This post continues my history of WFRP1, which started here.
At the same time as the concept of Chaos began to emerge in Warhammer, ideas also began to form of the opposing force of Law. As ever, less attention was dedicated to the gods and followers of Law, but some important elements can be clearly discerned.
The Warrior Knights of Law are human born [sic] adventurers who have been invited to serve the Lawful gods. Only the most successful and humanitarian of adventurers can owe allegiance to the Gods of Law – for the Gods of Law demand strict obedience to their moral and social codes. In return the servants of law receive certain gifts – including armour and weapons – but the chief attribute granted the Warrior Knight of Law is his sense of moral superiority.
– ‘The Mausoleum of Ifram’ (August 1983)
The Knights of Law are clearly modelled on crusading Christian knights, albeit with a strong dose of absurd parody.
The Mausoleum contains the Tomb of the Lawful Saint Ifram … carved with images of the life of Ifram – the Miracle of the Flying Debt Collector, the Journey across the Aywon out of the land of Darnsarf and, of course, the Parable of the Bishop and the Actress.*
The knights also seem to be perceived as the Lawful counterparts of Chaos Warriors. It is interesting to see that the knights have a similar quid pro quo relationship with their gods. The knights receive divine gifts in return for their service.
The later Knights of Origo seem to expand on the concept. They are not described as Lawful, but there enough similarities to suggest they are an evolution of the earlier Knights of Law.
The gods that the knights serve are not named or described in the sources from this period. It does appear that there was some development of the gods of Law, but it does not seem to have proceeded far:
I’m fairly certain that the very first piece of art that was done for Realm of Chaos was the group of illustrations of the four gods on page 14 [of Slaves to Darkness]. I believe that I talked to John Blanche about the four gods, and that the artwork was completed quite some time before any other work was done on Realm of Chaos…. On the same day I think that I also talked to John about illustrations of four Gods of Law. It’s possible that sketches were done: if so, I have no memory of what they looked like. The Gods of Law were going to be even more ferocious than the Gods of Chaos.
– Bryan Ansell, Realm of Chaos 80s
The ‘Heroic Adventurers’ (August 1983) insert does mention a god of justice and purity called Lumis. He is not described as a god of Law, but his sphere of influence perhaps signals that he was intended as one (similar to Michael Moorcock’s Donblas).
It is possible that the name Lumis later evolved into Alluminas (one of the Law gods described in WFRP1). Both names seem to derive from the Latin lumen. The characters of Lumis and Alluminas differ, but this does not preclude their names being cognate. A similar transition took place from Slaneesh, god of plunder, to the Chaos god Slaanesh.
The writings of this period contain one further element in the dualism of Law and Chaos:
… the Elder Gods, the Gods whose cosmic design dictates the cosmic balance between chaos and law.
– ‘The Quest for Chaos’ (August 1983)
These deities are clearly analogous to Moorcock’s Cosmic Balance. This is, I believe, their only mention. They would not appear in subsequent material.
* The Aywon is a pun on the River Avon in the Midlands of England, where Citadel was based. “Down south” is a common expression used to refer to southern England by those in the northern and central parts of the country. It is often styled “darn sarf” in a mock southern English accent. (“Up north” and “oop north” are equivalents used in southern England.)
“As the actress said to the bishop” is a British phrase to signal a double entendre.