In the Courts of Chaos exists the Logrus, a three dimensional construct that is the opposite number to the Pattern of Amber. Where the unchanging, rigid Pattern represents Order, the Logrus is constantly altering its shape and represents the principle of Chaos.
The Logrus appears as a tentacular force that must be navigated on a magical/mental level. Those who navigate this construct successfully gain power over, and the ability to travel through, Shadow. An additional power gained from the successful navigation of the Logrus is the ability to "pull" desired, non-specific objects out of Shadow worlds.
Negotiating the Logrus is extremely difficult and potentially fatal. Prospective initiates of the Logrus generally receive advanced training, but success is dependent less on knowledge than on will. In addition to the danger of dying, some who have attempted the Logrus have experienced permanent cerebral damage, though this fate tends to happen only to those who are weak willed or not of full chaosian blood. Luckily those of chaosian blood usually only end up being insane for a short period of time. Negotiating both the Logrus and the Pattern, as Merlin has, is a uniquely daring feat.
Reception and analysis
The Logrus has been called a source of "tactical nuclear weaponry, remote handling and magical apportation".
In one analysis, the Logrus has been construed as a rival metaphysical entity to the Unicorn of Amber, not the Pattern, with the climax of the Merlin Cycle a conflict between these forces.
In popular culture
In Pro Perl, Peter Wainwright makes a punning reference to the Logrus (and the Pattern) in an example of regular expression usage. In the example, a search-and-replace operation is being executed. The text to search for is specified as a regular expression pattern. The sample text to replace the pattern with is logrus.
- Shippey, T. A.; Sobczak, A. J. (1996). Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: The Absolute at Large-Dragonsbane. Salem Press Inc. p. 19. ISBN 0-89356-907-0. "He is one of few who have walked both the Pattern of Amber and the Logrus, its equivalent at the Courts of Chaos."
- Langford, David (2003-03-17). Up Through an Empty House of Stars: Reviews and Essays, 1980-2002. Wildside Press. p. 122. ISBN 1-59224-055-0. "As well as the Pattern, Merlin has mastered its Chaos equivalent the Logrus, conferring added powers of tactical nuclear weaponry, remote handling and magical apportation (useful and indeed much used for summoning beer and pizza)."
- Beetz, Kirk H. (1996). Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction. Walton Beacham Publishing Co. p. 3738. ISBN 0-933833-38-5. "The struggle culminates in what appears to be an ultimate conflict between the powers of the Logrus and the Unicorn, the rival metaphysical entities [...]"
- Wainwright, Peter (2005-03-24). Pro Perl. Apress. p. 97. ISBN 1-59059-438-X. "print "Found and Replaced" if $match_text =~ s/pattern/logrus/;"