And to them I won’t need to explain why a long-overdue reissue, titled Elric: The Stealer of Souls. Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melniboné. Publishing History (US). Trade Paperback, Del Rey, pp., ISBN: , 19 Feb , Cover by John Picacio. etsos_delrjpg. The Stealer of Souls, a short story by Michael Moorcock, featuring Elric, the albino prince of Melniboné and his companion, Moonglum of.
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First published in Science Fantasy 51 Februarythe periodical edited by John Carnellwho originally encouraged Moorcock to produce his early Elric stories.
Accompanied by Moonglum, Elric is staying in Bakshaanwhere he plans to fleece four rich merchants,  who have hired him to eliminate a powerful rival – Nikorn of Ilmar. K’aarna has managed to get rid of Yishana’s subsequent lovers, but his passion for her means she is the dominant partner in their relationship. Although he is greeted with respect by his countrymen, they also regard him with suspicion and hatred.
However, Nikorn decides that the enfeebled Elric is no threat to him and, upon receiving an undertaking that the albino will make no further attempt on his life, lets him go although Stormbringer will remain in K’aarna’s custody.
Tvar stops Moonglum from rushing to assist his friend so as not to give away steaoer army’s position. When Elric eventually stumbles to their hiding place, he tells his comrades that he still has a plan to attack the fortress.
The diminutive Moonglum is sent into the castle with a message for Queen Yishana – that Elric will renew their relationship if she returns Stormbringer to him. She successfully inveigles the key to the runesword from a wearied Theleb K’aarna, and when reunited with the black blade, Elric summons the Lasshaar to aid his assault; but remembering his promise to Nikon, Elric orders the army not to harm the merchant. However, Dyvim Tvar has a premonition of his own doom.
Elric of Melniboné
Divining that Elric has called wind elementals, K’aarna summons fire elementals to counter-attack the Lasshaar. Before dawn, while the army attacks the castle, the elementals wage their own unseen, but still felt, battle overhead. Inside the castle, Elric is saved from a chance decapitation by Tvar who dies in the process.
Overhead, there is silence as K’aarna’s fire elementals are defeated by the Wind Lords. Leaving the palace, Elric is attacked by Nikorn who accuses him of breaking their agreement, and although Elric is reluctant to fight him, Stormbringer sudden pulls itself free of his grip and strikes Nikorn fatally.
Elric: The Stealer of Souls by Michael Moorcock
Returning to the city to meet Yishana at the Tavern of the Purple DoveElric is bemused by the merchants sudden generosity but – after taking his pick of Pilarmo’s spoils – instructs them to deliver the gold to the army. As Elric, Moonglum and Yishana ride out of Bakshaan, a dragon-shaped shadow moves across the face of the sun before vanishing.
Despite being the first time we are introduced to the sorcerer from Pan Tang a locale previously only mentioned in passing at the conclusion of The Dreaming City he is clearly established as an arch-enemy of Elric.
His entire motivation for attacking Elric is fear of what Elric will do to him. In other words, offence is the best defence.
Indeed, his first instinct when he learns that Elric is in the same city as him is to leave, and it is only the refusal of Yishana to flee that stops him.
His final words to Elric: There is no triumphalism for Elric in defeating his foe, for he is hardly worth defeating any more. Yishana, on the other hand, is a different conundrum entirely. Moorcock describes her as: She is concerned solely with her own sexual gratification and only agrees to recover Stormbringer because Elric promises to recommence their liaison afterwards.
Yishana is the sister of Dharmit of Jharkorwhose ship was sunk by the catapults of Imrryr. Retrieved from ” index.
Short Stories Elric Stories.
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