[ N I G H T L I G H T ]
Part 2 of ow characters drawn for this year(2021) overwatchtober🐽🤖🕛
And my best moment on tracer🔫🔫
@local-virgin-slut I’ve been thinking about these tags forever and I still have Ice Wraith Genji on the brain. So here is... this.
Mercy loved winter more than most in the little valley where she lived. During spring and summer, the nights were short, and everyone in her family were usually so worn out by the day’s planting or herding or shearing or harvesting that they all went right to sleep. But with winter, the sun sank early, and those long nights meant her grandmother was more inclined to tell her stories. She often told fables of animals, or old myths of the gods and the seasons they turned, maybe the occasional tale of fair princesses or clever heroines and gallant knights and princes, but one night, when a great snowstorm was rattling their farmhouse’s little windows, her grandmother told a different story.
“Once upon a time, there was a grand castle, perched high in the mountains,” Mercy’s grandmother spoke softly, with a strange speed to her words, as if it was a tale dangerous for anyone else to hear.
Little Mercy laid on her stomach, one hand propping up her chin, the other quietly bobbing her corn husk doll back and forth in the light of the fire, watching the flickering light of the flames bring her doll to life, and listening to the story and the click of her grandmother’s knitting needles.
“It was the seat of a prosperous kingdom, ” her grandmother went on, “With a wise and generous king, a beautiful and clever queen, and stouthearted people, all shaped by harsh winters and bright, precious summers. But such joy, such strength, could not exist without those who wished to claim it for themselves, or snuff it out altogether. There was another empire in the west, ruled by an Empress whose heart had long since hardened to black ice by grief, anger, and bitterness. Power and legacy was all that mattered to her now, and she looked east, and saw the thriving kingdom, and she saw a threat to her own power that must be conquered. Or destroyed.”
“Why?” Mercy piped up, looking up from her doll.
“Power can create a hunger that cannot be sated, and those with much cruelty in their hearts often think the rest of the world is just as cruel,” her grandmother said gently.
“That’s stupid,” muttered Mercy, running her small fingers along the veins of the corn husks.
Her grandmother gave an amused, “hm,” and simply continued. “In the absence of family, love, and friendship, this Empress practiced and cultivated a great skill in the magical arts, and these were powerful and terrible arts indeed. The armies of her neighbors were... comparatively small, but well-trained, and deeply loyal. An elite force of armored knights skilled in sword, spear, bow and horsemanship. Still, they stood little chance against the great golems of ice that the empress summoned against their kingdom.”
“I want Ice golems...” Mercy mumbled.
“And what would you do with them, little dove?” asked her grandmother.
Mercy made an ‘I dunno’ sound. “They could watch the sheep?”
Her grandmother snorted then. “Aye, and re-thatch the roof, too. But these golems cared not for lifting the burdens off of men--they were merely an extension of the will of their empress... and their empress wanted to crush her enemies.”
“...so they killed the knights?”
Her grandmother nodded gravely. “The knights held their ground, certainly. They could use the terrain to their advantage, and there was a little inkling of magic in the land, a small but stubborn spark that claimed that the mountains would never turn against their kingdom, or their most beloved queen. Month after month passed, and the Empress poured all of her fury into her siege. The knights first held a gate at the throat of the mountains, then when that gate fell, they fell back to various holdfasts in the mountain passes, trying to hold the line and losing more and more men each time. The land was on their side, but the wind and snow obeyed the empress. What men didn’t fall to spears of glittering black, to ice golems and even their own dead comrades, fell to freezing, blinding blizzards, to starvation, to illness. Their forces dwindled, until at last, one lonely knight with haunted eyes, who had survived every battle since the gate at the throat, rode into the castle with the news that the last holdfast had fallen. He was a younger knight... only just passed squire, and despite his own loyalty and bravery had survived through the sheer luck of being shoved to the side in favor of more experienced fighters again and again. And now here he was, the last of a once proud army.”
“Was he handsome?” Mercy glanced up.
“Handsome?” her grandmother repeated with some amusement.
“He’s the hero, right? He’s the one who has to beat the Empress,” said Mercy, “So he must be handsome.”
Her grandmother gave another amused ‘Hm.’ “Perhaps,” she conceded, “Before the empress began her assault, he was fair and fine-featured enough to be popular with the serving-girls and pages at the lord’s manor where he served, but... alas, he was only the younger son of a lord, and had little prospects compared to his brother. But that is not where we find him in this story: No, in this story, indeed in the very moment that will define the rest of his life, he bore the scars of the many cruel battles he had been in--scars of magic, feathered like frost across his skin. But he had little grief over the loss of his good looks compared to the grief of the battles he had seen.”
“But he gets better, right?” said Mercy.
“Do you want me to tell the story or not?” said her grandmother, peering down her nose at Mercy.
Mercy squeezed her corn husk doll self-consciously “Sorry, grandma,” she mumbled.
“Now, where was I? Ah yes-- ‘Your majesties’ the knight said to the king and queen, ‘The Empress is coming, and I fear we have none left who can stop her. Have we allies who will lend us swords in our time of need?’ And the king gravely shook his head and said, ‘Snow and wind obscure any path our allies might have toward us--there is no hope that they could reach us before the Empress.’”
“Except the knight,” said Mercy firmly.
Her grandmother just cleared her throat and Mercy fell silent again.
“With only their royal guard left to protect themselves, the King and Queen excused themselves from the knight’s presence and spoke softly behind closed doors for a very very long time.”
“And that’s when they give the knight the magic sword to defeat the empress,” said Mercy, nodding.
“No,” said her grandmother.
“No?” said Mercy.
“Finally, the king and queen emerged. They looked at the knight, so young, so tired, so haunted, and they said, ‘You have survived every battle to come here. You may not believe it, but luck, and these mountains, are on your side, so we have a request of you. Take our infant daughter and our swiftest horse, and ride as hard and fast as you can. Save our princess from this frozen death and keep her out of the cruel grips of the empress. As our kingdom falls, she may never be a queen, but she is our daughter, and there is nothing we won’t do to protect her.’”
“What?” Mercy looked up at her grandmother.
“That was exactly what the knight said, and then he said, ‘Your majesties, surely there must be someone else, someone better.’ And they said, ‘There is only you. Will you accept this request?’ And before the knight could protest further, the queen stepped forward with a little bundle in her arms. She tucked a bit of blanket aside, and the knight beheld a beautiful baby girl-- all fat rosy cheeks and deep gray-blue eyes. The infant princess cooed and reached toward him, not understanding the haunted hollowness of his eyes or the fear that flinched through his countenance, nay, no awareness whatsoever of the death and oblivion that now rapidly approached the castle’s gates. And in that moment the knight decided, ‘Here is why I have survived. Here is why my comrades have perished and I have borne their loss in my heart. I could not save them, but I can save her.’ And he looked up at the king and queen, and he gave a single solemn nod.”
“But the king and queen are going to be okay, right?” said Mercy.
Her grandmother gave her a sympathetic tilt of her head and Mercy flinched into silence once again.
“True to their word,” her grandmother went on, “The king and queen set the knight on their swiftest horse and sent him out the back passage of the castle. And the king, in his golden armor, and his queen, summoning every magic and artifice at her disposal, and all of their valiant guard, held the line against the empress as the knight raced out of the kingdom with one hand gripping horse reins and the other arm cradling the tiny princess. He rode and rode and rode, and in his desperate fleeing, remarkable things happened. When he ran out of milk for the baby, wild she-goats would appear and docilely let him milk them to feed the little princess. Snow thawed to reveal grass when his horse needed to graze. Rivers seemed to miraculously thaw whenever he had to wash the baby’s swaddling and smallclothes--and indeed, the sun seemed to cut through even the most treacherous storms, and no trail-marking cairn seemed to be able to to disappear under the snowfall completely. On he rode, and the princess...oh my, the princess--there were long periods of unyielding wails--after all, the poor little thing had no idea of the fate of her parents--but soon, even the little infant settled into a very regal stoicism, almost as if she understood the weight of the knight’s charge.”
“...but...” Mercy started warily.
“But,” her Grandmother said gently, “The castle could not hold the line forever. The castle fell and the king and queen and all their guard perished. And soon all the forces of the empress were pursuing the knight and his tiny charge.”
“And--and then something magic happened, right?” said Mercy, “There was an avalanche and they got away or-or-- a giant bird swooped down?”
“No, my sweet--the mountains did all they could to get the knight as far as he did, but in the end, the knight found himself facing down the living dead, ice golems, and giant spiders--”
“Giant spiders!?” Mercy blurted out.
“Did I not mention the giant spiders?” said her grandmother, and Mercy shook her head. “Oh. Well, there were giant spiders.”
“And atop a great white skeletal stag with icy, razor-sharp antlers, there was the Empress,” said her grandmother, “’Give me the baby,’ said the empress, ‘And I will reward you beyond your wildest dreams. Give me the baby and I will give you land, power, a beautiful wife, loyal and skilled guards in your service, and more riches than you could ever fathom.’ And the knight, who had been riding so long, and was so very very tired, and so dearly missed a roof over his head and a warm bed at night, could envision it all.The happily-ever-after he had always wanted, if only he handed over this squalling or stoic infant. And surely the empress wouldn’t kill the baby-- the baby was far from a threat, after all-- perhaps the baby would be raised in all the riches of the Empress’s rule, and then married to a handsome lord to further shore up the empress’s power. As far as fates for the little infant, one could do far worse.”
“He wouldn’t,” Mercy’s voice was dark and hot, “The empress killed her parents. He wouldn’t---”
“When one is at the end of one’s rope, one considers all possibilities--but yes. He remembered the promise he made to the king and queen, and he refused. ‘Never,’ he said, ‘I would suffer a thousand deaths before I betray my loyalty, before I betray my mission.’ And with that, he stuffed the baby princess into one of his horse’s saddlebags, gave a hard slap to the horse’s rump, and off the horse raced! ‘No!’ the empress cried, but the knight stepped between the empress and the increasingly distant horse and drew his sword.”
“...and then the giant bird swooped down?” Mercy’s voice was small.
“...there was no giant bird. There was no avalanche. There was only this one knight, and all his fury and all his pain and all his loyalty and willpower standing against the empress. And he fought. And he fought, and fought and fought and he lasted far longer than any man thought he would last. He fought with wounds no other man could fight with. And he would fall, and he would pull himself to his feet again and hold his sword at the ready. And he would fall again, and again, and keep getting up--knowing every second he fought was a second that bought the princess more time--but finally, he found himself surrounded on all sides, and suddenly contained in a prison of ice by the empress.” Her grandmother huffed then, “And... it’s important to note here, that the empress is driven more by hatred and cruelty than anything. Yes, she wanted to kill the poor baby princess, to wipe all memory of her family’s kingdom from the face of the earth, but in that moment, what drove the empress--more than her hatred of that once-prosperous little kingdom with its kind king and queen--was her hatred of this one stubborn, infuriatingly noble and loyal knight. This knight who refused to stay down. In that moment the knight was captured--at her mercy-- she could kill him instantly and go after the princess and be done with it--but oh no, the knight said he would die a thousand deaths before betraying the king and queen, and she knew she would take great pleasure in making him break that oath. The empress cursed him to obey her every whim and bound him in armor of black ice that he could never remove, and she compelled him to patrol the now-empty corridors of the fallen castle. Attacking all who come near so that no body can ever warm its halls again.”
“....there’s not a happy ending to the story, is there?” said Mercy.
“Well... sometimes a story isn’t about ‘happy,’” said her grandmother, “Sometimes, a story is about preserving hope, no matter how painful and precarious the circumstances. You see, the empress was so focused on the knight, and punishing the knight for his defiance, that the princess escaped. When empress finally realized the little princess was gone, she sent out all her armies, all her golems, all her giant spiders, and searched every mountain and every valley for the horse and the baby. She was so enraged, so obsessed, that she poured every last inkling of her power into finding that baby... but she never did. They say with all her magic spent, her armies melted and rotted away, and she withered into an icy husk on a long-forgotten frozen steppe. The knight’s will may have been broken, but his bravery brought her empire to an end.”
“And the princess?” Mercy tilted her head.
“No one knows. Some think she and the horse perished in a snowstorm. Others think a wealthy lord found and fostered her because of her beauty and good nature, and while she never ruled, she was able to gain a respectable marriage. My favorite version still is that the horse died in a snowstorm and the little princess had to use her first teeth to instinctively chew her way into its carcass to shelter from the storm until a mountain man found her and raised as his own. A ferocious little wild thing with a taste for horse flesh.”
“Gross!” said Mercy.
“Others still think she’s still out there--the last chance to reclaim a lost kingdom and save a cursed knight’s soul.”
Something sparked in Mercy’s eyes then. “Could I be the lost princess?” she said, letting her corn husk doll drop to the floor and propping herself up on the palms of her hands like a seal.
Her grandmother gave her a very serious look over. “Hmmm... Well, if you are, you’re remarkably well-preserved.”
“‘Well-preserved?’“ said Mercy.
“Well, you look the same age as I was when my grandmother told me this story, but looks can be deceiving...”
“Mm,” Mercy pouted with disappointment before sullenly lowering herself back to her stomach and picking up her doll again.
“Your parents were very wonderful people without being a king and queen, little dove,” her grandmother set her knitting in her lap.
“I know...” mumbled Mercy, “You always tell me.”
“Well that, I can assure you, is no story. It’s very much true.”
“Mm...” Mercy just flopped over on her back on the earthen floor, the fire flickering in one corner of her vision as she stared up at the thatch of the ceiling. “The princess came back and saved the knight, right?” she said, staring at the ceiling.
“The story isn’t really about that,” said her grandmother with a shrug, “It’s about... doing everything you can to keep hope alive, right up to the very end.’
“Well someone’s got to save him,” said Mercy, crossly.
When it comes to dating, I guarantee Mercy appears the more laid back about it compared to star-struck Genji. But the longer you know them, the more you realize he’s on her mind constantly and she’s about to snap back if you smack talk her man.
pachimari gift 🎁
“Under the mistletoe”
Even if this year is sort of a tough one for the Overwatch community, let’s hope for new year for a more positive one for us. Happy Christmas everyone
”Everyone shut up! My wife is the most amazing creature in this universe!!” -Genji most definetely at some point during the holidays
I haven’t posted anything Overwatch/Gency related in a long time but LIKE LOOK AT THEMMMM AHHHH
The official Overwatch twitter posted this and omg look at Mercy and Genji they look so good hsjsjsj
❄️ Winter Gency ❄️