http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/corum_1981.jpg
[[caption-width:350:Corum as depicted by Mike Mignola.]]

->''"By creating Man, the universe had betrayed the Old Races..."''

A series of novels by Creator/MichaelMoorcock. It's set in the same multiverse as ''Literature/TheElricSaga'', and it's very much influenced by CanonWelding. The main character, Corum Jhaelen Irsei, is the same kind of TragicHero as Elric, and is a different incarnation of the Eternal Champion.

The Corum series is composed of two distinct trilogies. The first trilogy involves the war of OrderVersusChaos, with the Lords of Chaos warring with the Lords of Law for control of the world. Having seen his entire race destroyed at the whim of the Knight of the Swords and the hands of the newly arrived race of Man (or Mabden, as the series refers to them) -- with he left alive but maimed as the LastOfHisKind -- Corum and later his allies, find themselves caught in the middle of a war between Gods and primal forces, with only their wits -- and some strange gifts Corum recieved from a sorcerer -- to aid them. Major themes of the series include -- in addition to the obvious OrderVersusChaos -- civilisation vs barbarism, the whims of the gods, and whether one person can in fact, challenge a blind and deaf universe.

In the second trilogy, the enemies are a rather different kind of EldritchAbomination, a group of beings called the Fhoi Myore who make the world cold and thus uninhabitable to humans. The second trilogy is somewhat different in tone, because it (unlike the first trilogy) draws heavily from Celtic mythology.

!!!The books in order:

->First trilogy:
* ''The Knight of the Swords'' (1971)
* ''The Queen of the Swords'' (1971)
* ''The King of the Swords'' (1971)

->Second trilogy:
* ''The Bull and the Spear'' (1973)
* ''The Oak and the Ram'' (1973)
* ''The Sword and the Stallion'' (1974)

->Other:
* ''The Vanishing Tower'' (1971)
* ''The Sailor on the Seas of Fate'' (1976)
* ''The Quest for Tanelorn'' (1976)


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!! This book series provides examples of:

* AGodAmI: The delusion of EvilSorcerer Shool.
* AboveGoodAndEvil: Kwll and Rhynn see one another this way.
* ActionGirl/ FauxActionGirl: Rhalina really tries. Which she qualifies as is best left up to the reader.
* AffablyEvil: Arioch in one of his guises, as the epitome of AristocratsAreEvil. He shows Corum around his castle, while explaining that he doesn't really hate Corum--or anyone else for that matter--he just wants to be left in peace, and wiped out the Vadhagh because they weren't his. He even promises to entertain Corum, before killing him, not out of malice mind you, but for his own peace of mind. In his other guise as the bloated parasitic giant we first meet he's far more traditionally evil, but even then he's not malicious, just bored and totally amoral.
* AllPowerfulBystander: Lord Arkyn is prevented by the Cosmic Balance from simply wiping Glandyth and his men from existence and restoring the Vadhagh. Of course, even if the balance weren't present, there would be the small problem of his intervention allowing Xiombarg and Mabelrode to do the same.
* AndIMustScream: The men frozen by the power of Arioch's heart (later freed by Corum, though unfortunately some of them don't have long to enjoy their freedom).
** The Frozen Army, comprising hundreds of men rendered immobile as statues by Xiombarg a ''century'' before Corum encounters them. Their ultimate fates are unknown.
** Arguably, the god Kwll, who when found by Corum appears to be paralysed, until [[spoiler:his hand is reattached]].
* {{Archenemy}}: Glandyth-a-Krae is Corum's most frequent and most implacable enemy in the first trilogy.
* AnAxeToGrind: Glandyth and many other Mabden.
* {{Badass}}: Corum becomes quite the badass by the end of the series. His {{archenemy}} Glandyth is a horrific psychopath, but no one can claim that he isn't a badass as well. Kwll and Rynn are so badass that other gods fear them.
* BadassBeard: Glandyth.
* BalefulPolymorph: The Chaos pack, which is composed of former humans mutated into animals courtesy of their allegiance to Chaos.
* BigBad: In order in the original trilogy: Duke Arioch (the Knight of the Swords), Queen Xiombarg (the Queen of the Swords), and King Mabelrode the Faceless (the King of the Swords). One could argue that as the greatest of the Sword Rulers, and Chaos' main representative, Mabelrode is TheBigBad of the trilogy as a whole, though he does not take a direct hand in things until the final book.
* BiggerBad: Chaos proper in the original trilogy.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Corum finds that a race of distant relatives is still alive, and after the gods of both Law and Chaos are wiped out, his world is left in peace and he is free to settle down with Rhalina. He's still gruesomely maimed and left a StrangerInAFamiliarLand, but on the whole he's better off than {{Elric}} was...]]
* TheBlank: Mabelrode the Faceless, the King of the Swords. There's a reason he's called that. [[spoiler: It's because [[CaptainObvious he has no face!]]]]
* BodySurf: Shool switches bodies constantly.
* CarryABigStick: The Army of the Horned Bear are all armed with gigantic spiked clubs.
* {{Crossover}}: In ''The King of the Swords'', Corum runs into ElricOfMelnibone, and Erekose, two other aspects of the Eternal Champion. The experience is rather trippy for all involved, especially Erekose who clearly remembers ''being'' the other two. We also briefly spot DorianHawkmoon, another of Moorcock's heroes, although he plays no active part in the story.
* TheDragon: Prince Gaynor the Damned to Xiombarg; arguably Glandyth-a-Krae to King Lyr-a-Brode.
** DragonAscendant: Glandyth manages to become Mabelrode's chief agent following the death of King Lyr, and the defeat of Xiombarg, The Dog, and The Horned Bear. This makes him TheHeavy of the novel, and TheDragon to Mabelrode.
* EvilHand: The Hand of Kwll, which Shool grafts onto Corum's arm. It has SuperStrength, beckons to the dead, and often seems to have a mind of its own.
* EvilOverlord: King Lyr-a-Bode of the Mabden.
* EvilSorcerer: Prince Shool, who [[AGodAmI fancies himself a god]], grafts the Eye of Rhynn and the Hand of Kwll onto Corum, seeks universal domination, and tries to seduce Rhalina by impersonating Corum.
* EyepatchOfPower
* FantasticRacism: Glandyth really, really hates the Vadhagh and Nadragh, or as he terms them, Shefanhow (fiends). The Vadhagh themselves treated the Mabden this way, seeing them as little more than animals.
* FinalSolution: Glandyth committed genocide against the Vadhagh.
* HatePlague: the Cloud of Contention, in The King of the Swords.
* HeroicAlbino: Elric in the {{Crossover}}.
* HordesFromTheEast: The Mabden.
* HumansByAnyOtherName: The Mabden again.
* HumanResources: Duke Teer's castle is built of blood.
* InterspeciesRomance: Sort of expected given that Corum's the last of his kind. His falling for the Margravine Rhalina, a Mabden woman, seriously helps him to alter his views of the species.
* LastOfHisKind: Corum is the last of the Vadhagh, courtesy of Glandyth's depredations. [[spoiler: Though he does meet up with a community of Vadhagh descendants who had left this world in the distant past.]]
* MagicalEye: The Eye of Rhynn which looks into other planes, and in conjunction with the Hand of Kwll, summons the dead. Grafted into Corum's empty eye socket by Shool.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: Corum and Rhalina. He might well live to be a thousand. She'll be lucky to reach one hundred.
* {{Necromancer}}: Corum's big advantage thanks to the Eye of Rhynn and the Hand of Kwll. He is able to trap his slain enemies in limbo; when they are summoned, they must fight for him, taking new prizes to replace them in Limbo and allowing themselves to truly die.
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: in ''The King of Swords'', while lost in an unknown plane, Corum [[spoiler:almost meets another incarnation of himself. Jhary intervenes and pulls him away, explaining that it'd be bad for the two of them to meet.]]
* NewWaveScienceFiction: More so even than Elric, the Corum stories were a part of this new movement (which also covered fantasy) that Moorcock was spearheading.
* OmnicidalNeutral: Kwll and Rhynn.
* OrderVersusChaos: What the original trilogy is built around. The coming of the Lords of Chaos led to the destruction of the Vadhagh and Nadragh as Arioch, Xiombarg, and Mabelrode wiped the slate clean of creations they felt had grown stagnant. This puts the balance so far out of whack however, that the Chaos Lords are free to do as they please, resulting in constant social change and violence in Arioch's realm to an entire world that constantly shifts form in Mabelrode's. Corum and his allies struggle to restore the Lords of Law in an effort to end this, while the neutral Cosmic Balance ensures that no one on either side gets too far out of line.
* OurElvesAreBetter: The Vadhagh are long-lived, magically talented, artistic, and peaceful rather than the creepy amoral FairFolk the [[{{Elric}} Melniboneans]] are. The Nhadragh also seem to be elf or High Men types.
** ScrewYouElves: The Vadhagh would regret underestimating the Mabden.
* PhysicalGod: Arioch, Xiombarg, and Mabelrode of Chaos; Arkyn and his fellow Lords of Law; The Dog and The Horned Bear (the Mabden gods); Kwll and Rhynn.
* PrideBeforeAFall: The Vadhagh and Nhadragh were destroyed because they could not believe that the Mabden, whom they saw as little more than animals-- Corum even refers to a group of them as a herd-- could ever threaten them. This caused them to ignore the rumours of Mabden attacks on their neighbours, dismissing the stories until it was too late.
* ThePunishment: Prince Gaynor the Damned. After betraying Law in some long-forgotten conflict he is doomed to a) never die, and b) serve Chaos for eternity.
* {{Revenge}}: Let's see: Corum wants revenge on Glandyth for his maiming and the deaths of his family. Glandyth wants revenge on Corum for escaping him, making him look like a jackass, and subsequently, destroying his kingdom and driving him into hiding. Queen Xiombarg wants revenge on Corum for the death of Duke Arioch. King Mabelrode subsequently needs to avenge himself on Corum for the death of Xiombarg. Needless to say, there's a lot of revenging going on here.
* {{Shapeshifter}}: Many of the Lords of Chaos, most notably Arioch, who transforms from a fat, naked, drunken giant into the quintessential [[AristocratsAreEvil Evil Aristocrat]] in about ten seconds flat.
* SiblingTeam: Kwll and Rhynn make the [[PhysicalGod ultimate]] BashBrothers.
* {{Sidekick}}: Jhary-a-Conel, Companion to Champions. Just as Corum is a part of the Eternal Champion, Jhary is an incarnation of the Eternal Companion. Unlike Corum, he remembers his past lives (or at least he does this time around).
* SignificantAnagram: Corum Jhaelen Irsei == [[JerryCornelius Jeremiah Cornelius]], another Eternal Champion aspect.
* SociopathicSoldier: Glandyth-a-Krae and his Dendledhyssi. The name actually translates as murderers.
* SummoningArtifact: The Hand of Kwll and the Eye of Rhynn act as these for Corum.
* TheUnfettered: Kwll and Rhynn, two ancient gods who are not constrained by the Cosmic Balance, or anything else, save their oaths to one another.

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