The Fates have the subtle but awesome power of deciding a man's destiny. They assign a man to good or evil. Their most obvious choice is choosing how long a man lives. There are three Fates. Clotho, the spinner, who spins the thread of life. Lachesis, the measurer, who choses the lot in life one will have and measures off how long it is to be. Atropos, she who cannot be turned, who at death with her shears cuts the thread of life.
The Fates are old and predate the gods. It is not entirely clear how far their power extends. It is possible that they determine the fate
of the gods as well. In any case, not even the most powerful is willing to trifle with them.
Seven days after Meleager's birth the Fates appeared to foretell his future.