Mercy is a tethered network of hundreds of stone structures floating in Telos’ voids, built into a clutch of asteroids and protected from Telos’ fury by layers of void shields. It is a rough and uncivilised locale, where the mighty rule by force of arms and the weak scrabble to survive. It is, however, the beginning of uncountable adventures into the Nomad Stars.
Mercy is a vast sprawling station built around the remains of a half built Imperial starfort. Mercy has many "Islands" connected to the central station by chains, stone corridors and even just floating nearby, accessible by small shuttles. It is made up of a mass of buttressed temples and plasma-pitted fanes whose towers jut out at all angles into the void. Most are linked by enclosed stonework tunnels and arch-bridges, in addition to huge steel chains. Mercy’s ornate, tethered structures orbit at a sufficient distance from the star to be safe from the lethal ribbons of solar plasma, and for void-ships to operate with little impediment.
Hanging above the main station is a 3km tall statue of the Emperor, his wrathful gaze facing away from the Telos star. This statue is not only breathtakingly vast but also a true work of art. Sadly the feeling of pious humility it inspires lasts only as long as it takes to board the station.
Once inside, crime, violence and deception rule the day. Criminal gangs control most of Mercy and are not above robbing and killing anyone who looks vulnerable. All citizens thus go armed. Ships captains travel with bodyguards and away from the busier areas, even citizens travel only with others, never alone.
Ships at berth here are advised to keep an alert eye for wreckers, local criminal gangs flying maintenance pods that drift silently towards berthed vessels and attempted to strip them of armour, scrap, sensor pylons and anything else they can get their hands on. In practice most captains either pay a bribe to the wrecker gangs or keep their ships turrets armed and their auger arrays running constant local sweeps.
The stations islands belong to various groups and the smaller ones can change hands with great regularity. Wealthy Rogue traders often maintain well defended mansions floating local to the station with warehouses, offices and supplies waiting for their return. Other islands are held by businesses as warehouses, brothels, slave markets, armouries and some are purely dedicated to defense, being stuffed with weapons and operated by local gangs that are paid for their efforts by station taxes.
Places of interest
Court of Knives
The central starfort is barely recognisable as such, being covered with turrets, towers, ramshackle buildings and other build-up from across the centuries. Anyone wishing to do business at Mercy generally heads to the Court of Knives, a large domed marketplace at the top of the station. The Court has a number of permanent establishments around the edges and built into the walls and the centre is a huge bustling marketplace of temporary stalls called the Pit.
The Pit has a few permanent but unhoused traders but mostly it caters to merchants, captains and factors looking for bargains and selling their wares. Oftentimes a captain will bring a sample of his wares here and invite potential buyers to sample these wares before agreeing to purchases on a much bigger scale. Due to the nature of the Nomad Stars, pretty much anything can be found in the Pit, if one is present on the correct day. Most Rogue Traders and several Onus Region interests hence employ factors to ensure that when that rare death world beast or Eldar wine turns up in the Pit, they have a buyer available.
Hanging above the pit suspended from the ceiling and with a large conversion field protecting its iron lattice work floor is Telasco’s - the balcony saloon of a Mr Telasco of Creve-Coeur. Telasco is a lush, dandy, gossip and pleasure cultist who runs his saloon for wealthy and respected clients above the toil of the common folk. Prices here comfortable exclude any but the very rich and those that dine, relax or politick here do so mostly on account of its exalted status.
Far below Telasco’s is the Feedpipe, a much larger venue where food, drink, drugs, women/men and other pleasures can be had. Catering to a much lower standard than Telasco’s, the Feedpipe is still expensive enough to exclude the common crewman or gang member. The gang that run this establishment, the Bitter Sisters, are one of the slightly more respectable outfits who also run various defense islands, logistics (movement of cargo) and a variety of businesses catering to all needs, both moral and not. While the kind of behaviour and menu items in the Feedpipe would warrant a swift visit from the enforcers on many worlds, in the Nomad Stars it is seen as fairly mainstream.
The Forsaken Brothers
The Forsaken Brothers have a chapel on one side of the Court of Knives that to all appearances is more of an armoured fortification. This is not unreasonable given that the Brothers, a group of 120 clerics from a banished and exiled order, run security in the Pit and for some of the more permanent establishments. Dressed in poorly maintained black robes over very well maintained black flak armour and armed with a variety of weapons (usually autoguns with fragmenting rounds but support weapons, including webbers, meltaguns and even a rare plasma gun are available to them as well), the Forsaken Brothers, also known as the Black Brothers, both for their attire and their miserable demeanours, break up fights, punish those found guilty of stealing from established residents and otherwise keep order.
The Bazaar Arenas
The Bazaar used to be a pilgrim ship, though you would be hard pressed to tell that from its blackened and scarred outside. The massive holds of the ships have long since been converted into a booming colosseum hosting multiple arenas across its breadth, and the passenger deck has been ‘bought’ by a trade cartel and is currently being run as a hotel.
The Bazaar Arenas hold bloody gladiatorial fights of all kinds, from small duelling corridors to massive open-air amphitheaters constructed from the gun decks of the original ship. There is even a circuit track that runs the perimeter of the vessel that is used for high-octane vehicle races.
Right Hand Chapel
Disused church built into the right arm and part of the abdomen of the God-Emperor macrostatue. It has fallen into disrepair and is used as a triage by the Order of the Amber Lamp. It is considered somewhat of a neutral zone by the warring criminal factions, although the leering militant Sisters of Battle certainly help curtail any aggressive behaviours.
High above the right hand chapel are a series of administrative rooms that have been locked down and converted into a high-security fortress by the paranoid Friar Baldr. He uses it as a staging ground for his trade operation, selling exotic wares from the Nomad Stars to wealthy Ministorum contacts in the Onus Region and beyond. The influx of money and power keeps the Order running, and they pay little heed to the shiny baubles he trades in exchange for the medical supplies he gives them.
Court of Mother One-Eye
There is a rumour that somewhere, on a rock far away from the centre of Mercy, there is the Court of Mother One-Eye. She is one of the oldest and darkest rumours on Mercy. Some say she was a Navigator of one of the ships from the early days of the Nomads, but went mad after being abandoned by a captain that started to fear her more than anything else. A madness that made her tear out her regular eyes. Others say she was the illicit lovechild of a psyker and a Navigator. There are those that claim that she was a warp-witch to begin with, and made a pact to trade her eyes for that of a Navigator.
Whatever is true, she holds court on the outer fringes of Mercy, and she knows about those who are coming to visit her and why. She sees the warp, the ebb and flow of time, and has a visionary side. Those who seek her out will be given audience, but for a price - The first is for fresh air, bottled from a planet. The other is unknown, the stuff of dark and depraved rumours. Those who claim to have visited her tell of figures in the shadows, auspexes going haywire, and the whole place reeking of damnation.