The first thing that struck me, and that I still love today, was the sense that the history of Arduin had been a co-operative development between the gamesmaster and his players.
This was crystallised in the dedication pages of the first two volumes where Dave lists the names of the some of the player characters and their fates.
In the first volume, Dave's own character is listed simply as "Elric The Hell-Lost", but this is expanded upon in volume two, Welcome To Skull Tower:
"The Baron In Exile, Lord of the House Of The Tower of the Dragon, wishes to thank formally the brave and steadfast people who gave their years and their lives to return him and his from the very clutches of the Lord Of The Undead. These true friends crossed three hells and seven and a half long, long years to fight their way to our succor. Our House is ever in the debt of the House Of The Rising Sun, the House of Ibathene, the House of Greylorn the Patriach, and to all those heroes who joined in that undertaking. You who slew the Great Lord of the Undead himself know who you are, and you know that our House will give its all in your need, if ever that time should come. We who were hell lost and soul caged SALUTE YOU, our comrades and friends.
"David A Hargrave
"Baron and Lord of"The House of the Dragon Tower".
However, the most detailed explanation of these events came in Different Worlds, issue two, in which Dave Hargarve recounted a potted history of his campaign:
"Elric, Duke and Lord of the Dragon Tower, spent seven years in hell, a captive of Cimmeries, Lord of the Undead. The efforts to free him cost the souls of over 40 other characters and was directly linked to the causes of the Great Insurrection. But freed he was, to take up a blood feud with those he felt had left him there!"
It's no wonder that that imagery has stuck in my head for the better part of 30 years, and has constantly played a leading role in my "wish list" of unfulfilled role-playing moments.
Although the hefty Legendary Lands Of Arduin makes reference to Cimmeries as Lord of the Undead and Elric's House of the Dragon Tower, but there is no mention in that 800-page tome of his time in the underworld that I can see (but I haven't read the book cover-to-cover!)
I'd love to find out more details of this "campaign-within-a-campaign", if there is anyone out there in the Interwebs with more detailed knowledge please get in touch.