The fate-shifter was an enchanted object capable of endowing a user with the ability to rewrite history, using an extremely powerful form of sorcery. It existed in the form of a small, unassuming golden jewelry box, inscribed with runic writing on the sides and front and encrusted with small jewels. It lacked a clasp or lock, and appeared to glow faintly under its own power.
Following several personal tragedies in his life, "Four" Wheeler was approached by the Ancient One, who offered him the fate-shifter as a way of fixing his problems. After traveling back to his own childhood and recovering a one-of-a-kind plush toy named Floopy, Four was convinced of the fate-shifter's power. He accepted the relic on the condition that he would perform a small favor for the Ancient One at some future date.
Four immediately set about to try to correct the wrongs in his life. He went back and prevented Rouge's death at the hands of a wayward zom. He also went back and stopped Syxx from sacrificing herself, but this resulted in Mariposa's death instead, so he made sure to undo this change. After realizing he would need to go back further and stop the reassembly of the World-Breaker altogether, he attempted to contact the Dwarves of Stonekeep, and then the Pixies of the Darklands, but neither visit was fruitful. (Indeed, the visit with Pixie clan leader Nyx resulted in Wazzipaloo's execution, so a second fate-shift was required, visiting himself and convincing the other Four not to go through with the change.) Then he tried to sabotage the Butterfly's Flight to prevent Mirabel Miller from recovering the World-Breaker fragment from Copycat Rock, and was successful.
Wishing to prevent Christabel Miller's death as well, Four tried countless times to make changes to her reality. Each of them resulted in unwanted changes to the timeline. At one point, he even tried to kidnap Christabel and take her with him to his own timeline, but her absence created far more problems than it solved. At some point along the way, Four lost Wazzipaloo; he had effectively fate-shifted her out of existence, and he had no way of knowing what changes he needed to undo in order to recover her.
Eventually, the Ancient One appeared again and Four was asked to fulfil his promise. Four was told to travel back before the point that the Ancient One was imprisoned, preventing it from taking place. Instead, Four traveled back to the moment before Mirabel unlocked the tomb and urged her not to. In this alternate reality, the Dwarves found Mirabel's discarded talisman and, believing the Elves had attempted to free the Ancient One, launched the Giant against the Elvenwood.
When the Ancient One appeared again and commanded that Four fulfil his oath, Four responded by throwing the fate-shifter to the ground, destroying it. This proved sufficient to cause reality itself to come unraveled, at least temporarily.
Embarrassment of RichesEdit
Mariposa considered using another fate-shifter following the apparent death of Four, though she had no idea where she would procure one.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The true origins, or purpose, of the fate-shifter is not directly revealed in The Curse of the Fate Shifter. However, the Ancient One makes reference to beings whose purpose is to orchestrate and maintain the affairs of all living things, describing this as his former job and implying that the fate-shifter was one of the "tools of the trade."
Also, the stylistic decision was made to present the title of the book Curse of the Fate Shifter without a hyphen, while the name of the object is always parsed "fate-shifter" in the story text itself.