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Another doomed Emperor: Elric

White skin, white hair, red almond-shaped eyes,
pointed ears, from an old unhuman race,
welcome Elric, one avatar of the Eternal Champion.
(from novels and stories by Michael Moorcock).

There are many stories about him, very uneven, and some are completely useless (even writers have bills to pay... You know what happens when an author gets tired of his character and doesn't know what to do and how the character feels? See what Anne Rice made of Armand...).

Elric was the Emperor Sadric's first and only son, ruler of the decadent Empire of Melniboné. His mother died soon after his birth, and to make it worse he was albinos, that meant he would never be as strong as a Melnibonéan Emperor should be. So his father, who was deeply bonded with his wife (that was unusual among Melnibonéan), always ignored him. Elric yet learned the art of war, strategy and fight, supported by potions and herbs. He also spent a long time reading the ancient books of his dynasty. Melniboné, the 10000 years old empire, was dedicated to the Gods of Chaos, and from its people were born the most powerful sorcerers this world had known. There is even a devil in the old imperial dynasty...
Elric in a manga style -sorry for those who don't like
Elric by me -long ago

An Elric look-alike by Brom
An Elric look-alike by Brom

But at the time of Elric, the Empire had lost his autority. They didn't control anymore the Young Realms, inhabited by peoples more humans (not completely), believing in other Gods. The Melnibonéans were forgetting their decadence with drugs and bloody games in Ymrryr, the Dreaming City. Like his father, Elric had strange new ideas. One of them was to be interested with the "barbarians" (compared to them, these younger races were like kids) of the Young Realms. He also had a kind of conscience, despite his normal (for a Melnibonéan) complete indifference or liking for murder, torture and other things they usually like. So some of his subjects weren't very satisfied to see on the Ruby Throne this guy, considering him as weak of soul as he was of body.

His rival was his cousin Yrkoon, a wizard warrior like him. More, Elric was loved by Cymoril, Yrkoon's sister, and loved her. But Yrkoon wanted to marry his sister (uh... about the Melnibonéan morals... forget it), and didn't want her in any case to marry a "degenerated deficient". Elric wasn't really caring because he knew he was a better sorcerer than Yrkoon and thought he could control him whatever happens. He was wrong.

Elric left for a while Melniboné to discover other peoples, but when he came back Yrkoon didn't want to give him back the throne. He had plunged Cymoril in a magic sleep that Elric couldn't break. Finally, Elric helped the army of the Young Realms to attack the Island of Melniboné to pull down the decadent city. He and Yrkoon reached two twin magic swords, Mournblade and Stormbringer, who (they're more or less alive...) steal the soul of their victims to give strength to their user. During the fight, Yrkoon pushed Cymoril on Elric's blade, and Stormbringer took her first soul. Elric killed Yrkoon. Ymrryr was plundered, burnt and erased, like Elric had asked it to his allies. As he was leaving the ruins with them, their fleet was attacked by Melniboné's Dragons fleet. All the ships were destroyed except Elric's one, that he saved with a magic wind.

After that he was rejected by both his allies and his people, and travelled through his world without caring. His cursed sword Strombringer gave him strength to fight and cast spells when it took souls. But it had a special liking for Elric's friends' life, and he lost a lot of them when he forgot to control it during hard battles. He was sometimes helped by his capricious Chaos God Arioch, who was fond of him despite the fact that he knew Elric's ultimate destiny. Arioch was really chaotic, he found Elric amusing because this one had inclinations to fight for Law or for the Balance, Chaos' enemies...
Elric by Caza
Elric by Caza

After many years of fight, love and mourning, one of his recurrent enemies, the wizard Jagreen Lern, opened a door to Chaos which started to invade their world. Elric was now fighting for the Balance and found only one way to defeat Chaos.

Warning: if you don't want know the end, stop to read now!!!

Elric by Rodney Matthews
Elric by Rodney Matthews
He blowed once in the Horn of Roland: the Dragons awakened. They defeated a part of Jagreen Lern's army of damned, but the world was still devastated. He blowed a second time to call the White Lords of Law. Elric slowly killed Jagreen Lern. The world was cleared up, like at the beginning of time. Elric had no more strength to achieve his work and his friend threw himself on Stormbringer to bring him the required energy (and immediately regretted it). Elric finally blowed a last time, and another world rose from the ancient. A world where Chaos was very weak, where Elric knew he had no place.

Then Stormbringer looked at him, laughed and killed him.

Some links about Elric

Links checked / revised in December 2002 - most are gone missing

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