History of Melniboné

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Arrival - 2,000BF


The Mernii people migrate through the dimensions and arrive in the world that would become that of the Young Kingdoms. They are a race free from the worship of Gods.

Either during this journey, or after arriving in their new world, they lose contact with their kin, the Ph'oorn, a race of dragons. An ancient heirloom of the royal line is the Actorios, or dragon stone. Some of the Mernii are either separated or depart to search for other lands. One group form the settlement of R'lin K'ren A'a in the interior of a tropical continent and contact with the two groups are lost.

The main branch of the Mernii are a maritime race who have a fleet of ships capable of moving their whole population. Ashore they are skilled hunter-gathers. Probably at this time they have no domesticated horses. Metallurgy is sufficient to make swords and ornaments. Dwellings resemble tall tepees, the largest one incorporating the King and his throne.

The Actorios is stolen by a northern giant and attempts to find and retrieve it fail. In a period prior to to the main branch of the Mernii arriving at the future site of Imrryr, one of their heroes makes use of the Ship Which Sails Over Land and Sea.

Also early in the their history the royal line receives the two swords, Stormbringer and Mournblade from the Nihrain. They are subsequently able to drive the Dead Gods from the realm of mortals.

At some stage since the loss of the Actorios some of the royal line make use of horses.

The Black Blades pass out of the hands of the Mernii, Stormbringer is taken into the possession of the Pukwadji people. The Mernii later trade for the Black Blades' return, some while after this the Mernii King’s brother, the trickster White Crow, is banished from his people's encampment.

The Mernii plan to have the sword ready for an act of sorcery to summon the sundered Phoorn to them by utilizing the Actorios stone, should it be recovered in time. The Pukwadji, futily demand the return of the Black Blade, fearing their patron, Grome’s, anger and perhaps having an inclining of the sword’s nature and destiny.

Their demands rejected, they utilize a pact with Grome and persuade him to imprison the Mernii fleet under the earth. The Mernii find themselves landlocked and unable to migrate. A state of guerrilla warfare develops between the two peoples.

The Mernii settle and found Imrryr. (Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer - Book 1)

White Crow (and the dream spirit of Elric , who inhabits his body for a year) intercedes in the dispute and uses sorcery, field craft and guile to find and recover the Actorios stone.

A plot to usurp the throne by a traitor is prevented by White Crow’s use of the Black Blade (simultaneously thwarting a synchronistic attempt against the dreaming Elric some twelve thousand years later into the nation’s future). As a suitable time of conjunction in the spheres of the cosmos approaches, the Mernii king is then free to use the Black Blade and the dragon stone in an act which breaches the dimensions.

The Phoorn are re-united with the Mernii , one of them, Flamefang, making a special pact with White Crow and his descendants. The Black Blade is returned to Grome’s keeping who returns the impounded fleet to the Mernii. The Earth King makes a pact with the Mernii who then decide to settle permanently on the island their encampment now stands on. A new peace is made between the Merni and the Pukwadji which lasts for some two thousand years.

The Mernii use sorcery to develop the local volcanic cave system into a ‘city’ for the Phoorn.

By the reign of Queen Shyrix'x IX, Imrryr is a large city port protected by its sea-maze.

The folk of Imrryr include fishermen. Some sport tattoos and are quite outspoken and familiar, even towards the Queen’s champion.

By this time the Falkryn have coveted Imryyr’s power for a long time.

1,009 BF ( approx )

Melniboné‎ans use a force of Phoorn dragons against a force of the Falkryn.

During the next few years the World’s oceans shrink due to the actions of Duke Artigkern of Chaos. Straasha, is powerless to oppose the Chaos Duke who is holding the ‘lord of waters’ own ‘sister’ as a hostage.

2,000BF to 1,998BF (approx )

Elric’s two year Dream of Water allows him to meld with his silverskin ancestor, White Crow, the Queen’s Champion.

The Falkryn horde capture the now landlocked Imrryr and are able to put the renegade Melnibonean, Wild Dog, on the throne. Duke Arioch however turns against his Falkryn protégé, the warlord sorceror Agras Ti, and aids White Crow to escape.

The Falkryn horde leaves the city with its loot and Wild Dog is left to wage a war against a guerrilla force led by White Crow and Queen Shyrix'x.

Worse yet for the usurper, Artigkern refuses to leave off from his draining of the World’s oceans.

Wild Dog finally manages to capture Shyrix’x and White Crow is finally forced into the most desperate of measures. He summons Arioch who aids him in defeating Wild Dog. This action gives the Duke of Chaos a presence in the world and a compact which he aims to consolidate.

The Melnibonéan heroes manage to trick Artigkern and rescue King Straasha’s sister. They use a flight of dragons to destroy the Duke’s presence on earth. Straasha gratefully pledges his aid to Melnibone.

Over the coming centuries Straasha’s support is of great help and the maritime mercantile power of Melniboné thrives.

Presumably other Melnibonéan cities, such as H'hui'shan, do not exist at the time of ‘Wild Dog’s’ usurption, certainly they do not seem to figure in any of the strategies used by the combatants of this period. Possibly they are not built until the reign of King Feneric ?

Arioch and the Black Blade continue to both aid and corrupt Melniboné throughout its history. The blade is however, eventually banished and unused for some centuries before the reign of King Feneric. (Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer - Book II)

800BF ( Approx date. Ignores 2,000AF date suggested by MM)

Melniboné has economic ascendancy throughout the Old Kingdoms. Some Melnibonéan warriors use horse drawn chariots.

Period of Elric VIII’s Five Year Dream of Air where he merges with his ancestor, Prince Silverskin. (Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer - Book III)


Ederic, King Feneric’s brother, schemes to seize the throne and uses sorcery to help co-erce the winged folk of Myyrrhn into assisting his secret allies, the Greenmen of Karasim.

An aerial raid on Imrryr inflicts some damage and the King’s heir, Prince Silverskin, is kidnapped.

Feneric marshals a force which he leads to the World's Edge to confront the Karasim, leaving his brother as regent. As soon as the expedition leaves Melniboné Ederic proves himself a cruel and harsh tyrant. Federic’s journey takes some two years. Unbeknown to him the Myyrrhn have rescued Silverskin from execution but have kept him in captivity.


Silverskin escapes but finds himself in peril in the limbo of the Middlemarch. Arioch rescues Silverskin by giving him the black blade. Silverskin however refuses to continue to carry the blade. Arioch then appraises the Prince of his uncle’s treachery and offers to provider further help.

Arioch sends Silverskin to the World’s Edge where he learns of his father’s defeat and capture in battle. Undaunted he enters the city of Karasim but is himself captured.

Despite his father’s advice , he decides to invoke Arioch’s aid. Armed with the Black Sword he is able to rescue his father and other Melnibonean captives as well as the Myyrrhn hostage, Princess Dela-Fwaar.

During their escape the Melnibonéans torch the fleet of flying ships used by the Karasim and Silverskin is persuaded to rid himself of the infamous Black Blade.


The fugitive Melnibonéans are corned by the persuing Karasim in the Melmane Marshes. Silverskin summons Arioch , who gifts him with the Black Blade. The Myyrrhn, now freed of their hated alliance with King Minak’s Karasim, arrive to help the beleagured Melnibonéans defeat the Greenmen. Silverskin once again refuses to keep possession of the Black Blade.

Returning to Imrryr, the King and his party confront Ederic, who is actually scheming to have them poisoned. The intervention of Princess Dela-Fwaar, reveals Ederic’s plots. She releases the Queen of the South wind, a powerful elemental who Ederic had kept a captive through his sorcery in order to secure the use of the air elementals who had aided the Karasim to a mountain peak and pledged her support to the Silverskin’s line.

It is likely that Prince Silverskin, on succeeding his father, took a harder line with the nations of mankind. He may have compacted fully with Arioch and taken the Black Blade into his possession.

The Black Blade once more passes into the keeping of King Grome.


King Elrik is persuaded to temper his previous ideas on the use of power by his sister, and co-ruler, the ‘silverskin’ Queen Asrid. She persuades him to travel amongst the New Tribes of the west on a diplomatic mission. Melniboné is mistrusted by these New Tribes, but the Pukwadji remain her old ally. By now golden quiremes are being manufactured. The city, as yet, does not have the sea-maze that will guard it in its Imperial years.

Period of Elric’s Ten Year Dream of Fire, he merges with King Elrik.


Elrik learns of Tanelorn from a wisewoman and decides to locate and visit it.


Elrik, whilst seeking Tanelorn encounters King Grome. Grome has had the Black Blade stolen from his care and needs Elrik to try and recover it. He transports Elrik to Tanelorn, where the King is advised by the Grey Lords to seek the Gorge of Nihrain. During the King’s wanderings the Queen vanishes and an armoured usurper who holds the Black Blade takes Melniboné’s throne.

Over the next few years the Melnibonéans send expeditions against the West to acquire loot and slaves. Many cities are razed by dragon-fire and the Pukwadji civilization is obliterated. An Empire is founded and tribute is demanded of various tribes.


Elrik finds Nihrain where Sepiriz and the Fire Elders advice him to seek the Black Sword in Melniboné.

Elrik returns to Melniboné but is discovered. The pursuing dragon sent after him however, proves to be Flamefang who recognises the King as an aspect of his bonded brother and spares him. The King locates the former lord of the Dragon Caves, Dyvim Karm, and the two proceed to forge an alliance amongst the New Tribes of the West.


King Elrik invades Imrryr with the aid of the Western barbarians,. He slays the mysterious usurper ’Black Armour’ using Stormbringer, only to discover that he has slain his possessed sister. The barbarians prove treacherous and torch the city but are routed when Elrik unleashes the Phoorn dragon, Flamefang, against them. Elrik invokes the Fire Elders , who prevent the conflagration of the city. He returns the Black Sword to their keeping, swearing that it will never be borne by his line again.

Embittered against the New Tribes, Elrik makes a compact with Arioch and Chaos and decides to expand Melniboné’s new empire. End of Elric’s Ten Year Dream of Fire. (Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer - Book IV ).

Presumably he becomes the Emperor Elrik or takes another name. I have discounted using the years of usurpation by ’Black Armour’ as marking the official start of the Bright Empire.

Sometime in his reign some of the previously sundered Mernii folk arrive in Melniboné. They are incorporated into the population of the Island and the Emperor marries one of their noble line.*

  • ‘I am Elric, and I am the four-hundred-and-twenty-eight Emperor of the folk of R'lin K'ren A'’a, who landed upon the dragon Isle ten thousdand years ago.‘

Those still loyal to their earlier principles hold to the Balance and choose to live in the city of A'sha'haii.The Sailor on the Seas of Fate, Book 2, Chapter 5.


Three days of battle sees the Melnibonéans still loyal to the Balance defeated by the Melnibonéans who are pacted with Chaos,. The city of A’sha’haii is destroyed and never rebuilt.

The line of Emperors receives and uses the Two Black Swords at some stage of the Bright Empire. The line loses possession of them at some stage, though they are believed to end up with the Chaos God Arioch, who becomes known as ‘The Keeper of the Two Black Swords‘.

2,000AF approx.

Attempt to remove the Imperial capital to the Fishers’ Isle ends in the death of an Emperor and the ruby throne is returned to Imrryr. ( RW in Chaosium’ Purple Towns source book. )

4,000AF approx.

A line of ‘Silver Kings’ bring ‘greatness and honour’ to the Empire. (Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer, Book 1 ) Possibly during this time there is a phase of inter planar expeditions and conquests ?

6,000AF approx.

Conquest of the Eastern Lands populated by the Menestrai, the descendants of balance-aligned escapees from the Melnibonean civil war . ( LW in RPG material. )

8,000AF approx.

War with the rebellious human city of Quarzhasaat which seeks to form its own empire. Disastrous sorcery misused by the Quazhasaatim creates the Sighing Desert and obliterates their outlying realm. The Melnibonéans return to their introspection.


Accession of Terhali the Green Empress of Melniboné. She establishes the Golden city of Yagala as her new capital.

8,800AF approx.

Sorcerer Matik of Melniboné creates the vulture lions.


After a reign of six hundred and five years, the Empress Terhali is defeated by the sorcery of her enemies. Under an enchanted sleep, she is entombed in her city of Yagala. The whole city is then projected out of Melniboné and into another realm. For added security it is girdled with enchanted barriers and partially drowned in a body of water, later known as the Sighing Lake.

Her son Gadric XI succeeds her and Arioch is restored as the main patron of Melniboné.

During his reign the moody Emperor seeks to pit the Young Kingdoms at strife against each other so that none become a strong enough power to pose a significant threat.

9,400AF approx.

( A ’thousand years’ ago from Elric’s time)

The Dhazi Lords are presumed to have perished.

9,500AF approx.

Chaos Gods turn their patronage to Pan Tang. ( RW in ‘Sorcerers of Pan Tang .)

9,840AF approx.

Earl Saxif D'Aan leaves Melniboné, never to return.


Lormyrians are first of the Young Kingdoms to achieve full independence from the Bright Empire.

9800AF approx.

A piece of dragon ivory from one of the original Phoorn which travelled to the world is smuggled out of Imryrr. ( A Portrait in Ivory, II )


Birth of Prince Elric. Over the coming years Emperor Sadric LXXXVI undertakes long and distant dragon flights through the multiverse. (The Skrayling Tree).


Prince Elric starts to learn the mystic pathways and geometry of Melniboné.


Prince Elric starts to learn the arts of a Dragon Master. (The Revenge of the Rose)


Prince Elric ,aged fifteen, has by now read all the books in his father’s library.


Sadric determines that Elric must prove his ability to succeed to the throne by defeating Prince Yyrkoon in a series of duels performed whilst on a series of dream quests. ( Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer ).

Sadric oversees Elric’s final initiation in the arts of Melnibone. The young heir is taken to the Realm of Chaos for an audience with Arioch. (The Singing Citadel, 4 )


Death of Sadric, coronation of Elric III.


A Vilmirian pirate fleet is destroyed by Imryyr’s dragons.

Later that year a raiding Dorelite fleet is exterminated by the Imyrrian navy. Yyrkoon takes the opportunity to try to kill and usurp Elric. Failing, Yyrkoon flees taking Cymoril with him.

After four months without any news of the renegade, Elric manages to summon Duke Arioch of Chaos to aid him. Magum Colim is appointed regent whilst Elric summons a supernatural vessel to take a small force to attack Yyrkoon in his lair at Dhoz-Kam. Elric rescues Cymoril and recovers the Black Sword, Stormbringer, from limbo. Yyrkoon is spared.


Yyrkoon awarded regency as Elric leaves to explore the Young Kingdoms.


Yyrkoon declares Elric dead. Masks become fashionable at court and a new palace is created. Elric returns and prevents Yrykoon’s intended wedding to Cymoril, Elric’s betrothed. ( ERtM )

Yyrkoon however is able to thwart Elric and once more Cymoril is cast into an enchanted sleep. Elric ends up in exile again and Yyrkoon takes the throne.

Elric returns with a reiver fleet of six hundred ships from various Young Kingdoms . Imrryr is sacked and destroyed.

The remaining Melnibonéans quit the ruins of their city and become mercenaries and freebooters ‘infamous for their cold good manners and edgy pride’ in the armies of the Young Kingdoms.

A few ‘mad old men who knew how to do nothing else’ remain to tend to the dragons‘ ( A Portrait in Ivory, II )


A small mercenary force of Melnibonéans are hired by the King of the Uyt. All save their captain, Dyvim Mar, perish or are captured in the ruined city of Soom. Elric joins a second expedition, which includes Dyvim Mar. The King of the Uyt, and some of the mercenaries are rescued from become occult sacrifices.


A Melnibonéan lover of Queen Yishana of Jharkor is murdered by Theleb K'aarna.


Gaynor fights Elric in the ruins of Melniboné. Gaynor manages to rouse the dragons of Imrryr but the Phoorn refuse to serve him. ( The Dreamthief's Daughter )

Dyvim Tvar leads a force of Imrryrian mercenaries in the Vilmirian civil war and pillages several towns, subsequently the two hundred strong company enter Ilmiora. They are led by Elric in the sack of a castle outside Bakshaan, during the assault Dyvim Tvar is slain.

Later in the year , Dyvim Slorm, Tvar’s heir, and a group of a hundred and fifty sell-swords journey to Rignariom to aid the pretender to the throne of Vilmir. A message reached en-route from Elric has them divert their attention to Terarn Gashtek’s eastern horde. Using sorcery the Dragon Masters speedily return to the Dragon Caves where five dragons are roused and are used to destroy the Flamebringers at Ilmiora’s borders.


Imrryrian mercenaries led by Dvyim Slorm raid the Shazaar borderlands. They later join in the alliance formed by Yishana of Jharkor but suffer defeat at Sequa.

The surviving freebooters remain loyal to Elric and his allies and perish on land and sea in the coming months.

The Dragon Isle remains untouched by the tide of chaos which infests the rest of the ocean. Elric visit’s the dragon caves and uses the Horn of Fate to rouse the hundred or so dragons present. The dragons fight against the army of Chaos, during which battle Dyvim Slorm perishes. The surviving dragons seek another world leaving the doomed world to be reshaped.