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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Gathering, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 58 > New Series > Monty Peophin and the Holy Censer: Part One

Monty Peophin and the Holy Censer: Part One

by wizardofaus

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 Omelot!"

     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 shops..."

     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 to follow.

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 Wizards."

     "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 now."

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Monty Peophin and the Holy Censer: Part Two

Monty Peophin and the Holy Censer: Part Three

Monty Peophin and the Holy Censer: Part Four

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