This blog post picks up right where this one left off because the PC's can't always very careful about which gods they worked for & with because not all gods are working for the benefit of humanity nor its allies.
When we're talking about alignment in Avanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition then we are talking evolution of the game in action. When we go back the halycon days of 'The Dragon' magazine we can see such evolution in The Dragon #9 September 1977. Issue 9 of the Dragon magazine contains the article, 'DM's Brew (Mixing Alignments in D&D)' by Gary Gygax. This article sets up the bar for creating the alignments for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons that we all know & love.
And this brings up the fact that this may be a part of these two world dominating powers. Remember that Arioch is the patron to Elric's royal line & as such his corruption flows through the doomed prince.
This corruption has been sown through myriad centuries. And we have no idea how or what the royal lines have done to be treated so well by a dangerous Chaos entity such as Arioch. Not to mention the numerous other Chaos gods that look with favor upon the Melnibonéans. And now the clock is ticking for the humans as well. Humans have taken the Melnibonéans as the favored status of Chaos. And this is measured by the fact that these race's alignments have gone to total corruption. Simply look at Pan Tang's legacy. Almost as if the powers of Law & Chaos were grooming the races of Man & the Young Kingdom's. Grooming them for the next cycle of the world. But Elric isn't the only eternal champion to have dailies with Arioch. According to the villain wiki entry on Arioch; "Arioch has been encountered by another Eternal Champion, Corum Jhaelen Irsei. Arioch was known here as the Knight of the Swords, one of three gods who ruled over Corum's world. The Knight of the Swords was the creator of the humans, or Mabden, as they were known in this world. When Corum first saw Arioch, he was a massive, filthy creature, with Mabden servants all over his body. Later, he appeared to Corum in the more familiar form of an attractive man"
Is this because the races of Man gravitate toward's pure chaotic evil?! No, its because the Chaos gods & gods of Law sew the corruption early into Man during his creation in the world almost like Biblical Judio Christian Fallen Angels. Because the Chaos gods & the Gods of Law's myriad forms throughout the multiverse & planes includes their aspects as Biblical Judio Christian Fallen Angels. And alignment reveals what these 'god ' entities are after! They hunger for the souls of humans & even as they prepare the Young Kingdom for the next cycle. On a myriad of other worlds these entities spread their corruption. Think we're kidding?! The appendix of 'The Primal Order' rpg has a quick path to power in the form of the alternative path of Chaos. And it does give power but with the cost of mutation & madness at its black heart.
he Melnibonéans society & culture. Magick & chaos corrupt because the demonic magicks of the Young Kingdom have become so routine to the jaded sociatal pallette's of the citizens of the Bright Empire. The Bright Empire one of the many titles of the former powerhouses of the Melnibonéans. The Elric saga reveals far more about the society of the kingdoms of the Young Kingdoms then it does about Michael Moorcock's writing. And AD&D first edition pulls no punches with revealing Elric's true nature. Chaotic Evil?!Oh he most certainly is! Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition doesn't once shy away from revealing the underbelly of some of the true puposes alignment.
Mr. Ward talked about this in a recent interview with the Inapropraiate Character's Crew.
And while this fact may seem trite to many of today's jaded old school & OSR players remember that this is also a part of many of the Appendix N literature including in some fashions Michael Moorcock's literature. Why?! Because Moorcock's pedigree is centered in the Pulp traditions of Sword & Sorcery. A sub gerne of Science Fiction that he helped not only to create but define! Alignment isn't easy to deal with because its far more then simply a line on a character sheet. Its the measure of the player's desire for how their PC acts & twists in the wind during the play sessions. Does alignment have a place in a grand old game such as Choasium's Stormbringer rpg?! Well that's another blog entry coming up kids. So same Eternal Champions channel same time, will our heroes escape their moral life defining quandry?! Tune in next time!
Elric from AD&D first edition Deities & Demigods artwork by Jeff Dee used without permission