Once upon a time, in the land of Neopia long past, there
was a noble (if somewhat daft) king by the name of Monty, a brave and ambitious
golden Peophin, who was searching the land to find knights of similar bravery
and valour. The kingdom of Omelot, his homeland, was merely a small province,
after all - and was entirely uninteresting and peaceful. Monty reasoned, however,
that if he could simply gather enough souls as hearty and adventuresome as himself,
he might be able to stir things up to his liking, and be hailed as a hero as
well as a king.
And so, Monty left his mighty (small) castle,
and descended on Neopia Central. Accompanied only by his trusted Whinny, Unbaut,
Monty began the search to seek brave heroes willing to join him in Omelot. As
he crossed the border, he noticed that the land was muddy and full of common
pets, turned brown by the mud and filth of their living conditions. "Ugh," he
thought to himself, "what manner of Neopian is lord here?" Espying a lone Meerca
at the side of the road, he decided to ask. "Excuse me, sir?"
The Meerca narrowed its eyes, and rose up on
its tail. "Ma'am."
Monty blinked a bit - it was awfully hard to
tell, after all - and replied apologetically, "Ma'am, sorry. Who rules this
area, exactly?" He petted Whinny's ears a moment, deciding to be patient.
The Meerca looked annoyed, and replied with,
"Nobody rules this place."
Monty blinked. "What?"
"Nobody rules this place. It's Neopia Central."
This was certainly an unusual statement to Monty,
and he decided to press further. "Well, then, who is your king?"
The Meerca sneered openly. "We don't have a
king. Or a lord, or a bish--er, banana republic dictator, or..."
Monty interrupted, annoyed and perplexed. "What
do you mean, nobody rules here? That's a bit odd--"
The Meerca abruptly flicked her tail out, and
struck Monty squarely on his snout. "No foul language in Neopia Central!"
Monty looked outraged, and Unbaut cowered back
a bit, expecting some kingly providence to be unleashed. "How dare you strike
me? And what do you mean, foul language--I'll have you know, I'm the king of
The Meerca settled back down. "This isn't Omelot.
This is Neopia Central. All of our rules and policies are strictly enforced
by the Neopets Staff and their emissaries, with the mandate of the Neopian user
base. But all of the requests of these users must be ratified by a committee
of Neopets Staff members..."
Monty shifted on his tail a moment. This peasant
certainly wasn't making his goal any easier, but impaling her on his horned
crown would be excessive... "Yes, I see."
The Meerca continued, unruffled. "By a simple
majority in the case of purely internal affairs such as adding objects to the
Monty's tolerance was waning rapidly. "Be quiet!"
The Meerca simply continued to ramble. "But
by a two-thirds majority in the case of events such as world addition, item
purpose changing, and other external affairs--"
Monty had finally had enough. "Listen, I order
you to be quiet!"
The Meerca silenced for a moment, but only long
enough to straighten a bit taller. "Order? Who do you think you are, eh?"
Monty replied, adjusting the single horn on
his crown so that it pointed at the Meerca's head, "I am Monty, King of Omelot!"
The Meerca snorted. "King of omelettes? And
how did you become king? By taking advantage of negg supplies, I'm sure."
Monty stood tall on his tail, and glared levelly
at the insolent Meerca. "The Great Earth Faerie, Illusen, held aloft this most
sacred crown, the Crown of the Uni, and placed it upon my head, thereby signifying
by blessed providence that I, Monty, was to wear the Crown of the Uni. That
is why I'm king!"
"Listen - strange faeries in forest glades distributing
headgear is no basis for a system of government. Truly enlightened countries
require a mandate from the users, not some farcical sylvan ceremony!"
Monty looked irritated, and clopped his hooves
together menacingly. "Be quiet!"
"If I went around proclaiming that I were the
Faerie Queen, just because some backwoods pixie had donated a helmet to me,
they'd put me away!" The Meerca continued to prattle, chortling to herself.
"Come and see the madman who thinks a faerie blessing makes him royal!"
Monty decided, with a sigh, that no matter how
foolish the muddy Meerca was, and no matter how offensive, he would not feel
right about harming the rodent, and continued on his way, motioning for Unbaut
The Shop Wizards of Tyram
So, eventually, Monty Peophin gathered an
impressive assortment of brave knights from across Neopia to serve him in his
court at Omelot. Among these were such heroes as Sir Rasher, the Outspoken -
who had nearly beaten up the vicious Pant Devil, who had barely lost to the
dangerous Chia Clown from the Carnival of Terror, and who had been squashed
flat by the Chia Bomber of Tyrammet. There were symbols of purity such as Lord
Nimmel, the White Lupe. There were great legends of wisdom, like Sir Wellington,
the Wise. There were even those whose nobility and heroism rivaled Monty himself,
such as the great Lady Maciste. But still… there was something missing. Some
sense of purpose or ambition… some sort of goal or desire… and Monty Peophin
and his knights spent most of their days searching for this grand ambition.
For hours they searched, through the dark and
unexplored terrain, until finally, when they were about to give up and go for
tea… a beautiful voice called down, from the very heavens. Monty and his knights
looked up - and spotted a face heavenly enough to befit the voice peering back
down, of a faerie in royal purple, with a crystal tiara on her head and a shining
wand in her right hand, held like a scepter. If it wasn't the Faerie Queen,
it was an excellent fabrication! Monty immediately bowed flat, as did most of
his fellow knights.
"Oh, for heaven's sakes - get off of that ground
this instant! You're wasting precious time - my time!" she snapped, with the
usual commanding, domineering tone that let Neopets know who the Faerie Queen
of the realm was. After a moment of quick murmured apologies from Monty and
his knights, she continued. "Knights of Omelot, I will give you a task to make
an example of you in these dark times, since you seek to prove yourselves…"
Sir Rasher murmured quietly, "I don't like the
sound of that."
"Silence!" The Faerie Queen flicked her rod,
and a flaming star soared downwards to explode in front of Rasher, who promptly
fainted. "That's better. Now then… Look well, knights of Omelot, for this…"
She gestured again with the rod, making the other knights instinctively flinch,
and conjured an image into the sky. "This is your purpose, knights; the Quest
for the Holy Censer."
Monty called, "Isn't that more of a bowl?" The
Faerie Queen narrowed her eyes, and Monty swiftly apologised. "Sorry, sorry,
definitely a Censer…"
The Faerie Queen smiled in a manner that could
have been mistaken for benevolent, and Monty relaxed. With a flick of her rod,
she banished the image, and receded onto her cloud again, calling as she went,
"That is your Faerie Quest, Monty Peophin - to find the Holy Censer!"
Monty and the Knights of Omelot gazed upwards
at the glowing cloud for a few moments more, before looking to each other in
mute astonishment. Finally, Sir Wellington spoke… "So, what do we do now?"
Monty thought about it a moment, and came up
with an idea. "Well, what else shall we do? We shall consult the Shop Wizards!
They shall find for us this Holy Censer, and we shall seek it out, acquire it,
and bring it to the Faerie Queen for our just reward - and that reward shall
most certainly be…"
"Ice cream?" one of the junior knights, a Chia
by the name of Eda, piped.
Monty eyed the Chia, and shook his head, speaking
slowly. "No, Lady Eda - our valour shall be rewarded with a much finer thing…
for we will be known throughout the ages for our bravery, our heroism, our…"
"Ability to use the Shop Wizard to find something
and buy it?" Eda piped again.
Monty gave the Chia a look of withering annoyance.
"You can't just buy a Holy Censer. Now come on, knights - let us go to the Shop
"I still think that's not a very valorous thing…"
Eda called, as the knights began to make their way south, searching for the
Shop Wizards' Keep. Perhaps fortunately, although the Shop Wizards were an exclusive
tribe, and tended to stay far apart from society, finding their keep in the
murky northlands of Tyram was no real challenge to the Knights of Omelot, and
three days' march found them standing at the walls of the keep…
"What do you want?" the voice of a scruffy Jubjub
called, as the owner climbed onto one of the parapets to take a better look
at the motley assortment of knights that had come to visit his castle.
"Brave Shop Wizards! I am Monty Peophin, King
of Omelet, and these are my Knights of Omelet! We seek the Holy Censer - and
if you will direct us in our quest-"
"Quest?" the Jubjub snapped, standing at attention.
"Yes - we have undertaken this quest at the
behest of the Faerie Queen, and--"
"No! That would be cheating!" the Jubjub shrieked
abruptly, removing a conical hat from his pocket and carefully placing it on
his head. "We are forbidden to interfere in matters of the Faeries' quests.
It is forbidden. Now go away, or I shall menace you."
Sir Rasher snickered lightly. "He'll what? He's
just a little Jubjub. I'd be more scared of a Wocky Hair Grenade."
The Jubjub glared, and hauled, apparently out
of nowhere, a rainbow-coloured cannon, placing it before him on the parapet.
"I'm warning you!"
Monty pondered, and shushed Sir Rasher. Lord
Nimmel, however, was unafraid, and called upwards, "Look, can you just tell
us where to start looking for the Holy Censer of-"
The Jubjub abruptly paled, and ducked out of
sight, pulling the trigger of the cannon as he did so. Monty and the knights
cried out in panic, and turned to run, but were caught in the shower of ice
and sleet, and frozen solid temporarily. Everything grew quiet for a moment…
long enough for a group of brown Meercas to rush onto the scene, carrying papers
and looking irate. The leader took a breath, and began to speak.
"Attention, Monty Peophin - you are charged
with references to a religious object in a public area, and…" The Meerca's speech
wavered and halted as he noticed the frozen troop. "Oh… a bit late. Never mind
- come on, men." The Meercas trooped off, folding up their documentation.
Several moments later, the ice thawed, and the
knights were released. Monty looked to Sir Wellington a moment. "Wise Sir Wellington…
would you kindly explain to me what that was all about?"
Wellington squared his shoulders, and looked
back. "I know not, my lord… we must decide what to do about this problem, and
To be continued...