Disgraced Mayor

The Disgraced Mayor

He was the mayor of a sizeable village and had been for decades. Chosen by the other farmers, he had a reputation for fair dealing and looking out for the people under him. He had a big voice, a big farm, and a big family—one of whom he hoped would one day take over for him.

When a new group of raiders began to plague the town, the mayor soon realized that he couldn’t protect his townsfolk. These raiders were stronger and more numerous than before, bigger than any militia he could raise. Soon, they would be able to carry off the whole town into slavery. So instead of fighting, he met with them and talked. And the next day, the raiders were seen leaving the area.

Months passed and the raiders did not return. The village was happy; their mayor had saved them. And then a ragged farmer from the village over the mountains came stumbling into village with a terrible story.

His village was gone. Over the past few months, the raiders had captured and enslaved everyone in the village, sending them all over Athas. Only burned foundations remained now. And the ragged farmer could not understand how the raiders had beaten them so thoroughly. They seemed to know where all the farms were; they knew where the militia was weakest; they knew the secret ways through the mountains that were treasured by those who had lived in this area for generations. How?

And the ragged farmer pointed his finger at the mayor. You, he said. He had heard the raiders talking as they enslaved his family, as he hid amongst the rocks, weeping. The mayor had told them everything. You offered our village in place of yours.

The mayor could have denied everything, but the truth was plain on his face as he began to weep. He knew what crime he had committed and it had tormented him ever since.

The villagers might have put him to death, but one of them spoke up. This mayor has disgraced our village, he said. We will always be remembered as the traitor village, the slaver village, who betrayed their neighbors for a little temporary safety. We must erase the mayor’s memory, not just his life.

And so the mayor was sent to the Place of Forgetting and told never to return. And he did not, and to this day the name of the town is, mercifully, forgotten.

Disgraced Mayor

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