Insanity’s End: Stanley Miller

September 19, 2007

The Ancient Beast was a being of raw chaos. Its power flexed across a dozen dimensions. It did not truly have a physical form – just a personification of its limitless potential.

But Tailos had a theory. Take the concept of infinity – it is a concept the human mind can wrap itself around, just as they could understand what their foe was, even if they could not face it. But while you could understand the idea of something infinite, visualizing it was a different story altogether. You could, at best, come up with representations for it, cages of letters and numbers, all designed to make it manageable.

So Tailos went in search of a being that could do the same for the Beast. He found Stanley Miller, and he brought him to face it. All that he witnessed along the way indicated his theory was correct, and that Stanley had the power to inhibit their enemy. That through no more than encountering the beast, his mind would adapt as needed to percieve it – and that the act of doing so would strip away the Beast’s ineffable nature. Make it merely a monstrosity, grounded in this world, that blade and spell could lay to rest. Stanley’s understanding of it would contain it, define it, and make it… manageable.

It was a good theory, as theories went. But as the spellweaver floated down into the chamber, the hole magically sealed above him, the scene was playing out a bit different than imagined.

Oh, the Beast was affected by Stanley’s presence and perception, that was certainly true. But it wasn’t being limited by it – it was being entirely undone.

Aubrick and Rowen were beginning to recover, though the psychic screaming in their heads was hardly a pleasant sensation to deal with. The alien floor of the chamber was writhing as though in pain, and the portal itself was fluctuating as though unsure of itself.

Before it, the Beast dwindled, growing in upon itself with every step Stanley took towards.

Boom. The sound of his footfall echoed through the chamber, unnaturally loud. The Beast’s many arms condensed into two frail limbs, withered and stiff. Stanley’s own eyes blazed with certainty and vision. His companions simply watched, caught up in a play far beyond their own humble natures.

Boom. Another step, and the Beast fell to the ground, its skin turning a pale and sickly yellow, no longer marred by writhing fangs and glaring orbs. Stanley’s own form was shining with an inner glow, that seemed to pierce his own skin like water seeping from a container too small for it… or perhaps like like focused through a glass.

Boom. Stanley stood besides the creature now, and it was a pitiful subject, a twisted and unshapen being that seemed too malformed to survive. And so it was – its skin dried into dust, and a breeze seemed to blow through the chamber, and it swirled away like so much ash in the wind. Stanley, now seeming to be covered in a crystalline skin, reached out with a casual, almost lazy, gesture – but one still fast enough to catch the cord of energy that had bound the beast to the portal.

And then, both hands upon the line, he passed through the doorway to the Far Realms, and the portal sealed shut, and silence reigned in the domed chamber at last.

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