His name was Derrick Holdenton and he was a middle class man of the fifteenth

century England, raised in the suburbs of York and apprenticed to a Knight at

an early age before changing his life path and becoming apprenticed to a

wealthy weaponsmith who welcomed his first hand practice at the sword and

horse, offering him a greater weekly allowance than was standard at that

time.



At 24 he was quite attributed with the skills of weaponry and weapon forging

as he continued his sparring habits. When he was 25 he assumed the role of

head smith at his own tradehouse with the help of a generous bank loan,

given with the belief that his highly regarded skills would get greater and

his loan would be written off in good time. And truly, he succeeded in

paying off his loan in less than a year’s time.



Derrick owned three anvils in his tradehouse and a market table that he

manned with a quoter for the convenience of traveling Knights in need of

timely repairs.



He sold new swords. He sold new armor plates. He also sold maps on

commission for a local mapmaker. You could say that his business was

gaining quickly and his profits doubled, then double-doubled and so on and

so forth.



Derrick turned 27 with a burgeoning fortune in the works. He now employed six

weaponsmiths, two shopkeepers all the while hiring on an apprentice of his

own. Talk of the town was that he was young for his notoriety and his

knowledge and skill on the shaping of weapons was rarely surpassed.



He married a young woman out of London whose family had holdings of their own

and a good reputation to match. At 27 he had two sons and a third child on

the way. Proud of his success and his public likeness, he continued to tithe

and attend church, unlike many of his contemporaries in his line of work of

known patronship who grew greedy and bad-mannered in their public attitudes.



Derrick Holdenton was recognized for his contributions, Knighted and granted

free rights to arms as he saw fit. With that christening he became a public

figure and garnered fame in his part of town as people sought him out first

for all their smithing needs. He was invited to high events. He was given

prime seats at celebrations. His children were educated under the guidance

of choice educators.



You could say that life was great for Sir Derrick for all his good fortune

and all his skills. That was before a dark curse descended on York and the

trials of the heretics had begun.



The curse spread quietly and quickly were the minds of innocent men and

women wrought with confusion and clouded with lies. All the great cares to

maintain the town decayed as people increasingly forgot their

responsibilities or as they made mistakes in what they needed to do. The

quality of work and product of men and women declined as the madness

distracted them and broke their concentrated efforts. Food would spoil

and the young would rebel without cause and an insidious disdain for their

elders. Life became misery and torment and people longed for the good old

days when everything seemed harmonized and peaceful.



Derrick watched his business with scrutiny, trying to glimpse into the heart

of the curse. He banished one of his employees for heretical behavior. The

once soulful and amusing smith had become bitter and mischievous, forging

cursed swords that broke at critical junctions, or causing false alarm within

the tradehouse and turning other employees on each other, disrupting the

smooth atmosphere once treasured of Derrick’s business.



The banished smith erupted with fury and set on revenge but was intervened

at his effort and officially hung then burned to kill the curse that lived

inside his flesh.



Derrick’s young enterprise was saved from imploding as many other businesses

had imploded under the same issues. A half-tolerable peace reassumed over his

employees again.



Derrick forbid his wife and children to go out into public, fearing that the

curse would befall them as well. A great silence and a great sadness

penetrated York as many heretics were sacrificed. The struggle to win over

the goodness of God that he shine his love over York once again was

difficult as with each new wave of heretics and sacrifices another would

emerge and the cycle would continue anew. This cycle were to end when the

King sent in a few of his Holy Knights to see into the origination of the

curse.



Derrick Holdenton was 29 when he received official request that he join the

Holy Knights on conquering the curse. He was invited to a secret meeting

in a church bell tower where the knowledge of the origination of the curse

was imparted to him.



The head of the Holy Knights greeted him with honor and said, “Welcome,

Sir Derrick Holdenton of Yorkshire. We greet you with the grace of holiness

that you join our attack on the origination of this dreadful curse. Before

we lay siege to the lair of the nemesis to vanquish the evil for once and

final, we will now tell the once believed tale of how it came to happen and

show you that it was once denied as fabricated but was in actuality true and

impelling.”



“You see, a century ago, as the Kingdom was in turmoil caused when contenders

to the throne perished one after the other in their greed for power, a troll

uncovered an item imbued with the curse you see here and he used it to gain

wealth in his devious dealings. As more and more people were disenchanted at

his bad deals, he was increasingly accused of his treachery but he always

seemed to trick his way out of punishment. He eventually fled when the

Kingdom settled into a peaceful time and there was less confusion and

turmoil within the ruling class as they could more easily see him for his

misdealings. The plan was drawn up to lynch mob him but he made his escape in

time.”



“The item was revealed at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the town and the

troll lied about it to dissuade the attention on the item’s ethereal glow.

The guard hadn’t known about the troll or the plan to lynch him so he let

the troll go. Only the next day would the guard know what mistake he had

made when he received the news.”



“A search party was quickly sent to catch the troll but no matter how far and

wide they led the search, the troll could not be found.”



“The account was recorded with dozens of witnesses who dealt with the troll

and the supernatural item that the guard saw was noted as being the source

of the troll’s power over men. His name was revealed to be Sid Kurberos.”



“As those were the end of tumultuous times for the people of England and

many tall tales were told throughout the land, this account was regarded long

as a tale in and of itself. But here we are, a century later, with official

documents certified with the hand of the King himself, that it were true and

that the Church had confirmed that the item was long vanished from antiquity

and sought after many a time before. The curse ascribed to the item closely

mirrors the curse on York.”



“With that we, the Holy Knights, had searched this land high and low for

signs of the origination of the curse, knowing that whoever it were that it

was had this item in their clutches. And only a week ago had we found him and

he is a troll and he lives in the wooded glens of York where few families of

wealth have dwelled for many generations.”



“We are here to ask you for help in our conquering the troll as you are a

well known swordsmith with honor on his head and you are also friendly to the

Church and you would win even greater honors in this effort to kill the curse

of this land. We ask that you better equip us where our own weapons and

armors fall short of your creations. Then at the morning sunrise we will

attack the troll and bring peace to this land once more. What say you,

Sir Derrick?”



Derrick nodded in approval and offered his hand in the center of the

circle for a Knight’s vow. The Holy Knights gave their hands to the circle

as well and Derrick said, “That we may kill the troll and bring peace to

York!”



All of them bowed their heads in reverence to the vow. Derrick then knelt

into the circle as he was given status as a Holy Knight in addition to his

already Knighted status.



That night Derrick re-dressed the Holy Knights as they asked of him and they

waited outside of the troll’s property until the morning. The large house was

made of brick and hidden well within the unkempt glen.



One of the three Holy Knights said, “We have observed the troll only leave

his house at late evening before the sun sets then he disappears into the

denser foliage beyond view. He may slumber all day, giving this chance to

reach him greater than any other time. Now, we will enter his land one

following the other, with you in the rear, Sir Derrick.”



“Yes.” Derrick agreed.



As the sun had begun to rise the head Knight went into the property and

halfway to the door of the troll’s house he was attacked with the blur of a

demon, viciously. He was not quick enough and the demon pierced his neck. The

two other Holy Knights ran to him and cut off the demon’s leg but the demon

got away. The injured Knight was tended to and he did not die but could not

go on so he was hidden under some branches until they would return.



Inside the house was dark and brooding. Piles of items crowded all the rooms

as the troll collected random things for reasons unknown. The Knights could

not find the troll inside the house although they’d seen him exit it several

times. They found only junk and piles of useful artifacts.



A foyer area outside of a hallway in the backside of the house was protected

with high walls but contained an entranceway into the ground with a rotted

double door.



The Knights lit a lantern then carefully walked down the staircase that led

deep underneath the house. It was cold and dark and a dense feeling of danger

swept into them.



They reached the bottom where the hallway forked into several directions. One

of the two remaining Holy Knights went forth to the larger of the three

doorways but was fallen into a trap where the floor caved in. Derrick and the

third Holy Knight couldn’t rescue him and he perished quickly.



Saying a prayer, they observed the perished Knight’s misfortune and blessed

his soul for the afterlife. They then went forth without fear to find the

troll.


The dungeon was extensive and resembled a maze some of the time with its dead

ends and false doorways. An hour of carefully searching the seemingly empty

dungeon went before they made it to a lavishly decorated door with golden

emblems of trollish faces all over it. Symbolic languages that the Knights

could not read were embossed into golden script at the top of the door frame.



Derrick tried the handle but it would not open.



A voice boomed out from inside the locked room. “Who dare goes there?!” The

voice was garbled and scratchy and sounded very old and out of the throat of

a monster. The Holy Knight replied, “We seek the troll who has cursed the

world above, that we behead him and bring peace to our land!”



“Then you will die!” The garbled voice boomed again, “For I am Sid Kurberos!

I have killed many a men who dare to cross me and this death on your head

will not make a difference!” The door then slowly opened of its own accord

and the Knights cautiously entered.



The floor inside was clear of any objects, made of finely laid squares made

of carved rock. The room reached far and wide to the estimate of a hundred

legs in either direction. The whole length of the walls were lined with a

continuous fireplace set into the walls at waist height, burning with an

otherworldly light without coal or wood to feed on. Inside the fire Derrick

and the other Knight could see contorted faces in desperate need swim through

the fire like souls contained in an ever-burning nightmare.



The Holy Knight went forth into the center of the room with his sword drawn,

searching for any sign of where the troll could’ve gone. As there was only

one door, the door that they two had entered, it was inconceivable that the

troll could’ve left the room. That is, unless he made his way through a

secret passage.



The Holy Knight told Derrick. “The troll has gone, so let us search for the

secret passage for whence he went.”



Derrick drew his sword as well then gave the enchanted fires one more look.

At that second the Holy Knight was knocked off of his feet and he hit the

floor with a hard crack of his backside armor plate. Derrick saw a flash of

green gaseous light in the shape of the troll flicker into and out of sight.




Derrick yelled, “Raise your defenses! The troll has gone invisible! I saw him

for a moment! There! Above you!”



The Holy Knight rolled left as he was revealed the green flash of the troll

swinging a heavy club at him. Derrick dashed at the faded green flashes at a

full run with his sword drawn out before him. The Holy Knight rolled again to

further get out of Derrick’s path and Derrick hit the invisible troll with

his hardest blow. The Holy Knight watched as Derrick was instantly halted,

crashing into the invisible troll with a loud clink of his armors. His sword

wildly deflected in an odd direction and he became unbalanced but held

himself upright.



Derrick crouched as The Holy Knight returned to his feet. The Holy Knight

yelled, “Watch out, on your flank!” Derrick turned his head in time to see

another green flash of gaseous shapes at his blind side, mere feet away.



Derrick tried to sidestep the attack but was dealt a hard blow that made him

see red. His knees weakly disobeyed his desire to run and he stumbled

sideways in the other direction. He was hit again very quickly from behind

and his grip loosened on his sword as he dived into the floor tiles made of

rock.



He saw The Holy Knight make a run for the fireplace along the walls with an

orb that appeared made of a translucent-white material in his outreached

hand. The Holy Knight yelled out a rehearsed but indecipherable line of

words then cast the orb into the fire.



The attack on Derrick ceased and he went for his sword again with bruising

injuries to his side and his back.



The entire length of the wall fireplace around the whole of the room was

immediately iced over and a thick dense mist poured out of the fireplace with

a vibrant blue tinge to it that looked brimming with supernatural energy.

Derrick’s limbs tingled as the mist covered him and continued crawling across

the floor.



The Holy Knight said and pointed as Derrick took his sword at the hilt once

more, “So you see! The troll has been revealed! He cannot hide in the lie

of a demon’s vision no more!”



Derrick saw that indeed, the troll was revealed within the mist of the orb’s

effects. The troll retained his greenish faded quality and you could indeed

see through him, but only to a far lesser extreme than before. The mist

appeared to outline the troll’s figure and shape dust on a snowball,

weakening the invisibility.



The Holy Knight was already on attack, dashing towards the troll with an ever

more fierce determination than before. Derrick joined him in the attack and

the troll was too surprised at the icy mist of The Holy Knight’s orb that he

hadn’t realized that it revealed him to the Knights. It was too late when the

troll did notice his newfound vulnerability and he was befallen under the

deadly strikes of Derrick and the one remaining Holy Knight.



The troll screamed out in a garbled and desperate cling to life, writhing in

extreme pain at each hack of each Knight’s swords. It were only a minute

before the troll quit breathing and they quit their attack.



They checked themselves for fatal injuries, finding none then went on in

search for the cursed item. Searching the entire room top to bottom they

hadn’t found it. They beheaded the troll, slipping the head into a sack

and as they did they noticed the bracelet on the troll’s wrist

had a bauble made of glass on it hidden on the underside of his arm. The Holy

Knight recognized the bauble as containing the exact item shown to him in the

official documents so he smashed the bauble to retrieve it.



The curse over York quickly dissipated at the death of the troll and the

recovery of the cursed item. The Holy Knight who was attacked in the entrance

area of the house yard was saved but the Holy Knight who fell into the trap

could not be saved. A celebration was held to honor the heroes of York and

Sir Derrick Holdenton went on to live a long and productive life and his wife

bore him another child. They lived happily ever after.




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