One of these days I’m going to write a parody. It’ll start off with a quest, one of those grand, fantastic ones in which people have to travel long distances without the aid of technology and without (much) magic, and a lot of coincidence and blind luck. The thing they’re about to find will avert disaster or save their kingdom or drive away the darkness, or something. Only the best are chosen, the most heroic, intelligent, brave, people. Some of them might even be witty. One of them might even be a woman.
And then they’ll trek their way across the lands they come across, and they’ll find that things slowly start going wrong. Not because the plot is urging them onwards, but because they’ve forgotten to bring enough money with them, or they didn’t pack nearly enough underwear and have to spend an hour every day washing their things. Or they don’t speak the language of the lands they’re traveling to and accidentally insult a dignitary and get jailed. And one of them gets drunk at a tavern and loses the map they’ve brought with them because not a single one of them thought to make copies. And the woman gets cranky and tired and easily emotional once a month and doesn’t have disposable pads. And they don’t have painkillers.
Eventually they start wondering why the hell they ever decided to do this. How important could the Scepter of Light be, anyway? And couldn’t their own damn wizards kill the Winged Lord of Pain? How the hell would they be able to put up with each other for the next several months? Has it only been three weeks now?
And then the smartest, most cynical one will put it all together. They were actually sent on this damned godforsaken quest because —