Playing as Kairos – the power of the future, the past, and all magic is with you


Total War
November 3 2021

Welcome back to, today we’re talking specific mechanics for a faction. In this case, Kairos Fateweaver, Legendary Lord of the Oracles of Tzeentch in Total War: WARHAMMER III. While he is, in fact, the only Legendary Lord for the Chaos God of Trickery in our opening salvo for the game, we still felt it was valuable to split this out from the general Tzeentch mechanics so you could see how things work in two batches.

This article will cover the information that, in WARHAMMER II, was on the right-hand side of the screen when you selected a Legendary Lord. They are further split into faction mechanics and lord mechanics. Faction is usually discounts, in-battle abilities, or special resources that version of the race has access to. It can also be shared between two legendary lords if they represent the same faction – there are no shared factions in launch WARHAMMER III, however. Lord mechanics usually apply to the lord’s abilities, in battle or on the campaign map, as well as unique bonuses units in their armies receive.

WARHAMMER III’s launch legendary lords lay somewhere between WARHAMMER II’s launch lords and our later DLC lords in terms of complexity and unique elements. There is a lot going on in WARHAMMER III with the standard campaign mechanics, the uniqueness of the new factions and their campaign mechanics, many of which we haven’t told you about yet. However, we do want these launch lords to feel interesting and powerful even once we’ve blown the doors off with our DLC and FLC lords and their weird and wonderful capabilities. Naturally, it’s also our job to look back on this sentence in the coming years and say we were totally wrong because we made DLC and FLC way better than we expected. We’ll check in down the road and see how we’re doing.

As well as those mechanics, we also will give some information about start positions, including basic stacks and settlements. While we can’t show off the campaign map quite yet (it’s a large and surprising beaut), it should give you a little tease of what to expect and let you start building a campaign in your head.

Also, this is the first time we’re going to give some hard numbers for effects. These could change before launch, we’re still in development, and if you screencap them and put them on Reddit as definitive fact we’ll send Taurox after you.

Alright. Caveats given, ground prepared, let’s get on with it.

Oracles of Tzeentch Faction Effects

  • Enemy reinforcement time prediction accuracy: +100%
  • Battle reinforcement time: -50%
  • Hero action success chance: +15% (all characters)

Starting simple but interestingly. The first two are naturally in use whenever you’re fighting huge battles towards the end of the game with many stacks converging to determine the fate of the world. Tzeentch knows all and sees all, and is far better at positioning his forces and knowing the location of the enemy than others. Something of an invisible buff, you probably won’t realise how much this has helped when it has, but you’ll be winning suspiciously more battles than you expect. In the chaos of the broad conflicts that can happen in WARHAMMER III between multiple factions and alliances, you also may see more battles with reinforcements than you’re used to.

It’s also the first you will have seen of some changes we’ve made to how reinforcing in battles works. There is now a timer for reinforcement, determined by various factors, making it easier to take on two armies with one smaller one as they are naturally split. It also means that a tiny army backed up by a bigger one is a much less dangerous prospect, as you can win the battle before their reinforcements arrive. The Lightning Strike ability has also been modified to a three point skill and now massively increases enemy reinforcement time for the first two ranks, enabling Lightning Strike battles at the third. Finally, if you’re the one with reinforcements on the way, you can move the reinforcement marker on the map to a place of your choosing, at the cost of extra time until the reinforcements arrive.

For the other part, a hefty hero success chance boost has obvious benefits. Tzeentch heroes break down like this:

  • Iridescent Horror: Assault Garrison, Assassinate, Assault Units
  • Cultist of Tzeentch: Damage Walls, Wound, Hinder Replenishment

Get scheming.

Kairos Fateweaver Legendary Lord effects

  • Can unlock unique items that can be used to customise Kairos’ spell selection
  • Enemy Hero action success chance: -50%
  • Ambush defence chance: +50% (Lord’s army)

Let’s just quickly deal with those latter two before we explain the former – plenty to like there, both early and late when hoping to avoid your enemy’s more deadly objectives. It also means you’re going to need to defeat Kairos in his idea of a fair fight, should you be facing him on the campaign map.

But the meat is Kairos’ ability to wield spells from various magic lores beyond his own. This is done through skill points placed into a unique row from level 11 onwards. There are no prerequisites, meaning you can choose which lores to take without caveats. Each base lore – beasts, death, fire, heavens, and so on – has its own fragment of power that can be equipped by Kairos once he has unlocked that skill. A second point can be put into each skill to decrease cooldowns and costs, as well as unlock the ‘passive’ effect while casting for each lore, when that item is equipped. These go into Kairos’ Arcane Item slot.

Each item will disable two spells from the Lore of Tzeentch and enable two spells from the chosen lore, along with their overcast variants. Here’s a rundown of each, and we’d recommend the Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki for details on the passives and spells that aren’t unique to WARHAMMER III and our spell lores blog for everything else.

  • Fragment of Ghur
    • Lore: Beasts
    • Spells gained: Curse of Anraheir & Transformation of Kadon
    • Spells replaced: Glean Magic & Infernal Gateway
    • Passive: Wild Heart
  • Fragment of Shyish
    • Lore: Death
    • Spells gained: Fate of Bjuna & Purple Sun of Xereus
    • Spells replaced: Treason of Tzeentch & Tzeentch’s Firestorm
    • Passive: Life Leeching
  • Fragment of Aqshy
    • Lore: Fire
    • Spells gained: Piercing Bolts of Burning & Flaming Sword of Rhuin
    • Spells replaced: Glean Magic & Infernal Gateway
    • Passive: Kindleflame
  • Fragment of Azyr
    • Lore: Heavens
    • Spells gained: Comet of Casandora & Curse of Midnight Wind
    • Spells replaced: Treason of Tzeentch & Tzeentch’s Firestorm
    • Passive: Roiling Skies
  • Fragment of Ghyran
    • Lore: Life
    • Spells gained: Regrowth & Shield of Thorns
    • Spells replaced: Treason of Tzeentch & Tzeentch’s Firestorm
    • Passive: Life Bloom
  • Fragment of Hysh
    • Lore: Light
    • Spells gained: Birona’s Timewarp & Net of Amyntok
    • Spells replaced: Treason of Tzeentch & Tzeentch’s Firestorm
    • Passive: Exorcism
  • Fragment of Chamon
    • Lore: Metal
    • Spells gained: Transmutation of Lead & Final Transmutation
    • Spells replaced: Glean Magic & Infernal Gateway
    • Passive: Metalshifting
  • Fragment of Ulgu
    • Lore: Shadow
    • Spells gained: Occam’s Mindrazor & Penumbral Pendulum
    • Spells replaced: Glean Magic & Infernal Gateway
    • Passive: Smoke & Mirrors

Kairos Fateweaver start position

Kairos starts his campaign on the border of Cathay, with a region capital in his control, a Warriors of Chaos faction – Khazag – inhabiting two of the settlements, and the minor Cathay faction Imperial Wardens in the final slot of that region. The Imperial Wardens also have an army on your borders.

Uniquely, you are not at war with Khazag and can use the Changing of the Ways to take their nearby settlement as early as turn two. On the other side lies a minor Khorne faction, Kharneth’s Sons, some more Tzeentchian followers in the Flaming Scribes, and a few native denizens of the Dark Lands. Tutorials, natural inclination, and the fact you can’t make peace will push you off towards Cathay, but those Bastion Gates are not easy targets, and the powerful armies of Miao Ying will regularly rove outside the walls to try to sack your settlements.

Well-placed walls and picking off or subjugating the other Warriors of Chaos faction, the Dreaded Wo, will serve you well. Alternatively, you could head west towards the rest of the Chaos Wastes and the fringes of Kislev or strike straight South looking for a way into Cathay from the mountains.

Kairos’ starting stack consists of himself, three units of Blue Horrors, two packs of Screamers, and one unit of Furies. It’s agile but certainly on the weaker side of starting stacks overall, and while we’ve rated it as a normal starting difficulty, you’ll certainly have to plan some good invasions and use Tzeentch’s mechanics to the fullest to make progress. Playing defensively and gathering your power to sprint up the tech-tree, as well as making some strategic alliances to your west and south, is another option.

Weave your victory, or fall to the past

Kairos Fateweaver is a thinking player’s legendary lord, though one just as prone to rampant savagery as intricate plans. Get you a Greater Daemon who can do both and conquer the world in early 2022 with Tzeentch.