Ulrich von Bek

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The Graf Ulrich von Bek

An incarnation of the Eternal Champion. Heir to his father's estates in Bek.

After being involved in the sack of Magdeburg, and becoming greatly disillusioned with humanity and himself, von Bek entered into a bargain with Lucifer to find and bring back to him the Holy Grail. If he was successful Von Bek, as his part of the deal, would gain possession of his own soul and negotiated the same for the Lady Sabrina, with whom he had fallen in love. On his way to Ammendorf he first encountered Johannes Klosterheim and Grigory Petrovich Sedenko. Sedenko would become his companion, while Klosterheim was to pursue him until he neared the very end of his quest. After meeting the Wildgrave in Ammendorf, he and Sedenko were sent to meet Philander Groot, who listened to Ulrich's story and told him where the Grail might be found. Crossing most of western Europe and much of the Mittelmarch, during which their lives were threatened several times, some of them by Klosterheim and his men who had been supplied by Arioch, von Bek and Sedenko seemed to have reached the end of their travels in the city of Bakinax but were saved by Philander Groot. Groot helped them reach the Forest on the Edge of Heaven but both he and Sedenko were killed by the Forces of Hell. Von Bek eventually found the cottage where Sabrina lived and was given the Holy Grail. When he left the Forest on the Edge of Heaven he found the Forces of Hell still waiting for him but they were dispersed by the power of the Grail. Returning to Lucifer's castle, the bargain was fulfilled and he returned to his ancestral lands of Bek and married Sabrina. Dictated his memoirs on his deathbed.

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Ulrich von Bek

In The Dragon in the Sword took the alias Mederic of Draachenheem.

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About Ulric(h) von Bek[1]

There is something curious about Ulrich von Bek.

The Dreamthief's Daughter is about Ulric von Bek, who was living in the 1930s and at odds with Nazism. He's locked up in a concentration camp in 1935, but soon escapes and thereafter has heroic adventures alongside Elric, an Eternal Champion, and falls in love with the elfin Oona.

Meanwhile, The Dragon in the Sword is about Ulrich von Bek, who was living in the 1930s and at odds with Nazism. He's locked up in a concentration camp at some unknown time, is freed in 1938, and then escapes into the Middle Marches in 1939 after he tries to kill Hitler and thereafter has heroic adventures alongside Erekosë, an Eternal Champion, and falls in love with the elfin Alissard.

So, how are these two stories reconciled?

It might be said they happened to two different members of the von Bek family.

Alternatively, it could be said they happened on different planes of the multiverse, as Moorcock makes some point in The Dreamthief's Daughter about how stories are slightly different on different worlds.

A third answer might be that both stories really occurred: in The Dreamthief's Daughter, Ulric and Oona leave the plane in 1935 and return in 1940, leaving time for an Ulrich who simultaneously did not leave the plane to have his other adventures.

Alternatively in a fourth answer. Elric enters von Bek's story when his daughter, Oona, sends him on a dreamquest into von Bek's world. Von Bek later repeats some of Oona's philosophy, saying, "It seems we were all fated to live identical lives in billions of counterrealities, rarely able to change our stories, yet constantly striving to do so. Occasionally, one of us was successful, and it was the effort to change the story which somehow helped maintain the balance of the universe ..." (p.125). Thus, perhaps the original von Bek story once happened, but by introducing Elric's dreamquest, Oona managed to change the story.

Notes

  1. Edited version of ShannonA's post[1] on the Xenagia forum