“Von Bek’s pessimistic outlook is similar in some respects to a few of Moorcock’s other Eternal Champions (Elric, Erekose, etc.). Like a few of these darker Champions, he has a “shaded” sense of morality defined by pragmatism. However, unlike Elric or Corum, von Bek exists in a real historical period of Earth’s past, and is clearly human. Also, since his account is written in the first person, the narrative is able to present a more keenly-intimate psychological portrait of von Bek’s mental journey. And, because the story makes use of a well-established Judeo-Christian belief system (or at least a Miltonian one), Moorcock can spend more time having van Bek debate the underlying consequences of the beliefs, rather than having to worry about explaining them in the context of a “fantasy mythology”.