You think you know me so well, don’t you? I’m a spirit of chaos, and nothing else. You don’t even know the half of it! Sit back and indulge me for a little; I’ll make you understand what it truly means to be chaos itself.
(Featured on Equestria Daily: July 16, 2012.)
My sincerest thanks to the following writers for keeping Feather Sigil alive during the writing of I Am Chaos. Oh, and support, proofreading, advice, all that stuff. This work wouldn’t be what it is without their help.
Last but not least, the wonderful people at the Bíonn Gach Tosú Lag group.
Well, this was a delightfully bizarre look into the mind of Discord.
I have to admit the description didn't attract me, and I would likely have never read this if it wasn't on Device Heretic's recommendations, but I'm certainly glad I did. I thought the writing was quite good and the story thought-provoking. Something you don't see too often in a ponyfic. It's a shame this story doesn't have more views, but hopefully it will get more exposure through DH and others.
I look forward to seeing more from you in the future.
Thanks! I quite like my hair myself.
Very interesting story.
Woah... that was really good, nice job!
Nice portrayal of Discord, you got the speech perfect and everything all perfect and how he views life perfect and *SHARP INTAKE OF AIR* it's all super-duper-extra-amazingly perfect!
Whoa...that was fantastic! Such and odd look into an odd mind.
Nice formatting btw, made it an even better, more visceral experience out of the whole thing.
The classic tragedy of the anthropomorphic personification: Personality without free will. Of course, Discord isn't actually anthropomorphic, but you know what I mean. Fantastically done. Great work.
That was some deep thought bro. Made you think and stuff... Whoa... Not sure if I should be sorry for Discord, or simply accept it as he has... Still, good fiction. Congrats and what not :D
holycrapthatwascoolmymindisinoverdrive! That was...beutiful.
Discord and existentialism...never thought I'd see that combination. But it worked. It worked oh so well.
Wow. Beautifully done! existentialism and Discord, potent combination
Awesome. Moar :D Do Screwball!
well that was...depressing
still, kudos for a well done existential rant from the embodiment of a concept
Great work, mate! It's nice to see a project to have come so far!
Let's hope that this keeps goin' strong.
Man, I remember the first version of this. Sadly, I haven't had a part in this in a long while, as I have been busy... glad to see this came along so far from when I last saw it. I can personally attest to the immense amount of work Feather put into it, and I have to say it paid off quite well. I hope to see more from you, my fellow groupie. :D
Keep it up!
That was perfect. Just...perfect.
I love how you included the whole balance between order and CHAOS bit. That was actualy a concept that I had put a lot of thought into prior to reading this. In my fanfiction DISCORD understands the balance between order and CHAOS, and exists to keep the balance in his own ILLOGICAL way. He actualy meant to get turned back into a statue after wreaking CHAOS upon the world to keep balance.
This story illustrates well what an impersonal god of chaos could be like, but it's not what Discord is like at all. Discord is evil, but he's a fun-loving sort of evil; he likes games and riddles and letting people think they might be able to outsmart him. This Discord doesn't have any of that. I also don't see where you're getting the idea of Discord being a prisoner inside his own body; if he really is a mindless manifestation of madness, then there's no logical or narrative reason for the narrator of this story to exist.
If this was a new character, he'd be a terrifying villain; possibly an excellent one, depending on the story. But when reinterpreting an existing character, you're going up against what we already know of that character. In this case, you're going up against John DeLancie's fabulous acting, and unfortunately I like his Discord better.
Sorry, gotta downvote.
>>869822869822 Thanks. I'll be sure to work on making the descriptions for future projects more intriguing.
>>872138872138 I had considered doing something like this for the Windigos--less existential, more psychological and emotional--but I'm unsure right now. We'll see what the future holds.
"Discord is evil, but he's a fun-loving sort of evil; he likes games and riddles and letting people think they might be able to outsmart him."
Please explain to me why Discord wouldn't do anything he did in this story. Also, consider what he did to Fluttershy. He has no problems with directly changing others; he could have done the same thing to all of the mane six. Did those rabbits lose a rigged game of his? Did those buffalo? Did Granny Smith?
"I also don't see where you're getting the idea of Discord being a prisoner inside his own body; if he really is a mindless manifestation of madness, then there's no logical or narrative reason for the narrator of this story to exist."
That's the point. There's no reason for Discord to exist at all. There's no reason for the narrator Discord, as a somewhat separate entity from the active Discord, to exist. There's no reason for the narrator Discord to have the capacity to ponder the things he does in this story.
"But when reinterpreting an existing character, you're going up against what we already know of that character."
That's what reinterpretations do.
"In this case, you're going up against John DeLancie's fabulous acting, and unfortunately I like his Discord better."
Are you saying you felt I didn't write his voice correctly? You know John de Lancie did not write Discord's lines, right?
"Please explain to me why Discord wouldn't do anything he did in this story."
Discord hurts people emotionally. That's why he's called Discord--he is the spirit of conflict between ponies. Pure sadistic torture isn't his style. There's also a lot of angry self-pity in this story I didn't see in the original character, which does not improve him as a villain, IMO.
"Are you saying you felt I didn't write his voice correctly?"
That's exactly what I'm saying. You're free to re-imagine him and change his character however you like; I'm simply drawing attention to the specific ways you've changed him and providing my feedback that I don't think this is an improvement. Perhaps I should simply have downvoted and moved on; I'm not sure whether critiques are welcome here, but as the first to downvote I hoped I could be more useful than a simple "didn't like it, moving on."
At any rate, I am presently outvoted 57 to 1 on my opinion of your story, so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt.
"Discord hurts people emotionally. That's why he's called Discord--he is the spirit of conflict between ponies."
Definition of DISCORD
a : lack of agreement or harmony (as between persons, things, or ideas)
Seems to me the word encompasses more than interpersonal conflict.
"Pure sadistic [physical] torture isn't his style."
Fluttershy, the rabbits and Granny Smith.
"There's also a lot of angry self-pity in this story I didn't see in the original character"
Because you couldn't have. Discord is incapable of expressing the narrator's feelings. That's part of his plight.
"I'm not sure whether critiques are welcome here"
Critique most certainly is welcome. However, with regards to the voice specifically, you've yet to give any critique, so any examples would be much appreciated.
"as the first to downvote I hoped I could be more useful than a simple "didn't like it, moving on.""
Believe me, I appreciate that you took the time to express your grievances.
Discord never physically harmed Fluttershy, the rabbits, or Granny Smith. He changed all of them in ways they probably didn't like, but inflicting physical pain was never part of his agenda. The real harm he did in this case was through Fluttershy--the emotional damage of seeing the formerly tender pony viciously mocking her friends. Look at this clip, right after Fluttershy gets transformed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfcP22r0Oh8&t=19m6s The little slap she gives Twilight wasn't that physically painful, it was the betrayal and shock of her friend turning on her that upset Twilight.
That's what makes Discord such an intriguing villain: he doesn't rely on physical force to get his way. Instead, he turns ponies against each other so that they can't cooperate to overthrow him.
"Seems to me the word encompasses more than interpersonal conflict."
I don't see where you're getting that out of that definition. There's nothing innately cruel or insane in the definition of discord, and cruelty and insanity are the defining characteristics of the Discord in this story. The original Discord fits the definition of the word better than the new one.
"Critique most certainly is welcome. However, with regards to the voice specifically, you've yet to give any critique, so any examples would be much appreciated."
My critique is that the new voice in this story is not at all like Discord, and that having an angry, cruel, impotent voice screaming in the back of Discord's head does nothing to improve him as a character. Furthermore, the actions Discord takes in this story are wholly uncharacteristic of him and diminish his uniqueness as a character.
That's how I see it, anyway.
Hmmm... Chaos is Introverted....
I don't know why or how, but somehow I like Discord a bit more than I used to.
This somewhat reminds me of the story "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison. Overall I like what you did with the formatting as it gives the story a somewhat "chaotic" edge by breaking out of the normal format that most people are accustom to when reading. I would almost say I felt an almost Buddhist, even Zen, vibe from this but as a Buddhist would say even chaos itself is just an illusion that we impose on things that are not in "order". Nonetheless I enjoyed your story.
This is actually very depressing once you get into it
>>880903880903 Did you see how bitter he was when talking to Celestia? It is very possible.
...Annnnnddddd Head Cannon.
That was pretty good! ...it's just... I feel like this whole story was saying the same thing over and over again... with different snipits of information. No real plot or anything, and I know that's how it's suppose to be... but, i dunno, I didn't really feel it.
It started out with "I am chaos" and then ended with "I am chaos." It's like it started with the climax and all that was left was falling action. The "Protagonist" in this story never really encountered an obstacle ... or he did, but that obstacle did nothing to change what he has already believed himself to be.
Don't get me wrong, I liked it. It's just... I don't think it could be considered a story in the conventional sense... or really a story at all. The whole action part of the piece seems to come second-hand to the existential questioning of Discord which ultimately does nothing but reinforce the already stated "facts of his existence." If you understand the previous sentence then you understand why I thought this piece was just going around in circles the entire time...
But anyway, nice job! Congrats on the EqD post!
Fantastic,oh my this is just excellent. Congrats for being posted on EqD.
I thought I disliked Discord before but now,I dislike him even more (that doesn't mean I don't love him as a villain).
Him being a "prisoner inside his own body"...
That made me laugh a bit,especially because of this part:
"You don’t deserve free will, you just happened to get it. In fact, everything in your life is nothing more than an accident. Another me might appear behind you a few seconds from now. You could burst into flames any moment. Whether you deserve it or not is irrelevant."
"Why have an unnecessary intelligence and capacity for emotion, neither of which I can fully control?"
Is funny to me because he is supposed to know what Chaos is and how it works.If we go by what he believes,If he became a physical representation of Chaos is because he was also an accident.Whether he deserved it/wanted it not is irrelevant as well.
>>880405880405 Doing a thing for the windigoes is a little over the top, we dont exacty have a look at them really
What about Nightmare Moon, not Luna, Nightmare Moon as she lie on the moon contemplating it all until the moment she is free
This has got to be one of the strangest bits of fanfic I have ever read.
Also one of the best.
Y'know, if i didn't ponder similar existential questions so often, this might keep me up at night. I'm not sure if I should applaud your insight or question your sanity.
Good work. I think.
I highly doubt any true arbiter of chaos would care about the meaning of his existence. Pondering existential implications... that's the work of a rational mind which certainly would not simply appear at random from the collection of angry pony thoughts of the old tribes. Everything would be a joke to him if it meant anything at all.
I should think Discord at his potential worst would be much like the Joker, a super-sadist whose plans ultimately only serve to spread destruction. At his best, Discord would be much more like Pinkie Pie at her wildest and most random.
Neither Pinkie nor the Joker ever question themselves. The Joker in fact finds it hilarious that he's the only one who 'gets the joke' of his existence. And Pinkie, she just is. I doubt she ever wonders about herself in the least.
The show's Discord is somewhat middle-ground, cunning and sly, whilst wielding his chaotic powers for the express purpose of making ponies miserable. His glee at finally turning Twilight is evidence of that, as is his frustration at having to resort to direct forceful conversion of Fluttershy. He didn't 'win' that part of his game, and it aggravated him.
The Discord here seems to be an unstable amalgum of an ordered mind controlled by a chaotic power. I'd like to see some more exposition on his origins. The stated vesion in this story, his simply arising from the pony tribes' conflict, doesn't jive with me. Were he a magical accident from an experiment, I could stand behind such an idea. I could understand his arising from a powerful unicorn attempting to magically remove the disharmony and establish a stronger order, and Discord being the result. Heck, he could even be the pony who tried it, converted into the monstrous form from all the randomness flooding his form. Maybe he was once Starswirl the Bearded! But in any of those cases, the sapient part of his mind would the tortured, twisted remains of the original pony, with flashes of his old self popping in and out at times, truly chaotic, jumbled images and experiences and thoughts, barely ever able to hold together long enough to regain awareness of what it had once been.
If you wanted to make a truly tortuous tale, it could be told that once in stone, forced into a semblance of order by the power of the Elements, then the old mind reassembles, reawakens and is aware of itself and what it has done in Discord's guise. And there, petrified for a thousand years, no one can hear the cries and pleas of the soul imprisoned inside the stone. And then, once Discord is free, the poor fragmented mind is rent assunder once more, to drift and scatter in the sea of entropy roiling inside Discord until the Bearer's seal him again. And then the torment begins anew.
Another take on his origins might even be akin to that black puddle of goo from the one Star Trek:TNG episode, the tarpit that killed Tasha Yar. The alicorns ascended by attempting to rid themselves of all that was evil in their being, and Discord was all the super-powered junk which re-assembled into the chimeric entity. He then killed all the other alicorns save Celestia and Luna, who discovered the Elements to stop him. Of course, Luna didn't quite purify herself completely, and so on to Nightmare Moon.
Meh, I can never get into purely existential philosophy when dealing with a magical land. Our whole reality doesn't sensibly apply there. They could quite easily have any form of an afterlife if the canon is written as such. And even if there is no formal afterlife, then purpose could be defined as evolving to the point of surpassing mortal boundaries, something creatures that possess magic would be far more apt to accomplish than mortals in our universe where all matter and energy are quite inexorably bound to the boring rules of physics. Ugh. So dullsville! I reallly do need to shake up this drab reality one of these days, once I've caught up with my fanfiction list, of course. My poking at the fabric of the universe could accidentally erase the Internet.
I find your insight to match my own quite nicely. He seems very much like a cross between the Joker and Pinkie Pie, with just a dash of Jafar thrown in.
Holy crap I started reading, had to stop, come back and there's literally double the likes. Did this appear in the papers or something?
I'm gonna quote AestheticB here: "[Discord] is perfectly imperfect". His whole existence is contradictory and, therefore, meaningless. This is something that struck me in the original episode. If he is Chaos, how come he's scheming against the ponies? In my opinion, your take on Discord is better than the show's writers (because that is also my take )
You know, I'm not one to preach nihilism around, but daaaayum is it fun to think about.
I would ask for a sequel, but then, what's the point?
This was fantastic. I love the way you examined the limits of what Discord is, because despite all his power he really is very limited in what he can do and it really does not seem to be something he has any control over. He seems to be truly incapable of causing anything besides his signature brand of chaos, and when you really sit back and look at him the result is very organized. Same pink clouds, same destructive tendencies, a set seat of power, and no observed capacity to change despite chaos being the definition of change. It honestly makes me wonder what happened to make him that way because entropy does not need assistance and the result seems like the chains of a cursed god trapped inside a body that is not his and forced to enjoy eternal senseless destruction.
That's what an EQD post does to your story.
She's squirming in his hands...
He makes a joke about 'giving (a) head (start)'...
And then he fills her with seeds until she's round.
Is there something else going on here, or have I just been reading too many clopfics?
No, I am.
Not to mention when he says:
"She might have foals someday—hah, maybe not once I’m done with her, but stil..."
You may yet be surprised.
After reading the comments (especially the more negative ones) I interpret the narrator in this story to be a joke he played on himself on his creation. What a way to come into existence - with the sole purpose of creating chaos his first action is to create his own perfectly superfluous self.
I am not sure, why I feel the need to write the following.
For me "Free Will" is only a percieved gap in the reasoning about ones own behaviour, so it's dependend on the observer. For someone, who understands my course of action completely, I do not have Free Will. The more I know about myself, the less Free Will I have. As long as your options stay the same, less Free Will seems better.
He has the same deep, logical, insane thoughts as I.
This is actually pretty depressing.
This story deserves waaaaaaaay more views and likes than it has.
I found this to be amazing and well written, and have decided that I shall soon do a dramatic reading of it to be put up on youtube, read in my best Discord voice. This was perfect in every possible way.
Well, that was astounding. The tragedy of Discord's position, the not-quite-funny-and-kinda-just-unsettling 'humour' of his torture of Greenie, the sense of crushing inevitability.
Bravo, good sir.
Helllooo there you epic writer you! i did a reading of this for my youtube channel! hope you done mind
I'm honoured that both of you have decided to record readings of my work. I'd love to listen to them, so if you could PM me links to the videos that would be great.