Elric belongs to a race of extra-dimensional elf-like beings from the island of Melniboné. Unlike his people Elric feels remorse and is not it all delighted by their cruelty. This is due to his tragic birth which lead to the death of his mother, which was his father's true love (a rare thing among Melniboneans).
Because Elric was born as an albino, his father believed it to be a curse placed upon them for not sacrificing any women upon his birth as Melnibonean tradition called for. As Elric grew his father distanced himself from him and he took shelter in books from which he learned of feelings and outward emotions.
After his father's passing, Elric became the leader of his people, a thing he despised as he sees his kingdom as weak and dying. During the his reign Elric fell in love with Cymoril (who was also his cousin, something natural among his people) however Cymoril's brother Yyrkoon had other ideas for his sister and the throne.
Battle for the Throne
It would not be long before Yyrkoon was unsatisfied with Elric ruling over their capital city Imrryr. Thus when several humans attack, Yyrkoon accompanied Elric to the battle only to wait until his cousin had no more strength left and he pushed him off the edge of the boat knowing the water will do it's part.
However Elric, survived by the ancient pact his people had with the Elemental Lords, particularly the lord of water who is very fond of Elric. Upon his return Elric, witnessed Yyrkoon trying to take the throne, who was just surprised as anyone to see him alive.
Do to his Melnibonean physiology Elric has natural longevity, affinity for magic and is genetically pure. However do to his albinism his stamina is severely reduced and he can't engage in long combat without succumbing to fatigue. Previously to obtaining Stormbringer, Elric used a combination of several spells and drugs to maintained his stamina. He once made use of an elixir with the same capabilities but he feared becoming addicted to it.
Elric is also a skilled magician as much as his people were in his prime but he has called upon several Elemental Lords to save his life and extra-dimensional beings. The stronger the spell the longer he must concentrate, however his powers are weakened if he travels to another dimension.
After obtaining Stormbringer, Elric became one the most feared swordsmen in the world. He is capable of going face to face with some the most powerful demons, demigods and entities by relying on the soul sucking sword which in turn feed him stolen energies. While one hit from Stormbringer is enough to kill a mortal a demon or any other higher entity requires more than that. However Elric also gains powers from them. The complication is that Elric is shown to be under possession from absorbing demonic energies.
Elric in Non-book/comic Media
There have been talks of an Elric movie for decades, but nothing has ever moved past being a rumor.
- Blue Oyster Cult released the song Black Blade in 1980, which featured lyrics by Moorcock.
- Michael Moorcock collaborated with the British band Hawkwind multiple times, even releasing the albums Chronicle of the Black Sword and Warriors at the End of Time.
- Domine, an Italian metal band, bases a large part of their music on Elric and his adventures.
- Chaosium created a line of "Stormbringer" games featuring the realms of Elric, Hawkmoon, and Corum. The series was ended because of disagreements between Moorcock and the Publisher.
- Chaosium later released "Elric!", which had very few differences.
- Mongoose released an addition to Runequest called "Elric of Melnibone.