|“||The power of the Five has been defeated… One of you has been trapped far from here and another of you has been killed. He died painfully. Now lay down your arms and I will give you a quick death. The rest of you I will allow to serve me. There is no need for this battle. You know it has already been won.||„|
|~ Chaos challenging Matt before his first defeat.|
|“||Two of the Five! But not enough! Three of the Five… but not enough, still not enough!… Four of you!||„|
|~ Chaos' last words before his first defeat and imprisonment.|
The King of the Old Ones, known by mankind as Chaos, is the primary antagonist in Anthony Horowitz's novel series The Power of Five, spiritual successor of his unfinished (and more light-hearted) series Pentagram. He is a Demon God imprisoned in the beginning of times who strives to make the world his own. He and his servants, the Old Ones, are based on Howard Phillips Lovecraft's eponymous Eldritch Abominations.
Chaos is the incarnation of Evil and the direct or indirect source of every woe that befalls the world. It is simply stated that he was created along with the Earth and has existed for billions of years. It is possible that all the mass extinctions that happened in the earliest stages of history empowered him, given that he feeds off pain, misery and suffering. It is said that all Demon Gods from all cultures are based on him.
Chaos is described as a mountain-tall abomination, far too huge to be fully seen, far too horrifying to be conceived (much in the same was as Cthulhu, of whom he is likely inspired by). He is entirely black and shrouded with darkness; his frame has no defined shape but seems somehow human-like. Details like yellow eyes, scaly skin, horns, or nails taller than a human are mentioned when he is described, although it is explained that even those who see him cannot be sure whether he really has them or whether this is just an impression.
Chaos favours the aspect of a human-like figure made of pure darkness akin to a living black hole, or a void open in the very fabric of space that cuts itself a way through existence and absorbs everything around. He does not speak but words resound ominously around him, and he seems to grow bigger as people die in his presence.
Chaos is frighteningly powerful, being able to manipulate the environment and the elements to his will. He controls everything evil and is implied to be the source of Dark Magic, whose adepts all answer to him. He can grant powers to his followers, transform things and people, cause natural or magical disasters, and conjure demonic forces. He is a deceitful shape-shifter and a skilled manipulator, able to call upon either greed and selfishness, to twist someone's desire for a better life, and to convince people that evil comes from mankind.
He is unspeakably cruel, merciless and sadistic; killing and torturing his foes as horribly as possible, killing his followers when they outlive their usefulness and never forgiving any mistake. He does grant his most competent followers the wealth and influence that they crave, as long as he needs them, and promises a quick and painless demise to his foes should they surrender. Yet he hardly veils his loathing of mankind, which he plans to obliterate as soon as his foes are defeated for good, followers included.
Being pure evil, Chaos knows only about the ugliest aspects of mankind, and is absolutely unable to fully grasp the way humans behave. He is so arrogant that he fails to consider that even hardened criminals could cast greed aside to rise against him, or that the Five could defeat him a second time. His blinding lust for revenge and his utter inability to learn from his mistakes would ultimately spell his doom. As such, he makes a fine example of how evil, while terrifying and horribly dangerous, is shallow, sterile, meaningless, despicable and contemptible.
Chaos first manifested himself after the rise of mankind. He appeared like the nightmares of the world bought into daylight. He first appeared in the country that would become China along with his generals: infernal demons called the Old Ones, and set out to cleanse Earth of mankind.
Chaos took over the world and ruled it for centuries, if not millennia, destroyed everything that was beautiful or useful, and reduced human population to a few thousands. He gained the obedience of the greediest upper class people, granting their wishes of wealth and falsely promising that they could rule with him. But he later showed his true intent when he put his human followers in the front lines during battles. The last humans then raised against him in a war that lasted fifty years.
In the middle of the war, Five children called Matt, Inti, Sapling, Flint, and Scarlett (but everyone called her Scar), were born in what would become England, Peru, America and China respectively. (In these ancient times, said countries were very different from now, even more so due to the Old Ones' influence.) Five children with immense powers, who when together would become able to defeat the Old Ones. Chaos drew black and purple clouds round the Earth to bloat sunlight and darken the world; and poisoned the oceans so life would not grow. As such, the Earth was slowly dying.
Chaos thought he had finally won, when Matt played a trick on the Old Ones by sending Sapling to his death, but little did he know that the Five could be reborn in the future. This sent the future Sapling (called Jamie) back in time to complete his mission. Jamie succeeded in meeting the other Five, who all stabbed Chaos' heart. Chaos was dispersed into black smoke after screaming all over the universe, as if "he had turned into night that was slowly fading away". A gate then opened up and sucked Chaos and the Old Ones into Hell.
Matt and the other Five created two Gates, one in what would become England and the other in what would become Peru, to keep the Old Ones from resurfacing. Indeed, they were not truly dead, only banished, and would one day return.
The Old Ones nearly returned ten thousand years after their banishment, when a cult of witches and wizards from Yorkshire in England planned to set them free.
They captured Matt's reincarnation and took him to their coven to sacrifice him during a nuclear meltdown, but Matt's awakened power enabled him to flee. Since only a drop of Matt's blood was shed when the ritual required all of it, Chaos could only partially resurface, long enough to crush his now useless follower Sir Michael Marsh in his hand, and was sucked back into the Abyss.
All the other Gatekeepers (the modern name of the Five) had been reborn as well, so Matt met Inti, who was now called Pedro, in Peru; while trying to prevent the opening of the second gate.
Diego Salamanda, an influential businessman and worshipper of the Old Ones, managed to open the gate, in fact the Desert of Nazca, and Chaos and the Old Ones came out of the Earth. Knowing that they needed to be Five to defeat him, Chaos laughed off Matt's challenge and squished him to near death. Fortunately, Matt combined his powers with Pedro's and severely wounded the King of the Old Ones, forcing the demons to disappear into the night.
Chaos gathered all his followers, and corrupted many of the most greedy world leaders and businessmen, who joined the powerful multinational trust called Nightrise Corporation, formed by worshippers of the Old Ones and tasked to secretly open the way for their rise into power.
Now empowered and guided by the Old Ones, Nightrise set out to abduct children gifted with supernatural powers and discovered two Gatekeepers, the Native-Americans twins Jamie and Scott Tyler. They abducted Scott, shattering his spirit through unspeakable tortures, and made him into a vegetative puppet. Wanting to have Charles Baker, one of their followers, as President of the United States, they used Scott's telepathic power in order to kill his opponent Senator John Trelawney (an Expy of Barack Obama).
Although Jamie managed to travel back to the past to banish the Old Ones, to save his brother and to thwart Nightrise's plan; the unfortunate Scott could never fully recover, and Nightrise rigged the elections to gain control of the U.S. for the Old Ones.
The Old Ones and Nightrise based themselves in Hong Kong and took complete control of it. While Chaos started to expand his influence all over the world, killing anyone who knew of his existence, he spread a poisonous fog over Hong Kong to slowly kill its denizens and turn it into a city of the dead. Chaos had Nightrise bring Scarlett Adams, the last Gatekeeper, in town to get rid of her and lure her comrades into a trap.
Chaos also made sure that Matt would gain the Diary of the monk Saint Joseph of Cordoba, which describes the location of the magical doors through which the Five can travel all over the world. He also sent a horde of undeads who destroyed the house where the Gatekeepers were hiding and killed their host. His aim was to capture the Gatekeepers using the door towards Hong Kong, but Matt figured it out and devised a plan to rescue Scarlett. Scarlett eventually conjured a typhoon, which destroyed Hong Kong when she was shot and severely wounded by a Nightrise agent.
Since the door was destroyed as the Five were using it, they ended up ten years into the future and scattered all across the world. Chaos and the Old Ones left Hong Kong which no longer interested them and returned to their true headquarters, an immense ice palace in Antarctica called Oblivion. However, the King of the Old Ones was still suffering from the wounds inflicted by Matt's and Pedro's power and craved for revenge.
With his enemies out of the way, Chaos sealed the magical doors to hinder them when they would return and revealed himself to the world. When the Gatekeepers and their allies resurfaced, the Earth was reduced to a gloomy hellhole under Chaos' control: civilization had collapsed and what was left of it was turned into dictatorships or police states at the Old Ones' command. Technology was now a rare luxury, cities were either razed or reduced to crime-ridden ruins, the world was plagued with wars, terrorism, disasters and monsters attacks, the Earth was growing more and more sterile, and most of mankind had been slaughtered. The greedy people who joined Nightrise were turned into awful mutated soldiers and even those who opposed the Old Ones became prone to ruthless violence.
The Gatekeepers reappeared in different parts of the world and had to escape the Old One's followers (if not the Old Ones themselves). Nightrise' second in command Jonas Mortlake took profit of Scott's mental scars and insecurities to gain his cooperation, convincing him that evil came from mankind and tempting him with the life of luxury he always longed for, using him to betray Pedro who barely managed to flee. Some of the Gatekeepers managed to reach Antarctica with help from the World Army opposing the Old One's tyranny, but said army was lured to a trap making them believe that they had blew open a way, and nearly crushed by Chaos' forces.
Chaos used Scott as a bait to lure Matt to his palace, where he captured and tortured him, planning to do so for the rest of his life as a petty revenge for wounding him. However, Matt had learnt about his fate in the mystical library that exists in the Dream World, and let himself get caught. Doing so, he told Scott that he would be the one to ultimately save the day. Matt's guardian Richard Cole, who was captured along with him, had no choice but to kill Matt with a magic dagger that his captors could not take away, to bring his past self into the present time. Later, Scott wracked with guilt sacrificed his life to restore the magical doors and enable the remaining Five to reach Oblivion.
Chaos confronted the remaining Five, but Matt's and Scott's past selves barged in. The reunited Gatekeepers stabbed Chaos through the heart while forming a Pentagram (their symbol) with their swords, destroying him once and for all and banishing the Old Ones into Hell. Before the gate could close, the World Army sent nuclear missiles into the Old Ones' dimension, obliterating them.
Then the Five's past and present selves were reunited and they all departed forever into the Dream World. The World Army formed a peaceful global government overseen by the Five's allies, and the Earth started healing.