" Feared by enemies and friends alike, Elric of Melnibone walks a lonely path among the worlds of the multiverse. The destroyer of his own cruel and ancient race, as well as its final ruler, Elric is the bearer of a destiny as dark and cursed as the vampiric sword he carries - the sentient black blade known as Stormbringer."
There's something about an Elric novel by Michael Moorcock that just draws you in & keeps you going deeper into the novels. So over the last couple of months the Stormbringer rpg has really deviled me in the sense that its drawn me back into the world of Elric & the Young Kingdoms. And its this time around with the tales that several things occur to me. Elric is not a 'good guy' or the hero but instead he's the anti hero. The tales above prove this again & again. But what draws me back again is the idea that Elric's destiny is bound to the ending of his world's cycle. And there's more then one reason but the one reason that sticks out is
"Stay well away from that sword," Smiorgan warned. "It has the habit of killing more than its master chooses." ~ The Sailor on the Seas of Fate
Personlly there's a hatred that harbors within me for Stormbringer. Because when your a young man you think how cool is the rune sword & its powers. But the older you get the cruelty of the entity within the sword becomes apparent. It takes away everything that means anything to Elric from his cousin to his own wife to the people whom he loves & that love him. Strombringer is Chaotic evil incarnate doing the job it was designed to do with an malice intelligence & soul blacker then Hell.
Stormbringer is uniquely tied into Elric's destiny as the Eternal Champion we see this again & again throughout the ages of Elric's appearances. And its Elric's appearances where & when the Eternal Champion is needed that indicate that he's at the beckon & call of balance as much as the lords of Chaos. But once again reading over the various Elric novels has me wondering if there are more then one shade of Elric?! Even as Elric's Young Kingdoms end are there still other echoes of Elric walking through the multiverse doomed to slowly fade from the multiverse?
The question becomes is Elric as NPC the victim or the villain of his own destiny as an aspect of the Eternal Champion?! As an NPC we encountered Elric only twice in the entire eight years of playing the Stormbringer rpg. But everytime was both chilling & unnerving, because we had no idea if he was going to slay any of our party? Elric of Melniboné, is known as The Albino Emperor, Elric Womanslayer, Elric Kinslayer, the Pale Prince of Ruins, The White Wolf, & these titles are not given lightly. We as players encountered Elric as a young mercenary just starting out & as a seasoned warrior on his way across the moonbeam paths due to a time slip.But it was the runesword Stormbringer that really gave us pause. Because the sword could at anytime simply act out of sheer malice & murder any of our PC's. Anytime we saw Elric or his companions we literally left town in a hurry. In the Stormbringer rpg campaign that we played in it most often was someplace out in the multiverse & not near any of the Young Kingdoms except far out of the purview of Elric or the Pan Tangian empire. That became more problematic as time went on.
Rereading Sailor on the Seas of Fate, Elric as a character is still compelling but being even remotely near him as an NPC in real life would be absolutely terrifying. And its this aspect of inhumanity & evil that radiates to me as a get older. There are strong feelings of piety for this character but in the end he is a doomed aspect of the Eternal Champion.