Part of a Series on the Barmies who reside in the Gatehouse of the Bleak Cabal

(Planar male gray slaad [he/him] Guvner / LN)

What was I saying about subjective sanity? Well Crolaak’s a case study in it. See, this poor sod’s the very model of a good citizen; it knows the laws of the Cage and follows ’em to the letter. Its a fully paid-up member of the Fraternity of Order, and a keener factotum you never did see. Why’s the berk in here? It’s a sodding slaad!

It’s common enough for a slaad not to toe the line for a bit; they’re even expected to act in a surprising manner; after all, they’re chaotic creatures, right? Well, there’s surprising and there’s surprising, ain’t there, and Crolaak’s a bit of both (and it’s surprising too). It’s a gray slaad with absolutely no sense of the random at all. It’s unable to think of anything original, react to a situation it’s not encountered before, or do anything spontaneously; the barmy thing makes out a “to do” list every morning, for crying out loud!

Lucky for most sods that’s not a hanging offence (otherwise all the Hardheads would’ve been executed a long time ago), and it’s not even a problem for a slaad. True, they’re supposed to be the very essence of turmoil, but the saying goes there’s also order to be found in chaos. Maybe it’s all been condensed into Crolaak, rather than having it spread out through the rest of the slaadi? Who knows? (Who cares, even?)

No, the real problem with Crolaak is he’s got the ability to shape chaos-stuff into stable material. That ain’t exactly unusual, not for a slaad; well, not if said frog-being’s lurking in Limbo, anyway. Thing is, Crolaak can do it anywhere, and it ain’t chaos-stuff it’s using, neither. Crolaak can gather up any kind of matter, be it ordered as a clock or jumbled as a Xaositect’s closet, and shape it into anything it wants. It stays that way too; the slaad doesn’t have to concentrate to keep it solid. What’s more, Crolaak can do this as often as it likes!

That was a real exciting discovery for the Guvners; it’s probably why they let the slaad join their faction. They probably reckoned it’d discovered some dark law it was avoiding to perform its magic tricks. Well, if it was, the Guvners sure didn’t find it. As Crolaak got more and more enmeshed in its own abstractions of laws, the barmy thing decided it’d replace the triad of Law-Giving factions by itself. The slaad must’ve reckoned that it was inefficient to have different factions to apprehend, try and punish knights of the post. If Crolaak knew all the laws (and believe me, it does), was strong enough to capture miscreants (and believe me, it is) and punish those guilty accordingly, then it’d be a logical thing to do.

Do this it did. For three days the Lady’s Ward rang with the screams of the guilty, as the executioner slaad performed the task it was built for: execution (well, what did you think, berk?)

It wasn’t long before the Guvners and Hardheads combined had caught Crolaak themselves and dumped it on us to look after (there was no way they’d let it go inside the Prison). Besides, we’re good at catering for clients with “special needs”, right?

Right now, we’ve got a contingent of Xaositects trying the teach the slaad how to be random. Last I heard they’d dyed him rainbow colours, and very fetching he looks too. But on the subject of chaos, they’re not exactly making much progress, though. For one, Crolaak keeps punishing them for surprising it, and for another, they let it escape every so often, just for a lark. Bloody Xaositects.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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