The Ordeal

"Man, this climbing Mt. Ordeals thing sure is," Palom paused dramatically, "an ordeal! Ha ha, get it? An ordeal?"

Porom sighed and looked upward, as if beseeching heaven to come smack down her brother. But all she saw was a hairy old man on the path above her.

"Hey look," said Cecil, "it's Tellah!"

It was indeed Tellah.

"Wow!" said Porom. "Sage Tellah! What an honour."

"Blah blah blah," Tellah explained a bunch of boring things. "Blah blah blah Meteo blah blah!"

Despite his supposed awe of the great sage, Palom tittered. "Oh, I learned that spell at like level 50. That was a loooooong time ago."

Tellah did a double-take. "Impossible!"

"Nah, totally possible," said Palom, and cast Meteo on some hapless passing zombies.

Tellah expressed his surprise through his punctuation. "...What is this?! A child who knows the legendary Meteo...! How can this be?"

"We did some power leveling on a peninsula north of the mountain," Cecil explained. "Got a hot tip about some strong monsters up there. Excuse me, I have to kill this random zombie."

He killed this random zombie.

"Yes," said Porom, casting White on another random zombie, "we spent a lot of time on that peninsula. My brother has been insufferable ever since."

Tellah watched as the tiny five-year-old children cast the most powerful magic spells in all of creation and completely overkilled the poor shambling undead things that happened to be in their way. He was not sure how he felt about what he was seeing, but he knew he had to do something to stop the feeling. "I know some strong spells too!" he said, and used his "Recall" ability to prove it.

He waved his arms around, calling forth his incredible powers of old, and accidentally cast Toad on himself.

"Ribbit!"

"Oh no!" said Porom. "Sage Tellah! You're amphibious!"

Palom tittered again. "Yeah we'll take over things from here 'kay thanks."

- 0 - 0 -

Thanks to the three god-like beings in the party, soon enough they were at the summit.

"Hisssssss," said Milon.

"Boom chicka Flare!" said Palom.

"Hissssssssssssssssssss! I'm back!" said Milon Z five minutes later.

"Cure4! White! Life2!" said Porom.

"...Curse you, small children!" said Milon Z as he fell off the bridge.

"Well that was refreshing," said Cecil. "I could get used to sitting back and doing nothing! Isn't retirement great, Tellah?"

"..." said Tellah.

- 0 - 0 -

And then they went inside the shrine thingy at the top of the mountain, and some weird stuff happened with a mirror, and Cecil got in a fight with himself and boom shicka pow clang he was a paladin!

Cecil stared at his shiny new sword. "I have...defeated my dark side!"

Palom pumped his fist. "Woooot! Cecil, you da man, man!"

Palom frowned. "...I think you weren't supposed to attack it? There was a voice saying not to attack it."

Tellah nodded. "Yes, the true way of the Paladin is to defend, not to kill."

"O000000000ooooooOOOOOh," said Cecil. "SoooooOOOOO000oooo is that what the voice in the sky meant when it said, 'You must not fight now?'"

"Yes," said Tellah. "Obviously."

"But...I still won, soo0000OOOOooo."

"Yeah whatevs." Palom waved a hand. "That was rad, man, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Tellah grumbled something about stupid level 99 folks blasting their way through everything, but no one paid any attention to him.

Then Cecil noticed something. Something shocking. He said, "...!"

"Uh on," said Palom. "Ellipses + exclamation marks...!"

"I...I," Cecil articulated, "I think I'm at Level 1 again!"

"No way." Palom poked the paladin, who immediately fell over. "Uh oh. Dude."

"Oh dear," said Porom.

A look of unadulterated Schadenfreudian glee spreads like peanut butter across Tellah's face. "So these are the vaunted powers of the legendary paladin!"

A look of unadulterated rage spread across Cecil's face. "Oh !)#&!?' "%!"

Porom covered her ears. "Eeee, that's not very holy language!"

"What is the new ability I got? Cover? What happened to my !`#%#& evil blasty thing? This is the pits!"

Palom grinned. "Aw, it's not so bad, bro! We can have fun powering you up again. At least your stats don't go down when you level up, unlike Mr. Octogenarian here."

"Shut up," said Tellah. "And who told you my age, hmmm?"

Cecil was too busy swearing to say it was him.

- 0 - 0 -

"Hey, I have all my old spells!" Tellah belatedly noticed. "And Meteo!"

"That's nice," said Porom."

"Who cares," said Palom.

" (%* #)%#*)% I want to be evil again," said Cecil.

- 0 - 0 -

As they were crossing back over the bridge where they'd killed Milon (twice), Porom gamely tried to cheer up the party's resident depressed, potty-mouthed paladin. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but Palom is right! It'll be tons of fun leveling you up again. I bet your MP will be higher than Tellah's pretty soon. He's stuck at 90!"

"Shut up," said Tellah for the twentieth time today.

"Yeah, he can't even cast Meteo," Palom pointed out. "He'll probably kill himself trying to do it!"

"Shut up!" said Tellah for the twenty-first time that day.

In spite of the hilarity, Cecil continued to sulk.

"It'll be so fun to blast our way through everything!" said Palom, casting Lit3 on a Skeleton.

"We'll have you back up to fighting form in a jiffy!" said Porom, casting Cure4 on a Revenant. "Look, Cecil! You gained five levels just now, didn't you?"

Cecil stopped sulking for a moment. "Hey, I guess I did...!"

Then a Bloodbones attacked and Cecil discovered all his expensive armour has been replaced with a crappy Cloth t-shirt.

"%!#%^*$)%*," he expressed succinctly.

"Heh heh heh heh heh," Tellah laughed for the first time that day.

The end.