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Demons with wardpacts / Young Kingdoms sorcery

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Well, it's no surprise that Golom is the only character I like in LOTR.
    Chaos always attracts the romantic spirit. Law is necessary to contain it. Another paradigm, really. When writing you need Law (narrative, structure) to support the Chaos of complex character, ongoing inspiration and so on.

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  • Dean
    replied
    Too funny! Yep, you most certainly did invent the concept of a wardpact. Oh, and the concepts of "Law" "Neutrality" and "Chaos" in that little ole roleplaying game called Dungeons and Dragons...not to mention a half-dozen other concepts and ideas that are part of the foundation of fantasy games. I hate to say it, but you are a living legend.

    As far as gaming and the Elric metaphysic, I think the Stormbringer and Elric games did a fair job of capturing the metaphysic of Law, Chaos and the Balance with the introduction of the "allegiance" system. A character could accumulate "points" in all three "forces." An allegiance only developed, however, if one "force" significantly out weighed the other and the individual accepted the allegiance to that particular force. Thus morality was the choice of the character ( and by extension, the player). One could be closely aligned with Law but still be an "evil" individual.

    I think the Lords of Law tended to come across as more benevolent than the Lords of Chaos in the Eternal Champion series. There is a tendency to think of the Lords of Law as "Good" and the Lords of Chaos as "Evil." "Blood and Souls for Lord Arioch" or referring to the Lords of Chaos as "Dukes of Hell" being typical examples of this conceit.

    Having said that, I think some passages in the novels clearly pointed out the dangers of too much Law on a plane (the ultimate in stagnation) and clearly, the shiftless, insane 'chaosplasm' at the edge of the world was a warning against complete Chaos. The Balance, or as close to it as you can get, came across as the ideal state of existence.

    In gaming, very few players would cleave to the Balance. Most are depraved, twisted Chaos lovin' freaks. Then again, maybe that's just my crowd...
    Last edited by Dean; 04-02-2007, 07:03 PM. Reason: clarifying a sentence.

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  • Skafloc
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
    Eeek. I suppose I'd be better off rereading my own work, but I almost never do, unless there's a reason like the current one.

    Glad to be of service Mr M.



    Skafloc:)

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Eeek. Thanks, Scafloc! As I said earlier, I haven't reread that book yet. I'm only rereading them now for the first time as they are prepared for press! I appreciate your pointing that out. I suppose I'd be better off rereading my own work, but I almost never do, unless there's a reason like the current one.

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  • Skafloc
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
    I'm really not trying to rain on anyone's parade here, but I never had anything like wardpacts in my stories, so I gather the phrase is incorporated from gaming!
    Mr M, this is taken from The Vanishing Tower- written by yourself, chapter 4 ( Punishment of the Burning God):
    "I warn thee," hissed the demon," I cannot be slain by a sword-not even that sword.It is my wardpact."
    Elric also explains to Moonglum:
    "And this is a strong demon-for he is a representative of all demons who would mass with him to preserve his wardpact."

    So there is the concept of a wardpact in one of your tales,and you used/created the term 'wardpact'.

    Skafloc
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-30-2007, 02:15 PM.

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I think it's fair to say they are both control freaks! Grey Lords are about the only ones who aren't characteristically like that!

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  • Morgan Kane
    replied
    A game systeme in which law and chaos would be flexible ?

    More near the universe and more than interesting !

    Chaosium Game fixed the principles but nothing prevents the game master to change things.

    One common point beetwen chaos and law : they seem greedy for power and the more powerfull they rare, the more greedy they seem.

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I'm really not trying to rain on anyone's parade here, but I never had anything like wardpacts in my stories, so I gather the phrase is incorporated from gaming! For me both Chaos and Law are flexible positions -- you can have evil Law (Miggea is an example) or good Chaos. Creatures from either side can help Elric on occasion, even though he and his people's loyalty is to the Lords of Chaos (eternal possibility) and not to the Lords of Law (fixed rules).
    So it seems to me that by having fixed rules, you're playing Law's game throughout ? If this is necessary in order to play games, I say fair enough, but I'm curious about whether the Elric metaphysics have to be simplified in order to work in games. I'll also readily admit that in the earlier stories there was a much stronger association with Law and Good and Chaos and Evil, since I hadn't begun to create the more sophisticated take on the system which grew with the writing of the books. Anyway, I'm just curious!

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  • Dean
    replied
    I assumed that because of the eternal tension between Law and Chaos, and agreements reached by the Laws of the Higher Worlds, wardpacts had certain rules or conditions. I think these conditions could be extrapolated from the demon's behavior and comments. I assumed it had an obligation to warn anybody who sought to harm it. The aggressor would have to proceed at the individual's own peril and such a pact could only be invested in an embodied demon on that plane of existence. I assumed it was a rare investment and probably very costly to the sorcerer- maybe too costly and that's why we see a rare occurence- that one instance- of a wardpact.

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  • Skafloc
    replied
    Originally posted by cseljos View Post
    Dear Mike --
    IOf course, this line of thinking causes me to wonder why the Chaos Lords whom Elric banished when he arrived in Pan Tang had not "invested" in wardpacts of their own to protect them from Stormbringer and Elric. Arioch, at least, knew about wardpacts, since he assumed the place of demon guarding Urish's hoard before Elric returned with Rakhir to attempt to destroy the demon.

    Thank You,

    -- Charlie
    Maybe wardpacts are only for the use of mortal beings such as humans and demons. The terms being agreed upon by the gods and the Balance at R'lin K' ren a'a? Any Lords of the higher worlds trying to run a wardpact past the rules enforced by the Balance would end up destroyed (like Xiombarg who gets annihilated in the Corum books for transgressing the rules).

    Skafloc

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  • Phil Neville
    replied
    Originally posted by cseljos
    As amoral (if not outright malevolent) entities I would imagine that a demon would not voluntarily reveal the fact that it had a wardpact against a particular weapon, so that it might trick a potential enemy into attacking it with that weapon, and thereby destroy him or her.
    Maybe the demon in question is just a bit thick

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I don't mean to sound glib but I haven't read Vanishing Tower yet. I haven't read it since I wrote it. I'll probably read it to prepare the new Del Rey edition. I never wrote down much about my supernatural 'system' and tend to draw on whatever I need pretty much unconsciously. With luck, I'll remember when I read it.

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  • cseljos
    started a topic Demons with wardpacts / Young Kingdoms sorcery

    Demons with wardpacts / Young Kingdoms sorcery

    Dear Mike --

    I have long been interested in the "rules" of various magical systems in stories of heroic fantasy. While re-reading "The Vanishing Tower," I thought of a question about the magical system in the Elric saga, and thought I'd pose it to you.

    When Elric encounters the demon guarding the beggar king Urish's hoard, the demon announces that it has a wardpact that protects it from swords, "even that sword" (referring, of course, to Stormbringer).

    As amoral (if not outright malevolent) entities I would imagine that a demon would not voluntarily reveal the fact that it had a wardpact against a particular weapon, so that it might trick a potential enemy into attacking it with that weapon, and thereby destroy him or her. Am I to surmise that as a condition of having (being conjured with) a wardpact, a demon *must* state that it has one when confronted by a potential adversary?

    I understand that when you created the demon in question, you may have simply created the wardpact as a plot device, so that Elric could not simply defeat the demon with Stormbringer; you may not have been thinking about the "rules" of your magical system (although I found them to be remarkably consistent throughout the saga). Of course, this line of thinking causes me to wonder why the Chaos Lords whom Elric banished when he arrived in Pan Tang had not "invested" in wardpacts of their own to protect them from Stormbringer and Elric. Arioch, at least, knew about wardpacts, since he assumed the place of demon guarding Urish's hoard before Elric returned with Rakhir to attempt to destroy the demon.

    Thank You,

    -- Charlie
    Last edited by cseljos; 01-17-2007, 05:00 PM.
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