|Chaos, The Destroyer, etc.|
Portrayed By Richard Armitage and Katrina Law
God and Goddess of Chaos
[links to the pantheon]
Lasciel, also known most commonly as The Destroyer, is one of the original Twelve of the Pantheon, and the God or Goddess of Chaos. In this capacity, Lasciel may hold the title for "Most Poorly Understood" of the gods, for Chaos is neither a force for good nor for evil, but an agent of change, evolution, and free will. Of course, most change is painful, at least for some, while it's happening. Since Lasciel has been known to appear as a man or woman depending only on whim, various texts refer to Chaos as a "him" or a "her", with little consistency.
Some Really Ancient History
At the Beginning of Everything
It is well-known among those with schooling in the history of the Gods that each of the new members of the Twelve was, at some point after their creation, given leave to select for themselves what would be known as their Domain. While most of the young gods chose easily defined aspects, the Sun, the Moon, the Seas or the Green, Lasciel chose the aspect of Chaos. It was a broader domain than most would suspect - within it can be found elements of destruction, reformation, free will, and of course entropy.
It is a choice that would seem strange to most. Lasciel set himself up with very little to call his own. Chaos does not create, it can only change, and this left him to meddling with the domains of his brothers and sisters, oftentimes ruining their careful plans and drawing their ire or even their fury in a few cases. Lasciel, however, saw in that first major choice what most would have missed. If all of them chose a domain that could be safely played with, independent of the others, with each of them exerting total control within their tightly defined sphere, their destruction was inevitable. Either they would somehow infringe on one another's territory and fall to squabbling again, or the world would become rigid, unchanging, and eventually fail. He chose his domain not just for his love of change, but because it was necessary.
Of all of them, he was best suited, and it is a duty he has given himself to for the rest of his existence. Not, of course, that Lasciel has always treated it as a solemn task. Quite the opposite, in many cases. Naturally, whatever her intent, Lasciel is best remembered for the worst of what she has done. Fairly or not, the Destroyer tends to take at least some of the blame for most of the bad things that happen in the world, from wars to plagues to natural disasters (even though many of these are the fault of her siblings). And even Lasciel would admit that this isn't far from the truth. Her whole life has been spent adding that element of uncertainty to the plans of others, and of course this means that plans sometimes fail. If these plans are small, there is little consequence, but if they are large... well, one has to only look at the War of the Gods and Fae for an example of just how badly the plans of gods can sometimes end.
When the World was New
Like the rest of his family, Lasciel had a hand in the creation of the world. Of course, his interests were somewhat different - he ensured that living creatures would be possessed of free will, that all systems had the room to grow and change. It was sometime early on that he began taking a female shape frequently - probably at first due to a dare from Philia, though he had never been one to keep a single shape for long. He explored his relationship with the others and had his share of arguments - only a few did he never have cause to fight with. As the years went on, there were times Lasciel grew weary of his inability to create, when it was so large a part of the lives of his siblings. And so he began collecting (sometimes stealing) artifacts of power and life from each of the Pantheon, until he gathered enough to combine with his own power, and for the first time create a life. The child would grow to become the messenger of the gods, known as The Gossiper.
While it was never exactly proven that Lasciel had anything to do with the rebellion of the Fae, it was never a leap for anyone to suspect that she had - after all, it was that element of unpredictability, free will, that had led to it in the first place. While she originally meant to stay out and let chaos take its course, she was eventually convinced by her closer siblings to join the battle alongside her family, and so she did, sewing chaos in the ranks of the Fae armies. Toward the end of the war, in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy, she visited Sage, and the two of them combined their powers to create a new guardian of temples. Her name was Lamia, and Lasciel would come to think of her as a daughter - never one to be deterred by the monstrousness or lethality of a creature from loving it all the same. At the end of the war, Lasciel devoted much of her power to helping scour Ga'Leah clean before the new species were created to repopulate the world.
While the rest of his siblings performed grand acts, making great names of themselves, Lasciel generally contented himself to walk among the humans and other creatures of the world, learning and nudging circumstances toward change everywhere he went. He was a participant or at least an observer in all the major wars and most events - both those that ended well and badly, but his influence was almost always subtle. As such, it is hard to say how much credit - or blame - belongs to the Destroyer for the course of human history. Some believe his absence from the greater affairs of the gods was out of anger or disappointment following the banishment of his sister Adora. Lasciel has taken on mortal followers from time to time, some of them important - many rulers, great and terrible, have been confidants of Chaos over the years, though only some of them ever knew who they harbored.
And Then Things Went Really Badly
When the Blight was unleashed upon Ga'Leah, Lasciel was nowhere to be found. The Destroyer remained entirely absent from the world for months, until weeks after his sisters Ceren and Lyrielle had died. Lasciel appeared in a forest on the outskirts of Dokrayth, confused and without his memories. He wandered aimlessly for days, lost until Philia found him on the edge of the blackened sea. She was able to remind him of much - their family, who and what he really was, and give him comfort until he was able to put enough of the pieces together. After they parted to seek out the rest of their family, Lasciel sought out some of his brothers and sisters, and later found his son Ratatoskr in the mountains near what had once been Caelum.
As the God of Chaos gradually put himself back together, he began working in the world again - first, he would deal with some of the oppressive situations plaguing the refugees fleeing the Blight. After that, who knew? Lasciel had always found plenty to do, and though he took no joy in it, and was distraught at the deaths of his sisters, in a world such as this, there was plenty for a god of Chaos to do.
As Lasciel pushed back on the Blight, his memories slowly began to return. The reason for his absence had been Malificent - the creature who had once been Adora and the Horned King had conspired to kill Lasciel and take his power, though they were only partly successful. Lasicel's nature made his death impermanent, but they were able to take enough to unlock the seals around Pandora's box, and use what was within to create the Blight. When Lasciel remembered, he sought to challenge Malificent - even Chaos after all is occasionally given to rage, and to vengeance for the dead. Their clash was devastating, destroying a temple to the Pantheon in Xehacora, but though Lasciel was able to gain the upper hand, Malificent was able to distract him and escape; she had another of the Twelve murdered, and the psychic shock was enough to disable Lasciel temporarily.
The Future Arc
No part of Lasciel made the trip to the future, however she did stay behind, and was an important figure in Malificent's world. Though the fall of the Pantheon and the theft of their powers weakened the Destroyer, Malificent and her followers were never able to take the Destroyer's powers, and she remained an incredibly powerful creature, certainly more so than anyone but Malificent could handle on their own. Lasciel bent her powers toward thwarting Malificent's control over the world any way she could - bringing small areas of light to the dark regions outside Malificent's control, and otherwise sheltering and empowering rebels that fought against her. Having to devote so much power just to keeping rebellion viable, making the uncontrolled parts of the world livable by stealing parts of the domains of the new Pantheon as she always had, took too much power from Lasciel to allow her to fight openly at their sides. Most of those she helped and protected never saw or realized what she was, thinking her (or him sometimes) to be a weary mage doing her best to offer help to anyone willing to oppose Malificent.
At the End
When the final battle came to a head, Lasciel once again had the chance to take the fight to Malificent himself, as the battling deities summoned powers not seen since the Fae War... when the battle was over, however, Lasciel was nowhere to be found. Chaos had stepped into the light, picked a side, and fought as a hero. With the battle over however, it was time to leave. Lasciel had aided heroes and a kingdom - soon, they might find Chaos making problems for them again. But for now, it was time for a rest.
Those who have the chance to know Lasciel find the deity to be generally pleasant, if often distracted-seeming, Lasciel loves his family especially, and can even be doting where it comes to his favorite mortals. It saddens him somewhat that the majority of the world misunderstands the necessity of what he does, but he's never let this stop him. As such, even those he cares for can be well advised to keep on their toes.
As far as family goes, Lasciel gets along best with those whose domains overlap his the most, and who have shown him appreciation in the past. He has a close relationship in particular with Philia, with whom he has always had a natural affinity. Lasciel and Sage have gotten along for much of their lives (with a few instances of squabbling), and created Lamia together, who is their 'daughter' - naturally this has brought them closer. The majority of the rest are frequently annoyed by his games, but tend to tolerate him as one does an annoying brother. He does have a more contentious relationship with Helios and Lyrielle, however, who have little to no appreciation for his meddling. Lasciel and Sabel however are close for a different reason. While they are very different people, they share something important: they each possess abilities that can harm or destroy their own family.... and they both know what it is to spend their lives being careful they do not do so.
Of course, like any (non-terrible) parent, Lasciel loves his children especially. Of course, there are only two, he has always doted on Ratatoskr and Lamia, whose creations were as unlikely as any bit of chaos he ever managed to produce - and to his mind, perhaps the best tricks he ever played on the world.
As far as humans and other races go, Lasciel views them each differently, and tends not to think any better than the others - in the ways that matter to him, after all, there is little difference between humans and fae. Lasciel takes few priests, but those he does take are kept close, and each has at least a few personal encounters with their deity.
Powers of Chaos
Lasciel is the Destroyer, one of the original Twelve deities, and therefore one of the most powerful beings in creation. As a deity, Lasciel’s primary domain is Chaos, a loosely defined category at best, and one of the more poorly understood powers among the ranks of the Pantheon. As the master of the Chaos domain, Lash’s strength comes from a slightly different place than that of his siblings and counterparts. Lash has little need for worship, little need for clergy, or temples, or any of the other sources of power common to the gods. Because of this, Lash’s strength tends to be more consistent than the others, less impacted by things like a loss of faith among humans or fae - or things like the Blight. By a similar token, Lash’s abilities do not reach the heights that the others can when they are at their peaks, and Lasciel has therefore always relied more on cunning, guile, and creativity to do his work. Of course, he is still a god, and more than that, the very embodiment of chaos and destruction, making him one of the most dangerous beings on any world.
Chaos is an ability that is difficult to pin down or explain, even for Lash. It entails the breaking of plans, of ordered systems, even (or especially) those established by the other gods. Though a difficult aspect to understand, it is necessary in its way, the only thing that allows for possibility and change in a world that might otherwise be planned to some form of ‘protection’ by the others. Through his powers, Lash acts as the balance on the powers of his family. He prevents any of them from having power absolute, and allows for the necessary room for change in the world, even when the gods themselves might not wish it.
Destruction is the most visible of Lash’s abilities, and the ability for which he was named long ago. In truth, the ability might better be referred to as entropy - the collapse of an ordered system, an increase in the degree of randomness in the world. This is his most powerful ability, the strength to unmake the creations of gods and mortals. There are degrees to the use of entropy - in general, it appears similarly to aging. Rock crumbles, metal rusts, organic materials rot. One way or another, things return to dust. For the most part, Lash prefers to make his involvement subtle - things will appear to break on their own, or simply wear out before they should. When provoked however, Lash can concentrate this power into a focused blast. This purest form of destruction is completely black, and moves in a jagged path much the way lightning does. This destructive power is focused into extremely thin filaments, which instantly turn to dust any material they touch, appearing to slice through matter like an infinitely sharp blade.
Since Lash’s powers are focused around the breakdown of order and planned outcomes, it includes what most would consider to be simple luck. Luck is a manifestation of chaos - the breakdown of probabilities to simple chance, and as such it falls within Lasciel’s domain. Lash rarely bends fortune to his own will - though he is not above causing ill fortune to those who oppose him, which has the effect of making the god of Chaos seem very lucky indeed. Things that are left to chance just tend to favor the Destroyer - or his followers.
Alone among the gods, Lasciel has the ability to draw from and influence the domain of the others, serving as the exception to the original rules that prevent them from meddling in one another’s areas. Lasciel’s ability to ‘borrow’ (or steal) from the rest of the Pantheon is limited - Lash will never be able to work in the domain of another the way they can, but it gives the Destroyer great flexibility. After all, chaos exists in every aspect of life - and all of them are occasionally useful to a deity attempting to upset the current order. As an example, Lash can borrow from the Living Flame’s domain to create and manipulate fire, though only on a relatively small scale - of course, this could still build into a raging inferno once he releases it from his control. Lash can speed the growing of vines into the cracks of a building and hasten its collapse, or draw on Selene’s light for the power of illusions, or give a push to the emotions of a crowd like Philia to nudge them toward a riot. Almost anything the other gods can do, Lasciel can, with effort, perform a lesser version of. The scale of the abilities is typically near the order of a High Priest of the god in question - of course, Lasciel is far older and has far greater reserves of power than any priest, but they have similar limitations.
Of particular note, however, is Lasciel’s reach into the domain of death. The Soul Reaper’s power is one from which he does not borrow - souls remain the Reaper’s domain alone, and Lasciel does not play with death - except for his own. Lasciel has ‘died’ more than once, yet never been collected by his sister. Whether this is the expression of his power to steal from his siblings or a fact of nature that chaos can never truly be killed, Lasciel has returned from apparent death at least twice. The process takes months, during which Lasciel is absent from the world, and the deity reappears at a random location, with no memory of anything that happened. The memories of the death are the last to reappear, but may never do so if something doesn’t happen to remind him - Lasciel’s memories tend to fit themselves back into place only as they are needed, or as he meets people connected to them.
Naturally, Lasciel possesses the powers common to members of the Pantheon. He is far stronger and more durable than any human or fae, and possessed of vast reserves of power that he can draw on at need. Lasciel can teleport - and unlike most, by borrowing from the Forebearer, this includes some temporal adjustment, allowing the Destroyer to access the temple outside of time. Lash is also quite fond of shapeshifting, though Chaos typically takes one of two forms: one male, one female.
Like the other gods, it would be difficult to say Lasciel has many weaknesses, being one of the twelve most powerful beings in existence. It is evident that Lasciel is not impossible to kill (though whether he can be killed permanently is another question), and as the Destroyer, his powers do not lend themselves as well to defense as some others. Because chaos is such an unpredictable and broad domain, Lasciel’s powers do not reach the grand peaks that the others can reach - the Destroyer does not and cannot create, which limits his abilities as a god (or goddess). Like the others, a crisis of faith among their followers weakens his abilities, though Lash is the least reliant on prayer to begin with, so while he lacks the peaks of power, he also lacks the same valleys. Driven from Caelum and stuck on Ga’leah with the others, Lasciel’s physical form may still be destroyed, but it would require great power and magic to do so.
Followers of Chaos
In general, the High Priesthood of Lasciel is a vacant position. Very rarely, however, a person or creature will come around who has caused such upheaval over the course of their life that Lasciel cannot help feeling a true kinship with them. He will personally travel with them, using them to aid his own machinations, and turning them loose to seek their own chaos and make him proud. It's not unusual for these priests to have at one point or another been a consort for the Destroyer, either. As such, the High Priests and Priestesses tend to be more like Lasciel's closest mortal confidants or lovers than servants, unlike some of the other deities. When one perishes, Lasciel will not replace them immediately, only filling the vacancy when an exceptional enough individual surfaces again.
Regular Priests and Priestesses are more common, though at any given time Lasciel's acknowledged followers tend to number a dozen or less. These people are often thieves and miscreants, even killers, though all carry some redeeming feature. They may be villains or heroes in the eyes of others, but they all live in the gray areas between, doing what they think best or the most fun at the time, and always unpredictable.