Shackling the Beast of Chaos
Shackling the Beast of Chaos

Shackling the Beast of Chaos

Shackling the Beast of Chaos

Philosophy by Numbers: the Mercykillers

“Mmm … hello there young one. What’s that? Perhaps I should loosen the straps …”

“Where are we? In Sigil, yes. Mmm … deep beneath the Prison. Far from your gentle home I am sure. Far, far from any lawlessness you felt comfortable living in. Mmm …

“Will I let you free? Not yet, little friend, not yet. How are your chains? You feel discomfort, yes? No? Then let me tighten them. Mmm …

“No, child, I will not stop yet. You must be ready to listen. Yes, mmm … be ready to listen and to respect the law. There, there, it’s only a thin trickle. Time heals all wounds. Let me pull this last strap … just a little … tighter … ahh! Now I can begin …” 

“Look, friend, look all around you. See these crumbling walls? The pokers blackened with fire? Mmm? See my withered hands, the deep chasms throughout my face? What great beast does this all? Mmm … entropy, my child.

“Chaos claws at the foundation of our Prison. Yes, entropy ages my once tall body, now stooped and arthritic … mmm … this monster of disorder threatens to destroy all that you see … and all you don’t see!

“Do you wonder, child, why people grow old. Why statues and walls crumble away. Mmm … why even empires decay into civil war? It is the fault of chaos … yes, our forsworn enemy.”

“Mmm … what? What do you have to do with chaos? Mmm … hold still, friend, let me fetch my tools. Which one, child? This one? Mmm?

“Feel the iron on your cheek? It is cold and unwavering … yes, it is like the law we seek. It is without muddled feeling, without imperfection. Mmm … this is my weapon against the disorder. Against you, child!

“The Harmonium caught you, yes? Mmm … and the Fraternity sentenced you. How do they stop you? Mmm? With words? A stern lecture? And will this stop your lawlessness? Speak up, child! You say it will? Mmm … let me heat the iron.”

“You, child, could be arrested a thousand times, held on trial a thousand thousand times, and what would it do? Mmm … nothing! You, my lawless friend, require incentive, yes! Punishment will stop you, and the fear that follows … yes …

“And that … is where I play a role greater than that of the Harmonium or the Fraternity combined. Mmm … without my cruelty you would never learn to fear the consequences of your actions. I am the punisher of chaos. Through me … through the Mercykillers … will the great beast that is chaos quake with fear. Disorder will be too afraid to take hold. The entropy that you so embrace, friend, will be no more!”

“Mmm … so, child, now you understand my position, perhaps you will not repeat your actions again. With time, you may even feel as I feel. The pull of age and decay will lead you to me, to learn as I once did … mmm …

“But as for now … mmm … the iron is red hot. Let me see … mmm … your crime? Theft from a noble? This is a crime that must not go unnoticed … mmm … turn your head. There we go … now hold still …”


—Sign around the neck of some poor sod who ran into the Mercykillers, and now is missing a hand

Source: Zak Arntson

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