In the sea of codswallop where all berley legends begin, like chum scattering over the waves, there was at one time a hopeful tale of a savior bedecked in plucky certainty, a hero, if you will, ecumenically invulnerable to the bloody boasts floating over the scrim of the world like clots sticking to the inside of a stroking mind. He was, in a word, a scab hero, much like a mercenary, but charming and relatively inoffensive. But where he came from, what he was after, what he did, the whole thing stunk to high heaven of high adventure and he was more or less a lowdown sort, a stained but blank canvas reckoning with its creator for just a hint of purpose before its abiogenesis kicked in and wrote an epic free hand.

He lived, mostly without complaint, but come morning he was gone again. He was a transitional sword for hire, righting wrongs, doing evil in, standing for justice but very rarely truth. Truth was a gray matter, much like the hero himself. Prone to tangents… Partial to quests…

But the story, or conglomeration of stories, has long since etched itself onto the backdrop of time. His unconventional archetype has been pursued and impressed upon so many silly fairy tales that the brand has been diluted, as they say. And there is a bit of truth (make no mistake) in what he once was, which is, undiluted. But the bits have been broken in by the beatings of better storytellers than I. The greater parts are fiction, no doubt, but the tenor of it all is unquestionably authentic, which is where that elusive truth he was reluctant to accept fits in, unfit for any one story, beginning and ending in a hurly burley, from dust, and to dust returns. Once upon a time.

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