Real Name: Unknown. First Appearance: Spawn # 9. What's the Story?: Sir John of York was born in England in 1146. His normal, happy home life was a contrast to the civil unrest raging across the countryside. His father, a wine merchant, was distantly related to the nobility, so John was able to get squired as a knight at 16, and became a knight himself at 18. As a freelance knight, Sir John went with soldiers of King Henry II to deal with the last remnants of civil war. His heroism brought him to the attention of his King, and then into Henry's court. he proved a valuable aid. However, his first love was battle and blood-letting.
In 1170, King Henry had problems with the Church. the King had made his good friend, Thomas Becket, into the Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket became a defender of the Church, and thus an enemy to the King. In a fit of rage, the King blurted hasty words which Sir John and three of his fellows mistakenly took as orders. They assassinated Becket. The resulting scandal cast a pall upon the King, who released Sir John from his service. Disgrace, Sir John wanted nothing more than to clear his name. In 1170, Henry moved troops to Ireland. The Normans had taken up refuge there, to the detriment of the Irish. Hoping to right his reputation, Sir John fell in with Henry and his men. The battle was terrible, but the King eventually bound his Norman barons to loyalty. Again John exonerated himself on the battlefield, and begged the King for permission to re-enter the court officially. However, guards Sir John trained himself mistook him for an assassin and killed him. There was darkness. Then, a tormenting voice spoke from everyone at once, offering Sir John anything he wanted for a small exchange. John, the merchant's son, felt he could fetch a shrewd bargain and asked for his name to be cleared. The voice shouted its agreement. The next thing Sir John knew, he was outside York, near where his father's shop was, dressed in armor and bearing a standard he'd never seen before. In place of his family home was a crude stone cross inscribed with the words "hero of the realm". Sir John could feel derisive laughter echoing from the earth below. He'd become a Hellspawn in order to stare at his own memorial of honor, and nothing more. Knighthood and chivalry became his obsession. When a demon attacked, attempting to goad him into using his hell-born powers, Sir John, the Medieval Spawn, began to guess the true nature of his bargain. He resisted hell's machinations to the end, when he was destroyed by Angela, without ever fully comprehending what he was.