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DeMiro the Erratic (Planar / male bariaur / cleric 6 (Thoth) / Guvner / LN)
DeMiro's a casualty of his own observational skills. Like his old friend Varpar 'the Contrary' Hogar, DeMiro used to be a high-up of the Fraternity of Order. In fact, he and Varpar worked side-by-side on many of their most notorious projects. While Varpar's speciality was Reactionism however, DeMiro concerned himself more with Erraticism. Unfortunately for both of them, the Guvners at large approved of neither of their pet theories. When Varpar was ejected from the faction, the bariaur DeMiro too was all-but asked to leave.
Why the sudden cull of Guvner high-up men? Well cutter, good thing you asked. See, about this time, the Guvners were looking real friendly with the Mathematicians. They're barmy bloods from the Plane of Gears itself, and they're often put up on pedestals by less numerically-minded Guvners. They've got this way with figures see, so Mathematician factors are sometimes brought in when a particularly tricky equation's proving hard to solve.
DeMiro'd come across just such a one of these. Back in those days, of course, his research was respectable to the lawful masses (truth be told, most of the Guvners' didn't really know what he was up to). Since he was an important sort of blood, a B4 chief of the Bureau of Erratic Phenomena, (that's a sub-section of the Bureau of Research, leatherhead) his superior was able to persuade a visiting Mathematician to give his work a critical once-over.
The number-crunching took many weeks in fact, far longer than anyone had expected. It turned out that DeMiro's formula was more complex than anything anyone could ever remember seeing. Intrigued, the Mathematician sent for a legion of moingos (they're bizarre creatures whose only purpose in existence is to calculate), and set them to work, too.
When the team finally reached an answer, they were so shocked, they calculated it all again, twice. Still the same answer was reached. DeMiro himself was amazed, and checked his theories and formulae thoroughly. They all seemed to be correct. The revelation brought the Fraternity of Order to a standstill when it was announced. The actual answer to the calculation wasn't that important, it was more the fact that there was a solution at all.
See, DeMiro and the moingos had calculated the date when chaos was invented (give or take a few millennia).
Now many powers and stranger creatures have laid claim to stirring up an ordered cosmos and creating chaos. Other mythologies reckon the multiverse started off chaotic and order was formed from it. Still others reckon that everything's just the same as it was when it all began. Well, DeMiro's calculation 'proved' that there was a definite start to chaos and entropy, from which it has steadily increased. According to the formula, it's going to continue growing at a set rate until the entire multiverse is engulfed in complete disorder.
When the initial shock had worn off and the moingos had left the Cage (probably to fortify Mechanus against the encroaching chaos), scholars in the Fraternity began to attack DeMiro's findings. The ink had barely dried on his final report when the fateful knock came on his laboratory door. He was being summoned to the factol, who was officially Not Amused.
Factol Hashkar didn't approve of DeMiro's conclusions at all. See, the bariaur'd drawn a number of startling hypotheses from his thesis. Firstly, DeMiro postulated that the multiverse was once perfectly ordered, like Mechanus only more so. In fact, it was so perfect, there was no such thing as motion, time or energy. Obviously, life as it's generally known couldn't exist in these conditions, so for life to begin, a bit of uncertainty had to be brought into the picture.
DeMiro speculated that time and chaos originated from the site known as the Spawning Stone in the plane of Limbo. Little enough is known about the place to ensure nobody could contradict his suggestion with any meaningful evidence (the slaadi guarding the place make sure of that).
Allegedly, from this place of beginning, chaos and time radiated out across the Outer Planes, creating uncertainty, possibilities and choice. That's why Limbo is the seat of all things chaotic, and planes near to it have also assumed the mantle of unpredictability. It's even leeching into Sigil, where random portals and every-changing street patterns are the very manifestation of chaos-stuff. Planar races have also been affected, as they've been exposed to it for so long; the tanar'ri and eladrin are tainted with chaos as are, of course, the slaadi. These bloods are the liveliest of all the planar creatures, and live the wildest, most exciting lives. It all came as a package see; without a bit of chaos then nothing but motionlessness could ever result.
Now that was about the point where Factol Hashkar began to lose his patience. To the factol, it must've looked like DeMiro was trying to prove mathematically that Law and Life didn't mix. Those who've met the bariaur would probably agree that DeMiro's got this was of upsetting people when he argues with 'em, and the more excited he gets, the more he rubs berks up the wrong way.
Maybe Hashkar was having a bad week of it, but he suggested firmly and unswervingly, that DeMiro might like to take his barmy hogwash to the Anarchists, who'd probably be able to make more use of it than the Fraternity of Order.
DeMiro's a proud cutter, and he's not the sort to take criticism like that lying down. In fact, he packed up all his papers that day and left the Fraternity, vowing to prove his theory with field data. Probably relieved to be rid of the trouble-maker, the Guvners approved an extended fact-finding mission to whichever planes DeMiro wished to visit. The more the merrier, they said.
DeMiro left the Cage soon after, headed for the chaotic side of the great Ring of Outer Planes. That's where he wanders to this day, from burg to burg, across the planes of disorder. He's cataloguing what he calls 'the Capricious Laws'. See, according to DeMiro's theory of chaos overwhelming the natural order of the multiverse, the empirical 'laws' of physics which Guvners spend so long measuring aren't really all they're cracked up to be. Chaos itself is corrupting laws long thought to be perfectly predictable. The effect is especially noticeable on the Chaos planes, though it's becoming more and more prevalent across the planes, at least according to DeMiro.
The sort of thing the bariaur observes varies from place to place, but when a berk sees an example of Contrary Law, he'll know it. Basically, it's a reversal of a body's normal expectations. DeMiro's catalogued 'gravity cuts', where the natural gravity of an area simply vanishes for a short time. He's weathered 'time slips', where time itself accelerates, reverses, or simply stops. He has evidence of 'magic storms', where the magical flux of a locality undergoes tremendous turbulence; magical effects can appear from nowhere, and spells can seem to cast themselves.
Earthquakes are apparently another example of Capricious Law. DeMiro's explanation is that the planes are grinding against one another; jockeying for position in the multiverse, and stresses appear through them as they prepare to tear themselves apart. DeMiro's also noted 'friction lapses' where the force of friction simply evaporates, and 'magnetic vortices' where electrical static charges build up without reason.
DeMiro's collection of bizarre events continues to grow; in fact, he uses his formulae to predict the date and place of the next inexplicable phenomenon, and follows 'em around the Great Ring. He's aided in his quest by a solitary moingo who DeMiro's named 'Rubric', who deals with much of the heavy number-work. Many bloods from the Chaos Planes recognise the bariaur by his copious tattoos (DeMiro's had his more controversial formulae branded into his forearms and chest) and the two-dimensional crimson-hued living equation that's never far from his side. Locals know that when they spy the curious pair, something very strange is bound to happen soon.
Nobody knows, least of all DeMiro, how long he'll carry on his research, or what he hopes to prove in the end.
The Society of Capricious Law
That's the name adopted by an unusually sober group of Doomguard in the Cage. They've heard of DeMiro's work, and hold it aloft as proof that the machinery of law itself is decaying. They reckon the 'sciences' of physics and mathematics predict their own demise, and the more data DeMiro unearths, the more certain they become.
The Society of Capricious Law (or the Caprice, for short), is part of the 'centre' wing of the Doomguard, who reckon the rate of entropy in the multiverse is right on course. They've got many of their finest bloods on the trail of DeMiro, watching his movements and reporting back on his observations. They secretly fund his sojourn with jink and supplies, and intercept papers DeMiro sends back to Sigil, and substituting their own documents.
They have to do it secretly though, for it's a cert that if the Guvners caught a whiff of Doomguard scent they'd close ranks on the bariaur sooner than a Xaositect changes her mind. The Guvners'd be sick if they they knew their arch-enemies the Sinkers were benefiting from one of their own members. 'Course, the Sinkers themselves revel in the irony of using a lawful faction to bring itself down.
Nobody's thought to ask what DeMiro thinks, though.
Copyright 1997 by Jon Winter