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Law vs Chaos

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  • #16
    I was under the assumption (after reading "Epic Pooh") that this Law/Chaos axis was in use to steer away from some of the stereotypes of authors such as Lewis and Tolkien.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by JoeD100
      So although they are perceived as the force for 'good', in reality they are almost as vicious and cruel as the forces of chaos.

      - Joe DeAngelo
      They certainly are! In the GW universe anyway!! Death seems to be the Cosmic Balance in WH and 40K. As you've pointed out, however, the latest version acknowledges this. Earlier views on chaos Vs imperium were a bit more black and white, imo. There's a good deal of fiction written about the GW game as well. I've not read much, to be honest, but some of the contributing authors are known and respected writers. I'd imagine that they expand on, and add to, that universe.

      I'd like to think that most of 'em would have read MM sometime!

      The Emperor is a type of antihero, I think. Champion of the race, not of the individual, with a different set of moral values from those of 'the common man'!

      I have a soft spot for GW (except where their prices are concerned!). They provide another route into the worlds of fantasy and imagination. I think they, like other game companies, 'borrowed' a lot of stuff from MM, among others. It's sort of a compliment, in a way, to his huge presence in the genre.

      And I really liked the Elric/EC figures GW made in the late '80s. I wish something more might have come of that. Imagine the fun if they'd done the same thing with the EC books as they did for their LOTR game? Young Kingdom armies, Mabden hordes, Silver Warriors, Eldren..... I'm coming over all martial just thinking about it. - Hey! If the Elric movie takes off...?
      He's well smoked

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Materiakeeper
        I was under the assumption (after reading "Epic Pooh") that this Law/Chaos axis was in use to steer away from some of the stereotypes of authors such as Lewis and Tolkien.
        I've not read 'Epic Pooh', as yet, but the LAW/CHAOS thing certainly set MM aside from others in the genre, for me. When I first read his work, I took law and chaos for good and bad under different titles - as a teenager. After I got older and re-read the works, I began to comprehend them in a different way. Maybe some of the copiers of MMs ideas didn't get round to the re-reading stage?
        He's well smoked

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        • #19
          If you've not read it yet here:

          revolutionsf.com[broken link] Epic Pooh

          I started playing D&D at the age of 7, therefore the understanding of law not being good, and evil not being chaos came almost naturally for me. However I still am in my teens (at least for a few more months). I dunno if the books will mean something else if I ever reread them.
          Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 04:09 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Kipper
            I'd like to think that most of 'em would have read MM sometime!
            I have a soft spot for GW (except where their prices are concerned!). They provide another route into the worlds of fantasy and imagination. I think they, like other game companies, 'borrowed' a lot of stuff from MM, among others. It's sort of a compliment, in a way, to his huge presence in the genre.
            I agree with everything you've said. I would imagine alot of them read some Moorcock, as well as borrowed from him. And yes, I think that it is a compliment to his presence.

            I have a soft spot for GW too. I am not a gamer myself, but I think the setting is really fantastic. Very interesting races with terrific character design and artwork, and frankly pretty damn 'COOL'. I collect some of the books even though I don't play the game (the 4th edition of WH40K is really a beautiful book). I have read a little bit of the fiction novels, and they are OK. Oh, the Dawn of War computer game is very good also!

            - Joe D.

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            • #21
              I always recommend the Rackhir the Red Archer story 'To Rescue Tanelorn...' to anyone who wants to get a feel for Mike's concepts of Law and Chaos. The section where Rackhir passes through the world of (absolute) Law throws into sharp relief the banality and almost nihilism that Law *could* represent at its most extreme. From such a perspective Chaos seems quite attractive.
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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              • #22
                Originally posted by David Mosley
                I always recommend the Rackhir the Red Archer story 'To Rescue Tanelorn...' to anyone who wants to get a feel for Mike's concepts of Law and Chaos. The section where Rackhir passes through the world of (absolute) Law throws into sharp relief the banality and almost nihilism that Law *could* represent at its most extreme. From such a perspective Chaos seems quite attractive.
                Indeed. A very graphic description of hell awaits the reader of that particular story. The grey wastes of Law and their inhabitant - seemingly the only one - who strives to reach a state of absolute negation, are a disturbing vision. As the man describes his vision of pure Law, you begin to understand that he is living in a state of self-focused madness, and, when he dies, this is revealed to be the truth. The greyness is replaced by colour and shape. You are left to try and guess who the man may be, although there are some clues in the narrative to think about. "His great head was noble, firm, and his body was massively built, but the face was twisted in a tortured frown and he did not see them as they approached him." "There is no such thing as self. I am the only reasoning thing in creation - I am almost pure reason.""In the beginning, there was everything - Chaos. I created nothing."
                Pretty mindblowing stuff! I had to re-read the section a couple of times to get my head around it.
                He's well smoked

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Kipper View Post
                  Indeed. A very graphic description of hell awaits the reader of that particular story. The grey wastes of Law and their inhabitant - seemingly the only one - who strives to reach a state of absolute negation, are a disturbing vision. As the man describes his vision of pure Law, you begin to understand that he is living in a state of self-focused madness, and, when he dies, this is revealed to be the truth. The greyness is replaced by colour and shape. You are left to try and guess who the man may be, although there are some clues in the narrative to think about. "His great head was noble, firm, and his body was massively built, but the face was twisted in a tortured frown and he did not see them as they approached him." "There is no such thing as self. I am the only reasoning thing in creation - I am almost pure reason.""In the beginning, there was everything - Chaos. I created nothing."
                  Pretty mindblowing stuff! I had to re-read the section a couple of times to get my head around it.
                  I have tendancy to think of Law & Chaos as opposite elements with various degrees. If one or the other win then the universe in which they're playing they're hand loses. To me they are the ultimate users & abusers converting & perverting those to their causes. Chaos is the creative mutating power in which beautiful change is a possiblity. Its one of a myriad of possible outcomes.Chaos uses the resources around it until there is nothing left. A world where chaos has run its course is as barren as a world ruled by law. Law on the other hand is the guiding force of absolute order & peace. It uses the resources of a world to curb change & bring its idea of order to bear. Those resources can be anything but once used up then the world is washed clean of all its changes & creativity. A barren desert of a place where the silence & stillness of nothing is the final order. These forces we call order & chaos are beyond concepts such as good or evil. Order & Chaos simply are. Anyhow this is only my opinion.

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                  • #24
                    I always liked the destinction from good and evil, they're too clear cut by far!
                    I think Elric illustrates this quite well, fighting for law while using the powers granted by chaos.
                    Must remember as well that the Melniboneans were not always dedicated to chaos, once they served both.
                    Doesn't Mike at some point (I forget where) state that both pure law and pure chaos will eventually result in the same barren desert? Too much chaos cannot sustain life and too much law cannot allow it.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Kipper View Post
                      Indeed. A very graphic description of hell awaits the reader of that particular story. The grey wastes of Law and their inhabitant - seemingly the only one - who strives to reach a state of absolute negation, are a disturbing vision. As the man describes his vision of pure Law, you begin to understand that he is living in a state of self-focused madness, and, when he dies, this is revealed to be the truth. The greyness is replaced by colour and shape. You are left to try and guess who the man may be, although there are some clues in the narrative to think about. "His great head was noble, firm, and his body was massively built, but the face was twisted in a tortured frown and he did not see them as they approached him." "There is no such thing as self. I am the only reasoning thing in creation - I am almost pure reason.""In the beginning, there was everything - Chaos. I created nothing."
                      Pretty mindblowing stuff! I had to re-read the section a couple of times to get my head around it.
                      I always liked that story as well. And, I too found it disturbing, or maybe dislocating, when I first read it. Given that my first pages of Elric introduced me to Arioch, Duke of Hell and a lord of Chaos, I had come to associate Law with 'good.' The concept of the logical extension of law being stagnation was really quite eye-opening and has served me well in my chosen profession. In the end, while the champion takes an eternal beating, maybe the sight of the scales is something approaching breaking even.

                      Kevin McCabe
                      Kevin McCabe
                      The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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                      • #26
                        I should throw into this discussion the end of The War Amongst the Angels. The war casts all of the familiar players of law and chaos into sometimes unfamiliar roles.

                        The Multiverse comic also gets at these same ideas.

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