packs of daemons that wonder them, the traveller would find themselves at the Impossible Fortress; an insane structure where the laws of physics change from room to room. At the centre of the Fortress is Tzeentch’s library, where the Lord of Sorcery is attended by his Lords of Change as he imagines schemes within schemes to confound his enemies and ensure a galaxy of never-ending plots and treachery.

Over the course of his existence Tzeentch has orchestrated many conflicts between his brethren, most of which involve Khorne who proves to be easily led by his rage and hate for all other things. But Tzeentch’s true rivalry lies with Nurgle, the Plague God, who teaches the virtues of despair and resignation. Such stagnant ideology runs entirely counter to Tzeentch, who thrives when mortals aspire to more than they have and hope for a better tomorrow and the ambition to make that world reality. In the Mortal Realms, Tzeentch also holds plenty of ire for the Great Horned Rat, whose schemes and plots rival even those of the Raven God, and Tzeentch despises sharing his portfolio with this upstart.

Tzeentch eternally seeks to set the Garden of Nurgle ablaze

Disciples of Great Deceiver

Sorcerers and schemers across reality pray to Tzeentch for power and knowledge. Most are undone by their own machinations, much to the delight of Tzeentch himself; but there are some, the most cunning and powerful, who have garnered the God’s favour and their plots have spanned millennia.

Magnus the Red – Primarch of the Thousand Sons space marine legion, who were entrapped in Tzeentch’s scheming even before the Horus Heresy began. Magnus and his children were declared traitors for there prolific use of psykers, and so the Emperor of Mankind sent the Space Wolves to burn the Thousand Sons home world of Propsero to the ground, and grind its glass pyramids to dust. Magnus and the legion were forced to flee, and in doing so swore themselves entirely to Tzeentch, who transformed Magnus into a mighty daemon prince and offered him the Planet of Sorcerers from where Magnus could plot his revenge. Now, after ten thousand years, Magnus and his legion have returned to realspace, and have brought the Planet of Sorcerers with them. Magnus’ plan is to destroy Fenris the way it’s Space Wolves destroyed his own world, all the while masterminding humanities inevitable psychic awakening.

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Ahzek Ahriman – In a legion of philosophers and sorcerer-kings, none were as skilled as Chief Librarian Ahriman, who was second only to Magnus himself in terms of eldritch might. After he and his brothers fled the ruins of Prospero, the Thousand Sons began to suffer from mass mutation that ravaged their minds and bodies, and would eventually wipe out the already decimated legion. Studying Magnus’ own library of grimoires, Ahriman formulated a ritual he believed would save his brothers from their fate, a spell that would go down in infamy as the Rubric of Ahriman. Ahriman’s spell was successful, too successful. The mutations ravaging the Thousand Sons were ended, but only the most powerful of psykers in the legion retained any semblance of a soul; the rest were reduced husks, the ashes of their bodies and souls forever sealed within their armour.

By their sorcerous might, Prospero shall be avenged

Kairos Fateweaver – Tzeentch’s knowledge is vast but not absolute, and the true future evades even his vision. The Architect sought to correct this failing, and so endeavoured to plumb the depths of the Well of Eternity, though rather than risk himself to its infinite tides, Tzeentch cast one of his Lords of Change, Kairos, into its depths instead. Kairos somehow survived, and emerged from the well forever changed by the experience. His body was incredibly wizened and frail, madness danced in his eyes, and his long avian head and neck had split in two. One of Kairos’ heads sees the future, while the other sees the past, with the side effect of leaving the daemon blind to the present. Kairos now recites all that he sees while other greater daemons endlessly transcribe his prophecies, furthering the knowledge and power of Tzeentch as they do.

Past and future are laid bare before him

The Changeling – One of the most prolific of Tzeentch’s servants, the Changeling is unique among its Horror brethren for being able to change its form to impersonate anyone in reality, bar Tzeentch himself. In fact, the Changeling has been masquerading as others for so long that it has forgotten its true appearance, only Tzeentch recalls its form, and he lords this information over the Changeling to ensure its loyalty. With its powers, entire planets and empires have fallen to its schemes, and even the fellow followers of Tzeentch are not safe from the Changeling’s trickery.

So why serve Tzeentch?

Those who serve Tzeentch are gifted with absolute mastery of the arcane and the esoteric, even fate bends to their whims. Tzeentch’s armies assault their foes with multicoloured fire that incinerates and mutates its victims. Your foes will rarely be able to match the forces of Tzeentch in matters of magic, let alone best them, and their ability to cheat destiny can make their forces surprisingly durable if used at the right moment. And even if wizards and daemons do begin to fall to the enemy, well, that was just as planned right?

Even Sigmar’s greatest warriors cannot stand before such sorcery

Join us next time as we continue to delve into the depths of madness and unravel the histories of the Ruinous Powers.

Did you enjoy this article? You could always tip the author with a coffee (or something stronger). If you fancy starting to worship at the alter of Tzeentch, then check out Element Games. They have great deals on chaos armies and a wide range of Warhammer and accessories. Finally, make sure you’re following us on Instagram to stay up to date and get involved in our community!

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