Category:Lords of Chaos

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The Lords of Chaos have the powers of gods but the behaviour, and often the appearance, of demons. When they appear at their worst, they deliberately inflict pain and suffering on mortals for amusement; even at best, they are not concerned with the harmful effects of their creations. In The Revenge of the Rose Arioch is portrayed as insane. Sorcerers often gain power by entering into diabolical pacts with the Lords of Chaos . Mortals who ally with Disorder gradually become misshapen or corrupt.

The Lords of Chaos are sometimes restricted from acting directly against humans. In The Queen of the Swords, for instance, it is said that Xiombarg is not permitted to strike directly against others unless they attack her but must act through intermediaries. At other times they may act without prohibition (as for example when Elric calls upon the aid of Arioch; the god may attack mortals without hesitation). They are also restricted in their ability to move between planes. For instance, Arioch must be summoned by Elric before he can manifest on Earth.

In the Elric stories, there are many Lords of Chaos, some more powerful than others, but the relationships between them is not always clear. In The Last Enchantment during the Time of the Change there is a gathering of nine Lords of Chaos one of whom is Teshwan. In Corum’s world, by contrast, there is a well-developed hierarchy of Chaos. The Fifteen Planes are divided into three groups of five planes, each governed by one of the three Sword Rulers, Arioch ("Knight of Swords"), Xiombarg ("Queen of Swords"), and Mabelode ("the Faceless", "King of Swords"). These gods also appear in the Elric series, but their character is slightly different. Arioch, the first for Corum to encounter is the weakest of the three. He appears for much of the time as brutish, crude and direct, in contrast to his sophisticated, subtle nature as Elric’s patron and perhaps less intelligent though he also shows a different form to Corum. The crudity may be a result of interaction between him and the Mabden. Xiombarg appears as a beautiful woman. She is more powerful and is more active in controlling and manipulating the planes under her control. However her anger when aroused leads to her downfall. Mabelode, is most powerful of all. Much of his realm is constantly changing chaos-stuff. He appears as a literally faceless man bearing a golden sword.

The Sword Rulers have vassals; it is possible that similar relationships exist between the deities in Elric’s world though this is not made explicit. Arioch’s vassals include Urleh, a minor god of Chaos serving the sophisticated Mabden of Lwym-an-Esh; and the Dog and the Horned Bear, the savage beast-gods of the barbarians. A former priest of Urleh tells Corum that these gods are omnipotent and omniscient only over their spheres of influence; the Dog and the Bear are knowledgeable chiefly about Mabden affairs. Mabelode has a host of Dukes of Hell under him, but the only one named is Duke Teer. He has a vaguely pig-like head and takes great pride in his Castle Built of Blood.

Mentioned in

This is an Index of the Lords of Chaos appearing in fiction by Michael Moorcock.

Pages in category "Lords of Chaos"

The following 20 pages are in this category, out of 20 total.