Fictional Character
The Scepter of Mercy
Appearance(s): The Bastard King
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Avornis
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Monarch
Spouse: Certhia, and six previous unnamed wives, including two deceased
Children: Lanius (son)
five unnamed daughters, three of which are deceased
Relatives: Scolopax (brother)

Mergus was king of Avornis and the father of Lanius. He'd been warrior in his youth. At the time of Lanius' conception, Mergus had sat upon the Diamond Throne for almost thirty years. He had already married his allotted six wives, and had no sons. He'd lost one wife in childbirth, one to fever, had sent one away for barrenness, and had five daughters by his remaining three wives. Consequently, Mergus' hated brother, Scolopax was the heir apparent.[1]

Thus, when his concubine, Certhia, informed Mergus she was pregnant, Mergus was willing to violate the traditions of Avornis to secure a son as his heir, promising to make Certhia his queen.[2] However, he needed to first confirm that Certhia was carrying a son. Fearing that court wizards would not be able to keep quiet, he arranged to take Certhia to an unused area in the royal palace to meet a witch who called herself Rissa. Rissa confirmed that Certhia was carrying a boy. No sooner had she pronounce this, Rissa was taken over by the Banished One, who attempted to curse the unborn child. When Rissa came back to herself, she promised to make sure the taint of the possession would be taken away. She also suggested that if the Banished One hated and cursed the unborn son, he also feared him.[3]

Nine months later, Certhia gave birth to their son, whom Mergus promptly named Lanius. He married Certhia within minutes of Lanius' birth, making her queen, and making Perdix, the hallow who married them, a high hallow.[4]

This action caused scandal among Avornans of every social strata.[5] Mergus himself even came to blows with his hated brother, Scolopax, who declared Lanius a bastard.[6]


  1. The Bastard King, loc. 31-42, ebook.
  2. Ibid., loc. 42.
  3. Ibid., loc. 122-175.
  4. Ibid., loc. 268-309.
  5. Ibid., loc. 332-346.
  6. Ibid. loc., 346-385.
Regnal titles
(The Scepter of Mercy)
Preceded by
King of Avornis Succeeded by