Erekosë is a character in author Michael Moorcock's fantasy novel The Eternal Champion. He is an incarnation of Moorcock's character the Eternal Champion, and is unique among those incarnations in that he can remember his previous lives, something that frequently causes him great distress.
Erekosë appears as a lead character in three Moorcock novels and a graphic novel:
- The Eternal Champion (1970) - based on stories in Avillion and Science Fantasy
- Phoenix in Obsidian, also known as The Silver Warriors (1970)
- The Swords of Heaven, the Flowers of Hell (1979; graphic novel)
- The Dragon in the Sword (1987)
Another novel, The Sundered Worlds, appears in the White Wolf Publishing omnibus collection The Eternal Champion (with the novels The Eternal Champion and Phoenix in Obsidian, in between the two), but only as a bonus novel; it is not part of the Erekosë series. (The Dragon in the Sword appears in the following White Wolf omnibus, Von Bek.)
In The Eternal Champion, Erekose is introduced as "John Daker," a seemingly average man of twentieth-century Earth, who is soon transported to another world and forced to deal with his true calling. He finds love with the woman Ermizhad, but seems to be cursed not to be with her for very long.
The Swords of Heaven, the Flowers of Hell
Erekosë appears in a graphic novel by Moorcock and Howard Chaykin called The Swords of Heaven, the Flowers of Hell. In this story he assumes the role of "Clen of Clen-Gar," who resembles actor Burt Lancaster, and is a noble of the land called the "Dream Marches", part of a greater land called "Heaven".
He befriends a peaceful race of beings known as "Angels", who can best be described in one of their forms as flying manatees. In the day-time, they gracefully float through Heaven, absorbing water vapour from the air, and by night they release the stored water as acid rain upon a neighboring land coincidentally called "Hell", whose savage inhabitants live in poverty compared to the luxury of Heaven and the Dream Marches. The angels can also assume an insectoid form similar to human sized ant-men.
Erekosë meets and has a brief affair with a Noble woman named "Lady Gradesmor," who looks like Sophia Loren, and whose husband was killed in one of the frequent battles between Heaven and Hell. The story takes place chronologically between Phoenix in Obsidian and The Dragon in the Sword and ends with Erekosë meeting a ship that sails between worlds; some of which Erekosë recalls in the novel.
The character of John Daker is a unique example of the Eternal Champion, because unlike other manifestations, Daker remembers his other incarnations. Although the recollections are often mere fragments, they are sometimes sufficient to torment him. Another unique aspect of the Champion as Daker is that unlike other known aspects of the Champion, Daker maintains multiple cover identities.
He is plucked from one world to another by the forces of Fate, where he assumes the identity of someone, frequently that of a long-dead champion. For example, in the novel The Eternal Champion, Daker lives a normal life in 20th century London, until sometime in his adulthood. He has a wife, a child, a career, and so forth, but is ultimately whisked from his world to another world, of medieval nature, where he is told that he is Lord Erekosë, a long dead champion of that world returned to life.
The exact relationship between the reborn Erekosë, and the original Erekosë is left somewhat vague. It seems that Daker is not dead Erekosë resurrected, because dead Erekosë's “dust” remains undisturbed. Furthermore, Daker lacks the memories of dead Erekosë. The new Erekosë may be a reincarnation of dead Erekosë. If this is correct, then Daker is not only an incarnation of the Eternal Champion, but a reincarnation of a previous champion of that world (but whether or not dead Erekosë was himself a true aspect of the Eternal Champion, or simply a great champion in his own right, is not revealed).
Appearances with Elric, Hawkmoon, and Corum
In the next novel, Daker is summoned to a new world, where he takes on the identity of Count Urlik Skarsol. In the third novel he becomes Prince Flamadin. In the Elric novel The Sailor on the Seas of Fate, Erekosë makes an appearance, but seems to have reverted to his pre-Urlik aspect, the resurrected Erekosë. This same story is expanded upon in the Hawkmoon novel The Quest for Tanelorn. This story would seem to be the last story concerning Erekosë, yet he makes reference to it in the novel The Dragon in the Sword.
In addition to the various identities that he becomes, Daker also has fleeting memories (often in the form of dreams) of other incarnations of the Eternal Champion, though it is neither stated how many other incarnations he has had memories of, nor of how many identities he has assumed.
Another character named Erekosë makes an appearance in the Corum novel the King of the Swords and in the Elric novel The Vanishing Tower. This Erekosë is also an aspect of the Eternal Champion, and, like Daker, is also cursed with remembering his various other incarnations. He is described as a man with jet black skin wearing a bearskin. It is not implicitly stated, but it would seem that this Erekosë is not simply another identity thrust upon John Daker. The dialogue of both versions of the story suggests that, although he has memories of all the champions (like Daker), he does not seem to recall Daker’s own experiences as truly his own. He also alludes to the fact that he has a different name, but, possibly because he meets Elric and Corum on a world other than his own, he can’t recall it, and picks Erekosë as a temporary name.
Lack of companion
Another thing that sets Daker apart from the other champions is the fact that he lacks a "Companion to Champions". While he has many companions, most incarnations of the Eternal Champion have a principal companion, a sort of “Companion to Champions”, who, like the Champion himself, share a soul. Daker meets some of the Companions, and is aided by them, but does not have one that seems to be uniquely his. This is no doubt a result of the fact that, unlike other Champions, Daker moved from plane to plane. There is however a Companion equivalent to Daker: Jhary-a-Conel is a Companion to Champions who remembers, if only fleetingly, all his other lives.
In popular culture
Erekosë, along with various other aspects of the Champion, is mentioned briefly in the song "Damned For All Time" by German power metal band Blind Guardian on their Follow the Blind album. Italian metal band Domine have also recorded a song based on the Eternal Champion concept on their Champion Eternal album. No specific aspects of the Champion are named in this song, but the narrator is aware of what he is, a trait belonging only to Erekosë. This song is titled "The Eternal Champion".
- Moorcock's Miscellany (formerly Tanelorn, Multiverse.org & Moorcock's Weekly Miscellany)