Elric The Stealer of Souls (Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melnibone)

Elric The Stealer of Souls (Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melnibone)


I remember Melniboné. Not the empire, obviously, but its aftermath, its debris: mangled scraps of silver filigree from brooch or breastplate, tatters of checked silk accumulating in the gutters of the Tottenham Court Road. Exquisite and depraved, Melnibonéan culture had been shattered by a grand catastrophe before recorded history began – probably some time during the mid-1940s – but its shards and relics and survivors were still evident in London’s tangled streets as late as 1968.You could still find reasonably priced bronzed effigies of Arioch amongst the stalls on Portobello Road, and when I interviewed Dave Brock of Hawkwind for the English music paper Sounds in 1981 he showed me the black runesword fragment he’d been using as a plectrum since the band’s first album. Though the cruel and glorious civilization of Melniboné was by then vanished as if it had never been, its flavours and its atmospheres endured, a perfume lingering for decades in the basements and back alleys of the capital.Even the empire’s laid-off gods and demons were effectively absorbed into the ordinary British social structure; its Law Lords rapidly became a cornerstone of the judicial system while its Chaos Lords went, for the most part, into industry or government. Former Melnibonéan Lord of Chaos Sir Giles Pyaray, for instance, currently occupies a seat at the Department of Trade and Industry, while his company Pyaray Holdings has been recently awarded major contracts as a part of the ongoing reconstruction of Iraq.(後略)