Chapter 0:

A Town Called Mercy

Remember Mercy

In the kingdom of Albion there is a small little rural town by the name of Mercy. This quaint old town is too far in the countryside to catch the attention of anyone who matters, but if you were to chat with someone who’d visited that charming little village, they would have many a story to share.

You might hear of the sweetfish river that leads to a lake as blue as the sea, or of the endless miles of wildflower hills that draw a blanket of color up to the edge of the forest. The traveler might tell you of how he ate from the bounty of Mercy’s many farms, describing each bite with such vivid detail that you could taste the succulent juices yourself, or maybe he would eagerly gush over Mercy’s many festivals and be so swept up with excitement that you might just barely hear the sounds of good cheer in the distance yourself, if you strained your ears.

But if you ask a hundred visitors what Mercy’s greatest treasure is, they would tell you it isn’t the sights, or the food, or even the grand celebrations that last for days at a time. Each one of them would give you the same answer, confidently stating what they remember most about that charming little town in the countryside: its people.

The inhabitants of Mercy are a kind and simple sort, the type to lend a bed and warm meal to a stranger should the need arise. They accept anyone to their town with an open smile be they tourist nomad or beggar, or simply those with nowhere to go.

But the man who walks towards Mercy today is not a tourist. He hasn’t heard of the sweetfish river or the flowering hills. He doesn’t know of Mercy’s grand festivals or its delicious cuisine. Though he has no home, he isn’t a nomad, and though he hasn’t a coin to his name, he isn’t a beggar. But with nowhere to go and no one to turn to, his legs have brought him to the edge of Mercy.

He slowly drags himself forward as if each step he takes is a herculean task. The only thing he carries is a sword, and the only thing he wears is a suit of black armor. In the scorching heat of summer it’s a miracle he’s been able to make it as far as he has, and as he gets closer to the end of the road and his vision blurs, he wonders how long that luck will hold out.

When he finally does fall, he’s almost relieved, as if a great burden has been lifted from him and taken into Mercy’s gentle embrace.