Sci Fi may have been my real chosen genre to imagine, but that isn't to say I don't enjoy some good Swords and Sorcery. After many games of D&D I'd started to discover that I didn't really get the feeling I was needing from it, same goes with Rolemaster and Middle Earth Role Playing. All of them were far too Tolkienesque than I was wanting. My very first set of books was a beautiful hardcover set of The Hobbit/Fellowship which I devoured more times than I care to admit.
As I grew older though, my tastes in Fantasy changed from Bilbo and Prince Caspian to Gray Mouser and Conan. There was Wagners "Kane", Enas Yorl from Thieves World and many others. All the uber awesome movies like The Sword and the Sorcerer, Conan the Barbarian, Ladyhawke, Deathstalker, The Beastmaster, Ladyhawke and Dragonslayer helped push me in the right directions too.
Then came Michael Moorcock...
Except Elric wasn't my first taste of the Eternal Champion, that honor lies with Corum Jhaelen Irsei. After I read The Prince in the Scarlet robe I was hooked, forever. Erekosë and Von Bek all had their turns firing my imagination. Elric came in time though.
So when I walked into the game shop one day in 1987 and saw this crazy sized book with the above cover sitting there untouched I knew I had to have it. I had other books, my D&D stuff, some Rolemaster and associated other works, but they'd all been gifts or hand me downs. It took me a few days to earn the cash to buy it and the waiting was terrible, but man, I read the shit out of it too, over and over. I made so many characters and even made my own versions of Champion Eternals to conspire with or against. Sadly, this book wasn't bound like a book this pretty should have been. It utterly exploded pages over the next couple of months so I had to end up carefully putting it all together and punching holes in it to keep it together.
Never did play it though. Not this edition anyway. When the 4th edition, with the Whelan cover came out, that battered oversized book got filed away and eventually cannibalized for the art.