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Once upon a time there was a city of good people who served the Powers that be. They faced monsters and beasts, servants of dark powers. Among the worst were the swamp trolls who kidnapped the citizens of the city to use as slaves and to treat without respect. They revelled in demeaning the human slaves and having power over them. But because the swamp trolls were only interested in themselves & making others feel small, they turned on each other and so destroyed each other.

Many generations passed and it so happened that the King of the city with his Queen had a daughter. The Princess was beautiful, brilliant and brave. Sadly for the city the king her father was not suited to leadership and he was cruel & violent. However, the council of the city in their wisdom locked the king in a high tower and were content for the queen to rule them.

At this time a tribe of Rock trolls came to the area & asked the queen to settle a village of their own. The queen was wise and knew that a nearby village with new skills and trade would benefit the city so she said yes.

The Princess was curious about the rock trolls and visited the village many times and became friends with one. Over the years of their friendship, she came to rely on him, to enjoy his company over all others, and to know she could depend on him for comfort, laughter, adventure and support.

They were out walking one day and came across a stray dark beast. The beast had come to the area to scout for potential humans to devour and enslave and seeing the princess it was overcome with desire to take and possess her. But the faithful troll saved the Princess by standing between her and the monster and from his chest came a beam of pure light. The light burned with a ferocity unbound and destroyed the beast of darkness. And the Princess saw the Troll’s face while he fought for her and she knew this came from his love for her. And the understanding came to her that she loved him just as deeply and wanted to spend all her hours and life with him.

She took the troll into the city and told all how he saved her and asked her mother the queen to marry the troll she loved. But the council and her friends were afraid. And they did not want to share the control of the city with any trolls. And they saw how the troll was a servant of the Powers that be and it made them feel less special about themselves that the Powers would choose servants outside of their city. And they did not understand the old stories and did not understand the Powers that be.

The friends of the Princess said to her – “How can you love this troll? He is so ugly and different and weird?” “Don’t you know trolls are our enemies, they are our destruction. They are an abomination, they are perverted and deviant and disgusting.”

She smiled and answered “Those laws and stories tell us about swamp trolls, they were abusive and enemies, but this is a rock troll and he is kind and loving and faithful and honest and wants to serve the Powers that be.”

“No!” shouted the council. “The writings are clear, our Princess cannot marry a troll. Your bodies don’t even fit together, how can you even be married, it is not possible. It is something unnatural and vile. “

The Princess replied “I am not in love with his anatomy, but his heart.”

She stared them in the face defiantly and held her lover’s hand, but did not look to him. And so she had not seen that with every word from the council and her friends, the troll by her side was becoming smaller and weaker. For as he drew his strength and power from love, so words of cruelty, unkindness & indifference would take his strength and power. Even when she stood by him with her words and loved him, she was only one voice. And they were a storm of many. And their storm continued.

“We love you Princess, we say this to save you from a terrible fate. You will thank us in years to come. And this troll will thank us, for he will be better off without following his trollish desires to take princesses away from their duty to make heirs.”

One council member came closer to the increasingly weak troll and patted him on the head. ” By all means troll, you can serve the Powers that be, but you must do it alone. ” The troll’s whispered answer was lost among the laughter. “I cannot do it alone, I need to draw from love and community for my gift to work.”

The lead councillor shushed everyone present. “This will be a slippery slope. If we accept these trolls to marry our daughters and sons what’s to say that ogres aren’t next. The line must be drawn here.”

Here were words that finally struck at the target of the Princess’s heart and she faltered in their wake. Her hurt magnified the Troll’s pain even further. “Ogres eat children. Are you saying this faithful and kind troll who would crawl over broken glass for me is the same as that?”

“The writings are clear,” was the answer. “Trolls are evil and cannot be welcomed here.” And with that the Lead councillor sent a message for the king to be freed, for he preferred to be ruled by a violent man who enforced the old ways than to be ruled by a wise woman who would accept those who were different or outside.

At the appearance of the king the Princess grew mightily afraid. The crowd grabbed the troll who was now almost completely helpless and held him down. The king stalked towards his daughter, took her face in his hands and spat into her face. “You have chosen to behave like a troll, not a princess. Why would our people want someone like that to represent them? Why would our people be lead by someone who would choose such a lifestyle?”

With her last strength she answered him. “A lifestyle of commitment, faithfulness & kindness? I would always choose that. Rock trolls are not Swamp trolls & you know this. You are using this as an excuse for your own fear. “

The punch to her face knocked her back onto the ground. “You see, you are talking back to me and showing disrespect to your father. That is what becomes of choosing to be like a troll. If you will not choose right, I will knock the troll out of you.”

And he beat her. He strangled her. He cut her. But that was not enough. So he beat her more and cut her more. And in his rage and fear of outsiders, a fear that a troll might want to love him, he beat her to death. The troll screamed in agony to lose his lover and with his heart so empty he no longer had the light power to defeat creatures of the dark. And so knowing that his ability to serve the Powers that be had been taken from him, he lost all hope and laid down to die of his broken heart.

The council ordered the body of the Troll to be returned to his people. “But be careful not to talk to them or have any congress with those creatures”. The Queen however was able to quickly scribe a letter to the chief of the Trolls to explain what had happened. On the return of the Troll’s body and in the revelation of the story the village of the Rock Trolls mourned and wailed and wept. And without hesitation packed all their belongings, turned away and left that area, shaking the dust as they left. But they travelled to a far place that served the Powers that be and welcomed the Trolls with open arms to marry their sons and daughters & serve the Powers together.

But in the area around the first city the dark creatures returned, but the city had no way to defeat them, for there was no light or love left there. So the city is no longer there and the Powers That Be have chosen others to work their will of love