PREFACE

This story originally appeared on the Total Drama Island Fanfiction wiki, where it was the Featured Story for March 2011. The wiki version (link available on my profile page) is the recommended one because it includes certain multimedia enhancements that this site does not directly support.

After seeing the generally execrable quality of the "Courtney bashing" subgenre, which tends to wallow in viciousness at the expense of little things like story development, I was moved to write this story to demonstrate that such stories can be done tastefully and without sacrificing story quality.

There's nothing inherently wrong with having a single character repeatedly embarrassed, humiliated, injured (especially in animation), and so on, because that's virtually the definition of a comedy protagonist. Most comedy, after all, is based on the misfortunes of others. The key is to lose the vicious streak, because you don't have to be mean to give your favorite punching bag a lot of grief.

This story has a TV Tropes page (link available on my profile page) which also includes a link to the wiki version of the story.


PROLOGUE

There was once a Hungarian prince named Niklaus Esterhazy. As with most high-ranking nobles of his day, Esterhazy's employees included a private orchestra and composer. Indeed, Prince Esterhazy is best known today as the longtime employer of the famous composer, Franz Joseph Haydn.

The Concertmaster (which is the first-chair violinist's formal title) in Esterhazy's orchestra was one Johann Baptiste Mitterer, a dignified, slightly balding man in his late 40s. The second-chair violinist was a worldly, slightly younger man named Ludwig Ernest Rittersohn.

Messrs. Mitterer and Rittersohn got along well enough for several years, but Rittersohn eventually became discontented. He grew envious of Mitterer's greater prestige and, frankly, of the Concertmaster's larger salary. For a time, Rittersohn waited patiently for the older violinist to move on to either the afterlife or another employer, either of which could have happened on relatively short notice; for the good Prince was not the most generous of employers, and people generally did not live as long in those days as they typically do now.

Finally, no longer able to abide his better's disinclination to either expire or seek employment elsewhere, Rittersohn took matters into his own hands. In the Year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred seventy-three, Rittersohn poisoned the good Concertmaster; and Haydn and Esterhazy, suspecting nothing, straightaway appointed Rittersohn to his victim's position.

The new Concertmaster had a violin of exceptional quality, but Mitterer's instrument was even better, so Rittersohn took his predecessor's violin as his own. This led to the schemer's downfall, for the late Concertmaster's instrument was now accursed and haunted by that worthy's vengeful spirit. Rittersohn met with an accident soon after, and his own discarded violin likewise became haunted and accursed. These musical Hope Diamonds—Mitterer's coming to be known as the Violin of Doom, and Rittersohn's sometimes called the Violin of Despair—wrought more than their share of havoc over the next two centuries.


NOTES:

* Prince Esterhazy and Franz Joseph Haydn are well-documented historical figures. All other characters in this story are fictional.

* Mr. Rittersohn is named after two characters (Ernest Dummkopf and Ludwig) from The Grand Duke, the last and one of the least known of the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. The surname "Rittersohn" is made up and means "son of a knight".

* "Messrs." Is the plural of "Mr."

* The Hope Diamond is the world's largest blue-white diamond, and is famous for supposedly being cursed.