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The story of Elric, the last emperor of Melniboné, ruler of the dreaming city and keeper of the ruby throne, brings together many images of life and death, fate versus free will, generations of tradition and the destruction of that tradition, thought versus action, evil versus good , law versus chaos, and the difficulties faced when trying to reconcile and make meaning out of one's own existence. It is also a vehicle for Michael Moorcock to expound on yet another incarnation of "The Eternal Champion", a theme that runs throughout many of his fantasy novels. On this page I hope to give a brief overview and opinion of this tragic, yet action packed series. It is certainly one of the best offerings from Michael Moorcock, and changed my views on good fantasy forever. Having discovered the Elric Saga back in 1980 it introduced me to the new idea of an anti-hero and showed me that everything does not have to turn out "OK" in every book that I read. Truly an ambitious break from the fantasy genera of his day I have enjoyed Mr. Moorcock's vision and stunning tales for many years.

He also influenced me to find and enjoy another fantasy author Fritz Leiber, and his not so clean cut heroic pair of fantasy swordsmen "Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser" .

Please enjoy these opinions, comments, and quotes devoted to Elric, and hopefully it will intrigue you to the point of seeking out these fascinating works and enjoying them as much as I have.

Elric of Melniboné: "It is the color of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair which flows below his shoulders is milk-white. From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody, and from the loose sleeves of his yellow gown emerge two slender hands, also the color of bone. "

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Elric of Melniboné, Michael Moorcock

Thus begins Michael Moorcock's description of Elric. He is, as we read through the series, the last ruler of the dreaming city Imrryr. He was born an albino and requires large amounts of sorceress drugs to maintain his strength and life. He is the 428th ruler in direct line of descent from the first sorcerer emperor of Melniboné. Due to his weakened condition he has delved into the secrets of many sorceress books and the study and practice of herb lore to sustain himself. Through this process of self enlightenment he has developed a very curious side effect of introspective self loathing for the traditions of his empire, and his inability to fit in to the role of the traditional Melniboné emperor. He also harbors an inner desire to perhaps sway his fellow Melniboné's from some of their more unwholesome practices. Because of these opinions, his subjects find his motives to be almost unfathomable. Their opinion being that Melniboné is Melniboné. They have always ruled the world, and any tactic or pleasure they desire is to be sought out and used. Morality is something that concerns lesser beings but does not have any bearing, or add weight to any decision they may make. Elric also sees that the past glory of Melniboné is fading, complacency and stagnation have set into his culture and empire. No longer do the golden battle barges set sail for the Young Kingdoms in order to raid, plunder, and bring back slaves. No longer do they attempt to increase those lands under Melniboné domination, and demand tribute from lesser beings. The Actorios stone ring worn by Elric and passed down throughout the rain of sorceress emperors, has been studied much but used little by him, thus the ability to call on aid from the traditional patron of the Melniboné emperors, Lord of Chaos Duke Arioch of Hell, has not been sought since Elric's accession.

The many complexities of Elric's opinions, views, and attitudes, as well as the priorities of his station and traditions of the dreaming city, place him in a large moral dilemma. The main irony being, that Elric is the first emperor to ever try to apply morality to any of his decisions.

And what of the higher powers of the Lords of Law and Chaos? As we see throughout, Elric is plagued by predestiny. The many things he would like to decide and control, quite often have already been decided for him and are already controlling him. The many twists and turns provide for fascinating reading and character development.

Cymoril: Elric's cousin and consort. He hopes to one day make her empress. She above all tries to understand and help Elric, but like the Melniboné subjects he rules, she too has difficulty in understanding Elric's motivations and would have him rule as the emperors of old with no concern for any but himself.

Zarozinia: A human of the Young Kingdoms. She falls in love with Elric and for a time allows him to experience true love and companionship. Elric also gives up his blade StormBringer and reverts to taking sorceress herbs to sustain his life. All for the sake of his love of Zarozinia.

Yyrkoon: Prince of the realm and Elric's cousin. He is next in line for the throne as Elric has no male heir. He is greatly concerned at Elric's behavior and takes all of Elric's brooding and philosophical talk as a sign of weakness. He yearns for a return to more traditional emperors and secretly plots Elric's demise. Yyrkoon is considered a great sorcerer and has made many pacts with the unholy to obtain his sorceress strength. As further evidence of his decadent ways he openly covets his sister Cymoril to be his wife and Empress if his plans for Elric ever reach fruition.

Dyvim Tvar: Lord of the Dragon Caves. He is Elric's main ally and advisor. A true Melniboné, he lends no weight to any thought of deposing Elric, as it is the emperors prerogative to act and do as he pleases. His main responsibility and personal love is the care of Melniboné's most destructive weapon, the dragons. It was on the backs of these beasts that Melniboné attained and maintained her empire and they are the most feared and respected weapons on earth.

The Higher Powers: The main embodiment being the Lords of Law and Chaos. Continually struggling throughout eternity the Lords of Law strive for the perfection of the single arrow, always looking to bring order to a chaotic universe. Their eternal adversaries, the Lords of Chaos, believe in unlimited disorder and expression. Their symbol is the many pointed arrow showing that all things are possible and continue to fight order with disorder wherever they encounter it. A small but powerful group of entities known only as the Gray Lords, are also present and motivated by the goal of the balance. They believe that all things may be achieved but only through balance. This, of course, outrages both Law and Chaos, and the Gray Lords have not to date exerted a powerful presence on Elric's plane. And lastly, there are the Elimentals; Air, Sea, Earth, and Fire. These beings can be persuaded to assist powerful sorcerers from time to time with their eliment based powers.

The Rune blades: Brought to earth centuries before and wielded by the Melnibon`e emperors, these blades where turned over to the Gods and placed in the pulsing cavern when they became too powerful to control. They are known by the names StormBringer and MournBlade. They have the ability to give the wielder unparalleled strength. They are also sentient and require feeding to appease them. This feeding is in the form of souls taken during battle. Many of Elric's enemies plead not to be killed by his fearsome blade, StormBringer, as their souls are sent straight to hell for eternity. Although Elric is able to overcome his genetic weaknesses, and for the first time in his life he no longer needs to ingest his sorceress potions to sustain his life, this strength is gained at the price of a symbiotic relationship with his blade. Many is the time he will regret unsheathing it, as StormBringer has a taste for friend and foe alike.

Rackhir The Red Archer: One of the Warrior Priests of Phum. He was cast out of his order for disagreeing with the Duke Arioch, the priests patron. He and Elric travel and adventure together several times throughout the series.

Moonglum of Elwher: Adventuring Companion to Elric. He and Elric share many dangers and rewards together. The most steadfast and loyal companion of all the young kingdom humans Elric encounters. His final deed allows Elric to complete his fated purpose.

Queen Yishana : Ruler of Jharkor. She presents Elric with several problems/adventures and openly covets his company and power. Her selfish desires are the root of several of Elric's problems but she also has been known to aide him from time to time, and becomes an important ally to help defeat chaos .

King Straasha: King of the sea elimentals and bound by age long pacts of service to the Emperors of Melniboné. His aide is sought and given on several occasions to Elric. He is also the co-producer of one the most legendary of artifacts, "The Ship which Sails over Land and Sea". He provided the necessary magics for ocean travel and along with King Grome owns the ship.

King Grome: King of the earth elimentals. He is very selfish with both his aide and what he considers his ship. He was also a co-producer of "The Ship which Sails over Land and Sea", and is responsible for the magics that allow the ship to move over land as if it were in water. He viciously disputes with King Straasha over ownership of the ship and has vowed to take possession of it, if it ever were to be used in his realm of the land.

King Lasshaar: King of the air elimentals. He rules the wind giants and can summon up great storms. He is able to aid Elric in his final revenge on a troublesome sorcerer.

Arioch Of the Seven Darks: One of the mightiest Dukes of hell and a Chaos Lord. He is the perennial patron of the Melniboné emperors and is responsible for much of their sorceress powers and long rule. He finds Elric to be one of his sweetest servants, as Elric's moral dilemmas provide him with much sport. However as the series progresses, Elric becomes more bain then boon.

Sepiriz: Captain of the fates. He and his nine brothers are representatives of Fate and are tasked with bringing about the will of the Fates in preparation for the end of an age.

The Dark Lady, Myshella: A great sorceress. She fulfills the task set to her by the Lords of Law, which is to tend the Castle Kaneloon as its mistress. She must also find heroes strong enough to withstand the forces of Chaos and thus create new lands on Elric's plane. She plays part in several of Elric's adventures using her mighty sorcery and mechanical flying steed.

Theleb K'aarna: A human sorcerer of the Pan Tang isles. After being displaced as queen Yishana's advisor and chief sorcerer by Elric, he seeks to revenge himself and uses his sorcery to hinder several of Elric's plans. However, in the end he reaps the whirlwind of Elric's wrath.

Terarn Gashtek, Flame Bringer: An eastern barbarian ruler. His sudden attack upon the west from across the Weeping Wastes takes them completely by surprise. He vows to rule the whole world but ends up settling for a lot less.

Jagreen Lern: The Theocrat of Pan Tang. He is the leader and mighty sorcerer of Pan Tang and is chosen by Chaos to lead their armies in conquering Elric's plane. He is ultimately given all of the Chao's Lords powers in his fight against Elric and the minions of Law and Balance.

Imrryr: Also known as the dreaming city, is the seat of the Melniboné empire and perennial home of all the Melniboné emperors. She consists of many multi-colored pastel spires of her great lords and emperor and her only access is through a sea maze that protects her harbor. She has stood for 10,000 years and is considered to be impregnable, and the store house of the majority of the worlds riches.

The Pan Tang isles: An island of human sorceress who seek to emulate the power of the old Melniboné sorceress. Considered evil and powerful the peoples of the Young Kingdoms steer clear of their rocky shores.

Tanelorn: A magical place of resting for war weary and tiered citizens of the multi-planes. This city is often sought by the Eternal Champion as a place of rest. It has the property of appearing and disappearing throughout the multi-planes and multi-times as it sees fit. Elric has opportunity to both save it, and rest there.

The Isle of the Purple Towns: An enlightened and sophisticated community of humans considered to rival, in a very small way, the age and intelligence of the older kingdom (Melniboné). Many human statesman and traders dwell there and it has a very cosmopolitan atmosphere that all the Young Kingdoms have come to admire.

Nadoskor: The city of the beggars. This foul city contains the rabble of the Young Kingdoms. All kinds of deranged, wretched, and villainous characters abide here under the "rule" of King Urish, the seven fingered.

Castle Kaneloon: Sits at the edge of the world and is bordered on one side by the Young Kingdoms and on the other by the stuff of Chaos. It is the castle of the Lords of Law and their bastion against Chaos. It is also the point on this plane where Law can create order out of disorder, thus adding to the total land and population of the plane. The castle also has the ability to move whenever new lands are created, thus always remaining on the edge of the world.

"On the island kingdom of Melniboné all the old rituals are still observed, though the nation's power has waned for five hundred years, and now her way of life is maintained only by her trade with the Young Kingdoms and the fact that the city of Imrryr has become the meeting place of merchants. Are those rituals no longer useful; can the rituals be denied and doom avoided? One who would rule in Emperor Elric's steed prefers to think not. He says that Elric will bring destruction to Melniboné by his refusal to honor all the rituals (Elric honors many). And now opens the tragedy which will close many years from now and precipitate the destruction of this world."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melniboné.

In which we meet Elric, the latest emperor in an unbroken line, of Melniboné. And discover his personal limitations and philosophical problems. This the first book in the series lays out much of Elric and his demeanor. I find it interesting , Elric's dilemma, and Moorcock's presentation of this incarnation of the "Champion Eternal". We also learn of the many pretenders who would take Melniboné's greatness, both from within and without.

"Less certain of himself or his destiny then ever, the albino king must perforce bring his powers of sorcery into play, conscious that he has embarked upon a course of action by no means at one with his original conception of the way he wished to live his life. And now matters must be settled. He must begin to rule. He must become cruel. But even in this he will find himself thwarted." Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melniboné.

In which we learn of Elric's many allies (even those who come unbidden) and of the treachery of his cousin. We also see Elric as a strong character of action when he has finally been aroused to the necessity of it. And although cruelty is something he would rather avoid he finds himself returning to more traditional ways and justice. We also meet the mightiest of Melniboné's patrons, who can only be summoned by one of the royal line, and learn of even more treachery. We are introduced to one of the old worlds greatest treasures and see it put to use on Elric's behalf. And we are shown the value of sightlessness in the land of the sighted.

"And now there is no turning back at all. Elric's destiny forged and fixed as surely as the hellswords were forged and fixed aeons before. Was there ever a point where he might have turned off this road to despair, damnation, and destruction? Or has he been doomed since before his birth? Doomed through a thousand incarnations to know little else but sadness and struggle, loneliness and remorse-eternally the champion of some unknown cause?"

A journey by Elric into the nether regions is called for and taken. A dilapidated city with disfigured enemies. The journey continues even into and under a most undesirable marsh. At the end two black swords with phenomenal powers are stored in a pulsing cavern. And finally the dual of two black swords wielded by two black servants as they fight for supremacy and revenge.

"... and leaving his cousin Yykoon sitting as regent upon the Ruby Throne of Melniboné, leaving his cousin Cymoril weeping for him and despairing of his ever returning, Elric sailed from Imrryr, the Dreaming City, and went to seek an unknown goal in the worlds or the Young Kingdoms where Melnibonéans were, at best, disliked.

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Sailor on the Seas of Fate.

Elric's quest for knowledge begins amidst much weeping by one cousin and many harbored secret plans of another. A sullen shore leads to a ship which sails the seas of time and space. Many new (yet somehow familiar) co-adventures are met and a task is given to destroy two other-worldly sorceress. With much bloodshed and strange unions the task is completed and those who remain return to the captain and his mystical ship. Another unsought adventure befalls Elric as he attempts to find meaning in an omen of an un-looked for white horse and it's missing master. And finally having been fished from the sea He continues on his last adventure in quest of a fabulous treasure on a far away continent. Having combined with a powerful Duke of the Young Kingdoms Elric helps the adventurers discover the long lost continent and navigate up a torturous river towards a fabled Melniboné city. Many lives are lost to some awkward looking birds, but the Duke's party presses on to the city. At the city more costly run ins with enemies and a strange discovery. Elric speaks with "The Creature Doomed To Live" and hears of the high lords council and the creatures curse. The treasure is missing ? A jade giant stands sightless. A patron is forced to comply with Elric's demands and the Jade Man offers a prophecy and leaves the city. Elric's companions are killed and the true nature of his symbiotic sword is revealed again in all it's unwieldy gore. A dissatisfied Elric sails for home with the last of the adventuring companions.

" The Dream of Earl Aubec. In which we learn something of how the age of the Young Kingdoms emerged and of the part played by the Dark Lady, Myshella, whose fate would later be intertwined with that of Elric of Melniboné."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Weird of the White Wolf.

In which we see Moorcock's reasoning as to how law is brought out of chaos and new lands are added to Elric's plane. It is also shown that only through the strength of mortals may the gods desires and schemes be brought to fruition. A knights quest is begun. A challenge issued with silence as reply. The knight battles all including himself. A victors reward and a lady's appointed task accomplished.

"The Dreaming City. Which tells how Elric came back to Imrryr, what he did there, and how, at last, his weird fell upon him..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Weird of the White Wolf.

In which we see Elric plotting with Lords of the Young Kingdoms to bring down his cousin and regain the throne. A battle plan and a chaotic battle. Of things that have withstood the centuries and the final collapse of those long standing things. Of Elric's final meeting with his cousins and of the sad consequences of their final parting. Of an over estimated victory and underestimated foes. A final call for retreat as the Dragons are let loose, and an act of sorcery (cowardice) to flee to fight another day.

"While The Gods Laugh
I, while the gods laugh, the world's vortex am;
Maelstrom of passions in that hidden sea
Whose waves of all-time lap the coasts of me;
And in small compass the dark waters cram."

Mervyn Peake, Shapes and Sounds, 1941.
Michael Moorcock, The Weird of the White Wolf.

A women's search requires Elric's help on a quest for knowledge. A long and desperate journey is traveled with the aid of a new and steadfast companion. After much opposition the journey's end is reached and with the goal in hand, the ages speak louder than the dead god, whose book is opened.

"The Singing Citadel. In which Elric has his first dealings with Pan Tang, Yishana of Jharkor, the sorcerer Theleb K'aarna, and learns something more of the Higher Worlds..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Weird of the White Wolf.

The return journey by sea is rudely interrupted by a Pan Tang war galley. After much blood shed and heroics the galley is taken and the voyage finished. A message arrives with a royal invitation. Elric declines, but the Queen comes to his side with a request for help. The singing citadel's tale of magical missing persons is told. Together Elric and the Queen ride to view the mystery and in the process of solving it a jealous sorcerer blames Elric for his own ignorance and insecurity, and swears revenge on the albino. The mystery solved, we learn more of the Lords of Chaos and their jester. To break the spell a grateful patron is summoned and pockets the problem in a most unusual place. The citadel sings no more.

" The Torment of the Lost Lord. ... and then did Elric leave Jharkor in his pursuit of a certain sorcerer who had, so Elric claimed, caused him some inconvenience..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Vanishing Tower.

Eric's quest to avenge himself on a certain sorcerer begins in earnest. An attack by flying shape-shifter demons finds Elric and companion airborne heading, as prisoners, to meet the very sorcerer they search for. While still in flight Elric calls upon avian aide and summons the birds of the air to rescue them from the demons clutches. A lone castle stands in the wastes while it's mistress lies in sorceress slumber. In a dream, the sorceress Myshella tells Elric of a common enemy and his plans for world domination. An alliance entered, Elric seeks out Myshella's treasure and with the aid of a flying mechanical steed he defeats the demon guardian and returns with a cloth of gold containing an evil ally. The castle under siege and with sorceress aide, a breech is made. Elric fights to clear away the castles invaders. Amidst a pile of fallen enemies, Elric is taken prisoner. Bound before his foe Elric summons his sword to free himself . Myshella awakened, circles the army surrounding her castle and unleashes the "Noose of Flesh". While Elric and Myshella watch, the "Noose of Flesh" goes about its grisly business. The grateful Myshella offers Elric a reward of peace for his service rendered, much to his soul's and mind's dismay.

"To Snare the Pale Prince. ...But it was in Nadsokor, City of the Beggars, that Elric found an old friend and learned something concerning an old enemy..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Vanishing Tower.

Having escaped Elric's trap, Theleb K'aarna finds an ally with similar distastes in the beggar king of Nadsokor. The Ring of Kings is stolen and taken to Nadsokor. Elric seeks to regain his family's sorceress heirloom. A trail to the beggar court and Elric discovers his ring, but falls into a well laid trap and finds himself sentenced to be thrown into the labyrinth as food for the burning god. Into the labyrinth and a hungry burning god succumbs to Elric and Stormbinger as they free themselves from the labyrinth . Into the beggar kings hall but his treasure is guarded by a demon and Elric is again thwarted in reclaiming his ring. In quest of the beggar King, Elric finds him storming the gates of Tanelorn with supernatural allies. Elric himself is able to summon up supernatural defenders and sends the beggar hordes back from whence they came. The beggar king finds himself without his treasure as the guardian demon stops all who would gaze upon it. In a final desperate action to regain his worldly goods, the kings solution turns into an explosive answer. With "The Ring of Kings" restored to its rightful owner, Elric continues his pursuit of the inconvenient sorcerer.

"Three Heroes with a Single Aim. ...Elric of the manifestations on the Champion Eternal, was to find Tanelorn without effort. And of all those manifestations he was the only one to chose to leave that city of myriad incarnations..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Vanishing Tower.

A walk into the Sighing Desert leads to the re-acquaintance and re-alliance of Elric with the dark lady, Myshella and another quest begins to destroy Theleb K'aarna. In the desert the sorcerer's camp is discovered along with a machine that he will use to open a breach to allow Chaos's minions to break through onto Elric's plane. The sorcerer is successful and unleashes an army to destroy Tanelorn. During the breach Elric finds himself flung into another plane and time and meets with two other allies who search for the vanishing tower. Their wait at the sight of the towers appearance is rewarded and they enter quickly before it continues on its never ending journey throughout the multi-universe. The tower is occupied by a dwarven sorcerer who craves more then just information and the wish to hang on to his entertaining prisoner. As sorceress globes are flung at the champions they turn into ferocious tiger-men who seek to destroy the questers. But through a joining of strength and steel, the three become one and are able to vanquish both sorcerer and tiger-men. Into the vault where items of desperate need are found for the defense of Tanelorn. The flags are unfurled and again Theleb K'aarna plans are foiled as his allies are destroyed. But upon the battle field a further tragedy, as sorceress Myshella bleeds out her last drop of blood , killed by the evil that is Theleb K'aarna.

"The Stealer of Souls. In which Elric once again makes the acquaintance of Queen Yishana of Jharkor and Theleb K'aarna of Pan Tang and receives satisfaction at last."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Bane of the Black Sword.

And after much wandering and seeking Elric finally discovers the location of the sorcerer who had earlier inconvenienced him. A meeting of old friends and scattered brothers evolves into a union of vengeance. A demon sent hoping to devour an albino is thwarted, but it's master's aim's are met with Elric's capture. A bargain made with a well intentioned merchant wins Elric his freedom, but only half of him is allowed to escape. Elric restored with his symbiotic blade calls upon unholy aide to finally vanquish his meddlesome sorceress enemy. The final assault brings a grievous death as the dragon caves will no longer have a master. A promise broken and an unwanted soul taken by Elric's hungry companion. Another hollow victory causes Elric much discomfort.

"Kings in Darkness.
Three Kings in Darkness lie,
of Org, and I,
Under a black and sunless sky--
The third Beneath the Hill.

-Song of Veerkad. By James Cawthorn.
Michael Moorcock, The Bane of the Black Sword.

A flight from vagabonds leads to a dark forest and a bright discovery . A lost lady is found and aided by Elric women-slayer. The misshapen beings of Troos are beaten off and a boyhood spell remembered is used to fool the men of Org. A thankless welcome turns to treachery as Elric's plan unravels. Chained to a dark hill Elric's pleas for aide are finally answered. Into the barrow where Elric saves the lady and meets "The third Beneath the Hill". A ritual gone aria brings forth the king from under the hill and death follows with him for the people of Org. A new sunrise promises a new beginning for the Forest of Troos.

"The Flamebringers. In which Moonglum returns from the East-lands with disturbing news..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Bane of the Black Sword.

Elric's peaceful time of self contentment comes to an abrupt end with news of the foul Flamebringer's impending raid. The source of the Flamebringer's new found power is traced to a sorcerer who fears for his soul and his cat, have made him the Flamebringer's unwilling ally. A plan of deceit leads to the Flambringer's camp with the hope of aide to the trapped sorcerer . The Flamebringer's destructive power is demonstrated with horrific consequences. A cat found and lost again. Suspicions aroused and Elric is locked in with his would-be sorcerer ally. A feline god's aide is sought in locating his hidden brother. That which was stored is returned and with the sorcerers soul his own, the bloody carnage begins as the Flamebringer's plans crumble and die around him.

"To Rescue Tanelorn... In which we learn of the further adventures of Rackhir the Red Archer and other heroes and places Elric has hitherto encountered only in what he chooses to consider his dreams..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, The Bane of the Black Sword.

Tanelorn, being a place of peace and rest for those tired of the continued battling of the higher lords, was particularly despised by the Lords of Chaos. And having decided to act, sent down to Elric's plane one of her mightiest Lords to arouse the beggars of Narjhan to carry out their plans of destruction. Those of Tanelorn decide on a desperate race through the five gates to seek aide from the Gray Lords. On the way to the first gate when asked to dance, never assume it is for your own good. A giant of Chaos felled by the arrow of justice. The guardians are met. Makers of Tanelorn they aide the adventurer's on their quest for the fourth gate. A domain of Law entered. This plane of flat gray with no surface features or color shows the joys and imagination of the single arrow. And finally they are met by a friend unlooked for and encounter the Gray Lords. Advice is given and flying boatman are sought to aide against the beggar hoards. A climatic battle rages with many Chaos allies being thrown into the fray but at last the victory is won and Tanelorn is saved.

"Dead God's Homecoming. In which, at long last, Elric's fate begins to be revealed to him as the forces of Law and Chaos gather strength for the final battle which will decide the future of Elric's world..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, StormBringer

A supernatural night sees ill befall Elric as his wife is taken be beings of Chaos. A blade renounced in peace is taken up in battle and so anew, is forged the symbiotic link. Elric rises the spirit of the demon slain during his wife's abduction and learns of a new riddle, a new quest, as the fates turn... and turn again. A message from the Chaos lords "Hope" for his wife lived, and a task to be accomplished, err his reunion. A lost cousin found and joint journey shared. The Ten have awakened. Fates servants are released with a deadly mission to bring about the end of an age. To the battlefield driven as Chaos unleashes it's first attack in what will become the battle to win control of Elric's plane. Elric battles Chaos's chosen representative and receptacle of all it's unholy power, The Theocrat of Pan Tang Jagreen Lern. A retreat is sounded and a defeat dealt to Elric and his allies. Betrayed by a fellow ally, Elric and his cousin fight alone against many, however the Fates have more then a quick death planned and so the Ten ride to Elric's rescue. A journey to the Ten's home reveals further revelations concerning Elric, and his cousin, and the Rune Blades, StormBringer and Mournblade. A mission to meet the Dead Gods is undertaken with the hope of saving Elric's wife. Darnizhaan is confronted and Elric is told of the strange consequences of retaining the Rune Blades and the possible end of the earth. Ignoring all but his hatred of his wife's captor, Elric and his cousin sing a deadly song while controlling the Rune Blades and rend the Dead God into nothingness thus retrieving something more precious then life for Elric, his wife. A return to the Ten and further information concerning Elric's place in Fate's designs. He is to bring about the end of his world in order to allow a new and stronger one to emerge.

"Black Sword's Brothers. In which Mournblade returns to help decide an issue between Elric and the Lords of Chaos..."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, Storm Bringer

A meeting of the allies and the fate that awaits defeat is spelled out. A new quest is undertaken, to seek out and destroy the newly returned Dukes of Hell and cleanse Elric's plane of their influence. To the sorceress Pan Tang isles and the city of the screaming statues they travel. The battle begins in earnest as Elric fights the Dukes for possession of his very soul. A Chaos pack is summoned to aide Elric in his struggle. And in the end the brothers of StormBringer render their invincible aide and banish the Dukes to the Chaos stuff from which they came. Elric's victory is short lived, as he awakes from his exhausted slumber he is prisoner of the dreaded Theocrat. A navel battle waged, with the Chaos fleet victorious, but Elric's call for aide brings forth his hell forged servant and they are reunited in vengeance. A return to the Isle of the Purple Towns, the allies last stronghold, and a pledge from Elric to bring about his fated purpose, or die in the attempt.

"Sad Giants Shield.
Thirteen times, the steps to the sad giant's lair;
And the Chaos Shield lies there.
Seven time seven are the elder trees
Twelve times twelve warriors he sees
But the Chaos Shield lies there.
And the hero fair will the sad giant dare
And a red sword wield for the sad giant's shield
On a mournful victory day."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, StormBringer

A messenger of Fate speaks of both good and ill to Elric. The White Lords have been contacted but require further assistance. The Chaos fleet sails with supernatural allies, "The Ships of Hell". Crewed with dead mariners and commanded by a Chaos Lord, they represent a fearsome foe. Elric chooses between allies and a task required. Without the Chaos Shield, Elric and his allies are defeated by the Chaos Fleet. The postponed journey is taken up as the only hope against the warping power of the Chaos fleet. The journey leads to Mordaga's castle but first the Elder trees must be traversed. As they approach, a shoal of blood sucking leafs attack and soon the questers are slowly being drained. Elric and cousin attack the fearsome trees and suck their soul stuff with the twin horrors, StormBringer and MournBlade. Warrior guards attack but fueled with the soul stuff of the Elder trees Elric and cousin make short work of them as their souls go screaming down to hell. In his battle lust Elric feeds another undeserving soul to his hellblade, companion Rackhir the Red Archer, as foretold by Elric Rachir regrets his companionship. The sad giant is met and in a moment of happiness finds death at last. The Chaos shield won, but at what cost ? The battle and continent lost to Chaos. Elric boards the flagship of Chaos and destroys yet another Chaos Lord. But to his dismay discovers his wife horribly disfigured by Chaos as reward for his betrayal. A final act of love as she impales her mutated form on StormBringer and ads her soul strength to that of Elric.

"Doomed Lord's Passing. For the mind of man alone is free to explore the lofty vastness of the cosmic infinite, to transcend ordinary consciousness, to roam the secret corridors of the brain where past and future melt into one...And universe and individual are linked, the one mirrored in the other, and each contains the other."

The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Michael Moorcock, StormBringer

Elric returns to the Dreaming Isle and awaits word from the Lords of Law as to how they will aide in the fight against the ever growing powers of Chaos. In astral form he ascends to the higher planes and meets the Lords of Law. War is prepared by Law on Chaos but a breach must still be made for the Lords to aide the earth. A final task is assigned the weary albino, find the Horn of Fate and blow it thrice to breach the Chaos gap and begin a new age. A crooked guide leads Elric to a heroes tomb and the resting place of the Horn of Fate. A battle with the dead hero "Roland" ends in his release back to the grave. The horn won, Elric returns to the Dreaming Isle to continue on his fated quest. The dragons awake and prove to be fine allies in Elric's final quest. A desperate battle against the last Chaos Lord on Elric's plane ends in the albinos living up to his new name "god slayer" but at the cost of a slain cousin and the last of Melnibon`e kind. With a portion of the Chaos Lords soul, Elric finds new strength and blows the second note on the Horn of Fate. The White Lords of Law return and the battle of the higher Lords begins in earnest with Elric as witness. And at last the human elements of old and new face each other in combat Elric and the Theocrat Jagreen Lern have their final face-off. Upon the defeated Theocrat, Elric releases his pent up revenge which lasts for over an hour, much to the Theocrats dismay. Having little strength Elric, relies on Moonglum who makes the ultimate sacrifice to provide him with the energy he needs to end this adventure and age forever. A final note is sounded and the law of Balance restored a new age begins without its herald as Elric's tale draws to its inexorable end.

"Farewell, friend. I was a thousand times more evil than thou!" StormBringer's final words on Elrics plane.

Michael Moorcock, StormBringer

To continue on with more of the Elric Saga
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Other Elric sites and info I have enjoyed on the web:

The Time Center
The Ruby Throne
Tanelorn City of Peace
Echos of the Dragon Isle
Michael Moorcock Tribute
Books by Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock Biography
The Nomads of the Time Streams

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