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Kroot Shaper[2]

Shapers make up the leadership of the Kroot, both as individual Kindreds fighting under the Tau Empire or as mercenary forces, and oversee the consumption, direction and distribution of genetic material among the most basic Kroot and between various Kroot forces. A document written by Xeno Genetor Adept Mikulas Grenchov refers to a "Shaper caste".[3]


The Shapers lead individual Kindreds into battle, directing them as a Sergeant would.[2][3] War Shapers are specialized Shapers who are seasoned battlefield commanders and command all Kroot forces in the field. They are exemplary warriors who wield bladestaves and prey-hooks, or dart-bows and tri-blades.[4] A large kindred is typically run by a Master Shaper, while a group consisting of multiple kindreds may be headed by a Shaper Council of three to five kroot, who act as overseers to the other shapers, and ensure that shapers do not lead their warriors down a dangerous evolutionary path. Occasionally a Shaper Chief may rise to power in times of emergency and unite hundreds of kindreds as a single army.[2][3]

The other job of a Shaper is to direct the evolution of the Kroot in their Kindred by consuming certain enemies. For example, if a Shaper wanted his Kindred to become more muscular, he would have them pursue Orks; likewise a Shaper who wanted more agile or swift Kroot would direct the Kindred to hunt Eldar.[3] Shapers who specialize in this, are known as Flesh Shapers and are vicious masters of ritual butchery. They take strong personal pride in guiding their fellow Kroots' carnivorous practices and in doing so the Flesh Shapers ensure only the finest genetic material makes it into their pack's evolutionary heritage.[4] The Imperium has designated these Shapers as Primary Intermediate Trophic.[3]

The Shaper as many powers and traits among them are an instinctual understanding of the foes wounds and abilities, if he has devoured an example of the foe's race.[2]

They also have shamanistic powers, due to them being the focus of Kroot ancestor worship of their Kindred, practising rituals that seem to fill them supernatural powers, usually involving a sonorous chant and access to the powders, rocks and bones kept within the Shaper’s fetish pouch. Among these powers are Ancestral Blessing, calling the warrior spirits of his ancestors to aid the Shaper and his allies, Blood of the Stalker, daubing himself and his allies skin with the blood of a local predator and with a prayer to gain favour of the ancestors and grant helping them with hunts, and Prophetic Dream, visions from their ancestors that grant him foreknowledge of the future that is often difficult to understand, vision which may relate to something in the next week or even years.[2]

Flesh Shaper

Flesh Shapers are masters of ritual butchery who take a strong personal pride in guiding the carnivorous practices of their kind. They ensure only the finest genetic material is assimilated into their pack.[4]

Trail Shaper

Trail Shapers are responsible for the overall plan of attack. As their name suggests, they prepare the battlefield for their army’s arrival by picking out routes for infiltration, identifying advantageous terrain, and choosing how their forces will fight.[5]

War Shaper

War Shapers are Kroot Shapers who are seasoned battlefield commanders. They take responsibility for the disposition of all Kroot forces in combat. They are formidable warriors in their own right, expertly wielding primitive but effective weaponry such as Bladestaves, Dart-bows, Prey-hooks, and Tri-blades.[4]

Known Shapers