Chaos: Chaotic beings actively seek to destroy civil society.
“Chaotic characters are often madmen or cultists of forgotten,
chthonic gods. To the extent they have any order at all, societies
of Chaotic characters are ruled by force and fear, and are often
characterized by all manner of corruption and vice. Even
decadent Lawful civilizations at least pay homage to civilizing
virtue, but chaotic civilizations embrace their corruption.”
This how the chaotic alignment is described in the ACKs rulebook. Notice the “often madmen or cultists of forgotten, cthonic gods” part and the worse-than-the-worst-lawful-societies part.
Law: “Despite its vices and villainies, civilization must be defended against those who would destroy it. Lawful beings tend to see wars among civilizations as aiding the cause of Chaos, and so they seek peace among Lawful civilizations where possible.” i.e. hero alignment
Neutral: “To paraphrase George Orwell, Neutral humans sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because Lawful heroes stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” “A Neutral mercenary might be found fighting on behalf of Law or Chaos; a Neutral farmer tends his crops and pays his taxes, whether to the Patriarch or the Lich-King.” i.e. Not really much of a hero.
Chaos: “often madmen or cultists of forgotten, chthonic gods” “societies of Chaotic characters are ruled by force and fear” “Chaotic societies are characterized by their monstrous vices: Genocide, human sacrifice, wanton destruction, cannibalism, necrophilia, and so on. Evil is all-too-human in every civilization, but Chaotic is something both less and more than human.” i.e. Monsters worse than Hitler.
I like the idea of getting away from the tired old good-vs.-evil alignment system, but Chaos seems to be described as UBER-evil. Only chaotic mages can perform necromancy and only chaotic clerics can make human sacrifices, something that would be restricted to EVIL characters in other alignment systems.
Don’t get me wrong, I like ACKS in general, but it definitely seems to be backing one horse more than the other.