The story describes the two gods, brothers, with highly different abilities (one able to see anything, another to do anything). Most of the time they live friendly life, co-operating with each other, supplementing powers and none of the two being superior. When together, they are also strong enough to stay away and neutral from the endless clashes and conflicts between other goods, each of these everyone seeking the dominance over the Universe.

Further the story tells there was a conflict between these two gods in the past, that they damaged each other significantly, the all-seeing Rhynn losing the eye and almighty Kwll losing the hand. They suffered for the long time for breaking they union in this condition. Only after the long time the two gods managed to get the lost hand and eye back, and after that were no longer willing to fight, restoring the former friendship.

This story appears to me somewhat different and emotionally stronger than numerous other events described in *Swords Trilogy", and I started to think maybe it is based on some real myth that has been known for the author.

Greek Morai co-operate with they different abilities and while kind of aside and neutral (Zeus rules the world) Morai are actually acting over all other gods. But anyway they are three, and sisters. Could it be that some other story exists?

  • 1
    I've amended my answer to include several other possible references.
    – DukeZhou
    Jun 19, 2017 at 2:00

1 Answer 1


Moorcock, who I have no doubt was intimately familiar with mythology, is likely drawing on multiple sources. Here are a few ideas. I'll continue to amend as more occur to me.

  • Castor and Pollux may be presumed to have vastly different powers since one brother is the son of Zeus, and the other fully mortal.

This is reasonable assumption when one considers their sisters, the twins Helen and Clytemnestra. Clytemnestra became a towering figure in Greek drama, but Helen's was "the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium." The brothers are described as having distinct skills by Homer "Kastor, breaker of horses and Polydeukes, good with his fists". [Iliad 3.237]

The relationship of these brothers is harmonious, but the idea of twins is a representation of a binary, and this could be said to imply "separate hearts" as in the Latin discordia.

The Thebaid is bad*ss, hugely influential, and here connected to the modern classics Magnificent Seven and Seven Samurai, so it's definitely worth a look.

In Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible and the Ancient Near East, Brenner devotes an entire chapter The First Crime: Brothers and Fratricide in the Ancient Mediterranean to this subject.

Search on the Dioskouri led me to the Hindu Ashvins, with links to other, similar figures.

I'd say Moorcock was definitely inspired by mythology, but more in a Joseph Campbell way, which is to say he wasn't literally adapting pre-existing stories and figures, but drawing on very fundamental archetypes that appear in many mythological canons.

  • Gilgamesh and Enkidu, not literally brothers, but they first fight, then become friends in the sense of brothers. It is only together they can overcome their nemesis.

Enkidu acknowledges Gilgamesh's greater strength, and unlike the god-king, is also mortal.

Cain and Able are another template for feuding brothers, but a closer example from the good book might be

Again we have a difference in status--Esau is the elder and has right of inheritance, which requires Jacob to act against him.

In my opinion that Moorcock's body of work constitutes a distinct modern canon which has influenced many writers of speculative fiction in a way that can be understood as mythological. It's worth noting that Moorcock sometimes references himself in that his stories take place in a multiverse where characters in one book/universe may be reflections of characters in another book/universe.

  • Ares and Athena during the Trojan War?
    – Spencer
    Jun 19, 2017 at 15:09

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